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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Average Years of Service for Members of the Senate and House of Representatives, 1st - 111th Congresses
The average tenure of Members of the Senate and House of Representatives at the beginning of each Congress has varied substantially since 1789. The purpose of this report is to provide a Congress-by-Congress summary of the average years of service for Senators and Representatives for the First through the 111th Congresses. The report contains a brief summary of some of the explanations by political scientists and others for the various changes in the average years of service. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29655/
Contested Election Cases in the House of Representatives: 1933 to 2009
From 1933 to 2009 (the 73rd Congress through the 111th Congress), the U.S. House of Representatives considered 107 contested election cases. The summaries of contested election cases contained in this report focus primarily on the nature of the contest and the disposition of the case. For more detailed information regarding each contest, it is important to consult relevant House records. This report examines only cases considered by the House of Representatives involving the question of whether a Member-elect was duly elected. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31312/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), under which members of the uniformed services and U.S. citizens who live abroad are eligible to register and vote absentee in federal elections. The report discusses recent improvements to UOCAVA, necessary as teh result of controversy surrounding ballots received in Florida from absentee voters in the 2000 presidential election. The report also discusses related legislation, such as the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010, which provided for a major overhaul of UOCAVA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29726/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai, to address corruption within the Afghan government. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29737/
Burma's 2010 Election Campaign: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the November 7, 2010 parliamentary elections in Burma, which have long been controversial, mainly due to election fraud concerns. The report discusses debates about U.S. policy toward Burma, which has been sparked by the elections and the issues surrounding them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29613/
Kenya: Current Conditions and the Challenges Ahead
This report discusses the current political conditions of Kenya, which has long been an important ally of the United States. The report focuses particularly on the December 2007 elections, which many international observers have declared as rigged and deeply flawed. The report also discusses violence that erupted once election results were announced, as well as U.S. efforts to urge Kenya toward election reforms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29705/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), under which members of the uniformed services and U.S. citizens who live abroad are eligible to register and vote absentee in federal elections. The report discusses recent improvements to UOCAVA, necessary as teh result of controversy surrounding ballots received in Florida from absentee voters in the 2000 presidential election. The report also discusses related legislation, such as the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010, which provided for a major overhaul of UOCAVA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29725/
Beginning and End of the Terms of United States Senators Chosen to Fill Senate Vacancies
This report discusses the procedures for when a Senator is chosen to fill a Senate vacancy during a session of Congress, i.e., when the appointed Senator can begin his or her term of office, and how long the Senator remains in office (until the new "Senator-elect" is sworn in and seated by the Senate). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31349/
Afghanistan: Government Formation and Performance
This report discusses the current Afghan government, which is rife with corruption and very limited in power, hence the continued presence of the Taliban and general worldwide pessimism about Afghanistan stabilization efforts. This report addresses issues such as ethnic diputes, President Hamid Karzai's re-election bid for August 2009, and the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship in particular. The Obama Administration is currently promoting, among other Afghanistan stabilization efforts, a "civilian surge" of additional U.S. personnel to Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26322/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
This report discusses Iraq's political system, which has been restructured through a U.S.-supported election process. The Iraqi government is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition rather than violence, but sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting still remain. This report discusses issues relating to opponents of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and also discusses the atmosphere of nationwide provincial elections. The report also addresses the Obama Administration's plan to reduce the U.S. troop presence in Iraq by August 2010 and briefly addresses the Iranian influence in Iraq. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26326/
The President-Elect: Succession and Disability Issues During the Transition Period
Procedures governing replacement of a President or Vice President-elect during the transition period depend on when the events that might lead to a temporary or permanent replacement occur. This report describes the general election process by which American voters directly choose members of the electoral college and indirectly choose the President and Vice President. This report also describes the so-called "lame duck" period between the election and the incoming President's inauguration, specifically regarding questions of disability or resignation by a President or Vice President-elect during this time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10828/
Azerbaijan's October 2008 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications
This report discusses the win by incumbent Ilkham Aliyev in Azerbaijan's October 15, 2008, presidential election. It describes the campaign and results, and examines implications for Azerbaijani and U.S. interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10814/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Background and Issues
Members of the military and U.S. citizens who live abroad are eligible to register and vote absentee in federal elections under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986. The law was enacted to improve absentee registration and voting for this group of voters and to consolidate existing laws. This report summarizes the UOCAVA and details modifications and improvements to the UOCAVA since its inception, as well as related pieces of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10560/
