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Carnahan Releases Report Evaluating 2008 Elections

Carnahan Releases
Report Evaluating 2008 Elections

Voter, poll worker
feedback used to identify issues and

City, MO – Secretary of State
Robin Carnahan today released a report which examines the successes and
challenges of the three statewide elections conducted in 2008. The report also
identifies opportunities for improvements based on those findings. Voters
First: An Examination of Missouri’s 2008 State and Federal Elections
from the accounts of hundreds
of voters, poll workers and election officials.


transparency and accountability in our elections process by analyzing and
compiling feedback from all those involved. It also ensures taxpayers and voters
know about the inner-workings of our elections. 


“More Missourians
voted in 2008 than ever before in our state’s history. Thanks to the diligent
work of thousands of poll workers and the local officials across the state, each
of the three elections was a success,” Carnahan said. “Before we move forward,
we must look back and evaluate the process to ensure convenience, privacy
and security for Missouri voters.”


The report
finds that the elections administration in Missouri is effective in ensuring
fair, accurate, and secure elections. As in previous elections, there were no
incidents of voter impersonation fraud reported anywhere in the state. A new
statewide voter registration database allowed local election officials to verify
the identity of new voters and ensured clean, accurate registration


places across Missouri were staffed with well-trained poll workers and enough
ballots to meet the record turnout. Additionally, increased security checks on
voting equipment and expanded poll worker training allowed voters to cast their
ballots with confidence in a system that is accurate and


The report
did identify challenges for voters. Questions regarding registration and
eligibility were the most common issues reported by voters on Election Day. Many
voters reported that they were not aware of requirements for updating their
registration if they moved to a new address. In August, concerns over
electioneering and the party ballot selection process in primary elections were
also common.


Long lines
also proved to be an issue in some areas of the state. In November, voters at
some polling places reported that they had to wait in line for several hours
before they could cast a ballot. Poll worker surveys showed that long lines are
not only an inconvenience for voters, but a burden on poll workers as


“I would love
to see Missouri have early voting like other states do,” said one Jackson County
poll worker. “That would solve many problems for not only poll workers but for
voters as well.”


The report
makes 30 recommendations to local election authorities, the General Assembly,
and the Secretary of State’s Office based on the findings. Those recommendations
include: passing a law implementing early voting in Missouri; exploring ways to
increase the portability of voter registration for those who move; and
increasing the maximum penalties against those who violate election laws. 


The report is
also accompanied by an expansive appendix, which includes Election Day call
logs, educational mailers, correspondence, poll worker training materials,
polling place posters, news releases and other key


The full
report may be viewed online here: