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Counting Electoral Votes--Joint Session of the House and Senate Held Pursuant to the Provisions of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1

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Location: Washington, DC


COUNTING ELECTORAL VOTES--JOINT SESSION OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE HELD PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 1 (HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES--JANUARY 6, 2005) -- (House of Representatives - January 06, 2005)

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding, and I rise in support of the challenge to Ohio's electors.

After the 2000 Presidential Election we knew we had to make changes in our elections system so American voters were confidant that their vote had been registered and counted. The 2000 election taught us that many of our election machines were outdated, and unfortunately, some of our election officials served their political party over the voter who should have the right to vote on Election Day.

Three years ago, Congress approved landmark election reform legislation, the Help America Vote Act, that was supposed to fix many of the election problems we encountered in Florida and other States in 2000.

We've spent more than $3 billion over the last 3 years to correct the voting problems of the past, but despite all this funding we still heard horror stories of Americans in lower income and minority areas having to wait more than 4 hours to cast their votes because of the lack of enough ballot machines. We have to do more to ensure that every American has an equal chance to vote--meaning we need to make sure working election machines are available at all polling places.

The nationwide use of provisional ballots is a direct result of that legislation. The problem is that while Congress can require that States allow voters to use provisional ballots, it has little control over how election officials count those provisional ballots.

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