Australian vs US election admin: not even close.

Saturday November 3, 2012

Filed under: Australian Politics,politics — jackman @ 11:55 am

It isn’t really a fair comparison, since there isn’t such a thing as “US election administration.”

Rather, like national elections themselves, there is a “rich tapestry” (um “wild riot”?) of state and county level election administration systems in the United States, with much variance in law, technologies, budgets, professionalism, partisanship and traditions.

Annabel Crabb takes a light-hearted look in this SMH piece, teasing a Foreign Correspondent story (ABC TV). I’ve been banging on about this for years to Oz journos etc; Australians ought to better understand and appreciate the minor admin miracle that the AEC is.

Peter Brent (@mumbletwits) wrote a PhD dissertation (big PDF) that took a solid look at the historical background, how Australia came to get something like the AEC (inter alia). I’ve long thought “it wus compulsory voting wot dun it“: that professional, standardized, centralized, election admin is a consequence of enacting a national-level compulsory voting statute in the 1920s. But last time we corresponded on this (a comment on my blog) Peter said his dissertation research found that Australian election admin was headed in this direction ahead of CV.

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