Voting Blogs: Arizona Election Consolidation Bill Divides Counties | Election Academy

This morning’s Arizona Capitol Times includes a story about several counties’ call for the Governor to veto an election consolidation bill. According to the article, 27 county officials and 40 of 76 affected municipalities signed a letter arguing that the bill “would stamp out local control, politicize non-partisan elections and increase election costs.” More specifically, they are concerned that by bringing local elections in line with federal and state elections would create a host of problems.

Voting Blogs: New Legal Challenge to Pennsylvania GOP’s Polling Place Photo ID Restriction Law Likely to Succeed | BradBlog

92-year old Viviette Applewhite, 59-year old Wilola Shinholster Lee, 72-year old Grover Freeland, 86-year old Dorothy Barksdale and 93-year old Bea Booker are just a few of the Pennsylvania residents and long-time legal voters now fighting to retain their right to vote under the state GOP’s new polling place Photo ID restrictions, according to a…

Voting Blogs: Caucus System Cracks Revealed During 2012 GOP Primary Season | governing.com

When it comes to running elections and counting votes, states and counties have come a long way over the past dozen years. Nothing demonstrates their progress better than watching other people try to do the same job. During the Republican presidential primary campaign this year, several states were embarrassed by snafus with their caucuses, which are run by political parties rather than by public officials. In Iowa, an eight-vote election-night win for Mitt Romney was later converted into a 34-vote victory for Rick Santorum, with party officials admitting that they didn’t, in fact, know the actual number. (The state party chair resigned.) Counting was slow enough in Nevada to raise doubts during the delay, while in Maine, the GOP decided to declare Romney the statewide winner before some counties had even held their caucuses. “It’s been stunning to watch,” says Cathy Cox, a former Georgia secretary of state. “Caucus voting looks like the Wild West of voting.”

Voting Blogs: Voter ID Costs, Considered | The Thicket

What does it cost to implement a strict voter ID requirement?  Many legislators would like to know. So would NCSL. Because we get this question frequently, we looked into it last month. First, we created a webpage with links to many legislative fiscal notes that were attached to this year’s voter ID bills. We then called state and local election officials in states that are implementing new laws this year.  Last, we summed up what we had learned about voter ID costs in a short essay in Electionline Weekly. Here’s an excerpt from that document:

In 2012, cost estimates for voter ID laws range from “no fiscal impact” in Nebraska and Virginia to “unknown greater than $7,027,921” in Missouri for the first year of implementation. The variation can be explained in part by differences in the legislation—what IDs are accepted, and whether there is another mechanism, such as absentee voting, that won’t require an ID.

Voting Blogs: Somebody’s Watching: DuPage, Illinois Report and Oversight of Election Offices | Election Academy

Last week’s news brought several stories about a brewing controversy in Illinois’ DuPage County, located in the Chicago suburbs. There, a consulting form retained by the County Board issued a report sharply critical of the Election Board after its review suggested that there had been insufficient controls on the board’s contracting function.

According to the Naperville Sun:
Crowe Horwath partner Bert Nuehring told the board Tuesday morning that documentation confirming proper procurement rules were followed was lacking in all but one of the 13 contracts his firm examined as part of its assessment. “Proper procurement, open process, ensures that you get the best prices,” Nuehring said.Bringing the commission’s procurement policies in step with those of the county, as Crowe Horwath has suggested for other appointed advisory bodies it was hired to evaluate, is a matter of “enhancements and alignment,” Nuehring said. County Board members were particularly concerned about two instances in which contracts had expired and the commission issued purchase orders instead of renewing the accords. One of the contracts was for equipment maintenance, and the other was the renewal of a software license, worth more than $345,000.

Voting Blogs: Total Recall: Far-fetched Wisconsin recall election hypotheticals | Dane101

In one week Wisconsin will be taking part in historic recall election primaries. The general consensus is Governor Scott Walker will handily win the Republican primary against “Lincoln Republican” Arthur Kohl-Riggs and one of the official Democratic candidates and not the Wisconsin GOP appointed fake Democrat, Gladys Huber, will win the Democratic primary. In the Senatorial races there are similar expectations. Even so, there are some extremely long shot scenarios that could play out and further Wisconsin’s descent into political madcappery. This post exists solely for the purpose of conducting an exercise in futility by considering those “what if…” scenarios. What if a “protest” candidate wins? While the state GOP has said on numerous occasions that it wouldn’t be actively campaigning on behalf of their protest candidates that doesn’t mean the candidates won’t actively campaign or that local Republican parties won’t actively campaign. Last year we saw the St. Croix County Republican Party dump a substantial amount of time and money into promoting District 10 fake candidate Isaac Weix (who is running as a fake candidate again in the Lt. Governor race). Weix’s role was to trigger a Democratic recall against incumbent State Senator Shelia Harsdorf’s challenger Shelly Moore. Of the six recall primaries that summer Moore came the closest to losing to her protest challenger.

