Excerpt: Election Reform

ENFORCE LAWS AGAINST VOTER SUPPRESSION/INTIMIDATION. The U.S. Department of Justice and state and local authorities must have in place programs to protect Americans from efforts to intimidate. They must make monitoring and defending the right to vote a top priority.

DEVELOP UNIFORM PROVISIONAL BALLOTS STANDARDS. Provisional ballots must be fully implemented as a meaningful safety net for voters when there are problems with registration or identification requirements. Every provisional ballot cast by an eligible voter should be counted.

FIX THE VOTING MACHINES. The nation still has not fixed the machinery of voting. Millions of Americans voted on discredited punch-card or lever machines. About one-third of voters used electronic voting machines that are unreliable and insecure. We must find the best technology for voting, and electronic voting machines need to supply voter-verified paper trails.

DEVELOP POLL-WORKER TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT PROGRAMS. Poll workers are the backbone of the nation's voting system. But too often poll workers fail to apply established laws and procedures, often because of a lack of training. Government and voters rights advocates must develop a new model for staffing polling places on Election Day.

FULLY IMPLEMENT THE VOTER DATABASE PROVISION OF HAVA. As most states face a 2006 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) deadline for establishing statewide voter databases, we must ensure that all registered voters are in fact on official voter lists and that the process of establishing the databases is open to the public.

INCREASE VOTER EDUCATION. Voters need more information about voting — easily accessible, widely distributed material on their rights as voters and the mechanics of voting. While voters have a responsibility to be informed, elections officials must do their part to inform them.

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