Oregon considers mandating recounts

Following the example of California (see a nice posting by Thad and Mike here), the Oregon House is considering a piece of legislation (HB 3270) that would mandate a hand recount of a “statistically significant sample of ballot counted by each vote tally system used to tally ballots in the county.”

California’s current law requires a 1% recount. In some ways, Oregon’s proposed law is superior, since the 1% standard is not based on any statistical standard that I know of. In fact, over dinner a few days ago, Mike commented on how many ballots this really meant for Los Angeles county. Given the margin of some of contests, LA could, in fact, get by with a lot less than 1% of all ballots.

But I’m wondering what Mike and Thad think about hand recounts generally. Thad is current PI on an EAC-funded project examining best practices in count-recounts. I’d always assumed that the hand recount would create more problems than it would solve, but perhaps it increases voter confidence and serves as an important check on the electronic vote tallying systems.