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Election Academy

March 2013

No Blogging This Week: Back April 1


Congress to USPS: Not So Fast on Saturday Delivery

Congress has put the brakes (sort of) on the Postal Service's plans to end Saturday first-class delivery. What does it mean for election officials?

Busy Election Year Costs Wisconsin $37 Million

New Wisconsin data shows that the state spent over $37 million on its five elections in 2012.

New Fairfax County Report Seeks Changes to Election Process

A bipartisan commission in Fairfax County, VA has issued a report in the wake of last year's presidential election. Its recommendations include ending the County's dual voting systems in favor of optically scanned ballots.

You Keep Using That Word: Bipartisanship in Election Legislation

Recent struggles to enact election legislation in Minnesota and Florida illustrate the challenges involved in seeking bipartisanship when considering the high-profile issue of election policy reform.

Thanks But No Thanks: Some Maine Towns Prefer Hand-Counting to New Machines

Some Maine towns are declining the offer of free, new ballot tabulators in favor of maintaining their time-honored, if time-consuming, process of hand-counting ballots.

Who's The Boss? Supreme Court to Hear Case Testing Federal vs. State Control Over Elections

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear an Arizona case that could fundamentally shift the relationship between states and the federal government on the issue of who controls elections.

On Time, Too Late? Absentee Ballots in Palm Beach County

A story from Palm Beach County about last-minute absentee ballots illuminates the tradeoff between convenience for voters and a quick count for election officials. Don't be surprised if it recurs elsewhere, given the expansion of absentee/mail voting.

New Pew Report: "Teens and Technology 2013"

A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project demonstrates the degree to which tomorrow's voters rely on technology - and presages pressure to make that technology work better for voting.

No Small Stuff (cont.): Unsigned Mail Ballots in Albuquerque

A huge number of unsigned vote by mail ballots in Albuquerque - and confusion over what can be done about it - is yet another vivid reminder of the tyranny of little things in election administration.

Not If, But When: Scheduling Election Day

Upcoming votes in South Florida about election scheduling for localities highlights the various considerations involved in choosing an Election Day.

Bad Facts, Sad Story: 86-Year-Old Woman Charged with Voter Fraud

The prosecution of an 86-year-old Minnesota woman for voter fraud - after she accidentally cast two ballots in last year's state primary - is bringing her to court to face charges and the state debate about voter fraud back to a boil.

Elections, Data vs. Metrics - and Ted Williams

Right now, data is beginning to show up everywhere in discussions of election administration - but the choices we make about what data to use (and how to use it to develop metrics) can have a powerful impact on outcomes.

Election Geek Media Alert: AZ Capitol Times Calls for Better, More Open Election Data

A recent opinion piece in the AZ Capitol Times calls for better and more open election data - a development that would assist tremendously in the ongoing effort to improve the type and quality of analysis available to the field of election administration.

Front-Row Seat in a "Contingency": Brian Newby's "Snow Diaries"

Johnson County's Brian Newby was at the center of a powerful Election Day snowstorm ... and while it was no fun for him and his colleagues he has been generous enough to share the entire experience. It's a terrific read for anyone who cares about contingency planning.

St. Charles, MO Crosses the Finish Line on New Machines

One recurring storyline on this blog just reached a conclusion: after more than a year of wrangling, saving and waiting for more bids, St. Charles County, MO has new voting machines.

Mind on My Money, Money on My Mind - Minneapolis Looks to Cover Cost of 2013 Elections

A recent story out of Minneapolis reveals that financial considerations - in particular, the need to spend increasingly scarce local dollars on elections - are likely to have a far greater impact on the field than high-profile events in Washington, DC.

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