Page 4 of 10
IV. Election News This Week
- According to comments made by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the Obama Administration may consider the nation’s voting system as “critical infrastructure”. “We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process is critical infrastructure, like the financial sector, like the power grid,” Johnson told reporters in Washington. “There’s a vital national interest in our electoral process.”
- Saying that they “are not the police” elections officials in Pima and Maricopa counties in Arizona are refusing to enforce the state’s new ballot harvesting law. The law prohibits people from collecting and submitting other voters completed absentee ballots. “People bring early ballots to us, we’re going to process them like we always have,” Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell told the Arizona Daily Star.
- Three cheers to the Girl Scouts of Jemison Troop 759 for receiving the Silver Award — the highest award a Girl Scout can earn — for renovating a polling place in Douglas County, Alabama. The troupe fixed and painted windows, put up curtain rods and hung new curtains. Each girl put in a minimum of 50 hours to finish the project.
- The times they are a’changing and with that comes the end of some of our quainter traditions. For years, Alaska has hosted Election Central, an election night gathering of candidates and their supporters to come together in one location and watch the results. In addition to the rising costs of the event, technology now makes the event unnecessary. “With the Internet, our presence has kind of become obsolete for the most part, reporting those returns,” state elections director Josie Bahnke told McClatchy.
- Update: Last week we reported that 17 voting machines in Madison, Wisconsin had been destroyed by flooding brought on by recent rainstorms. Upon further review, it turns out that all 97 of the city’s 98 voting machines were destroyed. In addition, 90 other machines used to help voters with disabilities will have to be replaced. The city will rent equipment from ES&S for the Aug. 9 primary. The cost of the rental will be credited toward purchase of new machines.
- Personnel News: James Detling has been appointed to the Darke County, Ohio board of elections. Michael Anderson is the new voter registration director in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. William Anthony, the director of the Franklin County Board of Elections who’s facing a felony indictment, is expected to retire in two weeks. Following a vote by the Lucas County, Ohio Board of Elections, Gina Kaczala will remain director of the BOE.