Georgia’s Secretary of State has announced he is forming (and will co-chair) a bipartisan commission aimed at identifying and reviewing alternatives to the state’s aging voting technology. It’s just an announcement for now, and there are many more steps to go – not the least of which is naming other members and starting the work – but this puts the Peach State on the list of states trying to move forward past their HAVA-era machines toward something new.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be moving to voter-verifiable voting systems as one consequence of new federal funding for new voting equipment. While not every state will have the same policy shifts that Pennsylvania is establishing, you can expect similar announcements in other states in the coming weeks and months.
With the 2018 elections approaching – featuring high-profile fights for control of Congress and numerous key state races – we are already starting to see high interest in voting rules, including new match requirements in Georgia that could complicate voter registration for voters using paper forms.
The latest proof of the adage “there’s no small stuff in elections” comes from DuPage County, IL where the election office is preparing to sue one of its vendors because they say its poll-closing cards were too thick, damaging machines and delaying results in the recent primary.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has vetoed an “election integrity” bill that would have required local election officials to prepare reports when there was a mismatch between population, registration and voting in their community.
North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger will not seek re-election, ending over two decades as the state’s top election official, after his party endorsed another candidate for this fall’s statewide general election.
Mindy Moretti has a great piece in this week’s electionlineWeekly about two valuable new resources available to election officials looking to wrap their heads – and perhaps some federal funds? – around election cybersecurity.
Earlier this week, the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) released their 2017 annual report to Congress. FVAP is a lot like the American men and women it serves around the world: doing important work for the nation but in a way that doesn’t always get a lot of notice.
One of my favorite things about elections is how intensely human they are; of course, they’re deeply important to our system of democracy – but they are also an endless source of insight into how people think and act, as illustrated by a story today about the kinds of complaints the Wisconsin Election Commission gets on Election Day.
I often say that election officials aren’t just people I work with, they’re also some of my favorite people – which is why I really enjoyed a recent profile and Q and A of my friend and colleague, Santa Cruz County, CA’s Gail Pellerin, in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. It’s a revealing (and fun) look at life as a local election official.