electionlineWeekly Previews 2018 Voting-Related Ballot Measures

There has been a lot of attention to the candidates on the November 6 ballot – but in this week’s electionline newsletter, Mindy Moretti previews a number of state and local ballot questions addressing issues with the voting process. Most of these issues aren’t likely to generate the kind of partisan heat that many ballot questions bring; however, if enacted, each of them will constitute significant change in how the affected jurisdiction administers its elections.

Not the Real Thing: Linn County, IA Voters Mistakenly Return Voted Sample Ballots

With Election Day less than a month away, now is the time that election offices step up their efforts to let voters know what’s going to be on their ballots. But in Iowa’s Linn County (Cedar Rapids), several hundred voters mistook sample ballots for the real thing – actually voting and returning them. It illustrates the line election officials must walk in preparing voter education materials like sample ballots: wanting to ensure that they are sufficiently realistic and usable to be helpful to voters, but not so much so that there’s confusion about what’s real and what isn’t.

SCOTUS Declines to Stay North Dakota Voter ID Law for 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand for now a North Dakota law requiring voters to present an ID bearing their residential address, despite arguments from Native American voters that it will disproportionately affect them. Moreover, the Court declined to apply the so-called “Purcell principle” which suggests that courts stay out of election disputes this close to an election.

Storm Brewing Over FL Voter Registration as Hurricane Michael Approaches

The State of Florida is preparing for landfall of Hurricane Michael – and the forecast is triggering an election storm as well as calls emerge for the state to extend its Tuesday voter registration deadline. If this dispute sounds familiar, it’s because it also happened in 2016, when a federal judge ordered the State of Florida to extend its deadline because of Hurricane Matthew. Here’s hoping that everyone in the storm’s path stays safe – but don’t be surprised to see litigation over this issue as Michael prepares to come ashore.