He said a repeat of the irregularities of the much-disputed 2000
election - which gave President George W Bush the narrowest of wins -
Mr Carter, a veteran observer of polls worldwide, also accused
Florida's top election official of "bias".
His remarks come ahead of the first TV debate between Mr Bush and John
They are expected to discuss the war on Iraq and homeland security
during the programme on Thursday.
It is unconscionable to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral
practices in any nation
Both men have cut back on their campaign touring to go behind closed
doors and rehearse the arguments and techniques they will need during a
series of three debates to be held over two weeks.
Each has held mock debates with aides standing in for their opponent.
Tens of millions of television viewers are expected to watch
Mr Kerry, a debating champion at high school and college, will hope it
can help him claw back a deficit in the polls variously put between 3%
In an article in the Washington Post newspaper, Mr Carter, a Democrat,
said that he and ex-President Gerald Ford, a Republican, had been asked
to draw up recommendations for changes after the last vote in Florida
was marred by arguments over the counting of ballots.
Mr Carter said the reforms they came up with had still not been
He accused Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood, a Republican, of
trying to get the name of independent presidential candidate Ralph
Nader included on the state ballot, knowing he might divert Democrat
He also said: "A fumbling attempt has been made recently to disqualify
22,000 African Americans (likely Democrats), but only 61 Hispanics
(likely Republicans), as alleged felons."
Mr Carter said Florida Governor Jeb Bush - brother of the president -
had "taken no steps to correct these departures from principles of fair
and equal treatment or to prevent them in the future".
"It is unconscionable to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral
practices in any nation," he added.
"With reforms unlikely at this late stage of the election, perhaps the
only recourse will be to focus maximum public scrutiny on the
suspicious process in Florida."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/09/27 14:55:53 GMT
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