Voting Blogs: National Voter Registration Act vs. Voter ID and Other Voter Access Challenges | Concurring Opinions

In the ongoing battle to improve access to elections and expand the electorate, civil rights groups have often used the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (and its amendments) as the preeminent weapon.  The most transformative legislation to come out of the civil rights movement, the VRA changed the complexion of this country’s elected bodies and increased access to political power for minorities through muscular remedies.  However, it is the NVRA (National Voter Registration Act), the VRA’s lesser known, younger cousin of sorts, that has been stealing headlines this week Sandwiched between the VRA and the more recent Help American Vote Act (HAVA)d passed in 2002, the 1993 NVRA is sometimes overlooked as a significant linchpin of voter access.  Indeed, the NVRA has played an important role in securing expanded registration opportunities for marginalized populations.  And, in the face of stringent voter ID laws that suppress voter turnout and shrink the electorate, both offensive strategies and defensive tools are needed.  The NVRA continues to prove that it can be effective on both fronts.

Voting Blogs: Geolocation, Geolocation, Geolocation: Nebraska Precinct Map Shows Impact of New Polling Places | Election Academy

Last Thursday, the Omaha World-Herald published an online precinct map examining the impact of some new controversial precinct lines in Douglas County. As we discussed here on the blog a few weeks ago, the county election official has come under considerable fire for the new map, which Democrats believe will result in the disenfranchisement of large numbers of voters in Nebraska’s largest city. The newspaper’s map is intended to examine this concern, and combines voter addresses with digitized precinct boundaries to determine how far voters are from their assigned polling place. Overall, the map suggests that three in five voters are more than half a mile from their polling place, up from two in five before the change. The screenshot above is from the article, and shows the percentage of voters in each precinct who are inside the half-mile radius.

Voting Blogs: Arizona Case is a Vivid Reminder of Lasting Power of Motor Voter | Election Academy

Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed down an opinion in Gonzalez v. Arizona, a long-running case involving a challenge to Arizona’s proof of citizenship and ID requirement – two provisions enacted by Arizona voters as part of Proposition 200 in 2004. I have been following this case for several years, yet I will readily admit that I had completely forgotten about it in the wake of all the other challenges and controversies across the nation recently. The last “big news” on this case was a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2006 vacating an injunction and sending the case back to the lower courts for further disposition.

Voting Blogs: The French Presidency Is a Bargain | Sophie Meunier/Huffington Post

Ten candidates — that’s the field of presidential hopefuls competing for votes in the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday, April 22. Some of them are household names, like incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy and his main challenger, the socialist Francois Hollande. Others are still relatively unknown, even to French voters, such as the candidate representing the Trotskyist party, Lutte Ouvrière, or the head of the LaRouche movement in France (both currently polling at 0 percent). The multitude of candidates stems in part from a two-round electoral system, whereby everyone competes in the first round but only the two candidates with the highest number of votes face off in the second round (on May 6). What also enables so many candidates to run is that French electoral campaigns are cheap. As long as you can gather 500 signatures of support from about 47,000 elected representatives throughout France, you can stand for election to the presidency. Money is a good thing to have in a French electoral campaign, to be sure, but there is not that much money can buy: a good Web team; campaign posters; computers; t-shirts and gadgets; airfares; tolls and fuel for the cars of the party operatives who criss-cross the country; and the organization of campaign rallies — some small, some massive — such as Sarkozy’s recent meeting on the Place de la Concorde and Hollande’s big rally in Vincennes. That’s about it.  By law, campaign expenses are subjected to a maximum ceiling, and spending in excess of that is illegal. The state also subsidizes candidates. It gives about eight million euros, half of the maximum amount of expenses allowed in the first round, to those who obtain more than 5% of the votes in the first round and about 800,000 euros to those who do not make the 5% cut. In 2007, Sarkozy spent 21 million euros to win the presidential contest, while his main opponent, the socialist Ségolène Royal, spent 20 million euros. French politicians are, therefore, not enslaved to special interests or Super-PACs as they are in the U.S. Televised political ads are banned — only a small number of “statements” by each candidate, following strict rules on time and editing, can be broadcast on television and only during the five-week period of the “official” campaign as defined by law.

