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Election Academy

December 2011

Stop the Presses: Election News is What Happens While You Were Making Other Plans

This morning's election headlines suggest that election geeks across the nation should enjoy their holidays because 2012 already looks to be more interesting and eventful than any of us might have expected.

Pew's Latest Dispatch: Removing Voters from the Rolls

Pew's latest Election Data Dispatch uses EAC data to look at how and why voters are removed from the rolls - and suggests that better data practices might capture more of the 40% of voters removed for "failure to vote".

San Francisco and Ranked Choice Voting: New Data is Asking, Not Answering Questions

A new review of ranked choice voting in San Francisco's 2011 election suggests that as many as two-thirds of the city's voters didn't complete their ballots. Some believe this is the definitive answer on RCV - but I think the study asks other questions we should answer first.

Keeping Up With the Parties (and Voters): The Need for Voter Registration Modernization

Recently the RNC announced that it would follow the lead of Democrats and outsource its voter file management in order to get the benefits of new information obtained in the field. This post suggests election officials follow suit and points to a Pew initiative to do just that.

We Are Legion. Expect Us: Anonymous Targets Iowa Caucuses

International hacker group Anonymous' threat to "peacefully shut down" the Iowa caucuses is a sign of the promise and perils of technology - and a reminder that professionals who can meet and resist threats are a necessity as progress comes to the field of elections.

APPRECIATION: Texas' Ann McGeehan elects to seek new challenges

After nearly a quarter of a century, a long-time elections official moves on.

Voter ID and Democracy's Neighborhood

An editorial in the Wausau (WI) Daily Herald puts a new, neighborly spin on the voter ID debate.

AAUGH! South Carolina GOP Funding Decision Scrambles Counties' Primary Plans

South Carolina's GOP announced that they will not be contributing to the cost of the state's January 21 - and blamed counties for filing (and ultimately losing) a lawsuit that would have forced them to do so. The state now has about five weeks to make up the difference.

NYTimes Piece on DMVs and Rethinking Government: Lessons for Election Administration?

A recent NYTimes piece on customer service at the DMV and its impact on public attitudes toward government is too good to pass up for a similar riff on elections.

Forgotten But Not Yet Gone: Is This the End of the EAC?

New developments suggest that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) may be reaching the end of its life as an agency. This post considers how Congress' role in creating the agency may have played a part in its potential demise.

Being Online is NEVER Enough: New Pew Report Illuminates the Constant Challenge of Meeting (or Beating) Expectations

Being Online is Still Not Enough, Pew's updated assessment of state election websites nationwide, is an excellent opportunity to examine what voters want from technology. [HINT: The answer is always "MORE."]

Not THAT Different: Decentralization in U.S. Election Administration

A recent question at a meeting I attended about the effect of election decentralization spurred me to consider how the focus on election jurisdictions' many differences obscures their even greater similarities.

Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends: First Ballots Cast in 2012 Presidential Election

News that the first ballots have already been cast in New Hampshire's Presidential primary offers an opportunity to look at the emergence of the permanent election and consider its impact on the future of election administration.

Overvotes in New York City: Machines Need Usability, Too

A new Brennan Center report brings the call for usability to voting machines - especially those that notify voters about overvotes that will invalidate a ballot. It's also got some amazing visual and statistical analysis for the election geek on your holiday list!

Quick Notes From the Road

The blog is on a travel-related light schedule ... watch this space in the next few days for more!

In New York City for a Glimpse of the Future of Elections (and the Profession)

Short post today as I'm in New York City for a meeting of state and local election IT professionals. Looking forward to sharing some of the ideas here!

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