III. Election News This Week
According to a press release from Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes, the St. Croix and St. John elections offices will remain closed “until further notice” following the back-to-back Hurricanes of Irma and Maria. “The St. Croix District Office located at Sunny Isle Annex Unit 4, remains closed until further notice as we deal with major renovations after Hurricane Maria,” Mrs. Fawkes said. “We do not have the capability to provide any voter’s identification cards, we can only register voters. The St. John Elections Office has no internet service; therefore, we also cannot provide any voter identification cards. The St. John residents can register at the St. Thomas Elections Office. Presently, the only functional Elections Office is the St. Thomas Office, which is 90 percent operational.”
In his first state of the secretary of state report, Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton took the opportunity to reiterate that the state of Montana does not have issues with coordinated voter fraud. The 12-page report, which covered all the division of the secretary’s office, touched on only two separate incidences of voter fraud on the May 2016 special election. "At the time of this report, while there are still active law enforcement investigations into voter fraud being conducted, the context of these fraud cases is that they are unrelated with each other and represent a small fraction of the 383,000 votes cast in the May election," he wrote.
Election 2017 Update: The Virginia State Board of Elections has postponed choosing the winner of a tied House of Delegates race after on candidate, Shelly Simonds (D) filed a motion in Newport News Circuity Court asking the judges to reconsider their decision to count a disputed ballot which made the race end in a tie instead of Simonds with a one-vote lead. “Drawing names is an action of last resort,” the board said in written statement. “Any substantive concerns regarding the election or recount should be resolved before a random drawing is conducted.” In Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted sent a letter to the Mahoning County board of elections asking the board to address shortcomings in the handling of ballots and communication among staff, board members, the media and the public.
Personnel News: Kathy Singer is the new Cleveland County, Oklahoma election board assistant secretary. She replaces longtime employee Anette Pretty who retired. Mariann Penska is set to become the newest member of the Butler County, Ohio board of elections. Davison Twp., Michigan Clerk Cindy Shields has received the Loretta J. Manwaring Memorial Award for the work she did on the countywide purchase of new voting machines.
In Memoriam: March Fong Eu, California’s first female secretary of state has died. She was 95.Eu was secretary of state from 1975 until 1994 when she was appointed ambassador of Micronesia by President William J. Clinton. "Our elections system today reflects many of Secretary Eu's contributions that include voter registration by mail, absentee ballots upon request, and candidate statements in ballot pamphlets," California State Controller Betty T. Yee told the Sacramento Bee. Eu was a third-generation Californian and began her career as a dental hygienist.