“Ducey wants a new law passed to lead to faster election results”

A sensible proposal in Arizona, to address a recent development in how some voters are casting their ballots:

Ducey said people who want to drop off their early ballots at polling places on Election Day should be able to have them opened and counted there along with those who actually vote that day. Now, counties send those “late early ballots” unopened to a central location where the signatures on the envelopes must be compared to those already on file.

Only after that happens are the envelopes opened and the votes tallied. That process, which can take days, occurs only after all other ballots are counted.

It’s a proposal that addresses the kind of concern raised by Nate Persily and Charles Stewart in the Wall Street Journal last month: “A mantra of election administrators is that “accurate is better than fast,” which is absolutely true. Still, quick counting of ballots is an international standard for well-run elections, and states with equally complex electoral systems are able to count ballots more quickly and just as accurately as the slowest states. In an era of suspicion among the losers about whether vote counts are on the up-and-up, speed must become a priority, without the loss of accuracy.”

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Some Moore v. Harper commentary and roundup

Ahead of oral argument in Moore v. Harper December 7, commentary and roundup is coming in from everywhere. A few pieces:

In the New York Times, Michael Wines has a piece, “Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Far-Reaching Elections Case.”

At Reuters, Andrew Chung writes, “Supreme Court considers limiting judicial scrutiny in U.S. elections.”

Joan Biskupic at CNN has an article, “How Bush v. Gore led to the new monumental challenge to presidential election rules.”

Over at Politico, “How the ‘independent legislature’ case before SCOTUS could upend elections.”

At Roll Call, “Supreme Court to weigh state power over federal elections.”

Steve Calabresi (who filed a brief in support of respondents with Akhil Amar and Vik Amar) has this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “Can the Supreme Court Define a State’s ‘Legislature’?”

Over at Heritage, David Rivkin and Andrew Grossman (who filed a brief in support of petitioners for the “Lawyers Democracy Fund and State Legislators”), joined by Richard Raile, have an extensive examination of the instances when states courts have reviewed that the state legislatures have done in federal elections.

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Election Reflections:A roundtable of election law experts

This Friday, December 9 at noon (ET), Election Law at Ohio State is hosting a roundtable of election law experts, as we have previously. This time is to reflect on the 2022 midterms and consider key issues confronting our election systems in the months and years ahead. Panelists include Rebecca Green, Lisa Manheim, Derek Muller, Nate Persily, and Charles Stewart. My colleague Steve Huefner will moderate, and I look forward to participating.

For more information about the webinar and to register, click here.

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Instant run-off voting in Georgia Senate race

Recent pieces by John Tures at The Conversation and Kerwin Swint at RealClearPolitics each point out that Georgia’s expensive run-off election could be avoided if the state adopted ranked choice voting (or, maybe more appropriately for a run-off election, instant run-off voting).

It’s worth noting that military and overseas voters have the option to use IRV in this year’s election, as a result of the Georgia legislature moving up the timeline for a run-off and recognizing the challenge of enfranchising UOCAVA voters in such a short turnaround.

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“Continuity of Government: Presidential Succession”

New report from John Fortier and Norm Ornstein at AEI. From the “key points”:

  • The Continuity of Government Commission makes recommendations to ensure the continuity of the presidency after a catastrophic event.
  • The core recommendation is that Congress amend the Presidential Succession Act to remove congressional leaders from the presidential line of succession, providing instead for succession solely by members of the president’s cabinet.
  • This change would address constitutional problems inherent in the current framework and provide clarity and stability amid a crisis.
  • Other recommendations deal with presidential incapacity and continuity issues arising during the period between a presidential election and Inauguration Day.
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