Fears mount as election nears

Electronic voting may mean trouble at poll and in the counting of ballots, activists warn.

E-voting activists are warning of an illegitimate election next week, the Kansas City Star reports.

“This is not going to be a legitimate election, and there’s nothing we can do to change that,” said Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org, a group critical of some election law changes.

“We’re not expecting a 2000-like meltdown,” said Dan Seligson of the nonpartisan Electionline.org, which has surveyed the country’s electoral preparedness. “But we do have the ingredients for some serious problems.”

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Activists are also worried about electronic ballot counting. And all the concerns are leaving voters confused. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center showed one in three African-American voters believe it is “not too or not at all likely” their votes will even be counted.

In Missouri political leaders say they're working hard to monitor the situation.

“We’ll have teams … making sure the election process is maintained,” said Republican spokesman Paul Sloca. “If we see massive problems, obviously we’ll look to the courts,” said Jack Cardetti, Sloca’s Democratic counterpart.

In the last week, the state is a hot bed of election turmoil:

  • The FBI is investigating thousands of new voter registrations in Kansas City, looking for evidence of fraud.
  • Prompted by its Republican director, the St. Louis election board sent letters to 5,000 voters, asking them to verify recent registrations. Some critics called that illegal.
  • The state Supreme Court has thrown out the law requiring voters to provide a picture ID at the polling place, even though other courts, in other states, have upheld photo ID. A non-picture ID is still required, although in practice, not everyone who votes provides it.

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