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and provides the dates of the last and next election for head of government. It also provides the national independence date for each country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10542/
Campaign Finance Law and the Constitutionality of the "Millionaire's Amendment": An Analysis of Davis v. Federal Election Commission
In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), also known as the McCain-Feingold law, establishing increased contribution limits for congressional candidates whose opponents significantly self-finance their campaigns. This provision is frequently referred to as the "Millionaire's Amendment." The Court found that the burden imposed on expenditures of personal funds is not justified by the compelling governmental interest of lessening corruption or the appearance of corruption and, therefore, held that the law is unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10774/
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, As Amended: Its History and Current Issues
Several bills have been introduced in the 110th Congress concerning the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) that would rename the short title of the act, and address its bilingual provisions and issues of deceptive practices and voter intimidation during elections. This report discusses this issue at length and also addresses allegations of voting irregularities and of violations of the VRA during the presidential election of 2000. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26107/
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and provides the dates of the last and next election for head of government. It also provides the national independence date for each country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10543/
The Constitutionality of Requiring Photo Identification for Voting: An Analysis of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board
In a splintered decision issued in April 2008, the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana statute requiring identification for voting, determining that lower courts had correctly decided that the evidence in the record was insufficient to support a facial attack on the constitutionality of the law. Written by Justice Stevens, the lead opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board finds that the law imposes only "a limited burden on voters' rights," which is justified by state interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10744/
House Contested Election Cases: 1933 to 2005
This report provides a summary of contested election cases from the 73rd Congress through the 109th Congress, 1933 to 2005. The descriptions primarily provide information concerning the nature of the action and the disposition of the case. The summary is limited to only those cases that were considered by the House of Representatives; cases decided at the state level are beyond the scope of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29532/
Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
Elections in 2005 for a transition government (January 30, 2005), a permanent constitution (October 15), and a permanent (four year) government (December 15) were concluded despite insurgent violence, progressively attracting Sunni participation. On May 20, a unity government was formed as U.S. officials had been urging, but the government has been unable to reduce sectarian violence, and there are growing signs of fragmentation within it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10228/
Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
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Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
Elections in 2005 for a transition government (January 30, 2005), a permanent constitution (October 15), and a permanent (four year) government (December 15) were concluded despite insurgent violence, progressively attracting Sunni participation. On May 20, a unity government was formed as U.S. officials had been urging, but it is not clear that the new government will be able to reduce ongoing violence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10227/
Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
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Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
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Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
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Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
Elections in 2005 for a transition government (January 30, 2005), a permanent constitution (October 15), and a permanent (four year) government (December 15) were concluded despite insurgent violence, progressively attracting Sunni participation. On May 20, a unity government was formed as U.S. officials had been urging, but it is not clear that the new government will be able to reduce ongoing violence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10229/
Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government
In 2004 and 2005, Afghanistan adopted a permanent constitution and elected a president and a parliament. The parliament is emerging as a significant force in Afghan politics, as shown in debates over a new cabinet and the 2006 budget. See CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8957/
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
Kuwaiti leaders peacefully resolved a succession crisis that erupted following the January 15, 2006 death of its long-ruling Amir. However, a new crisis erupted in May 2006 over the structure of the next parliamentary elections, prompting a dissolution of the existing parliament and scheduling of new elections for June 29, 2006. Women will be able to run and to vote. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10248/
Serbia and Montenegro Union: Background and Pending Dissolution
On May 21, 2006, Montenegro held a long-awaited referendum on independence. Serbia and Montenegro were the last remnants of the former Yugoslavia to exist in a common state. They formed a new, highly decentralized state union under an agreement brokered by the EU in 2002-2003, which allowed for either republic to hold a referendum after three years. Serbia's political leaders supported continuation of the union but recognized the referendum outcome. The impending dissolution of the Serbia and Montenegro union comes at the same time as the international community is conducting talks on the future status of Kosovo, a disputed province in Serbia. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10247/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Background and Issues
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Haiti: Developments and U.S. Policy Since 1991 and Current Congressional Concerns
Following elections that were widely heralded as the first free and fair elections in Haiti's then-186-year history, Jean-Bertrand Aristide first became Haitian President in February 1991. Elections held under Aristide and his successor, Rene Preval (1996-2000), including the one in which Aristide was reelected in 2000, were marred by alleged irregularities, low voter turnout, and opposition boycotts. Congressional concerns regarding Haiti include fostering stability and democratic development, the cost and effectiveness of U.S. assistance, protection of human rights, improvement of security conditions, combating narcotics trafficking, addressing Haitian migration, and alleviating poverty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10422/
Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government
In 2004 and 2005, Afghanistan adopted a permanent constitution and elected a president and a parliament. The parliament is emerging as a significant force in Afghan politics, as shown in debate over a new cabinet proposed in March 2006. However, insurgent violence continues to threaten Afghan stability. See CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8958/
Peru: 2006 Elections and Issues for Congress
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527 Political Organizations: Legislation in the 109th Congress
The 109th Congress is examining the role of groups organized under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that are involved in federal elections but are not operating under the requirements and restrictions of federal election law. Although such groups only recently emerged into public awareness, in 2004, they were widely seen as major players in the presidential election, with more than $400 million spent seeking to influence the outcome. Strictly speaking, the term “527” refers to a section of the Internal Revenue Code, which was added in 1975 to provide tax-exempt status to federal, state, and local political organizations, as defined in that statute. The controversy over these 527 groups arises from two factors: the different definitions used in federal election law and tax law as to what constitutes election-related activity and, further, the lack of certainty as to what election law itself regulates or may permissibly regulate. This report discusses these groups in detail, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9384/
Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
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Fatah and Hamas: the New Palestinian Factional Reality
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Palestinian Elections
Fair and transparent elections are seen by experts and policymakers as a necessary step in Palestinian democratization and for the peace process. Palestinian political reform is an important element in the U.S. policy of promoting democracy, civil society, and good governance in the Middle East. It remains unclear how U.S. policy toward the Palestinian will change now that a designated terrorist organization -- Hamas -- is set to head the government. Some in Congress support restricting or ending economic assistance to the Palestinians so that U.S. aid does not benefit a foreign terrorist organization. Others are wary of initiatives that may weaken Palestinian President Abbas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10345/
Palestinian Elections
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Palestinian Elections
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Palestinian Elections
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Campaign Finance
Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8651/
Egypt: 2005 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
This report provides an overview of the presidential election and its implications for U.S. policy toward Egypt and U.S. efforts to promote democracy in the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9716/
Egypt: 2005 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
In 2005, Egypt conducted two sets of elections that illustrate both the opportunities and challenges for U.S. democracy promotion policy in the Middle East. On September 7, 2005, Egypt conducted its first multi-candidate presidential election, resulting in the reelection of President Hosni Mubarak with 88% of the vote. Although some have credited Egypt for holding a competitive election, many have criticized the outcome and alleged fraud. Parliamentary elections in Egypt resulted in the ruling NDP party securing an overwhelming majority of seats but also saw independent candidates affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood winning nearly 20% of seats, a dramatic gain from previous elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10216/
The Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machine (DRE) Controversy: FAQs and Misperceptions
As Congress considers proposals relating to DREs, salient issues might include the lack of information about DRE security, especially in relation to other systems and other components of election integrity; potential conflicts with HAVA requirements that might be associated with the proposals; how those proposals might impact voter confidence; and what impacts they might have on future innovation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8245/
Azerbaijan's 2005 Legislative Election: Outcome and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses Azerbaijan’s democratization progress as evidenced by its November 6, 2005, legislative election. It describes the campaign and results and examines implications of this election for Azerbaijani and U.S. interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7984/
Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines: Summary and Analysis of Issues
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Congressional Primaries and Filing Deadlines, 2006 Schedule
This report provides the dates of congressional filing deadlines and primary and runoff primary dates for 2006 for the states, the District of Columbia, and territories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7950/
Egypt: 2005 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
This report provides an overview of the presidential election and its implications for U.S. policy toward Egypt and U.S. efforts to promote democracy in the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7481/
Campaign Finance Reform: Regulating Political Communications on the Internet
In October 2002, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) promulgated regulations exempting from the definition of “public communication” those communications that are made over the Internet. In response to the FEC’s final rules, the two primary House sponsors of BCRA filed suit in U.S. district court against the FEC seeking to invalidate the regulations as opening a new avenue for circumvention of federal campaign finance law. In September 2004, in Shays v. FEC, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned some of the FEC’s new regulations. In response to the district court’s decision, in April 2005, the FEC published proposed new rules in order to conform to the Shays ruling. The proposed regulations reflect an attempt by the FEC to leave web logs, or “blogs,” created and wholly maintained by individuals, free of regulations under FECA, while extending limited regulation only to uses of the Internet involving substantial monetary transactions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7556/
Continuity of Congress: Enacted and Proposed Federal Statutes for Expedited Election to the House in Extraordinary Circumstances
This report is one of several CRS products related to congressional continuity and contingency planning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9109/