Register voters, pay a big penalty
| The mean-spirited, massive drive to cut down the vote, state by state
For reporters and editors, is there a more important story for democracy in America than the laws making it harder, sometimes almost impossible, for millions of people to vote? Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center spells them out: 22 new laws and two executive actions in 17 states, and at least 74 more restrictive bills pending in 24 states.
Making votes count
| HR 811 would require a paper trail
Some in Congress, like Rush Holt, are calling for stringent vote security measures for states that use electronic voting machines, to be in place by 2008. It has a majority of House members as co-sponsors, and Dianne Feinstein says she will introduce a similar bill in the Senate. Reporters might find out what House and Senate members in their area have to say about a bill like this.
| What makes the media so confident that the election won’t be stolen?
Seriously contemplating the idea that a small group of individuals could change election outcomes is terrifying -- but the alternative could be even worse, says an election-integrity activist who has some questions the press should ask itself.
| More last-minute questions about e-voting
Are you ready for an electronic voting nightmare in your area? Are your election officials? Here are some questions for before and after the upcoming elections.
| Last-minute questions about e-voting
It's too late to throw out the machines and start all over,
but here are some questions from Stanford Professor David Dill that you'll want to ask your election officials before Election Day.
| 'The mechanics of voting may be critical'
DISCUSSIONS| May 23, 2006
1992 Nieman fellow; managing editor/International, Knight Ridder Washington bureau
| Ask your election officials: Are you following e-voting issues in the news?
A blogger who has been obsessively tracking the growing number of electronic voting horror stories around the country -- stories largely ignored by the national media -- offers an annotated list of questions to help election officials learn from others’ mistakes.
| Practical questions for election officials
The co-director of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project offers important questions that reporters should ask every local election official before the next vote.
| Accurate voter lists: still a goal, not a reality
Expert Roy Saltman on the history and current status of voter registration, including fraud, inaccuracies, laws promoting enfranchisement and what needs to be done.
| How much do localities spend on elections?
Estimated costs: $10 per voter (in year 2000); of every dollar 35 cents is for voter registration, 35 cents for equipment and Election Day expenses, and 30 cents for administration.
| Think paper trails will make elections secure? It’s not that simple
Roy Saltman, a longtime expert, explains the views of those who insist on a paper trail to record votes, and also the views of those who, in good faith, say there is no need for a paper trail—and that paper trails might not be useful, anyway.
Election rights and wrongs
| In some cases, it's not the voters who count, it's the counters
As author Tracy Campbell tells it, regardless of the voting method—from paper ballots to absentee voting to electronic machines—there is a long history of election cheating in the U.S., and it is not disappearing. Campbell, an expert on the subject, offers reporters suggestions on what to look for.
| Following up on an important GAO report on electronic voting
A recent GAO Report on electronic voting systems points to a number of security and reliability problems. Many of these problems can only be remedied by system vendors and state and local election officials. What steps are your state and local election officials taking in response to the report?
| Start asking questions now about vote-counting in your area
Do the citizens in your area have good reason to be confident that, if they make it into the voting booth, their votes will actually be counted? Don’t wait until the next election is upon us. Here are some important basic questions to which the public deserves answers.
| The perils of paperless e-voting
Let’s say your state or local election officials have a paperless e-voting system or are thinking about switching to one. Here are some questions you should ask to see if they’ve really thought it through.
| Berkeley sociologists say odds are 999 to 1 that electronic machines gave Bush far too many votes in Florida.
By itself, switching these votes still wouldn't make Kerry the winner. But it's two presidential elections in a row that appear to have been messed up in Florida. Can the press help avoid a trifecta?
A failed system
| Some good reporting now could bring integrity to voting and help make it more tamper-proof
Follow the lead of Keith Olbermann and The New York Times editorial page. Go over this year's vote count, and consider making election systems a beat to help bring about reform for next time.
| Will your vote be counted in November? Maybe not.
Electronic voting systems may be subject to manipulation. How would you know?