What's needed to bring the US voting system into the 21st century | Tiana Epps-Johnson

  • Published on Feb 12, 2019
  • The American election system is complicated, to say the least -- but voting is one of the most tangible ways that each of us can shape our communities. How can we make the system more modern, inclusive and secure? Civic engagement champion Tiana Epps-Johnson shares what's needed to bring voting in the US into the 21st century -- and to get every person to the polls.
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Comments • 563

  • Buxees Singh
    Buxees Singh Month ago

    If the Supreme Court rules against one of the ranked-choice system in Maine or similar ones, then you will need a constitutional amendment to allow for anything different.

    You will absolutely need to change the perception that the government making this easy (websites, training, etc.) is anti-American.

  • John Arnold
    John Arnold 4 months ago

    Her argument would go over better if she had Huge Breasts...

  • John Arnold
    John Arnold 4 months ago +1

    How come the US voting system was never discussed so much when Obama was in there for 8 years...

  • Marlon  Moncrieffe
    Marlon Moncrieffe 5 months ago

    1) Raise the (federal) voting age to 25.
    2) Make the (presidential) election ranked choice and lose the electoral college.
    3) Make the (federal presidential) election compulsory.
    4) (Federal) suffrage can only be denied to convicted prisoners and involuntarily commited psychiatric patients. And-obviously-legal immigrants (ie. NOT American citizens).
    5) Mail-in ballots and polling CENTERS (rather than a prescribed polling SITE).
    6) Include write-in nominations and spoiled votes.

  • C RA
    C RA 5 months ago

    Yeah, it's really hard to color in those circles, see, once I get started, I end up having so much fun, I color in ALL the circles and then they don't count my vote. That's racist!

  • B Welkinator
    B Welkinator 5 months ago

    So, here's someone who thinks the "hive mind" is the better source of political solutions. I, OTOH, believe that there should be FEWER voters and that they should pass a test: basic economics, history, systems of government. Here's a question on my test: Historically, which form of economics has had the greater effect in raising the standard of living of the people living within it - A) Socialism B) Capitalism. I would note that the TED speaker here is proud of her association with those who redistribute our nations wealth through Food Stamps. I would rather she have NOTHING to do with our voting systems.

  • Steve Kroll
    Steve Kroll 5 months ago

    Her premise that there are major impediments to voting is seriously flawed. The rest is, therefore, without serious merit.

  • Mark Caseon
    Mark Caseon 5 months ago

    Democracy is very dangerous.

  • k
    k 5 months ago

    Given the like/dislike ratio, I thought she would demand abolishing the electoral college or an otherwise controversial topic. She didn't have novel points, but nothing too controversial, what's up with the like/dislike ratio?

  • MementoX1013
    MementoX1013 5 months ago

    I think the root of the problem is the first past the post voting system which naturally leads to restricted choice and divisive rhetoric and representation. It explains voter apathy and disengagement way better than this video does. www.cgpgrey.com/politics-in-the-animal-kingdom/ offers a fantastic overview of why.

  • lei yang
    lei yang 5 months ago


  • Randy Karnes
    Randy Karnes 6 months ago

    There is a large portion of the government that doesn't want people to vote. If every politician was concerned about democracy, the system wouldn't be such a joke.
    Yes, everyone should have to show ID to vote. And getting that ID should be made easy as long as you have the correct documentation. But there also needs to be standard voting practices across the country. And while we're doing that, we should implement term limits and campaign finance reform.

  • MostlyLoveOfMusic
    MostlyLoveOfMusic 6 months ago +1

    you're only doing a TED Talk cos you're hot....

  • Frank Maclow
    Frank Maclow 6 months ago +16

    In France we had 11 different candidates for the presidential election...11 ! With completely different ideas. By law, the medias had to allow them to speak on tv. In the US, there are only 2 candidates from the establishment totally corrupted by lobbyists. That's why Americans don't want to vote. they are tired of this farce

  • Professional Funny
    Professional Funny 6 months ago

    okay but with the electoral college, nothing you just said matters

  • celestialcircledance
    celestialcircledance 6 months ago

    The opposite is true for me . The more technological and computerised the more confusing and frustrating and the harder it is to find a live person on hand who can actually assist me ! At least don't assume everyone is computer savvy and provide different options .

