October 2017

electionlineWeekly on the Rise of Social Media in Election Administration

If you’re in the election field and use social media, you may have noticed that election offices are getting more active – and creative! – online. electionline’s Mindy Moretti noticed the same thing and (as she does) decided to write about it for this week’s newsletter. It’s encouraging to see these offices out there doing their bit to raise the tone on social media and bring key election-related information to their voters.

Massachusetts Moves to Reimburse Localities for Early Voting Costs

The Massachusetts Legislature is currently moving a bill that will reimburse localities for their costs associated with implementing early voting. It reflects, in part, the growing acceptance of early voting in the Bay State – though it’s a little concerning that localities are being reimbursed after incurring costs rather than supporting early voting in advance. Still, it’s better than nothing.

Latest EAC “EAVS Deep Dive” Focuses on Absentee, Mail and Early Voting

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has just released the latest installment in its new “EAVS Deep Dive” series – this time, taking a look at Americans’ growing use of ballots cast outside the Election Day polling place. It’s a fantastic resource – and evidence of the EAC’s effort to make EAVS data useful for the very same election officials who are required to provide it.

electionlineWeekly on Partnership Between West Virginia SoS, Air National Guard

The latest electionlineWeekly features a story by Mindy Moretti about a fascinating new partnership between the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office and the state’s Air National Guard wing. Given how much cyberdefense has become a key component of many military units, it makes sense for states to create partnerships like this one to protect their election systems.

Pennsylvania SoS Pedro Cortes Resigns

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes resigned yesterday in a surprise move announced by the governor’s office without much warning or explanation. There is speculation – but no confirmation – that a growing controversy about the state’s registration procedures may have been a factor.

When an Open Door is a Problem: Controversy in Ohio’s Summit County

Many election offices across the country operate with an “open door” policy in an effort to demonstrate transparency, but the idea got pushed a little too far earlier this week in Summit County (Akron), Ohio when the doors to the Board of Elections office were automatically unlocked on Columbus Day when no one was there.

Fargo Commissioners Spar on Approval Voting, Next Steps for Election Reform

Back in March. I wrote about discussions in Fargo, ND about using approval voting to elect members of the City Commission. Now, commissioners are divided on whether and how to put those proposed reforms into place. It’s a useful reminder that proposals to change elections remain proposals until they have support from policymakers – who are often motivated by concerns that have nothing to do with election policy.

EAC’s Brian Hancock on “The Last Mile” in Election Security

Brian Hancock of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission has a new blog post that looks at the suddenly-popular and always-vital topic of election cybersecurity and makes the important observation that improved security not only requires policymakers and election officials to think big, but also requires them to think small – a reminder that election security doesn’t work for any of us unless it works for all of us.