Earlier this week, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) convened in Silver Springs, Maryland where they approved the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 (VVSG 2.0).

The world of elections tends to get less spotlight during the “off-years” for presidential elections; however, the elections space never really slows down. While the presidential race occurs every four years, the time in between includes midterms, congressional races, state legislature races, as well as countless municipal and county races. This results in state and local election administrators continuously devoting their energy to running efficient and successful elections.

Voters decided 162 state-level ballot propositions in 2016. Voters approved 47 initiatives, the most in a single year in American history. California pulled into a tie with Oregon for the most initiatives all time. High profile issues included marijuana legalization, labor markets and capital punishment.

In a world where data drives decisions, communication is critical and customer service is a must, how do we support the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act’s most difficult-to-reach population—overseas citizens? The Federal Voting Assistance Program conducted groundbreaking research to increase its knowledge of and ability to support these voters.

Chapter 6 of The Book of the States 2017 contains the following articles and tables:

In light of the media storm on election security, Senators Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to address the issue. The proposed bill would provide federal dollars to States for updating their election cybersecurity.

In efforts to better defend the integrity of the election system, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow top state election officials – Secretaries of State and Election Directors – to apply for access to “secret” level clearance which would allow them to learn more about past, present and future election security information.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced last week that it will now be accepting submissions for its second-annual national competition best practices in election administration. This year the competition will coincide with the 15th anniversary of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) – the legislation that established the EAC. This year’s categories were chosen specifically to celebrate the progress made since HAVA was passed.

CSG Midwest
Illinois has become the first state in the Midwest to offer automatic voter registration, a tool for increasing electoral participation already being tried in eight other states. SB 1933 received unanimous approval in the Illinois House and Senate. Under the measure, voters will be registered when they visit the Illinois secretary of state and other state agencies for services. Individuals will be able to opt out of the system.

In Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute the Supreme Court will decide whether federal law allows states and local governments to remove people from the voter rolls if the state or local government sends them a confirmation notice after they haven’t voted for two years, they don’t respond to the notice, and then they don’t vote in the next four years.

While Ohio is being sued in this case twelve other states use a similar process. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief in this case supporting Ohio.

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