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The volcanic core fueling the 2016 election

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 26, 2016

Not a day passes that I don’t get a call from the media asking me to compare Bernie Sanders’s and Hillary Clinton’s tax plans, or bank plans, or health-care plans. I don’t mind. I’ve been teaching public policy for much of the last 35 years. I’m a policy wonk. But detailed policy proposals are as … Continue reading »

If voters of color don’t vote on Tuesday, don’t be surprised

Lisa García Bedolla, chancellor's professor, education and political science, and director of the Institute of Governmental Studies | November 2, 2014

The New York Times recently published a story on the dramatic advances in campaign data analytics since the 2008 election. According to the Times, “modern political campaigns home in on their key voters with drone-like precision, down to the smallest niche — like Prius-driving single women in Northern Virginia who care about energy issues.” The … Continue reading »

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

Karin Mac Donald, director, Election Administration Research Center | October 31, 2014

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 country (where everything from wheelchair … Continue reading »

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

Karin Mac Donald, director, Election Administration Research Center | October 29, 2014

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 there’s little-to-no room for error: … Continue reading »

The Brazilian election and Central Bank independence

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | September 27, 2014

Brazilians will head to the polls on Oct. 5 to vote in a tight presidential race. President Dilma Rousseff’s leading challenger is Socialist Party candidate Marina Silva. A key component of Silva’s economic platform is her support for a more independent central bank. Central bank independence, long a topic of interest to economists, is now capturing wide … Continue reading »

We’re more partisan than ever. Now what?

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | November 7, 2012

This morning my colleague at the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, Jason Marsh, talked with Righteous Mind author Jonathan Haidt about how psychological differences between liberals and conservatives fueled this election’s partisan divide — and what we can do to overcome it. Here is an excerpt; you may also wish to read the entire … Continue reading »

Voting at your polling place: Answers to some common questions

Bonnie E. Glaser, former research specialist, Election Administration Research Center | November 5, 2012

Registration and voting in California is by county.  You must cast your vote in the county in which you are registered.  The last day to register (or re-register if you moved, changed your name, etc) was October 22, 2012.  For the first time Californians could register online up until midnight on the 22nd. 1. To … Continue reading »

Hurdles to voter registration limit democracy

Camille Crittenden, Executive Director, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute | September 24, 2012

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 age 30 may be unable … Continue reading »

Post-election thought: Women get what they want

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | November 3, 2010

Now that the 2010 election is safely over, we can get down to the fun part: arguing about what it all means. There will be – as there always is – a lot of temptation to boil it all down to one or at most two factors: the economy, most likely. Certainly economic angst has … Continue reading »

Two cheers for PG&E “Democracy”

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | June 13, 2010

The results of last Tuesday’s primary elections were mixed. But one result gives me hope: the failure of Prop 16, PG&E’s so-called Taxpayers Right to Vote ballot initiative. I am cheered not so much because of what the proposition was about (requiring a vote to municipalize utilities), as because of the way in which it … Continue reading »