Advocates for making the coronavirus pandemic the time for changing American voting habits are taking heart there won't be any polling places for three of the next four Democratic presidential contests.
Voting in Alaska and Hawaii will now join Wyoming's caucuses in being conducted entirely remotely, among the latest wave of changes in the world of elections during a historic public health emergency.
While several states moved to make voting easier, Wisconsin pressed ahead with plans for a traditional primary April 7 and has now been confronted by four federal lawsuits hoping to force changes. And Florida reported the first known cases of poll workers subsequently testing positive for coronavirus.
Here are the latest developments:
Griffiths is a contributor to Independent Voter News.
The beginning of the 2020 presidential election was an unmitigated disaster. Results that should have been reported the night of the Iowa caucuses instead took days as a result of technical issues with an app and inconsistent numbers being reported. Politicos were baffled while accusations of a rigged process arose after the candidate with the most votes didn't leave with the most delegates.
At the center of the controversy was independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, and suddenly the question became whether or not we would witness a repeat of 2016. Was the party once again trying to sabotage the Sanders campaign? Are we looking at yet another rigged 2016 presidential primary process?
Many Sanders supporters took to the Internet to cry foul, while Sanders called the caucuses an "embarrassment" and a "disgrace."
A ballot measure to create nonpartisan primaries and ranked-choice voting in Alaska appears set to go before voters this fall.
Former state Rep. Jason Grenn, an independent and co-chairman of Alaskans for Better Elections, which led the ballot drive, told Alaska Public Media that as of last week his group had enough signatures to submit the measure for certification.
The initiative would create a primary system in which all candidates for each office appear on a single ballot and the top four vote-getters advance regardless of party affiliation. In the general election, voters would rank the four in order of preference, with an instant runoff determining the winner by factoring in second and third choices if no candidate garnered a majority of top-choice votes.
Ranked-choice voting just made it big in the biggest town for making it — New York City. And supporters of this way of conducting elections hope to use the victory there to spread it, well, everywhere.
With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting Wednesday morning, almost three-quarters of voters (73.5 percent) endorsed bringing ranked-choice voting to the nation's biggest city. The new system, which allows people to rank as many as five candidates in order of preference, will be used in primary and special elections beginning with the races in 2021 for mayor, city council and several other municipal offices.
Known as RCV and also the instant-runoff system, ranking candidates has become one of the big election-improvement darlings of the democracy reform movement.
Less sweeping measures for improving governance were on ballots in Maine, Kansas and Denver, and all of them succeeded.