How good is your state's "election readiness"?
by desmoinesdem, Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 07:24:13 AM EDT
Yesterday the creator of the Iowa Voters blog let Bleeding Heartland readers know that "The Brennan Center (with help from Sean Flaherty of Iowans for Voting Integrity) has released a major report on the status of election readiness."
I recommend checking out this report to see how your state matches up. Iowa does fairly well. Thanks to the efforts of Secretary of State Mike Mauro, we adopted a law earlier this year banning touchscreen voting machines. Also, Iowa has same-day voter registration, which means very few people will have to use provisional ballots if they show up on election day and are not on the voter rolls.
In fact, the Iowa Voters blogger noted,
Iowa is one of eight states given credit for "best practices" in ballot accounting and reconciliation. See the third map.
On the other hand, we fall into the black space on the bottom map regarding audits of the machine readout. That's Mauro's next challenge. Someone needs to hand count some ballots after the polls close to see that the machines got it right in their hi-speed readings. Haste makes waste! Slow down and double check the damned things!
That challenge is for the government to face next legislative session. If we get good audits we can join the list of only six states that get shaded green on the top map (Alaska, Oregon, California, North Carolina, and our neighbors Missouri and Minnesota).
I agree that we need to have better audit procedures for our optical scanner counts, but I'm very relieved we won't have to worry about some Iowa counties using touchscreen machines. It looks like the presidential race in Iowa will be a blowout for Barack Obama, but we could easily have Congressional or state legislative races that are close enough to require recounts.