November 2018

2020 Starts Now: FVAP Seeks Public Comments on FPCA, FWAB

Believe it or not, the 2020 election cycle is here – and one of the first indications is that the Federal Voting Assistance Program is seeking public comments on two key forms for military and overseas voters: the Federal Post Card Application and the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. These forms are vitally important to UOCAVA voters; consequently, feedback and comments are crucial so that the forms can be ready when voting for 2020 begins in earnest with the Presidential primary season, which is (gulp) about fourteen months away.

TIME OUT: NC State Board Delays Certification of Congressional Race Pending Investigation

State certification of election results is usually uneventful, but yesterday the North Carolina State Board of Elections took the unusual step of delaying certification – unanimously and on its own initiative – of the 9th Congressional District race pending an apparent investigation into returns in one county. This story is a reminder that every step of the election process – even ones that feel more or less like a formality – is important and worth taking seriously. It could also become yet another election controversy in a state that has already had more than its share in recent years.

Senate Rules Hearing TODAY with EAC Nominees Hovland, Palmer

At 2:30pm today, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration will hold a hearing focused on Ben Hovland and Don Palmer, the two new nominees for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. If the two are confirmed by the full Senate, it will restore the EAC to full membership and give it a quorum on a full range of administrative and policy questions just as the 2020 election cycle begins in earnest.

MIT’s Charles Stewart on Public Opinion About Cybersecurity in the 2018 Election

MIT’s Charles Stewart has a new post up at ElectionUpdates that examines public opinion about cybersecurity in the 2018 election – in particular, how respondents’ views changed over time and the impact of partisanship, attention to the news and education. His data suggests attitudes are still fluid due to the newness of the issue – but those attitudes are about get an even bigger test with a presidential election looming.

Calm After the Storm: New Kansas SoS Seeks to Lower the Volume, Focus on “Nuts and Bolts”

Kansas’ new Secretary of State is pledging to reduce the spotlight on his office and focus instead on working with local election officials to improve the state’s voting process. After seemingly endless litigation over the state’s election laws for years, I can only imagine how much state and local officials are looking forward to getting back to basics in the Sunflower State and enjoying a chance to savor what will almost certainly be a period of relative calm after the storm.

Deja Vu: Justin Levitt on “Reliving the 2000 Election — and Learning the Wrong Lessons”

Loyola Law’s Justin Levitt has a great piece at the Harvard Law Review blog suggesting a certain sense of deja vu with regard to the 2018 election – which, he notes, in many ways looked a lot like the 2000 election. His piece is a useful reminder that despite the progress that’s been made on addressing the biggest challenges facing the election process, the underlying problems still remain – and still require our attention.

NPR on Struggles with Signature Verification

In the wake of numerous signature-related controversies during the 2018 election, National Public Radio takes a look at the challenges signature requirements pose – and how election offices are adapting. It seems that the new trend is to address signature challenges with time for verification rather than search for alternatives – and as more and more voters’ ballots rely upon a signature to be counted, that attention to process will assume added importance.

NH SoS Gardner Faces Fierce Challenge for Re-Election in State Legislature

Longtime New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner is facing a strong challenge to his re-election in the state legislature after House Democrats overwhelmingly voted to endorse a former gubernatorial candidate who has been campaigning for the job – inflaming partisan tensions and promising an eventful final push before the state’s Organization Day on December 5.

electionlineWeekly’s 2018 Election Day Recap

It may be hard to believe, but Election Day 2018 is already ten days behind us … and one way you can tell is that Mindy Moretti of electionlineWeekly has done her deeper-dive state-by-state recap of the day. Check it out!

See Saw: Close Arizona SoS Race Swings, Election Night “Loser” Winning … For Now

Reinforcing the notion that “counting takes time”, the razor-thin race for Arizona Secretary of State has swung in recent days to the candidate who trailed by tens of thousands of votes on Election Night – but it’s still not over. Arizona’s count – which has proceeded without the kind of fireworks we’re seeing in Florida – is a reminder that close elections aren’t always a recipe for controversy.