NEW YORK - Some states have enacted laws that make it harder to vote instead of correcting ballot problems that have plagued various parts of the country since the 2000 election, according to a study released Thursday.
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Describing their findings as "troubling," voting reform advocates sampled 10 states with past election difficulties. Especially worrisome, the report said, were laws passed by a handful of states, including Arizona and Georgia, that require a government-issued photo identification card and proof of citizenship before being allowed to vote.
Though both state laws were later blocked by judges, "the damage has already been done," confusing would-be voters and severely hampering voter registration drives, said Tova Wang of The Century Foundation think tank, which conducted the survey with Common Cause and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
It's not secret to anyone that the problems are getting worse. I'm very glad that judges have struck down the laws in Arizona and Georgia, because it really does make it hard to vote. For example, you get out of work at 7:30, you rush to the polls, only to find out that you left your ID in your other purse at home. The polls close at 8pm and they tell you that you can't vote because you don't have an ID. Your name is on the list of registered voters, but that doesn't matter, you don't have ID. And it's not just you, there are hundreds, possibly thousands of people who are in the same boat. And you later found out that your candidate lost by a handful of votes. How does that make you feel? As Al Gore would say "Disenfranchised".
It's time to take the election problem to a federal level. There needs to be a standard on voting that is consistent throughout the country. We've learned over the years the problems and have yet to find a good solution.
First off, we need to get rid of E-Voting until we can develop a system based on open source that is secure, installed on equiptment that is unbreachable. The current Diebold e-voting machines are so easily hackable that any 14yr old with computer knowledge can trip the election results.
And it's happened, votes have been switched, and some believe that they may have changed the outcome of elections, like 2000 in Florida.
Once we take control of congress, we need to address this issue right after we tackle Iraq. One of the most important parts of being an American is the right to vote, and in no way should it be denied because of stupid election laws and faulty equiptment and poorly written software.
What solution do you believe will take care of our election problems?
Read the full report here (pdf)