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Broad remake of voting procedures nationwide urged by bipartisan panel

All states should adopt automatic voter registration, expand mail-in voting and implement new auditing practices to assure the accuracy of vote counts, a bipartisan panel of election administrators proposed Thursday.

A 57-page report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, which convened a task force of officials to come up with ideas, offers 21 recommendations that cover all aspects of elections, from registration to casting and certifying ballots.

The recommendations, adopted unanimously by the nearly two dozen local and state election administrators from across the country, are intended to provide a roadmap for state legislatures to follow, said Matthew Weil, director of the BPC's effort. Lawmakers are convening in most state capitals this month for their annual sessions, so there is still time for election overhauls to be put in place before the November presidential election.

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Wyoming Democrats switch to a ranked-choice presidential caucus

Democrats in Wyoming have decided to use ranked-choice voting for this year's final statewide presidential caucuses.

It's the smallest prize of any state, with just 14 delegates at stake, but the party says the switch could make the April 4 gatherings among the most impassioned and well-attended of the nominating season.

The decision also makes Wyoming the only one of the four caucus states where all participants will rank their choices. Nevada is debuting RCV in presidential politics in February, but for early voters only, not caucus goers.

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The former New York mayor, above talking to reporters this week, is the last presidential candidate to detail his plan for fixing the system's ills.

Bloomberg joins other Democrats with broad plans for democracy reform

Citizens would be automatically registered to vote, or they could register online or on Election Day, under a comprehensive voting rights proposal unveiled Friday by Mike Bloomberg.

He is the last of the prominent Democratic candidates for president to detail an agenda for making the democratic process work better. The plan was unveiled as Bloomberg took his campaign to Georgia for an appearance with Stacey Abrams, one of the most prominent civil rights advocates in the country.

"The right to vote is the fundamental right that protects all others, but in states around the country it is under attack," Bloomberg said in a statement released by his campaign.

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Ohio has allowed no-excuse absentee voting by mail since 2005. But at least 6,500 potential absentee voters had their applications turned down last year over problems with signatures.

Ohio's latest voting trouble: Absentee ballot requests denied over signatures

More than 7,000 Ohioans were delayed or blocked in trying to get absentee ballots for last fall's local elections and ballot initiatives, entirely because of missing or unfamiliar signatures on their applications, The Associated Press reported Monday after analyzing records statewide.

Signature requirements, and the vagaries of matching the handwriting on file to the marks on a fresh form, are becoming a big issue as more and more places ease the rules early voting or otherwise conduct elections by mail.

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