II. Election News This Week
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced plans to launch a new voting commission to document and report on “voter suppression tactics” and make recommendations to strengthen access to the polls. According to USA Today, the new commission is in response to the Administration’s creation of the Election Integrity Commission. Former Missouri Secretary of State and President of Let America Vote Jason Kander will chair the new commission which will include members of Congress and state and local elections officials such as Kentucky’s Allison Lundergan Grimes.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections is proposing several elections changes following 2016’s Hurricane Matthew and the contentions election cycle. Under the proposed changes, the state election director would have emergency authority to change election schedules following a natural disaster or military conflict involving troop deployment. Another proposal would require people filing elections protests to certify under penalty of perjury that the facts alleged are true and accurate.
This week, the Lake County, Indiana Board of Elections failed to file a plan on how the BOE plans to consolidate the county’s small voting precincts as required by law. Under the law, that task will now move to the Indiana Election Commission to make a plan to consolidate the county’s precincts. Board Chairman Kevin Smith told The Chicago Tribune he didn't think the governor and state gave Lake County enough time to develop a good consolidation plan. "I just didn't think there was enough time," Smith said.
Residents of Woodbridge, New Jersey are being asked to participate in “Cast-A-Can-When-You Cast-Your-Vote” during next week’s primary. The program encourages voters to bring a nonperishable food item with them to the polls to donate. “The Election Day food drive is even more important this year, as more and more residents are seeking help and assistance from our food pantries. So, when township residents go to vote on Tuesday, June 6, we’re asking that they take a can … or two … or three … to their polling location for drop-off in the blue ‘Cast-A-Can’ container,” Mayor John E. McCormac said. The food drive is being coordinated with the Board of Elections, the Municipal Clerk’s Office and students from Woodbridge High School who will collect the collection boxes from 32 polling sites after the polls have closed on Tuesday. We love this idea!
Personnel News: Melanie R. Ostrander has been hired as the assistant director of elections in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Stephanie Tuin, Grand Junction, Colorado clerk for 24 years is set to retire on June 16. Avery Smith, Butts County, Georgia elections director has received the Ann Hicks Award from the Georgia Election Officials Association. Merritt Luke Scott has been hired as the deputy director of the Miami County, Ohio board of elections.