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Edward Still: Election Reform

After the 2000 presidential election controversy in Florida, election administration reform became a hot topic. Several commissions were formed; bills were introduced in Congress and the States; and for nearly two years it appeared that there would be lots of sound and fury but little action.

Congress has passed HR 3295, the Help America Vote Act, to provide both carrots and sticks to States to make them change their election procedures. The Federal Election Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have pages explaining their activities in enforcing the Act.

The Constitution Project has an excellent collection of texts and summaries of the proposed and enacted bills. has a collection of reports on election reform issues as well as an extensive set of links to news stories on election issues around the country.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has a summary and a database of bills proposed and passed in the States, as well as its own proposals.

Demos has set up a site dealing specifically with the positions local activists ought to propose for their states when they are reforming their election administration.

The National Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by Presidents Ford and Carter, proposed many reforms on the same topic.

Florida’s 2002 Select Task Force on Election Procedures, Standards and Technology (staffed by the Collins Center for Public Policy) has produced its report evaluating the election reforms used by Florida in the 2002 election.  The Center’s press release has links to the report and related documents.

My own set of proposals (“A Simple Agenda for Election Reform”) was published in the March-April 2001 issue of National Voter, the magazine of the League of Women Voters.


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