Page 2 of 4
II. Election News This Week
- There were no long lines, but there were school choirs, prayers and plenty of pomp and circumstance as electors in the Electoral College met throughout the country on Monday to officially cast their votes for president. Many secretary of state offices live-tweeted the proceedings and some also telecast the event on their websites. Of course, just like November 6, the day wasn’t without its moments. In Michigan, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson misspelled Barack Obama’s name on the official documentation. In Arizona, several electors continued to question the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate. Electors in Alabama expressed their sadness over the day. In California, electors took pictures of themselves during the ceremony and posted them on Facebook (something that is frowned upon by many states on Election Day). With their minds elsewhere, Connecticut’s seven electors went about the task of casting their votes on Monday. Meanwhile on Monday, a bipartisan group of Minnesota legislators proposed abandoning the Electoral College in favor of the National Popular vote movement.
- A federal court in Washington, D.C. has delayed any further proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Texas over the state’s voter ID law until the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the Shelby County, Ala. Voting Rights Act case. According to Bloomberg, the judges wrote that “in the interest of efficiency and judicial economy,” they will wait for the Supreme Court ruling. The High Court is scheduled to hear the Shelby County case on Feb. 27, 2013 and will then rule sometime after that.
- Last week the Government Accountability Board in Wisconsin announced that it would cost $5.2 million to eliminate same-day registration. This week, the GAB released a report saying that it would cost the state $1.2 million to begin checking federal databases for non-citizens who may potentially be on the state’s voter rolls. According to the report, Florida and Colorado officials reviewed 183,900 individuals, checked 4,000 in the federal database system and recommended about 250 removed from voter lists. "We have no reason to believe there are significant numbers of illegal aliens or even legal aliens who are on our voter rolls,” GAB spokesman Reid Magney told the Wisconsin State Journal.
- Now that the 2012 presidential election is behind us, many states are starting the process of cleaning up the voter rolls. In Alabama, Montgomery County plans to purge more than 16,000 inactive voters, but before removing the names, the board of registrars wants to make sure that those 16,000 people have had every chance possible to re-activate their registration. One way the county will be doing that is listing all 16,000 inactive voters in the local newspaper. The Montgomery Advertiser offered to print the list for $92,988, while the Montgomery Independent was willing to do it for $33,600. The county will be publishing the list in two editions of the weekly Independent.
- Personnel News: Joyce Swan, Isabella County, Mich. clerk is retiring this week after 24 years of service in the clerk’s office. Also retiring after 24 years of service in the elections field is Seneca County, Ohio board of elections Director Janet Leahy. Leahy served as a clerk for the board for 12 years and then director for an additional 12. Liz Crum, chairwoman of the troubled Richland County, S.C. board of elections stepped down this week. Crum originally submitted her letter of resignation on Nov. 5 with her last day scheduled for late March, but following a closed-door meeting to discuss the county’s elections director, Crum announced her resignation effective immediately. Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat has gone fishin’, literally. Sweat is retiring after 28 years of running elections for the county. It’s the time of year for retirements and add Louise Stine, Berrien County, Mich. clerk to the growing list of elections folks saying good bye to the field in 2012. Stine has been in the clerks office since the early 1980s and was appointed clerk in 1991. Marion Vinyard started working in the Monmouth County, N.J’s elections department in 1961 and this week will finally say good-bye. Vinyard is ending her job as the longest-tenured employee in the county government. Saying that he wanted to slow down a bit, Sumner County, Tenn. Election Commission Chairman Art McClellen announced that he will be stepping down effective Dec. 31. Also in Tennessee, DeSoto County Election Commissioner Carl W. Payne will step down in January after 12 years on the commission. Michael Haas has been appointed as the new elections administrator for the Government Accountability Board in Wisconsin. Haas had previously served as a staff attorney for the GAB.
- Get Well: Electionline is sending good thoughts for a full and speedy recovery to Kim Antrican, director of the Warren County, Ohio board of elections. Although she’s battling breast cancer, Antrican worked 23 hours on Election Day and went to a chemotherapy treatment the next day. With the election behind her, Antrican will be slowing down a bit and keeping her work week to just 40 hours.
- In Memoriam: Norma Dean Meyer of Aiken, South Carolina passed away last week she. She was 79. Meyer served as the former voter registrar for the Aiken County board of election.