Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
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

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Equal Vote
Friday, July 29
The EAC on Voter ID and Paper Trails
Yesterday's public meeting and hearing of the EAC in Pasadena featured discussion of voter identification and provisional voting requirements in the morning, and of the EAC's proposed voluntary voting system guidelines in the afternoon. The EAC also approved revised guidance on statewide voter registration lists, which must be in place by 2006. (This guidance doesn't appear to be posted on the EAC's website yet, though an earlier version may be found here.)

Tom O'Neill of the Eagleton Institute and I testified in the morning on the status of research we're conducting for the EAC on provisional voting and identification requirements. This includes a 50-state survey of state statutes and administrative regulations in both areas. Among the questions we seek to answer is what states have actually done to implement HAVA's provisional voting requirement, and how states that had a pre-existing provisional voting requirement differed from those that did not.

The afternoon hearing featured comments from both state election officials and academic experts on the proposed voting system guidelines. One of the challenges that states face is that the guidelines aren't yet in final form, yet states have to move forward with procuring new technology now, in order to meet the 2006 deadline for replacement of punch cards and the provision of at least one unit per polling place that's accessible to people with disabilities. To aid states in the process, the EAC recently issued this directive. Styled a "gap analysis," it provides instruction on the requirements of HAVA that go beyond what's required by the previous set of voting system guidelines, issued by the Federal Election Commission in 2002.

In other EAC news, the Senate has confirmed former Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson, to fill the seat on the commission vacated by former Chair Buster Soaries.

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