III. Election News This Week
Voters went to the polls in several states this week including Michigan where new voting machines debuted in 11 counties and Detroit and in Missouri where the state’s new voter ID had a larger roll out. In Detroit, although there were a few glitches, none of them appear to have come from the new voting technology. The city was not able fulfill its promise of having results in by 10:30pm with five precincts left to report at midnight, but results were much faster than in the past. Also in Detroit, City Clerk Janice Winfrey won the primary with 51.3 percent of the vote. Winfrey will face Garlin D. Gilchrist, II in the general election. Gilchrist was most recently the city’s director of innovation and emerging technology. Officials throughout Missouri reported few problems with the state’s new voter ID law although there is a report that one woman in Kansas City was denied the right to vote.
Last week, when filing a standing request for weekly updates on voter registration information, staff at the Linn County, Iowa auditor’s office inadvertently released the last four digits of Social Security numbers for about 216,000 Linn County voters. The release went to four people, three of whom agreed to delete the data. The fourth email address does not belong to the person assigned to the email so the status of that data is unclear. Auditor Joel Miller told The Gazette that while he has “some level” of confidence the data is not at risk, he wants to make sure the data is either recovered or destroyed.
The Monkey Cage, a political analysis division of The Washington Post recently conducted a poll and found that 52 percent of Republican respondents would support postponing the 2020 election and 56 percent said they would support it if both President Trump and Republicans in Congress were behind it. The survey found that people who believed the president won the popular vote and there were millions of illegal votes cast in the 2016 election were more likely to support postponing the election. The poll also found that 47 percent believe that President Trump won the popular vote, 68 percent believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted and 73 percent believe that voter fraud happens somewhat or very often.
It’s county and state fair time around the country and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is taking advantage of that to partner with the Iowa League of Heroes to create “Be A Voter” trading cards featuring the Iowa League of Heroes at the state capitol. The cards will be available at the secretary’s booth at the state fair. There are nine different cards with one being distributed each day. “I want every eligible Iowan to register to vote and participate in our elections, and this is a fun way to encourage both,” Pate said. “Superhero movies are among the most popular ones in the country, so this is a great way for Iowans to meet their favorite superheroes in person, while making sure they are registered to vote and their voter information is up-to-date.”
Polling places are forced to relocate for a variety of reasons, but we’re pretty sure this is the first time we’ve ever heard about one being forced to move because of a conflict with BINGO. The American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24 can no longer serve as a polling place in Manatee County, Florida because BINGO night is on Tuesday. “That’s a first one for me,” Mike Bennett, Manatee County supervisor of elections told the Bradenton Herald of the bingo night conflict. “We used the location year after year after year. We truly understand that that might be their most profitable day.” Bennett is hoping to move the polling site to the nearby Elks Lodge. The move will affect about 1,000 voters.
Personnel News: Tom Connolly has been appointed director of operations for the New York State Board of Elections. The following new elections commissioners have been appointed in the state of New York: Terry Bieniek (D) Montgomery County and Charlie Evangelista (D) Ontario County. Jim Mower (D), an Army veteran is running for secretary of state in Iowa. Sandra Delhaye is the new Danville, Illinois election commission director. Deidre DeJear (D), a business owner, is running for secretary of state in Iowa.