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electionlineWeekly — December 17, 2015

Table of Contents

 IV. Election News This Week

  • More than 6,000 Clark County, Ohio employees — including staff from the county board of elections — have been trained how to react in an active shooter situation. “This is a possible threat for all of us and we need to be prepared for it,” Matthew Tlachac, director of the board of elections told the Springfield News-Sun. Training is conducted by the county sheriff’s office.

  • Well this is a potentially interesting turn of events. An ongoing legal battle of a proposed minimum wage hike initiative in the District of Columbia has called into question the legality of the city’s board of elections. Attorneys opposing the initiative argue that the board had no authority to approve the initiative for circulation because at the time it was approved, the terms of all three members of the board had expired — even before the November 2014 mayoral election. Attorneys for the board argue D.C.’s Home Rule Charter says that board members may serve until a successor is found.

  • Also in Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted told The Associated Press that he plans a series of steps to ensure that problems with postmarks and e-poll books encountered in November 2015 are not repeated in 2016. Husted said he plans to require that all future absentee ballots be returned in letter-sized envelopes to avoid a problem encountered in the Akron area with postmarks. More than 800 ballots in Summit County arrived without postmarks and were discarded because the law requires a postmark for a ballot to be counted. Husted said he also will promote the importance of poll-worker training and encourage the recruitment of tech-savvy newcomers after electronic poll-book issues caused voting delays in Cincinnati. “With every problem that occurred in 2015, we’ve identified the problem, and we’ve identified the solution,” he told the AP. “We will make sure that the (county election) boards are doing what it takes to make sure that these recommendations are implemented.”

  • Following a survey of voters in rural voting precincts, Richardson County, Nebraska Clerk Mary Eickhoff has petitioned the state for Richardson to become a “mail-in only precinct” for the 2016 elections.

  • It will always be “too soon” for some folks to talk about Bush v Gore — decided 15 years ago this past week end — but we think everyone, including Chad Vader, can appreciate MTV’s tongue-in-cheek take on the Chads in YA novels.

  • Personnel News: Thomas Baldino, John Ruckno and H. Jeremy Packard announced that they will not seek another term on the Luzerne County, Pennsylvania election board. Jody Walker, Powell County Clerk and Recorder/Election Administrator has been appointed to serve on the Montana secretary of state’s advisory council. Mac Warner, a Republican attorney from Morgantown has announced that he will seek the West Virginia secretary of state seat in 2016. Michael Bose has resigned as the chairman of the Cumberland County, North Carolina board of elections so that he may run for office. Former New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has been sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison with all but 30 days suspended. She will also have to pay thousands of dollars in restitution and serve 2,000 hours of community service. Ronald Castorina Jr. has resigned his position as Staten Island’s GOP commissioner for the board of elections in order to run for office. Mark Bishop is the new Lampasas County, Texas elections administrator. Brian Kruse has been appointed as elections commissioner in Douglas County, Nebraska. Albuquerque City Councilor Brad Winter has been sworn in as the new New Mexico secretary of state. Longtime Sebastian City, Florida Clerk Sally Maio announced her retirement this week.