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 This outdated, paper-based system is not only inefficient and costly, but prone to inaccuracy.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
Jul 28, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama, center left , and Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn review an honor guard at the National Palace in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia, Monday, July 27, 2015. (AP)

The United States and Africa. What we see in and beyond President Obama’s big visit.

Jul 28, 2015
A portion of the cover of Julia Pierpont's debut novel, "Among the Ten Thousand Things." (Courtesy Random House)

Writer Julia Pierpont is getting rave reviews for her debut novel — “Among the Ten Thousand Things” — about a marriage in crisis. She joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 27, 2015
The Snow BBQ best, in WBUR's kitchen. (Sarah Platt / WBUR)

From secret sauces and rubs to hickory and folklore, we will celebrate and sample the best barbecue in the land. Bring napkins!

 
Jul 27, 2015
Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council 42nd annual meeting Thursday, July 23, 2015, in San Diego. (Left) Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks to local residents during a meet and greet at Cecil's Cafe, Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Marshalltown, Iowa. (Right) (AP)

Sixteen Republicans are running for president. Two of them — Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina — join us.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The News: July 24, 2015
Friday, Jul 24, 2015

You all really, really love to listen to our week in the news segments (that’s great) and we wonder why. Plus: Alex Trebek can’t really sing, in case you were wondering.

More »
2 Comments