We Need Clear National Standards

By Robert Richie
Published September 8th 2004 in Washington Times
You are quite right to call for state-to-state cooperation to stop
voters from voting in more than one state.

But I strongly challenge your assertion that running elections is
"legitimately a function of state government." Certainly, that is our
tradition — in fact, counties still generally have the greatest role in
handling voter registration, ballot design, election equipment purchases
and so on — but the result is too often an underfunded, underregulated,
underperforming system that this year promises to again be highly
controversial if the presidential election is close.

Elections are as important as interstate highways and airport security.
We need clear national standards and enforcement that ensure consistently high-quality elections.
President Bush was right to say last month that he would consider
establishing an explicit right to vote in the Constitution. Our nation is
too important to decentralize protection of perhaps our most basic
citizenship right.
Executive director
Center for Voting & Democracy
Takoma Park