Franklin County to post e-voting machine audit data online

In a major coup for those who have been pushing since the 2000 election from more openness, disclosure — and for finely-grained data on election administration practices — Franklin County’s (Ohio) Board of Elections today announced that following the final canvass in this fall’s federal election they are going to post online complete data from every electronic voting machine used in the election. The following is from today’s Columbus Dispatch:

After the official counts and canvasses for the Nov. 7 election, information from more than 4,500 touch-screen voting machines will be posted online so skeptics can conduct their own reviews, Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matthew Damschroder said.

The agency also plans to ask county commissioners to pay for an independent post-election hand count of votes from the paper tapes that track people’s choices on each machine.

In the wake of last week’s report on the discrepencies in the audit that ESI attempted in Cuyahoga County (Ohio), the fact that Franklin County is going to make this data public is an enormous step in the direction of openness, disclosure, and the provision of critical research data. Release of data like these should go a long way toward improving public confidence in the process.