  • Artem Klimov
    Artem Klimov 6 months ago

    Politics, again?

  • epSos.de
    epSos.de 6 months ago +1

    What if we had *side-by-side reviews for candidates,* just like for products on Amazon ?

  • Joshua Hodson
    Joshua Hodson 6 months ago

    In NZ election day is on a Saturday (but you can submit your vote the whole week leading up to election day) and polling booths are everywhere. In our last election I just swung by the voting booth near our local supermarket on my way home from work and it took me literally 2 minutes to vote. It blows my mind how America is so archaic in everything they do compared to the other western countries.

  • zack1stplayer
    zack1stplayer 6 months ago

    Before I watch this video: Please don't say electronic voting, please don't advocate for such an easily exploitable design, please don't say online, please don't allow hacking to be even more of a problem.
    Now let's see what they have to say.
    After the video: Okay, good, yes, this is fine, it didn't even go into the part I was concerned about, I have nothing to add, have a nice day!

  • J R
    J R 6 months ago

    There is a reason it is not online. All you're doing is making it easy to get hacked. There is no such thing as secure when it comes to online. Sure you can put firewalls and encryption in place but you cannot call that secure. They are only speed bumps at best.

  • sailorbob74133
    sailorbob74133 6 months ago +7

    2 things photo voter ID and automatic registration just like every other normal first world country.

  • Charles Philip Adams
    Charles Philip Adams 6 months ago

    BS... I've NEVER had any "barriers" keeping me from voting. These people are too stupid, or lazy to vote. Probably Democrats. As long as they lose elections then they claim the system is "broken".

  • the realjeff-0
    the realjeff-0 6 months ago

    The less low information voters that vote is better....

  • Lukas Dziubalski
    Lukas Dziubalski 6 months ago

    A great take on US Voting System... Everybody should watch it.

  • Kevin Zhang
    Kevin Zhang 6 months ago

    Was gonna fap but her voice is nice to listen to

  • William Thomas
    William Thomas 6 months ago

    Mandatory Voter ID

  • Tyler Livingood
    Tyler Livingood 6 months ago

    There should be an app on your phone that you can log into and vote through. You can log in with your social security number and have your local courthouse verify your identity and profile. Every bill and every candidate will have a synopsis and information on their ideals and links to their campaign websites. Using your home address it will only send you location specific information. It can send you reminders, and voters can submit petitions to be passed around to be signed.

  • bulldogbateson
    bulldogbateson 6 months ago

    The audio hissing hurt my ears

  • Marc Lalikos
    Marc Lalikos 6 months ago

    What's needed to bring the US voting system into the 21st century, are candidates that aren't orange dickwads. Stop embarrassing yourself in front of the whole world.

  • James Murphy
    James Murphy 6 months ago

    Great Presentation! Shes Correct, Shes intelligent, AND Shes Smokin' Hot

  • Brian Rappleye
    Brian Rappleye 6 months ago

    Something's lost in the translation for me still. Like young Frankenstein's. "Said.. a.. give"

  • Samuel
    Samuel 6 months ago

    Punky Brewster all grown up

  • Samuel
    Samuel 6 months ago

    In Australia, we vote for a party believing they will stand by their election promises. Then they realise how out of depth they are once they’re in power. They break all promises. They blame the opposition. They turn on themselves and depose of the prime minister and instate another who has NFI. They lose the next election. Rinse and repeat and onto the next party.

  • RemusKingOfRome5
    RemusKingOfRome5 6 months ago


  • Kongolox
    Kongolox 6 months ago

    It is intentional and its wrong, the lobbiest want more voting power to their own ppl. by making it harder to vote for some ppl and easier for others.
    And then there is the gerrymandering...

  • Peacekeeper
    Peacekeeper 6 months ago

    We don't have this problem in Europe. Voting is easy here. Don't reinvent the wheel.

    • Peacekeeper
      Peacekeeper 4 months ago

      @Peter W Yes we have to show our ID card to vote.

