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III. Election News This Week
- Flooding from recent rainstorms has put a damper on things in Madison, Wisconsin. Seventeen of the cities vote tabulators have been destroyed by the water and ballots that were also housed in the flooded storage space need to be reprinted because the humidity has expanded them and they will no longer fit in the tabulators that do still work. "The ceiling collapsed and the rain fell on some machines that were being stored," Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl told WKOW. "At this point we know at least 17 tabulators were destroyed." In addition to that, mold is already starting to form on clipboards and other office supplies. Witzel-Behl is working with the vendor to get loaner voting machines for the upcoming primary and following the primary, all machines will be tested again in advance of the November election. "We thought this was going to be a quiet election, but it's more work than any other election we've had so far this year," Witzel-Behl told the station.
- All it took was a Census record, a family Bible, a baptismal record and documents from a high school to prove that 75-year-old Jo French is indeed a U.S. citizen and therefore eligible to vote in Kansas. French recently appeared before state officials to prove her citizenship in order to register to vote in the upcoming primary election. French had moved from Arkansas, which apparently lost her birth certificate. “I didn’t realize I had to go through this to be a citizen of a state. I was working to just be a citizen. And I thought, ‘I don’t look funny, I don’t talk funny, I’ve been here all of my life.’ And I just couldn’t imagine having to go through this procedure to prove that I live here and that I can vote,” French told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “That was my full concern: that I wanted to be able to vote this time around.” Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who was one of the three officials reviewing French’s documentation said the process proves that the system is working. “We put a safety net in just for the very rare case of an individual who for some reason isn’t able to get a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship,” Kobach told the paper.
- Taking ballot selfies to a whole different level, a voter attempting to cast an early ballot in Shelby County, Tennessee recently filmed problems he was having with his voting machine and then posted that video to social media. In the video, it takes the voter three attempts to get the DRE machine to accurately record his vote. The Shelby County election commission is aware of the video and said the voting machine in question was taken out of service. "We encourage voters to ask the poll workers for help if they have concerns at all about their ballots or a machine's operation," Shelby County Administrator Linda Phillips told WATN. "The story here, really, is pay attention to what you're doing in the voting booth to make sure the technology is doing what it's supposed to do."
- While we typically stick to elections news from the U.S. there was some serious monkey business in Thailand that we felt we couldn’t pass up noting. According to NPR, on Sunday 100 pig-tailed macaques stormed into a voting state and destroyed a section of the voter rolls and other documents. A police investigator and village chief who inspected the site found a third of the voters list had been left in tatters, along with a large chunk of the posted instructions for voters.
- Personnel News: Harold Bush is the new Wyoming County, New York Democratic elections commissioner. Vincent Caprio has been sworn in as the Easton, Connecticut Republican registrar of voters.