“One big flaw in how Americans run elections”

Kim Zetter for Politico:

Stein’s experience is far from unique: Time and again, people seeking answers about perplexing results or election anomalies encounter obstacles. Often the only examination occurs if parties or candidates request a recount — which means voters are largely at the mercy of partisan actors to even raise the questions.

The truth is that two decades after the Florida 2000 election debacle created a rift in the country, and four years after Russian interference in the 2016 election profoundly deepened that divide, the U.S. lacks satisfactory, uniform mechanisms for resolving questions about elections and verifying results.

The U.S. lags behind most other countries in this regard, said David Carroll, director of the Democracy Program for the Carter Center, which has monitored foreign elections since 1989 — even if many reasons exist to have overall confidence in the American electoral process.

“The United States has many areas where we don’t meet core international standards,” he said.

Almost every other democracy, he said, has uniform, nationwide election procedures; a central, independent election commission to oversee them and conduct investigations; a single, national election system; and an unvarying system for resolving disputes. “Whereas in the United States, there [are] 50 different election processes, 50 different sets of state laws,” Carroll said.

Also uncommon elsewhere: The U.S. places large portions of its electoral process under the control of elected state and local politicians, raising the potential for partisan interference.

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