Michael LaVigne


The right to elect our leaders has been one of the defining features of America's political system from its very beginning. Throughout the two and a half centuries that the United States has existed, that right to vote has gradually been expanded to previously disenfranchised groups, and strengthened through legislation like the Voting Rights Act, Help America Vote Act, and National Voter Registration Act. However, recent elections-such as Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004-have shown that the right to vote can still be undermined by incompetent or conflicted officials. Additionally, measures whose purpose is ostensibly to prevent voter fraud, such as voter identification (ID) laws and rules regarding voter registration, can also have a disenfranchising effect. This Comment reviews these recent problems, and proposes that state-by-state administration of Federal elections is no longer adequate to ensure that all eligible voters are enfranchised. Instead, standardized national rules and independent, nonpartisan election commissions should govern Federal elections.

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