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Tag: voter registration (page 3 of 3)

Battleground Texas May Also be Battling Texas Voter Registration Laws

By Vanessa Rogala

With thirty-eight electoral votes at stake, the idea of the Lone Star State possibly being in play for the 2016 Presidential Election is an intriguing one. Given the Texas gubernatorial election is coming up in November, some have wondered whether this current push towards Democratic leadership will actually make any significant changes to the political makeup of the state. One of the organizations attempting to paint the face of Texas politics blue is Battleground Texas. With over sixteen thousand active volunteers, Battleground Texas has gotten the attention of voters and the Texas GOP. In order to reach their lofty goal, the organization focuses on increasing voter registration and motivating already-registered Texans to continue or begin participating in the democratic process. Since Texas has bled red for a long time now, Battleground Texas’ goal is an uphill journey with numerous bumps on the road, to say the least. The Democratic organization, however, never expected one of those bumps to include a run-in with Texas election laws. Continue reading

NY (redistricting): New York on the clock to redistrict

by Alex Custin

New York faces a few interesting challenges in this round of redistricting. First, a law passed last year now requires inmates to be counted in the district they’re from rather than where they’re imprisoned. Second, New York is losing two congressional districts. Third, the governor has threatened to veto any redistricting plan that’s a political gerrymander. Finally, the requirement that military absentee ballots be sent out 45 days before the election means that New York has to hold its primaries earlier than usual, and the district lines have to be determined before then. The combination of these challenges means that New York has to redraw more district lines than it otherwise would and that it has to get its act together soon in order to have a plan in time.

The first challenge will affect both districts where prisons are located and districts from which the inmates came. Since population is the usual number used in order to draw district lines, districts with prisons will have to increase in size to remain equally populated and the districts that produce large numbers of inmates will have to shrink. Continue reading

College students and voter fraud: Charlie Webster’s Maine problem

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster is “on a mission to make Maine a better place.” The trouble is, the “better place” he envisions lies on the other side of what may be an insurmountable controversy.

Since famously brandishing a list of 206 alleged voter frauds—all college students—a few weeks ago, Webster has been branded the leader of a witch hunt. The chairman maintains that Maine law is very clear that residency must be established before voting. This is true, but Webster’s opponents on this issue are quick to point out that doing so is almost trivially easy, and certainly not beyond students’ ability. Webster insists on implementing several harsher residency requirements, such as paying income taxes. Continue reading

Updating Voter Registration in Ohio: Online is Easier

What can’t you do online nowadays? The government lets us use the internet to pay parking tickets, and several states even allow its residents to renew their driver’s licenses online, so why not update voter registration online too? That is exactly what House Bill 194 will allow Ohioans to do. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up

Secretary of State indicted for voter fraud: Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on three counts of voter fraud, among seven felony charges. Although the Governor and the former Secretary of State have called for White to step down, he has declined to do so.

Ohio wants to go high-tech: Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted wants to create an online voter registration system, one of several changes advocated for in advance of the 2012 election. The system, which would require a valid driver’s license or state identification card, would also allow voters to update their address online as well, making the process more convenient.

Rutgers professor may have the last word on New Jersey redistricting: After the 10-member committee to redraw the map of New Jersey for state districts failed to meet their Thursday deadline, state Supreme Court Justice Stuart Rabner appointed an 11th tie-breaking member to the committee, Rutgers public policy professor Alan Rosenthal. Rosenthal was appointed after both parties recommended him.

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Sitting Down with Washington’s Director of Elections

I recently had a chance to have an email conversation with Nick Handy, Director of Elections under the Secretary of State for Washington.  With a dedication to public service and a knack for handling tough situations with sensitivity, Mr. Handy has served Washington well and entered a well-deserved retirement at the end of 2010.

Could you tell us a little bit about your background?  What prepared you to be Director of Elections?

I am perhaps an unconventional appointment to an Elections Director position in that I had no experience in elections management prior to the appointment.

I was a long time personal and political friend of the Secretary of State.  I had 30 years experience in senior management in state and local government working in areas of high controversy and political scrutiny.  These included open government after Watergate, natural resource management during the spotted owl and endangered species debates, and oil spill preventing after Exxon Valdez. Continue reading

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