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II. Election News This Week
- Due to budget cuts, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is cutting 31 part-time driver’s license offices and although Secretary of State John Merrill has said his office and local elections offices will work to make sure voters have the necessary photo ID to vote, advocates are concerned. In addition to local elections offices that can issue IDs, the state has a mobile ID unit that Merrill said will have visited every county by Oct. 31.
- According to an analysis by the Wichita Eagle, most of the people on Kansas’ suspended voter list are young and unaffiliated voters. The paper’s review found that 40 percent of the people on the list are under the age of 30 and more than half are unaffiliated with any party. Also, a grassroots organization, Vote Kansas, which reviewed the suspended list noted that there are active members of the military on the suspended list. [See Legal Updates form more news.]
- The Navajo Human Rights Commission is alleging that San Juan County, Utah’s move to vote-by-mail is disenfranchising members of the Navajo Nation because it closes rural polling places and eliminates translators that used to help voters with limited English skills.
- The November mayoral election in Telluride, Colorado will use instant runoff voting to choose the city’s next leader. In 2008 voters approved an initiative to use the voting mechanism, but the first time an election was eligible to use it, 2011, the winning candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote so the IRV system did not kick in. According to the Telluride Daily Planet, because there is not a state-approved machine that can count instant runoff ballots, Telluride election staff will have to manually count the ballots for mayor. The instant runoff ballot for the Telluride mayor will be a separate sheet.
- Let the ballot selfie controversies begin! Recently, a Fall River, Massachusetts candidate for mayor (and current city council member) posted a picture of his voted ballot on Facebook. When he started receiving phone calls complaining about his choices, he discovered that someone — he alleges a local television station reporter — blew up the image to show who he voted for, which is against Massachusetts law. The candidate—Jasiel Correia, II said that he didn’t intend for his choices to be shown and enlarging the photo was an act of exploitation.
- Late last week ES&S laid off 25 employees in management and administrative positions in order to hire more staff in customer service areas such as technicians that serve voting machines.
- Apparently where the sidewalk ends is in front of the Licking County, Ohio administration building. As part of a major reconstruction project the sidewalk in front of the county building is closing…just in time for early voting to start in the same building. To accommodate the sidewalk closure, elections officials are suggesting voters request their ballots by mail.
- Personnel News: Elizabeth Martin is the new Winchester, Virginia registrar of voters. Late last week Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and others announced the 66 appointees to the Alabama Board of Registrars. Meghan Deal Hassler has been appointed the new Sebastian County, Arkansas election coordinator. Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey has announced that she will challenge U.S. Rep. John Conyers for his seat in 2016. Weber County, Utah Clerk Ricky Hatch was honored as the state’s county clerk of the year. Karen Patterson is the new Lynchburg, Virginia registrar of voters. Constance M. Hoverman has been appointed to the Van Wert County, Ohio board of elections. Theresa Brasco and Lisa Flanagan, the GOP registrar and deputy in Weston, Connecticut have both resigned.