Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Friday, October 13
Analysis of Voting Problems in 10 States
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Common Cause, and The Century Fund yesterday released this report entitled "Voting in 2006: Have We Solved the Problems of 2004?" It examines changes since 2004 in ten states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, Georgia and Arizona.

According to a press release, the report finds that "most problems exposed in the 2004 election remain unresolved, and some have been exacerbated and threaten to mar the mid-term elections in just four weeks." Among its findings are:

- Although voter registration rules and requirements was identified as one of the biggest barriers to voting, some states have made it MORE, not less difficult to register to vote.

- New voter identification laws in half the states studied present major new barriers to voting.

- Despite the considerable problem in 2004 of phony flyers and phone calls, only Missouri has taken aggressive steps toward halting these practices. Bills are pending in three states - Pennsylvania, Ohio and Minnesota.

- Partisan pre-election and Election Day challenges to voting eligibility was a major source of controversy and possible voter suppression in 2004. Minnesota and Washington should be commended for taking steps to address this. Ohio also has passed legislation to address this issue, but certain provisions of this law are being challenged by voting rights groups. Most of the states studied have not taken sufficient measures to rein in this deplorable practice and existing laws are vague enough to be abused again.

- Despite the widespread problems with long lines and insufficient and inequitably distributed voting machines in 2004, most states continue to have extremely vague and decentralized standards for voting machine distribution. Long lines threaten to be a problem again.

Coverage of the report includes this AP story, and this one from the Columbus Dispatch which focuses on the report's findings regarding Ohio.

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