October 2016

Back By Popular Demand: electionlineWeekly on Chicago’s New “I Voted” Wristbands

Mindy Moretti has a great story in the latest electionlineWeekly about how Chicago’s election office is putting a new twist on an old favorite at the polls – offering “I Voted” wristbands to voters in lieu of stickers, which were abandoned in the city years ago. It’s great to see election offices recognize the power of small tokens for voters as a thank you for turning out and encouragement for others to do the same.

Can I Get a Witness? (cont.): Wisconsin Absentee Rules Create Controversy

Wisconsin’s new law requiring a witness’ address on absentee ballots is threatening to force election officials to discard such ballots. The state elections commission says officials can’t cure those problems without first obtaining voters’ consent – and officials worry that could end up disenfranchising people as Election Day approaches. Could litigation be far be behind?

More States and Localities Seek DHS Cybersecurity Assistance

With Election Day less than four weeks away, more jurisdictions are seeking cybersecurity assistance from the federal government. Congressional leaders have assured states and localities that such assistance will not expand the federal role – but don’t be surprised if that issue re-emerges next year, resurfacing the federal vs. state tensions that underpin our nation’s election administration system.

Federal Court Extends Florida Registration Deadline

Last week, I wrote about the dispute over Hurricane Matthew’s impact on Florida’s voter registration deadline. Yesterday, a federal court in Tallahassee ruled that the deadline must be extended at least one day to Wednesday, with a possible further extension based on a hearing. The case raises interesting legal questions about how to review the constitutionality of state laws affecting registration and voting.

2016: The Belt and Suspenders Election

This year, many voters are casting ballots and engaging with the election process earlier and in greater numbers than I can remember. The presidential campaign seem to have made voters unusually (and intensely) risk-averse and as a result they are engaging in “belt and suspenders.” For them, it appears that not having a vote cast and counted in this election is equivalent to being caught with your pants down.

The World is Watching: International Observers and the 2016 Election

With voting underway in many states and Election Day less than five weeks away, delegations from around the world are arriving in the United States to observe the 2016 vote. International observation is a fantastic opportunity for state and local election officials to show what they can do – and in some cases, get the chance to see standard procedure through (many!) different eyes.

Democracy Fund Report Examines Impact of PCEA

Yesterday, the Democracy Fund released a new report cataloging the impact of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, formed in 2013 to study key issues and make recommendations for improving America’s election system. The report reveals that the PCEA’s work has had a huge impact on how American voters cast their ballots – one which is of tremendous continuing value to the field.

EAC’s Matt Masterson on Final Preparations for Election Day

Election Day is five weeks away, and election officials across the nation are in the the home stretch. U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Vice-Chair Matt Masterson has penned a new blog post that lays out the work left to be done and offers reminders and tips for offices as they get ready for the big day.