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International observers find fault with 2006 United States election and call for Congressional reform

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The disenfranchisement of citizens residing in Washington, D.C. or the U.S. territories from a representative in Congress was addressed.  "U.S. authorities should consider all possibilities to provide full representation rights for all U.S. citizens."

 

Provisional ballots need uniform requirements and assurance that they will be properly counted.  "In order that the public is accurately informed about electoral developments in a timely manner, relevant state authorities could usefully consider the introduction of requirements that the numbers of provisional ballots cast are recorded and announced simultaneously with the remaining results of the counting of the votes at all levels of the election administration."

 

Electronic voting machines were also called into question by the OSCE monitors.  "Vendors of voting systems are not subject to the same legal obligations applicable to government officials administering elections.  Further, vendors have insisted on retaining proprietary control of computer software, which impacted negatively on transparency and fueled issues of public confidence.  This left election officials in a vulnerable position, as they were responsible for election delivery but might be unable to thoroughly check their systems or open them to public scrutiny."

 

Although the polite diplomatic language of the report is almost a model of understatement it still, in total, amounts to a sharp critique of U.S. election practices.  Using the phrasing of the report, Congress and the state legislatures could benefit from conducting hearings on the report findings and recommendations.

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Michael Richardson is a freelance writer based in Boston. Richardson writes about politics, law, nutrition, ethics, and music. Richardson is also a political consultant.

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Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Right... by Tony Forest on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2007 at 6:34:49 AM