A task force assigned to review Iowa’s election laws today released some of the details of reforms it will recommend to the legislature in January. The task force was put together following the historic Presidential election of 2000. Sandy Steinback of the Iowa Secretary of State’s office is on the task force and says one of the recommendations clarifies the definition of what is a vote.She says they’re not trying to ready minds, they’re just trying to provide a way to count the votes that’re aren’t marked like they should be. Steinback says voters don’t always follow the instructions when marking their ballots.She says they try to describe how to handle typical mistakes voters might make, such as circling their choice instead of marking the voting oval next to their choice. She says they also dealt with the issue of the “overvoted or undervoted ballot,” when more than one candidate, or no candidate is chosen. They propose that voting equipment be set so that ballots sort out ballots that’re overvoted or that appear to tbe blank.The reform task force also dealt with the question of who can request a re-count of the votes. Bob Galbraith of the Iowa Secretary of State’s office explains.He says they decided that the candidate, or a representative of the candidate’s political party could request a recount. Galbraith says they also clarified the number of votes needed for someone to be eligible to request a recount.The commission recommends that a candidate should get at least one percent of the vote to be eligible to request a recount. The recommendations also ask the legislature to create a training institute for election workers at Iowa State University.
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