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electionlineWeekly--January 27, 2011

Table of Contents

II. Election News This Week

  • An internal review of the 2010 Alaska Senate election should be mostly completed within 45 days, Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell said this week. At that point - likely more than halfway through the current legislative session - legislation may be needed to clarify existing law or improve the state's elections process, Treadwell told The Associated Press. A number of bills aimed at doing that are working their way through the process now, and Treadwell said his office will work with lawmakers on those while the review is pending. A goal of the review, being handled by Treadwell's office, the state Department of Law and the Division of Elections, is to avoid a repeat of the litigation and uncertainty surrounding the Senate race. Treadwell said the state's review will look at whether voter intent should be a part of the rules for counting write-in ballots, whether write-in candidates should continue to be required to officially declare their candidacies, and ensuring the state has the safeguards in place to prevent felons from wrongfully voting. When testifying before Senate committee this week, the state’s assistant attorney general said it cost the state about $100,000 to battle the lawsuit filed by Republican candidate Joe Miller.
  • The “town and gown” conflict is one of the longest-running conflicts in college towns across the country. In New Hampshire, one state representative has proposed legislation that would bar college students in the state from voting in their college’s town by altering the requirements for voter eligibility. The bill changes the definition of domicile, requiring that an individual’s residence for voting eligibility “be the most recent place where he or she as an adult or where his or her parents or legal guardians with whom he or she resided as a minor established physical presence” demonstrating an intention to keep that place as “his, her, or their principal and continuous place of physical presence,” according to the bill.
  • Few things are more American than the Iowa State Fair, but this year, due to budget cuts, the Iowa secretary of state’s office will not be participating in that greatest of American traditions. In addition to not having a booth at the state fair, new secretary of state Matt Schultz said his office will have to lay off at least one person. “We’re just trying to come up with ways to make things easier for you,” Schultz told legislators. The state fair booth savings will be about $25,000, he said.
  • Personnel News: Former Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap has been tapped to lead the Sportsman Alliance of Maine as its interim director. Judy Raines and Nita Cohen, both registrars in Westport, Conn. retired this week. Dallas County Election Administrator Bruce Sherbet announced that he will resign this week after nearly two decades in the job. Ralph Infante has resigned from the Trumbull County (Ohio) Board of Elections to run for re-election as Niles mayor.