The past few weeks have seen a steady parade of developments that help to bring the rules and procedures involved in the 2016 election more into focus. But the picture isn’t completely clear just yet, and electionline’s Mindy Moretti has a look in this week’s newsletter at what election officials are doing to cope with the uncertainty.
I sat down recently with my colleague Larry Jacobs to discuss his new course “Strategic Management for Election Administration”, which aims to help students survive and thrive as a nonpartisan professional in partisan policy environment. [There’s also bonus coverage from a new profile of our program in Governing Magazine!]
Last week, a federal court in Michigan issued an injunction blocking a new law that eliminates straight ticket voting in the Great Lakes State, citing racial disparities in the use of the practice across the state. The ruling, which is likely to be appealed, includes a detailed analysis under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act – and could have repercussions beyond Michigan as a result.
In Kansas, a constant stream of legal developments has left just about everyone concerned uncertain about what will be expected on Election Day in November. A new article likens the process to a game of ping-pong – which is an excellent analogy because of the somewhat-frenzied speed with which litigation has changed the landscape. Unfortunately, it looks like the game is far from over.
Three significant court cases in three different states (Virginia, Wisconsin and Texas) had key developments late last week – clarifying if not yet cementing the rules that will be in place for elections this fall.
This week’s electionlineWeekly includes some news I’ve been hinting at for a while but am very excited to share: we will be adding an election design course – inspired, created and taught by the Center for Civic Design’s Whitney Quesenbery and Dana Chisnell – to the offerings at our online program starting this fall!
Yesterday, the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas’ voter ID law has a discriminatory effect against minority voters and thus must be limited accordingly. It did not, however, overturn the law for all voters.
Wisconsin’s long-running voter ID saga took another turn yesterday as a federal judge ruled that the state must offer affidavits to voters who encounter difficulties obtaining necessary ID documents.
Few topics have excited the collective electiongeek imagination in the last week or so more than the potential for the hot new game Pokemon Go to be used as a means to generate interest in, and turnout at, the polls in November. But given the importance of the election process, before we get too excited about using Pikachu and friends to boost turnout, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind.
Massachusetts is preparing for the advent of early voting, which became law in the Bay State as part of a 2014 bill scheduled to go into effect this year, and many cities and towns are nervous about both the timing of the change as well as the cost. Those concerns are likely to be renewed – and increased – after the veto by Gov. Charlie Baker of $1.2 million in state funding in support of the change.