Articles by Doug Chapin


Welcome Back: Milwaukee to Restore 21,000 Voters to Rolls

The City of Milwaukee will reinstate about 21,000 voters who were removed from the rolls last year after the state elections commission determined that they and others across the state were dropped when a list maintenance mailing went awry. It’s the latest story to highlight the importance of voters checking their registrations well in advance of Election Day; it’s very easy to do in most states and it can avoid frustration for everyone involved on Election Day. [UPDATED]


Not Going to Happen: Secure Elections Act Won’t Pass Before 2018 Election

The lead Republican Senate co-sponsor of the Secure Elections Act, federal legislation to solidify election cybersecurity, conceded yesterday that it won’t pass before the November elections. While this news isn’t surprising, it is disappointing, and means that any effort to put together a permanent federal response to the election cybersecurity challenge will have to wait (and very likely start over) until a new Congress next year.


National Voter Registration Day 2018

Today is the seventh(!) annual National Voter Registration Day – and organizations across the nation are celebrating with events aimed at encouraging Americans of all ages to register to vote. With just 42 days until Election Day, now’s the time …if you need to register or update your voter record, do it today!


NC Election Officials Cope in Hurricane Florence’s Aftermath

Flood waters are slowly receding in the parts of North Carolina hardest hit by Hurricane Florence, leaving election officials in some counties to scrambling to cope with Election Day just six weeks away. The State Board is stepping in with assistance – and the close of registration could be delayed – but local officials say they’ll be ready when it’s time to cast ballots.


Friday Fun: An #Electiongeek Playlist

Election Day is 46 days away, and preparations are in full swing across the country. As you get it all together for the big day – and for just a little Friday fun –  here’s a short list of songs/videos for #electiongeeks everywhere – enjoy!


CCD On “How Journalism Can Help People Register to Vote”

My friend Dana Chisnell over at the Center for Civic Design has a new post about an innovative way that newspapers can encourage voter registration – namely, by printing their own forms! As Election Day – and in states that have them, registration deadlines – approach, efforts like these could be a tremendous help to voters seeking to add or update their names on the rolls.


Judge Casts Doubt on Georgia Voting Machines But Declines to Order Change Before Election Day

Yesterday, a federal judge expressed serious doubts about the security of the State of Georgia’s voting machines, and the state’s pace in responding to potential vulnerabilities – but declined to order a switch to paper ballots so close to Election Day 2018. The ruling signals the impending end of an era; Georgia was an early statewide adopter of touchscreen voting technology after enactment of the Help America Vote Act … but change is coming to the Peach State.


No Small Stuff (cont.): ZIP Code Error Affects Absentee Ballot Requests in Youngstown

Regular readers of this blog know that I have a favorite saying: “The good news about election administration is that you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. The bad news is that there is no small stuff.” That once again came to mind this week as election officials in Youngstown, OH discovered that an error on state absentee ballot requests is causing them to be returned to sender. It’s not a huge problem – officials caught it in time and are working with the Post Office – but it’s a reminder that even the smallest things can potentially be big problems as Election Day approaches.


Ohio SoS Race – Partisan Differences, But Shared Commitment to Fair Elections

One of the nation’s highest-profile state election jobs is up for grabs in Ohio between two state legislators with a record of interest in election issues: Kathleen Clyde (D) and Frank LaRose (R). Ohio has long been a state to watch in the election community, both for its impact on election policy but also for high-profile litigation – and yes, partisanship – that often drives the national conversation. Both candidates are making a shared commitment to a healthy, fair and secure voting process; here’s hoping that survives the heat of a statewide campaign in the Buckeye State.