Voting Blogs: War on Polling Places | Election Diary

It may not be as dramatic sounding as the media’s phrase, “War on Christmas,” or many of the other wars on societal issues, but as we prepare for more elections, we’re reminded of the constant war on polling places. Selecting polling places is a no-win endeavor. For instance, in April 2005, the election featured a question on same-sex marriage.  I received several complaints from voters that some of our polling places were churches, potentially influencing the outcome of this vote. Then, in September 2005, we had a special election for a sales tax that was directed to schools.  I received a similar number of complaints from voters that some of our polling places were schools, potentially influencing the outcome of this vote. We used the same polling places for both elections. Most of our polling places are donated space.  That’s important because one thing I hear often from our county manager is how expensive elections are. They are expensive.  But that expense is relevant if you are comparing the cost to zero.  Merely having an election is expensive because it’s an event for, in our case, 360,000 people.

Voting Blogs: Wisconsin Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeals of Both Injunctions on GOP Polling Place Photo ID Law | BradBlog

On Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two one-sentence orders declining to hear both appeals filed by Republican state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in two different polling place Photo ID cases. In both, judges in lower courts had blocked the controversial voting rights restrictions passed by Republicans last year, finding that the law violated…

Voting Blogs: DISCLOSE Act Will Make Mandatory Disclosure Mandatory | Brennan Center for Justice

For decades, the one piece of campaign finance reform that Democrats and Republicans agreedabout was the importance of disclosure. For example, in 2000, House Republican Amo Houghton explained that “[w]e need disclosure by section 527 organizations, but when 501(c) groups intervene in the political process, they should disclose what they are doing and who is paying for it as well.” Lately, though, the GOP has changed its mind about political transparency, and the current debate over increased disclosure requirements for independent election spending has sharply divided on partisan lines. Given the huge volumes of money being spent to swing the 2012 election — with millions being spent by non-profit 501(c) groups with secret donors — it’s long past time for a new bipartisan consensus in favor of transparency. Democrats like Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who recently introduced the DISCLOSE Act of 2012 in the Senate, are leading the way, but they need a new generation of Republican leaders to join them.

Voting Blogs: Outside Looking In? Public Access to Election Databases | Election Academy

The Indianapolis Star recently ran an editorial calling on the Marion County Election Board to give access to five “unslated” (i.e., non party endorsed) candidates running in the Hoosier State’s May 8 primary.

Here’s the crux of the issue, from the editorial:

The unslated candidates point out that the database is a public record compiled at taxpayer expense. The state Public Access Counselor has informally sided with them, but has advised that the Marion County Election Board adopt a policy ordering the registration board to act.In a special meeting last week, County Clerk Beth White moved to do so. Neither of her fellow election board members offered a second. Patrick Dietrick and Mark Sullivan both are party appointees; but each said he needed to know more about the cost and complexity of releasing the data, as well as the privacy implications.

Voting Blogs: The DISCLOSE Act and the Non-Profit Campaign Finance Loophole | Legislation & Policy Brief Blog

Thanks in no small part to the efforts of comedian Stephen Colbert, the issues around Super PACs and the campaign finance regime in this country have been elevated in the national consciousness. People following campaign finance are aware of the now famous 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), which held that corporate and union political speech, in the form of spending on independent and electioneering communications, is protected by the First Amendment. However, there is still considerable misunderstanding about how the system works and why corporate and union donations remain largely undisclosed. This post will attempt to briefly explain the main forces at work in keeping these donations in the shadows and the current most viable legislative fix, the Disclosure of Information on Spending on Campaigns Leads to Open and Secure Elections (DISCLOSE) Act of 2012 recently reintroduced in the House. Super PACs are among the hottest discussion topics this campaign season and are used as shorthand for the problem that ail our campaign finance system, but, in fact, the issues around Super PACs are not quite so simple. Super PACs emerged not directly from the Citizens United decision but from a subsequent DC Circuit court case called SpeechNow v. FEC. In that case, the court held that corporations and unions were permitted to make unlimited donations to support political committees making so-called independent expenditures – political spending not coordinated with a campaign. After that decision the FEC began permitting independent expenditure political action committees (IE-PACs) which were soon dubbed Super PACs.

