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II. Election News This Week
- The old adage that no news is good news certainly seemed to play out in Florida this week. The Sunshine state conducted it’s GOP primary on Jan. 31 and there were relatively few issues. In Palm Beach County, which has been a ground zero of voting problems since 2000 there were no reported problems at the polls and the elections office was able to post the county’s results by 11:30 pm. Bucher called the swift tabulation "historic," saying it was the result of a new remote reporting system. That system, coupled with modems scheduled to be added to all of the county's ballot scanners later this year, should end years of slow ballot counting that at times has been the worst in the state. "We have never been able to do this before," Bucher told The Palm Beach Post. "We gave it everything we had. It is very gratifying." Collier County and the Treasure Coast also reported few, if any problems. One glitch in Orange County had voters casting paper ballots from their cars after a pastor forgot to unlock the doors to a church polling place.
- With a decision in the redistricting court case at least a month away, Texas has begun to consider the possibility of holding two primaries this year. If there is a need to split the primaries, the first would include presidential primary, statewide races and board of education races. The second primary would feature other local, state and federal offices that are dependent on redistricting. This delay is leaving local elections officials in limbo, although as Cherokee County Elections Coordinator Shannon Cornelius pointed out, she’s not stressed—yet. “I don't have any concerns,” Cornelius told the Daily Progress. “I'm sure all my stressing will start when they let me know when the elections are going to be, but it is something you have to deal with and move on.” Cornelius told the paper programing election equipment is not normally a big deal, but if the court doesn't reach a decision soon, she envisions more work ahead.
- The vote fraud trail against Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White got underway this week. The entire trial is expected to take about two weeks. A jury was seated on Monday and opening remarks began Tuesday. Prosecutors presented testimony and documents attacking White’s claim that he was not living in the townhome he bought with his new wife, but actually sleeping on the couch in his ex-wife’s home before the primary. The trial ended early on Wednesday while waiting for a representative from Sprint to arrive with phone records which the prosecution hopes will show that White was in fact living out the district at the time he was a candidate for office.
- Personnel News: Longtime McPherson County, Kan. Clerk Susan Henson Meng will retire after 23 years. Shirley Forslof retired at the end of 2011 as the Whatcom County, Wash. Former Richland County, Ohio Board of Elections Director and Deputy Director Jeff Wilkinson has been elected to the elections board. Niles Mayor Ralph Infante got the party nod to fill a vacant seat on the Trumbull County, Ohio Board of Elections.