Colorado election officials were regularly seeing 70, sometimes 80, percent of voters casting their ballots by mail. That’s because the state offered the ability to vote as a permanent absentee. To do so, however, voters had to apply for permanent absentee status. That changed with a 2013 law that standardized the vote-by-mail process. Now, everyone in the state receives a ballot by mail that they can cast by either mailing it back or taking it to a voter service center.

Colorado is among several states in recent years to pass laws improving the election system and increasing voting access.

The process for U.S. military servicemembers and other citizens overseas to vote in federal, state and local elections is benefiting from some much-needed enhancements, according to elections experts and federal officials at a session presented by CSG’s Overseas Voting Initiative Monday.

“The process of overseas voting has been drastically improved in recent years,” said Mark Raugust, voting action officer for the U.S. Department of State. 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments recommends that each state’s elections Web site provide specific information for UOCAVA voters, and that each Web site provide a link to the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program Web site; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports the full funding of HAVA requirements to help states improve electronic communication and information available to military and overseas voters.

The 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act aims to ensure U.S. military personnel, their dependents and other U.S. citizens living overseas have sufficient time to request and receive ballots and states allow enough time for the ballots to be counted. Significant progress has been made, but more improvements are needed. In this session, key stakeholders shared their perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans and discussed the need for state-level policy improvements.

The 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act aims to ensure U.S. military personnel, their dependents and other U.S. citizens living overseas have sufficient time to request and receive ballots and states allow enough time for the ballots to be counted. Significant progress has been made, but more improvements are needed. In this session, key stakeholders shared their perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans and discussed the need for state-level policy improvements.

The 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act aims to ensure U.S. military personnel, their dependents and other U.S. citizens living overseas have sufficient time to request and receive ballots and states allow enough time for the ballots to be counted. Significant progress has been made, but more improvements are needed. In this session, key stakeholders shared their perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans and discussed the need for state-level policy improvements.

The 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act aims to ensure U.S. military personnel, their dependents and other U.S. citizens living overseas have sufficient time to request and receive ballots and states allow enough time for the ballots to be counted. Significant progress has been made, but more improvements are needed. In this session, key stakeholders shared their perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans and discussed the need for state-level policy improvements.

capitol hill ideas logo

The Council of State Governments, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense, launched a $3.2 million Overseas Voting Initiative in late 2013 to improve the U.S. overseas voting process. CSG is working to develop policy solutions to ensure that overseas voters have the tools to vote while serving their nation abroad. That effort will be the subject of a workshop 9-11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 11, during the CSG National and CSG West Annual Conference.

CSG Midwest logo
To explain Minnesota’s nation-leading election figures — high percentages of eligible voters who are registered, for example, and who turn out on Election Day — Rep. Steve Simon doesn’t start by talking about his home state’s laws.
He begins with a factor that is unwritten and transcends generations.
“Minnesota has a civic culture that encourages and celebrates voting,” he says. “It isn’t something you can legislate.”
Across much the Midwest, in fact, that tradition of civic engagement is strong; voter turnout rates, for example, are higher than the national average — sometimes much higher in states such as Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
But while state election laws don’t tell the whole story, their importance in the nation’s democratic system is widely understood, with the recent political and legal battles over voter identification being perhaps the most prominent recent example.

Most states have state laws prohibiting false statements against candidates.  Are they constitutional?  Well the Supreme Court didn’t decide…

In Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus the Supreme Court held unanimously that Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) had alleged a “sufficiently imminent injury” to bring a preenforcement challenge to the constitutionality of Ohio’s campaign “false statements” statute.  

Pages