June 2016

Federal Judge Denies Injunction in EAC Proof-of-Citizenship Case

Yesterday, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a request for a preliminary injunction in the case challenging the decision to add proof-of-citizenship instructions for three states (Alabama, Georgia and Kansas) to the federal voter registration form.

Awfully QR to Me: New Barcode on Crow Wing Ballot Raises Concerns

Very often, problems arise in elections because ballots don’t get enough scrutiny – in preparation, layout or when in the voter’s hands. That’s not the case in Minnesota’s Crow Wing County (Brainerd), where a small change to the county’s ballots (adding a QR code) led to a challenge at a recent meeting.

On the Road Today

No blog today – on the road with a newly-minted high school graduate visiting his new college’s orientation program … back tomorrow!

electionlineWeekly on Sudden Changes to HAVA Section 261 Funding

One of the lesser-known but important parts of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was the provision in Section 261 for states to receive funding to help with improving access to the polls for people with disabilities. But recently, states have encountered frustrations with the program because of a sudden change in the reporting system for the funds. electionlineWeekly’s Mindy Moretti has the story.

Cast But Not Counted: Some Oregon VBM Ballots Don’t Make the Final Tally

Oregon has been a pioneer on numerous fronts in election administration – the first all vote-by-mail state, and more recently the first to embrace automatic voter registration – but a recent story in the Bend Bulletin shows that even pioneers must deal with ballots that don’t count. Focusing data collection on the source of errors and tailoring outreach accordingly (like California has) can help.

Ongoing Battles Over Kansas Registration Laws Leave Local Election Officials Uncertain How to Proceed

The ongoing battles in Kansas over proof-of-citizenship requirements have not only left voters unsure about their status, they’ve also left local election officials scrambling to prepare for multiple eventualities as the state primary and fall general elections approach. While that’s a typical response for local election officials in situations like these, a little more clarity in advance of Election Day would be nice.

Open Early: Massachusetts Towns Prepare for Early Voting

Back in 2014, Massachusetts enacted a wide-ranging reform bill that included early voting – with the reforms to take effect for the 2016 election. Now, towns are preparing for early voting with a combination of anticipation and trepidation, some of which is typical and some of which relates to Massachusetts’ slow embrace of new election laws and procedures – which makes this big change seem even bigger.

Ohio Governor Vetoes Legislation Requiring Bonds for Poll Extension Requests

Ohio’s Governor has vetoed a bill that would have required anyone seeking a state court-ordered polling hours extension to post a cash bond. While proponents see the bond as a means to limit frivolous requests, opponents see it as a “poll tax” – and now the Governor and Secretary of State have vowed to work on new language that manage extension requests without a bond.

CTCL Launches Election Toolkit

The Center for Technology and Civic Life has a new Election Toolkit, developed in consultation with election officials and other design partners, that can help election offices find new and different ways to engage voters on social media and elsewhere. It’s an incredibly valuable resource to a field that is going to need all the tools it can use in this high-profile presidential election year.