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Editor's Pick

Election Policy Roundup

Walter Olson

Here’s a roundup of election law and policy items I wish there were time to do as single posts:

  • Confirming the intuitive: when people are lied to about elections supposedly having been stolen, they become more willing to countenance political violence. [James A. Piazza, American Politics Research 2024] Those who falsely portray elections as stolen bear a heavy moral responsibility.
  • Count on the Illinois legislature to pull a stunt like changing the rules to yank the rug out from under adversaries who’d already committed to a ballot access method [Chicago Sun-Times editorial, Derek Muller and more; a judge disallowed applying the change to this year’s election]
  • From 2021, another entry for the null effect hypothesis I’ve explored: “We find no evidence that voting by mail increases the risk of voter fraud overall. Between 2016 and 2019, RBM (VBM) states reported similar fraud rates to non-RBM (non-VBM) states.” [Statistics and Public Policy, 2021; RBM = many registered voters receive a ballot by mail, VBM = all of them do so]
  • Last month I participated in two webinars on ranked-choice voting for the Federalist Society with Lisa L. Dixon and Martha Kropf, moderated by Maya Noronha, and for Vote Nevada with Sondra Cosgrove and Doug Goodman with a discussion of Ballot Question 3 – I come on at 37:45.
  • A climate of intimidation is changing America: “Former Gov. Roy Barnes of Georgia, a Democrat, said [Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis] had asked him to lead the prosecution of Mr. Trump for election interference in Georgia.” He declined: “I wasn’t going to live with bodyguards for the rest of my life.”

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