Election audits get a boost in Minnesota -- and are coming to a state near you

by Rob Richie // Published June 9, 2008
FairVote joined with a great collection of groups for Democracy Day last week in Minneapolis -- it was a real success, with a wonderful series of presentations and active and thoughtful participants, culminating in keynote speeches by journalists Amy Goodman and John Nichols and Common Cause's Bob Edgar that drew some 350 to 400 people.

During the day, one of the most enlightening presentations was by Mark Halvorson, the director of Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota. His focus was on the value of post-election audits to ensure vote-counting was accurate -- a sensible recomendation that can catch both error and attempts at fraud, but demands improvement everywhere in the nation.

Mark's efforts are making headway, however -- and I think are destined to advance quickly around the country because they make so much sense. Here is the lead of a May 19th news release -- you can find more on Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota website.

********** Landmark election recount bill becomes law in Minnesota May 19, 2008

Minnesota continues to improve its election transparency and accountability standards with passage of an innovative law allowing losing candidates to call for manual recounts in select precincts. Called the "partial discretionary recount," one of the first of its kind in the nation, is a cost-effective way for candidates to have the election results in specific precincts verified.

The law expands on provisions of Minnesota's recount law which provides for recounts in races within a margin of victory of 0.5%. Under the new added provision, candidates in any contest with a 5% margin of victory may call for a hand recount, at their expense, of up to three precincts. If the requested recount shows a difference greater than 0.5% compared to the Election Day results, there will be hand recounting of additional precincts. That could lead to a contest-wide recount if more disparities between the reported results and the hand counts are discovered. ...