Proposals would help tune-up vote system

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Some people live by the motto that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." When it comes to our nation's government, we see small changes as more of a tune-up to keep the finely tuned machine running smoothly.

Democracy may be the greatest form of government in the world but that doesn't mean there aren't a few wrinkles that can be ironed out with our voting system. Recent presidential elections in 2000 and 2004 have given rise to many allegations that America's voting mechanism was flawed.

Since everything has room for improvement, we agree with many of the recent recommendations made by the Commission on Federal Election Reform. The election reform group is a bipartisan panel led by former President Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker.

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The commission made 87 recommendations to President George Bush Monday, some of which could ensure that our political election system works as efficiently as possible.

The public anxiously waited for weeks in 2000 for the election between Bush and Democratic challenger Al Gore to be decided. The problems escalated in 2004, especially in Ohio, where long lines, a confusing provisional ballot system and alleged fraud culminated in numerous legal battles.

Our nation must openly consider anything that can make improvements to the election process.

The commission made several positive recommendations that include creating paper trails for all electronic voting machines, the creation of free photo IDs for those who do not have a driver's license, establishing uniform procedures for the counting of provisional ballots and reorganizing the nation's primary-election system.

Perhaps the most exciting recommendation is the push to develop registration systems that allow for easy checks of voters from one state to the next.

Living in the Tri-State where people often move from one state to another, this could be instrumental in helping to ensure election days go smoothly.

Though these changes cannot help avoid problems in the upcoming Nov. 8 election, we believe that some fine-tuning could help our voting system reach peak performance.

We do not need a new system, but who says we cannot take our already proven system and make it better.