Voters wait in long lines to cast their ballots on November 6, 2012 at Victory Elementary School in Bristow, Virginia.
Voters wait in long lines to cast their ballots on November 6, 2012 at Victory Elementary School in Bristow, Virginia. - 
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President Obama kicks off negotiations with members of Congress today over the so-called fiscal cliff. The issue has dominated discussions in Washington since the election, overshadowing important questions about the voting process.

"Both Florida and Ohio, where there were problems, cut back on their early voting periods," says Rick Hasen, a law professor and author of book The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown. Hasen argues the best way to improve the voting process is for officials to plan ahead and make the election period longer.

According to Hasen, new technologies, such as online voting, are not secure. And then there is the issue of voter confidence: "If there is not something that people can actually count, a piece of paper afterwards, I'm worried that voters won't have confidence in the election outcome if they disagree," he says.

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Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson