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electionlineWeekly — January 24, 2013

Table of Contents

II. Election News This Week

  • Using data compiled by the Orlando Sentinel, The Ohio State University Professor Theodore Allen estimated that at 201,000 Florida voters likely gave up while waiting in line to vote and did not end up casting a ballot. According to the paper, Allen’s preliminary conclusion was based on the Sentinel’s analysis of voter patterns and precinct closing times in the state’s 25 largest counties. "My gut is telling me that the real number [of voters] deterred is likely higher," Allen told the paper. "You make people wait longer, they are less likely to vote."
  • This week, a Colorado district judge ruled that state laws allows county clerks to send ballots to inactive voters in mail-only elections. Judge Edward D. Bronfin ruled in favor of Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson say that her interpretation of the law is correct and that clerks are indeed allowed to send ballots in inactive voters. "I am glad the court ruled in our favor," Johnson said in a statement to The Denver Post. "We have always disagreed with the Secretary's interpretation of which voters can be mailed ballots in coordinated elections."
  • In more post-election data analysis, it appears that four out of five provisional ballots in Tennessee were not counted. According to The Tennessean, only 1,623 — 23 percent — of the 7,097 provisional ballots cast on November 6 were ruled legitimate. Elections officials pointed out that the data also shows that only two-tenths of 1 percent of the 2.4 million voters who cast ballots encountered problems. “I’d like to get to the point where it’s even lower,” said Mark Goins, Tennessee’s coordinator of elections told The Tennessean, “but I’ll take this number when you look at the full scale of things.”
  • Nebraskans for Civic Reform has filed a complaint against Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps alleging that voters at certain precincts in the county were asked to provide a voter identification number before receiving a provisional ballot. Adam Morfeld, executive director of Nebraskans for Civic Reform told KHAS that voters need only claim they are registered and in the correct precinct. The hearing officer in the secretary of state’s office who heard the complaint has 90 days to issue a report.
  • Personnel News: Amy Hyatt has been appointed to serve as the elections supervisor of the new Troup County, Ga. board of elections. Hyatt has served as the county’s chief registrar for three years. Mary Norwood, a former mayoral candidate, has been appointed by the Fulton County, Ga. Republican Party to serve on the county’s election board. Bob Reiling, president of the Tippecanoe County, Ind. board of elections is stepping down after almost three decades in the role. Tracey Winbush was nominated by the Mahoning County, Ohio Republican Party to serve as that party’s representative on the county board of elections. Former Cameron County, Texas Elections Administrator Roger Ortiz has been hired by the county to serve as an elections consultant. Mary Hall, Pierce County, Wash. elections supervisor has announced that she will seek the auditor’s position in Thurston County. The Cuyahoga County board of elections hired Pat McDonald to serve as its new director. McDonald spent five years as deputy director under Jane Platten who resigned to take a job with the county prosecutor’s office.