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The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections

Description: This report focuses on the institutions and procedures associated with the contemporary electoral college system. It opens by noting four rarely occurring electoral college eventualities that took place in connection with the 2016 presidential election. These included the election of a President and Vice President who received fewer popular votes than their major opponents; the actions of seven "faithless electors," who voted for candidates other than those to whom they were pledged; the split allocation of electoral votes in Maine, which uses the district system to choose its electors; and challenges to electoral votes in the joint session of Congress at which they are counted. The report also examines the constitutional origins of the electoral college system and identifies the additional components and processes that are the product of federal and state law, party requirements, and political tradition, explaining their role in presidential elections. It provides a timeline for operation of the electoral college system for the 2020 presidential election, a brief examination of alternative reform measures, including constitutional amendment proposals and non-governmental initiatives, such as the National Popular Vote initiative1 (NPV), and closes with concluding observations on the state of the electoral college system and prospects for change.
Date: May 15, 2017
Creator: Neale, Thomas H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Money and U.S. Campaign Finance Policy

Description: This report discusses regulations forbidding the use of foreign money in U.S. election campaigns and various debates and recent actions surrounding enforcement of the rules.
Date: September 3, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2017

Description: This report provides data on elections of the Speaker in each Congress since 1913, when the House first reached its present size of 435 Members. During that period (63rd through 115th Congresses), a Speaker was elected five times with the votes of less than a majority of the full membership.
Date: January 4, 2017
Creator: Beth, Richard S. & Heitshusen, Valerie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recent State Election Law Challenges: In Brief

Description: This report begins by setting forth key constitutional provisions relevant to recent state election law challenges. Next, it discusses federal statutory provisions contained in the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act and briefly examines pertinent Supreme Court precedent. Then, based on that legal framework, it provides an overview of several recent challenges to state election laws in Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas that resulted in major decisions by the various federal courts of appeals as illustrative examples of the types of challenges that have been playing out in the courts. Finally, the report discusses some potential implications of these challenges.
Date: November 2, 2016
Creator: Whitaker, L. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State Voter Identification Requirements: Analysis, Legal Issues, and Policy Considerations

Description: This report provides an updated overview of state requirements for voters to present some form of ID before casting a ballot in a federal election. The report also discusses the origins of voter ID, relevant federal legislative action in the 114th Congress, and selected legal and policy issues related to state voter ID laws.
Date: October 21, 2016
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.; Garrett, R. S. & Whitaker, L. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of the campaign finance landscape and policy issues that may confront Congress. It includes information about the development of campaign finance law with selected litigation as well as potential policy considerations and emerging issues.
Date: June 23, 2016
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Funding of Presidential Nominating Conventions: An Overview

Description: This report provides a historical overview of how Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF) convention funding functioned. It also describes private funding sources that remain available after legislation (H.R. 2019) became law (P.L. 113-94) eliminating PECF funding for convention operations.
Date: May 4, 2016
Creator: Garrett, R. S. & Reese, Shawn
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Financing

Description: This report discusses various issues regarding campaign finance law and potential options for policy responses.
Date: December 17, 2004
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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.
Date: September 26, 2006
Creator: Fischer, Eric A. & Coleman, Kevin J.
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Presidential Nominating Process and the National Party Conventions, 2016: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report provides answers to frequently asked questions about the presidential nominating process, including how the delegates to the national conventions are chosen, the differences between a caucus and a primary, national party rules changes for 2016, and the national conventions themselves. It is not a comprehensive report on all aspects of the presidential nominating process.
Date: December 30, 2015
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Issues Before the U.S. Supreme Court in McConnell v. FEC

Description: 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.
Date: June 20, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department