Posted: July 1, 2011
From Registration to Recounts Revisited: Developments in the Election Ecosystems of Five Midwestern States Released!
We invite you to read From Registration to Recounts Revisited: Developments in the Election Ecosystems of Five Midwestern States, a retrospective review primarily of the 2008 elections in five key Midwestern states – Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. This study is a sequel to From Registration to Recounts, the widely-acclaimed comprehensive study of the election systems of these states, in which the authors set out to study how five key Midwestern states had responded to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, and to the increased attention that matters of election administration had received in the wake of the 2000 disputed presidential election. This retrospective study, like the original, makes clear that election reform remains an uncompleted task more than two full presidential election cycles after Bush v. Gore.
It was natural for the authors to return to the field during and after the 2008 presidential election to observe how election administration had continued to evolve in the five bellwether states in the two years since the original study. This sequel presents the results of that return to the field, analyzing changes that have occurred and making recommendations for improvement in states that have historically played pivotal roles in national politics, and in the early 21st century remain broadly representative of the U.S. as a whole.
This new book focuses on the four areas that have generated the most material for discussion since the prior book: institutional arrangements; voter registration and databases; what we are now calling “convenience voting,” and formerly called “early and absentee voting”; and post-election processes. The authors retain the framework from the previous book, including the three core values we believe every elections system should promote: access, integrity, and finality. This book treats each of the five states separately, before offering a set of overarching conclusions. The authors reaffirm the importance of independent electoral institutions and, informed by Minnesota’s Coleman-Franken contest – make new recommendations, including that post-election processes must be fair, unambiguous, and managed in a professional and organized way so as to ensure a swift and definitive conclusion.
As was true of the original book, this follow up study also was funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation (http://www.joycefdn.org/).