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Elections: DOD Expands Voting Assistance to Military Absentee Voters, but Challenges Remain

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The narrow margin of victory in the 2000 presidential election raised concerns about the extent to which members of the military and their dependents living abroad were able to vote via absentee ballot. In September 2001, GAO made recommendations to address variances in the Department of Defense's (DOD) Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). Along with the military services, FVAP is responsible for educating and assisting military personnel in the absentee voting process. Leading up to the 2004 presidential election, Members of Congress raised concerns about efforts under FVAP to facilitate absentee voting. This testimony, which draws on prior GAO work, addresses three questions: (1) How did FVAP's assistance efforts differ between the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections? (2) What actions did DOD take in response to prior GAO recommendations on absentee voting? and (3) What challenges remain in providing voting assistance to military personnel?"
Date: September 28, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Perspectives on Activities and Challenges Across the Nation

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Events surrounding the 2000 presidential election raised concerns about the reliability of various types of voting equipment, the role of election officials, the disqualification of absentee ballots, and the accuracy of vote counts and recounts. As a result, public officials and various interest groups have proposed reforms to address perceived shortcomings. This report discusses: (1) voter registration; (2) absentee and early voting; (3) election day administration; and (4) vote counts, certification, and recounts."
Date: October 15, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Status of GAO's Review of Voting Equipment Used in Florida's 13th Congressional District

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In November 2006, about 18,000 undervotes were reported in Sarasota County in the race for Florida's 13th Congressional District. Following the contesting of the election results in the House of Representatives, the Task Force met and unanimously voted to seek GAO's assistance in determining whether the voting systems contributed to the large undervote in Sarasota County. On June 14, 2007, we met with the Task Force and agreed upon an engagement plan, which included the following review objectives: (1) What voting systems and equipment were used in Sarasota County and what processes governed their use? (2) What was the scope of the undervote in Sarasota County in the general election? (3) To what extent were tests conducted on the voting systems in Sarasota County prior to the general election and what were the results of those tests? and (4) Considering the tests that were conducted on the voting systems from Sarasota County after the general election, are additional tests needed to determine whether the voting systems contributed to the undervote? In our meetings with Sarasota County, we learned the entire process of configuring the election, running the election, and tallying the results, and about the testing the county conducts on the voting systems, such as the logic and accuracy testing. In our meetings with the Division of Elections, we discussed the conduct of certification testing, in particular, the testing conducted on the ES&S system used in Sarasota County, and the conduct of the state audit--how decisions were made to conduct the audit and the processes used to conduct the audit. In addition, we have received and are reviewing and analyzing data and documentation received from both sources, as well as the submissions from the contestant and the contestee ...
Date: August 3, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Statistical Analysis of Factors That Affected Uncounted Votes in the 2000 Presidential Election

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Following the 2000 presidential election, concerns were raised about the election process, including the ability of some voting equipment to render a complete and accurate vote count. Furthermore, minorities and disadvantaged voters were seen as more likely to have their votes not counted because they may have used less reliable voting equipment than affluent white voters. GAO found that although the state in which counties are located had more of an effect on the number of uncounted presidential votes than did counties' demographic characteristics or voting equipment, there were statistically significant effects on uncounted presidential votes. State differences accounted for 26 percent of the total variation in uncounted presidential votes across counties. State differences may have included such factors as statewide voter education efforts, state standards for determining what is a valid vote, the use of straight party ballots, the number of candidates on the ballot, the use of provisional ballots, and the extent to which absentee or early voting occurred."
Date: October 15, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Federal Efforts to Improve Security and Reliability of Electronic Voting Systems Are Under Way, but Key Activities Need to Be Completed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Help America Vote Act of 2002 established the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to help improve state and local administration of federal elections and authorized funding for state and local governments to expand their use of electronic voting systems. EAC began operations in January 2004. However, reported problems with electronic voting systems have led to questions about the security and reliability of these systems. GAO was requested to (1) determine the significant security and reliability concerns identified about electronic voting systems, (2) identify recommended practices relevant to ensuring the security and reliability of these systems, and (3) describe actions taken or planned to improve their security and reliability."
Date: September 21, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Absentee Voting Assistance to Military and Overseas Citizens Increased for the 2004 General Election, but Challenges Remain

