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electionlineWeekly — Aug. 9, 2012

Table of Contents

II. Election News This Week

  • This week, the Virginia State Board of Elections decided not to take action against a nonprofit group’s voter registration drive that included mailings to pets and deceased residents. On Monday the board met for two hours to discuss the Voter Participation Center mailings and heard from more than a dozen speakers on both sides of the issue. The board’s review was prompted by a complaint filed by the presidential campaign of Gov. Mitt Romney.

  • Maryland has joined the growing ranks of states allowing residents to register to vote online. Although the new online system has been available for almost a month now, the state board of elections, with the support of Gov. Martin O’Malley officially launched the new service this week. It’s been on our radar screen for a while,” Mary Cramer Wagner, director of voter registration for the state board told The Washington Times. “You always want the next best thing.” Up the road a pace in Massachusetts, the state announced late last week that it’s voter registration form is now available online, although unlike in Maryland, voters in Massachusetts will still have to print out, sign and mail-in the form.

  • Yankton County, S.D. recently became a vote center county when the county commission voted to reduce the county’s 13 precincts to six vote centers. According to the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, the county will also begin using ePollbooks, instead of spending money to print out a poll book and paper register. In Indiana, one of the first states to embrace vote centers, several more counties began the process to make the move to centralized polling locations including Floyd, Montgomery and Vigo counties.

  • According to the Pueblo Chieftain, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler expects to get approval from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security sometime this week or next to begin reviewing the citizenship of approximately 5,000 registered Colorado voters. Gessler told the paper his office has worked out a draft agreement with the federal department giving his staff access to databases that provide citizenship records. Homeland Security agreed to allow Gessler’s office access to citizenship information earlier this month after being threatened with a lawsuit by state Attorney General John Suthers.