A new lawsuit is challenging California rules that plaintiffs say resulted in thousands of ballots discarded for signature mismatch issues. It’s just the latest example of how the growing numbers of vote by mail ballots is forcing states and localities to rethink their own laws and processes as more and more voters cast their ballots outside of a polling place.
I was on a blogging break last week while I traveled to Anaheim – but as it does, news continued to happen while I was gone, closing the books on some storylines while suggesting new trends to watch this fall and beyond.
I’ll be in Anaheim this week to join the annual summer meeting of the National Association of State Election Directors (and I hope to see folks attending the Election Center, too) … the blog will take a short summer break and will return on Monday, August 28 for a reduced schedule until after Labor Day.
I have a guest column in the August 17 electionlineWeekly highlighting the University of Minnesota’s new undergraduate certificate program and (re)introducing the course catalog for 2017-18. Join us!
Polling places are vital to most election offices, but a story from Manatee County (Bradenton) FL – about a near-miss conflict between ballots and bingo cards – reminds us that the buildings involved are also vital, albeit for different reasons, to the owners. The underlying issue – conflicting priorities for building owners as the election office stands by, essentially helpless – repeats itself across the country every election cycle.
Issues with accessibility have resulted in the closure of a key Queens, NY polling place in the LeFrak City apartment complex, and as of now there is no on-site replacement despite the fact that the September 12 primary election – featuring a fierce City Council race in which the complex is a crucial voting bloc – is fast approaching
Precincts in Georgia’s Fulton County (Atlanta) will remain unchanged for now after the county reversed a plan that community advocates say would create problems for many African-American voters. It’s illustrative of the kinds of changes other communities may need to consider as voters as a whole begin to rely less and less on traditional neighborhood polling places. Numbers are important – but conversation is, too.
Efforts to assist state election officials with identifying and responding to cybersecurity threats will get a boost soon as the Department of Homeland Security plans to offer security clearances that will allow officials to see more detail about past, present and future attacks. Local officials should be included too, but this is huge (and welcome) first step.
This week, the Federal Voting Assistance Program released its report on the 2016 election and military and overseas voting. As usual, electionlineWeekly’s Mindy Moretti has the story – which illustrates the importance of voting assistance to Americans abroad.
The City of Tucson, AZ has several elections this fall and in an effort to save money, put the November process out to bid. Ultimately, however, a familiar face will be in charge – Pima County, which wasn’t the low bidder but convinced the City Council that using another office (even its own Clerk) could potentially cost Tucson more than the money saved.