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The narrow margin of victory in the 2000 presidential election raised concerns about the extent to which members of the military, their dependents, and U.S. citizens living abroad were able to vote via absentee ballot. In September 2001, GAO made recommendations to address variances in the Department of Defense's (DOD) Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). Along with the military services and the Department of State (DOS), FVAP is responsible for educating and assisting military personnel and overseas citizens in the absentee voting process. Leading up to the 2004 presidential election, Members of Congress raised concerns about efforts under FVAP to facilitate absentee voting. Because of broad Congressional interest, GAO initiated a review under the Comptroller General's authority to address three questions: (1) How did FVAP's assistance efforts differ between the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections? (2) What actions did DOD and DOS take in response to prior GAO recommendations on absentee voting? and (3) What challenges remain in providing voting assistance to military personnel and overseas citizens? This review is one of several GAO reviews related to various aspects of the 2004 election. GAO provided DOD and DOS with a draft of this report for comment, and they both generally concurred with the report's contents."
Date: April 7, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Voting Assistance to Military and Overseas Citizens Should Be Improved

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The narrow margin of victory in the 2000 presidential election aroused concern about the reliability of voting machines; the training of polling place workers; and the extent to which local jurisdictions accepted ballots from members of the military, their dependents, or citizens living abroad. The Federal Voting Assistance program developed several useful tools for voters and Voting Assistance Officers, but many potential voters GAO spoke to were unaware of them. Some installations did not meet the Department of Defense (DOD) and service requirements because they provided insufficient numbers of trained Voting Assistance Officers, voter training, and voting materials. Overseas citizens and federal employees said that the State Department provided useful information. However, many military and overseas voters believe that challenges remain, such as understanding and complying with state requirements and local procedures for absentee voting. Security and privacy issues also present challenges to widespread use of the Internet for voting. Information on the precise number of military and overseas absentee votes that local jurisdictions disqualified nationwide in the 2000 general election and the reasons for disqualification are not readily available. However, GAO's national telephone survey found that almost two-thirds of the disqualified absentee ballots were rejected because they arrived too late to be counted or the envelope or form accompanying the ballot was not completed properly."
Date: September 4, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Results of GAO's Testing of Voting Systems Used in Sarasota County in Florida's 13th Congressional District

Description: A statement of record issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In November 2006, about 18,000 undervotes were reported in Sarasota County in the race for Florida's 13th Congressional District (Florida-13). After the election results were contested in the House of Representatives, the task force unanimously voted to seek GAO's assistance in determining whether the voting systems contributed to the large undervote in Sarasota County. In October 2007, GAO presented its findings on the review of the voting systems and concluded that while prior tests and reviews provided some assurance that the voting systems performed correctly, they were not enough to provide reasonable assurance that the voting systems in Sarasota County did not contribute to the undervote. GAO proposed that a firmware verification test, a ballot test, and a calibration test be conducted. The task force requested that GAO proceed with the proposed additional tests. GAO also verified whether source code escrowed by Florida could be rebuilt into the firmware used in Sarasota County. To conduct its work, GAO conducted tests on a sample of voting systems used in Sarasota County during the 2006 general election. GAO witnessed the rebuild of the firmware from the escrowed source code at the manufacturer's development facility. GAO reviewed test documentation from Florida, Sarasota County, and the voting system manufacturer and met with election officials to prepare the test protocols and detailed test procedures."
Date: February 8, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Action Plans Needed to Fully Address Challenges in Electronic Absentee Voting Initiatives for Military and Overseas Citizens

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) protects the rights of military personnel, their dependents, and overseas citizens to vote by absentee ballot. The Department of Defense (DOD) and others have reported that absentee voting, which relies primarily on mail, can be slow and may, in certain circumstances, serve to disenfranchise these voters. In 2004, Congress required DOD to develop an Internet-based absentee voting demonstration project and required the Election Assistance Commission--which reviews election procedures--to develop guidelines for DOD's project. In 2006, Congress required DOD to report, by May 15, 2007, on plans for expanding its use of electronic voting technologies and required GAO to assess efforts by (1) DOD to facilitate electronic absentee voting and (2) the Commission to develop Internet voting guidelines and DOD to develop an Internet-based demonstration project. GAO also assessed DOD's efforts to develop plans to expand its use of electronic voting technologies. GAO interviewed officials and reviewed and analyzed documents related to these efforts."
Date: June 14, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Electronic Voting Offers Opportunities and Presents Challenges

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The technology used to cast and count votes is one aspect of the multifaceted U.S. election process. GAO examined voting technology, among other things, in a series of reports that it issued in 2001 following the problems encountered in the 2000 election. In October 2002, the Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act, which, among other things, established the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to assist in the administration of federal elections. The act also established a program to provide funds to states to replace older punch card and lever machine voting equipment. As this older voting equipment has been replaced with newer electronic voting systems over the last 2 years, concerns have been raised about the vulnerabilities associated with certain electronic voting systems. Among other things, GAO's testimony focuses on attributes on which electronic voting systems can be assessed, as well as design and implementation factors affecting their performance. GAO also describes the immediate and longer-term challenges confronting local jurisdictions in using any type of voting equipment, particularly electronic voting systems."
Date: July 20, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: A Framework for Evaluating Reform Proposals

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As a result of events surrounding the November 2000 presidential election, public officials and various interest groups have proposed reforms to address perceived shortcomings of various election systems. The complexity and intricacy of the American electoral system suggests that the success of an election system depends on the appropriate integration of people, processes, and technology. This report presents an analytical framework that Congress could use as it weighs the merits of various reform proposals."
Date: October 15, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Additional Data Could Help State and Local Elections Officials Maintain Accurate Voter Registration Lists

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Reports of ineligible persons registering to vote raised concerns about state processes for verifying voter registration lists. States base voter eligibility generally on the voter's age, U.S. citizenship, mental competence, and felon status. Although states run elections, Congress has authority to affect the administration of elections. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) sets a deadline for states to have a statewide voter registration list and list verification procedures. For this report, GAO selected seven states (AZ, CA, MI, NY, TX, VA, and WI) to represent a range of characteristics relevant to voter registrations, such as whether a statewide voter list existed prior to HAVA. This report discusses how these states verify voter registration eligibility; the challenges they face in maintaining accurate voter lists; the progress toward implementing HAVA registration requirements; and identifies federal data sources that might be used to help verify voter registration eligibility."
Date: June 10, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oral History Interview with Ed Idar, February 20, 1969

Description: Interview with attorney Ed Idar, Jr., who is from Austin, Texas. In the interview, Mr. Idar discusses his experiences as a leader in the American GI Forum during World War II. He also talks about his affiliations with the Political Association of Spanish-speaking Organizations as well as other Mexican-American social action groups. Mr. Idar expresses his views and opinions on several issues including the problem of undocumented workers, the bracero problem, the segregation of schools, jury service, poll tax drives, LULAC, the Viva Kennedy movement, gubernatorial elections, and the Crystal City incident.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: February 20, 1969
Creator: Cuellar, Robert & Idar, Ed
Partner: UNT Oral History Program

Oral History Interview with Oscar H. Mauzy, February 19, 1982

Description: Interview with Democratic attorney and member of the Texas Senate Oscar H. Mauzy from Dallas, Texas. In the interview, Mauzy recollects memories and experiences as a member of the Sixty-seventh legislature. He discusses his personal views on issues including the elections of 1980, initiative-referendum, the abortion issue, law-and-order legislation, redistricting, and the state water plan. Mauzy also comments on Ross Perot, Governor William Clements, Lieutenant Governor William Hobby, and Attorney General Mark White.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: February 19, 1982
Creator: Marcello, Ronald E. & Mauzy, Oscar H.
Partner: UNT Oral History Program

Oral History Interview with Juan Cornejo, February 21, 1969

Description: Interview with Juan Cornejo, who is the former Mayor of Crystal City, Texas. In the interview, Mr. Cornejo gives some background information and describes his early life, education, and work. He describes how he was elected and what his accomplishments were as Mayor. Mr. Cornejo also discusses his thoughts and personal opinions on municipal elections, discrimination, the Political Association of Spanish-Speaking Organizations, and charges against Captain A. Y. Allee.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: February 21, 1969
Creator: Cuellar, Robert & Cornejo, Juan
Partner: UNT Oral History Program

