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KEEP ELECTION REFORM SEPARATE FROM CAMPAIGN FINANCE ISSUE

The 2000 election exposed a number of flaws in the way this country elects our president. The confluence of errors was embarrassing. . . . Party affiliation aside, surely no one would approve of the presidency of the United States being decided by the limitations of technology - especially when it's so obvious that we can do better. . . . It was encouraging to hear President Bush and Republican and Democratic members of Congress agree that the electoral process should be improved to decrease the likelihood that voters will be confused and minimize the chance of spoiled ballots. . . .

To Florida's credit, state officials are not waiting on the federal government to suggest changes. At a statewide meeting of election supervisors . . . a committee was formed to study new voting systems and to establish a statewide system that "makes the will of the voter self-evident." . . .

It's unclear now exactly what federal changes might be recommended. . . . It's important, though, that suggested changes be debated on their own merits. Already, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, of Mississippi, is suggesting that any proposals to change federal election regulations be attached to Arizona Sen. John McCain's proposed legislation to enact campaign finance reform.

Campaign finance reform is a separate issue, and wedding the two issues is likely to bog down the process of meaningful reform. . . .

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