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Election commission recommends overhaul of US election system

[JURIST] The private Commission on Federal Election Reform [commission website], a 21-member bipartisan panel headed by former US President Jimmy Carter [Wikipedia profile] and former Secretary of State James Baker [Wikipedia profile], recommended Monday that widespread changes be made to the federal electoral process to ensure fairness and accuracy. The Commission, which spent five months studying the most pressing problems with the nation's electoral system, issued 87 recommendations [PDF summary; full text, PDF] and urged Congress to enact the changes if political parties don't change the system by 2008. The Commission's recommendations include requiring a paper trail for electronic voting machines, requiring photo ID at the polls, a reorganization of the presidential primary system, unrestricted access for all "legitimate domestic and international election observers" and prohibiting senior election officials from serving political campaigns in a partisan way. According to Commission Executive Director Robert Pastor, "Many of the recommendations build on the Help America Vote Act, while correcting its vagueness and limitations." The Help America Vote Act [text] was passed by Congress in 2002 with the intention of helping states update voting systems, streamline voter registration and provide voter and poll worker education. The Los Angeles Times has more. American University's Center for Democracy & Election Management has additional resources.

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