From a press release by The Century Foundation: In an effort to improve future elections, The Century Foundation has created a Post-2004 Working Group on Election Reform. This bipartisan group of prominent election law and voting reform experts will produce concrete policy options states can follow in order to improve the voting process.
The members of the working group are: Tova Wang, senior program officer and democracy fellow, The Century Foundation (executive director); Doug Chapin, director, Electionline.org; Norm Ornstein, resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Guy-Uriel E. Charles, associate professor of law, University of Minnesota Law School; Edward B. Foley, professor of law and director, Election Law@Moritz, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University; Samuel Isacharoff, visiting professor at NYU School of Law and Harold R. Medina Professor in Procedural Jurisprudence, Columbia University School of Law; Martha Kropf, assistant professor of political science, University of Missouri, Kansas City; Roy Schotland, professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center; and Dan Tokaji, assistant professor of law and associate director, Election Law@Moritz, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University.
The 2004 presidential election was the first big test of the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Enacted in the wake of the deeply flawed 2000 election, the law was passed in an effort to both improve the voting process and to increase voter access. However, the results on Election Day were mixed at best. While there were improvements in the voting process in a number of jurisdictions, the ways in which many states carried out the law’s mandates produced a number of unintended consequences, resulting in allegations of fraud and voter disenfranchisement.
The working group’s mission is to promote an election system that balances ballot integrity with voting rights and accessibility. The group will assess the key provisions of HAVA, analyze the ways in which they were implemented in 2004, and provide guidelines for how they ought to be implemented by the states in the future. In addition, the working group will analyze how states are preparing to comply with HAVA requirements that have implementation deadlines at the end of this year. They plan to provide the best policy options for states to meet these mandates in a report scheduled for release in late spring. more…
"While the goals of HAVA were generally positive, the law turned out to be deficient in many areas and implementation by the states was flawed," said Tova Wang, executive director of the working group. She noted that a variety of lawsuits have been filed throughout the country about the implementation of HAVA, and advocates and government officials continue to spar over interpretations of the law’s requirements and flaws in the voting process. "The disputes almost universally revolve around one core principle: the competing values of ensuring ballot integrity while maintaining wide voting accessibility. We will take a very practical approach to solving the problems that HAVA may have inadvertently created and provide realistic approaches the states can take in order to fulfill the promise that HAVA originally intended," she added.
The Century Foundation has been at the forefront of efforts to reform the voting system since the issue achieved national prominence following the 2000 presidential contest. In 2001, the foundation cosponsored The National Commission on Election Reform, cochaired by former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. The final report of that commission served as the model for important measures in the Help America Vote Act. Information on issues related to election reform is available at www.tcf.org.
For more information about the Working Group or election reform issues, contact Christy Hicks at email@example.com or (212) 452-7723.