Voting Blogs: The DISCLOSE Act and the Non-Profit Campaign Finance Loophole | Legislation & Policy Brief Blog

Thanks in no small part to the efforts of comedian Stephen Colbert, the issues around Super PACs and the campaign finance regime in this country have been elevated in the national consciousness. People following campaign finance are aware of the now famous 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), which held that corporate and union political speech, in the form of spending on independent and electioneering communications, is protected by the First Amendment. However, there is still considerable misunderstanding about how the system works and why corporate and union donations remain largely undisclosed. This post will attempt to briefly explain the main forces at work in keeping these donations in the shadows and the current most viable legislative fix, the Disclosure of Information on Spending on Campaigns Leads to Open and Secure Elections (DISCLOSE) Act of 2012 recently reintroduced in the House. Super PACs are among the hottest discussion topics this campaign season and are used as shorthand for the problem that ail our campaign finance system, but, in fact, the issues around Super PACs are not quite so simple. Super PACs emerged not directly from the Citizens United decision but from a subsequent DC Circuit court case called SpeechNow v. FEC. In that case, the court held that corporations and unions were permitted to make unlimited donations to support political committees making so-called independent expenditures – political spending not coordinated with a campaign. After that decision the FEC began permitting independent expenditure political action committees (IE-PACs) which were soon dubbed Super PACs.

Voting Blogs: Cost of Voter ID: What we know, and what we don’t | electionlineWeekly

Last year, electionline ran an article entitled, “Debate Over Photo ID at the Polls Shifts to Costs.” Since then, voter ID — the issue of how voters are identified at the polls — has only gotten hotter. Recently, Pennsylvania enacted photo ID legislation, Minnesota’s legislature put aconstitutional amendment about photo ID on the November ballot, and Virginiasent a bill to the governor, which he proposed changes to. See the National Conference of State Legislature’s Voter ID: State Requirements webpage or last week’s Electionline Weekly for the status of voter ID legislation around the country. This year, cost concerns seem to be buried beneath the partisan debate. And yet money always matters, so the question remains: how much does it cost to implement a photo voter ID requirement? No one knows for sure. There are before-the-fact estimates, and after-the-fact “actuals,” but none are cut and dried. The truth is that the cost of voter ID — like the cost of virtually everything election-related — is hard to estimate, or to measure.   For now, we can offer a look at legislative estimates and “boots on the ground” details from states that are in the process of implementing last year’s new photo ID laws, and perhaps explain why these numbers are so difficult to pin down.

Voting Blogs: I Have CONFIDENCE … in the Election System? | Election Academy

Very often, when you listen to election policy debates, you hear one (and usually both) sides invoking the value of “voter confidence”. The term isn’t very well-defined, but it is thought to capture a general sense of satisfaction with and acceptance of the election system. It also has a certain appeal; if democracy rests on the consent of the governed, confidence can be considered an important measure of the degree to which voters accept the results of elections and the frequent transfer of power between parties or individuals who otherwise fiercely disagree. Fortunately, voter confidence has been a popular subject of study by political scientists, who examine responses to public opinion surveys to divine how confident (or not) voters are about voting systems and procedures.

Voting Blogs: A Silver Bullet That Would End Secret Tax-Exempt Money in Elections | OurFuture.org

No doubt about it, large unlimited donations are flowing into SuperPACs from rich individuals and corporations aimed at influencing who is elected at all levels of government in 2012. With the SuperPACs and other forms of political committees regulated by the federal and state election agencies, or by the IRS under section 527, at least we know who the donors are. But when political campaign expenditures are made by various forms of nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, such as 501(c)(4) social welfare groups (like Crossroads GPS) or 501(c)(6) business associations (like the US Chamber of Commerce), there is no general law requiring their donors to be identified. So secret money in the millions, once again, flows in. A number of Senators and members of the House of Representatives have proposed a new DISCLOSE 2012 Act to force public disclosure of secret donors in federal elections. A similar bill failed by one vote in 2010. If the new Act passes, will it solve the problem? It might help, but it wouldn’t be enough. In 29 pages, the Act is cumbersome at best.

