Showing posts tagged with: "election reform"

Webinar Materials: Election Reform Gains in 2015 . November 13, 2015

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend yesterday’s webinar “Election Reform Gains in 2015.”  Special thanks go to Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. Webinar Materials: Please feel free to download the webinar PowerPoint and audio file, or watch the webinar read more

Voters to Decide on Election Changes . October 28, 2014

This year, voters in a number of states will make decisions on how to conduct elections. Montana adopted Election Day Registration (EDR) in 2005, and in 2011 Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed a legislature-passed bill that would have eliminated EDR. Last year, the legislature approved a legislatively-referred state statute for this year’s ballot to bring the read more

Register to Vote

States Tinker with Elections . August 26, 2014

In the constantly changing election landscape, many states are trying to find ways to improve the voter experience and increase turnout while saving money. In Arizona–which pioneered online registration back in 2002–an online voter registration costs just 3 cents, compared to 83 cents for a paper registration. In Washington state the cost of an online read more

States Are Improving Elections in 2013 . June 18, 2013

This year has seen a number of new laws that will improve ballot access and streamline the election process for both voters and elections officials. Colorado recently passed the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act that includes provisions for Election Day Registration and portable registration, in addition to creating a bipartisan task force to study read more

Thursday: Voter Registration Modernization Webinar . May 14, 2013

There’s still time to register for Thursday’s webinar–don’t miss out! Voter Registration Modernization Thursday May 16th, 2:00-3:00pm EasternOver the last few years, a number of states have enacted laws and policies to update their voter registration systems–including innovations like online registration, Election Day Registration, and portable registration. This move toward voter registration modernization, supported by both read more

Florida Set to Overhaul Elections . May 13, 2013

It seems Florida will once again be making changes to its election law: the Senate passed HB 7013 that Governor Rick Scott has indicated he will sign. The bill counteracts much of the 2011 law that truncated early voting, changed provisional ballot rules, and stiffened rules on voter registration. These changes–combined with record turnout and read more

Long Lines Discouraged 49,000 Voters in Central FL . January 2, 2013

After the November election, we reported on long lines in a number of states. Now, a new report suggests that as many as 49,000 people in Central Florida did not cast a ballot because of extended waiting times. Theodore Allen has been analyzing the impact of long lines at the polls since 2004. His analysis read more

Election Improvements Still Needed . November 20, 2012

Communities frequently served by nonprofits made impressive gains in the electorate this year. However, there are still a number of electoral improvements that can be made. Shorter Lines, More Early In-Person Voting A curtailed in-person early voting period in Florida led to 7 hour lines, discouraged voters, and an overwhelmed system. On Election Day, voters read more

Voting Rights Victory in Maine . November 9, 2011

We’ll have a more complete summary of 2011 election results later, but we just couldn’t wait to share Maine’s victory! Yesterday, Maine voters decided to restore Election Day Registration (EDR)–leaving an almost 40 year tradition unbroken. Sixty percent of voters supported EDR, and have made it possible for future voters to register and cast their read more

Connecticut Seeks to Improve Elections . July 22, 2011

Great news: Connecticut is looking for ways to improve and update their election systems! Earlier this week, Secretary of State Denise Merrill convened an Election Performance Task Force to review Connecticut’s election system and recommend improvements. Members of the task force include Secretary Merrill and her deputy, town clerks, representatives from Common Cause, Demos and read more

Mayor Bloomberg Pushes for Election Reform . December 10, 2010

After voicing his support for San Francisco’s Saturday Voting Act, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is stepping up to the plate. Earlier this week, Bloomberg proposed a series of election reforms, including provisions for early voting, moving the registration deadline closer to Election Day, simplifying the ballot, and making absentee voting easier. His proposals are based read more

‘Tis the Season to be…Cordial? . December 6, 2010

By the time a political campaign season wraps up, most of us feel as though we barely survived a wild west, mud slinging throw-down. Of course, voters have grown increasingly tired of that narrative, and some election reforms might be changing what we can expect from campaigns. Phil Ting recently announced his bid for San read more

Expanding Access to the Vote . November 22, 2010

Redistricting measures weren’t the only important electoral reform passed this November. This year’s midterm election also heralded other important changes, including expanded voting access. In Vermont, voters passed a constitutional amendment that will allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries as long as they will be 18 by the date of the general election. In doing read more

Oregon introduces unique accessible voting system . August 27, 2008

Electionline reports on Oregon’s new Alternative Format Ballot, which allows voters with visual or manual disabilities to cast votes at home… For the majority of her adult life, Angel Hale was denied a right many Americans take for granted. In 1986, Hale lost her sight and since then has been unable to cast a ballot read more

Californians May Soon Be Able to Register Online .

Californians may soon be able to use their computers to register to vote and they can thank the state Department of Motor Vehicles for the chance. The San Francisco Chronicle has this story…

How Design Can Save Democracy .

Check out this fun and informative interactive feature from AIGA, as profiled in the New York Times, which helps identify common ballot design problems and offer suggestions for improvements. Read the supporting NYT Opinion piece from AIGA’s Richard Grefé and Jessica Friedman Hewitt.

