Understatement of the decade

Inquiry finds problems in 2004 election

Many of the voting and counting mishaps of the bizarre 2000 general election were not fixed four years later and brand new problems arose, including a rash of fraudulent voter registrations in some areas, congressional investigators say.

A study of the 2004 election by the Government Accountability Office concludes that paper ballots continued to be used extensively by small jurisdictions, many polling places struggled to manage heavy early voting and new federal requirements for voter identification were applied unevenly by local officials across the country. The GAO released the study Thursday.

Altogether, 41 states were granted extra time to meet federal requirements to build statewide voter registration lists, meaning most such lists were not in place for the 2004 vote.

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