Like most of you, I’ll be with family and friends this week and next celebrating the holidays and ringing in the New Year … that means a reduced blogging schedule between now and Monday, January 4.
The EAC and FVAP have written the Postal Service to open a dialogue on handling and delivery issues that have concerned election officials like ballot delivery/return, postmarks and infrastructure changes. Here’s hoping the USPS and election officials can get on the same page in 2016 and beyond.
Oregon will launch its “new motor voter” program on the first business day of 2016, setting up a process that state officials expect eventually to add 10,000 voters per month to the rolls. At the outset, however, the state is taking it slow, waiting until after the May primary to add the first big batch of approximately 300,000 voters based on recent DMV data.
Ned Foley writes in the most recent electionlineWeekly to promote his new book – but more importantly, to highlight the importance of thinking ahead about the impact of disputed elections as the next presidential vote approaches.
The Council on State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative recently released the best-practice policy recommendations of its Policy Working Group as part of a 4-year effort with the FVAP to improve voting by Americans around the world. It’s a tremendous resource that will help election officials ensure that every voter can cast a timely and valid ballot.
The new Congressional omnibus spending bill includes funding for the Election Assistance Commission – despite the opposition of agency opponents on the Hill. It’s a temporary reprieve but still welcome as the EAC continues its efforts to re-establish itself as a valuable resource to state and local election officials nationwide.
Albuquerque City Councilor Brad Winter is the governor’s choice to serve as interim New Mexico Secretary of State after the resignation of Dianna Duran. Winter says he won’t run for the job permanently – and isn’t giving up his old job, either – but his reputation as a skilled administrator will help as he pilots the state election office as a newcomer in a presidential election year.
Maryland’s new voting technology is coming under criticism from the Governor and his administration, citing problems during testing. But supporters of the new system say it is on track for a successful rollout in 2016 and is a step up from the state’s existing touchscreen machines. Still, Maryland’s implementation issues with new machines is a problem many other states (seeking funding for upgrades) likely wish they had.
Minnesota’s new Secretary of State traveled to all 87 counties to hear what issues matter most to them. Based on those discussions, he has put together a working group to address the “impending crisis” in voting technology by finding a way to fund new purchases across the state.
electionlineWeekly looks at polling place security in the wake of last week’s terrible attack in San Bernardino. Sadly, it appears that election offices will have to think the unthinkable and plan not just for extreme weather and other natural disasters but man-made disasters as well.