Election Reform

November 2, 2001 • Volume 11, Issue 38
Are antiquated voting machines the problem?
By Kathy Koch

Introduction

Determining voter intent was an eye-straining job in Florida's 2000 presidential election last November. Judge Robert Rosenberg, of the Broward County Canvassing Board, scrutinizes a “dimpled chad” on a punch-card ballot.  (Newsmakers/Robert King)
Determining voter intent was an eye-straining job in Florida's 2000 presidential election last November. Judge Robert Rosenberg, of the Broward County Canvassing Board, scrutinizes a “dimpled chad” on a punch-card ballot. (Newsmakers/Robert King)

It has been a year since the nation was mesmerized by a presidential race so close that it took weeks to resolve. The resulting national scrutiny revealed many flaws in the election system — from antiquated voting machines that spit out high percentages of poorly marked ballots to a hodgepodge of under-budgeted and inconsistent local and state election systems and procedures. A slew of task forces spent the spring and summer studying the problem, and politicians promised quick action. But Congress has yet to pass any legislation. Republicans and Democrats have been deadlocked in a partisan debate over what should be done, and spending money to help state and local governments upgrade their voting systems has been a low priority following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But some still hope there can be action this year.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Elections
Nov. 04, 2016  The Obama Legacy
Oct. 29, 2010  Democrats' Future
Apr. 24, 2009  Judicial Elections
May 30, 2008  Changing U.S. Electorate Updated
Mar. 12, 2004  Redistricting Disputes
Nov. 02, 2001  Election Reform
Oct. 20, 2000  Low Voter Turnout
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Domestic Issues
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations
Voting and Suffrage