Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-1-2008


Although the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) features extensive mandates, its enforcement provisions are weaker than those found in previous federal election reform laws,including the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act. Activists argue this limited enforcement power is a failing of the Act. Congress may have chosen to adopt weak enforcement mechanisms due to political posturing, lack of funding, faulty technology, or lobbying by the states. Regardless of the reason behind this choice, stronger enforcement mechanisms in HAVA would, paradoxically, fail to encourage election reform or deter election reform altogether.