Tuesday night in Houston, Texas the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University held a screening of HBO Films’ RECOUNT, which we discussed here yesterday. The screening reunited the namesakes of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform, former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
While this RECOUNT is for fun and profit, the Houston Chronicle reports it’s also a wish of the filmmakers and those involved to spark a discussion about the state of our voting system, much like we try to do.
“There’s still a degree of unfinished business out there when you look at the election system in our country,” Baker said.
Carter said the most important change would be requiring the use of a “paper trail” — receipts of a sort, that would help voters verify that their ballots have been cast as they intended on electronic voting machines. Paper trail equipment has been put to use in some states; Texas officials have resisted it.
Baker said the nation most urgently needs unified voter registration lists and the photo ID requirement. Democrats in the Texas Senate shot down a photo ID proposal last year; this year the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the requirement in Indiana.
Still, Carter said the country has made progress on the issue since 2000, if for no other reason than the commission headed by the two men made recommendations that can still serve as an election reform bible. Baker proudly pointed out that Supreme Court justices mentioned the commission report in some of their opinions on the Indiana case.
For more information about RECOUNT, click here.