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electionlineWeekly — June 21, 2012

Table of Contents

II. Election News This Week

  • The Allegheny County, Pa. board of elections voted this week to file a lawsuit challenging the state’s new voter ID law. The vote was along party lines with the board’s two Democrats voting to sue and the board’s lone Republican voting against the lawsuit. "We should be making it easier to vote," County Executive Rich Fitzgerald told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "This legislation [the Voter ID law] is trying to deny that right and make it more difficult for people to vote." It is expected the lawsuit likely will be brought on behalf of both the election board and the county. According to the paper, the heart of the county's argument would be that the state constitution sets just four requirements for voting eligibility: minimum age, U.S. citizenship, residence in Pennsylvania and a specific election district.

  • The City of St. Paul, Minn. has filed an amicus brief in the suit against that state’s proposed constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. According to the Pioneer Press, the brief questions the accuracy of the language voters will read if the amendment reaches the ballot. "The so-called 'photo ID' question is not authorized by law and should not be placed on the ballot," St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing said in a statement. "The Minnesota Supreme Court should order that this bill be sent back to the Legislature for a veto override or further legislative clarification."

  • The Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee of the California General Assembly voted—along party lines—to approve a bill that would allow same-day voter registration as soon as the state’s new computerized database is operational.

  • A report from New York City’s Independent Budget Office said that the cost of 2012’s four elections could cost the city as much as $80 million.

  • Voting in Virginia is going to the dogs…and apparently the cats as well. This week a dog in Bedford County received a voter registration form as did a cat in Virginia Beach. The forms were sent from the Voter Participation Center. While Mozart the dog won’t be able to register to vote because he passed away two years ago, Scampers the cat is considering how he’ll register, as a Repulicat or a Democat.

  • Personnel News: Dianne Hill, Saline City, Mich. Clerk has been named City Clerk of the Year by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks. Hill started her work with the city as a high school co-op student in 1971 and promoted to deputy clerk in 1974 and then city clerk in 1988.