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Which State in the US has the best election laws?

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:16 PM
Original message
Which State in the US has the best election laws?
From hanging out around here, I'm guessing CA and NY, but that has no basis in research. Does anyone here know for sure?
Thanks,
Melissa
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. in what respect, exactly? n/t
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. The criteria that was asked for is verified & audits, voter access and ballot access.
Thank you for your input.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well, Minnesota's election laws are very good.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 01:25 PM by MineralMan
And they've been tested in two consecutive elections. That the Republicans did not win in the 2008 Senate and 2010 Governor's race is a good indication that the system is not crooked. We also have voter registration on the day of the election, paper ballots read by optical readers, automatic recalls, and good poll officials at all the precincts I've visited. I'd hold the state's election procedures up against anyone's.

California, my previous home, also works very well.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. Eh, I live in California and I'm not impressed with
how we do our elections although our SOS Debra Bowen does do a stellar job in spite of it. When we get rid of the voting machines and hand count our ballots twice, by each party, then I will be satisfied that we have honest elections in the voting booth anyway.
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State the Obvious Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. SOS Debra Bowen has done a wonderful job.....
I would like to see her run for senator from California .....some day. :applause:
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. I second your emotion.
Too often even if citizens can get a "recount" the ballots are simply run through the same damn optical scanners previously used.

I am very impressed with Lake County, however. And so are most of the voting activists I have met here.

Marin County and AloamedaCounty were pretty shameful, last time I paid attention to those counties.
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99th_Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. I like Oregon's, mail-in, no fuss, vote at your leisure, squeeky clean. ~nt
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Actually, my precinct in CA has to do mail in. We
no longer have a polling place, however, we are allowed to drop our ballots off on the last day at another precinct or the County Clerk's office.
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99th_Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Now that you mention it, I do actually sorta miss the "ceremony" of the polling place.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 04:00 PM by 99th_Monkey
but on balance I'm cool with mail-in.
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Why do folks in Oregon believe that mail in votes are so secure?
I hear that it works in Oregon, but I would be terrified to try it here in TX. I would have no belief that my vote was secure.(Not that I have any confidence in the Hart Intercivic that I currently vote on either.)

How/why do you believe that mail in ballots might stay squeaky clean in other parts of the country?

I did not generate the question that I am asking. My sense of the question is that folks what to know what state has the laws most worth emulating and that have been road tested. :shrug:
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I don't mail mine, like lots of others I take it to the elections office
after making copies. Any ballot is going to travel to be counted. During that travel, physical theft could happen. That is much more difficult to do and to cover up than hacking some code. I personally, no offense, do not trust Texan Republicans, so I'd go with the safest way, which is in fact physical ballots which you mail or deliver. We get large turn out. No intimidation is possible. You get to use the internet while voting. No long lines in poor neighborhoods.
Any system has possible flaws, the whole idea is to eliminate as many as possible while making voting as easy as possible.
The State of Washington just joined Oregon in vote by mail by the way. It works great. Equal access for all.
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Internet voting also scares me.
I like that you walk your ballot in. How are you using the internet?
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. AS IT SHOULD!! nt
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. Not in Oakland. It has a new system called Ranked-choice . Perata got the most votes,
but didn't win. Check this out. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec10/oakl... They ought to shit can this system.
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shamocrat Donating Member (23 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. Whoever has this Method of Voting
I'm not as familiar with local election laws as i should be.

One thing i know for sure is that we don't have this voting system.

And I have no idea why we don't

http://www.math.colostate.edu/~spriggs/m130/voting2.pdf
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
12. New Jersey has a really good audit law that, unfortunately, they can't implement.
Of course the audit calls for counting paper. But they have paperless DREs that are supposed to be replaced, and efforts to replace them have stalled. And the courts have ruled in favor of the stall. :(

Once they vote on paper, and implement the audit, it will likely be the most impressive.

NM is doing a good job I understand. As is MI.

But NY. :( They have a basic audit that wouldn't provide much confidence in a tight margin race. And they had such a race on the first state-wide deploy of Optical Scan, SD7. The basic audit found significant miscount by the scanners. So the "loser" went to court to get a full recount. The court said "no". And the State Senate control switched to republicans as a result. They ought to bring back the levers, a case for which is in court. Stay tuned.

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Thanks, Wilms! I'll pass this along.
So... so far, theoretically on paper, NJ is the current overall best we have to offer, correct?
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. On paper. That's my understanding.
The audit is based on the margin. NOT a fixed percent who's mileage can vary...and be rather poor in tight margin races, er, the ones for which there would be the most concern. Perhaps search the archive here.

OTOH and Bill Bored are pretty familiar with it. If they're around, I hope they'll weigh in.

And keep in mind New Mexico.

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. What do you like about New Mexico?
My memory was there were plenty of shenanigans in New Mexico in at least one recent election. I'm hazy about what they were now. I'll go back and look tomorrow. Seems like it was during Richardson's tenure.

Quite a lot of solutions to problems require money and or triggers. Steal big and overwhelm triggers seems to be a mode of operation. Makes the rules too expensive to implement.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Have a look at this.
NM: Postelection voting audit begins

http://verifiedvotingfoundation.org/article.php?id=6809

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Excellent! Thanks ! I'll pass it along. n/t
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. New Mexico was a trainwreck back in 2004
The pushbutton DREs quite possibly cost Kerry the state. It isn't clear why.

Now New Mexico uses op-scan statewide -- not perfect, but a heck of a lot better. And as Wilms points out, the audit law has some excellent aspects.

Steal big and overwhelm triggers seems to be a mode of operation. Makes the rules too expensive to implement.

Not sure what you mean by this, but there's no reason why "steal big" has to be a devastatingly effective strategy. I do think it's a flaw in the New Mexico law that it doesn't require an audit for apparent margins greater than (I think) 15 points. It wouldn't be very expensive to require some auditing regardless of the apparent margin. And if huge numbers of votes were stolen all over the place, it doesn't take a large audit sample to catch on to the problem.

New Mexico has complicated recount/recheck laws, and I'm not sure I remember them correctly -- but I think a candidate can ask for some precincts to be recounted, at the candidate's expense unless the outcome is changed. That isn't how I would do it, but it does provide a backstop to the audit provision.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
22. Please don't make such assumptions about New York. It's as bad here now as most other states.
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 12:34 PM by Bill Bored
See:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

And:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The only good thing about NY is that election administration has to be bipartisan. But when BOTH parties give away their constitutional rights to observe the counting of votes, we might as well be living in Florida!
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Thanks, for the post. Sorry it is so bad in NY
It's really depressing in Texas with an R super majority. Redistricting just cut my beloved blue Travis County into 4 pie slices. Very sad here. :cry:
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