Thank you for following the work of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project. We’ll continue looking at the issues of election reform at AEI and Brookings. For new work on congressional redistricting, please visit www.redistrictingproject.org.

Protecting the Integrity of the Polling Place: A Constitutional Defense of Poll Watcher Statutes (PDF)
Academics and advocates alike find sending observers to polling places on Election Day extremely useful, but in some states like Ohio, their efforts have been challenged under state law. This article from the Harvard Journal on Legislation explored the constitutionality of poll watcher statutes, arguing that laws permitting their presence at voting locations are permissible under the U.S. Constitution.

To read the article, go here (PDF).
Featured Resources
In this piece, the Election Reform Project's Jessica Leval reviews Heather Gerken's book, The Democracy Index, which details a proposal for creating a ranking system for state and local governments based on the performance of their elections.
Through an Election Day field study, the authors examine the commonality of lines at polling stations. They find inefficiencies in all three steps of casting a ballot, which they define as voter arrivals, voter is served by poll workers, and voter interaction with voting machine.
Post-election audits determine whether discrepancies between hand and machine ballot counts exist. Analysis of the 2008 election results in Connecticut find discrepancies in the vote counts caused by hand counting errors or vote misallocation, not as a result of machine tabulations.
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.
Although the Senate recount in Minnesota resulted in a winner, questions still remained regarding the classification of unopened, rejected absentee ballots. A district court concluded that these ballots are public data and that the plaintiffs, state television news organizations, may view them.
Research Projects
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.
Election Law @ Moritz, run through Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University, contains both explanation and commentary on a wealth of election reform issues from a legal perspective.
FairVote develops and promotes practical strategies to improve elections at the local, state and national levels.
Project Vote is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) that works to empower, educate, and mobilize low-income, minority, youth, and other marginalized and under-represented voters.
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.
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
www.aei.org
The Brookings Institution
www.brookings.edu
© Copyright 2015, AEI
and The Brookings Institution