Battleground States Still Not Prepared For Potential Recount in 2020

This excellent article by Steven Rosenfeld gives an overview of why the threats to secure, accurate and just elections remain and are likely to produce “recount headaches" in many 2020 swing states. The roadblocks that prevented meaningful recounts in 2016 remain largely in place, with the exception of Pennsylvania's paper ballots required by the recount lawsuit settlement. So the fight for elections we can trust continues!

Have likely 2020 battleground states improved their recount procedures after the 2016 recount effort revealed glaring flaws with the systems in place? The short answer: not much.

Pennsylvania has seen the most progress, thanks to our settlement with the state requiring it to use paper ballots by 2020 and election audits by 2022; however, it’s unclear if PA will improve its recount procedures before 2020. Wisconsin lawmakers made it more difficult to initiate a recount after 2016, but the state’s nonpartisan elections commission has taken positive steps, such as decertifying faulty voting machines and instituting pre-certification election audits in more districts. Although Michigan replaced faulty machines in many areas after the recount effort revealed major problems concentrated in districts with large communities of color, state lawmakers also made it more difficult to initiate recounts. Also, MI lawmakers have done nothing to reform laws that prevent recounts in precincts where there are problems such as mismatches between reported vote totals and number of voters - exactly the sort of issues that warrant scrutiny.

Rosenfeld also considers what other battleground states are doing (or not doing) to improve their recount procedures, as well as efforts by independent experts to spur reform. Read the article “Why Many 2020 Swing States Will Produce Recount Headaches” at Common Dreams.


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