November 1, 2004 | By Donna Wentworth

Safety Tips for Voters

David Dill has prepared a terrific tip sheet that may help you avoid the e-voting problems we've seen crop up during early voting:


1. Prepare before going to the polls. Mark your votes in advance on the sample ballot that was mailed to you.

* We're getting reports of long lines during early voting. This
will make voting faster.
* A few voters have reported that some offices were not on their
screens, and that they didn't discover it until they had returned
to their home or car. If they had the list with them, any problem
could have been detected immediately, in time to save their votes
and perhpas get a witness to the problem.

2. Check the review screen carefully before casting your vote.

* Some voters have reported votes being registered that they
didn't select. In the cases we've heard about, this seems to
be the result of confusing machine design.

If you check carefully, you can catch these problems before casting
your ballot.

3. Make sure you've cast your ballot! The last step is to touch a box on the touch-screen to cast your vote.

* Some voters have forgotten to do this. Depending on local
procedures and how well they are followed, poll workers may
finish casting your vote for you, or they may cancel your vote.
If you make sure to finish the voting process, you can make sure
your vote will be stored and counted.

4. If a machine [does not] appear to be working properly, ask a poll worker for help. If the problem is not resolved, write down the name of the poll worker and call 1-866-OUR-VOTE when you can to report the problem.

* Maybe they can help you make sure your vote is counted.
* If the problem is not resolved, there will be a witness. This
may be important for making sure the problem is taken seriously
and gets fixed.

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