Monday, October 20, 2008

Secretary of State Debra Bowen seeks emergency regulations for post-election verification measures

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has issued proposed emergency regulations that reflect her post-election verification requirements originally imposed on counties through the voting equipment certification process. That approach was challenged by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, who filed a lawsuit claiming the orders were actually regulations that had not gone through the regulatory process. San Diego lost in the initial court round, but won on appeal.

The additional requirements direct counties to count more ballots in extremely close contests (within one half of one percent), to count additional ballots when variances are found during the initial post-election manual count process, and to account for overvotes and undervotes. They also address the public's right to observe and record retention. As is explained in the above-linked memo to county registrars of voters (posted online courtesy of Joseph Lorenzo Hall - thanks, Joe!), the Secretary of State is seeking emergency regulations from the California Office of Administrative Law because her initial orders were recently struck down by an appeals court and there is not sufficient time to go through the normal regulatory process to get regulations in place in time for the post-November 2004 election period.

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