McCain, Obama Counsels Agree: Start With The Facts

An article in RollCall by Obama and McCain campaign general counsels: Next Phase of Election Reform: Start With Facts <read>

we share a deep commitment to fair and well-run elections in which all qualified voters have the opportunity to vote, and all the votes that they cast are accurately counted.

Looking back on the 2008 elections, we have no doubt that reforms in the administration of elections in this country are needed if we are to meet these standards. We also believe such reforms can be achieved, with potentially transformative success for the American voter.

It may be news to many readers that reforms are still needed. The media widely reported a smooth election, and in some places, those reports were accurate. The problems — and there were many, scattered across the country — received comparatively little attention because the outcome of the voting was clear…

Understandably, Americans seem to care about these problems most when, and sometimes only when, elections are close. Even when these problems receive the attention that they deserve, there remains a major obstacle to rational dialogue and effective reform: the absence of reliable, comparative data on how our election system is performing.

If these debates are to move forward in the face of much partisan mistrust and reflexive disagreement, we need some factually grounded agreement on where we are now. Only then will we have some sense of what kind of solutions are likely to succeed.

We agree with the thrust of the article.  Facts are required.    Just because we had an election that produced a clear winner is no reason to be complacent.  We would add that post-election audits are an important piece of the facts that are needed.  All states need paper ballots followed by sufficient and reliable post-election audits, producing facts, that lead to actions, that result in confidence in our election process, including a system where any problems will be surfaced and addressed.

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