April 2016

electionlineWeekly on Accessibility Upgrades to Washington’s MyVote

The latest electionlineWeekly takes a look at accessibility upgrades to Washington State’s MyVote portal – changes that not only build upon a recent report offering critiques and techniques, but also took place on an expedited basis to make sure that all Evergreen State voters would have access to the tools and services they need to cast a vote this year.

New CACEO Website Details Election Costs

The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials has a wonderful new resource, funded by the James Irvine Foundation, that tracks county spending on elections over time in several categories. It’s an incredibly important set of data – both in the general sense of illuminating the “white whale” of election costs but also now as the counties seek increased funding for next month’s primary and beyond.

Our Man in Montenegro: Q&A with Rokey Suleman

Rokey Suleman has a long track record of work here in the US and internationally on election administration. His latest post is in the relatively new European country of Montenegro, where he is helping the state election commission prepare for its first election as a full-time agency. It’s a nice change from previous – and dangerous! – assignments elsewhere around the globe. He was gracious enough to answer a few questions about his experiences.

Federal Court Upholds North Carolina Voter ID, Other Election Changes

North Carolina’s voter ID law and other election changes enacted in 2013 were upheld yesterday by a federal court in a 485-page opinion that is skeptical of the severity of the burden of the law on voters. The race is now on to determine if the law will in fact be in place on Election Day this fall – but the opinion is written in such a way as to limit the freedom of an appeals court (and maybe eventually, the Supreme Court) to make changes.

MIT’s Charles Stewart on Brooklyn Voter Purge Controversy

MIT’s Charles Stewart has a fascinating and helpful new blog post about the Brooklyn voter registration controversy which not only dissects the data but highlights why finding and using it is so challenging. It shows that what little information we do have – thanks to the counties’ poor performance on data collection and reporting – suggest that the current numbers don’t quite add up.

EAC’s Masterson on “Election Officials as IT Managers”

U.S. Election Assistance Commission vice-chair Matt Masterson has a new blog post this week that focuses on an a topic I’ve heard him discuss many, many times, especially over the last year or so: helping election officials understand their slow but steady transformation into information technology (IT) professionals.

NPR’s Fessler Looks at Voter Roll “Purges”

Voter list maintenance – in particular, “purges” that remove voters from the rolls – is once again in the news; fortunately, NPR’s in-house electiongeek Pam Fessler has an explainer that examines why and how purges occur.

Not What You Think It Means: California’s Non-Independent “Independent” Voters

For the first time in a long time, California’s presidential primary voters are poised to play a huge role in the nomination campaigns … but many voters who consider themselves independents could be in for an unpleasant surprise on Election Day because of confusion involving the voter registration form and the very similar-sounding American Independent Party.

Ohio Legislator Pushing Bill to Limit Court-Ordered Polling Hour Extensions

Recent court orders extending polling hours in Ohio have led one legislator – with support from many of his colleagues – to propose a bill that would use bonding requirements to discourage attempts to extend voting hours on Election Day. Opponents say it would close the courtroom door to low-income voters – or send them to federal court where the law would not apply.