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III. Election News This Week
- Palm Beach County, Florida is once again at the center of an elections controversy only this time it’s about the relocation of a polling place. The Islamic Center of Boca Raton was replaced as a polling site reportedly following complaints from voters about the use of the site. The backlash to the relocation — to a library — was swift and came from a variety of sources. The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has send Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher a written request to restore the mosque as a polling place. U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch who represent the area both released statements opposing the move.
- More than 100 Contra Costa County, California voters cast two ballots in the state’s June 7 primary. Joe Canciamilla, the county’s elections chief blames an ambiguity in the state law that allows people to surrender a mail ballot at polling place and then vote again within a certain window of time. “This particular weakness in the system needs to be fixed, and it wouldn’t be hard to do,” Canciamilla told KCBS. The secretary of state’s office disagrees with Canciamilla and has asked him to provide evidence of the 113 alleged double voters.
- This week, the Kansas Rules and Regulations Board, at the request of Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) approved a temporary regulation that will limit the voting rights of about 17,000 voters by allowing them to vote in federal elections but not state/local elections because they failed to show proof-of-citizenship when registering to vote. Under the temporary rule, instead of being given a separate ballot, the voters will be given a provisional ballot that will not be counted on Election Day and will only be counted later by the board of canvassers.
- Every once in a while, a story comes along that reminds you that most people really have no idea what goes into running a successful election. In Stark County, Ohio, the board of elections is pushing for the county to pay for a generator for their offices in case power should go out at a critical time — say election day/night. Because the BOE is funded largely from general fund tax dollars, the board is having to play a waiting game until the county administrator can find the money — about $75,000-$100,000 — to pay for a generator. “It's definitely in the works ... on the grid," County Administrator Brant Luther told the Canton Repository. Whether or not that happens before November 8 remains to be seen.
- Personnel News: Eric Wells, former Democratic state senator and husband to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is challenging incumbent Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick this fall. Katy Owens Hubler, formerly with the National Conference of State Legislatures will now oversee Utah’s Voting Equipment Selection Committee. Kellie Lank is the new Candler County, Georgia election superintendent. Vincent Caprio has been named Easton, Connecticut’s Republican registrar of voters.
- In Memoriam: Seth Rich, a staffer at the Democratic National Committee was killed in Washington, D.C. this week. He was 27. At the DNC, Rich worked on the development of a computer program that allowed voters to find their polling place.