Sunday, March 24, 2019

Aging Machines, Crowds, Humidity: Problems at the Polls Were Mundane but Widespread


Instead of fireworks from voter intimidation or cyberattacks, Americans grappled with the mundane frustrations of using dated equipment to vote in huge numbers.

by Ian MacDougall, Jessica Huseman, and Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica

If the defining risk of Election Day 2016 was a foreign meddling, 2018’s seems to have been a domestic overload. High turnout across the country threw existing problems — aging machines, poorly trained poll workers and a hot political landscape — into sharp relief.
Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida who studies turnout, says early numbers indicate last November's midterm saw the highest percentage turnout since the mid-’60s. “All signs indicate that everyone is now engaged in this country — Republicans and Democrats,” he said, adding that he expects 2020 to also be a year of high turnout. “Election officials need to start planning for that now, and hopefully elected officials who hold the purse strings will be responsive to those needs.”

Aging Technology

Electionland monitored problems across the country on Election Day, supporting the work of 250 local journalists in more than 120 local newsrooms. Thousands of voters reported issues at the polls, and Electionland sought to report on as many as possible. The most striking problem of the night was perhaps the most predictable — aged or ineffective voting equipment caused hourslong lines across the country.

American voting hasn’t had a major technology refresh since the early 2000s, in the aftermath of the Florida recount and the passage of the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which infused billions of dollars into American elections. More recent upgrades, such as poll books that could be accessed via computer, were supposed to reduce bottlenecks at check-ins — but they repeatedly failed on election day, worsening waits in Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana.

                                                               Read More>>

No comments:

Post a Comment