Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues

Description: 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.
Date: March 12, 2014
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J. & Fischer, Eric A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues

Description: 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.
Date: March 9, 2015
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J. & Fischer, Eric A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Authority to Standardize National Election Procedures

Description: Recent events surrounding the Presidential election have led to increased scrutiny of voting procedures in the United States. This report focuses on the constitutional authority and limitations that might be relevant to attempts by Congress to standardize these and other procedures.
Date: March 29, 2001
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machine (DRE) Controversy: FAQs and Misperceptions

Description: 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.
Date: March 7, 2007
Creator: Fischer, Eric A. & Coleman, Kevin J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution

Description: 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.
Date: March 30, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

Description: Presidential elections in Afghanistan were held on October 9, 2004, with heavy turnout and minimal violence. Karzai was declared the winner on November 3, 2004 with about 55% of the vote, and he subsequently named a cabinet incorporating most major factions but stressing qualifications. Parliamentary, provincial, and district elections were to be held in April-May 2005, but they are now almost certain to be postponed until at least September 2005. See CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy.
Date: March 10, 2005
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

Description: This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. It includes three tables organized by region, containing the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) World Fact Book, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Election Guide, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
Date: March 1, 2016
Creator: DeBruyne, Nese F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law

Description: Current law governing financial activity of campaigns for federal office is based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, and 1979, and the Revenue Act of 1971. These laws were enacted to remedy widely perceived shortcomings of existing law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, and in response to reports of campaign finance abuses over the years, culminating in the 1972-1974 Watergate scandal. This report provides a summary of major provisions of federal law and a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions.
Date: March 8, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance in the 2000 Federal Elections: Overview and Estimates of the Flow of Money

Description: Federal election law regulates money in federal elections through a ban on union and corporate treasury money, limits on contributions, and uniform, periodic disclosure of receipts and expenditures. Money raised and spent under these laws to directly influence federal elections is commonly known as hard money. Money that is largely outside the restrictions and prohibitions of the federal regulatory framework–but raised and spent in a manner suggesting possible intent to affect federal elections–is commonly known as soft money.
Date: March 16, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Côte d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis

Description: This report discusses the contested November 28, 2010, presidential election runoff election in Côte d'Ivoire. Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, both continue to claim to have won the runoff and to exercise exclusive national executive authority, and to attempt to consolidate their control over state institutions. An increase in armed conflicts in late February 2011, among other indicators, signals the possible outbreak of a renewed civil war. This report discusses these events, as well as U.S. and international efforts to support a peaceful transition in Côte d'Ivoire, which has remained largely divided since the civil war that began in 2002.
Date: March 15, 2011
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Côte d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis

Description: This report discusses the contested November 28, 2010, presidential election runoff election in Côte d'Ivoire. Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, both continue to claim to have won the runoff and to exercise exclusive national executive authority, and to attempt to consolidate their control over state institutions. An increase in armed conflicts in late February 2011, among other indicators, signals the possible outbreak of a renewed civil war. This report discusses these events, as well as U.S. and international efforts to support a peaceful transition in Côte d'Ivoire, which has remained largely divided since the civil war that began in 2002.
Date: March 29, 2011
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Automated Political Telephone Calls ("Robo Calls") in Federal Campaigns: Overview and Policy Options

Description: 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.
Date: March 22, 2010
Creator: Garrett, R. S. & Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implications of Iranian Elections

Description: This report briefly describes the Iranian election process and the implications of this Election's results. On February 26, 2016, Iran held elections for the 290-seat Majles (parliament) and for the 88-seat body called the "Assembly of Experts," which is empowered to choose a successor to the Supreme Leader and rewrite Iran's constitution.
Date: March 4, 2016
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular in recent federal election cycles. These advertisements are often interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has determined that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech that cannot be regulated in any manner. According to most lower court rulings, only speech containing express words of advocacy of election or defeat, also known as "express advocacy" or "magic words" can be regulated and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money.
Date: March 12, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated in any manner. According to most lower court rulings, only speech containing express words of advocacy of election or defeat, also known as “express advocacy” or “magic words” can be regulated as election-related communications and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money
Date: March 15, 2002
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform and Incentives to Voluntarily Limit Candidate Spending From Personal Funds: Constitutional Issues Raised by Public Subsidies and Variable Contribution Limits

Description: The Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo ruled that spending limits, including the amount a candidate can spend on his or her own campaign from personal funds (also known as personal fund expenditure limits) are unconstitutional. The Court did, however, uphold a system of spending limits, on the condition that they are voluntarily accepted in exchange for some form of public financing. As a result of these Court rulings, the concept of various incentives toward voluntary compliance with a personal funds expenditure limit has been developed. This report discusses some constitutional issues raised by two such incentives: public subsidies and variable contribution limits.
Date: March 22, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Description: Campaign finance reform legislation often contains provisions that would impose additional reporting and disclosure requirements under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). For example, S. 27 (McCain/Feingold), would require disclosure of disbursements of expenditures over $10,000 for “electioneering communications,” which are defined to include broadcast ads that “refer” to federal office candidates, with identification of donors of $500 or more. S. 22 (Hagel/Landrieu) would increase and expedite current disclosure requirements under FECA. H.R. 380 (Shays/Meehan) would lower the current FECA threshold for contribution reporting from $200 to $50 and impose reporting requirements for soft money disbursements by persons other than political parties. This report will discuss some of the constitutional issues relating to these and other such disclosure requirements.
Date: March 20, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

Description: Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
Date: March 29, 2001
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of S. 22 (Hagel-Landrieu) with S. 27 (McCain-Feingold)

Description: On March 19, 2001, the Senate began consideration of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The bill–S. 27 (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001)–was introduced on January 22, 2001 by Senators McCain, Feingold, Cochran et al. It features a ban on the raising of soft money by national parties, a ban on the spending of soft money by state and local parties on federal election-related activities (as defined), and a disclosure requirement for electioneering messages not regulated by federal election law, along with a ban on their funding from union or for-profit corporation treasuries. Another bill receiving considerable Senate attention is S. 22 (Open and Accountable Campaign Financing Act of 2001), introduced on January 22, 2001 by Senators Hagel, Landrieu et al. It features limits on soft money donations to national parties, increases in hard money contribution limits, and a requirement that broadcasters make information available on groups engaging in issue advocacy. This report provides a summary and comparison of these two measures, according to various categories.
Date: March 23, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department