What's up with the rowdy behavior at debates?Submitted by Elisabeth Mon Oct 25 2010 11:19:00 GMT-0400 (EDT)
The Show Me State was certainly shown to me on Friday as we traveled from Kansas City to St. Louis with a stop in Columbia to visit wonderful League members and to see an astonishing election official who has developed her own E poll book. Imagine receiving an email with all the information, including a barcode, you need to vote. Like a boarding pass for an airplane. At the polls, this pass (or your driver's license if you forgot your pass) is scanned and you are pulled up on the poll book. The program on the poll book walks the poll worker through every possible scenario for verifying the voter's address and insuring that the voter is in the right place and gets to vote. This is the actual process in Boone County, Mo. Designed with older poll workers in mind, the system is supplemented, wherever possible by recruiting students from Mizzou.
The St. Louis League has been conducting congressional forums with great success this election season. Several have drawn large crowds, including some who arrive with an agenda. This appears to be an issue around the country, although the League formula works the best to control rowdy attendees. Friday night, I moderated a congressional forum at a local community college. The incumbent candidate never responded to the League and did not appear. The crowd was not large, not rowdy and was treated to an intelligent and thoughtful discussion of real issues from the two other candidates. I don't know the source of the big crowds or the rowdy behavior, but based on our experience in St. Louis, you do the math!
It is on to North Carolina where the topic will be the youth vote and I will have the chance to visit a couple of college campuses.