Home » congress » New thoughts about election reform – Part III of a series

New thoughts about election reform – Part III of a series

Under the title link is a handy summary of the Carter-Baker report.

This report will be debated in the next few weeks and months as Congress and the states decide whether to implement its recommendations. The year 2006 – and mid-term elections – is just around the corner. Voting is one of the most sacred rights and responsibilities of every citizen who’s eligible.

I remember the first time I voted at a long open table on a paper ballot. At that time in my southwestern state, Republicans had a very hard time even fielding a slate of candidates. As I got more active in the League of Women Voters (a nonpartisan organization), I became convinced it was not good to have a “one-party” state. So I wished the Republicans well. Little did I know how that would turn out! Now it is again a one-party state, the OTHER party. I am no longer nonpartisan. Can’t afford it . . .

As I have surfed around the internet looking for information about voting issues, here are some on-going questions that need more study. I have included a representative sample of links that were helpful to me. What do you think?

  • A D.C. resident points out that the Carter-Baker proposal does nothing to fix the disenfranchisement of voters in the District of Columbia. My question: will fixing this require a constitutional amendment?
  • Voting for people with disabilities needs to remain protected. Visit this “Access for the Blind” site about Pre 2004 election evaluation of voting machines for people with disabilities. “HAVA,” the recently implemented Help America Vote Act commits to such protections. My question: how well do ADA activists feel that HAVA is working?
  • Low voter turnout may be a myth. Here is a good list of frequently asked questions about this issue. And this graph may be helpful. My question: how well does the United States stack up against other democracies in voter participation?
  • Absentee and overseas voting is covered at this very good Alternet post. My question: what is the effect of late breaking news on how people vote?
  • National security and ID cards may disenfranchise many voters. The Washington Post covers this issue here. My question: Is this the first step in an effort to implement national ID cards, with their potential for loss of civil liberties?
  • This site wants to abolish the Electoral College. If you want to know how the Electoral College works, Look here. My question: What would be the cost of going from a republic to a truly representative democracy; what would be the outcome of “choosing the best ad campaign”, for example?
  • Republicans court minorities, or do they? This article from Puerto Rico sheds light on how that territory felt about the issue. My question: how did the Democratic party lose the loyalty of minority voters, and how do we get it back?
  • Finally, here is an interesting Generation gap/Youth vote site. My question: is there really a generation gap, or was that a political party-created myth?

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