Voting Blogs: The Return of CREEP | ProPublica

With 300-plus super PACs and counting, it would be easy to miss CREEP. But last Thursday, a new super PAC ingeniously named the Committee for the Re-Election of the President registered with the Federal Election Commission. The committee is based out of a post office box at the Watergate Complex—an homage, of course, to the other Committee for the Re-Election of the President, the fundraising committee for President Richard Nixon that became embroiled in the Watergate scandal. It’s an inside joke with a serious punchline. The old CREEP (which used the acronym CRP and at one point was called the Committee to Re-Elect the President) helped spur the creation of the FEC. The website for CREEP Super PAC says it’s committed “to raising voices not dollars” and advocates disclosure. “It’s an excellent chance for people to step back and say, ‘Are we happy with 40 years of campaign finance and the lack of disclosure?’” said Robert Lucas, 22, founder of the new CREEP and a graduate student in public policy at Georgetown University. “There’s a lot of irony, with the 40th anniversary of Watergate and where we are now.”

Voting Blogs: Rock, Paper, Local: County Officials Still Wield Great Influence Over Elections | Election Academy

Lately, the news has been full of debates and discussions about the impact on election administration of decisions made by federal and state government. These are, to be sure, important questions but two recent stories have reinforced the enduring power of local government – and in particular, local election officials. In Waukesha County, Wisconsin, embattled county clerk Kathy Nickolaus (who figured prominently in last fall’s hotly-contested campaign for the state Supreme Court) agreed to relinquish her election dutiesafter encountering difficulties with tallying the returns from the state’s April 3 primary.

Voting Blogs: Anchorage’s Ballot Shortages and Denial of Service Attacks in “Meat Space” | Election Academy

Recently, I wrote about the denial of service (DoS) attack on a Canadian party’s leadership election. In that post, I discussed election officials’ (and their vendors’) responsibility for hardening their systems against such attacks. Moreover, I said said this responsibility exists whether the attack comes electronically or in the real world (aka “meat space” in the words of a programmer friend). Last Tuesday, municipal elections in Anchorage were somewhat chaotic – with ballot shortages across the city and many voters turned away from the polls. The problems appear to have been caused in part by an opponent of an equal-rights proposition who used email and Facebook to urge voters to the polls. Unfortunately, those appeals included incorrect information; namely, that voters could register at the polls and do so outside their home precincts. Alaska does not have election day registration, but rather requires voters to register 30 days before an election. The result was frustration as many voters visited numerous polling places in hopes – for some, in vain – of finding a ballot. The city clerk is investigating the problems and is weighing whether or not they could have been serious enough to invalidate the election.

Voting Blogs: African Elections in 2012 on the World Stage and in the Classroom | Concurring Opinions

Teaching U.S. election law in the shadow of a presidential election is an election law professor’s dream. There is no better backdrop for the material or more engaging context to capture student interest in the subject.  However, as I also teach a comparative election law course that examines election law issues internationally, I had a difficult time deciding which to offer this fall in light of the seemingly record number of presidential and legislative elections this year.  On no other continent is this cloudburst of elections more evident than in Africa.  The concentration of African elections is owing  not just to Africa having more countries and democracies than any other continent; rather, the combination of the Arab spring and the happenstance of calendrical synchronicity has yielded a mother lode of elections on the continent.  Africa is evidence that, against many odds, democracy is at work. In the United States, democracy works in large part because of deeply entrenched historical values and a multiplicity of modern interests that depend on democratic institutions.  Indeed, in much of the Western world, democracy enjoys a worn expectation as a successful form of governance.  In modern Africa, however, democracy increasingly prevails because the lion’s share of its inhabitants is moving steadfastly and stubbornly against authoritarianism and the one-party state in hopes for a fairer, freer, and more equal form of government.  Simply put, democracy in Africa grows from the same soil of revolution and idealism that nourished the seeds of U.S. democracy nearly three centuries ago.  For those of us interested in the study of democracy, Africa is a place to watch in 2012.

Voting Blogs: Imagine no campaign donations. It’s easy if you try. | Enik Rising

Imagine, for a moment, that you didn’t need to raise money to run for office, that the government would pay you to run. Who would that help? Would it encourage more moderate candidates, who are usually pressured out of nomination contests by party money because they don’t stand for anything? Or would it enable the extremists, whom are normally de-funded due to concerns about their toxic views? Well, we actually don’t need to imagine. Arizona and Maine had just such a system in place for state legislative elections during the last decade. So Michael Miller and I collected roll call votes from those states and compared those who first got elected through “clean” funding with those who achieved offices through traditional funding methods. We report the results in our new paper “Buying Extremists,” which we’re presenting next week at the meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association.

