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Election Academy

September 2012

Customer is King: How Early Voting is Changing the "Market" for Voting

In a recent interview with NPR, early voting expert Paul Gronke made an important observation about regional variations in voting modes - variations that might help election officials better understand the costs of different types of balloting.

Domicile Donnybrook: New Hampshire Goes to Court Over Student Voting Law

A New Hampshire law that would beef up voting residency requirements by requiring out-of-state students to register their cars when they register to vote was struck down by a county court.

Still Needed at the Wheel: Steady Hands in Atlanta, on Big Island

Fulton County (Atlanta) Georgia and Hawaii County, Hawaii both have new temporary election officials after their predecessors encountered trouble on and off the job.

Cool Kids Today: Election Officials Join In the Fun of National Voter Registration Day

It's National Voter Registration Day and election officials are are getting into the act.

Colorado Case Tests Legal Limits of Ballot Secrecy

A federal court ruling last week swept away a ballot secrecy challenge to Colorado's use of barcodes on ballots for this November's election - and illuminates the uncertain nature of election litigation.

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation: Online Voter Registration's Impact on Existing Voters

Data from online voter registration in a few states suggests that the biggest consumers by far of the service are existing voters seeking to update their records. In case you were wondering, that's a good thing.

Not-So-Fine Print: Small Ballot Type Irritates New York Voters

New York City voters recently struggled with ballots that printed candidates' names in tiny type - a very bad design decision apparently forced by an antiquated state law.

May I See Your ... Smartphone? Wisconsin Approves Digital Documents for ID

Wisconsin will allow voters to provide digital identification on smartphones and tablets - a development which could add yet another twist to battles nationwide about proof of eligibility at the polls.

The Epidemiology of Voter Fraud

Recent updates on efforts to identify noncitizen voters in Florida and Colorado raise the issue of "false positives" - which, in an analogy to epidemiology, suggests that fears of fraud are extremely deep-seated among some state officials.

Facebook Turnout Experiment Signals New Avenue for Voter Outreach

A new study demonstrating the power of Facebook to boost turnout also shows the potential value of social media for outreach to voters.

Absentee Ballot Numbers: Is It Just a Calendar Thing?

Concerns about a slowdown in absentee ballot requests (especially by the military) could just be a function of the calendar - in particular, the bouncing ball that is Election Day.

Data IS Beautiful (cont.): "Four Questions to Ask Election Officials"

A new Nieman Reports piece contains valuable advice for journalists or anyone else seeking to gauge the health of their local electoral process.

Empty Pockets: Localities Looking (Perhaps in Vain) for Help Paying for Elections

Stories from Michigan and Connecticut involving potential funding shortfalls for elections reveal how the current fiscal climate is creating new challenges for election officials in the run-up to Election Day.

Will Voter ID Reshape Minnesota's Election System? It Depends.

A new MinnPost article looks at the importance of definitions (specifically the phrase "substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification") to the question of how voter ID would reshape Minnesota's election system.

Politics Adores a Vacuum: Stephen Strasburg and Election Policy

The debate over whether or not the Washington Nationals should have "shut down" their pitching ace Stephen Strasburg is reminiscent of the way election policy debates use heated rhetoric to fill an evidentiary vacuum.

New IG Report Sets Off Debate About MOVE Act Implementation

A new report exposing slow implementation of the MOVE Act's requirement for in-person voting assistance offices at military installations is raising eyebrows and rekindling the "physical vs. virtual" debate about how best to serve military and overseas voters.

NASS Declares September 2012 National Voter Registration Month

The National Association of Secretaries of State has declared September 2012 to be National Voter Registration Month - one thing that all sides of the election debate appear to be willing to agree about.

Choose Your Uncertainty: Ohio SoS Goes Slow on Early Voting Pending Appeal

Ohio SoS Jon Husted is taking a "wait and see" approach on early voting pending appeal of last week's federal court order. It's a decision to embrace one kind of uncertainty over another in an environment where court and election calendars collide.

Data Issues in Texas Voter ID Case Highlight Coming Battle Over Voting Rights Act

The three-judge federal court's opinion in the Texas voter ID case points up some fascinating questions about the role of data - and tees up a fascinating (and potentially far-reaching) argument in the U.S. Supreme Court next year.

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