The November election is just over three months away, and it promises to be a close one, at least on the presidential line. That means every vote counts –– and that every vote must be counted carefully.
Unfortunately, a new study of the nation’s voting systems raises doubts about whether we can believe the vote tallies provided by electronic voting machines and election officials.
Many states, including some critical swing states, received grades of “inadequate” when it came to vote-count systems and safeguards.
The study, a project of the Rutgers School of Law, the Verified Voting Foundation and Common Cause, a nonpartisan advocacy group, tested states in five areas considered best practices for an orderly vote and a credible tally:
Does it require paper ballots or paper records, which can be checked against machine-tabulated results?
Does it have contingency plans so each precinct can respond quickly to machine failures?
Does it protect overseas and military votes from online computer hacking?
Does it require a post-election audit to ensure machine tallies match the paper records?
Does it have procedural safeguards to prevent ballots from being lost or added during the tabulation process?
Five states, including New Hampshire and Vermont, received top scores in the evaluation. Six states, including Colorado, considered a swing state, were judged to be least prepared.
-- MetroWest Daily News (Mass.)