Elections in the News

Looking Back on Election Day

Although votes are still being counted (see Fulton County, FL where poll workers took the night off), for the most part the process of counting votes has gone relatively quickly. In Multnomah County, OR, a county said to be slowing Oregon’s final tally, they counted ballots through the night at a rate of 6,500 ballots an hour. Of course, with provisional ballot counting likely to extend for a couple of weeks, it will be awhile before final vote tallies are reported.

Of course, this does not stop the “final-word” analysis of election administration! The Associated Press reports that as a whole we are “inching our way toward a better electoral system,” as states institute back-up plans, have extra machines and poll workers available, and offer early voting. Early voting appears to have been such a success that The New York Times calls on states to allow two to three weeks for early voting in future elections. The LA Times reports on the successful use of registrar “SWAT teams” which are mobilized to fix polling place problems.

Despite these successes, after speaking with computer scientists, PCWorld says there is still room for improvement. These improvements should subsume “strict national standards on security,” including “fully tested voting machines that reliably perform their functions, backup plans and well-trained poll workers.” However, in the end, after reviewing problems in key states, some still suggest that all the fear before Election Day was ultimately “Much ado about nothing”.