Sporadic High-Tech High Jinks Don't Cast Outcome in Doubt

Publication: The Washington Post

Author: Mary Pat Flaherty and Amy Goldstein

11/05/2008 - An unprecedented outpouring of voters translated into waits of several hours yesterday at polling sites from Arizona to southeastern Virginia, amid sporadic reports around the country of problematic voting machines, faulty registration lists, and deceptive text messages and other high-tech efforts to deter young people and minorities from casting ballots.

Nationally, the quadrennial ritual of selecting a president produced few problems widespread enough to cast the outcome in doubt, according to election observers, state election officials and the political parties.

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"From the national view, we just haven't had the kind of breakdowns people feared," said Doug Chapin, director of electionline.org, a nonpartisan project that monitors election administration.

The logistics of voting have emerged as a large-scale partisan and legal issue since the disputed 2000 election, in which George W. Bush's victory hinged on court rulings about the handling of ballots in Florida. The pattern across the country, which continued yesterday, is that Republicans tend to allege instances of voter fraud, while Democrats often contend that eligible voters are being denied the right to cast ballots.

Read the full article Sporadic High-Tech High Jinks Don't Cast Outcome in Doubt on the Washington Post 's Web site.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, please visit electionline.org.

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