Summer Blogging Break

The blog and I are on a summer vacation … we’ll both be back on Monday, August 27th for the 2018 election homestretch (and beyond) – see you then!

Some Personal News: A New Gig (But the Old One Will Continue)

After seven years with the University of Minnesota, I will be joining Fors Marsh Group in Northern Virginia on Monday, August 20th as their Director of Election Research. The good news, however, is that both my teaching work (and this blog!) will continue … though the blog will be taking a short vacation/transition break until Monday August 27th. Thanks to all of you for making this work so interesting – and so much fun!

NC State Board of Elections Referees County Disputes on Early Voting

Over the weekend, the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) stepped in to resolve county disputes regarding timing and location of early voting – generally approving plans that keep Sunday voting and preserve on-campus options for students. It’s remarkable how important the NCSBE and its tiebreaking procedures has become in refereeing these disputes, given the parties’ apparently very different views on early voting.

Square Peg, Round Hole: Incompatible File Formats at Root of Recent LA County List Problems

About two months ago, Los Angeles County, CA experienced an issue with precinct rosters for its June 5 primary that resulted in over 118,000 voters’ names being omitted from the roster. Now, an analysis of those problems reveals that incompatible file formats were a key underlying cause. Problems like this one highlight the importance of common data format work; ensuring that various systems talk to one another – especially when different levels of government with separate vendors are involved – becomes increasingly vital as voter data is collected, verified and prepared for Election Day.

Amber McReynolds’ electionlineWeekly “Exit Interview”

Last Friday, Denver’s Amber McReynolds announced that she’ll be stepping down to lead the National Vote at Home Institute and Coalition … and because Amber always moves fast, electionlineWeekly’s Mindy Moretti made sure to grab her for the newsletter’s latest “exit interview”.

Tammy Patrick’s 8 Tips for Media Coverage of Election Administration

Electiongeek extraordinaire Tammy Patrick – now a senior advisor to the Democracy Fund – recently gave a talk at Harvard for journalists with tips for covering election administration. As you’d expect, she has some excellent tips – especially the link to resources (including election officials) and the reminder that voting doesn’t begin or end on Election Day.

Massachusetts Poised to Enact AVR, Join ERIC

Massachusetts has enacted a bill – with large, bipartisan majorities – that would make it the latest state to allow automatic voter registration and also clear the way for the Bay State to join ERIC.

Be Prepared: Vermont SoS and New NASS President Condos Pens Election Security Op-Ed in The Hill

Vermont Secretary of State James Condos – who was recently elected president of the National Association of Secretaries of State – has a new op-ed in The Hill newspaper detailing everything he and his colleagues across the nation are doing to prepare for cybersecurity threats to the election process in 2018 and beyond. It’s a powerful signal that the field is getting ready – and will stay ready – for Election Day 2018 and going forward as part of a never-ending race to keep America’s democracy safe from outside interference.

Posterize This! Newest electionlineWeekly Looks at DHS Effort in Iowa

Mindy Moretti’s latest installment of electionlineWeekly looks at a new effort underway in Iowa aimed at using posters to inform voters of how – and why – their election cybersecurity is being protected. The “last mile” idea is vital in any project, but especially here where the key is to get people to think about their specific role in the overall cybersecurity scheme. It’s also a great way for jurisdictions to think through what their systems are in order to explain them to voters – and of course the information and assurance to voters is invaluable.