Too Much, Too Soon? Colorado Clerks Discuss Early Voting Costs

States across the nation are expressing interest in the “Colorado model” of elections, but now some county clerks are wondering whether some early voting requirements are serving too few voters and costing too much money. It’s the latest variant of the tension between state consistency vs. local flexibility in election administration, and how it plays out could be important not just in Colorado but nationwide.

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Iowa’s New Voter ID Proposal: Targeting Efficiency, Not Fraud?

In Iowa, the somewhat predictable emergence of the voter ID issue is taking an unexpectedly different shape as Secretary of State Paul Pate says it’s aimed not at voter fraud, but efficiency. The SoS is so interested in improving election administration that he’s proposing to put IDs in the hands of voters without them. Questions remain but it’s definitely a new approach to a very familiar debate.

In electionlineWeekly, Dave Ammons Shares “Seven Habits of Effective Election Administrators”

Washington State’s Dave Ammons may have retired, but he’s still thinking about his colleague in election administration, as evidenced by his guest post in the latest edition of electionlineWeekly entitled “Seven Habits of Effective Election Administrators”. It’s a nice reminder to stay aware of the pubic-facing part of election administration as public service.

Underestimating Democracy: Lynchburg Runs Out of Special Election Ballots

On Tuesday, I wrote about how January can be a challenge for election officials because of “follow-on” special elections necessitated by November results. That day, voters in Lynchburg, Virginia stood in long lines for a state senate special election because the city had underestimated the number of ballots needed. It’s a tough call for communities seeking to balance voter demand and scarce resources.

MIT Launches New Election Data and Science Lab

Yesterday, my friend and colleague Charles Stewart shared the news that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had created the MIT Election Data and Science Lab to advance the use of data in election administration. It’s a huge development which allows Charles to continue promoting (and more importantly, modeling) an evidence-based approach to election administration.