The irony of the Supreme Court agreeing to decide Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is inescapable. On June 29 in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission the Court held that Arizona’s redistricting commission could be solely responsible for congressional redistricting. In the first sentence of its opinion the Court noted Arizona voters adopted the commission to avoid partisan gerrymandering. The next day the Court agreed to decide Harris where the plaintiffs allege that Arizona’s redistricting commission engaged in partisan gerrymandering in state legislative redistricting that violated one-person, one-vote.  

It is noteworthy that the Harris plaintiffs don’t object to partisan gerrymander per se (which the Supreme Court has never held unconstitutional), just partisan gerrymandering that leads to unequal distribution of voters.

CSG Midwest
In the last election cycle, partisan control of the U.S. Congress, the nation’s state legislatures and 36 governorships were all up for grabs. A vast majority of the nation’s youngest eligible voters seemingly didn’t care. Only 23 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds voted — the lowest participation rate in elections among this group since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting the data in 1978.
Over the past three-and-a-half decades, their voting rate has fallen by more than 30 percent. (Declines are occurring from nearly every non-presidential election year to the next.) Meanwhile, participation among the nation’s oldest voters, those 65 and older, has remained steady, at around 60 percent.

More voters are registering online, and military and civilian absentee ballot submissions from overseas are on the rise. Those are some of the key findings from a recent report of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, or EAC. As the American electorate turns its focus toward the 2016 presidential election, the EAC, an independent, bipartisan commission that serves as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration, released its Election Administration and Voter Survey for the 2014 midterm election. The 2014 survey included figures from the National Voter Registration Act—also known as NVRA or “motor voter”—and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

A new report by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the 2014 Election Administration and Voting Survey Comprehensive Report, says that on average, about one out of every 70 voters who cast their vote in a polling place cast a provisional ballot. A total of 892,202 provisional ballots were submitted to be counted in the 2014 Federal election of which 72.2 percent were counted in full and 8.1 percent were partially counted. A total of 171,443 provisional ballots – or 19.2 percent – were rejected.

A new report by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the 2014 Election Administration and Voting Survey Comprehensive Report, says that on average, about one out of every 70 voters who cast their vote in a polling place cast a provisional ballot. A total of 892,202 provisional ballots were submitted to be counted in the 2014 Federal election of which 72.2 percent were counted in full and 8.1 percent were partially counted. A total of 171,443 provisional ballots – or 19.2 percent – were rejected.

Just seven months after the 2014 midterm elections ended, The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has released its comprehensive data on voting in the United States. The EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. Each election cycle the commission carries out the national election administration survey. In 2014, the survey included figures from the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA, or “motor voter”) and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

While it always has been possible to share information openly, the potential for open data that is easily shared and analyzed has developed slowly in the United States. Today, the global economy increasingly is operating in an open data world, with constant streams of information tracking human behavior—from where people are shopping to what TV shows they are watching. The private sector has been engaged actively in the open data space and producing large amounts of data concerning their operations in real time. Election industry policymakers and administrators are catching up.

The opinion upholds the constitutionality of the redistricting commission as a method to draw congressional and legislative redistricting lines after a Census.     

In 5-4 decision in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission the Court held that the Constitution’s Elections Clause permits voters to vest congressional redistricting authority entirely in an independent commission.   

In 2000 Arizona voters adopted Proposition 106 which places all federal redistricting authority in an independent commission. The Elections Clause states:  "[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations . . . .”

Recently Rep. David Cicilline proposed the Automatic Voter Registration Act (H.R. 2694) in an effort to protect the right to vote and expand access for eligible voters in the United States. The bill requires local motor vehicle departments to forward information to elections officials, who send the individual a notification that they will be registered to vote after 21 days. Anyone can opt out of registration before the 21-day window is up but otherwise...

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