100 Days to Election Day …


[Images courtesy of awny100]

Tucked into all of the Olympic updates on my Twitter feed yesterday was this little revelation: Election Day 2012 is 100 days away.

That’s still about 14 weeks for election officials and the people they serve to wrap their heads around the November vote, but there are still lots of crucial issues to be decided between now and then.

Voter ID, of course, is the one that’s getting the most attention; a federal court in Texas still needs to issue its ruling on that state’s new law, while courts will be asked to consider whether a new Wisconsin law (currently enjoined) and a proposed amendment in Minnesota (currently under challenge) can proceed. Other states which have enacted ID are still awaiting final clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Outside of voter ID, however, there are lots of other matters to which officials must attend, including (but not limited to):

  • + Localities are continuing to check and re-check their voter rolls – with all of the accompanying drama that brings, especially in states planning to use Homeland Security’s national immigration database.
  • + Voting machines need to be tested and checked to make sure they are prepared to operate properly on Election Day;
  • + Ballots must be laid out, designed and printed (in sufficient quantities) for voters to use;
  • + Non-precinct place voting (early, absentee and vote-by-mail) systems have to be finalized – with military and overseas ballots out 45 days before the election;
  • + Polling places must be secured and their accessibility ensured;
  • + Poll workers must be recruited, trained and ready to go to work before sunrise on Election Day; and
  • + Voters must be notified of all of the above – plus the content of their ballots – in time to do their part this November.

Fortunately, 100 days is a lot of time – and election offices will likely use every bit of it. I have to think, however, that as November 6 approaches everyone in the field will simultaneously wish both that they had more time and the time they have will be over soon.

To all of you, good luck.

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