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II. Election News This Week
- This week, the Indiana Recount Commission ruled 3-0 to reject claims by Democrats that Charlie White was ineligible to run for secretary of state because he was improperly registered to vote. The commission reached its decision one week after it heard seven hours of testimony from White and others regarding White's residency. Democrats argued that White shouldn't have been registered to vote at his ex-wife's address when he entered the race. White testified that he considered his ex-wife's home to be his permanent address at the time. Commission members said this week that White's intent to live at his ex-wife's house was clear at the time, and they unanimously decided he was eligible to run for office. The members ruled that he needed only to be registered in Indiana because that's the "district" he represents as a statewide officeholder. The Democrats can appeal this ruling to the courts. Despite the positive ruling by the Recount Commission, White isn’t in the free and clear yet as he still faces criminal charges including felony voter fraud. That trial is set for August 8.
- Not only will they live free or die in New Hampshire, but they won’t have to show a photo ID to do it either. This week, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch joined North Carolina’s Bev Perdue and Missouri’s Jay Nixon in vetoing a bill that would have required voters to show a photo ID to cast a ballot. Lynch said the plan risks denying residents their right to vote if they can’t get an ID or get back to the city or town clerk within three days, as the law would have required. “Voter turnout in New Hampshire is among the highest in the nation, election after election. There is no voter fraud problem in New Hampshire,” Lynch said in a statement. “We already have strong election laws that are effective in regulating our elections.”
- Although they still need approval from the state legislature, the Montgomery County, Ala. commission voted this week to provide return postage for absentee ballots. The pre-paid postage will come at the cost of about $1,000 per election, but commissioners felt it was a beneficial expense to help elderly and disabled voters especially. The program would begin in 2014.
- The state of Georgia may have shortened the period of time for early voting, but folks in Bibb County were so anxious to cast their ballots they started early voting a day early. Although early voting was set to begin on Tuesday, with voting machines already set up, election officials started the balloting a day early. According to The Telegraph, by the end of the day on Monday, 117 people had cast their ballots. Bibb is one of several counties conducting a primary on July 19, but they were the only county start early voting early. Other counties are actually running a bit behind schedule on early voting as they await the delivery of paper ballots.
- Personnel News: Three-term Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed announced this week that he will not seek re-election for a fourth term as the Evergreen State’s top elections official. After 37 years of working elections in Richland County, S.C. Elections Director Mike Cinnamon is retiring. The Stafford County, Va. elections board voted this week to replace veteran registrar Sharon Persinger. Persinger had been on the job for 25 years. Down the road a bit in Charlottesville, Sheri Iachetta was sworn in for another four years as registrar, a job she’s held since 1999. After 10 years serving as second-in-command and three months as acting clerk and recorder, the Broomfield council made it official this week and appointed Jim Candelarie to serve as the county’s next clerk and recorder. The N.C. Board of Elections has reappointed Linda Sutton to the Forsyth County Board of Elections, thwarting a bid by former county Commissioner Beaufort Bailey to gain a seat on the board.