III. Election News This Week
Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray resigned on February 9. Murray had been accused of inappropriate behavior by two women and had already announced that he would not run for governor or seek re-election as secretary of state. In his resignation statement, Murray said, “I’ve come to the realization that I am unable to focus entirely on serving the good people of Wyoming while simultaneously needing to process all the fallout from these allegations for which I have issued previous statements. At all times during my tenure as Secretary of State I’ve upheld the trust and fiduciary duties of my Office to the highest of any and all standards. Deputy Secretary of State Karen Wheelers will serve until Gov. Matt Mead appoints a new secretary.
After eight long years, voters in Santa Fe, New Mexico finally began using ranked choice voting as a way to choose their locally elected officials. Early voting kicked off this week and according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, reactions to the new system were mixed. The paper conducted exit poll interviews with 20 of the several dozen residents who cast ballots in the first hours after polls opened for early voting revealed an array of sentiment, most saying they were either fans of the new system or indifferent to it, and only a handful offering a negative review. “I think it forces you to pay more attention to the candidates,” voter Lynn Hopkins told the paper. “You have to really think about, well, who would my second choice be? And so you listen to the candidates more closely. And you do your research. I think that’s a good thing.”
Each year, the Travis County, Texas Tax Office, which oversees voter registration for the county, conducts a YouthCam-Student PSA Contest. Middle and high school students are invited to create a 15-, 30-, or 60-second PSA around the year’s selected theme, which was “Register. Be Counted. Vote!” for this year. There are three English categories and three Spanish categories. First place in each category will receive $500 and some prizes; second is $250 and prizes; and third place is $100 with prizes. Winners were announced earlier this year and we would highly encourage you to check them out, there is some really great stuff here. Well done young people, well done!
Personnel News: Julie Strother has been appointed chief of staff for Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon. Republican Leland Christensen has announced his candidacy for the Wyoming secretary of state seat. Keith Cheney has been appointed to the Allen County, Ohio board of elections. Carole Young-Kleinfeld, Wilton, Connecticut Democratic registrar of voters for almost a decade, announced this week that she will resign the position in April. Young-Kleinfeld will be replaced by deputy registrar Karen Birck.