I like the paper trail and the voter id aspects anyway....
Panel: E-voting needs paper trail
Monday, September 19, 2005 Posted: 1013 GMT (1813 HKT)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring that Americans are losing confidence in elections, a commission formed to improve balloting is recommending electronic voting machines that leave a paper trail.
Former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, the panel's co-leaders, cited the loss of confidence in a report they were to deliver Monday to President George W. Bush and Congress.
"While we do not face a crisis today, we need to address the problems of our electoral system," they said.
The private commission, created to suggest ways to improve the electoral process, also favors four regional primaries to be held after the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. The commission recommends Congress legislate the change if political parties don't change the system by 2008.
The current system picks nominees so quickly that voters in many states don't get to consider the options, the commission said.
Also, states should develop registration systems that allow easy checks of voters from one state to another and the purging of outdated voter records, according to the report by the bipartisan panel.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report, which makes 87 recommendations, before its submission to Bush and Congress.
The Commission on Federal Election Reform had to balance concerns about better access for voters and worries about preventing voter fraud.
Voter confidence dropped after the 2000 presidential election between Bush and Democrat Al Gore. The outcome was delayed for weeks because of problems with ballots in Florida.
Congress responded with the Help America Vote Act, signed into law in 2002, that allowed spending of several billion dollars to help states update voting systems, streamline voter registration and provide voter and poll worker education.
Yet in the 2004 race between Bush and Democrat John Kerry, there were claims of voting problems, especially in Ohio. Complaints included limited access to voting machines, difficulties finding proper voting precincts and the accuracy of vote totals in precincts using electronic machines.
"Many of the recommendations build on the Help America Vote Act, while correcting its vagueness and limitations," said Robert Pastor, executive director of the commission, which was organized by American University.
Among the commission's recommendations:
# Congress should pass a law requiring voter-verifiable paper audit trails on all electronic voting machines.
# States should require voters to present photo IDs and offer free photo IDs to those who don't have drivers' licenses.
# The presidential primary system should be reorganized into four regional primaries, held after the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. A regional primary would take place each month from March to June.
# All "legitimate domestic and international election observers" should be granted unrestricted access to the election process, within the rules of the election.
# News organizations should voluntarily refrain from projecting any presidential election results in any state until all polls have closed in all states but Alaska and Hawaii.
# States should prohibit senior election officials from serving or assisting political campaigns in a partisan way.
# States should establish uniform procedures for the counting of provisional ballots, which voters can use when there are questions about their registration.
The commission's work was organized by the American University Center for Democracy and Election Management, in association with the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, the Carter Center and Electionline.org.