Our Constitution decentralizes our election procedures over 13,000 counties and towns, with each counting its votes in its own way. This basic framework is sound, but local practices are too often unsound. In 2005, a bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, headed by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, issued 87 recommendations on how to clean up our system. Sadly, most have been ignored or implemented only haltingly…

The potential for noncitizens voting is real. A new study by the office of Colorado’s secretary of state, Republican Scott Gessler, has found that 11,805 state residents who were not citizens when they obtained a driver’s license were registered to vote.

Robert Pastor, the former executive director of the Carter-Baker commission, says his work on it made clear to him a sad irony: While Americans frequently demand observers and best practices in the elections of other countries, we are often blind to the need to scrutinize our own elections. Wisconsin’s snafu reminds us that we still have time to address problems with our own voting procedures before finding ourselves in pitched partisan battles over the 2012 elections.