February 2016

Interview with New EAC Chair Tom Hicks

Tom Hicks is the new Chair of the Election Assistance Commission and, while litigation over proof-of-citizenship has dominated the news lately, he spoke to the Center for Public Integrity about the full range of the agency’s mission.

Ghost Ships: Out of the Race, Still on the Ballot

The presidential nomination campaign is underway and voters have begun to speak. As they do, some candidates don’t hear their names often enough and leave the race. That means many ballots bear the names of candidates who are no longer running … and these “ghost ships” can be a challenge for voters and election officials alike.

Newby Declaration in Proof of Citizenship Dispute [UPDATED]

Today, the DOJ took the unusual step of consenting to an injunction against the federal government in the ongoing dispute over the addition of state-specific instructions regarding of proof-of-citizenship requirements on the federal registration form. Accompanying that request is a declaration from EAC Director Brian Newby which lays out the process and rationale behind his decision to approve the instructions.

School’s Out … For … VOTING: High Expected Turnout Causes Fairfax County, VA Schools to Close Election Day

Fairfax County, VA will close schools on March 1, citing the prospect for potentially-overwhelming turnout in that day’s presidential primary. Closing schools for voting has been recommended and is often discussed, both because of turnout and security concerns. Regardless, election offices and school systems must work together to ensure that voters and students don’t get in one another’s way on Election Day.

“And Then There Were Ten”: Quesenbery and Chisnell on the New Field Guides

This week’s electionlineWeekly features a guest column by “civic designers” Whitney Quesenbery and Dana Chisnell, who recently released two new editions of their popular (and invaluable) Field Guides for Ensuring Voter Intent. Whitney, Dana and the Guides are changing election administration by bringing design knowledge to election offices nationwide and showing how to apply it in everyday practice.

See You In Court: Groups Sue Newby, EAC Over Proof of Citizenship

A coalition of plaintiffs has brought suit against EAC Executive Director Brian Newby and the agency seeking to roll back the recent letters adding proof of citizenship instructions to the federal registration form in three states. It’s an important case on both the substance as well as on the future policymaking relationship between the EAC and its staff.