    • Peacekeeper
      Peacekeeper 4 months ago

      @Peter W lol why

    • Peter W
      Peter W 4 months ago +1

      TheEnlightenedOne Do you have to show photo ID to vote? Because in the US, it’s considered racist to require ID.

  • Barney Lynch
    Barney Lynch 6 months ago

    She is lucky that she is hot, because she certainly doesn't have intelligence going for her.

  • Double S
    Double S 6 months ago

    Only clicked because she’s smoking hot

  • Sim Lucien
    Sim Lucien 6 months ago

    Ban propaganda from the media. Thanks Obama.

  • Sleepyone444 Yes
    Sleepyone444 Yes 6 months ago

    Irrelevant to this video. But I would like to see more ted talks with black and brown people. Thanks!

  • Joseph Allen
    Joseph Allen 6 months ago

    1, Voter photo ID, proof of citizenship and blockchain technology on the custody of every ballot. 2. Standardize ballots, at least for a state, and counties and cities in that state. 3. Allow elections to span 2 days ... Friday & Saturday. 4. A mandatory senior high school class to teach some of these basics, including the importance of being educated on issues. 5. Turn off cable news channels :-)

  • karen gfs
    karen gfs 6 months ago

    Thought it was Gretchen Weiners in the thumbnail.

  • Jane Bacon
    Jane Bacon 6 months ago

    West virginiaaaaaaaaaa

  • Jane Bacon
    Jane Bacon 6 months ago +2

    She's hot man, love her hair too.
    I prefer dictatorship.

  • SeverusSlim
    SeverusSlim 6 months ago

    USA needs ellections that are actually democratic. That's it.

    • Stakeaphobic Z
      Stakeaphobic Z 4 months ago +1

      Nah, Electoral is just fine. It's how come we're the United States of America and not The United States of California.

    HONK HONK 6 months ago +1

    True democracy is comparable to two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner

  • MrDami123
    MrDami123 6 months ago +3

    This video only has a positive like rating because she is cute

  • FocusPics
    FocusPics 6 months ago +1

    Voter id

  • Kyle Conaghan
    Kyle Conaghan 6 months ago


  • Sue G
    Sue G 6 months ago

    We need to get rid of the "Electoral College".

  • Jam
    Jam 6 months ago

    Who Ted today?

  • Shokase
    Shokase 6 months ago +1

    Blockchain Tech !

  • Un-broken and victorious
    Un-broken and victorious 6 months ago +7

    When will Ted finally show up for his own talks?

  • Alexander Plechov
    Alexander Plechov 6 months ago +13

    Ted has become the stage for SJWs

    • ZorbaTheDutch
      ZorbaTheDutch 6 months ago

      @level Joe "You've already told me that all feelings are not equal." No I didn't, read again please. Not all ideologies are equal is what I explained to you.

    • level Joe
      level Joe 6 months ago

      @ZorbaTheDutch so, who is going to be the one to decide who's feelings are to be "valued" and who's are not?
      You've already told me that all feelings are not equal.

      I can understand how you came to the conclusion that I don't care about anyone's feelings but that's not true.
      I just don't value the childish and prejudicial feelings of the SJW and I don't I care about the hateful and prejudicial feelings of the others on the opposite end of the spectrum.
      Both sides are being self centered and self serving to the exclusion of the vast majority in the middle who have to hide our opinions behind closed doors or anonymity so as to not risk offending someone's delicate sensibilities.
      God forbid if you did, the fringe will turn on you like a rabid dog.
      I get that we all have our own feelings and they do have a place, but is it front and center for all to see. Why should others be forced the deal with your emotions?
      We have our own, we just choose not to wear them like a tattoo on our forehead.

    • ZorbaTheDutch
      ZorbaTheDutch 6 months ago

      @level Joe Yes let's not care about other people's feelings at all, that will create a wonderful society...
      The problem with nationalists or white supremacists is not that their feelings are less valuable; the problem is that their ideologies make the feelings of groups of other people less important. In short: their "solutions" suck.

    • level Joe
      level Joe 6 months ago

      @ZorbaTheDutch if you're going to value feelings what about the feelings of the nationalist and the white supremacists?
      Are their feelings somehow less valuable than anyone else's?
      Should they be?
      I'm sure they feel the same about yours as you do theirs.
      Me one the other hand, I don't care how either one of you feel, nor should I or anyone else.

