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Report: Voting problems in several swing states

  • Story Highlights
  • New report finds voting problems in states up for grabs this year
  • Report says 10 states are at risk, including Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin
  • Problems listed include lack of voting machines and registration glitches
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From Kitty Pilgrim
CNN Anchor/Correspondent
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(CNN) -- A new Government Accountability Office report on voting system testing finds that the Election Assistance Commission has not notified election officials across the country about electronic voting machine failures.

And a new study by Common Cause and the Century Foundation finds that 10 very vital swing states have significant voting problems that have not been addressed since the last election.

Those 10 states, according to Common Cause, are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In Colorado, 20,000 left polling places without voting in 2006 because of crashed computer registration machines and long lines. And this election day, Colorado will have another new registration system.

"You know, Colorado is two years behind many states in implementing a statewide voter database. ... This is a new system, and there's just a lot of unknowns as to whether or not voters will be successful," said Jenny Flanagan of Common Cause.

The problems listed in the report range from not enough voting machines to glitches with electronic registration poll books. Read the report

"We're seeing a lot of problems where people are being kicked off the data base rolls if their name is on as Alex as opposed to Alexander or they've put a middle initial in there name and it's not there," said Susan Greenhalgh of Voter Action. "These are problems that are being created by software restrictions that are stringent or glitches in some cases where the program is incorrectly bouncing people off the rolls."

For voters with problems in registration, provisional ballots are provided.

But Tova Wang of Common Cause said there is a "very good chance, with all of the new voters that we are going to see this year, that there will be a big demand for the use of provisional ballots."

"And yet I see nothing, except in one of the 10 states, that the states are doing to ensure that there will be enough provisional ballots on hand so that they don't run out of them. Ideally, provisional ballots should be on hand for 10 percent of the voting population," she added. Video Watch more on the fight for swing states »

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Common Cause said it's not too late to fix many of these problems. Although many states don't have the laws on the books to require some safeguards, they can act now to make sure that there are enough back up ballots at the polls, workers are properly trained and there are enough poll workers on election day.

Denver, Colorado, for example, is going back to a paper poll book registration for this election.

CNN political producer Ed Hornick contributed to this report.

All About Elections and VotingVoting MethodsU.S. Government Accountability Office

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