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NOVEMBER 7, 2006
12:12 PM

Timothy Rusch of Demos, 212-389-1407,
Statement from Demos: 'Problems At The Polls Reported: Voters Should Turn Out, Contact National Hotline As Challenges Arise'

NEW YORK - November 7 - Miles Rapoport, president of Demos, a national public policy and research center and former Secretary of the State of Connecticut, issued the following statement on emerging problems on Election Day:

"As voters across the nation go to the polls today, we are hopeful of a strong turnout, a day of real participation at the end of a long and hard-fought campaign season. This is a day that is already testing our administrative systems. Early reports say there are problems cropping up in numbers of states. They include problems with databases, leading to people who are in fact eligible being told that they can only vote on provisional ballots; shortages of machines and in some cases poll workers and confusion over the new voter identification laws.

"Election officials, campaigns and voting rights advocates around the country are working to address these issues. In addition to the immediate fixes, we need to learn the lessons from today's experience and continue to advance the administration of elections in the country. Allowing Election Day registration will alleviate list problems and provisional ballot issues. More investment in poll worker training will help. And real standards for machine functioning and transparency are essential.

"We urge voters to go to the polls, bring the identification required by your state, ask about your rights if you are denied a ballot and work through any issues that arise. We also urge election officials to resolve issues in ways that encourage participation and engagement. Voters who experience problems today should call the Election Protection hotline at 1-866-Our- Vote, where not only can problems be resolved, but where a database of those problems is being assembled to assist with future improvements. And after today, we will all need to continue to work to improve our system so that everyone can vote and be confident their vote will count."


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