President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with members of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration at the White House. From left are co-chair Robert Bauer, Vice President Joe Biden, Obama and co-chair Benjamin Ginsberg. The Commission was created following the President’s 2013 State of the Union pledge to identify non-partisan ways to shorten lines at polling places and provide better access to the polls for all voters.
Washington Post: Bipartisan Election Commission Releases List Of Suggested Fixes
A bipartisan commission appointed by President Obama to study barriers to voting recommended a series of steps Wednesday, including several to take advantage of technological advances, to make casting ballots simpler in the next election. Concluding a six-month review, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration said in its report that jurisdictions should expand online voter registration and early balloting, update electronic voting equipment as first-generation voting machines grow obsolete, and share voter registration records across state lines to protect against fraud.
The 112-page report also suggests improvements in the more traditional ways Americans have cast ballots. Those include increasing the number of schools used as polling places, simplifying voting for members of the military and other Americans living overseas through better access to state Web sites and insuring that polling places are close to voters’ homes. “One of the troubling aspects of the work that they did was hearing from local officials indicating that we could have even more problems in the future if we don’t act now,” Obama said before meeting with commission members at the White House.
I have a confession to make: I worked for the phone company.
No, not THAT phone company. And it wasn’t just one, but a few. For years before I hung up my CAT-5 cables for the pleasures of librarianship, I toiled away in the telecom canyons of downtown Los Angeles. I worked as a billing manager, which was a soul-destroying job, but paid my bills as I earned my library science degree.
I’m sure you’ll ask: “LL, what does a billing manager do?” Well, I’m sure glad you asked!
I worked with… METADATA! Swam in it, day in and day out, for 10 years. I became expert at SQL queries. Ask me to search a number and how many calls it made, and my query would have an answer in a few seconds.
Of course, what I couldn’t tell you is to whom that number belonged. I couldn’t tell if it belonged to Ethan Kowalski of Peoria, IL, or Yves Hubbert of the Troisieme Arrondissement. I could tell you there was a call placed from Peoria to Paris, and bill accordingly. But that was about it.
What is this phone metadata of which I speak? Again, glad you asked.