Task Force Ready to Revamp Florida Elections System

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MIAMI -- A task force will begin recommending changes today to Florida's heavily criticized elections system, including whether to ban the infamous punch card ballot.

The Select Task Force on Election Procedures, Standards and Technology is likely to tell Gov. Jeb Bush and the Legislature that punch card systems should be replaced by an electronic system that would almost eliminate voter mistakes.

During its two previous meetings, the task force has heard from numerous witnesses who have discussed the problems of punch card ballots, the system that added pregnant, dimpled and hanging chads to the nation's vocabulary following November's presidential election and made Florida the butt of jokes.

"We don't want to go through that again -- it was bad for Florida, bad for our elected officials and bad for tourism," said task force member Thom Rumberger, a Tallahassee attorney.

Other topics to be discussed at today's meeting at Davie's Nova Southeastern University include the state's voter registration law, polling place procedures, voting systems, ballot design and voter education efforts.

The governor appointed the 21-member, bipartisan task force in December, two days after the U. …