Neerja Chowdhury, Fair Election Project, Leon County, Fla.
By Interview by Christine Y. Chen

(FORTUNE Magazine) – I LIVE IN NEW DELHI AND WRITE ABOUT POlitical affairs for the Indian Express. I was part of an international team that was invited to five states for pre-election observations. Another group will be back in November to watch the voting. Our host was Global Exchange, a San Francisco--based human rights organization. When I got the invitation, I found it unusual, because people from the U.S. go to Asia, Africa, and Latin America all the time to monitor elections. But this was the first time it's been done in reverse.

The world was as shocked by what happened in Florida in 2000 as the people of the U.S. were. This year half the population will be voting on new electronic machines. On the positive side, there is this tremendous energy and involvement of people making sure that things will go right. But I think there will be much greater absentee voting because of apprehension about machines. We asked the taxi driver who drove us to our hotel if he will vote. He said, "Yes, of course. But I don't know if it will be counted." -- Interview by Christine Y. Chen