As the CIA digs deep to investigate foreign influence on our election, we should recognize that we don’t need cybersecurity experts to tell us if our votes have been accurately counted. Citizen observers can do the job, if we fix the way we vote and the way we verify those votes.
Rigged? Fraudulent? Excuse me, but as Donald Trump might interject: “Wrong!”
In Minnesota, we can have confidence in our election outcomes. For the past 12 years, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN), a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, has worked to ensure accurate, transparent and verifiable elections in Minnesota. As the founder of CEIMN, I helped organize seven statewide observations of Minnesota’s postelection audits and recounts.
Here are five reasons you can be confident that the results of next month’s election will be accurate and verifiable.
When John A. Pérez pored over voting results to determine which of California’s 22,353 precincts should be recounted in his tight battle for state controller, his campaign chose the ones in which he did well. A Sacramento Bee analysis of the four largest counties to be recounted show some areas the campaign picked also have a disproportionately high population of Latinos and a disproportionately small population of whites and Asian Americans....But the strategy highlights a system now coming under national criticism from vote-monitoring groups as inherently unfair....
Recounts—Improving state laws
Testimony Presented by Mark Halvorson, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota
Recounts serve an important purpose in our democracy. Foremost, properly conducted recounts assure candidates and the public that in a close election there has been a fair examination of the procedures and an accurate count of all legally cast votes.
Recounts can also help us improve election systems. Any shortcomings in our voting equipment, ballot design, and ballot processing are revealed by the scrutiny of a recount.
Last week Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota released Recount Principles and Best Practices, a document providing recommendations on key recount matters such as counting methods, transparency, voter intent and challengers. The document is especially welcome as it was produced through the cooperation of election officials and citizen activists and it is the first comprehensive set of best practices for recounts.
CEIMN issues its report on Minnnesota's 2012 post-election audit. This is CEIMN's fourth report on Minnesota's post-election audits--published every two years since 2006. Consistent with previous observations, the 2012 post-election audit was conducted in an efficient, transparent and accurate manner. Nonpartisan observers expressed high confidence in the integrity and the accuracy of the post-election audit procedures.
Mpls., MN 5/28/2013. Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota.
Last week Governor Dayton signed into law the 2013 omnibus elections bill (HF 894, Chapter 131). This was the culmination of a bipartisan legislative process that resulted in the law’s passage in the Minnesota House 99-32, and in the Minnesota Senate 56-9. As HF 894 passed through the committee process, it evolved to include changes that CEIMN has supported for years.
CEIMN report cited in the American Prospect.
"A study by the Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota found that the total costs of the amendment—spread over the state and local governments and individuals—would range from $52 million to $150 million. 'It was really an explosive strategy to shift the debate and say this is not about civil rights,' says David Schultz, who co-authored the study, 'but that this is about costs.'"