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Eagleton Institute of Politics - 60th Anniversary
Eagleton Institute of Politics


Next Steps for HAVA Implementation in 2006 Based on 2004 - and What It Means for the New Jersey Election in 2005

January 6 , 2005 Seminar

Three presentations informed the discussions at the January 6th HAVA seminar


Deborah Goldberg of the The Brennan Center of Justice at NYU focused on the need for standards that are public and provide an opportunity for accountability and transparency. The Election Official Report Card 2004, developed before the election by the Brennan Center and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, was designed in that spirit to gather information about election practices in a systematic way.

For this meeting, the Report Card was revised for discussion purposes as "Standards for Election Administration in New Jersey?"
Eric Lazarus of DecisionSmith, who developed “Recommendations for Improving Reliability of Direct Electronic Voting Systems” for the Brennan Center, presented a new version now in draft form called the “The DRE Debate.” This presentaiton emphasizes the need to reach both a common understanding of the role of standards for voting systems and looks at what might be done to address their risks and support their advantages.
Draft recommendations here (PowerPoint presentation).
Bonnie Blader, who conducted a survey of election administration practices with regard to security of voting systems in seven New Jersey counties for NJ Appleseed and, read her paper based on the survey. The engaging and creative style of the report was applauded and its observations helped shape the discussion that followed.
Blader paper here.
Observations from the discussion:
There was agreement that there should be procedures for pre-election testing of voting systems, for specific security measures and post-election reporting of problems. Clear, uniform standards would be helpful to election officials and the public. There also appeared to be agreement that auditing practices by independent auditors would be useful, similar to those used in the gambling industry, if developed in coordination with election officials.
More effective efforts to educate voters in many different formats would be helpful in avoiding problems with voting at the polls, on provisional ballots and absentee ballots.
Provisional voting would be improved with uniform standards for processing and reporting results as well for the involvement of the public and releasing of public information.
Notes prepared by Ingrid Reed, Eagleton NJ Project, 1/05