September 2017

CTCL’s Sampsel on New Ballot Timing Tools

The latest electionlineWeekly features a guest column by Kurt Sampsel of the Center for Technology and Civic Life on some fascinating developments in the effort to better estimate how long it takes people to vote. Tools like these are part of a growing arsenal of weapons that election officials can use to fight long lines at the polls

Never Mind: DHS Walks Back Reports of Election Hacks in Two States

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notifying 21 state election offices of hacking attempts on their systems during the 2016 election. Now it appears that in at least two states (Wisconsin and California), that information was wrong and that the reported attempts did not involve election systems.

San Luis Obispo Latest to Delay Implementation of CA Voter’s Choice Act

San Luis Obispo County, CA is the latest to delay implementation of mailed ballots and vote centers as permitted by the recently-enacted state Voter’s Choice Act. The county cited cybersecurity as a key reason for the delay, but given other challenges to the switch, it isn’t clear if that’s the real reason or just an excuse to go slow.

National Voter Registration Day 2017

Today is National Voter Registration Day 2017 – that annual celebration designed to encourage new and existing voters alike to create or update their voter record! Organizers call it he “Earth Day” of democracy — an annual opportunity for Americans of all backgrounds and political affiliations to come together and ensure that everyone gets the chance to exercise their right to vote.

NOW You Tell Me: DHS Notifies 21 States of Attempted Russian Election Hacks in 2016

Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security *finally* notified state election officials about the extent of Russian hacking attempts on their systems during the 2016 election. It’s a useful (albeit belated) first step, but Congress should step up with federal funding and support now that DHS has begun to do its part to help harden and protect the nation’s election systems.

Assorted Rolls: electionlineWeekly looks at the State of Registration Nationwide

With National Voter Registration Day just 4 days away, electionlineWeekly takes a look at the state of registration nationwide to see where we stand fifteen years after the first state, Arizona, launched the online registration era. It makes me excited to think what innovations are launching today that electiongeeks will marvel at in 2032.

Maricopa County Opens Doors to Explain Precinct and Election Changes

So much of what goes on in election offices between Election Days is invisible to voters – which is why it’s always encouraging to see election administrators open their doors to the public. That’s what happened recently in Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ where the county recorder’s office hosted the public in an informational session about precinct changes as well as upcoming changes to the voting process.

Big Ten Voting Challenge to Create Friendly Competition on Registration and Voting

The presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten conference have joined together in a friendly competition to see which school can improve registration and turnout the most in time for the 2018 election. This is a fun way for those schools to harness that competitiveness in service of an important aim: increasing civic participation by young voters. [P.S. SKI-U-MAH MINNESOTA!]

New NCSL Canvass Looks at Common Data Format for Elections

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)’s new election newsletter, The Canvass, is out and it has a great primer on new election common data formats – a topic that it admits can make peoples’ “eyes glaze over” but one that has tremendous promise for the future of election administration in the United States.