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.
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.
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.
After a busy November, you’d think election officials would get a break. But January has become a magnet for special elections necessitated by general election results – with a whole new set of challenges for election offices.
Last Friday, Secretary Jeh Johnson of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that his agency was designating election infrastructure as “critical infrastructure”. That designation raises some key questions about scope, policy – and permanence – that likely mean we are in for more talk than action in the immediate future.