Brief followup: get ’em while they are young

Here’s a nice followup to the article I just posted.  It describes a 10 year followup to a Democracy Fellows program at Wake Forest University.

Takeaway quote:

Our analysis of both the quantitative and qualitative data revealed that there continue to be significant differences between the Democracy Fellows and the class cohort. Although both groups dislike the degree of political polarization they encounter in their daily lives, the fellows continue to be more engaged in the political process than does the class cohort.

News story from the Greensboro Record and the followup study published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Early voting legislation under consideration in NY

Senate bill 8582, introduced 11/18/2015 in the New York legislature, would provide for early in-person voting in the Empire State.

I’ve talked to NY state legislators before, but not about this legislation.  It does contain some useful provisions that I often recommend, including:

  • A population based floor (but no ceiling) on the number of early voting locations
  • Allows for early voting “vote centers” in the City of New York (not county based)
  • An early voting period that includes two weekends and requires some Saturday and Sunday voting, and requires at least one early voting location in each county to stay open until 8 in the evening

Early voting locations are also subject to other location provisions, assuring that not just numbers, but accessibility will be taken into account:

POLLING PLACES FOR EARLY VOTING SHALL BE LOCATED TO ENSURE, TO THE
   11  EXTENT PRACTICABLE, THAT ELIGIBLE VOTERS HAVE ADEQUATE EQUITABLE ACCESS,
   12  TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION POPULATION DENSITY, TRAVEL TIME TO THE POLLING
   13  PLACE,  PROXIMITY  TO  OTHER  LOCATIONS  OR COMMONLY USED TRANSPORTATION
   14  ROUTES AND SUCH OTHER FACTORS THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS OF  THE  COUNTY  OR
   15  THE  CITY OF NEW YORK DEEMS APPROPRIATE.

Brennan Center report on voting laws and the 2016 Election

Another excellent report by Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center.  Even if you don’t agree with their position on some of these legal changes, they maintain some of the best resources for election laws and procedures.

Can the Supreme Court Handle Social Science? New ELB Podcast

An excellent new podcast as part of Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog (ELB) series features Prof. Nathan Persily addressing the question “can the Supreme Court handle social science?”  Persily addresses the question in light of recent litigation over campaign finance and voter identification.

Persily is well-known in the election reform community; for the broader political science community, Persily received his PhD in Political Science from Berkeley, his JD from Stanford, and served as research director for the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.  Many may be familiar with him from his recent edited volume on Cambridge Solutions to Political Polarization in America.

Any political scientist who is interested in how the Court and the legal community views our scholarship, and more generally in how social science can be made more comprehensible and impactful in the policy community, would do well to listen to this short 30 minute podcast.

MIT Conference: New Research on Election Administration and Reform

I’m looking forward to reading the papers and hearing about new research into election administration next week.  This is an open, public conference; not sure if proceedings will be on the web.  Papers should start to appear next week.

https://electionconference2015.mit.edu/agenda

Montana study broke law (maybe), but we shouldn’t have been here in the first place

The Montana field experiment has been deemed a campaign finance violation by the chief regulator in Montana.

I’m not sure any other outcome was expected, politically, and I’m also not sure this will stand up legally (or be pursued at all by the state attorney–they may just leave this statement of a violation as the appropriate slap on the wrist).

But as I wrote back when the controversy erupted, the bigger concern for academia is how we got here at all.

This has sparked a lot of discussion within academia, including a number of panels at MPSA and the CASBS, with more to come (including a symposium in PS if I can get my act together!).  The most positive outcome may be a bit of circumspection and modesty among academic researchers.

I thought I was the coolest election nerd in south east Portland, until Kris Novoselic arrived

Ok, this is just unfair:

Krist Novoselic in front of his ’66 Pontiac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least he humored me by laughing at Doug Chapin’s “Nerd-Vana” joke.

Full story here: http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2015/03/krist_novoselic_brings_wit_and.html

RFP for a new ballot tally system in Multnomah County, OR

If you’re in the field, the RFP’s at the Multnomah County Elections website are interesting reading.  They provide some insight into what a large, fully vote by mail county is looking for in order to move to a new generation of election technology.

https://multco.us/purchasing/opportunities/elections-ballot-tally-system-replacement

A new Oregon secretary of state, at least for now…

Robert Taylor takes over, temporarily at least, as the new Oregon Secretary of State. http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/kate_browns_deputy_takes_over.html

Unclear what this means for the “new motor voter” bill championed by Brown.  I think it means it’s a big go, since Brown can now push it from the Governor’s seat.

The EAC has a full set of commissioners!

Congratulations to Tom Hicks, Matt Masterson, and Christy McCormick!

http://www.eac.gov/about_the_eac/commissioners.aspx

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