All posts in tag: democracy

Karin Mac Donald When a polling place is someone’s garage, is a ‘redesign’ realistic?

I read with interest a recent opinion piece for WIRED magazine titled “America’s polling places desperately need a redesign.” In it, author Ted Selker — an inventor, design consultant and member of the Accessible Voting Team at UC Berkeley — describes the physical limitations of many polling places across the … More >

Karin Mac Donald Pollworker 101: How a few crazy hats can make our democracy stronger

It’s election season in California, which means that the state’s 58 county Registrar of Voters offices are buzzing with activities – everything from designing, printing and mailing ballots to finalizing voter-registration rolls and ordering precinct supplies. Each task that staff in these offices perform factors into an election’s success, and … More >

Camille Crittenden Cyberphysical democracy: online platforms and offline action

“The more digital the world becomes, the more appetite people have for real things.” (Alan Rusbriger of  The Guardian, in a  NY Times Magazine interview, March 7, 2014)

New platforms for civic engagement are leveraging the power of the Internet to bring constituents’ opinions to the doorstep of the politicians who … More >

Ethan Elkind The perils of rail transit and democracy

Americans seem to love democracy but hate many of the results. We want governmental power to be decentralized, whether it’s across three federal branches or with local control over sometimes regionally oriented land use decisions. But when the inevitable compromise that is required to get majority approval means a less-than-perfect … More >

Dan Farber The filibuster and the environment

In the short run, limiting the filibuster will strengthen the hands of environmental regulators. What about the long run effects?

The filibuster arguably served a useful function when it allowed the minority to block action in extraordinary cases where its views were especially intense.  It became no longer tolerable when it … More >

Philip Stark Leave election integrity to chance

How do we know whether the reported winners of an election really won?

There’s no perfect way to count votes. To paraphrase Ulysses S. Grant and Richard M. Nixon, “Mistakes will be made.” Voters don’t always follow instructions. Voting systems can be mis-programmed, as they were last year in Palm Beach, … More >

Robert Reich The two centers of unaccountable power in America, and their consequences

There are two great centers of unaccountable power in the American political-economic system today — places where decisions that significantly affect large numbers of Americans are made in secret, and are unchecked either by effective democratic oversight or by market competition.

One goes by the name of the “intelligence community” and … More >

Camille Crittenden Hurdles to voter registration limit democracy

Recent efforts to purge voter rolls, impose new restrictions on voter registration drives, and require new levels of identification in order to cast a ballot threaten to limit participation in the upcoming election, especially among low-income and minority voters. One study estimated that as many as 700,000 minority voters under … More >

Robert Reich Washington pre-occupied

The biggest question in America these days is how to revive the economy.

The biggest question among activists now occupying Wall Street and dozens of other cities is how to strike back against the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income, wealth, and political power in the top 1 … More >

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