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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Help America Vote Act (HAVA; P.L. 107-252) enacted in 2002. It provides background information about HAVA and its provisions, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), funding for the agency and for state programs to improve elections, and a number of enduring election administration issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282306/
Business and Labor Spending in U.S. Elections
Federal election law has long prohibited corporate and union spending in federal elections, but distinctions in statutes and judicial rulings have opened avenues by which these groups have been able to spend money in the electoral process. Business groups make particular use of political action committee (PAC) donations to candidates and soft money donations to parties. Unions made prominent use of issue advocacy in 1996, but labor’s political strength lies in exempt activity communications with members. This report explains these tools and their use in today’s elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821470/
Campaign Financing
Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system. This report discusses the debate regarding campaign finance regulation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821433/
Elections Reform: Overview and Issues
This report discusses several issues as the Congress considers legislation to reform the voting process, a number of issues have emerged as part of the debate: the reliability of different types of voting technologies; voting problems and irregularities in the 2000 election; problems for militaryand overseas voters; the electoral college; and early media projections of election results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822586/
House and Senate Vacancies: How Are They Filled?
This report discusses how vacancies in Congress are filled when a Senator or Representative dies, resigns, declines to serve, or is expelled or excluded from either house. The Constitution requires that vacancies in both houses be filled by special election, but in the case of the Senate, it empowers state legislatures to provide for temporary appointments by the state governor until special elections can be scheduled. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795419/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
This report summarizes major provisions of federal law and offers a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions which govern financial activity of federal election campaigns. The laws are based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 2002, and the Revenue Act of 1971. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795451/
Campaign Finance: Issues Before the U.S. Supreme Court in McConnell v. FEC
This report provides a summary of the issues presented by 12 groups of appellants in their jurisdictional statements in 2003. Shortly after the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155 (H.R. 2356, 107th Cong.) was enacted in March 2002 (also known as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation), Senator Mitch McConnell and others filed suit in U.S. District Court for D.C. against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) arguing that provisions of the law are unconstitutional. Ultimately, eleven suits challenging BCRA were brought by more than 80 plaintiffs and consolidated into one lead case, McConnell v. FEC. On May 2, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision in McConnell v. FEC, No. 02-CV-0582 striking down some key provisions of the law as unconstitutional, but on May 19, it issued a stay of its ruling, which leaves BCRA, as enacted, in effect until the Supreme Court issues a decision. (For information about the decision, see CRS Report RS21511, Campaign Finance: Brief Overview of McConnell v. FEC.) Under the BCRA expedited review provision, the court's decision will be reviewed directly by the U.S. Supreme Court, which scheduled oral argument for September 8, 2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824548/
Campaign Finance Law: The Supreme Court Upholds Key Provisions of BCRA in McConnell v. FEC
This report discusses the Supreme Court's decision in McConnell v. FEC. The court upheld against facial constitutional challenges key portions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), (P.L. 107-155, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold or Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform law). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821572/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
This report summarizes major provisions of federal law and offers a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions which govern financial activity of federal election campaigns. The laws are based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 2002, and the Revenue Act of 1971. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795510/
Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines: Summary and Analysis of Issues
This report begins with a discussion of the historical context of the VVSG, followed by a summary of the guidelines and a discussion of each of the issues identified above. However, there are many specific issues, such as whether wireless communications should be permitted, that are not covered here. The report also briefly summarizes relevant legislative proposals in the 109th Congress digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7928/
Fatah and Hamas: the New Palestinian Factional Reality
For the first time in its history, the Palestinian parliament is set to be led by Hamas, which the United States and European Union have designated a foreign terrorist organization. Although some lauded the generally free and fair election in January 2006, others criticized the outcome and accused Hamas of “hijacking” democracy. This report provides an overview of the new political realities in the West Bank and Gaza after the election, the challenges Fatah and Hamas face, and possible implications for U.S. policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9153/
Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
This report discusses Iraqi government in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Elections in 2005 for a transitional National Assembly and government (January 30, 2005), a permanent constitution (October 15), and a permanent (four year) Council of Representatives and government (December 15) were concluded despite insurgent violence and attracted progressively increasing Sunni participation. However, escalating sectarian violence and factional infighting have delayed formation of a new government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8699/
