THE HURRICANE AND ELECTION DAY. Three days ago, I posted on the problems Connecticut was going to have to be ready for Election Day because of computer problems. I also said that I think that voting problems arise because people underestimate the difficulties of implementing voting procedures. We in New England are now waiting to see how Hurricane Sandy will affect us (some predictions are that it will arrive on midday Tuesday the 30th). I learned during Hurricane Irene a couple years ago to follow Brendan Loy’s blog on weather. Brendan Loy has described here in detail the difficulties that power outages caused by Sandy may create for people trying to get ready for Election Day one week later. Brendan Loy is a lawyer as well as an authority on hurricanes, so his post also has an interesting discussion of legal issues involved in moving an election. Brendan Loy says that his father is, coincidentally, “a retired elections bureaucrat in Connecticut”. His father told Brendan that: “the week before the election is very busy for folks like him in his old job, and for registrars of voters, town clerks and the like. They’re testing voting machines, printing ballots or other critical papers, and doing all sorts of other mundane tasks that are critical to assuring a smooth Election Day.” I would emphasize the word “mundane” in the last sentence. Checking and double checking are “mundane”, but in the time frame and on the scale required, they are much more difficult than we think.

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