NPR’s Pam Fessler has a new piece with a wide-ranging interview with EAC Chair Christy McCormick on voting technology and other issues – and the federal government’s plans (if any) to be of assistance. Hint: It likely won’t involve new federal funds.
Peggy Nighswonger, who has been Wyoming state election director since 1996, has stepped down citing “philosophical differences” with the new SoS – apparently involving the relative emphasis on registering new voters vs. preparing for the 2016 election.
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.
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.
This week’s electionlineWeekly looks at efforts nationwide to ensure that the growing list of OVR sites are accessible to all voters.
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’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.
New Hampshire will be taking Polaroids of anyone without ID who casts an affidavit ballot. It’s a low-tech solution that avoids challenges with digital photography – but the reason for the photo (and how it will be used) isn’t entirely clear.
The most recent electionlineWeekly profiles a fantastic new (PCEA-inspired) program in Chicago that uses college students to serve as pollworkers – a program that not only offers an introduction to election administration for the students but also directly benefits voters and improves the voting experience overall.
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.