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Took a quick break from the GiveList today to attend the Pew Center on Voting’s conference called Voting in America- The Road Ahead.

There was a really terrific lunchtime panel moderated by Pam Fessler of NPR with six state election officials and directors:  Robin Carnahan, Missouri, Trey Grayson, Kentucky, John Lindback, Oregon, Chris Thomas, Michigan, Brian Newby, Kansas and Warren Slocum of Mateo County, CA.

The most fun was hearing Lindback, who has been the leading administrator for that state’s conversation to all mail-in voting, ask, “Why do we keep doing what we have done?”  This was in the context of a discussion about voting registration.  Lindback fearlessly suggested that we should all have a number assigned to us when we are born as part of our birth certificate that has three purposes only:  for use as part of the census, for voting and to certify your death.  This idea was met with a surprisingly positively reaction from the crowd of mainly state election officials — and a cheer from me, of course!

There was a great deal of discussion of the need to unify voting procedures without federalizing them . Meaning getting all of the counties and all of their states to agree on a set method of voting – a Herculean task, but one worth undertaking.


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Allison Fine

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