The 2004 election confounded those who have blamed the flaws in our democracy on apathetic voters, apolitical young people, and a generalized culture of disengagement. More than 120 million citizens cast ballots, a turnout of 60 percent of eligible voters. When something important is at stake, voters will brave barriers.
Unfortunately, the large turnout took place despite our election procedures. If the 2000 debacle in Florida showed that we had to modernize the machines used for voting and improve the shoddy list management used to qualify voters, the 2004 elections have given us a new set of procedural reforms necessary for us to have confidence in our election administration. The chaotic, crazy-quilt election administration, run all too often by people with a partisan bent, is a national embarrassment. In the end, we need to summon the national resources and the national will to create and enforce national standards for national elections. In addition to the litany of concrete reforms recounted in Tova Wang
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