A Step for Voting Reform

The Nation, January 31, 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

A Step for Voting Reform


Something good for American democracy happened on January 6. In its first potentially decisive consideration of a challenge to a presidential election in 128 years, at least some members of Congress acknowledged the decrepit state of our election system and pledged to do something about it.

Now, as happened four years ago, with generally disappointing results, election reform is again on the table. We progressives must do our utmost to keep it there until real reform is won.

That will require making it a high priority and continuing the kind of effort and coordination among civil rights, labor and other constituencies that helped persuade Senator Barbara Boxer to join Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones in not accepting Ohio's electors. Although in the end she and Tubbs Jones were unsuccessful in their quest, Boxer's action led many of her fellow senators to join her in condemning "a flawed system which must be fixed now."

Representative John Conyers, who as much as any one person deserves credit for January 6, has announced that he will soon be introducing an election reform bill. And, after years of talk, there is something approaching a consensus--at least among those interested in easy, accurate voting and fair campaigns--on the essential reforms that are needed.

Nationally, we want a floor on voting mechanics and rights. We want a national right to vote, ideally enshrined in the Constitution, to guard against voter suppression or other basic unfairness. We want universal registration, recognizable in every election district in the country, and multiple opportunities before election time to prove required residence. We want consistency in ballot design, and maximum ease of use. We also want consistent, nationwide rules on voter ID requirements and on how to count and recount ballots. We want every state and national election day to be a public holiday. We want nonpartisan election administration. We want computer voting technology that can be examined by people outside the companies providing it and a secure paper trail on all votes cast. We want a nonpartisan national election commission--populated by recognized experts in voting machine technology, statistical analysis and polling, and national and comparative politics--to evaluate the accuracy and representativeness of our election performance regularly and make recommendations for improvement.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

A Step for Voting Reform
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?