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Is Our Election System Broken? Can We Fix It?
March 09, 2007
On Friday, March 9, 2007, the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project hosted a conference entitled "Is Our Election System Broken? Can We Fix It?" The event took place at the American Enterprise Institute, 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Panelists at this AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project conference reviewed the election reform lessons to be learned from the 2006 midterm elections. They discussed the problems that occurred as well as the federal and state reforms to be considered in the near future.

To read a transcript from this event, go here, or scroll to the bottom of this page for a PDF version.

To listen to audio or view video from this event, go here.

Agenda

8:30 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. Panel I: The Lessons from November

Panelists: Rick Hasen, Loyola Law School
Gracia Hillman, Election Assistance Commission
Todd Rokita, Indiana Secretary of State

Moderator: John Fortier, AEI

10:30 a.m. Keynote Address: Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)

11:00 a.m. Panel II: What’s Brewing for Election Reform?

Panelists: Zachary Goldfarb, The Washington Post
Doug Chapin, electionline.org
Thomas Mann, The Brookings Institution

Moderator: Norman J. Ornstein, AEI

12:30 p.m. Adjournment
Featured Resources
A two-day workshop sought to decide upon a common data format for voting systems. Setting the requirements for a common data format will encourage transparency, interoperability, integration, and eventually assist in the transition to an electronic system of recordkeeping.
This issue brief summarizes the case in favor of modernization of voter registration procedures. It notes that more than two million voters were unable to vote in the 2008 election as a direct result of issues with registration.
Tova Andrea Wang makes the case for modernizing voter registration practices in the states, in the context of the upcoming gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. Both states have large percentages of recently naturalized and first generation Americans.
This study explores voters’ opinions of vote centers, finding that voters rate them better than traditional polling places and that poll workers are especially important under this alternative model.
Convened to provide guidance to the state of Utah in the areas of election law, the Commission made recommendations regarding voter registration. Joining a number of other groups in proposing automatic voter registration, the Commission adopted all of its recommendations unanimously.
Research Projects
Part of the Institute for Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, the Election Administration Research Center (EARC) aims to improve the administration of elections.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice.
electionline.org provides daily news updates on election reform issues, as well as deeper analysis of selected topics, including recent reports on voter registration, recount procedures, and the progress in implementing the Help America Vote Act since 2002.
As part of its broader research focus on elections, campaign ethics, campaign finance, and the legislative process, the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland is engaged in research projects on voting technology and ballot design specifically.
Dēmos is a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization founded in 2000. A multi-issue national organization, Dēmoscombines research, policy development, and advocacy to influence public debates and catalyze change.
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