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February 2014


electionline Provides Rundown of SoS Races in 2014

electionline.org's latest newsletter has a rundown of all the candidates for Secretary of State in what will be a busy (and likely hard-fought) 2014 election cycle.

Many North Carolina Counties Seek Further Cutbacks on Early Voting

About one-third of North Carolina's counties are seeking to cut early voting even further than the new reduced days and hours in state law - not because they want fewer voters, but because there aren't enough voters to make the days and hours they already have worthwhile.

Your "Um ... Wow" of the Day: Dallas Voters Put on Inactive List Because Postal Employee Didn't Feel Like Delivering Mail

A postal worker in Texas didn't feel like doing his job, so he marked lots of mail "return to sender." Unfortunately, some of that mail included voter registration cards, and now hundreds of voters (and maybe more) are on the inactive "suspended" voter list.

Iowa Fraud Probe Ends: Another Learning Opportunity?

A long-running vote fraud probe in Iowa has concluded and the results are in the hands of prosecutors. Here's hoping the state follows Ohio's lead and shares how the stories uncovered illuminate what happens when election rules are applied in the real world.

New Pew Dispatch Examines Research on Over-Reporting of Turnout in Surveys

A new Pew Election Data Dispatch highlights research that seeks ways to counteract voters' tendency to over-report (or, in lay terms, "lie about") whether they voted in an election. Hopefully, the findings will help fine-tune the data to permit more accurate forecasting and analysis.

With Eye on '16, Parties Look to Influence SoS Races in '14

The 2014 (and 2016) campaigns are now officially upon us - as evidenced by the parties' plans to focus heavily on Secretary of State races this fall.

Ohio State's Tokaji Proposes "Grand Election Bargain" of Expanded Voter Registration, Voter ID

Ohio State's Dan Tokaji's new paper proposes a trade of voter ID for voter registration as a "Grand Election Bargain" at the federal level. Digging into the details, however, it's not clear to me that a supporter of ID would think this was a bargain, let alone grand.

No Small Stuff (cont.): Ballot Error Costs Pulaski $12,800

A simple but crucial coding error meant that the ballots in an upcoming Pulaski County election had to be reprinted. The story offers a lesson learned in laying out ballots but also highlights the impact of increasingly complex ballot systems.

Los Angeles' Dean Logan on Changing Elections: "The Line Starts Here"

The election official in the nation's largest locality surveys the field and concludes that perhaps "we do need lines -- lines of modern reforms and responsive options ... to make systemic changes to how we conduct elections and cast votes."

New NASS Report Examines Emergency Planning for Elections

The National Association of Secretaries of State has a new report examining state laws on emergency preparedness for elections. It's a great resource in an area where states should start planning if they aren't already.

Senate Rules Committee Hearing Followup

As a followup to yesterday's post, here's a quick rundown on the Senate Rules Committee hearing with the co-chairs of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

Past and Future of Federal Election Policy Collide at Senate Rules Today

The Senate Rules Committee will discuss two key federal election policy efforts today - the PCEA and the EAC. It will be interesting to see if (and how) they fit them together.

COMING (AGAIN) SOON: electionline.org

Rejoice, election geeks - electionline returns Thursday!

Falls Church's David Bjerke Makes "The Case for Vote-By-Mail"

David Bjerke of Falls Church, VA is particularly thoughtful on lots of issues - and he shares his recent thoughts on the value of vote-by-mail in a piece written in the wake of criticism of the Presidential Commission's report.

CEIMN Releases New "Recount Principles and Best Practices"

Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota has released a new document delineating the desirable parameters of recounts - it's a must-download for anyone who might face a recount - which in today's world is everyone.

Proof of Citizenship Case Will Turn on Administrative Law, Judge Rules

A federal judge in Kansas will hear the challenge to an EAC decision about proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration - but in an administrative law proceeding that limits the record and is extremely deferential to the EAC.

How Early is Too Early - and How Small is "Small"? Georgia Bill Would Shorten Early Voting in Some Localities

A new Georgia proposal to limit early voting in "small cities" to save money is sparking debate because it might also affect not-small cities like Atlanta. In a state where the legacy of the Voting Rights Act is a hot topic, this bill has the potential to become a flashpoint.

INCOMING: Texas Local Officials Prepare for Voter ID Issues in Upcoming Primary

Name mismatches associated with Texas' new voter ID law are likely to be a key factor in next month's statewide primary vote. While counties are handling that possibility differently, all of them will need to be ready to "catch grenades" about ID on Election Day.

Attention Please: "Impending Crisis" in Voting Technology Makes USA TODAY

A recent USA Today story on voting technology - driven by the PCEA's identification of an "impending crisis" - is proof of the power of the Commission to drive the election policy debate in directions that can help advance the field.

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