October 2015

New Pew Brief Details 2014 Voting Experience

Pew’s election team has a new issue brief with survey data from 2014 showing that most voters waited in line less time than they expected and that many who had planned to cast ballots by mail ended up doing so in person – either by casting their ballot or returning their mail ballot at a polling pace or some other central location. It’s valuable “customer service” data of use to both election officials and policymakers.

Automatic for the People: CA Governor Signs “New Motor Voter” Bill

California’s Governor has signed a bill sought by the new Secretary of State that will use motor vehicle records to automatically add voters to the rolls. It sets up partisan fights but also implementation concerns – especially given California’s size and diversity and its new statewide voter file.

New Hill Op-Ed Calls on Congress to Fund EAC’s Efforts to Address Voting Technology Issues

Rokey Suleman and Doug Lewis – two people with years of experience in elections and elections policy here and around the globe – have a new op-ed in The Hill calling on Congress to continue funding the EAC’s work assisting state and local election officials with the impending crisis in voting technology. Here’s hoping Congress can find it in their hearts (and wallets) to listen.

Virginia Debates Use of E-Signatures for Absentee Ballot Requests

Virginia’s State Board of Elections is once again at the center of a debate after a policy change – sought by the GOP Speaker of the House – opened the door to electronic signatures on absentee ballot requests. Some Democrats have moved to embrace the change – but it is rekindling the traditional partisan argument about ease of access vs. the threat of fraud.

Mountain State Milestone: West Virginia Launches OVR

West Virginia was one of the early wave of states to adopt OVR when it enacted legislation in 2013; this week, that enactment became reality with the launch of the state’s new OVR portal. It’s safe to say that no change in elections in recent years has been more rapid that OVR adoption and implementation – and now West Virginia has joined the list, which to date includes 25 states with more on the way.