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Election Academy

March 2014

It Helps to Ask: New Washington State Research Demonstrates Power of Outreach on Voter Registration

A new study of registration outreach programs in Washington State finds that targeted mailings to eligible but unregistered citizens can increase registration rates nearly 50%.

Fighting Words: NYC BOE Claims City Council is "Cash Starving" it in Budget

The head of the New York City Board of Elections just slammed the City Council for deliberately underfunding the agency in an effort to make it fail. The accusation came at the same time the agency requested a huge budget increase. Smart? We'll see.

Minneapolis Clerk Issues Post-Election Report, Recommendations on 2013 Mayoral Race

A new report from the Minneapolis city clerk examines the 2013 mayoral election and makes recommendations about how to make the ranked-choice voting process cheaper, faster and more efficient - even as voters are divided on whether it should remain.

Pinellas County - Latest Flashpoint in Florida Election Policy Debates

Florida's latest election policy dispute involves vote by mail dropboxes in Pinellas County, which the supervisor says her voters prefer but which some policymakers are concerned is negatively affecting the voting process for voters.

Rumors of Our Death (cont.): DOJ Seeks Funds to Ramp Up Voting Rights Enforcement Post-Shelby

The DOJ's fiscal year 2015 budget request includes funds for dramatically expanded resources as the agency prepares to enforce voting rights in the new post-preclearance environment in the wake of last year's Shelby County case.

Kansas, Arizona Win Proof of Citizenship Case vs. EAC

A federal judge has handed Kansas and Arizona a victory in their fight to include proof-of-citizenship requirements on the federal voter registration form. It's a decision that will almost certainly generate appeals and controversy in the coming year.

Election Administration, "Days of Yore" Edition: Alabama Legislation Would End Newspaper Voter Registration Lists

Alabama is moving forward on eliminating the outdated - and costly - requirement to print voter registration lists in the newspaper. Everyone seems to agree it's a good idea - except newspapers, who will lose significant revenue.

Free Ride: Mississippi to Make Sure Voters Can Get New Required ID

Mississippi is upping the ante on outreach to voters without voter ID by offering free rides to obtain an ID at the state's expense. It's a vivid reminder of how far the implementation of ID has evolved in the last few years.

electionlineWeekly: South Dakota Tests New Program for Military Voters

This week's electionlineWeekly examines a new effort in South Dakota to allow military voters to access their ballots remotely in a fraction of the time it usually takes.

Patience Please: Tippecanoe Still Waiting for E-PollBook Certification

Indiana's new testing and certification program for e-pollbooks is delaying election preparations in one county - and the clerk is getting nervous about what it's doing to her readiness (and her budget).

AAUGH! No More? South Carolina Advances Bill to Fund Presidential Primary

South Carolina's legislature is moving a bill that would provide state funding for the Palmetto State's early presidential primary after confusion about who pays led to a lawsuit by counties in 2012.

Location, Location, Location: CO County Attempts to Minimize Time to Polling Places

Colorado counties are now working to ensure that every voter has a polling place of some kind within minutes of home. What does this mean for election administration - and what might it do to election costs?

Thumb on the Scale? Josh Douglas Criticizes Supreme Court Election Law Deference to States

A forthcoming law review article by Kentucky law professor Josh Douglas says that the U.S. Supreme Court is treating federal and state laws differently, to the detriment of voting rights. He proposes a greater attention to evidence in determining when any election law goes too far.

Is Minnesota Slowing Down on E-Pollbooks? Some Legislators, Election Officials Hope Not

More than a year after Minnesota resisted one popular national trend by rejecting ID, it is now appearing to stall somewhat on another one: adoption of e-pollbooks. Indeed, the two developments appear to be somewhat related.

Iowa Court Strikes Down Rule Aimed at Non-Citizen Voters

An Iowa court has struck down a controversial rule allowing the state to identify suspected non-citizen voters using a federal database and then remove them from the rolls.

RI School Design Students Take on Elections

Students at the well-regarded Rhode Island School of Design have applied their talents to election signs and ballots - and the results are fantastic and encouraging for the future growth of the elections field.

Unsolved (and Mostly Un-Investigated): Santa Rosa Break-In

A summer 2013 break-in in Santa Rosa County, FL resulted in the theft of ballots and equipment valued at over $5,000. The case has now run cold - in part because no one seems very interested in investigating.

Newby Has Seen the Enemy - and it is SNOW

Brian Newby's latest ElectionDiary is topical with Mother Nature's latest - namely, snow. Brian looks at how continued snow challenges could (and should, in his view) lead to consolidation of elections to more metereologically friendly times of year.

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