Elections: Voting Equipment, Administration and the National Popular Vote


Mette O. Jensen (Editor)

Series: American Political, Economic, and Security Issues
BISAC: POL008000

Much of the voting equipment acquired with federal funds after the enactment of the Help America Vote Act in 2002 may now be reaching the end of its life span, and some states and local election jurisdictions—which number about 10,300 and generally have responsibility for conducting federal elections—have or are considering whether to replace their equipment. Chapter 1 examines voting equipment use and replacement.

Chapter 2 addresses those areas of law and public policy that most directly and routinely affect American campaigns and elections. This includes six broad categories of law through which Congress has assigned various agencies roles in regulating or supporting campaigns, elections, or both. These are campaign finance; election administration; election security; redistricting; qualifications and contested elections; and voting rights.

Chapter 3 is intended to help understand how state and local election systems work and how their workings might relate to federal activity on election administration.

Chapters 4 and 5 provide an introduction to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in the context of changes in the election administration landscape. They start with an overview of the EAC’s duties, structure, and operational funding, and then summarize the history of the EAC and legislative activity related to the agency.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is the nation’s civil campaign finance regulator. The agency ensures that campaign fundraising and spending is publicly reported; that those regulated by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and by commission regulations comply and have access to guidance; and that publicly financed presidential campaigns receive funding. Chapter 6 briefly explains the kinds of actions that FECA precludes when a quorum is not possible because fewer than four FEC members are in office.

The Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) is a biennial survey of state and local officials about the administration of federal elections as reported in chapter 7.

The National Popular Vote (NPV) initiative proposes an agreement among the states, an interstate compact that would effectively achieve direct popular election of the President and Vice President without a constitutional amendment. It relies on the Constitution’s grant of authority to the states in Article II, Section 1 to appoint presidential electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct…. ” Any state that joins the NPV compact pledges that if the compact comes into effect, its legislature will award all the state’s electoral votes to the presidential ticket that wins the most popular votes nationwide, regardless of who wins in that particular state. The compact would, however, come into effect only if its success has been assured; that is, only if states controlling a majority of electoral votes (270 or more) join the compact. The NPV is discussed in chapters 8 and 9.
(Imprint: SNOVA)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Elections: Observations on Voting Equipment Use and Replacement

Chapter 2. Federal Role in U.S. Campaigns and Elections: An Overview
R. Sam Garrett

Chapter 3. The State and Local Role in Election Administration: Duties and Structures
Karen L. Shanton

Chapter 4. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission: Overview and Selected Issues for Congress
Karen L. Shanton

Chapter 5. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission: An Overview
Karen L. Shanton

Chapter 6. Federal Election Commission: Membership and Policymaking Quorum, In Brief
R. Sam Garrett

Chapter 7. The Election Administration and Voting Survey: Overview and 2018 Findings
Karen L. Shanton

Chapter 8. The National Popular Vote (NPV) Initiative: Direct Election of the President by Interstate Compact
Thomas H. Neale and Andrew Nolan

Chapter 9. NPV — The National Popular Vote Initiative: Proposing Direct Election of the President Through an Interstate Compact
Thomas H. Neale


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