Secretary of State Matt Blunt has announced new administrative rules regarding Missouri’s election process. The changes establish a uniform standard for counting ballots and determining votes. On punch card ballots, voter intent will be determined by the detachment of at least two of the corners of the square chad. On optically scanned ballots, voter intent will be determined by a distinguishing mark in the square next to the name of the candidate, a distinguishing mark adjacent to the name of the candidate, by a circle around the name of the candidate. The determining process for paper ballots is similar. The Secretary of State is Missouri’s top elections official and has the authority to issue such rules without the consent of the Legislature.