Project to track Election Day voting problems in real time

With fears about the potential for all sorts of problems at polling sites next Tuesday, a Harvard professor is teaming up with ABC News to provide real-time reports from across the country on polling place experience of American voters. Voters are encouraged to register at MyFairElection.com and post a report on their experience at the polls after casting their ballot.  Did they encounter long lines?  Broken machines? 

Meet the Author

Michael Jonas

Executive Editor, CommonWealth

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

The project is the brainchild of Archon Fung, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Fung is an authority on transparency and accountability policy, issues he discussed in detail in the summer issue of CommonWealth — as well as in a recent book, Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency, co-authored with Harvard colleague Mary Graham and David Weil of Boston University. 

Will the project provide meaningful information? Maybe, if it signs up a whole lot more people. Only 319 people were registered on the site as of 2 p.m. today, and in 12 states not a single voter had yet registered. One potential hurdle: Voters encountering problems may be inclined to post reports to already established online outlets for political briefings and banter, such as Blue Mass Group or Red Mass Group here in Massachusetts.