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  • A Lesson in Legislative Drafting: How Mistakes in 1899 Haunt New York’s Quest for New Voting Machines in 2008

    The late nineteenth-century saw a flurry of changes to state election laws, not dissimilar to changes we have seen across the United States since 2002. Then, as now, a grassroots reform movement seized on a series of Election Day problems to successfully push for vast changes in the way elections were run and votes were counted. Then, as now, new technology was at the center of the debate: specifically, reformers of the 1890s believed that new “lever voting machines” could save them from the corrupt, party controlled elections of the previous decades.