Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Record requirements in Texas may reduce poll access

According the reports that I have been seeing coming out of Texas, new record requirements in Texas mean that county officials must use separate electronic voting machines for early voting and for day of election voting.

For those counties that are strapped with funds--already stretched thin to meet the new requirements for HAVA--this means that they are considering (or have already reduced) the number of early voting stations.

The problem, as we saw in Florida and Georgia in 2004, is that as early voting gains in popularity, reducing the number of stations can actually make early voting far less convenient than day of election voting. This defeats the purpose of implementing early voting in the first place.

The proposed solution seems to be this: have a smaller number of "super centers" for conducting early voting (currently under Texas law, voters must cast their ballots in the same precinct in which they reside), then far more ballot stations on election day.

A sample story out of Texas is: here


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