Report: EDR in Nebraska (Demos) . August 18, 2008

This report from R. Michael Alvarez (Caltech) and Jonathan Nagler (NYU) from Demos analyzes likely effects of introducing Election Day Registration in Nebraska, and includes the following estimates of increases in turnout for specific groups of Nebraska citizens under EDR: Overall turnout could go up by 5.4 percent. Turnout among those aged 18 to 25 read more

New Resource: Overview of California’s 2008 Redistricting Reform . July 24, 2008

The Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) has published a comprehensive overview of California’s 2008 redistricting reform proposals to assist legislators, the media, and interested citizens in understanding and comparing the measures. In an easy-to-read chart format, the Overview (pdf) details the major provisions of California’s current redistricting law and compares them with the pending legislative read more

Missouri DSS Ordered to Ensure Citizens Registered . July 17, 2008

On July 15, a U.S. District Court in Missouri ordered the Department of Social Services to ensure that each local welfare office in the state asks everyone who seeks help if that person is registered to vote, and to provide a voter registration form for those who aren’t registered. The 1993 “Motor Voter Law” passed read more

Over Half of All California Voters Used Mail Ballots . July 14, 2008

On July 14, the California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, in a press release, noted that for the first time ever, over half the voters who voted in the recent primary cast their votes by mail. Specifically, 58.7% of all voters who voted, voted by mail. California is the third state to have experienced this read more

Call for Proposals: Research on Alternative Voting Procedures . July 9, 2008

Make Voting Work (MVW), a project of the Pew Center on the States in partnership with the JEHT Foundation, has announced up to $400,000 in new funding available for research examining alternatives to precinct-based election day voting, including early in-person and absentee voting and vote by mail systems. Due date is 8/15/2008. Download the application.

Michigan Senators Push for No-Excuse Absentee Voting . July 7, 2008

Democratic Michigan senators held a press conference last week to express their support of Senate Bill 12, which would enact no-excuse absentee voting. Currently, in Michigan, absentee voting is limited to those 60 and older or anyone who will be out of town, is in jail, has religious reasons for not voting on Election Day read more

New Report: IRV in San Francisco, 2004-2006 . July 3, 2008

Francis Neely and Corey Cook examine San Francisco voters’ experience with instant runoff voting (IRV) from 2004-2006. Demographic influences on ranking the candidates – do certain demographic groups rank more candidates than others for example – are found to be very limited. Overall voters are found to have adapted relatively well to IRV. American Politics read more

Senate Bill Proposes Automatic Re-Registration . July 2, 2008

On June 6, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) introduced S. 3100, a bill that would encourage advance voter registration for sixteen year olds, and automatic re-registration of voters who changed their residence. S. 3100 would create a grant program to provide the States with the funds needed to implement pre-registration for sixteen year olds, ensuring read more

CA Legislature Passes National Popular Vote Plan .

On 06/30, the California Assembly passed National Popular Vote Plan bill (SB 37). The measure already passed the State Senate in 2007. The bill now will be sent for the second time to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signature (Governor Schwarzenegger previously vetoed the measure in 2006).

New Report: Universal Voter Registration .

A policy summary draft on Universal Voter Registration was recently released for review by the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program. The summary highlights problems with existing voter registration systems, and offers suggestions for implementing universal voter registration, such as: • Providing federal funds for states taking steps toward universal voter registration• Requiring “permanent voter read more

IL Bill for Ranked Voting Sent to Governor . June 30, 2008

On June 26, the Illinois legislature sent SB 439 to Governor Blagojevich. If signed, the bill would permit the use of special “ranked voting” ballots in municipal elections, to be offered to absentee military/overseas voters. Read more.

Georgia Voter ID Challenged Again . June 27, 2008

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Democrats have filed another suit challenging Georgia’s voter ID law. See the Election Law @Moritz case page for more information and case documents.

Video the Vote . June 24, 2008

Video the Vote‘s goal is to be the eyes and ears where ballots are cast and counted. Ordinary citizens, armed with video cameras, become journalists and reporters as they document irregularities at polling places and boards of elections on Election Day. The effort enables the media and public to watch-dog the electoral process across the read more

Bethel, Alaska Sued to Translate Ballots .

“The state of Alaska was in federal court in Anchorage last week, battling demands that it provide ballots and other election materials in Yup’ik as well as English to residents of the Bethel area. Lawyers for four Yup’ik elders and four tribal councils in Western Alaska say the need for precise written translations is clear. read more

Rhode Island Legislature Passes National Popular Vote . June 23, 2008

On June 19th, the Rhode Island House joined the Senate in passing the National Popular Vote Plan bill S 2112. The vote was 36-34. The bill now goes to Governor Donald Carcieri for signature. Read more.

Va. Governor Kaine to Expedite Re-enfranchisement of Nonviolent Offenders . June 22, 2008

Civic and social organizations are teaming with Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to try to add thousands of nonviolent offenders to the voting rolls in time for the November election. The felons also would get their rights back to sit on a jury and hold public office. Virginia currently is one of only 2 states read more

RI Gov. Carcieri Calls for Photo ID at the Polls .

On June 18th, Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri (R) appealed to that would require voters to produce photo identification at the polls. Link

Rhode Island Legislature Passes National Popular Vote .

On June 19, the Rhode Island House joined the Senate in passing the National Popular Vote Plan bill S 2112, . The vote was 36-34. The bill has been sent to Governor Donald Carcieri for approval. Next up: Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina. Read more. Link- Picture

Congressional Research Service Report on Voter ID . June 21, 2008

A new report from the Congressional Research Service analyzes Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Indiana’s voter ID requirement: download The Constitutionality of Requiring Photo Identification for Voting: An Analysis of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board .

Brookings Institution Book: Democracy in the States .

Democracy in the States, new from the Brookings Institution Press, is a collection of studies on the progress and agenda of election reform in the 21st century. Studies contributed by leading scholars Paul Gronke, Michael McDonald and Todd Donovan and more.Read a sample chapter. Learn more. Picture