Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities
Dan Tokaji's Blog
- Election Law Blog (Rick Hasen)
- Election Updates (Michael Alvarez & Thad Hall)
- Votelaw Blog (Ed Still)
- Leave it to the Lower Courts: On Judicial Intervention in Election Administration, 68 Ohio State Law Journal 1065 (2007)
- The New Vote Denial: Where Election Reform Meets the Voting Rights Act, 57 South Carolina Law Review 689 (2006)
- Early Returns on Election Reform: Discretion, Disenfranchisement, and the Help America Vote Act, 73 George Washington Law Review 1206 (2005)
Friday, January 20
More HAVA (Non)Compliance News
Following up on yesterday's post regarding states' noncompliance with the Help America Vote Act, the Christian Science Monitor has this report on the tension between HAVA's voting system requirements -- including accessible voting equipment -- and state law requirements that electronic voting machines generate contemporaneous paper records, particularly in California.
Meanwhile, in Florida, Leon County (Tallahassee area) is trying to figure out how to comply with HAVA's disability access mandate, according to Computerworld. Leon County, whose elections supervisor Ion Sancho has been among the few local elections officials openly critical of electronic voting, scrapped its plans to go with Diebold. It instead chose to use the ES&S Automark, a "hybrid" direct record electronic and optical scan system. It's debatable whether that system complies with HAVA's disability access mandate, because some voters with disabilities may not be able to use it independently. But now ES&S is declining to enter an agreement with Leon County. That could mean that the county will lose half a million dollars in federal funds, and face the prospect of private lawsuits from disabled voters under HAVA.
Counties that don't comply could also find themselves threatened with enforcement actions from the U.S. Department of Justice, as has already happened to New York. The letter from DOJ to the New York Attorney General, which says the state is dead last in HAVA compliance, may be found here. The letter says that N.Y. is "further behind ... than any other state in the country."