Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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‘Epic failure’: U.S. election officials warn of November chaos due to budget crunch

Reuters reports:

A Michigan town wants machines to speed up counting of absentee ballots. In Ohio, officials want to equip polling places so voters and poll workers feel safe from the coronavirus. Georgia officials, rattled by a chaotic election last month, want to send voters forms so they can request absentee ballots more easily.

In all three cases, the money is not there to make it happen, say local officials responsible for running elections in the states – any one of which could determine who wins the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Presidential nominating contests held this year in states from Wisconsin to Georgia have exposed massive challenges in conducting elections during the worst public health crisis in a century. Closed or understaffed polling venues led to long lines, there were problems delivering absentee ballots, and the votes took days, even weeks, to count.

But instead of receiving more money for the all-important contest between Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, officials face budget cuts after tax revenues plunged in the virus-stricken economy, two dozen election officials across several battleground states told Reuters. [Continue reading…]

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