III. Election News This Week
Recounts Update: At press-time, about 70 percent of Wisconsin jurisdictions had completed their presidential recounts. Although there were some changes to numbers, there were no major results changes, now were there any major problems to the process. Late on Wednesday U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith halted Michigan’s recount saying there was “no basis” for him to ignore a state court ruling that said the recount should have never started. It was unclear at press-time whether or not Goldsmith’s ruling would be appealed to the state Supreme Court. In the two days that recounting did occur, problems did arise in several jurisdictions including in Wayne County where ballot containers were improperly sealed with duct tape. In Pennsylvania, while several counties have denied recount requests from voters, U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond has scheduled a hearing for Friday in a lawsuit filed by the Green Party to force a forensic examination of voting machines and recount of paper ballots statewide. A recount of presidential ballots from select precincts across Nevada kicked off on Monday, with the recount not expected to be complete until late in the week. While North Carolina dodged one statewide recount in the governor’s race when incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) conceded defeat the state was not able to dodge another statewide recount in the auditor’s race.
The U.S. Census Bureau released an updated list of jurisdictions must now comply with (or no longer comply with) Sec. 203 of the Voting Rights which requires language assistance in the affected jurisdictions. We’ll look more closely at the list in the coming weeks.
We’ve all made proofreading mistakes, but typically they don’t cost us $459,690.80. But that’s what happened in Alabama when the state was forced to reprint 2,917,201 general election ballots after it was discovered that the complete required language for a ballot measure was not included. When the mistake was discovered Secretary of State John Merrill had the vendor stop printing ballots and reprint the ones that had already been completed.
Thanks to YouTube, you can easily learn how to bake a cake, or put on make-up or how to properly flip a bottle, and now the residents of Contra Costa County, California can add ballot counting tutorial to the many things YouTube provides. The county’s Elections Department created at 2 minute, 55-second video that explains why it takes the county so long to count ballots, especially the provisional ballots at the end. “We put it together quickly; we’ve been getting a lot of calls about why the county wasn’t done counting (votes) yet,” Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla told the East Bay Times. Canciamilla is the unidentified narrator of this video. “It just sort of happened.”
Personnel News: Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos has submitted his resignation to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Abbott has appointed Rolando Pablos to replace him. In New Hampshire, Secretary of State William Gardner was appointed to his 21st term by the state Legislature. Dan Teed, Waller County, Texas election administrator is resigning effective December 23 after 2 ½ years on the job. Patricia Giblin, a 10-year employee at the Rockland County, New York Board of Elections, has been picked by the county's GOP leadership to become the board's new Republican commissioner. Doña Ana County Clerk-elect Scott Krahling says current County Clerk Lynn Ellins will stay on board in the office after Jan. 1 as chief deputy clerk, the job Krahling currently holds. Jodi Duck is the new Howard County, Texas election administrator. Vickie Koelman is retiring after 26 years on the job as Montgomery County, Tennessee’s election administrator. Coos County, Oregon Clerk Terri Turi is retiring after almost two decades on the job. Sarah Chapman has been sworn in as the newest member of the Coffee County, Alabama board of registrars.