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Election Academy

November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a safe and wonderful holiday ... Blogging will resume Monday, December 2nd.

In Virginia, The Count is Finished - Let the Recounting Begin!

Yesterday, Virginia certified the result of its incredibly close Attorney General's race. Very soon, the Commonwealth will likely begin a recount. Here, courtesy of documents produced by the State Board of Elections, is how it will work.

Not All Canvass Stories Are Success Stories: Richland County Misses More than 1,000 Ballots

After the canvassing process got high marks in the close Virginia Attorney General race, another similar process at the state level in South Carolina revealed that Richland County - already under fire for problems - had failed to count more than 1,000 ballots.

GUEST POST: Maybe It's Time to Ditch the "Election Official's Prayer"

Alysoun McLaughlin of Montgomery County, MD has some hard words for those who still cling to the Election Official's Prayer; namely, that the Lord helps those who help themselves.

Voter ID Litigation Update: Cases Move Forward in Texas, Wisconsin

Courts in Texas and Wisconsin took significant steps toward resolving disputes over voter ID in those states - proceedings that could have a profound impact in 2014 and beyond.

Cornyn Introduces SENTRI Act to Aid Military and Overseas Voters

A new bill just introduced in the U.S. Senate (and likely to be offered as an amendment to the current defense authorization bill) would strengthen federal law with regard to military and overseas voting.

Patience is a (Relative) Virtue: New Mexico Data Illuminates How Voters FEEL About Wait Times

New data from New Mexico shows that voting lines have different effects on voters depending on their perception of the impact of waiting. This subjective component of the "long lines" problem is one the field shouldn't overlook.

"Election Guru" Konopasek on Election Costs

Scott Konopasek - now an election official in Contra Costa, CA - has an interesting and thought-provoking meditation on election costs in the latest post on his Election Guru blog.

Heather Gerken: Presidential Commission Lots More Than "Nothing"

In response to recent criticism of the president's election reform commission, Yale law professor and election geek emeritus Heather Gerken says the commission's non political technocratic work might be just the thing the field needs.

Elefino (cont.): Did Voter ID Cause Low Texas Turnout?

Was Texas' new voter ID the reason for low turnout in the recent election? Does it thus represent an effort to restrict turnout? Should the state therefore be subject once again to the Voting Rights Act? The answer is (un)clear: we have no idea.

New Senate Bill Would Mandate, Pay For Election Contingency Plans

U.S. Senate Rules Chair Charles Schumer intends to introduce a bill to help states create contingency plans for Election Day disasters. While it, like anything else in the current Congress, is a long shot - at least it's a step in the right direction.

(Bad) Writing on the Wall? Could Decline of Penmanship Mean Changes for Elections?

Los Angeles County's Dean Logan recently shared an article about the decline of handwriting instruction in schools. What could that trend mean for election officials used to relying on "wet ink" signatures to identify and authenticate voters?

Virginia AG Race: Election Geeks Creating A New Environment for Close Races?

A razor-thin margin in the Virginia Attorney General's race has brought out the best in the election geek community, as an impressively data-based discussion about the canvassing process has emerged on Twitter.

IN MEMORIAM: Richard G. "Dick" Smolka, Pioneering Election Expert

The election community has lost one of our pioneers.

Texas Voter ID Trial May Be Delayed Until 2015

The federal lawsuit against Texas' new voter ID law may not be heard until 2015, if DOJ and the State get their way as part of a proposed order that was submitted yesterday.

Callooh! Callay! It's Election Day!

As Election Day dawns in many communities across America, here's a quick look at some of the stories worth watching as voters head to the polls.

New Brennan Report Looks at Early Voting

A new Brennan Center report details the benefits of early voting, and highlights the need for better understanding of how those benefits can be balanced against its costs.

From Two-Track to the Fast Track? Kansas, Arizona to Get Expedited Hearing on Proof of Citizenship

A federal judge has expedited a challenge by Kansas and Arizona to federal refusal to allow proof of citizenship on federal voter registration forms.

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