States need voting machine backup plans

Several states are coming up short in preparations for Election Day, according to a report issued Thursday by the citizen advocacy organization Common Cause, reports NextGov.

The report evaluated states' abilities to issue emergency paper ballots, reconcile ballot tallies, provide paper records of votes, and perform post-election audits. It shows a wide range of preparedness levels.

Colorado and Virginia, which are considered swing states this year, have no guidance or requirement to stock paper ballots in the event of machine failure. Virginia also scored poorly in areas of reconciling vote totals to make sure all ballots are counted once and performing an audit because they lack paper voting records to perform those tasks.

"This will hopefully be a last-minute wake-up call to jurisdictions that aren't prepared for an election system failure," said Common Cause Director of Election Reform Susannah Goldman.

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