Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Champaign Co. Clerk on new state election bill

This article was in today's Capitol Fax Morning Shorts from the blog of the Champaign County Clerk about an election bill that was signed into law by the Governor on Friday. He calls this a good bill but what I want to highlight is an unfortunate provision...
The unfortunate provision in this legislation takes effect for the 2010 election. That requires our voting equipment to be set to detect undervotes on ballots for Constitutional Offices and to initially reject such ballots. Under this provision, if you go in and vote for Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Treasurer but leave blank the office of Comptroller, the voting equipment will beep, inform you that you've undervoted and give you a chance to recast your ballot. This provision will cause a number of people to have the privacy of their ballot compromised, especially those who are blind or visually impaired and use the Automark Voter Assistance Terminal.
I can see how this can be problematic, especially if for those offices mentioned above you won't have any privacy if you have undervoted. Of course the last election I was actually able to personally cast a ballot the rules where that you punch your ballot as usual and of course if you've undervoted or overvoted the ballot machine rejects your ballot and you're given an opportunity to re-cast your ballot. If you choose not to then the election judges will go on ahead and accept your ballot.

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