A provision of the Freedom to Vote Act reduces credibility, defying common sense

There is a lot that needs to be improved in our elections. The current bill before Senate and House, the Freedom to Vote Act, is well intended yet in at least one provision it actually makes elections less secure, less likely to provide public confidence. This is a change from previous bills H.R.1 and all version of S.1.

This new provision would prevent observers from within eight feet of ballots until after certification. That would make it impossible for observers to actually see that votes were counted and totaled accurately in audits and recounts (recanvasses in CT).

From page 298:

‘‘(1) I N GENERAL.—A person who is serving as a poll observer with respect to an election for Federal office may not come within 8 feet of
‘‘(A) a voter or ballot at a polling location
during any period of voting (including any period of early voting) in such election; or
‘‘(B) a ballot at any time during which the processing, scanning, tabulating, canvassing, or certifying voting results is occurring.

Like other provisions it is well intended but has unintended consequences. Observers need to be closer to observe ballots being adjudicated, votes determined and counted. Without public verifiability, justified confidence in elections is not possible.  We have covered the details of this before in our editorial series: Common Sense, specifically Justified Confidence and Public Transparency and Verifiability.

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