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.


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!


A gumbo of early voting in Louisiana

Courtesy of LA Sec’y of State Tom Schedler

Bad metaphor?

Sec’y of State Tom Schedler encourages voters to cast an early ballot:  http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/louisiana/2014/11/21/know-early-voting-starts-saturday/19353791/

State Rep. Marcus Hunter claims that the early voting period needs to be extended because of Thanksgiving. http://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/politics/2014/11/21/early-voting-runoff-election-begins-saturday/19350131/

Landrieu marching in an early voting rally: http://www.ksla.com/story/27459110/landrieu-kicks-off-early-voting-period-by-marching-with-voters

Another rally in Monroe, LA: http://www.myarklamiss.com/story/d/story/la-dems-hold-voting-rally/40289/sejB5OWYdk-ecIwmnLVSVA

Vote shaming gets coverage in electionline

Electionline has a great story on “vote shaming” and how some are reacting to the tactic.  Christopher Mann, Assistant Professor of Communication and Political Science at LSU is prominently quoted in the story and does a good job explaining the academic research the underlies the technique.

EVIC Mountain Edition

Self promotion alert.

Here is a story profiling my distinguished chaired visiting professorship at Appalachian State University.

Proposals for same-day registration during early voting in Texas

A set of companion bills (HB111, SB84) have been introduced in the Texas legislature that would allow for same-day registration during the period of early voting (SB84 looks like it is an attempt to institute same day registration for early and election day voting).

This has always struck me as an easy lift.  At a recent conference, Charles Stewart referred to the “two percent rule,” indicating that most election reforms would result in, at best, a 2% change in turnout.  I agree with Charles except for same day registration; we have lots of evidence that this reform results in a larger and consistently positive boost in turnout.

And since the same day registration occurs during early voting, there is no issue with jurisdictions not having enough time, staff, or resources on election day to make sure the registration is valid.

These may have no chance in the legislature, but it’s nice to see the debates occurring.

Get ready for slower CA counts–ballots now only need be postmarked by election day

A number of changes in California law should result in more ballots being counted because voters have a few more days to return the ballots, and election officials have a few more days to resolve any outstanding issues with signatures.

But this will surely slow the count in California as officials process vote by mail ballots.

New Article: Voter Identification and Partisan Competition

A new article by William D. HicksSeth C. McKee, Mitchell D. Sellers and Daniel A. Smith is available on FirstLook for the Political Research Quarterly.  From the abstract:

We undertake a comprehensive examination of restrictive voter ID legislation in the American states from 2001 through 2012. With a dataset containing approximately one thousand introduced and nearly one hundred adopted voter ID laws, we evaluate the likelihood that a state legislature introduces a restrictive voter ID bill, as well as the likelihood that a state government adopts such a law. Voter ID laws have evolved from a valence issue into a partisan battle, where Republicans defend them as a safeguard against fraud while Democrats indict them as a mechanism of voter suppression. However, voter ID legislation is not uniform across the states; not all Republican-controlled legislatures have pushed for more restrictive voter ID laws. Instead, our findings show it is a combination of partisan control and the electoral context that drives enactment of such measures. While the prevalence of Republican lawmakers strongly and positively influences the adoption of voter ID laws in electorally competitive states, its effect is significantly weaker in electorally uncompetitive states. Republicans preside over an electoral coalition that is declining in size; where elections are competitive, the furtherance of restrictive voter ID laws is a means of maintaining Republican support while curtailing Democratic electoral gains.