Without the proper training and context, voters might be confused by what they see
MADISON, Wis. — With still-lingering scrutiny of the 2020 election outcomes, a UW-Madison Elections Research Center panel delved into how native officers can guarantee confidence in upcoming 2022 elections.
During the panel, William and Mary legislation professor Rebecca Green stated even issues like transparency across the course of should be dealt with tactfully.
“There’s a central tension at the heart of election transparency, which is: how do we make sure that elections are transparent without feeding public mistrust?” she stated.
She used the instance of poll duplication — officers might replicate a poll earlier than sending it by way of the machine if there is a matter with it bodily, like espresso was spilled on it. If the poll counting course of is livestreamed, viewers could also be confused by seeing elections officers marking and casting a clear poll, although they’re simply making certain that that voter’s poll is counted.
“This is the reason why transparency and trust in elections is so tricky because people don’t always understand what they see,” Green stated.
She stated educating voters beforehand can assist stem confusion primarily based on these one-off incidents.
“If the public were sufficiently educated about the vast number of safeguards and protections in place and they understood the nuts and bolts of how elections are run, they will be reassured by transparency measures, rather than spooked by them,” Green stated.
“It’s not a bad thing that elections are complex. Elections are complex because they have so many safeguards built in to make sure that they’re accurate and that only eligible votes are counted,” she added. “Complexity is only a problem when it comes to making sure that transparency serves the function of reassuring the public that elections are fair and accurate.”
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