United States Election Assistance Comittee

The EAC Official Blog

Posted By Jeannie Layson on December 12, 2011

Newly covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act? EAC's language assistance resources may come in handy. Our online translation tool, election terminology glossaries, voters' guides and the National Mail Voter Registration Form are available in numerous languages and they are FREE of charge. If you need assistance, contact Marcy Reedy at mreedy@eac.gov.


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Posted By Commissioner Gineen Bresso on November 23, 2011

Flu season is here, and for the second year EAC is collecting flu season contingency plans from election officials. EAC is gathering and sharing this information because election officials expressed an interest in learning what their peers are doing to prevent the spread of the flu at the polling place. It’s my experience that the best solutions in elections come from those in the field. EAC is collecting these contingency plans as part of its role as a national clearinghouse.

Election officials should submit their plans to clearinghouse@eac.gov. Thank you to Bristol, Virginia for the first submission! Read contingency plan submissions here. We look forward to sharing these ideas as officials prepare for the 2012 election cycle.

Officials can also sign up to be experts or search for expertise in the Election Official Exchange.

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Posted By Jeannie Layson on November 21, 2011

We blog questions and answers every Monday. Submit them here, use the comment form or share on Twitter @EACgov.

The most frequently asked questions from last week were about updating voter registration.

  • How do I change my address on my voter registration card?
  • How do I register to vote with a new last name?
  • Which states have changed their voter registration rules?

You will have to complete a new voter registration form to make address or name changes. Read more about moving and updating voter registration. Visit your state's election office website to get the latest information about voter registration requirements and instructions to re-register in the jurisdiction of your new address.

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Posted By Jeannie Layson on November 14, 2011

Flu season is almost here, and EAC is collecting flu season contingency plans from election officials. We're looking to share backup staffing strategies, technology solutions and other creative approaches. Examples include plans to mitigate the effect of the flu at polling places and coordination strategies with state and local health departments. Election officials should send their plans to clearinghouse@eac.gov and list themselves as experts in the Election Official Exchange. We're posting the plans here.

Our first submission comes from Bristol, VA General Registrar Penny Limburg:

Optical Scan/ Hand Sanitizer WARNING!

If you plan to offer information regarding the use of hand sanitizers at voting precincts, I offer the follow suggestion. Never let a voter use hand sanitizer just before they are handed a ballot. In 2009, amid the flu epidemic and concern for minimizing the spread of germs, we sent hand sanitizer out to each voting precinct. A voter dispensed a big dollop on her hands just before she was given her ballot. Her ballot became damp from the sanitizer product left on her hands which in turn became jammed in the optical scan machine when she deposited it. Not only did it jam to the point that we could not readily remove the ballot, it tore into pieces that got into other parts of the machine. In spite of waiting for the residue to evaporate and attempting to remove the remains of the ballot, the machine was down for the rest of the day. Only 15 minutes before the close of the polls, the technicians were finally able to clear the slot. The machine had to be sent off for repair and cleaning.

Problems have been seen whenever the card stock that ballots are printed on become damp for any reason. We even caution our officers on rainy elections to ensure voters dry their hands well before handling a ballot.

Penny Limburg
General Registrar
City of Bristol VA

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Posted By Jeannie Layson on October 13, 2011

Please be aware that based on the 2010 census, the U.S. Bureau of the Census has released determinations as to which political subdivisions are subject to the minority language assistance provisions of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended. Additional information and a listing of the states and political subdivisions obligated to comply with the requirements can be found in the Federal Register.

EAC's language assistance resources may assist states and political subdivisions newly covered under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. The EAC’s Glossaries of Election Terminology (PDFs and an online tool) Voters Guides to Federal Elections, and National Mail Voter Registration Form are available in numerous languages and free of charge. For additional information on these EAC resources, contact Marcy Reedy at mreedy@eac.gov.

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Posted By Jeannie Layson on August 23, 2011

Today's earthquake reminds us of the importance of contingency planning in elections. On September 20, in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, EAC will host a public roundtable about contingency planning. (More details to come.)

In the meantime, please review the following resources about contingency planning, which were created by election officials for election officials.

Election officials--please send any contingency plans so we can share them with your peers. Send them to jlayson@eac.gov or post them here.

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