III. Election News This Week
A study by University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Ken Mayer and funded by Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell found that 16,800 to 23,250 voters in two counties did not vote because of the state’s voter ID law. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, key portions of those surveyed said they did not vote because they did not have ID that would allow them to or did not believe the IDs they had could be used under the voting law. The study found the ID law disproportionately affected African-Americans and low-income people.
An audit of Utah’s 3rd Congressional District special election has pointed out some mistakes in the process and offered recommendations for avoiding similar mistakes. Auditor John Dougall recommended that poll workers strengthen protections to ballot secrecy and that elections officials send out correct ballots in a timely manner to prevent initial ballot errors.
A group called RISE to Vote and lead by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is working to get every professional athlete registered to vote. The organizations said it is concentrating first on NFL and NBA teams, but has plans to eventually hold events for MLB, NHL, WNBA and other professional sports teams. “We’re about amplifying athletes’ voices,” RISE CEO Jocelyn Benson told The Washington Post. “We’re not about telling an athlete how to do that or what to say.”
Cuyahoga County, Ohio Executive Armond Budish announced this week that the county will be hiring a voting rights coordinator. "The right to vote is critical to our democracy," County Executive Armond Budish said in a statement. "At a time when some are trying to make it harder to vote, we need to do more to help people get registered. Cuyahoga County is dedicated to making voting as accessible as possible for all of our residents." The county will hire a voting-rights coordinator, who will work with other county agencies to improve civic engagement opportunities. The coordinator will also promote voter registration efforts.
Seriously, we could have told you this would not end well. This week Boston council candidate Pat Payaso — which is Spanish for clown — thought it would be a good idea to dress up as a clown and visit a few polling locations. Needless to say that didn’t float with voters who called the police and notified them that there was a “creepy clown” hanging around.
We’ll take all three. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has launched a competition to select the state’s new “I Voted” stickers. The three choices all celebrate a woman’s right to vote which was gained in New York 100 years ago, three years before it was gained nationally. This year’s election in New York falls one day after the anniversary.
Personnel News: Jennifer DiSomma has left the Suffolk County, New York board of elections.
In Memoriam: Greg Haws, former Weber County, Utah clerk-auditor-treasurer died Sept. 14. He was 65. “He was the kind of person who was willing to put everything on the line to move things forward. That takes a special kind of person,” Joan Hellstrom, who was a Weber County commissioner when Haws was Weber County clerk-auditor-treasurer told The Standard.