Senate Rules Committee to Hold Hearing Today on Election Security

This morning, the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration will hold a hearing entitled ELECTION SECURITY PREPARATIONS: A STATE AND LOCAL PERSPECTIVE. The hearing is designed, in part, to try to spur movement in Congress on election security after the latest setback: failure to get Secure Elections Act language included in the National Defense Authorizations Act.

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Off Again: Federal Court Strikes Down Kansas Proof-of-Citizenship Law

The long-running, on-again-off-again battle over Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship law for voter registration took another turn yesterday, as a federal court once again struck down the law and imposed strict orders on the Secretary of State to comply with the ruling. This is a significant ruling, not just for Kansas but also for the potential issues it raises – including balancing federal and state control over elections – that could eventually find their way back to the U.S. Supreme Court. For now, though, it’s a big win for plaintiffs and a vivid reminder of a key rule in litigation: win or lose, don’t irritate the judge.

electionlineWeekly on How States are (Planning on) Spending Federal Cybersecurity Funds

Mindy Moretti’s latest electionlineWeekly newsletter takes a look at how states are thinking about spending their share of the $380 million in federal funds for election cybersecurity included in the recent federal omnibus budget bill. Federal funding is crucial, but it is also highlighting the need for sustained commitments of state and local resources to continue the work long-term.

SCOTUS Rules Against Minnesota Polling Place Apparel Restrictions in MVA v. Mansky

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, re-confirming that state laws banning certain political apparel in the polling place are permissible but finding that Minnesota’s law sweeps too broadly and thus violates the Constitution. It was nonetheless a net positive for the field given the Court’s endorsement of polling place apparel restrictions, though fights remain over changes to the state’s law – and efforts to narrow those restrictions even further.

In Kansas, Two Ron Estes Create Challenges for Election Officials

Sometimes the trickiest election issues are the simplest and smallest – like how to handle the situation when two Congressional candidates in the same contest, one an incumbent, have the same name. That’s the case in Kansas, where two candidates named Ron Estes are generating controversy and forcing state election officials to go the extra mile to distinguish them.