Elections in the USA are run on a state basis – so in effect, the presidential election is not one big election, but 50 state-based elections, run according to state rules and laws. This is a result of federalism, enshrined but not codified in the US Constitution. This has meant some states have begun experimenting with new voting methods – Arizona with online voting and others with using electronic voting machines. This has caused great controversy over the lack of a paper trail for those votes cast on such machines, particularly if something goes wrong as it did in Carteret County, North Carolina.
This is even more controversial if you look at this youtube clip, highlighting the problems of calibration that these machines can encounter -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdpGd74DrBM
Taken together, this story is further evidence for the consequences of federalism in the USA (15 marks) or to debate in a 45 mark question on how federal the USA is in reality.