In the News

Democrats say they have 10,000 lawyers in the field. Republicans say they're monitoring 30,000 polling places around the nation for signs of fraud. A new federal election law leaves key terms undefined. The nation is split down the middle, with any of a dozen too-close-to-call states holding the key to victory.
 
As many as 1 million provisional votes will be cast nationwide today, according to the liberal organization Demos-USA.
Florida Republicans in Jacksonville have been busy compiling and disseminating lists that many believe will be used to challenge minority voters today.
 
(A report, "Securing the Vote, a Report on Election Fraud," would suggest the Republicans' concerns are overstated. The paper, released by the nonprofit group Demos, shows that election fraud is at most a minor problem across the 50 states and does not affect election outcomes.)

Today is D-Day, Election Day 2004. The polls are open and millions are lining up to cast their votes in an election that many feel is the most important of their lifetime. With fears of a repeat of the 2000 election, the eyes of the nation focus on the simplest of issues: The right to vote.

There was an electricity on Election Days in Connecticut in the 1950's and 60's. Each city's wards buzzed with news of who had voted and who had to be called to remind them to vote, said Bill Donohue, a 69-year-old New Haven resident.
 
But people who follow elections in the state don't hold young people entirely to blame for the decline in participation.
Democrats in Florida yesterday accused Republicans of already having a list of nearly 15,000 voters that Republican poll watchers will challenge on Election Day, while Democrats in Ohio won a court victory when a federal judge halted efforts by the state Republican Party to obtain hearings on challenges to thousands of voter registrations.
 
Miles Rapoport, president of Demos, a nonpartisan voting rights organization, yesterday encouraged the Justice Department to uphold the rights of all eligible voters
As America seeks to spread its enviable brand of democracy around the world, it would do us well to cut down our velvet ropes here at home.
 
A recent study on voter purges conducted by the Right to Vote Campaign along with two of its national partners, ACLU and Demos, showed that in all of the 15 states it surveyed not one had a legislative standard for purging people with felony convictions, nor did many of the states have a legitimate way of informing people that their names were removed.
Voter fraud is at most a minor problem across the 50 U.S. states, and does not affect election outcomes, according to a new study by Demos.
 
The Demos study is significant because concerns about voter fraud are often raised to block reforms aimed at making voting easier and more accessible.
The problem, explains Ari Weisbard of Demos-USA , a nonpartisan group that has been on top of potential 2004 snafus, is that thirty states and DC--60 percent of the electorate--will throw out provisional ballots if they are cast in the wrong precinct; ten states will throw them out if ID isn't presented.
 
As Republicans attempt to disenfranchise voters through intimidation and bureaucratic maneuvers, activists from around the country are joining the fray.

Poll shows 6 of 10 believe there won't be a winner Nov. 3 in presidential race.

"Our election officials should be concerned with making sure that all eligible voters, including the millions that are registered for the first time, have complete ballot access and that their votes will count," said Miles Rapoport, president of the group. "Cheating eligible voters out of their voice in this democracy, that's the real fraud."

Senior Fellow George Packer argues that liberalism remains the key to national greatness.

In the past few years, America has grown manifestly less equal and less free even while offering itself as a model to undemocratic countries. The next President could help our case before the world by acknowledging these facts and using the power of the office to begin correcting them. He wouldn't have to call himself a liberal; he could simply act like one.

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