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PSN 2013 Election Reform Roundup: Wins and Losses in the Fight for Democracy

Following last year’s devastating attacks on voters’ access to democracy, conservatives have held true to their mission to make voting harder in a number of states. Thankfully, in response to previous threats, progressive advocates and legislators came together this year to support a proactive, positive agenda for reform. As a result of coordinated campaigns, many states were successful in passing legislation that protects the right of eligible citizens to register and vote.

Mailing it in: A better way to conduct special elections in Maryland

Many states are moving toward voting by mail: Oregon requires all elections to be conducted by mail, and Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington state allow voting by mail at some level. California and West Virginia have also enacted legislation allowing counties the option of conducting special elections entirely by mail.

PSN 2011 Election Reform Roundup: Conservatives Push Voter Suppression Nationwide

Conservatives wasted no time in exploiting their numeric advantages following historic gains in state legislatures during the 2010 midterm elections, particularly in the area of voting rights. Of the over 285 election reform bills enacted in 47 states in 2011, the majority  were passed in conservative-dominated legislatures and will serve to restrict access to the polls in time for the 2012 election. In addition to the passage of well-publicized voter ID legislation, successful rollbacks to existing laws, including shortening early voting periods and eliminating same day registration, will mainly serve to benefit conservative candidates at the public’s expense.

PSA letter of support for CA AB 413 (all-mail elections pilot program in Yolo County)

In April 2011, PSA submitted a letter supporting CA AB 413, which would implement an all-mail elections pilot program in Yolo County.

PSN-VBM Project article for WV's Municipal League newsletter, regarding the all-mail pilot program

PSN wrote an article in conjunction with the Vote By Mail Project for WV's Municipal League newsletter, encouraging counties to participate in the newly-implemented all-mail elections pilot program.

PSN review of mail voting literature

In May 2011, PSN put together a summary of mail voting studies to date, synthesizing information on turnout, impact on various demographics, security and fraud.  Information pertains to no-excuse absentee voting, permanent absentee voting, and all-mail elections.

PSA memorandum in support of NY A8277-A (constitutional amendment to remove restrictions on no-excuse absentee voting)

PSA sent a memorandum to NY Speaker of the House Sheldon Silver on behalf of several labor groups in the state, urging him to bring NY A8277-A to a vote.

Voting System Scorecard: Are states serving the rising electorate?

This detailed 50-state scorecard from Rock The Vote ranks evaluated state voting laws with an on a 21-point scale that aims to assess how well states are serving young voters in three categories: voter registration, ease of casting a ballot, and encouraging young voter participation.

All-Mail Voting Is One Winner of Colorado's Primary

As pundits attempt to digest what Colorado's primary on Tuesday night means for incumbents and insurgents alike, there is one thing everyone can agree on: voting by mail saved counties much-needed money while boosting turnout.

All-Mail Voting Increases Turnout and Saves Money in Hawaii Special Election

Results from Hawaii's recent all-mail special election for Congress are in--and the clear winner was the mail voting system that dramatically increased turnout and saved the state sorely needed money.