The U.S. Virgin Islands are moving ahead with an April 8 special Senate election despite a lingering controversy over the vacancy – and concerns that there are insufficient funds to run the election. It’s an extreme example of the degree to which political and legal developments (over which election officials usually have zero control) can have significant impact on time and resources spent on election activities.
Yesterday, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill that would have established automatic voter registration in the Silver State – but voters will get a chance to decide its fate at the polls next year. Don’t be surprised to see AVR become the subject of intense scrutiny – and heated rhetoric – given the sharp divide on the issue between the two parties, both in Nevada and across the nation.
Nebraska’s John Gale, one of the nation’s longest-serving Secretaries of State, has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018. Whoever replaces him in the Cornhusker State will have huge shoes to fill.
Last year’s hotly-contested North Carolina gubernatorial election generated considerable controversy after the post-election battle to decide the winner – and now a group of voters wrongly accused of voter fraud as part of the process is seeking changes in how the state handles election protests.
The State of California has just launched a program that aims to get more young people ready to participate in the election process by pre-registering to vote online at age 16. Mindy Moretti has the story in the latest electionlineWeekly about this inventive approach to bringing young people into the voting process.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee, has written a letter to the Secretary John Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security with a long list of questions about DHS’ plans for the designation of elections as “critical infrastructure.”
State officials and local prosecutors are trying to figure out what went wrong after reports that numerous 17-year-olds improperly cast ballots in last year’s Wisconsin presidential primary. This story illuminates both the policy and informational challenges involved when voters who are not yet of voting age but will be 18 at the general election want to cast ballots in the primary.
Fifteen states have filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to hear a case in order to clarify if and how states may use evidence of non-voting as a factor in removing voters from the rolls. It’s a seemingly small point that could have significant impact on states’ list maintenance processes in 2017 and beyond.
Montana has set Thursday, May 25 as the date for a special election in which voters will choose the state’s new at-large U.S. Representative. Unfortunately, the state has yet to decide on how that vote will take place because of disagreement over a bill designating the special as an all-mail election. Election officials need to know soon as “drop-dead” dates for preparation are rapidly approaching.
This week’s electionlineWeekly features a story about a new program in Dane County (Madison), WI which is intended to give the public a window into the voting process by posting ballot images online.