Elections in States Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
The aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita created staggering problems and challenging conditions for the people of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, as well as for the state and local governments there. Many problems were immediately apparent, whereas others that involved ongoing government functions, such as elections, were less obvious at first. This report discusses the challenge of running elections in the many affected communities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821393/
Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
This report discusses Iraqi government in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Elections in 2005 for a transitional National Assembly and government (January 30, 2005), a permanent constitution (October 15), and a permanent (four year) Council of Representatives and government (December 15) were concluded despite insurgent violence and attracted progressively increasing Sunni participation. However, escalating sectarian violence and factional infighting have delayed formation of a new government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9900/
The Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machine (DRE) Controversy: FAQs and Misperceptions
This report addresses various questions regarding Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machines (DREs). Questions that arise frequently with respect to the controversy surrounding DREs and possible misperceptions in the debate can be classified into three categories: those relating to DREs themselves, those that relate to paper audit trails, and those that relate to recounts and audits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847691/
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/
The Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machine (DRE) Controversy: FAQs and Misperceptions
Most voting systems used in U.S. elections rely on computers in some way. The most computerized is the direct recording electronic voting machine, or DRE. In this system, votes are recorded directly onto computer memory devices. This report discusses questions that arise frequently with respect to the controversy surrounding DREs. Possible misperceptions in the debate can be classified into three categories: those relating to DREs themselves, those that relate to paper audit trails, and those that relate to recounts and audits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821181/
527 Organizations and Campaign Activity: Timing of Reporting Requirements under Tax and Campaign Finance Laws
This report compares the timing of election activity reporting requirements under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), and discusses H.R. 1204, which would amend the timing of the IRC’s reporting requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822002/
Federal Funding of Presidential Nominating Conventions: Overview and Policy Options
This report provides an overview and analysis of two recurring questions surrounding the federal government's role in financing presidential nominating conventions. First, how much public funding supports presidential nominating conventions? Second, what options exist for changing that amount if Congress chooses to do so? Both issues have generated controversy in the past and continue to be the subject of debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463493/
The Constitutionality of Campaign Finance Regulation: Buckley v. Valeo and Its Supreme Court Progeny
This report first discusses the key holdings enunciated by the Supreme Court in Buckley, including those upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court's extension of Buckley in several subsequent cases, evaluating them in various regulatory contexts: contribution limits, expenditure limits, disclosure requirements, and political party soft money and electioneering communication restrictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461924/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
This report discusses Iraq's political system. The result of a U.S.-supported election process, it continues to be driven by sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795683/
Campaign Finance: Potential Legislative and Policy Issues for the 111th Congress
This report discusses selected campaign finance policy issues that may receive attention during the 111th Congress such as the electronic filing of senate campaign finance reports, bundling, hybrid advertising, joint fundraising committees, 527 Organizations and more. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822544/
Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines: Issues
This report discusses the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), which are a set of technical standards for voting systems that use computers to assist in recording or counting votes. Systems covered include most used in the United States—not only DREs (direct recording electronic systems) such as touchscreen voting machines, but also optical scan and punch card systems. Hand-counted paper-ballot and lever-machine systems, which do not involve computers, are not covered. However, they are used by a small and decreasing number of election jurisdictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822016/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986, which was enacted to improve absentee registration and voting for this group of voters and to consolidate existing laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501650/
Campaign Finance: Potential Legislative and Policy Issues for the 111th Congress
This report discusses selected campaign finance policy issues that may receive attention during the 111th Congress such as the electronic filing of senate campaign finance reports, bundling, hybrid advertising, joint fundraising committees, 527 Organizations and more. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462157/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
This report discusses Iraq's political system, which has been restructured through a U.S.-supported election process, as well as issues relating to opponents of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the atmosphere of nationwide provincial elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795723/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
This report discusses Iraq's political system, which has been restructured through a U.S.-supported election process, as well as issues relating to opponents of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the atmosphere of nationwide provincial elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795841/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743438/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986, which was enacted to improve absentee registration and voting for this group of voters and to consolidate existing laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501621/
