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IV. Election News This Week
- Blackman Township, Michigan was recently forced to resend absentee ballots for the August primary after the only candidate for clerk died on June 21. A new candidate was nominated by the Jackson County Democratic Party and the new ballots will include a letter explaining the situation to voters. Jackson County Elections Director Colleen Garety told Michigan Live that systems are in place to prevent any of the small number of ballots already returned from being counted twice.
- He’s no Chad Vader, but President Barak Obama is pretty disarming in a new video he starred in about voter registration. Produced by BuzzFeed and TurboVote, the video features Obama doing things — or more to the point, trying to do — that are more difficult than registering to vote. Anything in the game of Operation, untangling headphones, naming characters in Game of Thrones are just a few of the things that are more difficult than registering to vote.
- Change isn’t always easy. Recently at least five Oregon counties have switched from ballot secrecy envelopes to ballot secrecy sleeves in order to speed up the counting process. Of course, not everyone is happy about this and some voters have expressed their concerns about ballot privacy. But Tim Scott, Multnomah County director of elections said the sleeves are as private as envelopes. Interesting, the sleeves are more expensive than the envelopes, about a half cent each, but Scott said the amount of money saved in time and effort more than makes up for the additional spent on the sleeves.
- I don’t think they will fit in the recycling bin! Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania recently dropped off 525 touchscreen voting machines at the county’s recycling center. The elections office was taking advantage the recycling center’s free electronic recycling month. “I had hoped to find a buyer over the years, but I was unsuccessful,” Director of Elections Marion Medalis told commissioners according to The Times Tribune. “I did reach out to the (Pennsylvania) Department of State and also to other voting machine vendors (hoping) they would have been able to assist me, but nothing. No bites at all.” The machines were only used for three elections before they were decertified in 2007.
- Personnel News: Heather McKim has been hired as the deputy director of the Arkansas board of election commissioners. Srik Gopal has joined the Democracy Fund as vice president of strategy, learning and impact. Ron Turner will replace Kathy Dent as the Sarasota County, Florida supervisor of elections. Vicky Oakes will has been re-elected without opposition as the St. Johns County, Florida supervisor of elections. Hillsborough County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer drew no competition by the close of candidate filing and was essentially re-elected. Jeff Linville has been named to the Trousdale, Tennessee election commission.