"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International election observers predicted problems with new rules and technology for Tuesday's U.S. presidential election that were designed to avoid a repeat of Florida's counting fiasco four years ago.
Almost 90 observers from Europe's top rights watchdog -- conducting the group's first full-blown monitoring of a U.S. vote -- fanned out across the country on Monday on the lookout for snags with electronic voting machines and provisional ballots, said spokeswoman Urdur Gunnarsdottir. Ironically, the main worries of observers for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe relate to innovations that electoral authorities introduced hoping to avoid the problems from 2000.
Disputes in that election over recounts and voter eligibility spawned legal battles in Florida, a state Bush won by 537 votes to capture the White House following a long recount dispute ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. "There are often problems when you introduce new systems -- that's just a fact," Gunnarsdottir said. "We want to see how the United States implements the changes." "