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II. Election News This Week
- During his Tuesday night State of the Union address, President Barack Obama (D) announced the creation of a voting commission to look into solutions for the long lines some voters faced on Election Day. According to a release from The White House, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration will develop recommendations for state and local election officials to “reduce waiting times at the polls and improve all citizens’ voting experience.” The commission will be co-chaired by Bob Bauer, who served as general counsel for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and Ben Ginsberg who served as national counsel for Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) 2012 presidential campaign.
- New Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has created an early voting commission to look into the possibility of voters in the Show Me state to cast a ballot early. Several county clerks, and current and former elected officials have been named to the 11-member panel, along with representatives of military interests including John Comerford, former chairman of the Missouri Veterans Commission. The first meeting of the commission was this week.
- A Bend, Ore. man has been convicted of voter fraud after the Deschutes County elections office found a Craigslist ad from Aaron Hirschman offering to pay $20 for blank ballots. According to The Oregonian, Circuit Judge A. Michael Adler rejected Hirschman's arguments that he was only trying to cause a stir with his ad. After convicting him of a misdemeanor in a non-jury trial, Adler fined Hirschman $200 and sentenced him to 40 hours of community service.
- Finally, electionline can write about two if it’s favorite topics: Elections and sports, specifically football! The Miami Dolphins are bidding to host Super Bowl 50, but that would require a $400 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium and the team is pushing for a special election to vote on a referendum authorizing the money. The special election would cost the county $5 million partially because of the urgency to hold the election before the NFL’s May 22 announcement for the awarding of Super Bowl 50. There is a possibility that the Dolphins would pay the county for the election like the racetracks did in 2005 for a special election.
- Personnel News: Marcy C. Cooney has been appointed to serve on the Fulton County, Ga. board of registrations and elections. Helmut Baxter has been named to the Cherokee County, Ga. board of elections and registration. Anticipating referendums dealing with the Lackawanna County Home Rule Charter, the county’s commissioners, who also serve as the election board, stepped aside this week and were replaced by three Common Pleas Court judges for the 2013 election year. Randy Rolston a businessman from Johnson County, Kan. has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for secretary of state. Jerry Feaser is the new Dauphine County, Pa. director of elections and voter registration. Dodie Hanby was recently recognized by the Washington secretary of state’s office for her 45 years of service working in the elections office in Island County. Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield succeeded in his legal attempts to be able to seek a third term. The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that term limits for certain state offices are unconstitutional. A special prosecutor in Indiana says former Secretary of State Charlie White should begin serving his sentences because he is no longer appealing the convictions. Sarah A. Seymour has been promoted to serve as director of elections for Blair County, Pa. following the death of Ingrid Healy-Tucker. Justin Clay has been hired as the new director of the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners. Clay previously served as the board’s educational services manager. Former California Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla has been appointed by the Contra Costa County board of supervisors to serve as the county’s new clerk-recorder and registrar of voters. Susan Moran, Weston, Conn. Republican registrar since 2009 is stepping down.
- In Memoriam: Former Kentucky Secretary of State Bremer Ehrler died this week. He was 98. Ehrler was elected Jefferson County clerk three times and served from 1973 to 1984. He was president of the Kentucky County Clerks Association and elected to the position of secretary of state in 1987 when he was 73.