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Voting Procedures

The passage of the federal motor voter law eliminated restrictive voter registration requirements. A person may now register when applying for a state driver's license. In addition, a person may register at the polling place in his voting district by showing a state driver's license and having two witnesses vouch for him. Persons who are not able to vote at a polling place on election day may apply for an absentee ballot and vote ahead of time. These ballots are not opened until after the polls close on election day.

Since 1884, the United States has used the secret ballot. Originally paper ballots were used, but in many areas of the United States mechanical voting machines are employed. Voting systems are also in place in which a machine optically scans a paper ballot and tabulates the votes for each office. Enhanced technology has allowed quicker reporting of results and fewer arithmetical errors. Nevertheless, candidates may ask for a recount of the ballots, and in circumstances where the vote is very close or where FRAUD is alleged, each ballot is examined for accuracy and compliance with the law. The 2000 presidential election results in the state of Florida provided a vivid lesson in the complications that can arise from poor ballot design.

Generally the results of each election race are reported to a local board, which certifies the result to the state's SECRETARY OF STATE. The secretary, in turn, reviews the results and issues an official certificate of election to the successful candidate.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Vest to Water RightsVoting - The Growth Of Enfranchisement, Attempts At Disenfranchisement, Rock The Vote And Motor Voter, Voting Reforms