From Tallahassee to Washington D.C. - Election Reforms

 In 2001, in the wake of the Florida 2000 debacle, we passed the Election Reform Act of 2001 | Laws of Florida aimed at preventing what happened from occurring again. While it ensured that the types of ballots at the root of the debacle in Broward and Palm Beach Counties wouldn’t be used again, it didn’t account for the possibility that laws would be broken in the same counties in the future. I’ll preface everything I’m going to share with that context behind it as well. If laws were followed in both counties this election cycle, ww wouldn't be having another conversation about reforms. We can pass all of the laws we want but if they’re not followed, well.   

The Pew Research Center has been working on the question nationally and here are reforms most Americans would like to see for future Election Cycles:

  • Election Day registration/voting - 64% 
  • Automatic voter registration once one’s eligible – 65% 
  • Making Election Day a national holiday – 65% 
  • Automatic eligibility for felons who’ve completed sentences – 69% 
  • Voter ID requirement – 76% 
  • Automatically removing people who’re ineligible to vote from rolls – 77% 
  • Requiring a paper backup for all votes – 85% 
  • Automatically updating voting databases when one moves – 87% 

In Florida, we’ve taken action on a few of these, but it might be worth looking at others as part of likely reforms that’ll be proposed in 2019’s state legislative session. In the second part of today’s story, we’ll take a closer look at these potential reforms. 

Photo by: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

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