IV. Election News This Week
A move to vote-by-mail in Utah has increased turnout overall, especially among Millennials and other low-propensity voters, a new study has found. The study, conducted by Pantheon Analytics and commissioned by Washington Monthly magazine showed a 5 to 7 percentage point turnout increase in the state’s 21 counties that vote by mail in 2016 compared to the eight counties that voted primarily on Election Day. And the by mail counties also saw the greatest increase in engagement among low-propensity voters.
Earlier this year, the city of Anchorage rolled out, by all accounts, a successful first attempt at vote-by-mail for the city’s municipal elections. The city was hoping to build on that success by using vote-by-mail for the November general election, but the state Division of Elections said no. According to a local blog, the explanation given is that to change the existing precinct-based system for state elections would require legislation to significantly modify Alaska State Statutes. such as AS 15.20.800. Voting by mail. (a) “The director may conduct an election by mail if it is held at a time other than when the general, party primary, or municipal election is held.” If Anchorage votes want to vote-by-mail in the upcoming statewide elections, they will have to do so the old fashioned way, by applying for their ballots in advance.
This week, the All Pueblo Council of Governors approved a resolution to support New Mexico’s Native American Voting Task Force. “With the 2018 General Election approaching quickly, the Council’s support will give the task force more tools and avenues to reach voters in tribal communities and help them expedite their work,” said New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “I’m proud of what the task force members have done so far to identify areas of need for Native voters and to build relationships with the Council and other tribal leaders to begin addressing those needs. I applaud the Council for recognizing how crucial this task force is to strengthening democracy in New Mexico.” The Native American Voting Task Force in 2017 to improve election participation in New Mexico’s pueblos and tribal communities. The task force, which consists of ten members from various tribes and pueblos across the state, is charged with advising the Secretary of State on engaging Native Americans in the electoral process. The task force is working to boost voter registration in tribal communities, develop educational voting materials in Native languages and increase voter turnout among Native Americans.
Personnel News: Ian Weber has joined the Defiance County, Ohio board of elections. Congratulations Kerry Black, Aixa Capizzi and Heather Doane of the Collier County, Florida supervisor of elections office for all being designated Master Florida Certified Elections Professionals. Former state Sen. AG Crowe (R-Pearl River) has announced his plans to run for Louisiana secretary of state.