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Election Academy

April 2013

New Maryland Analysis Examines How Voters Use Online Registration

A new analysis of Maryland data by GMU's Michael McDonald illuminates the impact of online voter registration; namely, that it benefits new and existing voters - but that important distinctions exist depending on who voters are and where they live.

Should Voter E-mails Be Private? Florida House Says Yes

A new bill in Florida would shield voter e-mails from the public record as part of an effort to bring personalized sample ballots to voters. The bill has overwhelming support from legislators but has drawn the ire of First Amendment advocates.

Big Apple Oversight: NYC Dept. of Investigation to Shadow Board of Elections

A new investigative unit is taking aim at the New York City Board of Elections - yet another chapter in the long-running struggle with the Mayor and the city press.

Who's The Boss? Arkansas, Florida Debate State Power to Discipline Local Election Officials

New legislation in Arkansas and Florida would give states authority to discipline local election officials for election problems. Local officials are coming together across party lines to fight those provisions.

Low Turnout, High Cost: Time to Rethink Special Elections?

The cost of low-turnout special elections - political, fiscal and otherwise - is starting to get more attention across the country.

Cut, Paste, Apologize: Mistaken Mailing Raises Eyebrows in Portland

A recent erroneous mailing in Portland, and the consternation it caused, illustrates the peril and promise of using multiple data sources to maintain voter rolls - as well as the steps election offices can take to avoid similar issues of their own.

Davidson County Election Chief, Under State Scrutiny, Lawyers Up

A new Tennessee state report apparently critical of Davidson County's election official caught the County Board of Elections by surprise and led the targeted official to seek counsel.

Ohio County's Roof Collapse Complicates May Primary

Timing is everything - and the bad timing of a roof collapse in Stark County, OH will end up costing $250,000 for equipment rental to run a May primary. NASS is convening an emergency preparedness task force to study this and related issues.

Double (Counting?) Trouble: North Dakota County Struggles with 301-Vote Discrepancy

Walsh County, ND is scrambling to identify the source of a discrepancy that has put the results of last November's election in doubt.

Infographic Illustrates Polling Place Traffic on Election Day 2012

Digital agency EngageDC has produced a fascinating graphic of Election Day 2012 using information from the Voting Information Project. In particular, data on polling place traffic is illuminating on when voters vote - valuable intelligence for election officials.

Mile-High Melee Continues: New Colorado Bill Divides SoS, Clerks

A new sweeping election bill in Colorado - including same-day registration and expanded vote by mail - is once again dividing the state's election community.

Experience is the Best Guide

Four experienced election officials who are leaving the field offer important lessons for the next generation of election administration.

Long Lines, Big Cities: Racial Disparities Appear to Track Population

A new paper from MIT's Charles Stewart finds that racial minorities waited longer than whites to vote in 2012 - but suggests that this disparity is strongly associated with more densely populated communities rather than simply with race.

Can I Get a Witness? Proposed Florida Absentee Rule Riles Election Officials

The Senate version of a Florida election reform bill would reinstate the witness requirement for absentee ballots. That proposal is drawing criticism from local election officials, who say it will create barriers to the ballot for military and overseas voters.

New Study Examines Rejected Ballots in Arizona

A new report on rejected ballots from the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting is a next-generation look at how data can transform election journalism - and election administration.

Controversy Over Provisional Ballots Leads to Litigation, Legislation in Kansas

A close state legislative race in Kansas has led to wrangling in state and federal court and state legislation about whether or not election officials can release the names of voters casting provisional ballots.

New EVIC Analysis Examines Impact of Proposed Early Voting Restrictions in North Carolina

A new analysis of North Carolina early voting data shows that proposed cutbacks on early voting could affect a large proportion of the state's voters. What's more, it represents the kind of empirical research that is the future of the field.

No Small Stuff (cont.): Voting Machines Need Batteries, Too

A Pennsylvania county is spending $26K to replace the batteries in its voting machines - yet another "small stuff" moment in modern election administration.

The Hits Keep Coming: NYCBOE Criticized for Election Day Overstaffing

A new report from the New York City Department of Investigation rips the Board of Elections for overstaffing the low-turnout election in 2011 to the tune of $2.5 million. And once again, the New York Daily News is on the case.

Retiring Contra Costa Clerk Steve Weir on the Usefulness of Election Data

Steve Weir, who is retiring as Contra Costa (CA) County Clerk, recently shared with electionlineWeekly his views (plus some facts and figures) on the usefulness of election data. They're worth sharing here.

White House Issues Formal Order on Election Commission

After months of anticipation, the White House has issued an executive order establishing the bipartisan commission on election administration announced during the State of the Union. All that's left now is to appoint members and get to work.

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