As we close in on the November election, attention turns toward ensuring the integrity of the voting process. After all, Americans don’t want a repeat of the controversial 2000 presidential election in which a close race was compromised and conspiracy theories were a part of daily life.
It’s important that terms such as professionalism, accuracy, accountability, oversight and ethical conduct are championed in the Democratic voting process.
Here are some suggestions to help voting officials chase away potential problems and ensure integrity during the voting process.
- Pay close attention to the EAC’s guidelines: The Election Assistance Commission was created in 2002 as a direct result of the 2000 presidential election. The EAC website offers guidance for effectively managing and administering elections. State and local election officials can find information on topics covering everything from security and voting machine testing to communicating with the public.
- Volunteers can make all the difference: Polling places are manned by one or more election judge. Working as a volunteer or for a small fee, the election judge, is responsible for running a particular voting location. Election judges work with volunteers to help voters go through the process and maintain a polling place that sticks to the rules and regulations set down by the government. Having volunteers with the ability to identify possible problems can be a major asset for any polling place.
- Test and maintain those voting machines: Almost as important as the voter is the voting machine. Most states have a testing process and certification program to make sure voting machines meet system standards that address security, privacy, functionality, usability and accessibility. Having a policy in place that outlines how and when all testing and maintenance will be performed and recorded throughout the year can help the election process run smoothly and give you a clear picture of who has had access to the equipment, for what, and when.
- Leverage an Election Asset Tracking system: A software solution for managing election assets can bring all the pieces together. By tracking chain-of-custody, as well as maintenance, repair, and test results, in a secure system with a complete auditable history, election officials can help ensure data and asset integrity. With so many moving processes in play, election asset tracking can be a game-changer for a successful election day.
Ensuring the integrity of the election process can’t wait for voting day. We recommend you take steps now to review EAC guidelines, put a plan in place for training volunteers, and to test, maintain, and track all voting equipment. Here’s a successful 2016 Election!
Do you have another great strategy? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.