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2000s, Improving Elections, Election Administration

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Election Day Front Line: Poll Workers

by Jeanette Senecal
Well-managed polling places and well-trained poll workers are vital on Election Day and in the early voting process in many states. In 2006, despite millions of dollars spent on improving election administration, polling places continued to struggle with problems, and voters suffered the consequences. What can we do to help improve poll worker recruitment and training?

Thinking Outside the Ballot Box

by William H. Woodwell, Jr.
Early voting and the use of “vote centers” are just two innovations that elections officials around the country are experimenting with in their efforts to make the voting process more efficient and more convenient—to put the “service” back into “Voters Services.” This article presents the thoughts of elections officials in various locales across the country. Included are the early voting experiences of Clark County, NV, and Travis County, TX, and the “vote center” innovations in Larimer County, CO, and Boone County, MO.

Redistricting Reform

by Thomas E. Mann
Redistricting, a deeply political process, has long been a prominent and much-criticized feature of American politics. Incumbents actively seek to minimize the risk to themselves via bipartisan gerrymanders or to gain additional seats for their party through partisan gerrymanders. Recent developments, including the sharp decline in competitive seats in the House and in most state legislatures and the growing ideological polarization between the two major parties, have given new urgency to this issue and precipitated the most serious effort to reform redistricting processes in many years.

Emerging Issues in Election Reform

The League’s March 2005 forum highlighted a number of urgent priorities for policymakers, election officials and others. The League has refined the priorities into four key steps to bring our election system back to health: professionalization of the system; a new focus on service for the “customer,” the voter; 21st century research and development; and new federal resources and commitment.

Election 2004 and HAVA: What Next?

by Shirley Tabata Ponomareff
Long lines and long waits were the big news for Election 2004. A number of factors are being examined as likely causes for the long lines. Whatever the causes, the long waits posed an unacceptable barrier to citizen participation. Voter mobilization and voter protection made huge contributions, and voter participation was high. Nevertheless, voters encountered serious problems with voter registration systems, provisional ballots, voting machines and inadequate polling place procedures. This story includes sidebars on the youth vote, election protection efforts, pre-election HAVA implementation survey and Election Day surveys.

Safeguarding Your Vote

by Kelly Ceballos
As part of its continuing effort to assist state and local election officials in their implementation concerns related to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the League of Women Voters has produced a second report, Helping America Vote: Safeguarding the Vote. This new report urges election officials to safeguard our votes in 2004 by providing a more secure foundation for two key components of election administration: voting systems and voter registration systems. As Election Day nears, there are real steps that our nation’s election officials can take to protect our votes in November.

Election Day and You: 5 Things You Need to Know

by Kelly Ceballos
Well in advance of November 2, the League of Women Voters has launched a nationwide voter education effort, 5 Things You Need to Know on Election Day, to familiarize voters with new election procedures and empower them to take action to personally ensure their vote is counted. To this end, the League has produced a quarter million 5 Things voter cards that are being distributed across the country. This year many voters will find some things different at their polling place, and these changes will make some of them feel like first-time voters. The League’s 5 Things gives long-time and first-time voters the information they need to look out for themselves and their votes on Election Day.