About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Can We Make Elections Better?

My posts about Tuesday's presidential election (Northampton County Elections Office Under Fire . . . Again, Northampton County's Election - "Screw Up of Epic Proportions"? and One Lehigh County Poll Watcher's Experience) resulted in a lot of interesting comments from judges of elections and poll watchers. In addition to that, I've been speaking over the past two days with Santa Bannon-Shiles. She's the President of Northampton County's League of Women Voters. She also happens to be a judge of elections, having served for the past eight years.

These judges of elections are a treasure trove of ideas. One small example. Santa tells me judges of elections should prepare signs for the voters in their precincts to minimize confusion. That may seem minor, but not to Bushkill Township voters who stood in the wrong line for over an hour. Another point she made is that voter lists should be given to inspectors, who can go through lines to make sure people are at the right precinct.

At last Thursday's Northampton County Council meeting, at least before member Dertinger's uninformed diatribe, Director of Administration John Conklin told council that he and the elections office would be conducting an "after action review" to identify areas of improvement.

Here's a suggestion.

How about an "after action review" for elections judges and poll workers? Santa tells me that never happens, yet they are uniquely situated to identify ways to improve our elections as well as educate each other.


Kathy said...

I went to both the wrong voting location and the wrong line. Do I win a prize or something? My township had a precinct map on their website, but you couldn't read road names, even when zooming out the map. I took a wild guess which one was mine and got it wrong. (My mistake for not investigating before Election Day.). When I discovered I was at the wrong place, I went to the right one, only to get in the wrong line. My card shows "Precinct 4," so it made sense for me to stand at the "District 4" table. Come to find out I had to stand in the "District 5" line. Many others in line were equally confused. Yeah, we need help.

Anonymous said...


1) Make them shorter! (We've endured way too much this last time around)

2) Mandate that they be publically funded. (They spent an obscene amount of money)

3) Don't let renters vote.

I know, this isn't what your blog was gettin' at....sorry, I couldn't help myself ;-)

Blah Society said...

Make elections simple - Don't Vote!


Anonymous said...

The Bushkill Township line thing was ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

2) Mandate that they be publically funded. (They spent an obscene amount of money)

Obama lied about accepting funds and went on to spend 750,000,000 - one-third of which is untraceable. He outspent his publicly financed opponent three to one. His campaigned joked in the final days about not knowing where to spend it all. Yeah.

The left got their guy and don't want to talk about the dirty details. Even this blog has been unwilling to call him out. Obama had lots of friends. Primarily so-called watchdogs who were in the tank and committed sins of omission on this subject.

There'll be no more talk of public financing for a while. Bernie and the gang need to get this guy re-elected and Obama was back to fund raising the day after the election.

Anonymous said...

For those Republicans who feel that the Dems cheated, try to remember CREEP: Committee to Re-Elect the President. This was for the right wing darling Richard M. Nixon. Literally bags of illegal money from all over the world fed that baby.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"There'll be no more talk of public financing for a while. Bernie and the gang need to get this guy re-elected"

Wrong. I voted for Obama, true, but it was a close call for me.

I support publicly funded elections and have advocated clean election laws. I still do. Just on a local level, I can see how money ruins everything.

As far as Obama's "untraceable" money goes, that's because so much came from small donors to whom disclosure laws have no application. Also, I never considered his decision to go solo as a lie. He changed his mind when it became apparent that he would get more money. I don't see anything unethical or immoral about that.

Anonymous said...

Tip of the Koolaid Bernie! One quarter of a billion in untraceable campaign money and you think it's fine. The guy said he'd accept public financing and lied - and you don't have half the balls to call an outright lie, a lie.

Your Clintonesque triangulation aside, if it were an R who pulled Barry's shit, you'd be on him like a cheap suit.

Phony. Phony. Phony.

And you want us to imagine a new direction with a guy who just played the crooked old system you abhor like a Stradivarius?

He's as crooked as any old school Chicago politician. And you had the temerity to mention this some months ago before you joined Barry's cult. See you Bernie. Sorry to have lost another to the ends justifies the means crowd. I guess he IS the savior, though.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:13,

The difference between you and me is you obviously hate the guy. SDo when people give him small sums of money, you call it "untraceable." When he changes his mind about accepting public funding, which would mean he would get less money, you call it a lie.

I just don't see the sinister dark influences that you see. Had Obama been an R, my attitude would be the same it is now.

My decision to support Obama was a close one. In fact, after listening to McCain's concession speech, I wondered if I had done the right thing.

Where we part company is that I think these are both very good men. And now he is your President. He has asked you for your help. Why don't you give it to him?

Those who think Obama is some starry, wide-eyed liberal are in for a surprise. He is a centrist, and I believe he is here to govern, not make ideological changes.

If you believe the way we fund campaigns must change, i hope that you will support those who propose changing the system, even those who are Dems.

Anonymous said...

McCain was a pathetic candidate who, however, promised he'd take public funds and did.

Obama promised he'd take public funds and didn't.

Equivocate anyway that salves your conscience, Bernie.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Bernard P. Fife said...

Maybe requiring an IQ test would make elections better. Scoring below a certain level would disqualify you from voting. If not an IQ test at least a Civics test should be administered.

Anonymous said...

What the US Constitution has to say (or not say) about voting.

Hmmm, interesting! This is all left to the States to decide.

Mr. Fife, if you start a petition, I'll sign it!