Video: How to fix the broken presidential primary process in 7 minutes

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Many voters—and even party insiders—view our primary system as outdated and blunder-prone. Exactly 1,357 delegates will be up for grabs today on Super Tuesday, the closest thing the U.S. has to a national primary, with 14 states—and American Samoa—casting their votes. That raises the question: Why don’t we have a national primary, where everyone votes on the same day? That idea, and numerous others, have been floated over the years as solutions to what many voters and even party insiders view as an outdated, blunder-prone presidential primary system. Read Full Story

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These behavioral science tweaks could boost voter turnout during a pandemic election (even if it’s voting by mail)

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This organization found little ways to help increase midterm voter turnout in 2018. Next up: a 2020 election in a pandemic. Fears of voter suppression are firmly in the minds of many Americans in the lead-up to 2020, especially following the April primary election in Wisconsin when the Supreme Court refused to allow the state to make changes to its voting process, forcing 450,000 people to turn out in person during the height of a global pandemic and preventing an untold number of people from voting at all because they decided to stay home. Still, intentional suppression is just one of many reasons people don’t cast ballots. There are also unintentional barriers, such as complex or outdated registration systems, as well as lack of motivation or know-how on the part of voters. Read Full Story

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A simple solution to safe pandemic voting: Close streets to let people vote outside

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A new guide helps cities understand how to best use space to maximize distance and speed on Election Day. A record number of people have already voted in the U.S. presidential election—more than 8 million Americans had voted by October 9, more than 50 times above the number that had voted by the same point in 2016. But even as many states push for voting by mail as a safe alternative in a pandemic, it’s possible that in-person voting could surge on Election Day, with many voters questioning mismanagement of the Postal Service or if their ballots will get thrown out on a technicality. If it looks anything like what happened in some state primaries , people might have to wait in line for hours. Read Full Story

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It’s National Voter Registration Day: Here’s what that means

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This year’s presidential and congressional elections may be the most important in our lifetimes. Don’t miss your chance to have your say. This year’s election is a bad one to miss because of something as trivial as forgetting to register to vote. And yet many millions of people miss out on the chance to vote every election for that very reason. Sixty percent of eligible voters never get asked to register. That’s part of the reason for National Voter Registration Day —to remind people to register to vote, or to update their registration. Read Full Story

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Long lines, stressed poll workers, COVID-19: How Stanford d.school is using design to streamline voting

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If poll workers have the tools they need, there’s less chance for voter disenfranchisement on site. This presidential election is like no other, and the combination of an extremely fraught contest and a global pandemic is putting the electoral system in a pressure cooker. There are already long lines to vote in cities around the country —and e ven so, early voters are turning out and casting ballots in record numbers . And polling sites are creaking forward to meet the demand. Read Full Story

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Abolish the Electoral College? We could also just work around it

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The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is trying to create a coalition of states with 270 electoral votes to promise to support the presidential candidate who gets the most votes. Colorado voters seem to have confirmed the state would join. Every time there’s a massive divergence between the results of the popular vote and the results in the Electoral College—as there was in 2000 and 2016—our electoral system comes under scrutiny. It may be how the Constitution was written, but critics argue that the system gives people in reliably red or reliably blue states much less sway in the election than the people in swing states. Republican votes in California, for instance, play essentially no role in electing the president. The arguments are effective: Three in five Americans would support ending the Electoral College, switching instead to electing the president via popular vote. The most straightforward way of making that …

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How ranked choice voting could restore the concept of majority rule

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Already being used in New York City and a number of states, RCV offers the added benefit of forcing candidates to appeal to a broader constituency, reducing negative campaigning. Two of the last five presidential elections were won by candidates who did not win majority support. Meanwhile, congressional candidates have been winning primaries with as little as 21% of the popular vote. For a democracy founded on the principle of majority rule, this is a problem. The Ranked Choice Voting Act, sponsored by Maryland congressman Jamie Raskin (and cosponsored by 13 representatives, thus far all Democrats), seeks to implement a fairer process for U.S. House and Senate elections, beginning in 2022. In an RCV election, voters rank as many candidates as they like in order of preference. (Voters are not obligated to rank—they can make a single selection if they choose.) If no candidate wins a majority of votes, a …

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‘Track your ballot like a package’: How technology will smooth the way for November’s mail-in ballot surge

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As many states are rushing to implement new systems to protect voters from COVID-19 exposure, they’re turning to systems to help ensure people’s access to the ballot doesn’t get lost in the mail. As part of a string of voting laws signed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in mid-April, the state became the 34th in the country whose residents may vote by mail without having to prove that they couldn’t vote in person. Of the remaining 16 states that don’t grant that right, governors and election officials in 11 allowed exceptions during the primaries on account of the pandemic—and if the coronavirus is still lingering in November, might be expected to continue those exceptions. Read Full Story

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Super Tuesday live results: 4 ways to track the votes in real time

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Voters in 14 states will head to the polls this Super Tuesday, and more than 1,300 delegates hang in the balance. Here’s where to see the live results. It’s hard to believe, but since the start of the 2020 presidential primaries, almost two dozen Democratic hopefuls have dropped out of the race. Now, with just five candidates remaining, voters in 14 states will help decide their ultimate fates on this Super Tuesday . Here’s what to know about this consequential primary election day: Read Full Story

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Here’s the Plan B if the party conventions get cancelled. There is no Plan B.

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Amid the coronavirus crisis, both the GOP and the Democrats may turn to tech solutions to select delegates and even hold virtual conventions. It’s hard to remember amid the onslaught of terrifying coronavirus updates, but there’s a crucial national election going on. And w hile Joe Biden appears to have locked up the Democratic nomination for president, and Donald Trump will be the GOP’s nominee, the primaries are still ongoing and hurtling toward both parties’ conventions this summer. But how do you hold a convention with tens of thousands of your party’s most faithful supporters and delegates while maintaining social distance? Read Full Story

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Native Americans are facing voter suppression. This resource wants to help them overcome it

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While all Americans face a very different voting landscape this year, many Native Americans have to deal with more pernicious challenges. Natives Vote wants to help. Though Native Americans have technically been enfranchised since 1924, numerous obstacles in various states serve to bar individuals from voting. They largely affect the 30% of the 5.2 million Native Americans who live on reservations, but even extend to people living in rural areas more generally. Read Full Story

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