December 9, 2008

Ten Important Election Questions

Today is the first day of the PEW/JHET conference, "Voting in America: The Road Ahead." Having the privilege of being invited to participate on a panel at the event has caused me to reflect on my assigned topic, imagine we could start over-how would you design an election system? Many important questions result and I would like to share ten with you.

1. Are our elections too important to be handed over to private sector companies who are driven by profit?

2. How do we ensure that elections are conducted properly?

3. Should there be a level of transparency to the extent that everyone knows how vote-counting software works -that the votes were totaled correctly and individual votes were processed as they were intended?

4. Is universal voter registration a good idea?

5. Should we give a property tax credit for service as a poll worker?

6. Would turnout improve if we held elections on a Saturday rather than Tuesday?

7. How do we adequately fund elections in difficult economic times?

8. Should colleges and universities offer a course of study in election administration?

9. How could a "Yelp" type rating system be implemented for poll workers?

10.How do we create an election system that is easy to understand, easy to use, reliable, accurate and transparent in all the major areas of election administration - people, processes and technology?

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