Posted by Adam Fogel on August 28, 2008Today, FairVote released its first in a series of reports that seeks to shed light on the practices of county election officials responsible for running efficient elections this November. The report, "Uniformity in Election Administration: A Survey of Swing State County Clerks--Missouri Edition," shows that many counties in Missouri are not prepared for the anticipated increase in voter turnout this November. In fact, only 15% of county clerks surveyed are putting together a written voting booth allocation plan and even fewer could say when their final ballot would be ready (only 8%).
With turnout in swing states expected to rise to unprecedented levels, FairVote is making every effort to ensure voters don't run into roadblocks this Election Day. Every county should write out a booth or machine allocation plan and make it publicly available before Election Day. They should also make sure voters have an opportunity to review rough drafts of ballots before the county prints the final version.
In the report, we offer a series of conclusions and recommendations about what states can do to have a transparent process and prepare for what could be the highest voter turnout in modern presidential election history.
Uniformity in elections is important because no matter where you vote in your state, your vote should count (and be counted) the same way. Unfortunately, people in some states (and municipalities) experience Election Day in completely different ways. The reason for this is that we have a patchwork system of election administration where some jurisdictions are more prepared than others. But this is not the fault of local election officials--they are generally doing the best they can with the limited resources they have. Local officials need more funding to run efficient elections and states, along with the federal government, should establish minimum standards for election preparedness.
Hopefully these reports will help lead the way in creating those standards and make our election process a little bit fairer.