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II. Election News This Week
- Late last week, a federal judge ruled that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted had unfairly set inconsistent voting periods and ordered that early, in-person absentee voting be allowed to proceed on the final three days before the Nov. 6 election. Following the ruling, on Tuesday Husted prohibited county boards of elections from setting hours to offer early voting during the disputed three days. Husted is appealing the judge’s ruling and argued that because an appeal is pending, it would inappropriate for counties to set the hours. Judge Peter Economus did not take kindly to Husted’s assertions and on Wednesday ordered Husted to appear in his courtroom for a Sept. 13 hearing.
- California Sen. Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) introduced legislation this week that would give residents three additional days to return their mail-in ballots in future elections. Correa said the extension was necessary because of the closing of five mail processing centers. The legislation was approved 28-9 by the Senate and moves next to the Assembly. Currently mail ballots are due by the end of election day, the bill would allow ballots received within 72 hours of election to be counted as long as they contain an election-day postmark.
- In Memoriam: Former South Dakota Secretary of State Alma Larson died this week. She was 80. Larson served as secretary of state from 1965 to 1973. In 1964 Larson, a Republican, was elected as South Dakota’s 22nd Secretary of State and was re-elected in ’66, ’68 and ’70 with wide support in each election. Following her retirement from government service, Larson opened a store. Gov. Dennis Dauggard requested that flags be flown at half-staff on Friday, Sept. 7.
- Conference: The Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland is hosting a conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 12. “Expanding the Franchise or Threatening Democracy: The Impact of Voting Reforms in the 2012 Elections” will include sessions on absentee ballots, voter ID, and the impacts of new voting laws on voters and campaigns. The conference will take place at the National Association of Realtors Headquarters from 12:30pm to 5:30pm. For more information or to register, please email
. This event is free and open to the public.
- Award Nomination: IFES' Joe C. Baxter Award recognizes the contribution of a professional whose skills, dedication and sacrifices to the field of election administration epitomizes the mission of IFES and embodies the spirit of former IFES Senior Adviser for Election Administration Joe C. Baxter.We encourage you to submit a nominee for the 2012 Joe C. Baxter Award. IFES looks for an individual whose work has focused on building local ownership and capacity; improving election administration procedures; and creating sustainable democratic processes. This year's award will be presented at a special reception on Monday, November 5, in Washington, D.C.Submit a name for the 2012 Joe C. Baxter Award. The nomination period closes on September 19 at 9:00 a.m. EST.Learn more about IFES' Baxter Award.