A Senate panel in Washington has heard from a Missouri election official as it considers changes yet again to our election system.
Congress took up election reform after the Florida mess in the 2000 presidential election. It approved the Help America Vote Act in 2002. Measures have been submitted in both the US House and Senate to amend the act. The biggest change proposed would require a paper record from electronic voting systems. Local election authorities have spent more than a billion dollars on new voting equipment since 2002 and one of the proposals would require all that to be scrapped for newer equipment.
Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren has testified before a Senate committee considering the changes. She says some people are demanding something that can’t be achieved: perfection. Noren says great strides have been made since the 2000 election and she says more can be done to improve the system. Noren worries though that many in Washington aren’t listening to local election authorities (she spoke on behalf of the national group that representatives local election authorities) and worries that the federal government might mandate county governments invest in equipment they can’t afford. She says we must think of elections as a shared financial responsibility.
The House measure is HR 811 .
The Senate measure is S 1487