Sunday, February 08, 2009

Openness and Transparency in Voting

To Jan Shabro:

Congratulations on your appointment to be Pierce County Auditor.

In your interview for the Auditor's job before the County Council, you talked about the importance of openness and transparency in public service. I share your enthusiasm for these virtues.

Pierce County has an unique feature of its elections department which moves the county government in the direction of openness and transparency. In this past election, the Auditor's office published on its website a ballot image report on the county level elections in Pierce County.

The report shows how each ballot was cast in each race and allows people from outside the elections department to replicate the vote totals. The check of the vote counting is a big step forward in openness and transparency of our elections process. Used properly, the ballot image report allows for a more efficient audit of each election and would help avoid the problems we had in the 2004 Governor's election.

The ballot image report is an improvement which we do not want to lose. Currently, the ballot image report is only available on Ranked Choice Voting elections. One of the considerable benefits of keeping Ranked Choice Voting would be to keep the openness and transparency of the ballot image report. I encourage you to support Ranked Choice Voting as a step towards openness and transparency.


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