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electionlineWeekly — December 22, 2016

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 IV. Election News This Week

Following an issue-plagued election, the Tulare County board of supervisors have appointed a new registrar of voters and created a new county department to oversee elections. The board voted 5-0 to create the new office and appoint Michelle Baldwin as the interim registrar. According to The Fresno Bee, on Election Day, Tulare County Auditor-Controller Rita Woodard came under intense scrutiny when several polling places experienced long lines, a shortage of ballots, and in some cases wrong ballots being given to voters. Woodard told The Bee the board’s action to remove the registrar of voters duties from her office does not bother her. “I think the board made a good decision, and I wish Michelle Baldwin all the luck in the world,” she said.

According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, Judge Mary Horn submitted a letter Tuesday to the head of elections with the Texas Secretary of State’s office requesting a formal review of processes Denton County, Texas used in its Nov. 8 general election. The letter asks office of elections director Keith Ingram to conduct a review in early January. Additionally, it specifies that the county will make elections personnel and documents readily available for the review.

Washington might be a vote-by-mail state, but during the most recent election more than half of the voters who cast ballots chose to drop them off at ballot drop boxes instead of in the mail box. According to King County officials, more than 90 percent of King County residents live within three miles of a drop box.

Oh my. It’s been a bad year for many people for many reasons and 2016 just got a bit worse for the St. Croix board of elections when their final meeting of the year ended in chaos with multiple motions made to unseat the current chairwoman and at some point in time, a new chairman being appointed.

A 2014 election controversy in Mineral County, Nevada is finally over with no changes in the outcome. Ultimately 178 votes cast on one machine during early voting were not counted, but that did not change the result. According to KOLO, when current Clerk-Treasurer Chris Nepper released all the materials from the 2014 election to the public for review, a small group of people recounted the votes and the results remained the same.

Personnel News: Hays County, Texas Elections Administrator and Voter Registrar Joyce Cowan will retire on December 31 after 31 years on the job. Lisa Terry, Montville, Connecticut clerk will retire on December 31 after nearly 20 years on the job. Brenda Griffith has announced that she not seek a new term on the Defiance County, Ohio board of elections. After first being appointed to the job in 1965, Priscilla Sterrett was recently re-elected to another term as Sandstone Township, Michigan clerk. She has been on the job for 51 years! Matthew Clyne has been reappointed as the Democratic elections commissioner in Albany County, New York. Mildred Davis was recently honored by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate for being the longest serving election worker in the state. She started working the polls in Woodbury County in 1960. Edison Wauneak is the Apache County, Arizona recorder. He had previously served at the elections director for the Navajo Nation for 14 years. Connie Viar is the new Montgomery County, Virginia registrar of voters effective March 1. Fred Pitts has been appointed to the Tupelo, Mississippi election commission. Joan Kirk is retiring as the Fremont County, Iowa auditor after 12 years on the job.