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?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.