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Election Reform

Election Integrity: How We Lost It and How States are Getting It Back

The 2000 presidential election propelled America's problems with our elections into the national spotlight in an unprecedented way.  Americans, night after night, watched news stories exposing the many problems that are routine in elections but that receive little attention: confusing ballots that lead people to mark their vote for the wrong candidate, voter suppression aimed at minorities through voter registration purges, and weary election officials trying to discern voters’ intent on ambiguously marked punch card ballots.

States Apply Pressure to Allow Voter Registration Drives in Veterans' Facilities

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs for months has been embroiled in a controversy over its prohibition on voter registration drives in veterans' facilities.  Now 10 Secretaries of State and the Attorney General of Connecticut have stepped into the maelstrom, demanding that the VA reverse its policy.  Late last month, Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal attempted to register voters at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in West Haven.  They were prevented by staff from registering voters inside the facility, but they were able to register a dozen veterans as they were leaving.  One newly registered voter is 92-year-old WWII veteran Martin Onieal.

The New Voter Suppression and the Progressive Response

Voter suppression is growing rapidly in America today.  Over half of states now have voter ID requirements more stringent than that required for first time voters in federal elections.  Several states are clamping down on voter registration drives or are considering proof of citizenship requirements.

Voter Registration: Steps States Can Take to Help Voters Register and Keep Them Registered

Maintaining accurate voter rolls and ensuring that all eligible voters who register to vote actually make it onto voting rolls are two of the most important functions of election administration.  If an eligible voter cannot vote because his name doesn't appear on the voter roll used in an election, the problem will not be addressed by the federal guarantee of a provisional ballot.  Such a ballot cannot register a person to vote, it can only preserve a ballot in the case the voter rolls at the precinct are mistaken or the

Maine Senate Enacts National Popular Vote

On April 2nd, the Maine Senate passed a National Popular Vote bill, LD 1744, that would guarantee that the Presidential candidate who receives the most votes in all 50 states wins the Presidency.  The bill is an interstate compact, which would take effect only when states possessing a majority of the membership of the Electoral College (that is 270 of 538 electoral votes) enact similar statutes.

Making Voting Easier Assists Record Turnout in Presidential Primaries

Making Voting Easier Assists Record Turnout in Presidential Primaries

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

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Making Voting Easier Assists Record Turnout in Presidential Primaries

Interest in the presidential election has been extremely strong throughout the primary season. As a result many states have experienced voter turnout that is significantly higher than past elections. This trend has been especially striking among young voters who have doubled and tripled their rates of participation in many states. Enabling this turnout have been a number of reforms, from early voting to election day registration to mail-in voting procedures that have encouraged wider participation.  

National Popular Vote- A Voter Turnout and Civil Rights Issue

National Popular Vote- A Voter Turnout and Civil Rights Issue

Monday, January 28th, 2008

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National Popular Vote- A Voter Turnout and Civil Rights Issue

We've seen in recent weeks the quadrennial year complaints about the disproportionate effects that a handful of states like Iowa and New Hampshire have on the nominating process, but that is just a shadow of the far larger distortion of our democracy due to the Electoral College.