24 October 2008

Both sides gird for legal challenges in US election

CINCINNATI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Americans used to wait for problems on election day before crying vote fraud, but both sides have already launched charges of disenfranchisement and cheating ahead of the Nov. 4 U.S. presidential election.

[...] There are now complaints or legal challenges over voting lists, absentee voting and erratic voting machines, and lawyers for both sides have descended on states where a close outcome is expected in case problems arise on election day.

The charges and counter-charges boil down to two basic concerns: conservatives worry ineligible voters will cast a ballot on election day, while liberals worry marginalized groups like racial minorities and the poor -- who tend to vote Democrat -- will be prevented from voting.

The concern is exacerbated this year because Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, has inspired millions of people who have never voted before, including young people and blacks, overwhelming what critics say was an already underfunded and piecemeal balloting system.


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