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Election Day Madness Predicted.

October 30, 2008

The Los Angeles Times warns that the expected high voter turnout next Tuesday could lead to a repeat of the Election Fiasco of 2000.

Voting rights advocates in Colorado, to take just one example, told a federal judge Wednesday that the names of nearly 30,000 voters were recently purged from the state registry in violation of federal law and ought to be restored by election day. In a compromise, those voters will be allowed to cast provisional ballots.

Across the battleground states, where Democrats had a 2-1 advantage in new registrations, voting-rights groups contend the eleventh-hour verifications demanded by Republican officials are attempts to disenfranchise the new voters.

The flood of millions of first-time voters could lead to crowded and contentious polling places across the country, triggering last-minute identity checks that could deny ballots to those whose names or addresses don’t match other government records.

A Brennan Center study of ballot designs found problems in North Carolina, where voters who choose a one-touch straight-party option on voting machines may not notice that the presidential race isn’t included and requires a separate vote. In Ohio, the candidates for the top office are split between two pages, which could lead some voters to invalidate their ballots by choosing one on each.

In Georgia, the voter registry has been scrutinized for potential noncitizen entries, and thousands of people — most with Latino names — have been flagged for identity checks if they seek to cast a ballot.

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