A survey of possible voting glitches, coast to coast
"What if we had an election and everyone came?” is the question posed by the Pew Center on the States/Electionline.org’s gargantuan Election 2008 Preview updating election administration issues — voting technologies, provisional ballot verification rules, and the like — for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Massachusetts comes off pretty well here. The sole problem worthy of a mention was the pre-September primary snafu involving Automark machines in New Bedford, the only city to experience such problems. The city’s 40 machines, primarily used by people with disabilities, couldn’t read Republican ballots.
New Bedford election officials recalibrated the machines and had no issues during primary voting. Officials are currently working on fixing a screen on one Automark, but Election Commissioner Maria Tomasia told CommonWealth Unbound that the machines are ready for November 4.
On Wednesday, the Justice Department reached a settlement with the state over problems with ballots cast by military personnel and citizens living overseas. The department found that since 2002 Massachusetts had failed to collect and report the number of military voters and overseas residents who receive ballots, the number of ballots returned, and the number of ballots successfully cast in federal general elections.Under the terms of the agreement, Secretary of State William Galvin must collect and report absentee ballot statistics within 90 days of the election and make the resulting report public.
Last month, the Bay State reached another agreement with the Justice Department to provide Spanish language ballots in Worcester whenever the state furnishes the city with elections materials including ballots, sample ballots and voting instructions for state and federal elections.