April 2019

Instructions Please: Bill to Require Election Manual Heads to AZ Governor

Local officials in Arizona will get regular guidance on election procedures from a manual required by a new bill headed to the Governor for his signature. Given how local officials often chafe at directives from the state, the clamor for this change in Arizona suggests how important the manual is to their operations.

Must Of Got Lost: WV DMV is Losing Voter Registrations

State officials are scrambling – and scratching their heads – after reports that West Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles is losing voter registrations meant for the Secretary of State and county clerks. These issues are neither new nor unique to West Virginia, but they’ll need to be addressed as soon as possible as 2020 approaches.

New Report Says Russia Targeted All 50 States in 2016

A joint report by DHS and the FBI confirms that Russian cyber actors targeted election sites in all 50 states in 2016 – not just the 21 previously reported. It’s a vivid reminder of the ongoing threat and a powerful motivation to the election community to continue being vigilant – and prepared – for whatever 2020 brings.

Ohio “Fresh Start” Mailing Costs $130K, Yields 540 Registrations

Ohio’s new Secretary of State is drawing attention after a recent mailing to over a quarter of a million inactive voters yielded just 540 registrations – about 1 in 500. The low return rate/high cost may lead the state to consider other approaches providing nonvoters with an opportunity to re-register at a more reasonable cost to taxpayers.

Butte County, CA To Use Postcards to Trace Voters Displaced by Camp Fire

California’s Butte County is using postcards to voters to ascertain the plans of voters displaced by the catastrophic Camp Fire that devastated California last year. It’s good to see the elections office doing something to re-establish voters’ sense of place so that the process can move forward in 2020 and beyond.

EAC Releases First Report on States’ Use of 2018 HAVA Funds

Last Thursday, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission released the first report detailing how states spent funds allocated to them in 2018 under the Help America Vote Act. These reports are a fascinating and important look at states’ plans and an indication of their approach to security and other needs in the 2020 election.

Fresh from the “Kitchen”: FVAP’s New Standardized UOCAVA Data

I have a post in the latest electionlineWeekly looking at a new research note with exciting new FVAP data on military and overseas voting using transactional data to illuminate trends and challenges for UOCAVA voters. It’s a new way to dig into the election process that holds promise for more voter-level explorations going forward.

GA Governor Signs Voting Equipment Purchase Into Law

Georgia Governor (and former SoS) Brian Kemp has signed a bill enacting voting equipment changes that will end the state’s use of touchscreen DRE machines – a change that many have called for, but one that is now controversial because of the machines that will replace them.

EAC Releases Materials for Language Accessibility, 5 New Translations

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has released some new resources on language accessibility for voters, including five new translations of the federal voter registration form. These resources should be extremely helpful to election officials as the number of voters needing or seeking language assistance continues to grow.