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electionlineWeekly--December 22, 2011

Table of Contents

II. Election News This Week

  • A Hamilton County, Ind. Judge denied Secretary of State Charlie White’s motion to dismiss seven felony charges filed against White earlier this year. Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven Nation said in an order Monday that he found "no sufficient basis for the dismissal of the indictments." White's attorney, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, said in an email to the Indianapolis Star that he and White are "disappointed but respect the court's ruling." Brizzi said they have not decided whether to appeal. White is accused of, among other things, committing voter fraud. The hearing is set for Jan. 30.

  • Turnout for San Francisco’s recent November election hovered around 40 percent except in one area of town where the turnout was 79 percent. That area of town? The county jail. According to the San Francisco Appeal, a total of 315 vote-by-mail ballots were requested by jail inmates, who returned 248 completed ballots to the Department of Elections. That's slightly less than the 500 ballots requested for the 2008 presidential election, but still a better showing than any voting precinct citywide, according to voting records. Nicholas Gregoratos who oversees the voting program for the county jail speculated about the high turnout despite being an “off-year” election was because both the district attorney and sheriff were on the ballot. "Some guys said, 'Forget [elected District Attorney George] Gascón, he put me away.' Other guys said, 'He gave me a good deal -- I'm going to vote for him.'"

  • Personnel News: Southampton County, Va. Registrar Leona Davis will retire on Dec. 31. Davis began working part-time in the registrar’s office in 1985 and was appointed registrar in 1995. After more than four decades, Dyer County, Tenn. Administrator of Elections Jane Heathcott will retire at the end of the year. Heathcott has served under five state election coordinators, five secretaries of state and nine governors and has outlasted many of her colleagues across the state who were victims to the political mood at the time. Wethersfield, Conn. Registrars Pam Rapacz and Norma Bielenda are both set to retire on Dec. 31. The two oversaw the replacement of the town’s lever voting machines that had been in use since the late 1800s. Patti Dubois, city clerk for Bangor, Maine is also stepping down as the year comes to an end. But Dubois won’t be leaving the elections field behind, she will take the role of Waterville city clerk.