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III. Election News This Week
- Montgomery County, Maryland plans to seek an independent audit of voter registrations handled by the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration after some voters reported that their registrations were changed without their consent. The county board of elections estimates that several hundred of the approximately 635,000 registered voters could have experienced an unauthorized change. The board plans to move forward with the audit following the completion of the 2014 midterm canvass.
- Following re-election to his second term, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced that his top legislative priority will be his proposal that allows the secretary of state and attorney general to pursue cases that involve double voting. That responsibility currently falls to local prosecutors.
- Some local elections officials in Nebraska are mulling a change to all vote-by-mail elections for the Cornhusker State. Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps told The Associated Press that the switch would save not only save the counties and state money, but would help streamline a process that many people are already using with absentee ballots.
- While officials in Nebraska—and no doubt other places — are considering a move to all-mail elections, the Contra Costa Times has an interesting article about how long vote-by-mail tallies have changed the art and science of conceding. The article notes that campaign consultants are striving to fine-tune the science of projecting how the not-yet-counted ballots will break. "You don't want to either concede or claim victory before it's certain, but particularly it's worse to concede too early," Tom Hollihan, a University of Southern California political communications expert told the paper.
- Personnel News: Carlos Cascos, a Cameron County, Texas judge has been tapped by Governor-elect Greg Abbott to serve as the Lone Star State’s new secretary of state after Abbott is sworn in. Joseph Le, head of IT for the Santa Clara County, California registrar of voter’s office abruptly quit on the day before the midterm election. Suzanne Young, Brown County, Texas elections administrator, was arrested for DWI on the day after the midterm election. Charlottesville, Virginia Registrar Sheri Iachetta will resign effective December 31. Carson City, Nevada Clerk/Recorder Alan Glover is retiring after more than 20 years on the job. Gloria Noto, long-time Cumberland County, New Jersey clerk lost her re-election bid last week and will complete her 20 years in office at the end of the year. Celeste Riley is replacing Noto. Russell Stewartis out as the Oneida County, New York Democratic election commissioner. Jordan Karp will replace Stewart. Former Arizona Secretary of State Betsey Bayless will lead the transition team for incoming secretary of state Michele Reagan. In Indiana, former Secretary of State Joe Hogsett is running for mayor of Indianapolis. Mary Lillie was honored on Election Day for serving as a Fulton County, Illinois election judge for 60 years. El Paso County, Texas Elections Administrator Javier Chacon unexpectedly resigned on Wednesday. Chacon has headed the elections department for seven years and worked for the county for 30. His last day will be December 31.