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US states lag behind push to modernize voting systems: report

[JURIST] A report [PDF text; press release] released Tuesday by the non-partisan electionline.org [official website] monitoring group says that over half of US states have failed to meet the January 1, 2006 deadline set by the 2002 Help America Vote Act [text] for implementing its requirements, which include updating voting machines and voter databases and possibly establishing free voter ID systems.

The Act, which was enacted in response to the 2000 presidential election ballot-counting controversy, was designed to ensure that the voting systems of every state meet reliability standards in time for the 2006 midterm elections, a goal that electionline.org officials fear will not be met by all states. According to the report, one third of states do not have a required booth for people with disabilities at each polling location, 10 states have not implemented secure voter registration databases, and the electronic machines that replaced punch-card and lever voting machines have been criticized in several states for not being secure, accurate, or reliable. AP has more.

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