    • ZorbaTheDutch
      ZorbaTheDutch 6 months ago

      @level Joe SJ is about feelings AND facts. An example of feelings over facts is right wing nationalism or white supremacy.

  • balisticsquirel
    balisticsquirel 6 months ago

    I wasn't thinking that 'we have the technology'. Nor of volunteering at my local election office. I was thinking that anyone with the mind of a ted audience member knows that the fundamental 'politics' system is such a ridiculous joke that 'what does it matter how elections are done'.

  • TimeAndChance
    TimeAndChance 6 months ago +1

    You're NEVER gonna get 100% voting EVER. To think so is absurd. Higher than 60%, up to lower 90s, aim for that.

    • level Joe
      level Joe 6 months ago

      @Marcus Cactus yes and voting for Obama was racism.

    • Marcus Cactus
      Marcus Cactus 6 months ago

      level Joe , i’m afraid voting Trump is a sign of mental handicap...

    • level Joe
      level Joe 6 months ago

      Yeah, we should encourage the mentally handicapped to vote...

    • Marcus Cactus
      Marcus Cactus 6 months ago +1

      Actually, in Belgium or in Greece, voting is manda tory. It is in the mentality, now: voting is a natural thing to do, not optional.
      Some people still dont show up, but it’s no more than 4-5%.

  • What it Really Means
    What it Really Means 6 months ago +7

    I think this is absolutely ridiculous. If you have people who are so dumb that they can't even figure out how to vote, are they smart enough to make good decisions about how society should be run. If you look into the history of the forming of the United States, voting was made difficult so responsible intelligent people would vote. I think that during every election there should be a test given, approved by all stakeholders in the election, that would show that people who are voting have an idea of what they are voting for. We have way too many elections where professional election consultants use all kinds of techniques that have nothing to do with educating the population to get uninformed people to vote in specific ways. How many times have we suffered as a nation under legislation that was put forward by people who were voted in because they look good, can speak in emotional keyword tested speeches who know virtually no history and have no real idea of what has worked in the past and what hasn't. We need smart people on both the left and the right to vote, not people who are so dumb they can't figure out how to vote!!!

  • MCV
    MCV 6 months ago

    Seems more likely that we're seeing less voting because the voting public are becoming rapidly more educated. Less sheep. I personally will never vote again, for the explicit reason that unless I know the person, have talked to them face to face, know their intent, their personality, their truthful qualities; I absolutely cannot trust them to govern me. Inform me all you like about the candidate, but there's no way to prove an ounce of it as factual or true.

  • World's Netizen
    World's Netizen 6 months ago

    haven't trumptards any job to do other than trolling on the net day and night?

  • Brenda Rua
    Brenda Rua 6 months ago

    This is well and good. But you need to address the Republican efforts to disenfranchise groups. That is not your aged tech It's a direct effort to "rig" voting in their favor with no regard for Constitutional rights of people in those groups. They are hypocrites and thieves and immoral citizens. They should be locked up. Voting is fundamental to citizenship. Period.

  • Grant Adamson
    Grant Adamson 6 months ago

    No matter how good your system might get you will still have essentially a corrupt group of politicians with only self serving interests.

    • John Arnold
      John Arnold 5 months ago

      Let's not bring Obama into this...

  • Florian Huck
    Florian Huck 6 months ago

    Electing is NOT voting !
    Electing is NOT democracy !
    When we elect we renounce to vote.
    Election brings oligarchy. Only sortition is democratic.
    The only real democracy that existed was the one in ancient greece. Where richs never had control over the people.

    • Florian Huck
      Florian Huck 4 months ago

      @Stakeaphobic Z
      Richest 1% never had power over the 99% of people. It wasn't perfect as there were slaves and women couldn't vote. But that we won't keep.
      See also the spanish revolution of 1936.

    • Stakeaphobic Z
      Stakeaphobic Z 4 months ago

      How'd that work out for the Greeks?

  • Steven_Duller
    Steven_Duller 6 months ago +1

    Being anti voter ID is the actual racist position.

