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Election Changes Attract Monitors

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

This year's elections in D.C. are ushering in some big changes and that has attracted the attention of outside election monitors, who say they'll be on hand to make sure things go smoothly.

One of the first signs of changes from election reforms passed in 2009 is the early voting that's been going on since Labor Day. It used to be that only disabled people or military personnel could vote early, now anyone can.

Once voters reach the voting booth, they'll find other changes:same-day registration and touch-screen voting machines. The machines retain paper records and are designed to avoid vote-counting disasters that plagued previous elections.

All the changes have drawn concerns from some quarters over ballot security. Others applaud the new system as an expansion of ballot access. The Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights reflects a bit of both. It's created an Election Protection team to monitor polling places and created a hotline to help anyone with questions on how to vote.

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