States Warned to Prep for Election Glitches

Oct 17, 2008

Eight years after voting irregularities marred the 2000 presidential election, most states still are not as prepared as they should be for Election Day glitches, from machine breakdowns to a shortage of emergency ballots, according to a new report by voter advocacy groups.

The states least-prepared to handle problems that could crop up at polling places are the presidential swing states of Colorado and Virginia, along with Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah, said the joint report released Thursday (Oct. 16) by the groups Common Cause, Verified Voting and the Brennan Center for Justice.

A separate report released the same day found that voters in most states can’t count on their state election Web sites for easily accessible information, including on where to vote and on what will be on the ballot.

Make Voting Work, a nonpartisan project of the Pew Center on the States, worked with the Internet usability firm Nielsen Norman Group to rate state election Web sites. The report gave the lowest grades to New Hampshire, Mississippi, Illinois, Connecticut and New Mexico. Iowa got the highest marks.

The reports reflect the heightened attention being paid to voting processes on Nov. 4 because of problems in 2000, when Florida had to count some ballots by hand days after the presidential election, and in 2004, when long lines and machine malfunctions stirred criticism in the battleground state of Ohio.

Read the full report States Warned to Prep for Election Glitches on Stateline.org.

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