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Connected by Glass: Election Transparency

In the mid-19th century, widespread political corruption and questions about who had the right to vote led to an intriguing invention: the glass ballot box. The transparency of this glass ballot box literally shows that a person’s vote will be counted; metaphorically, this transparency conveys the democratic value of an open society in which everyone who is eligible to vote will be permitted to vote, and that everyone who does vote will have that vote be counted. As a complement to our Transparent: voting in America exhibition, curator emeritus Marv Bolt will host a timely discussion that focuses on the notion that our past gives evidence showing that democracy can survive deep disagreements, and that the desire for transparency in voting is a core value of our nation. We’ll be joined by: Ellery Foutch, an assistant professor in American Studies at Middlebury College in Middlebury Vermont. Mark Johnson, a civil rights attorney in Kansas City. He teaches election law at the University of Kansas School of Law in Lawrence, Kansas. And moderator Marvin Bolt, Curator Emeritus of Science & Technology