National News

National: Which States Could Adopt Automatic Voter Registration Next? | Governing

October 23, 2015

If Americans needed any further proof that voting itself has become a partisan battleground, look no further than proposals calling for automatic voter registration. California this month enacted a law that will automatically register people to vote when they get or renew a driver’s license or state identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), following the example set by Oregon several months ago.

Virginia: State Moves Back to Paper Ballots for the Election | Newsplex

October 31, 2015

Charlottesville resident Paul Jacob has been rocking the vote since he was 18. He’s been voting for nearly 60 years now and he’s seen quite a few changes. “From marking X’s, to punching holes,” said Jacob. “To the computers.” At Tuesday’s election, he’ll see one more. The city registrars office is taking people back to the future when it comes to voting. Touch screens are now a thing of the past and paper is back in style. One reason for the change is because of problems with voting machines in previous years. Another reason is computer hacking.

Editorials: America’s Aging Voting Machines | The New York Times

October 13, 2015

In his victory speech after his re-election in 2012, President Obama offered special thanks to those Americans who had stood in long lines to vote — some of whom were still waiting even as he spoke — and then offhandedly added, “by the way, we have to fix that.” The line got big applause, but now, three years later, much of the country is still far from fixing one major cause of the long lines: outdated voting machines and technologies. With the 2016 presidential election just a year away, the vast majority of states are still getting by with old machines that are increasingly lik

Editorials: America’s voting machines are in need of a serious upgrade | The Washington Post

October 8, 2015

Americans tend to replace their smartphones every two or three years. By contrast, most Americans use voting machines that are at least a decade old and based on engineering and designs from the 1990s. The perils of ignoring the latter may not be apparent until the electoral system is suddenly wracked by mishaps — think of Florida, circa 2000. Unfortunately, the likelihood of major dysfunction grows as voting machines age. It’s fair to blame Washington for a portion of the mess and assume it won’t play a critical role in the solution.

California: New recount rules intended to safeguard close elections | Los Angeles Times

October 12, 2015

California will overhaul how it handles vote recounts during statewide elections, replacing a system that critics say is unfair and fails to safeguard the outcome of tight races. The new rules, approved by Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday when he signed legislation from Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), would require the state to pick up the tab for recounts. Right now, any candidate or voter can request a review, but they have to pay for it themselves. In addition, they choose the specific counties whose ballots would be double-checked.

Editorials: Volkswagen and the Era of Cheating Software | The New York Times

September 25, 2015

For the past six years, Volkswagen has been advertising a lie: “top-notch clean diesel” cars — fuel efficient, powerful and compliant with emissions standards for pollutants. It turns out the cars weren’t so clean. They were cheating. The vehicles used software that cleverly put a lid on emissions during testing, but only then. The rest of the time, the cars spewed up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide emissions. The federal government even paid up to $51 million in tax subsidies to some car owners on the false assumption of environmental friendliness.

Voting Blogs: A case study on college poll workers – An in-depth look at the Chicago Program | electionlineWeekly

October 2, 2015

Elections officials looking to improve efficiency on election day should look no further than the nearest college, university or community college according to a recent study of the college poll worker program in Chicago.

Vermont: State readies new online elections management tool | StateScoop

October 2, 2015

With a presidential election a year away, Vermont officials are working to make casting a ballot easier for voters. Starting Oct. 12, the Office of the Secretary of State will roll out a new online elections management system that will let Vermont residents register to vote electronically, request absentee ballots and track their personal voting information.

Kansas statistician suing the state to obtain election records, says voting results don't add up

August 31, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. - A university mathematician found something that didn't add up, and now she's suing the state of Kansas to make sure every vote counts.  Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson requested Sedgwick County release election records for the recent election.   This week, Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked a judge to block that request.  Clarkson said the election results in some counties, including Johnson County, are impossible to audit.

Kansas statistician suing the state to obtain election records, says voting results don't add up

August 31, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. - A university mathematician found something that didn't add up, and now she's suing the state of Kansas to make sure every vote counts.  Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson requested Sedgwick County release election records for the recent election.   This week, Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked a judge to block that request.  Clarkson said the election results in some counties, including Johnson County, are impossible to audit.

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