One way to resolve some of these issues is to continue to inform voters of their rights and have outside parties help them register to vote. However, as state variance in election administration has shown, these steps alone are not enough to address the bias in the electorate and promote full participation in elections.
Another approach, as noted by the Advancement Project in the Washington Daily News this week, would be to make voting a federal, constitutional right. Citing numerous disenfranchisement instances since 2000 due to "bizarre and erratic state customs" - including 12 elderly nuns without voter ID in Indiana, and thousands of rejected voter applicants who didn't check a box on the application in Florida - the group said "it is time to rectify this patchwork of bizarre and erratic state customs. We need to put the right to vote in the Constitution."
"In Pursuit of an Affirmative Right to Vote." Advancement Project. July 2008.
In Other News:
Some New York officials worry about voting access - Associated Press
ALBANY, N.Y.-Cliff Perez is legally blind and would like to vote without help this fall. Instead, he will have to count on his wife's assistance with New York's ancient pull lever machines, rather than use brand new $12,000 voting devices designed to give independence to the disabled.
Early absentee voting changes campaign strategies in Montana - Missoulian [Mont.]
HELENA - For nearly 200,000 voters in Montana this fall, Election Day may come early, via absentee ballots - and campaigns are adjusting to this new reality.
Erin Ferns is a Research and Policy Analyst with Project Vote's Strategic Writing and Research Department (SWORD).