90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Rethinking Voting

America’s voting problem.  Long lines.  Tangled ballot counts.  Overall low turnout.  How do we fix it?

Voters stand in line at a Fort Myers, Fla. church late Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP)

Voters stand in line at a Fort Myers, Fla. church late Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP)

The biggest question on Election Day in a healthy democracy should be, “Who won?” Not, “Did the voting system work?”

But last week, once again, millions of Americans faced Election Day wondering if the vote would produce a good, clean result, or we’d be plunged into days or weeks of fighting over a tight, tangled vote. Lines were long. Ballots ran out. Voters were turned away. Counts went late. Lawyers were lined up to brawl. Voter suppression was charged.

Thank goodness we had a clear outcome. What if we hadn’t?

This hour, On Point: fixing American voting.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nathaniel Persily, professor of Law and Political Science and the Director of the Center for Law and Politics at Columbia Law School.

Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

Rob Richie, executive director of Fair Vote.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “Election Day saw news story after news story about interminable lines at polling stations. In some areas, people waited for two hours, three hours, or more. To many observers, it seemed ludicrous that a country as advanced and as wealthy as the United States can’t figure out how to hold a decent election.”

Fox News “The state’s election was marred by a series of problems. The biggest was the long lines, which were particularly bad in Miami-Dade where the wait stretched on for hours, exacerbated in part by the sheer length of the ballot — a whopping 10 pages.”

Brennan Center “Our nation’s ramshackle voter registration system does not work for 21st century America. This outdated, paper-based system is not only inefficient and costly, but prone to inaccuracy. Worse, the clunky system leaves off millions of eligible voters or contains errors in their records — such as misspelled names or mistyped addresses — that prevent them from voting or having their votes counted. It is time to harness new technology to modernize our voter registration system — adding more than 50 million eligible Americans to the rolls, permanently.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

 
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment