December 2015

Happy New Year!

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.

Oregon Prepares to Rollout “New Motor Voter” On January 4

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.

CSG Overseas Voting Initiative Releases Policy Recommendations

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.

Congressional Omnibus Spending Bill Includes Funds for EAC

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.

(Brad) Winter is Coming: Albuquerque Councilor Tapped as NM Secretary of State

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.

New Machines in the Old Line State: Long-Awaited Maryland Upgrades Draw Criticism

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.