Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security *finally* notified state election officials about the extent of Russian hacking attempts on their systems during the 2016 election. It’s a useful (albeit belated) first step, but Congress should step up with federal funding and support now that DHS has begun to do its part to help harden and protect the nation’s election systems.
With National Voter Registration Day just 4 days away, electionlineWeekly takes a look at the state of registration nationwide to see where we stand fifteen years after the first state, Arizona, launched the online registration era. It makes me excited to think what innovations are launching today that electiongeeks will marvel at in 2032.
Advances in voter registration have benefited new and also existing voters – and created new tools for checking and updating their records. I started to write something about that when I realized I already had – five years ago today!
So much of what goes on in election offices between Election Days is invisible to voters – which is why it’s always encouraging to see election administrators open their doors to the public. That’s what happened recently in Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ where the county recorder’s office hosted the public in an informational session about precinct changes as well as upcoming changes to the voting process.
The presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten conference have joined together in a friendly competition to see which school can improve registration and turnout the most in time for the 2018 election. This is a fun way for those schools to harness that competitiveness in service of an important aim: increasing civic participation by young voters. [P.S. SKI-U-MAH MINNESOTA!]
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)’s new election newsletter, The Canvass, is out and it has a great primer on new election common data formats – a topic that it admits can make peoples’ “eyes glaze over” but one that has tremendous promise for the future of election administration in the United States.
electionlineWeekly’s Mindy Moretti uses this week’s edition to take a look at a program in Pasco County, FL that seeks to encourage voter registration in an unexpected – but brilliant! – place: jury pools. It’s a great – and cost-effective – to catch citizens at a time when they are at peak awareness of their role in their communities and thus more likely to be thinking about voting.
This week, the Center for Civic Design celebrated its fourth birthday – four years of invaluable service to the elections field. But true to form, even though it’s their birthday, they’re still giving us gifts in the form of better election design!
Yesterday was a really good day in the elections world because of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC)’s unanimous vote to approve an updated version 2.0 of the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG 2.0). It’s proof of what is possible in the field of elections when people come together to work on concrete issues as opposed to shouting at one another about imaginary ones.
This morning, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity will convene at New Hampshire’s St. Anselm College for its second meeting amid reports that it will consider “background checks” for individuals seeking to register to vote. It’s just part of what could be a long, dispiriting day for the election community in Manchester.