Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2017
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.
Contingent Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Perspectives and Contemporary Analysis
This report provides an examination of constitutional requirements and historical precedents associated with contingent elections. It also identifies and evaluates contemporary issues that might emerge in the modern context.
Recent State Election Law Challenges: In Brief
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.
Legal Processes for Contesting the Results of a Presidential Election
This report discusses the legal processes for contesting the results of a Presidential election.
State Voter Identification Requirements: Analysis, Legal Issues, and Policy Considerations
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.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
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.
Funding of Presidential Nominating Conventions: An Overview
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.
Contested Presidential Nominating Conventions: Brief Background and Questions
This report briefly addresses selected questions about possible contested Democratic and Republican conventions that might be relevant as Members of Congress prepare for the 2016 election.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
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.
Independent Bids for President
This report briefly discusses legal and practical obstacles for candidates pursuing an independent run for the presidency after participating in the nomination process of a major political party--including competing in state primaries and caucuses for delegates to the party's national nominating convention.
The Presidential Nominating Process and the National Party Conventions, 2016: Frequently Asked Questions
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.
The Presidential Nominating Process and the National Party Conventions, 2016: Frequently Asked Questions
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.
The Federal Election Commission: Enforcement Process and Selected Issues for Congress
This report provides Congress with a resource for understanding the Federal Election Commission's (FEC) enforcement process and context for why enforcement is consequential.
The Federal Election Commission: Overview and Selected Issues for Congress
The report provides background information about key areas of controversy and context that might be relevant for Congress as the House and Senate approach their oversight duties, appropriate funds, consider nominations, and explore options for restructuring the FEC or maintaining the status quo.
Argentina's 2015 Presidential Election
This report briefly discusses the Argentinian Presidential election, held on October 25, 2015. The close results set up a second round on November 22, 2015, between Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri.
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. It discusses recent improvements to UOCAVA, 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.
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.
Turkey After June 2015 Elections: Erdogan and the AKP Fall Short
This report discusses the parliamentary politics of Turkey in the wake of elections held on June 7, 2015. Although Turkey's Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the most seats in parliamentary elections, it lost the governing majority it had enjoyed since 2002--probably ending President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's (air-doe-wan) hopes for constitutional change to increase his formal powers.
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.
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.
Candidates, Groups, and the Campaign Finance Environment
This report briefly discusses the current campaign finance environment and the implications of changes to campaign finance policy over the past several decades.
The United Kingdom Election
This report briefly outlines the United Kingdom's recent election that was held on May 7, 2015 and resulted in a decisive victory for the Conservative Party.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy.
Israel After the 2015 Elections: What Does Netanyahu's Victory Mean for U.S. Policy?
This report briefly discusses the implications of recent elections in Israel, which has leading candidates that openly differed on how to manage disagreements with the United States and the international community on various matters
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.
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
Congress is faced with determining whether it wants public financing of presidential campaigns to continue and, if so, how. Proposals to curtail the presidential public financing program have been a consistent theme in recent Congresses. This report provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. 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.
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.
The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues
The deadlocked November 2000 presidential election focused national attention on previously obscure details of election administration. Even before the U.S. Supreme Court had resolved the election in December, numerous bills to address the failings of the election system were introduced in Congress and state legislatures. The response at the federal level was the Help America Vote Act (HAVA; P.L. 107-252), enacted in 2002. HAVA created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), established a set of election administration requirements, and provided federal funding, but did not supplant state and local control over election administration. Several issues have arisen or persisted in the years since HAVA was enacted. This report provides background information about HAVA and its provisions, the EAC, funding for the agency and for state programs to improve elections, and a number of enduring election administration issues.
Lame Duck Sessions of Congress, 1935-2012 (74th-112th Congresses)
This report discusses how lame duck sessions occur, and the background of the lame duck sessions between 1940 and 2012. A "lame duck" session of Congress occurs whenever one Congress meets after its successor is elected, but before the term of the current Congress ends.
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.
China's Leaders Quash Hong Kong's Hopes for Democratic Election Reforms
This report briefly discusses a recent decision by China's National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) that places strict conditions on any possible electoral reforms in Hong Kong. The report covers the decision, Hong Kong's response, and options for Congress.
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.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Background and Overview
This report provides background information on the historical circumstances that led to the adoption of the VRA, a summary of its major provisions, and a brief discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court decision and related legislation in the 113th Congress.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy.
Coordinated Party Expenditures in Federal Elections: An Overview
This report examines campaign finance law in the context of political party committee expenditures. It discusses relevant Supreme Court precedent and recent legislative activity.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns: Overview and Analysis
This report discusses current controversies and arguments for and against public financing of presidential campaigns; legislative history; elements of the program; taxpayer and candidate participation; financial status of the program; recent legislation; and analysis of various policy proposals. If Congress chooses to alter the program, consensus will be necessary in what has historically been a particularly complex and contentious area of campaign finance policy.
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?
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses the Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy.
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993: History, Implementation, and Effects
This report discusses the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. §1973–1973aa-6), which required states to establish voter registration procedures for federal elections so that eligible citizens might apply to register to vote (1) simultaneously while applying for a driver's license, (2) by mail, and (3) at selected state and local offices that serve the public. The law took effect on January 1, 1995, for most states.
501(c)(4)s and Campaign Activity: Analysis Under Tax and Campaign Finance Laws
This report discusses 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, including the requirements necessary to maintain 501(c)(4) status and the requirements for annual reporting to the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission.
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.