The State and Local Role in Election Administration: Duties and Structures

The State and Local Role in Election Administration: Duties and Structures. Congressional Research Service. Karen L. Shanton. March 4, 2019

The administration of elections in the United States is highly decentralized. Elections are primarily administered by thousands of state and local systems rather than a single, unified national system.

States and localities share responsibility for most election administration duties. Exactly how responsibilities are assigned at the state and local levels varies both between and within states, but there are some general patterns in the distribution of duties. States typically have primary responsibility for making decisions about the rules of elections (policymaking). Localities typically have primary responsibility for conducting elections in accordance with those rules (implementation). Localities, with varying contributions from states, typically also have primary responsibility for paying for the activities and resources required to conduct elections (funding).

[PDF format, 22 pages].

Advertisements

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Issues in Brief

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Issues in Brief. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Peter Folger. December 3, 2018

Portions of all 50 states and the District of Columbia are vulnerable to earthquake hazards, although risks vary greatly across the country and within individual states. Alaska is the most earthquake-prone state, experiencing a magnitude 7 earthquake almost every year and a magnitude 8 earthquake every 13 years, on average, since 1900. On December 1, 2018, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck north of Anchorage at 8:29 AM local time, causing extensive damage. Under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), four federal agencies have responsibility for long-term earthquake risk reduction: the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These agencies assess U.S. earthquake hazards, deliver notifications of seismic events, develop measures to reduce earthquake hazards, and conduct research to help reduce overall U.S. vulnerability to earthquakes. Congressional oversight of the NEHRP program encompasses how well the four agencies coordinate their activities to address the earthquake hazard. Better coordination was a concern that led to changes to the program in legislation enacted in 2004 (the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act of 2004; P.L. 108-360; 42 U.S.C. 7704).

[PDF format, 15 pages].

Older Americans Act: Overview and Funding

Older Americans Act: Overview and Funding.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Kirsten J. Colello, Angela Napili. July 16, 2018

 The Older Americans Act (OAA) supports a wide range of social services and programs for individuals aged 60 years or older. These include supportive services, congregate nutrition services (i.e., meals served at group sites such as senior centers, community centers, schools, churches, or senior housing complexes), home-delivered nutrition services, family caregiver support, community service employment, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, and services to prevent the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older persons. Except for Title V, Community Service Employment for Older Americans (CSEOA), all programs are administered by the Administration on Aging (AOA) in the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Title V is administered by the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Employment and Training Administration.

 [PDF format, 19 pages].

Federal Role in U.S. Campaigns and Elections: An Overview

Federal Role in U.S. Campaigns and Elections: An Overview.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. R. Sam Garrett. September 4, 2018

 Conventional wisdom holds that the federal government plays relatively little role in U.S. campaigns and elections. Although states retain authority for most aspects of election administration, a closer look reveals that the federal government also has steadily increased its presence in campaigns and elections in the past 50 years. Altogether, dozens of congressional committees and federal agencies could be involved in federal elections under current law. 

 [PDF format, 43 pages].

U.S. Research and Development Funding and Performance: Fact Sheet

U.S. Research and Development Funding and Performance: Fact Sheet.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. John F. Sargent Jr. June 29, 2018

 Research and development (R&D) in the United States is funded and performed by a number of sectors—including the federal government, state governments, businesses, academia, and nonprofit organizations—for a variety of purposes. This fact sheet begins by providing a profile of the U.S. R&D enterprise, including historical trends and current funding by sector and by whether the R&D is basic research, applied research, or development. The final section of this fact sheet includes data on R&D performance by sector.

 [PDF format, 5 pages].

Roadmap to Support Local Climate Resilience: Lessons from the Rising Tides Summit

Roadmap to Support Local Climate Resilience: Lessons from the Rising Tides Summit. World Resources Institute. C. Forbes Tompkins, Nathan Cogswell. December 2016

This paper presents a roadmap of eight priority federal policy opportunities that build on the recommendations from the 2015 Rising Tides Summit, a first-of-its-kind bipartisan gathering of nearly 40 U.S. mayors and local elected officials from 18 of the 23 coastal U.S. states. The policy roadmap identifies key opportunities for the federal government to assist local communities with climate resilience efforts that can protect homes and jobs, build infrastructure that will last, preserve tourist towns and beaches, safeguard military bases, and ensure the longevity of ports. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 40 pages, 516.89 KB].

Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government

Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government. Pew Research Center. November 23, 2015.

A year ahead of the presidential election, the American public is deeply cynical about government, politics and the nation’s elected leaders in a way that has become quite familiar.
Elected officials are held in such low regard that 55% of the public says “ordinary Americans” would do a better job of solving national problems. Yet at the same time, most Americans have a lengthy to-do list for this object of their frustration: Majorities want the federal government to have a major role in addressing issues ranging from terrorism and disaster response to education and the environment. And most Americans like the way the federal government handles many of these same issues, though they are broadly critical of its handling of others – especially poverty and immigration. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 198 pages, 4.11 MB].