September 2017

Do You Swear To … Register to Vote? electionlineWeekly on Pasco County’s Jury Pool Program

electionlineWeekly’s Mindy Moretti uses this week’s edition to take a look at a program in Pasco County, FL that seeks to encourage voter registration in an unexpected – but brilliant! – place: jury pools. It’s a great – and cost-effective – to catch citizens at a time when they are at peak awareness of their role in their communities and thus more likely to be thinking about voting.

And Now For Something Completely Different: TGDC Approves VVSG 2.0

Yesterday was a really good day in the elections world because of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC)’s unanimous vote to approve an updated version 2.0 of the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG 2.0). It’s proof of what is possible in the field of elections when people come together to work on concrete issues as opposed to shouting at one another about imaginary ones.

PACEI Comes to New Hampshire Amid Talk of “Background Checks” for Voters

This morning, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity will convene at New Hampshire’s St. Anselm College for its second meeting amid reports that it will consider “background checks” for individuals seeking to register to vote. It’s just part of what could be a long, dispiriting day for the election community in Manchester.

Virginia Decertifies DRE Machines

Last Friday, the Commonwealth of Virginia decertified – with immediate effect – the use of all direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines. While Virginia has been on this path for a while, the decision will still be a challenge during this fall’s statewide general election for the dozen or so localities who rely on DREs … especially since state money to replace the machines was recently rejected by Legislature.

Harvey and Irma Come to Town: electionlineWeekly on Election Officials’ Response

Hurricane season has arrived with a ferocity not seen in years, as the Houston area recovers from massive flooding from Hurricane Harvey and Florida and the Southeast brace for Hurricane Irma. Mindy Moretti reached out to election officials in those storms’ path and shares what she learned in the latest electionlineWeekly. Communities facing hurricanes will have other, more serious issues to face and challenges to overcome – but it’s good to know that the elections officials are doing what they can to make sure the right to vote survives the storm as well.

New Senate Amendment Would Provide Resources To States For Election Cybersecurity

Senators Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have proposed an amendment (SA656) to the defense authorization bill that would provide states with federal dollars to upgrade their election cybersecurity. It’s an exceedingly modest but necessary step toward helping states and localities harden their election systems from outside cybersecurity threats.

Single Polling Place in Grand Forks Election Sparks Access Debate

Grand Forks, ND’s plan to use a single polling place for a citywide sales tax referendum this November is sparking a debate over the balance between voter access and resource allocation. It’s actually a neat little case study on the question facing many communities: at what point does attempting to ensure access for voters stretch a jurisdiction past its available resources?

Current Status of America’s Election System: Full Agenda, Empty Pockets

Politico had a long, well-researched article over the weekend entitled “Cash-strapped states brace for Russian hacking fight” which looks at the current state of the various debates across the country on election security. It’s worth a click and a read – but the overall takeaway (in short, there’s still way more talk than funding) is one that is concerning and more than a little dispiriting.