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Election Academy

February 2012

Voter ID, Recall Drama Means It's ON, Wisconsin

Wisconsin's 2012 recipe of voter ID and a statewide recall election could mean a wealth of real-world data on the impact of ID requirements as well as its interaction with Election Day registration. It will likely be exhausting, however.

Faulty NYC Scanner Misreads Votes, Earns Bronx Cheer

Nothing is as amazing to behold as a newspaper on an outrage rampage - and right now the New York Daily News is pounding the Board of Elections over its (puzzling) inaction in the face of evidence of a faulty Bronx ballot scanner in the 2010 election.

Indiana Supreme Court Confronts Key Question in Disputed Elections: Now What?

The Indiana Supreme Court will decide this week what to do with the office of Secretary of State in the aftermath of former Secretary Charlie White's felony convictions. As in any disputed election, the Court's choices are limited - and each one is unattractive in its own way.

Design for Democracy's New Election Design Recommendations: Not Just for Designers

AIGA's Design for Democracy has a new list of top 10 election design recommendations. This list is valuable for designers but also for policymakers who should examine whether existing laws and old habits are getting in the way of good design.

Summit County, OH Funding Debate Yields Rich Vein of Spending Data

Summit County, OH is involved in a budget battle between the election board and county legislators about the 2012 budget. The latest salvo in that battle - a pile of data comparing election spending in several counties - is a valuable window into the cost components of election administration.

Deltaphobia: Change is Hard, Especially in Elections

Wisconsin's first primary under the new voter ID law went smoothly overall, but the problems that did occur are illustrative of how hard it is to change in any endeavor - but especially elections.

The Other Side of Inaccuracy: More Than 50 Million Unregistered

Pew's recent registration report indicates that election officials have work to do in finding and fixing erroneous, outdated and duplicate entries on their lists. But they may also be facing considerable work related to adding as many as 51 million eligible but unregistered Americans to the nation's voter rolls.

Colorado Now Ground Zero for Several High-Profile Election Controversies

It's that time of year when reporters start asking which are the states to watch ... and while the old standbys remain, pound for pound the most interesting state in the nation for me is Colorado. Read why.

Not Dead Yet: President's FY13 Budget Has (Reduced) Funds for EAC

The President's new budget contains continued funding for the EAC. While it's barely above zero (about 0.0003% of the total), the fact that it's still a non-zero number means the EAC still has a future - if only on paper, and if only for now.

One in Eight Voter Registrations Nationwide Inaccurate, Out-of-Date, Pew Finds

A new study from Pew finds that one in eight voter registrations nationwide is inaccurate or out-of-date ... and is already gathering states to pioneer a new approach that would address the problems identified in their study.

Hurry Up Already: In What Could Be a Busy Election Year, NYC Urged to Pick Up the Pace

This morning's Daily News spotlights New York City's curious (the paper calls it "insane") method of tallying votes using its new voting machines. In an election year that could see New York voters head to the polls four times, this method may require re-thinking.

Doing a Nonpartisan Job in a Hyper-Partisan World

The recent resignation of a North Carolina election official shines a spotlight on the difficult- but necessary - task for election administrators to remain impartial in a world where everyone else is (loudly) choosing sides.

Data for Democracy Four Years Later: Pew's Election Administration By The Numbers

Evidence-based assessments of elections are closer to reality with the release of Pew's new report looking at data sources in the field of election administration.

Amateur Election Administration: You (Don't) Get What You (Don't) Pay For

Well-publicized vote counting problems in the Iowa and Nevada caucuses highlight the need for professional election administration - but such services come at a cost that parties need to (but may not) be willing to bear.

API: Three Letters That Change Life, The Universe ... and Elections?

Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, are powerful tools that are beginning to transform American business and government. This post examines APIs and discusses how and where APIs could transform elections in the 21st century.

Saguache, CO Ballot Dispute: New Clerk, But Same Old Controversy

The recent recall of the Saguache, CO County Clerk for her role in a disputed 2010 election may have brought her term to an end, but the issues sparked by that election - continue to rage in the legislature, the courts and - soon - the Secretary of State's office.

ElectionDiary's Must-Read Meditation on (Im)perfection

Elections aren't perfect, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try ... a topic ElectionDiary's Brian Newby discusses in a must-read new post. Go check it out.

Home is Where ... the Cellphone Is? Domicile in the Mobile Age

Domicile is a complicated question in the field of elections - but mobile technology may hold the key to identifying when a voter or candidate claims one address but is actually using another, as Indiana's Secretary of State may soon learn.

Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me: EAC Shutdown of HAVA Boards Provokes Resistance from State Election Officials

An internal EAC memo formally suspending the activities of two statutory boards created by the Help America Vote Act raises questions about the ability of work to continue under HAVA - and sparks a strong reaction from state election directors and secretaries of state who rely on the boards as avenues for input into federal election policy.

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