What We Worry? What Could Go Wrong On Election Day?

Detroit News op-ed: BenDor and Stanislevic: What could go wrong on Election Day? <read>

We worry that the nation will end up with no confidence in the election results, regardless of who wins.

That’s because we have no systematic way to detect malfunctions in the voting machines or tabulators on Election Day…

We worry that there could be widespread fraud in the sending of voted military and overseas ballots by fax, email or other vulnerable internet methods…

We fear that close elections will go to the courts without any prospect of credible numbers. This is because of two widespread conditions that preclude complete, meaningful recounts: no paper ballots and no manual counts….In states that do allow a hand recount, like Michigan, the burden is often on the apparent losing candidate, not only to pay for the recount, but also to bear the stigma of “poor loser.” The voting public has no say.

We lose sleep over the prospect of the ultimate disenfranchisement of thousands of voters…

America’s elections are run entirely on the honor system. What could possibly go wrong?

And from the New York Times some “bad news/it could be worse news” if we had the risky National Popular Vote Agreement: Disruption From Storm May Be Felt at the Polls <read>

Some New Jersey voters may find their hurricane-damaged polling sites replaced by military trucks, with — in the words of the state’s lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno — “a well-situated national guardsman and a big sign saying, ‘Vote Here.’ ” Half of the polling sites in Nassau County on Long Island still lacked power on Friday. And New York City was planning to build temporary polling sites in tents in some of its worst-hit neighborhoods.

Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport, Conn., with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill at the Longfellow School, a closed polling place.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is threatening to create Election Day chaos in some storm-racked sections of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — and some effects may also be felt in other states, including Pennsylvania, where some polling sites still lacked power on Friday morning.

Disrupted postal delivery will probably slow the return of absentee ballots. And with some polling sites likely to be moved, elections officials were bracing for a big influx of provisional paper ballots — which could delay the vote count in places.

Weary local elections officials vowed that the vote would go on. “Come hell or high water — we had both — we’re voting on Tuesday,” William T. Biamonte, the Democratic commissioner at the Nassau County Board of Elections, said in an interview…

With turnout projected to be down in all these states, Mr. Obama could see his share of the national popular vote reduced.


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