Much going on in the world of elections

The past few days have been busy ones for students of elections.

There were elections yesterday in the Los Angeles area, including one in my area. My own experience yesterday was quite remarkable, as it was the quickest voting experience, and shortest ballot, that I can remember. I went to my local polling place (in a neighborhood church) in the late afternoon, had no trouble parking. There was no line, in fact there was no one in the polling place other than the poll workers. My ballot had one election (local school board race), with two candidates and a write-in. I was done in a few seconds, no problems at all. But of course it was a local school board race with only one candidate race on the ballot.

There were elections in the City of Los Angeles yesterday, and as far as I can tell things went relatively smoothly on the administrative front, though there was this disturbing story in this morning’s LA Times, “Poll worker shot outside polling place at Watts elementary school.” If any readers had experiences voting yesterday to report, please pass them along.

Also, there recently was an election in Kenya, with reports that the election tally has been slowed due to a number of administrative and technological issues, in particular as the BBC reports a large percentage of spoiled ballots.

Finally, with the death of Hugo Chavez, it sounds as if there will be presidential elections in Venezuela, perhaps within the next thirty days, according to the New York Times. Recent presidential elections in Venezuela have sparked a great deal of research, in particular in the use of election forensics tools to study electoral results.

So it continues to be a busy time in the world of elections, with a great many opportunities for researchers to study a wide variety of issues in election administration and technology.