Voting Blogs: Provisional Ballots: Information Can Help Rescue “Lost” Voters | Election Academy

This week’s Pew Dispatch looks at provisional ballot data from the 2011 election in Ohio. Here’s what the analysis found:

Provisional ballot use increased in 72 counties, remained the same in seven counties, and decreased in nine counties. While the number of overall provisional ballots grew in 2011, the proportion of provisional ballots counted decreased. The study found that most of the provisional ballots were rejected for one of three reasons:

  • + 40.2 percent were rejected because the voter was not listed as registered to vote in Ohio;
  • + 21.2 percent were rejected for voting at the wrong precinct and wrong polling place; and
  • + 16.2 percent were rejected for voting at the wrong precinct within the correct polling place [often called the “right church, wrong pew” problem – ed.].

Voting Blogs: Voted Ballots ‘Remade’ by Election Workers in Wisconsin After Being Printed Too Wide for Optical-Scanners | BradBlog

During yesterday’s Wisconsin primary election, a number of paper ballots were sent out in several counties that were reportedly too wide to be tabulated by the computerized optical-scan systems used to tally ballots in the state. The same exact thing happened just two weeks ago during the Illinois primary sending election officials into a panic and causing delays for some voters. Then, as now, the problem has been chalked up to a paper-cutting error by the printers. Perhaps that’s true, perhaps it’s not. We’ll take them at their word, barring evidence to the contrary. Innocent errors can and do happen. But whether that’s an accurate explanation or not, one way in which the failure was dealt with in both Illinois and Wisconsin continues to be extremely troubling and, frankly, offense: the practice of election workers manually “remaking” the ballots of voters after the election, in ostensible secret, and before they are tabulated.

Voting Blogs: State Constitutions: A New Battleground in Voting Rights | JURIST

An emerging storyline in this year’s election season is the increased implementation of voter ID laws around the country. From Wisconsin to Texas to Virginia, state legislatures are enacting new laws requiring voters to show some form of photo identification at the polls. Just as quickly, opponents are filing suit in both state and federal courts to challenge the laws on various grounds. While none of this is particularly novel, the added twist is the prominence of state constitutions in these disputes. In fact, given the current US Supreme Court’s narrow interpretation of voting protections, state constitutional recognition of the right to vote may have a tremendous impact in limiting some states from requiring voters to show identification this Election Day. Proponents of voter ID laws posit that they are necessary to protect the integrity of the election process. Those who oppose the laws, by contrast, explain that they do not root out any documented fraud and that they actually disenfranchise certain groups of voters, particularly minorities, the indigent and students. There is also a partisan bent to the disputes: Republicans tend to favor voter ID laws and Democrats oppose them because groups that more often vote Democratic are, as a general matter, less likely to possess the required form of identification and therefore will be unable to vote.

Voting Blogs: The Texas primary will be May 29 in case anyone was wondering | Texas Redistricting

There’s the old saying about March coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb, and that certainly seems to have played out in the redistricting litigation. March began with a furious flurry the release of interim maps and changes to the election schedule.  But with campaigning having begun in earnest and March having ended without a preclearance decision, so too, in all likelihood, did the prospect of further revisions to the interim maps and a further delay of the Texas primary to June 26, with an August 28 runoff.

Voting Blogs: It must be the Cheese: 96.8% Valid Signature Rate for Wisconsin Recall Petitions | electionsmith

The staff of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board earlier this week recommended to the Board that there were a sufficient number of valid signatures on the recall petitions submitted for Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Kleefisch to order a recall election. Were there ever! The staff’s reports are available on the Board’s website.

Here’s a helpful summary of the staff’s findings.

Officeholder Signatures Submitted Signatures Struck by Staff Duplicates Struck Valid Signatures
Gov. Walker 931,053 26,114 4,001 900,938
Lt. Gov. Kleefisch 842,854 29,601 4,263 808,990

 

Voting Blogs: Stuck in the Middle: Wisconsin ID Fight Making Life Difficult for Election Officials, Voters | Election Academy

This week’s issue of electionlineWeekly features another terrific story by my colleague Mindy Moretti, who writes about the impact of Wisconsin’s ongoing voter ID fight on next Tuesday’s April 3 primary. The new law has currently been halted by two separate trial courts, and the appeals courts have certified both cases to the state Supreme Court who could, in theory, rule on the challenge before polls open on Tuesday. I’ve already written before (“Deltaphobia“) about the effect of change on election administration, and this current situation puts those concerns front and center. Specifically, notwithstanding the efforts of the state Government Accountability Board to keep clerks apprised of the latest developments in the ID fight, the uncertainty (which Moretti calls the “on-again, off again voter ID law”) is creating problems for election officials and voters: