Congressional Research Service Reports - 444 Matching Results

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Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines: Issues

Description: 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.
Date: January 23, 2009
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.
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

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: July 10, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 108th Congress

Description: American voters elect the President and Vice President of the United States under a complex arrangement of constitutional provisions, federal and state laws, and political party practices known as the electoral college system. Despite occasional close elections, this system has delivered uncontested results in 46 of 50 elections since adoption of the 12th Amendment, effective in 1804. Throughout this period, nevertheless, it has been the subject of persistent criticism and many reform proposals. Related measures fall into two basic categories: those that would eliminate the electoral college and substitute direct popular election of the President and Vice President, and those that would retain the existing system in some form and correct perceived defects.
Date: June 30, 2005
Creator: Neale, Thomas H.
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: November 27, 2000
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
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
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: February 14, 2003
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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.
Date: December 14, 2005
Creator: Fischer, Eric A. & Coleman, Kevin J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections in States Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Description: 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.
Date: May 4, 2006
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J. & Fischer, Eric A.
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

House and Senate Vacancies: How Are They Filled?

Description: 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.
Date: January 22, 2003
Creator: Richardson, Sula P. & Neale, Thomas H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution

Description: This report discusses the Iraqi government in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Elections 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) have been concluded despite insurgent violence. U.S. officials hope that the high turnout among Sunni Arabs in the December 15 elections -- and post-election bargaining among all factions -- will produce an inclusive government that reduces insurgent violence.
Date: January 20, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution

Description: This report discusses the Iraqi government in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Elections 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) have been concluded despite insurgent violence. U.S. officials hope that the high turnout among Sunni Arabs in the December 15 elections -- and post-election bargaining among all factions -- will produce an inclusive government that reduces insurgent violence.
Date: January 10, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Post-Saddam National Elections

Description: This report discusses United States and United Nations preparations for Iraq’s planned elections for a transitional National Assembly, scheduled for January 30, 2005. Elections preparations are significantly hindered by continuing insurgency and threats of a boycott by many of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs.
Date: December 16, 2004
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department