10 Years After Bush v. Gore, Recount Laws Database Released
MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Just in time for the highly contested mid-term elections, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN) has created a comprehensive searchable database of state recount laws. The database catalogs and summarizes recount laws for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, allowing users to easily access and compare important features of these diverse and often complex laws.
“The most significant thing we learned is that recount laws are in a dismal state,” said CEIMN Director, Mark Halvorson. He noted that only five states require a manual count of paper ballots for all of their recounts and many jurisdictions have no voter verified paper record for their primary voting system. In addition, two states don’t have recount laws at all. “Most states simply re-run paper ballots through their optical scan voting machines,” he explained. “This may not catch a counting error caused by a faulty scanner, software bug or partially filled in ovals/bubbles that the optical scanners can’t detect.”
The high profile recount in Florida in 2000 revealed that many election and recount statutes are often confusing and unclear, and raised questions regarding how votes were counted. In contrast, the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate recount demonstrated the importance of robust and transparent recount laws as the manual recounting of ballots withstood intense national scrutiny.
Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, said, “The recount database is a very useful resource for everyone concerned about elections.”
The searchable database can be found at: http://ceimn.org/ceimn-state-recount-laws-searchable-database. Users can compare over 60 different recount law options from 11 different search fields in a few simple clicks. The database offers citizens, candidates, election officials and the media new insight into recount laws and the methods and means by which votes are recounted across the country.
“Our hope is that by cataloguing all the recount laws, state lawmakers and election officials will have the opportunity to review other statutes and see ways they can make simple improvements to their recount statutes,” said Halvorson.
SOURCE Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota