Too Many Candidates? Maryland Seeks to Use Paper Ballots in Early Voting for April Primary

[UPDATED 945am Central] Maryland is seeking to use hand-marked optical scan ballots for early voting in the April primaries after the discovery that the large number of candidates in some races means they can’t all be displayed on the new touchscreen ballot marking devices. It’s a potentially big change that has to happen quickly – and regardless of the outcome it will require special attention to helping voters navigate their ballots.


Virginia “Loyalty Oath” to Cost Commonwealth More Than $62K – and Might Not Be Used

Virginia’s so-called “loyalty oath” for the Republican primary has generated debate, controversy and litigation – and as a result the party has asked for it to be scrapped for the March 1 vote. Unfortunately, even if it is not used, the state has already incurred significant costs to print and distribute the oath as part of its role in administering an official election.


EAC Adds Proof of Citizenship Instructions to Federal Form

The long-running battle over proof-of-citizenship requirements on the federal voter registration form – thought to have been settled somewhat by federal and state court rulings, who have said they cannot be enforced – is once again in doubt in the wake of the EAC’s decision to add proof-of-citizenship language from Kansas and other states to the form’s instructions. [POST UPDATED 330pm Central Tuesday]


Buckeye Ballot Barcode Brouhaha (cont.): SoS to Permit Barcodes

Ohio’s Secretary of State has issued a directive giving counties the authority to use postal barcodes to determine whether or not a late-arriving ballot was mailed on time. Perhaps more importantly, the SoS and local officials are going to notify voters about the best ways to return ballots and the likely delivery time – which could go a long way to reducing the number of ballots that can’t be counted.

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