Page 2 of 5
II. Election News This Week
- Jones County, Miss. has asked the U.S. Dept. of Justice about the legality of removing printers from the county’s voting machines. The county board of supervisors has approved the move, but Clerk Bart Gavin wanted to check with DOJ first to ensure that no laws were being violated. “Our voting machines were not designed to have these printers,” Gavin told the Laurel Leader Call. “The Mississippi Legislature decided we should add the printers after we switched to electronic voting machines.” Gavin said he wants everyone to know that he doesn’t have a problem with printers. He says they are just not functioning the way they were intended to function and are causing more problems during elections.
- A switch to voting centers in Albuquerque got off to a rough start this week with reports of computer trouble and long lines. According to the Alamogordo Daily News, city officials said the problems may have stemmed from interference between the city’s computer network and the one operated by the city’s school system. About half of the voting centers were housed in city schools.
- Primary Update: Following last week’s electionlineWeekly story on the state of primary elections, several states have made moves regarding theirs. In New Jersey, the state made it official and eliminated a stand-alone presidential preference primary and will now have one primary in June. Clerks in Missouri are calling on the state legislature to decide whether or not to hold a primary. After legislation to hold a primary in March was vetoed, the state GOP moved to hold a caucus in September. The problem is that without action from the legislature, clerks will still need to prepare for a primary for both parties in February. As expected, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp scheduled the Peach State’s presidential preference primary for March 6. Florida set the primary world on its head by choosing to schedule it’s primary on January 31. In addition to impacting other states, localities in the Sunshine state are now scrambling to deal with the earlier date. Following the Florida decision, Nevada moved its caucuses to January 14, South Carolina pushed its primary to January 21, and New Hampshire is still trying to figure out what to do. Speaking of South Carolina, it appears there may be a deal in the works to ensure that counties won’t be left holding the bag for the cost of the GOP primary. The state election commission and the South Carolina Republican Party have agreed to reimburse counties for “all legitimate expenses” associated with the primary.
- Personnel News: Congratulations go out to Rutherford County, Tenn. Administrator of Elections Nicole Lester for earning her state certification. Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced this week that she will not seek re-election in 2012. Carnahan is currently serving her third term as secretary of state. Seneca County, Ohio’s board of elections swore in three new workers this week: clerks Donna Theis and Lorrie Wolfelt and Andrea Carroll as deputy director.