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II. Election News This Week
- As if dealing with a tropical storm during the primary wasn’t enough, elections officials in Hawaii are now preparing for the possibility that lava could affect voting on the Big Island. According to West Hawaii Today, officials have identified about 7,500 who could be affected — largely the same voters who were impacted by August’s tropical storm. Unlike the tropical storm though, officials have a bit more time to make changes and are encouraging voters to vote early/by absentee and are preparing to move polling places if necessary. Lava!
- We’re not even done with the 2014 election season and already Duval County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland is concerned about what budget cuts are going to do to spring 2015 elections. Holland’s office is facing $141,000 in budget cuts and deal with that Holland said he will have to either reduce precincts or reduce early voting hours.
- Minnesota is the latest state to join ERIC (the Electronic Registration Information Center). The North Star State joins Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington as part of the multistate consortium.
- The Putnam County, Tennessee election commission is considering a written policy that would prevent voters from snapping photos — selfies or not — at polling places on election day or during early voting.
- Earlier this summer, officials in the city of Los Angeles stirred up some controversy when they suggested possibly paying residents — through some sort of lottery — to vote would help boost turnout. Now a citizens panel has come up with 32 recommendations for cleaning up the voting process and in return, hopefully boosting turnout. Some of the recommendations include moving the city elections to even-numbered years, a longer early voting period, increased outreach on voter registration and using more non-traditional sites for polling places like shopping malls.
- At least two Virginia localities are doing what they can to make sure all eligible voters have a photo ID in advance of the November election. In Lynchburg, the voter’s league will be offering free rides to the registrar’s office for anyone who needs an ID and in Botetourt County, the electoral board has authorized an direct-action mail outreach aimed at the 418 county voters they believe do not have the necessary ID in order to cast a ballot.
- The Council of State Governments Capitol Ideas fall 2014 edition is all about U.S. elections. There are pieces on everything from technology to voter ID to military and overseas voting. Oregon’s Kate Brown is on the cover.
- Personnel News: Lannie Noble is the new Denton County, Texas elections administrator. Noble comes from Wise County where he has been elections administrator since 2006. Beginning on January 1, 2015 Steve Sandvoss will be the new executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections. Sandvoss, who is currently the board’s general counsel, has been with the SBOE since 1988. Linda Medely has been fired as the Dickson County, Tennessee elections administrator. Charlottesville, Virginia Registrar Sheri Iachetta and electoral board member Stephanie Commander both turned themselves into authorities this week. Iachetta and Commander are both facing felony charges for the misuse of public funds.