Bush should push election reforms

The lesson of the 2004 election is that we still haven’t fixed our democracy.
While our post-election limbo lasted less than a day because Ohio’s vote tallies were “beyond the margin of litigation,” we should not fool ourselves. We need federal standards that protect the right to vote in order to avoid three critical problems that plagued Election Day 2004.
First, we still lack uniformity and consistency. While federal law gives all Americans the right to cast a provisional ballot, such a vote cast in the wrong precinct will be counted in about half of the states but not the others. Within a single state like Ohio, nebulous standards allow partisan election boards in one county to reject a provisional ballot that could be counted in another county.
Former criminal offenders who have served their time can vote in Colorado and Minnesota, but not in Florida and Virginia. Even after our experience in 2000 with hanging chads, about 32 million voters still live in counties that use outdated punch- card machines. In short, your right to vote and the ability to have it counted continue to depend on where you live.
Newsday.com – Opinion

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