II. Election News This Week
- This week Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch directed counties that include Indian reservations to establish satellite elections offices. According to the Great Falls Tribune, the counties must analyze whether a satellite office is needed and tribes must request an office to have it established. “The success of these election offices on reservations will depend upon cooperation between the counties and tribes, and from my conversations with both tribal leaders and election administrators, I am confident that the collaboration will be successful and that voting access will be increased where it is needed,” she said.
- In other tribal/satellite voting news, South Dakota this week said it plans to offer more in-person absentee voting sites in 2016 in counties that include Indian reservations. Two counties hosted absentee voting centers in 2014 and the plan is to expand that in 2016. The program will be funded through HAVA grant money.
- Elections officials in Pima County, Arizona will be hand-counting ballots in three races during the November election in an effort to ensure that the county’s new ballot tabulation machines are working properly.
- The Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Elections has backed down from a plan to relocate several early voting sites to areas that many complained were less populous and more GOP-friendly. The BOE, which is now GOP-controlled, had sought to move several popular early voting sites but ran into opposition from residents, politicians and the county’s Democratic majority county council.
- In the first two weeks of the purge, Kansas has eliminated almost 6,700 voters from the suspended voters list. That’s about 18 percent of the 33,000 voters on the original list.
- This could certainly be confusing. Although the Cumberland County, New Jersey clerk’s office is responsible for mailing out the county’s vote-by-mail ballots, the clerk’s office has not been designated as a polling location for the upcoming election, therefore if voters wish to return their ballots in person, they cannot return them to the clerk’s office.
- Because there is never a dull moment in elections, this week residents in Montgomery County, Texas raised concerns about an ethically questionable, albeit legal voting practice. According to KTRK, a development wants to create a Municipal District, but do so they need voters and there are currently no voters on the property in question so the development company is installing mobile homes and having people move in and register to vote.
Personnel News: West Haven, ConnecticutDeputy Democratic Registrar of Voters Mary-Tina Peckingham has been replaced by Vyktoria Ullah. By a 3-2 vote, the North Carolina State Board of Elections has removed Malcolm Butner from his position as the Rowan County elections chairman following racist statements Butner posted on his personal social media pages. Mindy Romero, founder and director of the California Civic Engagement Project and Shasta County, California Registrar of voters Cathy Darling Allen have joined the board of the California Voter Foundation. Dennis Richardson, a former state representative is considering running for Oregon secretary of state. The Bulletin and other Oregon papers have said the upcoming secretary of state race will be the race to watch in 2016.