Voting in 2006:
Have We Solved the Problems of 2004?
With the critical mid-term elections weeks away from our publication date, this report looks at some of the serious problems that marred the 2004 presidential election and asks: are we any better off today than we were two years ago?
The authors of this report – The Century Foundation, Common Cause, and The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights – are uniquely qualified to answer that question. The three organizations did intensive monitoring of the 2004 elections and held a conference including several of the other major monitoring organizations in December of that year. They reported their findings in Voting in 2004: A Report to the Nation on America’s Election Process, published in December 2004.
This follow-up report explores whether a sampling of 10 states with a history of various election problems and potentially close races – Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin – have taken steps to address the concerns addressed in our foundational report.
The findings of our report on the whole are troubling. Some states have made it harder to register to vote rather than easier. This is critical because problems with voter registration were among the most common complaints of voters in 2004. Another critical problem from 2004 – long lines for voters – is likely to recur because few states have dealt with the issue. New voter ID laws in certain states are likely to disenfranchise voters, and only one state has acted aggressively to address voter intimidation tactics.