Who has two thumbs and can use their phone to get a ballot? Voters in California’s Contra Costa County, that’s who – the county now offers the ability to text to obtain a vote-by-mail ballot.
Articles by Doug Chapin
North Carolina’s State Board of Elections is moving today to remove its executive director, reflecting the partisan shift on the board – and likely setting off yet another round of conflict over elections in the Tarheel State.
This week’s electionlineWeekly newsletter from Mindy Moretti features three local election offices’ community service projects for Public Service Recognition Week. Election offices already do so much for their communities year-round, but it’s gratifying to see them reaching out to serve outside the voting process.
Ryan Macias, a key technology expert at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, has given notice and will be leaving the agency. I can’t wait to hear what he’s doing next – and, like many others, I’m worried about what his departure means for the EAC and its voting system testing and certification process.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill announced last Friday that he is promoting Clay Helms to state election director. He steps up to the state job at a crucial time, with preparations for the 2020 Presidential election already in full swing.
Voters would be able to track their ballots using ElectionGuard, a new set of open-source tools developed by a group headed up by Microsoft. Here’s hoping that everyone concerned (including budget writers at every level) can help get these great ideas actually into polling places – and voters’ hands – as soon as possible.
Murrysville, PA will have to subdivide its voting precincts after a court agreed that they far exceed state guidelines for maximum number of voters, leading to long lines at the polls. In communities where in-person voting is still prevalent, finding enough places to vote and assigning the right number of voters to those places is a critical task.
Los Angeles County, CA’s long-awaited voting system is beginning its public rollout and will debut in 2020. Obviously, this is a huge step for Los Angeles, but it also signals a potential new phase for voting technology nationwide. It’s a story that is likely to resonate in the election community for years (if not decades) to come.
Tennessee’s Rutherford County (Murfreesboro) is facing a $300K lawsuit after an elderly voter suffered injuries after a trip and fall in a polling place last year. It’s a reminder that while larger threats like mass shootings and terrorism get attention, things like extension cords can literally and figuratively trip up election officials.
Hawaii lawmakers have approved legislation that moves the Aloha State to all-mail voting, provide postage-paid return and clarify when ballots must be received for counting. The changes would apply to the 2020 election, meaning that Hawaii will likely be leaning on a deep bench of mail-voting jurisdictions nationwide for advice.