Voters in Florida were still waiting to cast their ballots more than six hours after polls closed on Election Day, registered voters in Ohio were told they were not on voter rolls and new voter ID laws in Pennsylvania led to confusion at voting places. Election Day problems have become commonplace in the United States in recent general elections. But a comment by President Barack Obama offered a glimmer of hope that problems that have dogged voting for years might finally be addressed.
In his election victory speech, made while some people still waited in line to cast ballots in Florida six hours after polls closed, Obama took a moment to point out that he was aware of problems with the electoral system.
“I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time,” Obama said in Chicago. “By the way, we have to fix that.”
That heartened supporters of election reform, who have called for streamlining election laws, updating antiquated registration systems and even expanding early voting to ease Election Day crowding at the polls.
But state governments are fiercely protective of their control over election law and are resistant to any sort of national system. Republicans and Democrats have also balked at a national voter registration system.