Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Rational Voting: Ballot Portals

New America Foundation is a different kind of think tank; the kind that thinks and comes up with sensible suggestions for public policy.J.H. Snider, a fellow there, suggests a remedy for the problem of rational voter ignorance: a Ballot Portal. Essentially, it allows voters to very efficiently get information on ballot candidates and measures, and also to get disclosure on those providing the information.

In a very rough sense, a Ballot Portal is a far superior equivalent of the sidebar for this site - listing all the candidates and information resources for them in a systematic fashion. It is a simple idea, but surprisingly thin on executution. Other nations, and some states, have created such Ballot Portals with excellent resutls. See CA's Smartvoter, MN's Secretary of State's Publius. Without the exposure and marketing power of a national system, however, such efforts will likely remain underutilized.

Write your representatives. This is something that is worthwile spending public funds on.

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