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II. Election News This Week
- Following a court-ordered review of New York City polling places, the city board of elections is requesting about $10 million additional dollars in order to make polling places ADA compliant. NYC BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan said advocates requested the BOE use Evan Perry Associates to survey poll sites, which the board did not oppose, and the court approved the request. The firm has surveyed about 200 of the 1,200 poll sites across the city, but Ryan said the BOE had not yet finalized the terms or cost of the contract.
- Special election follow up: Last week we reported on issues involving the growing number of special elections nationwide and this week we’d like to add to more. In Salida, Colorado, the city council passed a resolution calling a special election for March 24 — when City Clerk Betty Schwitzer was scheduled to be out of town on a previously approved and paid for vacation. Virginia Del. Joe Morrissey is hoping to run for Sen. Rosalyn Dance’s seat. Problem is, this would create a vacancy for Morrissey’s current seat, which he won in a special election after he was forced to resign. Yes, that’s right. Morrissey, held the seat, was forced to resign and ran for and won the special election to replace himself. Now if he’s successful in his bid for Senate, his House seat will have to be filled again…through another special election.
- Sometimes sanity does prevail. While many jurisdictions are required to hold elections, whether there are actual contests or not, Vincennes, Indiana has canceled it’s May primary because there are no contested races on the ballot. Cancelling the election will save the city about $20,000.
- Congratulations to Love Communications that was hired by the State of Utah to produce commercials feature the Lt. Gov. Spence Cox encouraging residents to vote. The Salt Lake City-based firm won five “Pollies” from the American Association of Political Consultants for the ad campaign. Following the launch of the ad campaign, more than 40,000 Utahns registered to vote and almost half a million used the state’s website before the 2014 elections.
- Oops! During Tuesday’s Jacksonville, Florida election, voter Shirley Johnson almost didn’t get to vote because despite that fact that she had been registered since 1992 and have voted in almost every election, Duval County voter registration records showed her as deceased. Johnson was eventually able to vote before the polls closed, but it took poll workers almost 30 minutes to sort the problem out…one that they aren’t sure how it occurred in the first place.
- Personnel News: West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tenant has filed paperwork to seek re-election. Joelle Nolan, Mount Desert, Maine clerk will retire in December after 13 years on the job. Claire Woolfolk will replace her. Russ Towers is stepping down at the Lamar County, Texas election administrator to take a job as the county clerk. Manatee County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett has filed to run for re-election in 2016. Susan Hughes has been named the new Blount County, Tennessee election administrator. Former Alabama Secretary of state Jim Bennett was honored recently for being the longest serving secretary of state in the state’s history. Mike McCurry (no, not that guy) has been appointed the new Harrison County, Texas elections administrator. Mike Hogan is the new supervisor of elections in Duval County, Florida. Stephanie Pack has been hired by Polk County, North Carolina to serve as an election specialist. Wyoming Deputy Secretary of State Pat Arp has resigned to accept a job in the treasurer’s office.