At the YearlyKos Convention tonite Howard Dean announced a national Election Protection Project, working with every single county in the country to get ahead of election problems NOW, rather than just before and after the 2008 election. They will identify problems like providing too few voting machines in precincts as a way to keep the vote count down, etc. From a press release e-mailed to me about the project,
Through its 50 State Strategy, Voting Rights Institute and National Lawyers Council, the DNC is conducting an in-depth nationwide survey to collect critical data on voting practices and procedures at the local level. The goal of the project is to map the often confusing and complex sets of administrative practices and decisions governing election administration in every state. Working with local election boards, the DNC is examining the election mechanics in each state, flagging potential problems and election administration issues that threaten to deprive citizens of their right to register, vote and have their vote counted. Once these issues are identified, the DNC will work to resolve potential problems well in advance of the 2008 election. Election laws, while written on the federal and state level, are often subject to interpretation at the local level. This decentralized process results in varied administration and supervision of the elections themselves, which can be potentially problematic considering that in 2008, there will be at least 13,000 elections run by localities.
[. . .]The goal of this unprecedented project is to protect and ensure our voting rights, by working now to identify and attempt to resolve election administration issues that threaten to deprive citizens of the right to register, vote and have their vote counted.”