A short time after the 2000 Presidential election, disputes over vote counts and the validity of ballots lead to a lawsuit between the candidates and ultimately a decision by the Supreme Court. Now, it appears as though the issue of vote validity and one person one vote will be tested by problems with the attempts to rectify the problematic ballot system using modern technology. Many states have replaced the regular punch ballot systems with Diebold Election Systems. Currently, 10 states are reporting problems with voting systems and rules for the midterm elections. One of the most disturbing revelations in this string of problems is errors effecting candidates names on ballots. While the name errors only appear to effect the information page of the voting system, it’s still suspicious because the problem can’t be fixed before the November 7 election.

If the decision in Bush v. Gore is to mean anything regarding insuring one person gets one vote, every effort should be made to correct these problems. Voting reform, ideally, should fix these kinds of problems. Instead, changing to new technology has reversed the trend to not just eliminating votes but eliminating candidates. Technology may be a great asset to voting and voting reform in the future, now we need uniform requirements for computerized voting machines and machines that create a paper trail.

By: R. Andrew Smith
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