January 2019

New York Poised to Enact Sweeping Election Reforms

New York State’s legislature is poised to enact sweeping election reforms which will improve the election experience for voters and streamline the election calendar. It’s a sign of progress for the Empire State, which has long lagged the rest of the nation on many aspects of election administration.

Iowa House to Study Contest Involving Late-Arriving Ballots

The Iowa House of Representatives will form a committee to study a disputed 2018 election that appears to turn on a few dozen late-arriving but allegedly timely cast mail ballots. If the ballots are deemed timely, opened and it is determined that the outcome has changed, the Iowa House will have to vote on what to do next.

Harris County, TX to Consider Move to Vote Centers

Harris County (Houston), TX’s newly-elected clerk is proposing to set in motion a process that will eventually result in Election Day vote centers across the county. She’s hired an experienced county election director to help manage the transition – which, given the county’s size (3rd largest nationally) will have significant impact.

House Democrats Introduce Sweeping Election Legislation as H.R.1

As promised, the new House Democratic majority has made election reform a top priority, introducing a huge (571-page) election bill as H.R.1 in the 116th Congress. It has very little chance of enactment, – but it’s a useful indicator of Democrats’ priorities and will help set the agenda for negotiations on topics that may gain consensus like election cybersecurity. It also suggests election policy is likely to have a higher profile in the new Congress.

Seminole’s Mike Ertel Named New Florida SoS

Seminole County’s Mike Ertel will be Florida’s new Secretary of State after his appointment last week by incoming Governor Ron DeSantis. This is terrific news for Florida – and I can’t wait to see him bring his “America’s Finest Election Team” approach to the state level.