I’ve written about Ohio voters who were “mad as a wet hen in a thunderstorm” about vote by mail ballots that were mailed before Election Day but arrived late without a postmark and thus couldn’t be counted. You can add a veteran Utah legislator to that list, who is asking the Utah Supreme Court for a recount after he lost a recent primary by 9 votes with 70 late but unpostmarked ballots uncounted in the final tally.
In recent weeks, we have seen increasing concerns nationwide about cybersecurity – especially as we move closer to a national general election in November. Last week, EAC Vice-Chair Matt Masterson published a blog post that not only lays out what the EAC is doing to assist election offices across the nation but also suggests what those offices can do to help themselves.
Last week, The Pew Charitable Trusts released the latest edition of its Elections Performance Index (EPI) with data from the 2014 midterm election. In the most recent edition of electionlineWeekly, MIT’s Charles Stewart – a prime force behind the EPI – talked about what it means for American election administration now and going forward.
Back in late 2014, Illinois enacted a sweeping election bill that included Election Day registration. Now, a conservative group is planning to challenge the law in court, alleging that it improperly distinguishes between large and small counties – resulting in a partisan imbalance in its impact. Whatever the outcome, here’s hoping it doesn’t create (too much) uncertainty before Election Day.
The recent federal appeals court decision invalidating several changes to North Carolina election laws has placed one issue firmly in the hands of counties: early voting. Yesterday in Guilford County (Greensboro), that decision led to a raucous public meeting and a unanimous compromise plan that is intended to gain state approval – and as such was accepted if not embraced by community members.
Hennepin County, Minnesota is rolling out new e-pollbook technology this fall intended to speed check-in at the polls and improve absentee ballot logging as well as data transfer post-election. It’s a key development for the North Star State, which has been studying and discussing e-pollbooks since the defeat of voter ID in 2012 but now appears ready to move from discussion to deployment.
A popular topic here on the blog has been the advent of early voting in Massachusetts – its enactment, concerns about implementation and a recent veto of state funding by the Governor (subsequently overriden by the legislature). Now, with the general election less than 100 days away, a new report finds that many cities and towns aren’t yet ready to implement the change.
Cybersecurity concerns related to recent news stories about email “hacks” and other cyberattacks have led the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to consider measures to protect the nation’s voting systems. It is vital for election officials in jurisdictions of every size and at every level to develop an awareness of cybersecurity issues – and, where possible to harden their systems against such attacks.
I missed a few blogging days this week, and – as often happens in an election year – the election world didn’t stand still while I was gone. Specifically, three more courts in three more states (North Carolina, Wisconsin and Kansas) issued rulings that will likely have an impact on this fall’s election. Indeed, the the litigation about these laws could very well last right up until voters go to the polls in November.