Montana study broke law (maybe), but we shouldn’t have been here in the first place

The Montana field experiment has been deemed a campaign finance violation by the chief regulator in Montana.

I’m not sure any other outcome was expected, politically, and I’m also not sure this will stand up legally (or be pursued at all by the state attorney–they may just leave this statement of a violation as the appropriate slap on the wrist).

But as I wrote back when the controversy erupted, the bigger concern for academia is how we got here at all.

This has sparked a lot of discussion within academia, including a number of panels at MPSA and the CASBS, with more to come (including a symposium in PS if I can get my act together!).  The most positive outcome may be a bit of circumspection and modesty among academic researchers.

I thought I was the coolest election nerd in south east Portland, until Kris Novoselic arrived

Ok, this is just unfair:

Krist Novoselic in front of his ’66 Pontiac









At least he humored me by laughing at Doug Chapin’s “Nerd-Vana” joke.

Full story here:

RFP for a new ballot tally system in Multnomah County, OR

If you’re in the field, the RFP’s at the Multnomah County Elections website are interesting reading.  They provide some insight into what a large, fully vote by mail county is looking for in order to move to a new generation of election technology.

A new Oregon secretary of state, at least for now…

Robert Taylor takes over, temporarily at least, as the new Oregon Secretary of State.

Unclear what this means for the “new motor voter” bill championed by Brown.  I think it means it’s a big go, since Brown can now push it from the Governor’s seat.

The EAC has a full set of commissioners!

Congratulations to Tom Hicks, Matt Masterson, and Christy McCormick!

A gumbo of early voting in Louisiana

Courtesy of LA Sec’y of State Tom Schedler

Bad metaphor?

Sec’y of State Tom Schedler encourages voters to cast an early ballot:

State Rep. Marcus Hunter claims that the early voting period needs to be extended because of Thanksgiving.

Landrieu marching in an early voting rally:

Another rally in Monroe, LA:

Vote shaming gets coverage in electionline

Electionline has a great story on “vote shaming” and how some are reacting to the tactic.  Christopher Mann, Assistant Professor of Communication and Political Science at LSU is prominently quoted in the story and does a good job explaining the academic research the underlies the technique.

EVIC Mountain Edition

Self promotion alert.

Here is a story profiling my distinguished chaired visiting professorship at Appalachian State University.

Proposals for same-day registration during early voting in Texas

A set of companion bills (HB111, SB84) have been introduced in the Texas legislature that would allow for same-day registration during the period of early voting (SB84 looks like it is an attempt to institute same day registration for early and election day voting).

This has always struck me as an easy lift.  At a recent conference, Charles Stewart referred to the “two percent rule,” indicating that most election reforms would result in, at best, a 2% change in turnout.  I agree with Charles except for same day registration; we have lots of evidence that this reform results in a larger and consistently positive boost in turnout.

And since the same day registration occurs during early voting, there is no issue with jurisdictions not having enough time, staff, or resources on election day to make sure the registration is valid.

These may have no chance in the legislature, but it’s nice to see the debates occurring.

Get ready for slower CA counts–ballots now only need be postmarked by election day

A number of changes in California law should result in more ballots being counted because voters have a few more days to return the ballots, and election officials have a few more days to resolve any outstanding issues with signatures.

But this will surely slow the count in California as officials process vote by mail ballots.