V. Election News This Week
This week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) announced that the state would pick up the tab for postage for mail-in ballots in both the state’s primary and general elections. The governor’s office will kick in $600,000 and the secretary of state’s office will kick in another $600,00 to cover postage in 38 of the state’s 39 counties. In announcing the decision, Inslee also noted that the state would not pay for the postage in King County because the county had already voted to do so. Although Secretary of State Kim Wyman did say that she and Inslee would ask the Legislature in 2019 to reimburse King for the 2018 expenditure and to approve a permanent prepaid ballot program. Needless to say, King County officials were not too happy about that part of the decision.
Sometimes, even the best of intentions go awry. Recently, a Paulding County, Georgia elections worker placed a sign outside of McClure Middle School to inform voters that the school will not be a polling place for the May 22 primary. The problem is, the McClure Middle School where the sign was placed is in Cobb County and that county is most definitely using that middle school for a polling place. There is also a McClure Middle School in Paulding and that site will not be used on election day. Apparently, the election worker was new and plugged the wrong McClure Middle School into their GPS.
The Maine Secretary of State’s office has created a 5-minute video to explain how ranked choice voting in the state’s upcoming June primary will work. Once again, an animated Matt Dunlap takes center stage in the video. In addition to the video, Dunlap’s office has also posted sample ballots, an FAQ and final rules for the voting tabulation process. “These are the final components of our ranked-choice voting resources web page, which we are providing so that voters can educate themselves about this new process before going to the polls or marking their absentee ballots,” Dunlap said in a statement. “I also look forward to meeting with voters to discuss this information with them during my visits this month.” In addition to the efforts by the state on voter education, several advocacy groups are also working to inform voters about the new system.
Congratulations are in order for Heather Doane and Trish Robertson for receiving the Unsung Hero and Rising Star awards from the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association. Doane, who received the Rising Leader Award, is the voter education coordinator for the Collier County, Florida supervisor of elections office and Robertson, who received the Unsung Hero Awards, is the communications coordinator for the office.
And congratulations are also in order for Sandra Thomas Moorer, Morehouse Parish, Louisiana registrar of voters who was recognized by having the annual seminar dedicated in her honor when the Louisiana Registrars of Voters Association, Inc. met at their annual conference Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Marksville. This coveted award is presented annually by the Board of Directors and the Seminar Committee to an individual or a group who has made a significant positive impact on the Association.
Personnel News: Rosita Wiggins has been appointed to the Nash County, North Carolina board of elections. Nathan Upchurch is the new chief of staff in the Mississippi secretary of state’s office. Upchurch had previously served as the office’s legislative director. After 30 years on the job, Sandra K. Miller is retiring from the Guernsey County, Ohio board of elections. For 20 years Miller served as the deputy director and for the last 10 has served as director.