The EAC has cleared Iowa’s use of federal HAVA dollars to fund voter fraud investigations starting back in 2012. Critics worry that the ruling could open the door to similar programs elsewhere – but that’s unlikely given that most states’ HAVA cupboards are long bare. If nothing else, the ruling finally closes the books on a strange program and allows both Iowa and the EAC to move forward on other far important tasks.
It appears that Pennsylvania is making plans to join the growing list of states offering online voter registration – but is doing so quietly, with few public details. That’s understandable given the state’s long-running partisan fights over voter ID, but with the 2016 elections approaching rapidly it’s important for the state to bring everyone concerned into the OVR loop.
This week’s electionlineWeekly takes a look at a new USPS internal report recommending a greater push for vote-by-mail business. The agency isn’t going to implement those recommendations – preferring to focus its revenue efforts elsewhere – but it is planning to focus on ensuring that existing VBM ballots receive the highest level of service. That’s key as the number of those ballots continues to grow.
Utah County has informed cities using VBM that they will not be allowed to do so in an upcoming tax vote. It’s a problem for those jurisdictions now but also suggests that local decisions about VBM – and attendant worries that election rules give some voters a bigger say in election outcomes – could soon become sources of controversy just like early voting in other places nationwide.