III. Election News This Week
Fairfax County, Virginia General Registrar Cameron Sasnett is denying voter registration requests from residents who have moved to the county from other Virginia counties claiming that concerns about the way a Department of Elections systems handles requests submitted through the DVM. “I’m going to deny the transfer, I’m going to inform the voter that they’re still registered in [their previous jurisdiction], and I’m going to send them an application so they can fill that out,” Sasnett told WTOP. According to the report, Sasnett and other Virginia registrars are concerned that address updates submitted through the DMV from July 1, 2016 until this fall wrongly appeared when printed out in registrars’ offices to be completely new applications.
Mahoning County, Ohio Board of Elections Director Joyce Kale-Pesta has come up with a proposed series of changes to how the county counts ballots after an error led to the double counting of more than 6,000 early votes in 2017. Although the problem was caught and an amended final vote report was issued, officials in Mahoning failed to contact the media and others about the error. Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a letter requiring the county issue a report about the incident. Among Kale-Pesta’s changes are: Having a checklist for tabulating all votes, assigning the board’s secretary of serve a point person to communication ongoing election totals to the media, training staff to post results on the board’s website in a more timely fashion and only allowing two specific people to scan ballots.
Although Illinois legislators approved and Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation into law that would allow the state to automatically register voters at the DMV, the law has yet to be implemented for a lack of funding. “We haven’t gotten any money appropriated for it quite yet,” Illinois State Board of Elections General Counsel Ken Menzel told the Illinois News Network. “There’s a supplemental appropriation request pending with the legislature but we do have staff working on it as best we can. The staff that’s working on it has been updating the board on a monthly basis.” Menzel anticipates the state will need about half a million dollars to implement the program. The law says AVR should be fully implemented no later than July 2019.
NASED Update: Democracy Works will now serve as the organizational home for the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) with Amy Cohen, Democracy Work’s director of government outreach serving as the new executive director of NASED. “Election administrators define our voting experience—from registration and eligibility to the sticker you receive at the polls—in addition to the many responsibilities that voters never see,” said Kathryn Peters, Democracy Works’ Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer. “NASED brings together state election directors nationwide to share best practices and collaborate. In fulfilling Democracy Works' goal to support election officials, I can think of no better partner than NASED.”
Personnel News: Kelly Thomasson, the Virginia official who oversees felon rights restoration will continue in that position under Governor-election Ralph Northam. Daniel Perigo is the new Stewart County, Tennessee election administrator. Dori Munyan has been appointed the new Finney County, Kansas clerk. Billie Iott, Exeter Township, Michigan is resigning after nine years on the job.