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II. Election News This Week
- The Peoria County, Illinois election commission, created by a voter initiative to combine the elections bodies of the city and county, met for the first time recently. According to Peoria Public Radio, the new group includes five commissioners, who in turn appointed City Election director Tom Bride to lead the countywide operations. First order of business for the new group is the upcoming special election to replace Rep. Aaron Schock.
- The Oregon Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to the U.S Postmaster General voicing concerns about the closure and consolidation of mail processing centers citing the impact it would have on many important deliveries including ballots in the all vote-by-mail state. “The proposal offered by the Postal Service is troubling in several ways,” U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said according to The Business Insider. “It would be felt across our state and Oregonians would endure these closures through degraded service and force them to wait longer for the delivery of crucial items….”
- Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t done something like this before? Ballots for the all-mail election in Florence, Arizona, which is being conducted for the city by Pinal County, went out two weeks ago, the only problem is, some of the envelopes didn’t contain ballots. According Pinal County spokesman Joe Pyritz, only a few voters had called to report the problem, which Pyritz blamed on a contractor. Pyritz told the Florence Reminder that the county would no longer be using that contractor.
- We’ll file this under “things that make you go ‘oh good grief’…” According to a report from McClatchy News Service, among the books found in Osama bin Laden’s compound when U.S. Navy Seals raided it was a copy of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century by Bev Harris.
- Three cheers to Plymouth, Massachusetts resident Barbara Widmayer, aka The Cookie Lady, who for the last several years has been baking cookies—chocolate chip and oatmeal—for the poll workers at her polling place. “They care enough for us, to do this,” Widmayer told Wicked Local Plymouth of the poll workers. “So I am proud to care enough for them, to make a few cookies.”
- A hearty congratulations to the Hillsborough County, Florida supervisor of elections office that was the first elections office in the state to receive the governor’s Sterling Award. The award is presented to organizations for excelling in performance excellence. “Our vision is to be the best place in America to vote. And today, as the first Supervisor of Elections to earn the Governor’s Sterling Award, we received recognition that shows we’re working toward our vision in a meaningful way,” said Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer.
- We simply could not pass up posting this tidbit from Brewster, Massachusetts. According to The Boston Globe, shortly before polls closed there on Tuesday, elections officials took to Twitter and Facebook to try and figure out who left their teeth in a polling place and attempt to reunite chompers and owner. Through the power of social media, the teeth and their owner were reunited.
- Personnel News: Anita Cotteris the new Springfield, Missouri clerk. She replaces Brenda Cirtin who is retiring in August after 23 years on the job. Botetourt County, Virginia Registrar Phyliss Booz may soon be out of a job. The county electoral board did not vote to reappoint her nor did they vote to fire her. Instead the board voted to begin accepting applications for the position Booz has held for more than a decade. According to the Roanoke Times, Booz is welcome to apply for her job. The Hawaii Elections Commission voted 6 to 3 to keep Scott Nago as the chief election officer. Christine Giordano Hanlon has been confirmed at the Monmouth Counuty, New Jersey clerk. Richard Coolidge, spokesperson for the Colorado secretary of state’s office is leaving this week to take a position a government relations firm. Incumbent Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes won the Democratic primary for her seat on Tuesday. She will face Republican Stephen L. Knipper, a health care executive. Ken Raymond and Stuart Russell have been recommended to serve on the Forsyth County, North Carolina BOE. Suzy Young has been dismissed as the Brown County, Texas election administrator. Diane Noonan is the new director of elections in Butler County, Ohio.