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electionlineWeekly — November 5, 2015

Table of Contents

 II. Election News This Week

  • In a letter to President Obama, a group of voting rights organizations said that unlike the 13 state-based health insurance exchanges, the exchange run by the federal government has failed to comply with Motor Voter by offering those who use the exchange an opportunity to register to vote. The groups include the League of Women Voters, Project Vote and Demos. “It’s an interesting, creative argument,” Richard L. Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine told The New York Times. “I just don’t know if the courts will buy it or not.”

  • A Legislative audit in South Dakota has resulted in numerous questions about the administration of former Secretary of State Jason Gant that landed the office more than $43,000 in the hole. In addition to the financial shortfall, the audit reports that mini iPads are missing from the office and problems with federal election grants, including no invoices to support reimbursements to counties and grant money spent in areas that were not allowed.

  • Beginning this week, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is reopening satellite driver’s license offices in 30 counties. A license examiner will be sent to most of the offices one day per month and two offices will be staffed two or more days per month.

  • The Benton County, Arkansas election commission has voted to pursue moving the county to vote centers. The plan would reduce the number of polling places in the county from 67 to 46.

  • Homer, Alaska resident Rick Malley has filed a complaint with the Alaska Human Rights Commission against the Kenai Peninsula Borough because the city didn’t have an electronic touchscreen voting machine for him to use during the October 5 election. Although officials offered Malley, who is blind, the option of assisting him with his ballot in the voting booth, Malley told the officials that he didn’t want that option. “I went to the polling place, thought there would be an accessible machine,” he told the Homer News. “There wasn’t. I couldn’t vote.”

  • LatinoJustice and the Georgia Association of Latino Election Officials have submitted letters to elections officials in Hall and Gwinnett counties in Georgia asking that 2016 elections materials be provided in Spanish as well as English.

  • Happy Anniversary! A small shout out to, well me! This week marks my 10th anniversary at electionline! I’ve been onboarded, offboarded and briefly unemployed during those 10 years, but I’m having more fun learning and writing about elections now than ever before. If you want to get me a gift, feel free to send me an “I Voted” sticker!

  • Personnel News: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has announced that Brian Newby, Johnson County, Kansas election commissioner will be the EAC’s new executive director and Cliff Tatum, executive director of the D.C. Board of Elections is the new general counsel. Bernalillo County ClerkMaggie Toulouse Oliverhas sent an application letter to Gov. Susana Martinez to be the state’s next secretary of state. Former Republican State Rep. Dennis Richardson has announced that he is running for Oregon secretary of state. Rev. Aldren Sadler has been appointed to the Rockdale County, North Carolina board of elections. Kurt W. Sahloff has been named to the Putnam County, Ohio board of elections. Joshua Price has been named to the Suffolk County, New York elections commission. Wade Henderson has announced that he will step down as president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights at the beginning of next year. Art Harvey, Josephine County, Oregon clerk is resigning to take a position in the Jackson County elections office. Former Indiana Secretary of State Joe Hogsett was elected mayor of Indianapolis this week.

  • In Memoriam: Victor Risch, a longtime Indianapolis poll worker, was killed on his way to the polls Tuesday morning. He was 74. "He just got along with everybody," Cindy Maude, precinct inspector for the polling place at Meridian Woods Park Country Club on the Far Southside told the Indianapolis Star. According to the paper, Risch spent Monday evening helping set up ballot boxes and voting equipment. "We were just devastated. He was just such a jolly, fun guy," poll worker Carolyn Nykaza told the paper. Risch is survived by his wife of 44 years, three children and four grandchildren.