  • Bjørnar Iversen
    Bjørnar Iversen 6 months ago +1

    I know! Lots of illegal voters voting for democrats. Thats whats needed.. oh wait.. already there

  • JeffinBville
    JeffinBville 6 months ago

    The first place I ever voted was in Mercer County, WV back in the 1970s. With the ballot I was given a pencil for a write-in (Ken Hechler was my choice). I asked the poll worker for a pen and he told me they use pencils. I told him that with a pencil he could erase my vote and change it and his response was, "do you have any other questions?"
    I hope it has changed since those days.

  • Ridiculous Rob, The Juggler
    Ridiculous Rob, The Juggler 6 months ago +89

    Her points are valid, but we are in serious need of Ranked Choice voting as well. First past the post voting has created a two party forced dichotomy which is destroying this country. More access and information is super important as she says, but as long we have a system that doesn't allow third party candidates a fair chance without spoiling the odds for the top two candidates, we are not going to be truly representing the desires of the masses. Also we need to get money out of politics.

    • Zou Zhihui
      Zou Zhihui 5 months ago


    • Charles Nicklestein
      Charles Nicklestein 5 months ago

      Ross Perot 1992 ! Clone him & have him in the next for Centrist.. Woo !

    • Aviri Char
      Aviri Char 6 months ago

      yes, we need to reform elections so they are not rigged and corrupted, to bring the US into the 21st century -- and yes that means probably ranked choice voting as the first and most obvious simple update/reform... after the biggest one, ending legalized bribery (money out of politics) to probably get that and any other of the "complicated" (actually just complex, but overcomplicated by corrpution) systems in place
      including not just getting rid of first past the post and winner take all, but also any BS "superdelegate" rigging in any one party (cough cough the "Democratic" party cough cough) as well as just tossing the electoral college in the wastebin of history

    • fiona fiona
      fiona fiona 6 months ago

      I am happy with MMP voting for assemblys. But directly voted single people are really best elected trough preferential voting.

    • wikichris
      wikichris 6 months ago

      @J.Junior I don't think you know what you're saying.

  • Kai Bishop
    Kai Bishop 6 months ago +13

    America won't be able to solve any of their problems until their solve their cultural problem. It's a country full of uneducated loudmouths. Educate your people (all of them, not just white kids in rich neighbourhoods whose parents have connections) and then worry about getting them to vote. An entire country is encouraged to speak first, think later. Meanwhile the state of native reservations is ignored, the education and housing problems are ignored, the political corruption is ignored, but if we get more people to vote maybe things will turn out better! Voting more corrupt people into power who don't plan to help is never going to fix any of these issues, you have to focus on teaching the average person how to deal with or outright fix them within their own smaller communities.

    • level Joe
      level Joe 6 months ago

      Says the Canadian....

  • Andrew Rakos
    Andrew Rakos 6 months ago

    There needs to be some accountability for information sources to induce bias by providing more/less information about certain things or candidates. It's easy to make anyone and anything look good or bad just by how you frame things. Just ask the MSM.

  • Youssef Hegazy
    Youssef Hegazy 6 months ago

    I will vote for her !!!

  • richard p
    richard p 6 months ago

    nice-I watched all and i put a like on this too

  • Marya Zaki
    Marya Zaki 6 months ago

    It’s such an important topic of discussion!!!

  • David
    David 6 months ago

    I live in Mercer County. I have no idea what she's talking about. When I move, my voter registration moves with me. Technology is what's CAUSED the problem. This woman isn't the answer, she's the problem

  • Dave C
    Dave C 6 months ago

    LPT : Download TED Talks to watch without the toxicity and negativity of the comments section :D

    PARADOXICLES 6 months ago

    A vote for a leader, is a vote against yourself.
    A vote for a law, is a vote against freedom.
    DONT VOTE!!!
    Instead of voting, people should think for them selves, live their own lives, and let everyone live their own, instead of trying to live every one elses lives for them. The governments violence, will never bring peace, their terrorism will never bring safety, nor prosperity. If we want TRUE freedom, peace, and prosperity, we need anarchy. its the only option.