The Pew Charitable Trusts recently released its latest Elections Performance Index, or EPI, which now includes an interactive tool that allows states to compare their election administration performance to one another and across similar elections. The annual Pew study measures election administration by evaluting indicators like wait times at polling locations and voter turnout. The report found that, between 2008 and 2012, state election performance overall improved by 4.4 percentage points, and 40 states plus DC improved their score over the same time frame. 

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For the first time in Illinois, most of the state’s 17-year-olds had the chance to cast ballots in this year’s primary elections. Their participation was the result of a bill passed by the General Assembly in 2013. HB 226 opened up voting to 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before the general election. According to the Chicago Tribune, the measure received widespread bipartisan support, with proponents saying it would encourage young people to get involved in the political process.

The biggest cases of the Supreme Court’s term generally come down at the end of June. The campaign finance case probably makes most Court watchers' big three (or at least big five) list.  But, in an unusual move, the opinion came down the first week of April.  

The Court struck down aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates for federal office, political parties, and political action committees.  McCutcheon v. FEC will likely impact the dozen or so states that place aggregate limits on individual campaign contributions to candidates for state office.    

Kamanzi Kalisa, a former director of Georgia’s Help America Vote Act, will lead The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative, an effort to improve the election administration of members of the military and other U.S. citizens living abroad.

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As early as the late 18th century, political leaders such as Thomas Jefferson were pondering a political question left open to each state: How should our Electoral College votes be awarded? Fast-forward to this year, and Nebraska legislators were debating the same question. Right now, the Cornhusker State is one of two U.S. states without a winner-take-all system, in which all of the electors go to the presidential candidate who wins the statewide vote.

Last Thursday, a new bill was introduced in response to last year’s Supreme Court ruling eliminating sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The new legislation, a bipartisan plan titled as the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014, is sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (VT) and Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (WI) and John Conyers, Jr. (MI).

One of the major highlights from the bill is the updated coverage formula to replace the one invalidated in the Supreme Court’s ruling. For years, the old formula...

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration released its findings this week. While many media outlets zeroed in on the issue of lines and wait times at polling places, the critical topic of voting by overseas military personnel was clearly on the mind of commission members. The disparity in state and local practice related to providing absentee ballots to service men and...

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When do minor political parties qualify to have their candidates appear on state ballots? The answer varies widely across the country, depending on each state’s set of ballot-access requirements. Ohio became the latest state to change its law with this fall’s passage of SB 193. Two days after the bill was signed into law, the Libertarian Party of Ohio challenged the measure in federal court. The legal showdown comes less than a decade after a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio’s previous rules were too restrictive.

Transportation was on the ballot around the country in a variety of ways last week—both directly and indirectly. While most of the action was not at the state level, there were a number of mayoral contests, bond measures and local tax increases that could have a significant impact in communities across the nation. Here’s a roundup of what happened and what it all might mean.

Voters went to the polls yesterday for state and local elections around the nation. Despite the fact that turnout is generally lower in off years, several states had important initiatives on their ballots allowing citizens to determine the future of policies directly. Jennifer Horn covered these Monday in her 2013 preview.

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