The Vigilant Voter
October 30, 2006 - 12:08pm ET
Last week, I shared information on how you can get involved in projects to protect the integrity of next Tuesday's election. Today I'm passing on tips about steps you can take to increase the chances of your individual vote counting. Speaking this morning on a gloomy edition of "The Diane Rehm Show" about this year's election, Dan Seligson of the nonpartisan group Electionline.org offered practical advice for protecting the vote you cast.
After reviewing the findings of his group's recent report that forecasts a "turbulent" Election Day, Seligson advised voters to take the following steps before leaving your polling place, depending on how your particular vote is cast:
Look at your paper trail (Seligson referred to a study of one state that showed only 30 percent of voters bothered to check their paper receipts).
Look at the display screen and double check that your vote is correct.
Look at the optical-scan voting machine.
The report from Electionline.org (click here for PDF) describes the myriad ways in which this election could go haywire. Its authors note that, while we should all be ready to report irregularities, voters in 10 states should be particularly vigilant. They say "ten states in particular bear watching, for changes to procedures, recent legal challenges to state policies, close races and new equipment, or in some cases, a combination of all three."
So, a special heads up to voters in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. Check out the state-specific sections of the report that explain in detail why you should be on red alert next Tuesday.
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