Last week, I shared the news that longtime Boone County, MO Clerk Wendy Noren is retiring. Yesterday, Mindy Moretti of electionlineWeekly got together with Wendy for the latest in a series of “exit interviews” in the weekly newsletter. There is, unsurprisingly, a ton of good advice in this conversation – which is yet another piece of evidence of how valuable Wendy has been to the field of elections throughout the years.
Longtime Cook County, IL Clerk David Orr announced yesterday that he will not seek re-election when his current term ends in 2018. Orr was continually looking for ways to improve elections in his community and often did so – no mean feat given the city’s of Chicago’s size and complexity. It’s a well-earned retirement but still a loss for the election community nationwide.
NPR’s Pam Fessler has five questions that underlie today’s twin election security hearings on Capitol Hill. Most notable are growing tensions between levels of government about how much information is(n’t) being shared – and what it means going forward.
An Oregon firm’s work to make ballots available in HTML could soon be another tool for states to make voting accessible for people with disabilities. As more and more communities move to greater reliance on vote by mail, solutions like these are going to be increasingly important to voters with disabilities and the election officials who serve them.
As Iowa’s new voter ID law begins to take effect as of July 1, the state is taking steps to alert Iowans of the changes, which will include transitional provisions like attestations at the polls and, eventually, an effort by the state to provide ID directly to voters who don’t have it. It’ll be interesting to see how well these plans come together before ID takes full effect in 2019 – and what it means for voters at the polls.
Wendy Noren, first elected Clerk of Boone County, MO in 1982, submitted her resignation letter yesterday due to health reasons. It’s a huge loss to the field; Wendy has been one of the elections community’s most relentless innovators throughout her tenure and a prime example of what election administrators can and should be.
The Pew Charitable Trusts has released a new Request for Applications seeking to identify a new home for the Voting Information Project beginning in 2018. It’s a huge step forward for VIP and a key turning point in the project’s evolution from a purely Pew-driven asset to one shared by the entire election field.
Yesterday, the Orange County, CA Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal to move the county’s election system to a vote center model, despite evidence it will save the County tens of millions in equipment costs. It’s yet another reminder that careful planning and ample evidence aren’t always enough to convince lawmakers to make election policy changes.
Last week, Charles Stewart had a post on his Election Updates blog that illustrates the impact of partisan polarization on the issue of voter confidence. It uses 2016 presidential election data to highlight the fact that election outcomes tend to drive voter confidence and show a strong partisan split. It’s worth keeping in mind the next time you hear that a proposed election reform will “improve voter confidence”.
A quick followup on three different recent stories – Maine’s ranked choice voting, North Carolina’s legislative districts and the U.S. Virgin Islands’ residency dispute – finds that recent developments in each jurisdiction have moved each plot line to a next step if not any closer to resolution. That’s somewhat typical in disputes like these, which often seem to make more news than progress.