voting
September 1, 2020

Having enough poll workers is essential to ensuring elections are fair and accessible, and Old Navy announced on Tuesday that the company will do its part by paying store employees to serve as poll workers in November.

The retailer shared the news on National Poll Worker Recruitment Day. In a statement, CEO Nancy Green said company leaders are "constantly inspired by our store teams, with their passion for community work and fostering a sense of belonging both in and outside of our store walls. Every voice in this country matters and deserves to be heard at the polls, and if we at Old Navy can even be a small part of making that process more accessible to the communities we call home, we are on board."

Old Navy has more than 1,000 stores and about 50,000 employees. Catherine Garcia

August 3, 2020

President Trump expressed his displeasure Monday evening with Nevada lawmakers voting to automatically send mail-in ballots to all registered voters, telling reporters he will sue to block the new law.

The legislation was approved on Sunday, and Gov. Stephen Sisolak (D) signed it into law on Monday evening. Trump, who in April said mail-in voting "doesn't work out well for Republicans," claimed on Twitter Monday morning that the Nevada lawmakers conducted an "illegal late night coup" and the "Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using COVID to steal the state. See you in Court!"

During a press conference later in the day, Trump repeated his assertion that the U.S. Postal Service does not have the infrastructure necessary to handle an influx of mail-in ballots, and said he plans on having the lawsuit blocking Nevada filed Tuesday. Trump was asked whether he would issue an executive order on mail-in voting, and responded incorrectly: "I have the right to do it. We haven't gotten there yet. We'll see what happens."

Several state election officials have said they will expand mail-in voting to keep voters safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Experts say voter fraud is very rare, especially when there are proper safety measures in place, and a study released earlier this year found that universal vote-by-mail does not benefit any political party. Catherine Garcia

July 27, 2020

Texas is one of the states that does not accept concerns about the coronavirus as a valid reason to vote absentee. So unless Texans have another justification, they will likely have to line up in person to vote in the November election, despite the Lone Star state being a virus hot spot. But Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday announced an extension of early in-person voting by nearly a week, a move he said should help reduce crowd size and make it easier to keep transmission down this fall.

While there are surely Texas voters who would prefer vote-by-mail to expand, Abbott has received some bipartisan praise for at least trying to find a middle ground. Tim O'Donnell

May 19, 2020

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that during the coronavirus pandemic, every registered voter in Texas can apply to vote by mail.

Under state voting rules, absentee ballots can only be sent to Texans who are disabled, 65 or older, in jail, or have plans to be out of their county on the day of an election. The Texas Democratic Party argued that the coronavirus would place in-person voters at risk, putting unconstitutional and illegal burdens on them, and absentee voting needed to be expanded.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed, saying the right to vote "should not be elusively based on the whims of nature." Americans, he wrote, "now seek life without fear of pandemic, liberty to choose their leaders in an environment free of disease, and the pursuit of happiness without undue restrictions."

The Texas attorney general's office opposed the expansion of absentee voting, claiming there is widespread fraud in states where more people use mail-in ballots, but Biery wrote in his ruling the office cited "little or no evidence" and the court "finds the Grim Reaper's scepter of pandemic disease and death is far more serious than an unsupported fear of voter fraud in this sui generis experience. Indeed, if vote by mail fraud is real, logic dictates that all voting should be in person." In a statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he will appeal. Catherine Garcia

November 6, 2019

Ten months after the City Council in Kansas City, Missouri, voted 8-4 to rename a 10-mile road from The Paseo to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., residents voted to change it back.

Unofficial results from Tuesday's election show 70 percent of voters favored stripping the street of its new name. The road goes through the city's predominantly black East Side, the Kansas City Star reports, and 100 signs will have to be removed. Most major cities have a street named after the late civil rights leader.

The Paseo was designed in the early 1900s, and named after Mexico City's Paseo De La Reforma. Soon after the City Council voted to change the name, the Save the Paseo group was formed, with organizers getting enough signatures to put the issue of restoring the name on the November ballot. Members of the group have swatted down accusations of racism, saying they want to keep The Paseo because it is part of Kansas City history, and they think King should have another street named after him or a monument built in his honor. Catherine Garcia

August 7, 2018

In November, West Virginia residents serving in the military overseas may only have to pick up their smartphone to vote.

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner told CNN "there is nobody that deserves the right to vote any more than the guys that are out there, and the women that are out there, putting their lives on the line for us." The app they can use was developed by the Boston-based company Voatz, which says it's a perfectly secure way to vote. To register, users must take a photo of their government-issued ID, then take a video of their face, and upload both to the app. Voatz's facial recognition software will then check the ID picture against the video for final approval, and the ballots are recorded anonymously on a blockchain.

State officials are letting each county decide if they want to approve Voatz, and service members will still have the option of using a paper ballot to vote. Some security experts are alarmed by the idea of voting via app, with Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, telling CNN that mobile voting is "a horrific idea. It's internet voting on people's horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote." Catherine Garcia

November 4, 2016

Early voting has become increasingly popular in recent years for its flexibility, making voting easier for anyone who may need additional time to get to the polls. As of Thursday, more than 30 million Americans had already cast early ballots, and both campaigns are using early voting data to help hone their final pre-election push.

But convenience aside, is early voting really such a good idea? Residents of some states could vote as early as Sept. 23, which means they may have voted weeks before learning about major new information, like Donald Trump's sexual remarks and assault scandal (which began Oct. 7) or Hillary Clinton's extended email investigation (which began Oct. 28).

"This demonstrates the high costs early voting can have for voters," argues Eugene Kontorovich at The Hill, "and how it threatens the very nature of democracy and political competition" by fostering base partisanship and uninformed votes.

Kontorovich contends that particularly in an "informationally back-loaded" campaign like this one, "Early voters have less information, and are thus more likely to be acting on pure partisan or identity-politics allegiance than on a consideration of the candidates and their positions." As a result, he adds, "early voting only reinforces the growing factionalism and polarization that pretty much everyone bemoans." Bonnie Kristian

April 4, 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Arizona county that had hours-long lines at polling locations in March, The Huffington Post reports. In 2012, Maricopa County — the state's most populous county — had 200 polling locations. For the 2016 primary, they had just 60.

The federal government is reportedly seeking more information on the reasoning behind the slash in poll sites.

The communications manager from the county's recorder office told HuffPo they plan to cooperate with federal officials. Julie Kliegman

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