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Election Academy

May 2012

Desperate Times, Innovative Measures: LA's Pollworker-Recruitment Robocalls

Los Angeles County faces a pollworker shortage for next Tuesday's primary. Their approach - which included robocalls that yielded more than 500 responses - is indicative of the desperation involved in making sure polls are staffed on Election Day.

Could Influx of New State Legislators Mean Spike in Election Legislation in 2013?

A new post at NCSL's Thicket blog suggests that beginning in 2013, a majority of state legislators will have two or fewer years of legislative experience. What might this mean for election policy?

Increase in "Registration Fraud?" Stories Signals Better Awareness of Value of Multiple Data Sources

The Longmont (CO) TimesCall editorialized on the importance of the data matching process behind the recent voter roll controversies in Florida. The editorial is not only insightful but illuminates the value of multiple data sources in voter registration.

South Dakota SoS Steps in to Help After Death of County Election Official

This week's electionlineWeekly story by Mindy Moretti tells the story of how the South Dakota Secretary of State is stepping in to fill the void left by the sudden passing of a local election offcial.

Pennsylvania, Virginia Governors Make Voter ID a Little Easier to Get

GOP governors in Pennsylvania and Virginia have taken steps to help voters get required photo ID more quickly. These moves won't end the debate but at least they get us closer to solving the problem.

Formula for Change: The Shelby County Case and Section 5

A dissent in the recent appeals court opinion in the Shelby County case suggests that the formula used to subject states and jurisdictions to coverage is the new focal point for efforts to weaken or eliminate enforcement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

NIST Statement on Internet Voting: Is It "Someday" Already?

The National Institute for Standards and Technology recently issued a statement expressing continued concerns about the feasibility of Internet voting. What, if any impact will it have on the debate?

It Takes All Kinds: Jurisdiction Size in Election Administration

A new draft of a paper by David Kimball of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Brady Baybeck of Wayne State University suggests that researchers and reformers should take greater note of the effect of jurisdiction size on election administration.

There is No Small Stuff (cont.): Brian Newby's "Fired Up, Ready to Blow"

Brian Newby's latest ElectionDiary describes a really bad day - and serves as a vivid reminder of the tyranny of little things in election administration.

Backseat Election Geeking in Florida and Michigan

Recent stories in Florida and Michigan reveal the increasing willingness of state officials outside of elections to study and draw conclusions about the health of their state's election systems.

"The Adrenaline Gets You Through It" - A Look Behind Election Day in Lancaster County, Nebraska

A new article is an excellent - and thorough - look at what it takes to make today's Election Day happen in Lancaster County, home of the Cornhusker State's capital city.

Montana and Vote-By-Mail: Change Coming Slowly - but Coming Nonetheless

Montana's slow and gradual expansion of vote-by-mail is a useful counterpoint to more dramatic -and controversial - election policy changes nationwide.

Overseas Ballot Flap: Domicile's Stained Glass Goes Global

A new controversy about "intent to return" language on ballot request forms for overseas civilians is a continued reminder of the lingering power of domicile to create uncertainty in the American system of election administration.

A/B Testing: Could, Would It Work in Elections?

The practice of A/B testing - where users are randomly assigned to groups, given different experiences and observed as to how they react - is growing in popularity on the Web and in real life. Would it work for elections?

Hot Topic: New York Board Finds Overheating Contributed to "Phantom" Votes in Bronx

A new report on an investigation into faulty ballot scanners in the Bronx appears to identify heat generated by the machine itself as the culprit.

Texas Photo ID Case: Justice May Be Sure - But It Isn't Always Swift

The latest developments in Texas' efforts to get federal approval of its photo ID law are a useful reminder that courts are rarely, if ever, on the same schedule as the parties in an election policy dispute.

While Daring Greatly: Bob Carey to Leave FVAP

Bob Carey's impending departure from the Federal Voting Assistance Program is a reminder of the value of constantly pushing forward to improve elections nationwide.

No Small Stuff (cont.): California's Debate About Time Limits for Voting

A new California bill to expand the maximum time voters have to cast ballot looks like fiddling at the margins but actually brings much larger and more challenging issues into play.

Arizona Election Consolidation Bill Divides Counties

A dispute in Arizona about an election consolidation bill awaiting the Governor's signature highlights the benefits - and costs - of seeking economies of scale in election administration.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Voids Special State House Election

A recent decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to void an election demonstrates what happens when circumstances, mistakes and just plain bad luck conspire to put the outcome in doubt.

Hello, Neighbor: New Pew Poll Shows Americans Like Local Government Best

A new Pew poll suggests that Americans are satisfied with local government even as they clearly (and sometimes sharply) disagree about federal and state government. These numbers could indicate that decentralization of elections isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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