Federal election bill signed into law | Fair Vote Minnesota


Federal election bill signed into law

Money coming to the states, Minnesotans urged to require IRV-readiness

As a consequence of the troubled 2000 election that propelled him into office, President George W. Bush was presented by the Congress with election reform legislation, which he signed on October 29. Known as the Ney-Dodd-Hoyer-McConnell "Help America Vote Act of 2002," H.R. 3295 authorizes billions of dollars for states to replace antiquated voting machines and make improvements in election administration.

There will be money coming to Minnesota as well, likely to include funds for purchase of touch-screen voting equipment to meet the accessibility requirements of the new law. This presents an opportunity for proponents of instant runoff voting and various forms of proportional representation to obtain voting equipment that is compatible with those alternative methods.

Besides opportunity, there is also some urgency for proponents of better methods of voting to act. Since this legislation has been anticipated for some time, demand has been pent up, and purchasing decisions will likely be in process before too long. There are two focal points for action:

At the state level, ranked-ballot compatibility should be required for all new voting equipment certified for use in Minnesota.

At the local level, purchasing criteria should include ranked-ballot compatibility.

FairVote Minnesota will continue to monitor these developments and report on opportunities for action. For further information, seehttp://www.fairvotemn.org/articles/archives/progressequip06072002.html,http://www.fairvotemn.org/articles/archives/machines_03012002.html,http://www.fairvote.org/administration/index.html, andhttp://www.electionline.org/.





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