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II. Election News This Week
- While the citizens effort to repeal voting laws in Maine was successful, similar attempts in Ohio to repeal recently approved voting laws has hit a snag. A coalition of groups needed to collect 213,150 valid signatures to put House Bill 194 on the ballot in November 2012, however the coalition is about 10,000 signatures short of the required number. Although short of the number, the group has until Thanksgiving — November 24 — to collect the additional 10K signatures. A spokesman for the state Democrat Party told the Plain Dealer that they have already submitted an additional 150,000 signatures.
- The battle to view ballots in Aspen, Colo. isn’t over yet. Late last week, the city of Aspen filed an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court seeking to keep election ballots from public review. According to a city press release: “The case is not about election transparency. The 2009 municipal election was one of the most transparent elections in City and state history. The case involves the sanctity of the secret ballot. The Aspen Daily News reports that the three-member panel of the Court of Appeals ruled in late September that ballots could be lawfully released, so long as there was nothing on them that could be used to identify an individual voter. The ruling reversed the decision by Chief Judge James Boyd of Pitkin County District Court, where the lawsuit by Aspen resident Marilyn Marks was filed in 2009.
- And finally, of course electionlineWeekly just had to include this item: Voters in Stamford, Conn. were upset last week when after casting their ballots, they did not receive “I Voted” stickers. "People kept saying to us, `Where's my sticker?' Just about everybody made a comment," poll worker Susan Darer, who has worked at polling places in Stamford for 10 years and cannot remember an Election Day without stickers told the Stamford Advocate. "No one seemed to know why we had none. Our guess was either budget cuts or somebody forgot." The city did not receive the election-day rewards because the state did not have the money to produce them this year.
- Personnel News: Barry Garner is the new top elections official in Santa Clara County, Calif. Most recently Garner served as the director of registration and elections operations for Fulton County, Ga. Although she’s been on the job for almost five years, Charlotte Sosebee is now officially the Hall County, Ga. elections director. "It is a relief," Sosebee told the Gainesville Times. "It's like birthing a baby. It's exciting. And just to know that it's official, it just kind of gives me assurance that I'm here." The Republican Party of Rockdale County, Ga. has appointed Jonny Brown to sit on the county elections board. On the Democrat side, Caycie Dix was appointed to serve. Dix and Brown replace the previous board members (including Brown’s wife Lynn) who were removed from the board by a judge late last week.