June 2017

End of an Era: Electionline “Exit Interview” with Michigan’s Chris Thomas

electionlineWeekly’s latest “exit interview” features longtime Michigan election director Chris Thomas, who has been a mainstay in his state – and nationwide! – for decades. As he moves on to well-deserved retirement and a life after elections, I suspect many people in the field have a reaction similar to mine: DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON’T GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…

Report Finds that DHS Did Not “Hack” Into Georgia Voter Registration System

A new report by the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security finds that fears of a DHS “hack” into the State of Georgia’s computer networks in the run-up to last year’s election were unfounded and were the result of a routine procedure. While the report doesn’t put the ongoing disputes to rest, it does serve as a reminder that election security is an incredibly complex matter requiring greater cooperation between all levels of government.

Masterson Op-Ed Focuses on Election Security, EAC’s Role

U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chair Matt Masterson has a new op-ed in The Hill newspaper on the threats to America’s election system – and it makes tremendous sense on the need for cooperation at every level of government to meet those threats. Here’s hoping policymakers in Washington and across the nation can help the election community get on the same page when it comes to election security.

Electionline “Exit Interview” with Boone County’s Wendy Noren

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.

Cook County’s David Orr Won’t Seek Re-Election

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.

New Downloadable HTML Ballots Could Assist Voters With Disabilities

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.

Voter ID Requirements Begin to Take Effect in Iowa

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.