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Global Knowledge Network On Voter Education - learning from each other

Q&A with Mr. Thomas Hicks-by Tavishi Aggarwal, Intern

Followed by his presentation on US initiatives to promote electoral literacy in formal education, Mr Thomas answered a few questions from the audience on electoral processes, democracy and voter education with wit and enthusiasm. Responding to the question of preparations for the US presidential elections in November, he shared that the arrangements were being done, but problems always arise and states should have a contingency plan to counter them. As an officer of one of the oldest and most experienced democracies of the world, he advised that upcoming democracies should listen to their countrymen, and adopt systems that suits their particular needs. Moreover, he also stressed that Election Commissions should be provided with more resources and more time to implement their programs (such as CEEP and HAVA in USA).

Responding to another question on the most innovative technological initiative of Election Assistance Commission, he showed the Voter Rights Card provided to each elector in the US, with a QR code to further expand on these rights. He also commented on the problem of urban apathy in USA, saying that their basic objective is to ensure that those who do vote believe that their vote matters, rather than increasing voter turnout.