May 2018

Shopping List: NCSL’s Canvass on Recommendations to States for Cybersecurity Spending

The latest issue of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Canvass newsletter has a great piece on the recommendations and suggestions being made to states for the $380 million in cybersecurity funds made available in the federal omnibus spending bill. There’s no doubt these decisions will be difficult for states – but nowhere near as difficult as trying to address cybersecurity needs with no funds at all.

Author’s USAToday OpEd Gives an Inside Look at Mississippi Pollworker Training

Author Margaret McMullan has an op-ed in USAToday that provides an inside look at pollworker training in Mississippi. It’s a fascinating glimpse into a world many people encounter – but mostly only from the other side of the table – and simultaneously a gorgeous appreciation of the gift of volunteering for poll work and an elegant summary of the big(ger) issues workers face.

“Pop-Up” Voting Comes to CA’s Orange County

California’s June 5 primary is rapidly approaching – and voters in Southern California’s Orange County will have a new way to cast their ballots, now that the Registrar of Voters’ office has rolled out a new, mobile “pop-up” voting location that will move to places where voters are in the run-up to next Tuesday’s vote.

Memorial Day 2018

A Memorial Day salute to those to gave their lives in service to our country … the blog will return tomorrow, May 29.

Candidate’s Sudden Death Creates Ballot Challenges, Controversy in MD Governor’s Race

Kevin Kamenetz, a Democratic candidate for Maryland Governor, died suddenly earlier this month – and his death is creating a difficult situation for election officials and candidates as running mate Valerie Ervin takes his place on the June 26 primary ballot – which has already been printed and begun to be distributed to voters. It’s a far more tragic variation on the evergreen idea that there is “no small stuff” in elections, requiring a balance between equitable concerns for Kamenetz’ successor and voters, fiscal and materials constraints and an ever-dwindling election calendar.

Strike That, Reverse It: Florida to Get Federal Money in 2018 as Governor Overrules SoS

Florida local election officials will get access to federal cybersecurity funds this year, after the Governor (who is running for U.S. Senate) overruled his Secretary of State (who had said the funds wouldn’t be available this year) and directed that the state take steps to access the money. It highlights the urgency many local election officials feel about accessing the new federal funds – and the high profile that cybsersecurity, and states’ responses to it, will enjoy in this fall’s election.

Tammy Patrick in electionlineWeekly on Election Mail at NPF 2018

Everyone’s favorite electiongeek, the Democracy Fund’s Tammy Patrick, counts among her many roles the unofficial title of “queen of election mail.” In that vein, she has a guest post in this week’s electionlineWeekly about the 2018 National Postal Forum in San Antonio, TX.

Fortunately, Unfortunately: WA Approves Prepaid Ballot Postage – But King County Must Help Foot the Bill

Recently, I wrote about Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s proposal to have the state fund prepaid return postage for all vote by mail ballots, sparked in part by King County (Seattle)’s move to do so for county voters and motivated by ensuring equality for all voters statewide. Yesterday, she and the Governor announced they had found the money – but not for King County, which must still spend its own funds and seek reimbursement next year. Needless to say, King County is none too pleased.