III. Election News This Week
- Online voter registration has proved wildly successful everywhere it’s been introduced — including in West Virginia — however, clerks for two of the state’s largest counties refuse to accept voter registration forms submitted online and instead send those attempting to use the online system a paper registration form. Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole and Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick told the Gazette Mail that they are uncomfortable with the security provisions in the system. “These clerks are choosing not to use the system when 53 other counties are using it,” Tennant told the paper. “They need to be up front and make a statement to the citizens of their counties why they are not accepting voter registration online.” According to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, so far more than 7,000 people have been denied registration online.
- Oops. This week’s elections for Delaware City, Delaware’s council were postponed after an error in the legally mandated election notice was discovered. According to The Wilmington News Journal, the Jan. 5 notice, which is filed with state officials and posted in public places within the city, incorrectly stated that all residents of the city who are older than 18 with valid identification can vote. However, the rules have recently changed to require residents to register with state officials to vote on city matters. The city chose to postpone the election instead of possibly having results contested. A new date has not yet been chosen.
- In other Delmarva news, two days after the Pocomoke City, Maryland election, there are still no official announced results. According to the Delmarva Daily Times, due a machine malfunction, when the numbers for each candidate were added up, they did not match the total number of votes cast. The Pocomoke Board of Elections decided on a revote, but only for the 132 people who cast a ballot on Tuesday.
- In an interesting turn of events, poll workers in Richland County, South Carolina say that they’ve been paid too much for the work they did during February’s presidential primaries. “You can call it a bonus, you can call it anything you want, but it’s $60 I didn’t earn,” poll worker Jim Reid said at a March meeting of the county elections commission. Elections Director Samuel Selph said the county always pays workers $60 for training for election even if they do not attend the training sessions. “We have to do that to keep our poll workers coming to work for us,” Selph told The State. “It may sound a little flimsy, but that’s the way we do it. It was done that way before I got here. ... One of the hardest things we have to do now is find dependable poll workers.” Also in Richland County this week, the county council denied a request for $229,000 in additional funds for required maintenance and licensing fees. The elections office will run a deficit of more than $1 million before July.
- While the Portland Trailblazers may be the basketball team of record in Oregon, Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship and Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker are teaming up with NBA players Kyle Singler (Oklahoma Thunder) and E.J. Singler (Raptors 905, part of the NBA Development League) to create a series of videos encouraging young voters to participate in the electoral process. The brothers both played for South Medford High School in Jackson County. “Voting is important – it helps shape our lives, our jobs and our health care,” Kyle Singler told KTVZ. “It’s really important to us that Oregonians of all ages realize how much voting matters.”
- Even thoug electionline focuses on the administration of elections, we read this story in Bloomberg over the weekend found it, if true, to be absolutely fascinating and thought that some of you might be interested in it as well.
- And finally, hats off to the National Federation for the Blind for this April Fools’ video that may hit a little too close to home for some.
- Personnel News: Mona Willamowski has been appointed to the Allen County, Ohio elections board. Jesse Salinas has been named the new clerk-recorder/assessor/registrar of voters for Yolo County, California. Stephanie Agee is the new Bossier Parish registrar of voters.
In Memoriam: Eeve T. Lewis, the long-time Sonoma County, California clerk, assessor and recorder died from a rare form of leukemia this week. She was 69. Lewis began her work with the county as a clerk-typist and eventually served seven terms as clerk before her retirement in 2006. “She took on more and more and more responsibility and never complained,” former Supervisor Jim Harberson told the Press Democrat. “She was a very valuable county employee.” An immigrant herself, Harberson said Lewis would take every opportunity she could get to swear in new citizens. She would always tell them that too could some day be county clerk.