Election Assistance Commission Issues New Guidelines

The United States Election Assistance Commission has issued new guidelines:

http://www.gcn.com/online/vol1_no1/45364-1.html

Included in the guidelines,  are new recommendations on conducting elections by mail, testing optical scan machines, and media relations. The media recommendations are basically a set of marketing guidelines. While the quickstart guide on voting-by mail is a bit more um… I don’t know… unconstitutional:

  • Incorporate the use of bar codes on the ballot envelopes for ease in receiving return envelopes and updating voter history.
  • If using an external mailing/distribution center for ballot mailing, it is recommended that election staff
    be on-site at all times.
  • TIP: Always work in teams of two when receiving returned ballot envelopes. At no time should any one person be alone with the voted ballot envelopes.
  • Determine if you will provide off -site collection/drop off receptacles for returned ballot envelopes.
    Establish procedures for securing and monitoring these locations.

So the “bipartisan,” aka not non-partisan, EAC basically recommends barcodes, and outsourcing ballot distribution. While throwing a few bones to secrecy (maybe try a secrecy envelope) and security (never leave a voted ballots with just one person). But then it turns around and offers up the idea of off-site drop boxes, and never mentions the fact that unvoted ballots are far more numerous in all vote-by mail systems. So you shouldn’t leave voted ballots with just one person, but ballot printing, sorting, and receiving, well those can all be done by private companies. Private vote-counting software, also apparently just fine with the commission.

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