Georgia, which now mails free voter IDs to every voting-aged citizen in the state, ranked well, with Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington state, and Colorado, among others, leading the way.
Remember when the Peachtree State received an F- for its statewide Diebold DREs back in the 2000s and SoS Kathy Cox thumbed her nose at her critics (pace Professor Heather Gerken)?
The Pew Center results are user-friendly, mapped onto an interactive wheel chart (click here) that allows easy, graphic comparison of overall ratings (EPI average) according to the size of the spokes of the whee,l as well as exact percentage of criteria found acceptable, presented alphabetically, state by state, in the center of the wheel.
The information will be of tremendous value to state-level election officials, activists and other interested people, scholars, and politicians, among others including the producers of Scandal and, it is hoped, other media programming that will make these findings accessible at this same, most effective level.
Most effective? Time will tell, but EI advocates are thrilled and following the series closely. The Pew Center's Election Performance Index may succeed in compelling some states to simply elevate their status, competitively motivated, as one distinguished scholar recommended. But relevant officials, those in charge, will also learn from the findings and benefit from this authoritative assessment and seek help from those who are doing better, as the SoS of Minnesota Mark Ritchie sought and received assistance from neighboring North Dakota's SoS Al Jaeger, praising him at a recent conference in Washington, DC.
North Dakota, unique among the states, does not require registration, thereby eliminating what Wendy Weister of NYU's Brennan Center for Justice, among other authorities, sees as the major stumbling block of the voting process, eliminating many from their right to vote because of technical and human error as much as purposeful corruption.
Another exciting development, announced at the DC conference last week, was spreading use of electronic registration, which is predicted to have a major impact on many obstructions and therefore add significantly to the voter rolls.
To conclude, despite ingenious machinations and accusations of conspiracy from what is slowly but steadily becoming more and more the minority party, the people's voice is being heard more and more as the barriers to the majority vote are being toppled.
The GOP is addressing this problem, less ingeniously, by attempting outreach to the expanding Hispanic community that helped keep the Democrats in DC in 2012. Along with African Americans, they now comprise 22 percent of the population (stats as of 2010) and, by mid-century, Hispanics are predicted to become the majority.
Who knows who will be in office by then and why? Let us hope that we'll still be able to say that change is good. Not so very long ago, from God's perspective anyway, we'd have characterized Republican values as Democratic, and vice versa. When, in a country called democratic, the system moves in democratic directions, throwing off reins that would impede this progress, then, since 2006, change has been good to we the people. When the smug smirk illuminating Karl Rove's jovial features morphed into hysteria on election night 2012, indeed, as a case in point, change was good.
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