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Election Academy

July 2012

Saving Throws, Fancy Math: Auditing and the Goal of More Accurate Elections

A recent article on a risk-limiting audit in California is a fascinating - and valuable - look at the process of post-election auditing.

100 Days to Election Day ...

Election Day 2012 is 100 days away. That's a lot of time - but there's still a lot to do.

Pew Examines Elections' October Non-Surprise: Avalanche of Voter Registrations

A new report from Pew paints a vivid and striking picture of the fierce (yet predictable) spike in voter registrations before each general election.

"Counting Votes" Looks at the State of Voting Technology Nationwide

"Counting Votes" is a new report looking at the state of voting technology in the U.S. There's a lot here, but most important (in my opinion) are the best practices underpinning the report which should help inform the conversation nationwide.

"You [Mess]ed Up - You Trusted Us": NM's Registration Form Shortage

The State of New Mexico recently decided to make registration forms instead of buying them from a vendor. Failure to print enough forms, however, has put local offices - especially Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) - in a bind.

"People Move, Plain and Simple": A Look at the Impact of Mobility on Elections

Brian Newby's weekend post focusing on returned postcards is a master class on the effects of mobility on election administration in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day.

Wake County NC Facing Tight Budgets, Tough Decisions as November Election Approaches

Wake County is facing a difficult decision - driven by fiscal and other considerations - related to polling places and "one-stop" voting sites in this fall's election.

Turnout: How Low Can You Go?

North Carolina recently ran a runoff election with turnout so low that some polling places had no voters. That's bad for a variety of reasons - and should prompt an examination of why some elections prompt voters (not) to vote with their feet.

Old Dog Learns New Trick: NYC to Change Election Night Tallying Procedure

The New York City Board of Elections' recent decision to adopt new vote counting procedures offers the promise (however small) of a new approach to election administration in the Big Apple.

Rock, Paper, Local (cont.): Looming Struggles Over Non-Citizen Voters

Efforts to use a federal database to identify and remove non-citizen voters are gathering steam in in Florida and Colorado - but may still hit a roadblock in the form of local election officials concerned about the timing and accuracy of such checks.

Sharing: Could it Work in Elections?

A recent USA Today article looked at the growing number of business based on sharing goods and services ... this post asks (but doesn't answer) if the same concept will work in the field of elections.

Waukesha Followup: Election Problems Can Be Costly in Many Ways - But Especially the Money Kind

A new report from Waukesha County reveals that voting problems there in April not only affected the pace of vote counting but ultimately cost the county over $250,000.

Lennon's Law and the Michigan Special Congressional Election

A Michigan special Congressional election - and all of the attendant struggles for election officials - are an excellent example of what happens while you're busy making other plans.

Latest ElectionDiary Shows Why Predicting Turnout is So Important - and So Tricky

Brian Newby's latest ElectionDiary tackles the problem of predicting turnout - which was featured in the Anchorage post earlier this week. Brian's dive into the specifics shows why turnout is so vital - and why predicting it accurately is so difficult to get one's head around.

Hawaii Series is Excellent Primer on Voter Turnout

Veteran Hawaii reporter Ian Lind is writing this week on voter turnout in the Aloha State. It's extremely well-done and a terrific resource (or refresher) for anyone who seeks to understand how to calculate or use voter participation rates.

Texas Photo ID Case Begins in DC Federal Court

The trial in the Texas photo ID preclearance case is underway in a federal court in DC. The parties' briefs and witness lists paint very different pictures of the case, which could not only affect the 2012 election but the future of the Voting Rights Act.

Report on Anchorage Ballot Problems Highlights Importance of Turnout to Election Planning

A new report on the troubled April election in Anchorage focuses in large part on the importance of anticipating turnout - and the consequences of a failure to do so.

Paper Cuts Followup: DuPage Won't Change Ballot Vendor - Yet

One of the Illinois counties who discovered in March that optical scan ballots had been printed too wide is sticking with its vendor - but only until Election Day, and only because it's too late to switch before then.

Another Troubled Election Raises Eyebrows, Temperatures in NYC

New York City's latest drama involves a troublesome Congressional primary that may yield a recount after allegations of widespread problems. New Yorkers, who don't always agree on much, appear to be increasingly united in their disdain for the Board of Elections.

Stained Glass Globe Update: Pentagon Relents on Disputed Domicile Language

The federal government is softening its stance on language in a key voting form for overseas voters - resolving a controversy that some had argued would hurt participation by Americans around the world.

For Want of a Nail: Missing Seals Raise Questions in Wisconsin

Several unsealed and "double-bagged" ballot bags in a pivotal Wisconsin State Senate race are raising concerns - and highlight the importance of simplifying and pressure-proofing election night procedures for pollworkers.

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