The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) has posted its report to the Council's Committee on Government Operations and the Environment on the Preparations for the September 2010 Primary Election at http://www.dcboee.org/.
As required by the Council when it enacted the Omnibus Election Reform Act of 2009 (D.C. Law 18-103), the DCBOEE submitted its report on March 31, which was the 168th day before the upcoming September 14 Primary. The report outlines an ambitious agenda for changes to be completed in time for the Primary.
The report focuses on technology upgrades; management of the DCBOEE facilities and equipment; staffing and pollworker management; voter education and public information initiatives; and post-election activities.
Some of the salient points in the report are with regard to technology upgrades. This includes the purchase of new voting equipment from Election Systems and Software (ES&S), which I wrote about two postings ago. Using federal funds provided by the Help America Vote Act 2002, the District entered into an agreement to purchase 175 optical scan paper ballot voting machines; 200 touch screen voting machines with a paper audit trail and accessible for individuals with disabilities; two central count optical scan machines for absentee voting; and the software and peripheral equipment needed to run the system.
In addition, the Board purchased a mail sorting machine from Pitney Bowes for absentee voting. The machine assembles the absentee material to be sent to a voter, including the ballot.
At the time the report was submitted to the Committee, the Board was looking into other technological changes such as replacing the voting precincts' paper lists of voters with electronic poll books; online pollworker training; and tools for military and overseas voters.
It is already turning out to be an exciting Primary for voters, because of the candidates coming forward to run for public office; however, it is also turning out to be an exciting Primary for the DCBOEE and its staff, because of all teh changes to the voting process and the new technologies that will be used for the first time in September.