NASS recently surveyed states and compiled extensive data on their preparations for the 2008 presidential election. The complete report and data are available at the NASS website.
Here’s the summary of findings from the report’s media release:
Highlights of the NASS report include:
State Voter Hotlines: Thirty-six states provide toll-free hotlines to collect and respond to voter feedback, questions or complaints.
Equipment Demonstrations: Twenty-five states conduct voting equipment demonstrations to help familiarize voters with the equipment they will encounter at their polling place.
Online Voter Tools: A variety of resources are available on state election office websites to assist voters with their voting preparations, including polling place locators (42 states), voter registration lookups (31 states, plus DC), online sample ballots (22 states) and equipment demonstration videos (18 states). Sixteen states also have online provisional ballot tracking tools this year.
Targeted Outreach: In addition to general education campaigns aimed at assisting first-time voters, many states are also conducting targeted outreach for young voters, elderly and disabled voters, military and overseas voters and alternative language voters.
Convenience Voting: Thirty-one states allow some form of early or advance voting, including vote-by-mail, early/in-person absentee voting or permanent absentee voting.
Poll Worker Recruitment & Training: States are looking to assist localities with poll worker recruitment by signing up students, bilingual volunteers, private sector employees and state employees. Thirty-two states provide educational assistance in training poll workers in order to provide more consistency in these efforts.
Polling Place Efficiency: Polling place locators, electronic poll books and vote centers are among the options that are helping election officials ensure a smooth process at the local level.
Contingency Planning: More than half of all states are assisting localities with contingency planning, which for this year, goes beyond natural disaster and security issues to include assistance with Election Day issues, such as ballot shortages, equipment problems and long lines.
Post-Election Audits: Twenty-three states currently have laws in place for post-election audits, while at least three states (Indiana, Missouri and Ohio) plan to issue post-election assessment reports.
To help states with their outreach efforts, NASS created the nonpartisan website www.canivote.org, which can assist eligible voters with voter registration, identification requirements, local election office contacts and other useful information.