The Democratic Party of Japan: Its Foreign Policy Position and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report analyzes the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) policy platform and reviews the implications for U.S. strategic and economic interests in the event that the party takes control of the Japanese government after the August 30 parliamentary elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689179/
Japan's Historic 2009 Elections: Implications for U.S. Interests
This report analyzes the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) policy platform and reviews the implications for U.S. strategic and economic interests now that the party and its coalition allies are set to take control of the Japanese government in the wake of the August 30 parliamentary elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689414/
Electoral College Reform: 111th Congress Proposals and Other Current Developments
This report examines and analyzes alternative proposals for change to the electoral college system, presents pro and con arguments, and identifies and analyzes 111th Congress proposals and contemporary alternative reform developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626988/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986, which was enacted to improve absentee registration and voting for this group of voters and to consolidate existing laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501733/
Campaign Finance Policy After Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: Issues and Options for Congress
This report provides an overview of selected campaign finance policy options that may be relevant to the ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It also briefly comments on how Citizens United might affect political advertising. A complete understanding of how Citizens United will affect the campaign and policy environments is likely to be unavailable until at least the conclusion of the 2010 election cycle. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505567/
Automated Political Telephone Calls ("Robo Calls") in Federal Campaigns: Overview and Policy Options
This report provides an overview of how automated political calls are used in federal campaigns, including attention to recent spending estimates and polling data regarding these calls. The report also discusses legislation that would affect the calls, with descriptions of various policy options and how the options or their regulation may be related to campaign finance law and to the First Amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503372/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986, which was enacted to improve absentee registration and voting for this group of voters and to consolidate existing laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501889/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986, which was enacted to improve absentee registration and voting for this group of voters and to consolidate existing laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501768/
Zimbabwe: Background
This report provides background on events leading up to and surrounding the country's most recent elections, in March and June 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491443/
Legislative Options After Citizens United v. FEC: Constitutional and Legal Issues
In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court invalidated two provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), finding that they were unconstitutional under the First Amendment. In response to the Supreme Court's ruling, various proposals have been discussed and legislation has been introduced in the 111th Congress. This report provides an analysis of the constitutional and legal issues raised by several proposals, organized by regulatory topic: increasing disclaimer requirements, increasing disclosure for tax-exempt organizations, requiring shareholder notification and approval, restricting U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations, restricting political expenditures by government contractors and grantees, taxing corporate independent expenditures, and providing public financing for congressional campaigns. The report also addresses amending the Constitution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491138/
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 the 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/metadc490909/
Electoral College Reform: 111th Congress Proposals and Other Current Developments
This report examines and analyzes alternative proposals for change within the electoral college, presents pro and con arguments, and identifies and analyzes 111th Congress proposals and contemporary alternative reform developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491125/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Procedures for Contested Election Cases in the House of Representatives
Under the U.S. Constitution, each House of Congress has the express authority to be the judge of the "elections and returns" of its own Members. Although initial challenges and recounts for the House are conducted at the state level, under the state's authority to administer federal elections, continuing contests may be presented to the House, which, as the final arbiter, may make a conclusive determination of a claim to the seat. This report describes these procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29688/
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 the 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/metadc491154/
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
The report discusses selected litigation to demonstrate how those events have changed the campaign finance landscape and affected the policy issues that may confront Congress, but it is not a constitutional or legal analysis. Finally, campaign finance data appear throughout the report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810804/
Federal Funding of Presidential Nominating Conventions: Overview and Policy Options
This report provides an overview and analysis of two recurring questions surrounding the federal government's role in financing presidential nominating conventions. First, how much public funding supports presidential nominating conventions? Second, what options exist for changing that amount if Congress chooses to do so? Both issues have generated controversy in the past and continue to be the subject of debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31486/
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