News Release

* Election Protection Wiki * Registration Concludes in Many States

CONOR KENNY
Kenny is the managing editor of the Election Protection Wiki. He said today: “Recent presidential elections were marred by controversies and disputes. Scores of organizations and thousands of individuals have been working to investigate and reform U.S. elections, issuing reports and information on topics such as electronic voting machines, voter suppression campaigns and student voting rights. However, this information is spread across many different websites, news sources and databases. The Election Protection Wiki seeks to provide a single web portal for accessing this disparate information. The Wiki aims to enable citizens, journalists and government officials to actively monitor the electoral process in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. … Its information is nonpartisan and factual; anyone of any political persuasion will be able to access and use it to protect every American’s right to vote. … We’re not on the side of any candidate or political party, we’re on the side of the American voter.”

MICHAEL SLATER
Slater is the executive director of Project Vote. He said today: “Experts and election officials are predicting historic turnout at the polls, including unprecedented numbers of first-time voters. … Across the country millions of so-called ‘unlikely’ voters have become energized and invested. Low-income Americans, minorities, immigrants and youth are rushing to get registered in record numbers. … But will the polls be ready for them? Recent signs indicate that precincts may not be prepared to deal with the numbers, and experts say unprecedented turnout on Election Day could mean unprecedented problems at the polling place.”

Slater added: “The public and media need to be asking the right questions now, rather than on (or after) Election Day. Questions to ask election officials include: How many registrations have you received this year, and how does that number compare to previous years? What method have you used to determine how many ballots you’ll need, how many voting machines, how many staff? What are your procedures for voter challenges, and what additional training have you provided to poll workers to deal with new voters and unexpected problems? What are your contingency plans for long lines, ballot shortages, machine malfunctions, or staff shortages? Participating in an election involves at least four discreet steps: registering to vote; casting a ballot; having your ballot counted; and having your vote recorded. Each step creates potential problems if regulations are vague, technology is not working perfectly, or poll workers are ill-prepared or insufficiently trained.”

Slater concluded: “Historically, there has been a tremendous color, age, and income gap in the electorate. According to Project Vote’s report on the 2006 election, for example, voting rates among African-Americans and Latinos lagged behind white rates by 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively — a difference of more than 7.5 million voters. Americans making over $100,000 were nearly twice as likely to vote as those making $25,000 or less, and only half of the eligible Americans under 30 turned out to vote.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167