Articles by Doug Chapin

DuPage County, IL Voters to Weigh In On Elimination of Election Commission

DuPage County, IL – one of Chicago’s suburban “collar” counties – will soon ask voters if they want to eliminate the County’s election commission and return all election duties to the county clerk. It’s a story that provides a reminder of the limited authority of local governments to restructure without state approval as well as the ongoing balance between effective administration and the insulation from partisanship in elections.

EAC’s “Recount Ready” Launches Featuring Okaloosa, FL’s Paul Lux

Yesterday, the EAC launched a new “Recount Ready” feature focusing on election officials and their experiences preparing for and conducting recounts and post-election contests in close elections. The debut post features an interview of Okaloosa County, FL’s Paul Lux on the December 12 anniversary of the 2001 Bush v. Gore decision. It’s a fantastic resource for election officials facing close elections in their communities.

Double Your Fun? Some Alabama Voters to Face Two Votes, Two Lines Today

All eyes are on Alabama’s special U.S. Senate election today, but in one community there will actually be “double the fun” in the form of a second election – with its own ballot and check-in table (and some split precincts for good measure). It’s a small story, to be sure, but it highlights how the nation’s electoral map can create interesting challenges for election officials and voters alike.

Snohomish County, WA Lawsuit to Seek Funds for Expanded Ballot Drop Boxes

Snohomish County (Everett), WA is preparing a lawsuit that will ask the state to fund the increase in costs related to newly-mandated ballot drop boxes. It’s just the latest example of the struggle many localities face in finding the funds to implement state election law changes without a commensurate change in state election funding.

York County, PA Report Details Process Behind Double Voting Issue

York County, PA has issued a report about its Election Day 2017 issue where voters were able to vote twice for the same candidate in some races. It appears to stem, in part, from the always-tricky issue of how to transition/retain knowledge and experience from a retiring employee – but questions remain about why voters and the public weren’t notified sooner.

“Big Sky Beef” – Settled? Montana SoS Walks Back Claims of Voter Fraud

Back in August, I wrote about how Montana SoS Corey Stapleton’s claims of “voter fraud” in the May 25 special Congressional election had generated tension with local election officials across the state. Now, after a survey of questionable ballots, Stapleton is walking back those claims and pledging to work with locals to reduce “misconduct” involving vote-by-mail ballots.

Idaho Launches Online Voter Registration

Yesterday, Idaho became the 36th state to offer online voter registration as part of a brand-new voter information portal. The news – big enough to encourage the Secretary of State to host his first press conference since his election in 2014 to crow about it! – is continuing evidence of OVR’s popularity across the nation

Iowa to Mail 123,000 Voter ID Cards

The State of Iowa will mail 123,000 state-issued ID cards to voters who lack other identification as part of a new law that will require voter ID by 2019. Iowa’s action reflects the growing understanding by voter ID proponents and opponents alike that the success of such laws – in practice and in court – hinges on whether or not voters without ID can get access to it in a convenient and timely manner.

Santa Fe, NM Faces RCV Implementation Questions After Ruling

The City of Santa Fe, NM is facing a series of questions about how to implement ranked-choice voting (RCV) after a recent court ruling ordering that it be used in the City beginning with next March’s mayoral election. Now that RCV and the technology to support it are in place, election officials and voters alike have to work through various issues regarding how it will work in practice.

EAC “Innovation” Awards Go To Denver, Indian River and Pierce Counties

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission rounded out its 2017 Clearinghouse Award announcements yesterday by honoring three counties – Denver, CO, Indian River, FL and Pierce, WA – for innovations in election administration. Congratulations to all three and thanks to the EAC for this award program, which allows election officials to “brag on” their best accomplishments and share them with a nationwide audience.