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electionlineWeekly--October 20, 2011

Table of Contents

II. Election News This Week

  • This week, a federal judge in Florida dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Gov. Rick Scott (R) and the Sunshine state’s new elections law. Judge K. Michael Moore ruled that the ACLU lacked standing to sue and that it’s too early to rule on whether the new law is unconstitutional. "We are disappointed that the court failed to address whether Florida can have two sets of election laws in different parts of the state" while the state law is considered by the federal court in Washington," Derek Newton, ACLU Florida spokesman told the Palm Beach Post.

  • Four South Carolina counties are challenging the state’s January 21 GOP primary before the state Supreme Court. According to The Associated Press, the counties argue a 2008 primary law doesn’t apply to running a 2012 primary. They also argue the state election commission lacks the authority to conduct the primary, enter into a contract with the state political parties to hold the contest or require counties to cover expenses for the Republican primary. Officials from Beaufort, Chester, Greenville and Spartanburg counties say the primary will cost more than $2 million.

  • File this under “just when you think you’ve heard it all…” Officials in Tuscarawas County, Ohio are having a hard time finding enough poll workers for the upcoming November election and the reason isn’t exactly what you’d expect. It seems that a performance of “Mamma Mia” is being held on election night — beginning at 7:30p.m. which is the same time polls close — at a local branch of Kent State University. “We’ve had several people call off because of ‘Mamma Mia!’,” Barb Wills, a clerk with the elections board told the Times Reporter. “A lot of people didn’t realize when they bought their tickets that the show was on Election Night.”

  • Personnel News: Former Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson wants his job back and his thrown his hat in the ring for the 2012 election. Former Riverside County, Calif. Registrar Barbara Dunmore has a new job. Dunmore is the new assistant registrar of voters for El Dorado County. Linda Whalen and Shirley Privacky were recently appointed to the Muskegon County board of canvassers. Wesley Wilcox, assistant supervisor of elections for Marion County, Fla. was recently designated a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator by The Election Center. Christopher Tyll, a small-business owner and 13-year Navy veteran has been named to head the coalition seeking to defeat the people’s veto of Maine’s same-day voter registration initiative. Sedgwick County, Kan. election commissioner Bill Gale decided to term-limit himself announced this week that he would be resigning—due in part, Gale said to the new voting rules, including voter ID, being instituted in Kansas.