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To The Best Of Our Knowledge
November 3, 2018

Clearing A Path to the Voting Booth


As you might know, there’s an election this coming week. There is much angst on all sides, and of course, a few days ahead of it, we can’t predict the future.

In the midst of the fundraising, campaigning, and speeches, one of the most complicated questions is: Why do some people not vote? We could examine voter laws, so different state by state, opine on the psychological barriers to voting among different generations, and even delve into the issue of how people physically get to a voting booth. Is it outright discrimination? Is it education? Is it transportation? Is it apathy? Maybe all of these things. The possibilities are dizzying.

That’s why it was so inspiring this week to talk with Carol Anderson, the author of One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy. While she wrote a book on the subject, she has a surprisingly concise list of solutions that just make it easier for each of us to vote.

If Anderson was in charge, she would re-institute a Voter Rights Act. It would include registering people when they get driver’s licenses, same-day registration, and a new emphasis on civic education. She points to California, which pre-registers 16-and 17-year olds and Oregon, which has an automatic voter registration. It can be done, she says. But people need to keep working to make sure no voice is silenced, she says.

“What would be great is if those who say they believe in democracy act like they believe in democracy,” Anderson says.


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Imagining A Different Kind Of Election Day

Voting Day
Could we make our elections more secure, more inclusive, or just more fun? Depends on who you ask, and we asked a lot of people.
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From Benign to Deadly: A Brief History Of Household Poisoning

Pick your poison
Throughout history, we've been surrounded by substances that seemed benign and innocent in our food, in our gardens, in our medicine cabinets — until we realized they could be slowly killing us.
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Laurence Jackson Hyman Recommends “We Have Always Lived in The Castle”

"We Have Always Lived in the Castle" By Shirley Jackson (Penguin Classics)
Laurence Jackson Hyman, son of the famed horror author Shirley Jackson, recommends her 1962 classic tale for its scares, suspense, and strangeness.
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Uncovering the Buried History of Savannah's "Ghost Tours"

A house in Savannah, Georgia — one of America's most haunted cities.
The Sorrel-Weed House has been called the “most haunted house” in Savannah, Georgia, and its “ghost tour” is a big tourist attraction. But historian Tiya Miles found another story of slavery and racial stereotypes buried in this history.
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