Long odds for election reform?

Hat tip to Rick Hasen for this story, Rep. Candice Miller, chair of Government Operations, who says the Federal government has no role in fixing problems with our voting system: http://www.dailytribune.com/article/20130226/NEWS01/130229602/miller-blasts-obama-s-plan-for-election-standards

64,000 Florida voters did not vote for President

Image courtesy of Channel 13 News, Orlando FL

This report came across my news feed, courtesy of Channel 13 news in Orlando. I have looked but cannot find the referenced report at the Division of Elections.

One point of interest in the report is the longstanding concern of many political scientists with the way turnout is reported in this country.  When 64,000 voters choose not to vote the top of the ticket in battleground state during a highly contested presidential contest, it’s pretty obvious that turnout should include all voters who showed up and cast (or attempted to cast) a ballot.

“Top of the ticket” totals are inaccurate.

I hope that that the report includes a breakdown by mode of balloting.  There is reference in the report to higher undervote and overvote rates among absentee voters, something Charles Stewart and I found in a 2010 report.  More coming soon!

Nice Election Law course website at Swarthmore Nice Election Law course website at Swarthmore

Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 3.29.58 PMI stumbled across this cool map that displays election law changes in the United States since 2006, put together as part of a class project by Professor Carol Nackenoff at Swarthmore.

I think it relies a bit too heavily on commentary from Brennan Center reports to describe election law changes (scroll over Tennessee for instance), and in the area of early voting, there are definitely some missing entries.  It’s still a really nice pilot that could be built on by other scholars.

Florida highlights from Senate Judiciary Committee hearings

Crist calls Florida elections a “late night TV joke” (Miami Herald)

Ned Foley and Rick Hasen say GOP in Florida disenfranchised voters. (AP)

Gov. Rick Scott agrees that Florida laws need to be reconsidered (Tampa Bay Times) and called for a bipartisan solution. (Sarasota Tribune)


Josh Douglas at Reuters on “election week”

Josh pens a nice oped for Reuters. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/06/a-vote-for-election-week/

Aggressive No-Excuse Absentee Doesn’t Solve Long Lines in Ohio

As reported previously on this blog, Ohio this year undertook one of the most aggressive no-excuse absentee efforts ever: it mailed a no-excuse absentee ballot application to every registered voter in the state.

Nonetheless, Ohioans still experience early-in person and Election Day lines of two to four hours.

The lesson is clear: no excuse absentee voting by mail by itself is not a cure for long lines at the polling place.  An overall solution to the capacity issue includes increased early in-person voting, on the days that voters want to vote early, and smoothly functioning precinct place voting for those citizens who desire to wait until Election Day.

The Oregon VBM Insufficient Postage Snafu settled .. for now


More Oregon Smackdown: Third party ballot delivery problems

I am no fan of the Oregon law that allows third parties to collect and deliver ballots.  But the law is the law, and apparently some election officials and members of law enforcement don’t understand the law.

Fact is, however, this remains legal in Oregon, and the state legislature refuses to change the law because politicians want to have their campaigners collect ballots.  I don’t like it, it makes Oregon almost unique, and I’ve been trying to get the law changed.  I blogged about it two years ago

I don’t like what the canvassers did in West Linn, but it is legal.

P.S. I don’t want to defend Rep. Julie Parrish who is in hot water over some robocalls questioning voters’ registration status,  but the WWeek reference to her Facebook page is inaccurate–she correctly states that third party ballot collection is legal, just in her opinion, the canvassers must have broken the law because:

Come on now…..if the police made them take the ballot back…that should say something to you….I believe the West Linn PD over the House Democrats Spokesperson….
Personally, I suspect the police had no idea, but Parrish is factual in the FB posts.


Early Voting Rates among Democrats in Florida

Courtesy of Jacob Canter, Reed junior and late night Stata learner …

The map was produced using the spmap add-on to Stata.

Democratic Early Voting in Florida