January 2016

Nebraska to Consider the Future of Voting Technology – and Voting

Nebraska’s Secretary of State and some legislators want to enact legislation empowering the state to look at the future of voting technology in the state, as well as at the election system that surrounds it. By examining vote-by-mail (and online voting, which concerns some experts) the state hopes to put any procurement into context – an example other states would do well to emulate.

Florida Debates Salary Changes for County Election Supervisors

Proposed legislation in Florida would alter the state statutory formula to raise county election supervisors’ salaries. Not everyone agrees, though at least one skeptic suggests scrapping the state formula entirely and letting counties decide supervisor pay. Either way, ensuring sufficient compensation is a crucial issue for the long-term health of the election administration field.

Empire State Early Voting?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has included money in his latest budget request to establish early voting – a modest proposal that would establish 139 pre-election voting locations statewide. Counties have concerns, however, citing costs and the need to upgrade to e-pollbooks in order to make the change. Given the state’s history, reform may not come quickly but it may well come eventually.

Buckeye Ballot Barcode Brouhaha: Counties Seek State Action to Improve Counting of Late-Arriving Ballots

Ohio local election officials are calling on the Secretary of State and/or the Legislature to allow them to use postal barcodes in addition to postmarks in an effort to determine if a mailed ballot was returned on time. The Secretary isn’t sure he has that authority – and as a result the issue could soon be added to a long list of partisan disagreements in the Buckeye State.

CAFWD Report on Last Week’s “Re-Imagining What’s Possible” Event in California

Ed Coghlan of California Forward has a terrific summary of last week’s “Re-Imagining What’s Possible” event sponsored by CACEO and held at UCLA. The panel had a number of interesting things to say about the role of technology in the future of elections, and the issues they discussed will likely become familiar across the election community for the foreseeable future.

Kansas Judge Invalidates Two-Tier Registration

Late last Friday, a Kansas judge invalidated the state’s two-tier registration system established as a result of the effort to require proof-of-citizenship from all voters. While the Secretary of State will appeal, the case could have ramifications both in Kansas and across the nation.