Lets not rig the elections

Registration, polling place problems, and confusing ballots cost 4 million votes in 2000.

Voter fraud carries prison time, still an acquaintance boasts he will submit his Alzheimer’s stricken wife’s ballot. Maybe signature detection won’t catch his crime.

Care saves votes:

Voters can save votes

o Register: Make sure your registration is in order, check your registration online or call the election registrar. In some places it’s still possible to register.

o Prepare:

§ Consult voter guides and online information to learn about races before you vote.

§ Check wait times.

§ Newly registered: bring proof of your home.

§ Some places require an ID card.

§ Don’t campaign within 100 feet of the polling place.

§ If pollworkers can’t find your name; are you registered elsewhere?; ask for a provisional ballot to vote for federal offices.

o Voting:

§ Bring a list of your vote selections to avoid errors in the booth.

§ Don’t make selections for races you are undecided on.

§ Use your glasses, they are much better than magnifiying glasses.

§ A ruler to keep your place on the ballot can reduce mistakes dramatically.

§ Don’t share your mail-in-ballot. Sign its envelope. If you mark it wrong “spoil it” and get another one. Your voter guide tells where or check where your registrar is located.

o Observers can’t talk to voters in the polling place. Do report problems to a pollworker and the local registrar.

· Pollworkers can save votes

o Be there early. Roll play and practice your tasks before the first voter comes.

o A polling place is a secure area, never leave election materials alone.

o Make sure voters know where to be, are they at the right polling place, precinct, etc.

§ Be prepared with lists of other polling places for people that aren’t in your jurisdiction

o Security is people checking each other, never do anything alone with a ballot, or data transfer.

o Offer assistance for everyone: magnifying glass, eyes free voting, wheelchair access, ballot privacy cover, or ear plugs for the noise.

o Be diligent about showing people how to vote, and never assist them without their explicit request, and someone observing you too.

o Close the polling place with your procedure and have two people return all materials to the registrar carefully.

· Election workers can save votes

o Beyond training, get everyone to demonstrate they can do their tasks before Election Day.

o Assure yourself that you can communicate with precincts and are ready to deliver any needed materials or help.

o The counting room must be a secured area. Observers cannot touch anything.

o Document reported problems.

o All handling of voting data and materials (paper or on computer) must have supervision

o Video is great supervision, even stream the operation as LA has done.

* I have been an Observer over many years in several states, voting technology researcher who helped create the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project.