II. Election News This Week
We have a winner! Congratulations to Marie Dagata, 59 and Scott Heinz, 56 of Bronxville for their winning design in the NYC Campaign Finance Board’s competition to create a new “I Voted” sticker for New York City. The winning design is based on the city’s subway system. "All the people of the boroughs meet together, pass each other, need each other in the subway and the voting booth," said the winning designers, in reference to their submission. The CFB received more than 700 submissions, which they then narrowed down to 10 finalists. The winning design was chosen through a public vote of nearly 10,000 ballots that were cast via phone, computer and tablet and the CFB used ranked choice voting to choose the winner. Congratulations Marie and Scott and the people of New York City. We here at electionline love your design and are just a bit jealous.
It’s always interesting when elections officials determine the per-vote cost of conducting an election and recently, Bexar County, Texas determined that with only an 11 percent turnout, each vote of the May 6 cost about $9.14. That’s almost $2 more than the minimum wage in Texas. Elections Administrator Jacque Callenen told News 4 San Antonio that the cost of running an election isn’t cheap, “But it’s the best we have. It’s democracy at its best.” And in Genesee County, Michigan the clerk’s office spent about $25,000 for ballots that weren’t used. The county ordered 156,124 ballots and turnout was only 21,171. “It has become abundantly clear that May elections do not work,” Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said. “It is an unusual date for voters to participate.”
This has just not been Marion County, Oregon’s election. First it was reported that 318 residents received empty ballot envelopes and now 28 ballots have been left without candidate names. The empty envelopes was blamed on an inserting process mix-up and the blank ballots were the result of an error that occurred with the ballot software. County Clerk Bill Burgess said the printing problem has been resolved with manufacturer and now it’s just a matter of making sure those affected get new ballots before Tuesday.
Congratulations to the Hillsborough County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Office that was recently received a 2017 Brilliance Award from Pitney Bowes. In the Industry-Leading Compliance category, the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office was recognized for its use of a Pitney Bowes Relia-Vote solution to manage the increased demand for mailed ballots, while also complying with state mandated deadlines and other regulations.
Personnel News: Dennis Parrott, Jasper County, Iowa auditor has been appointed to the U.S. Election Commission’s Standards Board. Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson has announced that she will seek re-election in 2018. Gloria Vera, Dawson County, Texas clerk is preparing to retire after 30 years of public service. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the 2018 governor’s race. Derek Lamar Bowens has been named the new director of elections for Durham County, North Carolina. Melinda Dubroff has been named the San Joaquin County, California registrar of voters.
In Memoriam: Lafourche Parish Registrar Mary Doucet died on April 11. She was 63. Doucet worked in the registrar of voters office for 44 years including 25 years as chief deputy and six years as registrar. Her first job out of high school was in the registrar’s office. “They tease me,” Doucet told the Daily Comet when she was appointed registrar. “They tell me I’ve been here since Jesus was a baby boy.” Tammy Wendelschaefer who worked with Doucet for 12 years told the paper that Doucet loved serving the voters of Lafourche Parish. “She was really dedicated and kind of married to her job. She was very passionate about being at work every day and not missing work, and she was also kind of a kid at heart,” Wendelschaefer told the paper. “She loved telling jokes and visiting with the voters and knew almost everyone.”