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Hope and Experience: Election Reform through the Lens of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project
JUNE 29, 2010
Hope and Experience: Election Reform through the Lens of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project
We launched the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project in June 2005 with the encouragement and financial support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Five years later we bring the project to a close. We take this opportunity to reflect on the state of election administration in the United States almost a decade after the extended and controversial Florida vote count in the 2000 presidential election and suggest how additional changes in technology, election law and administrative practices might further strengthen American elections in the years ahead.
Featured Resources
This report studies voter registration systems in sixteen countries and in four provinces in Canada, assessing different technologies. From these results the authors propose strategies taken from these countries' experiences that can be applied to voter registration in the United States.
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.
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.
The Committee to Modernize Voter Registration, composed of former state and federal lawmakers, state election administrators, election law experts, and academics was recently formed to advocate for an automated, transferable system to replace today's out-of-date and patchwork system.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision regarding the state of Washington’s law prohibiting the right to vote for felons. The court’s decision, that the law violated civil rights protections, conflicts with three other federal appeals court decisions.
Research Projects
This project aims to evaluate the current state of reliability and uniformity of U.S. voting systems; to establish uniform attributes and quantitative guidelines for performance and reliability of voting systems; and to propose specific uniform guidelines and requirements for reliable voting systems
FairVote develops and promotes practical strategies to improve elections at the local, state and national levels.
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 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.
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.
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