Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Voting for Local Reform

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Voting for Local Reform

Article excerpt

When two ex-presidents (Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford) team up with President Bush to encourage election reform, that ought to help nudge foot-dragging states and counties to fix their voting processes (see story, page 1).

A report from a commission led by the two former leaders recommends many thoughtful changes, such as creating statewide voter-registration systems, allowing voters to cast provisional ballots (a citizen could vote, and have his/her eligibility checked later), upgrading equipment, and doing away with the now-notorious punch-card ballots.

The report also encourages turning Veterans Day into a national election holiday. That idea needs to be approached with caution. Unanticipated flaws may show up, and other options need to be explored.

Would a national voting holiday, for instance, put pressure on states to create additional holidays for state and local elections? Would the move only increase the turnout disparity already seen between national presidential elections and those for, say, the local school board? …

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