Page 2 of 4
II. Election News This Week
- In the waning days of 2012, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad agreed to streamline the application for ex-felons to have their voting rights restored. According to The Gazette, the updates to the application follow complaints from the NAACP that the application was cumbersome and invasive. The old application to restore voting rights used to, among other things, require a credit history check.
- A recent poll by the Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/AM820 found that despite the much publicized controversy over early voting in Florida in 2012, just under half of those questioned thought the number of days for early voting was adequate. According to the poll, about 35 percent of respondents said there should be more early voting days and 8 percent said there should be fewer early voting days. Less than a third of those responding to the poll actually voted early.
- Don’t look for New Mexico to join the growing list of states to require photo ID to vote. Two legislators who last year lead the charge to require photo ID or a social security number to cast ballots have said that it would be futile to try and introduce similar legislation this year. “We don’t have the votes to pass anything,” Rep. Cathrynn Brown told The Deming Headlight. Brown and Rep. Dianne Hamilton have made several attempts to get photo ID legislation approve, and now with Democrats controlling even more seats, the two don’t even plan on introducing legislation. “It’s never passed before,” Hamilton told the paper. “It wouldn’t pass this time.
- Personnel News: Susan Kirk, is out as the Vanderburgh County, Ind. clerk, but is in as the county’s treasurer. Kirk has been working in various rolls in elections in Vanderburgh County for more than 20 years, but her dream was always to follow in her father’s footsteps as treasurer and this year, she will. Tuscola County, Mich. Clerk Margie A White’s 20-year tenure as chief elections official will come to an end this month. Longtime Genesee County, Mich. Clerk Michael J. Carr has run his last election and will retire after four decades in public service including multiple terms as the county’s clerk. Tina M. Bledsoe has been appointed interim director of the Robeson County board of elections to replace the retiring Dock Locklear. Bledsoe has been with the board since 1994. It is expected that Kelly Beach will be appointed as the Muskogee County, Okla. election board secretary to replace outgoing secretary Bill Bull. Incoming Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has made several more key hirings including Julie Allen to serve director of elections. Most recently Allen served as the executive director of the Missouri Ethics Commission. Nicholas Gasparovic, assistant director and ranking Republican on the Lake County, Ind. elections board will retire later this month. He will be replaced by Patrick Gabrione. After 37 years on the job, St. John the Baptist Parish, La. Registrar of Voters Betty T. Madere is retiring. Another long-term election official retiring this month is Sue Rhode, the Presque Isle County, Mich. clerk for 16 years and a county employee for 38 years.