Thursday, February 19, 2009

3 Vote margin in Palm Beach mayoral race

A hand recount necessary to certify a winner in Tuesday's mayoral election will take place Saturday and be open to the public, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said. Only 3 votes currently separate Jack McDonald and Gerry Goldsmith. There were 388 absentee ballots and 14 provisionals, all of which were counted into Tuesday's totals. The provisional ballots were cast mostly in cases where the voter forgot to bring identification to the polls, Susan Bucher, supervisor of elections, told the paper. This will be Bucher’s first recount.

-thanks to for this story

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Reports: Voter Turnout, Early Vote, EDR

The Return of the Voter: Voter Turnout in the 2008 Presidential Election – By Michael P. McDonald, The Forum, January 2009 ·

The 2008 Early Vote
– Prepared by Democracy Corps, January 2009 - With nearly a third of ballots cast prior to November 4, Democracy Corps analyzes who voted early and why during the 2008 presidential election.

Voters Win with Election Day Registration (PDF)

"We'll Take It"

See this editorial in Monday's New York Times on the DC voting rights bill.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Alabama to finally define "moral turpitude" felonies

From Votelaw blog: State law finally would have a definitive list of 70 felonies that disqualify from voting people convicted of the crimes, if a bill cleared by a legislative panel Wednesday becomes law.

Alabama's constitution disqualifies from voting anyone convicted of a "felony involving moral turpitude." But state law has no comprehensive list of those felonies.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Jimmy Martin, D-Clanton, would write into the law a list of felonies that involve moral turpitude.

The constitution and elections committee of the state House of Representatives voted 8-3 for the bill, which could be debated by the full 105-member House as soon as next week. -- If it becomes law, bill would list 70 felonies that disqualify people from voting -

Note: the bill may be downloaded here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Many U.S. Voters Abroad Never Received '08 Ballot

More than 1 in 5 American voters living overseas, including those serving in the military, did not receive their official ballots for the 2008 U.S. election, a year in which nearly half of local election jurisdictions reported significant rises in ballot requests from abroad, according to a new survey by the Overseas Vote Foundation.

A major problem, according to a separate survey by the Pew Center on the States, is that 16 states and the District of Columbia send out absentee ballots after the date necessary for military voters to meet required deadlines; three others allow a minimal five-day cushion.

Read more from the International Herald Tribune.

Source: Pew Center on the States, International Herald Tribune

Friday, February 6, 2009

Instant Runoff Voting

A FairVote Innovative Analysis by Rob Richie and David Segal

Facts in Focus:

* Michael Steele was in second place when the Republican National Committee chair race was reduced to four candidates on January 30 but he picked up more than twice as many votes as his chief opponent from the supporters of the third and fourth place candidates after they dropped out.

* The Academy of Motion Pictures has used the choice voting method of proportional representation for all their major Oscar nominations since the 1930s. Academy voters rank potential nominees in order of preference, and more than four in five have at least one of their top-ranked choices win a nomination.

* Instant runoff voting has been adopted for student elections by more than 40 American colleges and universities. Tens of thousands of students rank their choices every year, often in highly competitive races with many candidates. Instant runoff voting will be used to accommodate five candidates for mayor in Burlington's second IRV election for mayor this March.

To read more, click here.