Elections: Issues Affecting Military and Overseas Absentee Voters

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The extent and quality of federal voter assistance for military personnel and overseas citizens varied considerably during the November 2000 election. The Department of Defense (DOD) has developed some useful information tools, but many overseas military personnel were unaware of them. Moreover, the military services did not always comply with DOD requirements to appoint and train Voting Assistance Officers, brief military personnel on how to go about voting, or maintain enough supplies of voting materials. Lack of emphasis by commanders and limited oversight by service Inspectors General and installation commanders appear to be the chief reasons why some military installations did not fully comply with DOD guidance on how voting assistance programs should be carried out. Many states have worked with DOD's Federal Voting Assistance Program to make it easier for military personnel and overseas citizens to register, obtain ballots, and vote; however, voters continue to face challenges. Information on the precise number of military and overseas absentee votes that local jurisdictions disqualified nationwide in the November 2000 election and the reasons for the disqualification is not available. Many local officials said that they did not track data on these groups of absentee voters and could not readily provide the data."
Date: May 9, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Federal Program for Certifying Voting Systems Needs to Be Further Defined, Fully Implemented, and Expanded

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and, among other things, assigned the commission responsibility for testing and certifying voting systems. In view of concerns about voting systems and the important role EAC plays in certifying them, GAO was asked to determine whether EAC has (1) defined an effective approach to testing and certifying voting systems, (2) followed its defined approach, and (3) developed an effective mechanism to track problems with certified systems and use the results to improve its approach. To accomplish this, GAO compared EAC guidelines and procedures with applicable statutes, guidance, and best practices, and examined the extent to which they have been implemented."
Date: September 16, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: States, Territories, and the District Are Taking a Range of Important Steps to Manage Their Varied Voting System Environments

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Our Nation's overall election system depends on all levels of government and the interplay of people, processes, and technology, which includes the voting systems that are used during an election. GAO has previously reported on issues and challenges associated with ensuring that voting systems are secure and reliable. The states, territories, and the District of Columbia (District) each play a pivotal role in managing voting systems to ensure that they perform as intended. In light of this role, GAO was asked to answer the following questions relative to states, territories, and the District: (1) what voting methods and systems are these entities using in federal elections and what changes are underway; (2) how do they certify or otherwise approve voting systems; (3) what other steps do they take to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and security of voting systems; (4) how do they identify, evaluate, and respond to voting system problems; and (5) how do they view federal voting system-related resources and services. To accomplish this, GAO conducted a Web-based survey of election officials in all 50 states, the four U.S. territories, and the District and received responses from all but three states; contacted the officials to better understand their approaches and issues; and reviewed documentation provided by survey respondents and other contacts."
Date: September 25, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The 2012 Republican Primaries

Description: This presentation is part of the faculty lecture series UNT Speaks Out on the 2012 Presidential Primaries. In this presentation, the author gives the audience an overview of the structure of the primaries, and provides a recap of past primaries. The author also speaks about the money, momentum, and media attention in the primaries.
Date: April 24, 2012
Creator: Eshbaugh-Soha, Matthew, 1972-
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Elections: Federal Programs for Accrediting Laboratories That Test Voting Systems Need to Be Better Defined and Implemented

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and assigned both it and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) responsibilities for accrediting laboratories that test voting systems. NIST assesses a laboratory's technical qualifications and makes recommendations to EAC, which makes a final accreditation decision. In view of the continuing concerns about voting systems and the important roles that NIST and EAC play in accrediting the laboratories that test these systems, GAO was asked to determine whether each organization has defined an effective approach for accrediting laboratories that test voting systems and whether each is following its defined approach. To accomplish this, GAO compared NIST and EAC policies, guidelines, and procedures against applicable legislation and guidance, and reviewed both agencies' efforts to implement them."
Date: September 9, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elections: Views on Implementing Federal Elections on a Weekend

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "For the 2010 general election, 35 states and the District provided voters at least one alternative to casting their ballot on Election Day through in-person early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, or voting by mail. Specifically, 33 states and the District provided in-person early voting, 29 states and the District provided no-excuse absentee voting, and 2 states provided voting by mail to all or most voters. Of the 9 states and the District where GAO conducted interviews, all but 2 states provided voters the option of in-person early voting in the 2010 general election, and 5 states and the District offered both early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. Implementation and characteristics of in-person early voting varied among the 7 states and, in some cases, among the jurisdictions within a state. For example, 5 states and the District required local jurisdictions to include at least one Saturday, and 2 states allowed for some jurisdiction discretion to include weekend days."
Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department