Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Nation's First Democracy Index

Heather K. Gerken

Today Mayor Bloomberg announced that New York City will create the nation's first "Democracy Index" as part of a comprehensive package of election reform designed to make it easier for New Yorkers to register, vote, and run for office. As regular Balkinization readers are aware, I proposed this idea in an editorial in 2007 and just published a book on the subject. During the last two years, a number of institutions -- including the Pew Center on the States, the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project, and the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State – have helped develop and refine the proposal. It's wonderful to see New York City choose the Index as one of its primary tools for improving the City's election system. The City has long been a leader in data-driven policymaking, and it's not surprising that Mayor Bloomberg, a former business man, would recognize the need for good data to spot, surface, and solve the problems that plague our election system.

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