Last Friday, the Maryland State Board of Elections took a very unusual step to deal with problems with the City of Baltimore’s primary: it decertified the results and is carrying out an audit to determine what went wrong. It appears that the focus of the audit will be provisional ballots, which may have been scanned incorrectly – though if so there is disagreement as to who (the state or the city) is at fault.
electionline’s Mindy Moretti has an update in this week’s electionlineWeekly analyzing efforts underway across the country to adjust laws disenfranchising people convicted of felonies. It provides some context for the re-emerging nationwide discussion about the policy of disenfrachisement and the legal and implementation issues involved with changes to those rules.
Arizona’s recent Election Day woes are well-documented, but a group of Phoenix-area advocates is going beyond the usual route of litigation and public criticism and seeking a partnership with state and local officials on issues with the election process. Similar efforts in California have been incredibly productive – and if successful, can benefit not only participants and election officials but voters as well.
Wisconsin’s Kevin Kennedy will retire at the end of next month, leaving the state’s election agency after 37 years rather than stay on in the wake of a legislative overhaul of the state’s election structure. It’s a huge loss for Wisconsin but a tremendous opportunity for his colleagues nationwide to take advantage of his vast knowledge and experience.
A new piece in Alaska Public Media takes you inside the process of translating the state’s election materials into Native Alaskan languages like Yup’ik, where a team is working to see and hear English terms with new eyes and ears in order to convey key concepts in such a way that all voters can understand them and make informed choices. Quite simply, it’s fascinating.
Two Colorado U.S. Senate candidates who had lost their place on the ballot due to signature-gathering issues got help from a judge last week, who ordered that both of them be added to the ballot (at least temporarily). The fight illuminates how separate aspects of an election official’s job – here, the SoS’ responsibilities for ballot access and ballot preparation – can come into conflict as elections approach.
My good friend and fellow electionline alum Dan Seligson recently was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to report on the EAC’s hearing last week in Boston, MA.
Even as the election cycle heats up, there’s still a good reason to keep learning about elections – and three fantastic organizations (the National Conference of State Legislatures, Future of California Elections and CSG’s Overseas Voting Initiative) are offering four informative webinars over the next week, starting tomorrow.
The Ohio House appears finally to be ready to adopt online voter registration after sustained lobbying by the Secretary of State. But after sitting on the bill for almost a year, legislators feel like there isn’t enough time to implement OVR – so the plan is to wait until 2017.
President Obama has nominated former Nevada State Treasurer and 2014 SoS candidate Kate Marshall to be the fourth member (and second Democrat) at the EAC. The nomination is already stirring partisan rhetoric, which likely means it’s not likely to move – but if it did it would restore the agency to full strength at a time when (controversies aside) it has a large agenda to work through.