Focus Point - Election Reform Is About More Than Just New Machines

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Elections are messy, and they always have been.

But thanks to hanging chads and pregnant chads in the 2000 election, reform has been a prominent topic of discussion. The main emphasis has been on replacing punch card machines so we don't have to hear about chads - dimpled or otherwise - ever again.

New machines may be the easiest answer, but we should not kid ourselves into thinking that they will perfect a system that is frought with fraud and wacky voter rolls.

Many states have more people registered to vote than they have residents of legal age to vote.

Take Alaska for example, which in 1998 had nearly 503 thousand registared voters, but a voting age population of only 437 thousand.

Or Indiana, which had tens of thousands of people registered at least twice. Or Georgia, which had more than 15 thousand dead people still on their voting rolls.

This is not to say that we shouldn't look to improve the technology of our voting machines, but real election reform will require dealing with these other issues too!

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know that ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont and I'll see you next time.