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Citizen Dialogue On Elections: How Should We Encourage and Safeguard Voting?

Many Americans are concerned about our country’s election systems, despite disagreeing on what the specific problems are, or how to solve them. Are the systems too easy to manipulate? Do we have rules that make voting fair and accessible to all? Are we doing enough to ensure accuracy and credibility?

There was record voter turnout in November 2020; almost 160 million Americans cast ballots even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. However, this record number of Americans voted despite worries about how elections are carried out. Unease about aging voting machines, out-of-date registration lists, vulnerable computer systems, foreign interference, and bureaucratic snafus predated the 2020 election, and concerns about those issues persist today. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a major expansion of absentee voting took place in the 2020 elections, resulting in improved access to the ballot, but also, in some places, delayed vote counts that prompted fears among some about ballot tampering and voter fraud. Americans believe we need a better system, one that ensures that all eligible voters can vote and that we can all trust the accuracy of the results.

This dialogue series will ask questions such as: Would having uniform national standards for voting, instead of having state and local officials continue to set the rules, give us more confidence? Do ID requirements for voting, in order to help maintain the system’s integrity, merely discourage voters by placing hurdles in their way?

Join your fellow Arkansans for this important discussion in person or on Zoom. Each dialogue session will follow the same framework and offer similar experiences, so please select one date to attend. Please note the dialogue on May 10th will be facilitated in Spanish. All times are Central Time.

May 10: 6:00 to 8:00 pm (in Spanish / en español, in person at the Southwest Community Center, 6401 Baseline Rd., Little Rock, AR 72209)

May 16: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm (in English, in person at the Darragh Center, Library Square, 100 S. Rock St., Little Rock, AR 72201) (with parking validation in CALS lot)

May 23: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm (in English, online)

June 6: 6:00 to 8:00 pm (in English, online)

These dialogues are hosted by the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, the Clinton School for Public Service, and the Central Arkansas Library System, as part of the National Issues Forums Institute’s Partnership for Democratic Practices in Arkansas.

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Date and Time

May 16 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm