Elections

In a 5-3 decision the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed a lower court decision to go into effect which would have allowed absentee ballots to be counted if they were received as late as November 9, as long as they were postmarked on or before election day. As a result, Wisconsin absentee ballots must be...

The Supreme Court has frozen a district court order that lifted Alabama’s ban on curbside voting. As a result, curbside voting must discontinue in Alabama.

Alabama law is silent on curbside voting. A number of Alabama counties were offering it due to COVID-19. Alabama’s Secretary of State, John Merrill, has taken the position that curbside voting violates state law and has banned it. A federal district court...

In a 4-4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that requires ballots received up to three days after the election to be counted to stand. Ballots clearly postmarked after 8 PM on election night will not be counted if they arrive after 5 PM on November 6.

Only if a ballot is clearly postmarked after 8 PM on election night will it not be counted if it arrives by 5 PM on November...

Justice Kagan denied an emergency petition asking the Supreme Court to freeze a district court decision allowing counties to send mail ballots to all registered voters. Forty-five of Montana’s 56 counties have opted to conduct the general election by mail ballot. Following this ruling these counties will be able to do so; in person voting also will be available in all Montana counties.

Montana law states that “a...

In the Supreme Court’s first non-COVID-19 related emergency case regarding a state election requirement relevant to the 2020 presidential election, Justice Breyer refused to overturn a state court decision which allows Maine to use ranked-choice voting.

Maine statute describes ranked-choice voting as a “method of casting and tabulating votes in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, tabulation proceeds in...

In Andino v. Middleton the Supreme Court has continued its trend of striking down judge-made changes to state election laws in response to COVID-19. The Supreme Court froze in place a district court order which prohibited South Carolina from enforcing its ballot witness requirement. But the Court stated that any ballots received within...

In Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee the Supreme Court will decide whether Arizona’s refusal to count out-of-precinct votes violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and whether Arizona’s limits on third-party ballot collection violate Section 2 of the VRA and the Fifteenth Amendment.

Arizona wholly discards out-of-precinct votes instead of counting the votes for the races the voter was eligible to participate in (...

CSG Midwest
In a national scorecard analyzing how state policies will either enable or inhibit the ability of individuals to vote by mail, the Brookings Institution gives most states in the Midwest a passing grade, in large part because of their rules on witness signatures, the timeline for accepting ballots, and the delivery of vote-by-mail applications. The highest grades went to U.S. states (nearly all in the West) that are automatically sending ballots to registered voters. No state in the Midwest is taking this approach.
CSG Midwest

How should the state tax its citizens? Should the recreational use of marijuana be legal? Does the state need to do more to protect consumers from payday lenders? These are among the policy questions that will be decided this fall not by legislatures, but by the voters themselves.
In all, ballot measures of some kind are a part of this year’s elections in six Midwestern states.

CSG Midwest recently interviewed legislators and others about these measures, and what’s at stake. Here is an overview of some of the measures to be decided on in Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Supreme Court refused to overturn a consent decree in which Rhode Island state government officials agreed, due to COVID-19, to not enforce state law requiring the signature of two witnesses or a notary public for mail ballots.

The Court issued a statement noting that it stayed a court order in a case from Alabama similar to the consent decree in this case. However, according to the Court, in this case no state officials object to the consent...

Pages