The wheels are finally in motion in an attempt to eliminate voting error. Katherine Harris, Florida’s Secretary of State, has unveiled a proposal that would update and revolutionize the archaic Floridian voting machines, and improve the entire voting process.
The proposal, with an approximate price tag of $200 million, includes optical scanners installed by the mid-term elections of 2002, and a technologically advanced computer system that would allow Florida’s voters to cast their ballots from anywhere in the state by 2004.
A “centralized voter database” would also be created, which would automatically subtract deceased residents from the registration lists and severely cut down on the possibilities of voter fraud and scandal.
This new proposal comes in the wake of the perpetually controversial 2000 presidential election fiasco in Florida. Harris, a Republican and chairman of George W. Bush’s Florida campaign, found herself at the center of controversy for her authoritarian role in halting manual recounts.
Many critics alleged partisan bias on the part of Harris, as the recounts were in part deemed necessary due to confusing ballots and outdated voting equipment. While some contend that this new proposal is “too little, too late,” reform is obviously necessary and perhaps Harris is attempting to remove the cloud of scandal from her embattled state. I
n fact, a universal standard of reform should be adapted nationwide. While many citizens will scoff at the cost of such a project, with other more pressing personal and financial problems, we live in a representative government and the election of our federal officials must therefore hold extreme priority.