Posted by Eve Robert on December 15, 2008Under the Help America Vote Act mandate, the Electoral Assistance Commission administers a biennial survey to capture information and review of procedures with respect to the administration of Federal elections. The 2004 and 2006 Election Day Surveys provided extensive tabular data on a broad range of issues related to election administration, including voter registration, turnout, absentee and provisional ballots, voting machines, disability access, poll workers and polling places. State administrators and local election officials in the 50 states and territories provide the data for the survey.
Last week, the Election Assistance Commission help a public meeting to solicit public comments on the 2008 Election Day Survey. Several election officials, university professors and non-profit organizations submitted in-person or written testimony to the commission. Many of them emphasized the importance of instating questions about voting machine technology and performance into the Survey and empowering the EAC as a meaningful clearinghouse for information relating to voting systems certification, performance and security. In addition, other testimonies, notably FairVote's (based on its survey of nearly 400 local election officials during the summer), highlighted the lack of uniform standards regarding the allocation of voting equipment and polling locations and the readiness of rough and final drafts of the ballot. FairVote recommended an increased standardization and transparency in these areas as well as a rule-making or enforcement authority for the EAC.