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II.Election News This Week
- Republicans in Kentucky are exploring the possibility of switching the state’s GOP primary to a caucus instead so Sen. Rand Paul could pursue the White House while retaining his Senate seat. Democrats, who retain control of Kentucky’s legislature have vowed to fight any attempt to change the process.
- The Suffolk County, New York board of elections will now do criminal background checks on all of its potential hires. New job applications will require candidates to divulge their criminal history and the county will run a background check to confirm.
- During a meeting with Washington County seniors, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown said she expects the Beaver State to ready for online voting by 2020. Brown was meeting with the seniors and reporters to show off the state’s tablets that are designed to help seniors and the disabled vote—a first of it’s kind. During the meeting Brown acknowledged some concerns about security with online voting, but hopes those concerns will be solved soon.
- Residents in the U.S. Virgin Islands take open meetings laws very seriously. Over the weekend police were called to a Joint Elections Board meeting when the public refused to leave for what they cited was an illegally-called executive session. When the board provided the V.I. Police with a copy of the V.I. code showing that they did have the authority to move to executive session, the police slowly cleared the room. No arrests were made.
- Personnel News:Jason Latimer has been appointed communications director for the Pinellas County, Florida supervisor of elections office. Joe Steffen Jr. has been sworn in as the Chatham County, Georgia elections board chairman. Jessica Holloway has been hired to serve as out reach manager for the Harris County, Texas tax assessor-collector’s office.
- In Memoriam: Dale Bolt passed away on the evening of November 3, 2014. Dale served as registrar of Prince Edward County, Virginia for the past 14 years. Dale was beloved by the Virginia elections community and was always willing to help other local election officials. In addition to serving as general registrar, Dale was the Clerk of Session and pianist at Appomattox PE Presbyterian Church and a long-time member and chair of the Sessions Records Committee of the Presbytery of the Peaks. Dale was 59 and is survived by his wife, Judy, and two children. His family honored Dale in the midst of their grief by going together to vote on Election Day, the day after he died. The State Board of Elections called their morning meeting to order in his honor and held a moment of silence. The funeral service will be held Friday, November 7, at 2:00 p.m. at the Appomattox PE Presbyterian Church. Burial in the church cemetery will follow the service. Dale was an important part of the Virginia elections community and everyone will miss him. — Edgardo Cortes, Virginia State Board of Elections.
- On Tuesday, longtime Atlantic County, New Jersey Board of Elections Chairwoman Paula Dunn died. According to The Press of Atlantic City, Dunn had been sick for much of the past year. "She was a tireless worker and dedicated advocate for the Democratic Party, the people of Atlantic County and South Jersey," Senate President Steve Sweeney told the paper. "She had a big heart and was always there for those in need. She will be remembered with fondness and admiration.”