Want to be the first state to vote? Better make sure you’re ready



Iowa’s caucus problems show need to improve election systems

Which state should hold the first presidential primary? One that’s most prepared, argues the Joyce Foundation’s democracy program director, Carrie Davis.

After the Iowa caucuses broke down in February, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, argued his state should step up and be the first state to vote. His claim? That Illinois deserved a shot because its more diverse population better reflects the country as a whole.

But Davis, in an op-ed column in the Chicago Tribune, warns that a state better make sure it’s ready for such a critically important role. Davis notes Illinois’ own struggles with voting protocols, including recent problems with voter registration and a lack of transparency in efforts to make corrections.

The Joyce Foundation promotes an informed, engaged and representative democracy by investing in fair elections to protect voter rights and access. It also focuses on election administration and infrastructure to make sure all votes are collected and counted.

Davis, in her column, urges Illinois to learn from other states’ mistakes and take advantage of offers of assistance in improving how to make the vote fair and accurate.

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

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