HAVA

The current voting system in the United States follows HAVA. HAVA is the Helping America Vote Act and was passed by congress in 2002. This act was passed to prevent another voting disaster similar to the 2000 general election. Chaos plagued the 2000 election in Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Missouri and Nevada. There were irregularities and poor regulation in the voting processes and the Supreme Court chose to decide the election.

HAVA was created to avoid another chaotic election. In order to implement standards for the new rules, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was created. The EAC ensures that states implement: provisional voting, voting information, updated voting equipment, voter identification procedures and administrative complaint procedures in compliance with to HAVA.

To make the change possible, government funding was given to states to help them comply with the regulations. Money was distributed to replace voting equipment, including paper ballots with barcodes to be detected by optical scanners. This ended the punch card voting system. Without punch cards, voters were able to make changes to their ballots without having to get a new ballot.

Along with new ballots, new rules were introduced to determine how voters cast ballots. All voters are now required to present a driver’s license, the last four digits of their social security number, or a voter ID card.

All 50 states and DC are required to comply with HAVA standards, which are still in effect today, though minor changes have been introduced along the way.

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