On Monday, the news broke that the Voting Information Project will be transferred from The Pew Charitable Trusts to its new organizational home at Democracy Works, Inc. There is no better home for the work going forward than Democracy Works, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for VIP in the years ahead.
Articles by Doug Chapin
Nevada’s Clark County (Las Vegas) is scrambling after discovering that 43 voters cast duplicate ballots in its recent primary election – and planning a new election in one close race that may have been affected by the problem. Needless to say, any problem with an election is difficult for an election office – and problems that require a new election are all the more painful. [UPDATED with clarification 6/21/2018 2:45pm]
This morning, the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration will hold a hearing entitled ELECTION SECURITY PREPARATIONS: A STATE AND LOCAL PERSPECTIVE. The hearing is designed, in part, to try to spur movement in Congress on election security after the latest setback: failure to get Secure Elections Act language included in the National Defense Authorizations Act.
The long-running, on-again-off-again battle over Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship law for voter registration took another turn yesterday, as a federal court once again struck down the law and imposed strict orders on the Secretary of State to comply with the ruling. This is a significant ruling, not just for Kansas but also for the potential issues it raises – including balancing federal and state control over elections – that could eventually find their way back to the U.S. Supreme Court. For now, though, it’s a big win for plaintiffs and a vivid reminder of a key rule in litigation: win or lose, don’t irritate the judge.
Mindy Moretti’s latest electionlineWeekly newsletter takes a look at how states are thinking about spending their share of the $380 million in federal funds for election cybersecurity included in the recent federal omnibus budget bill. Federal funding is crucial, but it is also highlighting the need for sustained commitments of state and local resources to continue the work long-term.
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, re-confirming that state laws banning certain political apparel in the polling place are permissible but finding that Minnesota’s law sweeps too broadly and thus violates the Constitution. It was nonetheless a net positive for the field given the Court’s endorsement of polling place apparel restrictions, though fights remain over changes to the state’s law – and efforts to narrow those restrictions even further.
Sometimes the trickiest election issues are the simplest and smallest – like how to handle the situation when two Congressional candidates in the same contest, one an incumbent, have the same name. That’s the case in Kansas, where two candidates named Ron Estes are generating controversy and forcing state election officials to go the extra mile to distinguish them.
Yesterday, Maine voters once again told Maine policymakers that they want to use ranked-choice voting, overriding a legislative move to repeal a previous vote to adopt RCV. The story likely isn’t over yet, but the result is a testament to the persistence of RCV supporters and an indication of how seriously Mainers take voters’ authority to make law in the Pine Tree State.
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the highly-anticipated case of Husted v Philip Randolph Institute involving Ohio’s voter list maintenance procedures – and the result was what I expected: a narrow majority siding with the state on the issue of whether voters’ failure to vote may be taken into account when updating the rolls. The case clarifies one key issue but raises several new questions about the impact of the opinion in states across the country.
Last week, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) released the last of its Deep Dive series on 2016 election data – this time looking at provisional ballots.The EAC’s Deep Dive series has been a tremendous asset to the field and is a fantastic vehicle both for highlighting the depth and breadth of the EAVS data but also for encouraging practitioners and researchers alike to mine the information for insights into the conduct of elections across the United States. It’s also the farewell for my friend and longtime colleague, EAC research director Sean Greene, who’s leaving the EAC (but not elections)! for a fantastic family opportunity in Italy.