A Publication of WTVP

After the election of November 2000, much discussion around the country centered on the need to reform our nation’s election systems in light of the problems that were evident in that election. While several proposals were put forward in Congress to establish some national standards, many pundits didn’t give election reform much of a chance of becoming law because of partisan squabbles.

In spite of these predictions of failure, Congress has enacted a compromise, bipartisan election reform measure in advance of this month’s mid-term elections—the first national election since the 2000 election. As of this writing, it was expected the President would sign the legislation. The Help America Vote Act, a measure I co-sponsored, is legislation crafted in direct response to the problems associated with the 2000 election.

This bi-partisan bill addresses the shortfalls in the system and offers solutions to help states carry out our democratic process. I believe it’s a good bill that realizes the goal of updating our election systems while maintaining local and state control over elections.

The compromise bill passed both chambers by overwhelming margins. It will provide almost $3.9 billion to upgrade voting equipment and improve election administration across the country.

The bill includes several significant provisions. Among them are:

Given the uncertainty that followed the 2000 election, I believe all Americans want an election system that is fair, accurate, and up to date. It’s expected the Help America Vote Act will largely be implemented by the 2004 election, with a deadline of the 2006 election. I’m confident this legislation takes great steps toward correcting the flaws in our election system and protecting the integrity of one of our most cherished rights—the right to vote. IBI