October 2016

Throwback Monday: Don’t Panic!

With just eight days to Election Day, news is coming fast and furious and you can see, hear and feel the nation’s anxiety rising. In response, here’s something I posted four years ago – a reminder that while things may not go perfectly, there’s no reason to worry, let alone panic, about our nation’s election system.


(No) Postage Due: Mail Ballots Delivered – Even Without a Stamp

Voters across the nation are sending vote by mail ballots back to their local election offices, but sometimes they carry the voter’s choices – and not enough postage. Fortunately, that’s not an issue thanks to agreements between election offices and the Postal Service. Either way, voters with such ballots should get them in the mail very soon to ensure they arrive in time to get counted.


Can’t Stop the … CAN’T STOP THE SELFIE! Timberlake’s Photo Puts Ballot Selfies on the Front Page

Justin Timberlake is having a busy week. Not only is he promoting his new movie, but his recent ballot selfie taken has taken the the debate over such photographs to another level with Election Day approaching. States have a variety of rules about selfies – and there are concerns about their potential for fraud – but it’s undeniable that the phenomenon is taking off nationwide.



DDOS Attacks and Election Day: What to Do? [HINT: Don’t Wait.]

Last Friday, Internet users across America were affected by an apparent worldwide distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack using an army of household appliances to barrage the network with data requests. That could be a problem on Election Day, but not if voters use information already available to learn about voting – or, if they’re willing and able to do so, to cast their ballots.


ElectionlineWeekly on 2016’s Election-Related Ballot Questions

Election 2016’s fight for the White House and control of Congress gets lots of attention – and rightly so – but there are many, many other contests on the ballot, including several that could affect how future voters cast their ballots. If nothing else, election geeks can keep an eye on these questions on Election Night as we wait for the other high-visibility races to be decided.



Preparing for Write-Ins: Advice from the Center on Civic Design

Election Day is three weeks from today, and due to the content and tenor of the current presidential campaign, there is growing interest in write-in votes. As with many other aspects of the election process, there’s more to the story of casting a write-in than initially meets the eye – and the gurus at the Center for Civic Design have some tips for election officials looking to assist their voters.


Worse Than Nothing? Judge Orders Florida to Give Voters Opportunity to Fix Vote-by-Mail Ballot Signatures

Less than a week after ordering the State of Florida to extend its registration deadline because of Hurricane Matthew, a federal judge has criticized the state for its application of a rule that invalidates vote-by-mail ballots with non-matching signatures. The dispute highlights the growing challenges associated with using signatures and other handwritten documents to validate voters’ identities.


BONUS POST: Column with Larry Jacobs: “Enough Already: US Elections Are Fair”

My UMN colleague Larry Jacobs and I have a contributors’ column in The Hill newspaper entitled “Enough already: US elections are fair”. It highlights the work done by election officials across the nation and signals our commitment to ensuring that the profession of election administration continues to attract the kind of smart and dedicated public servants who currently make America’s democracy work.