III. Election News This Week
Beginning in 2018, Putnam County, Indiana hopes to join a growing list of counties in the Hoosier State that uses vote centers to conduct elections. According to the Banner Graphic, Clerk Heather Gilbert presented a proposal to the county commission to make the switch. “We’re asking to do this because we’re falling behind,” Gilbert said, pointing out that a number of surrounding counties have gone to the vote center model. According to the paper, Gilbert noted that the move going from 29 polling locations down to eight will cause a big change in the election day staff she needs, down to 56 workers from the 145 previously required. The county would also provide 267 fewer meals to workers on election day and save on rental costs of several of the locations.
This makes us so happy! After an almost 20-year absence, Northampton County, Pennsylvania will once again begin handing out “I Voted” stickers beginning with the November 2017 general election. According to the Morning Call, although no one is sure why the county stopped handing them out, they think it was for budgetary reasons. "People started asking me, 'Why don't we get them? Why is my friend running around with an "I Voted" sticker?'" explained Councilman Ken Kraft who lead the charge to bring back the stickers.
And in more good news, the Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Lauderdale County, Mississippi presented the county with 45,000 “I Voted” stickers. This will be the first time the county passes out the stickers. "The stickers are real important because we want to know that they can go out and be proud that they voted and wear it and maybe get more awareness to get more people to the polls. Without the voters we cant make a difference until the voters show up," Natalie Copeland, a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 12124 told WTOK.
Personnel News: Vida Terry was recently recognized by the Wisconsin Legislature for her years of elections service in the Town of Brighton. State Rep. Trevor Drown (R) has announced his candidacy for the Arkansas secretary of seat that will be open in 2018. Rick Wagner is the new Clallam County, Washington elections supervisor. Michael Boudreaux has been appointed registrar of voters for Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.
In Memoriam: Former Louisiana Secretary of State Al Ater has died of cancer. He was 63. Ater was most well-known for ensure that voters displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were able to participate in local elections after the storms. “Al was known as a guy who was always willing to negotiate and get the work of the people done in a non-partisan manner,” Secretary of State Tom Schedler said. “At the Secretary of State's Office he is remembered for his exemplary leadership after Hurricane Katrina in pulling off the New Orleans Mayoral Election under extraordinary conditions, making Louisiana the model for emergency preparedness for voting.” Ater served nine years in the Louisiana House first being elected at the age of 29. In 2001 he was named the first assistant to then-Secretary of State Fox McKeithen. Ater had only been on the job as interim secretary of state when Katrina hit in August 2005.
Betty Cook, member of the Mercer County, Ohio Board of Election died May 8. She was 87. Cook had been a member of the for 24-years and had served as chairman for a period of time. "She was very meticulous and detailed, and so often we would pass ballots and she would find that little missing thing," Toni Slusser told the Daily Standard. "(She was) a very classy lady. She brought a lot of professionalism to the board."