As people who celebrate voting rights as the cornerstone of democracy worldwide, we must move to restore confidence in the integrity and fairness of our own election process. The Presidential election of 2000 has exposed numerous flaws in our country’s election procedures. Nationwide, polling mechanisms, the design of election ballots, voting rules, hours, and financial resources can vary widely from state to state and even from county to county. In jurisdictions using the outdated punch card system, ballots are spoiled or do not register a vote for one or more races at a significantly greater rate than is the case in jurisdictions using more modern equipment. 

In too many precincts, local election officials lack funds to purchase modern voting equipment, hire adequate numbers of election workers, and handle increasingly complex ballots. Degree or lack of wealth from community to community can provide unfair advantage to some voters over others in determining how reliably votes are recorded and counted. In the recent election, there was a strong sense that the “one person, one vote” guarantee of our democratic system for which many have struggled, and some have died, may have been denied. 

The JCPA therefore calls upon the new Administration and Congress to work together to study, evaluate, and provide financial assistance to state governments to implement improvements in the nations’ elections system. Similarly, state and local governments must also seek to improve the election process to insure that all votes are counted, and that all persons wishing to vote are given a meaningful opportunity to do so. Toward that end, the JCPA calls for: 

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