Thursday, September 24, 2009

AAAS News and Notes -- 325 (5948): 1637 -- Science

AAAS News and Notes -- 325 (5948): 1637 -- Science:

New AAAS Database Could Aid Voting Reform

With concerns persisting about the function—and malfunction—of the U.S. voting system, AAAS has launched the nation's first Web-based, searchable database that provides access to a broad range of voting-related research.

The project will give researchers, election administrators, journalists, and others fast, free access to studies on issues ranging from voting technology and ballot design to voter behavior and impediments to voting. The database debuted with about 500 entries and is expected to grow considerably.

Worries about the voting system emerged after problem-plagued elections in 2000 and 2006. The National Science Foundation and AAAS convened scholars, election administrators, and others for a workshop in 2004; the Carnegie Corporation of New York and AAAS held another in 2006. Plans for a database emerged from those talks, said Mark S. Frankel, director of the AAAS Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program.

'There is a growing consensus in America that improvements to the election process are very much needed,' said Frankel, who oversees the database. 'More research and greater understanding of the U.S. voting system are imperative in order to implement effective changes.'

Find the AAAS Research Database on the U.S. Voting System and Voting Technology at

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