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II. Election News This Week
- The Maryland Board of Public Works cut $1.8 million the State Board of Elections had proposed to use on a voter education plan for the new optical scan voting machines Maryland will roll out in 2016. Maryland has used DRE machines for a decade and the SBE argued that the voter education campaign was necessary to voters aren’t “surprised” when they go to vote in 2016. “I guess I just think people are smart,” Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said in voting to oppose the funding.
- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced this week that ex-felons that have served their time and wish to have their voting rights restored will not have to pay outstanding court costs in order for those rights to be restored. According to The Daily Press, the ex-felons will still ultimately have to repay the fees, but will be able to have their rights restored while those fees are still outstanding.
- After admitting that she violated the law by failing to have enough ballots in 2014, Hinds County, Mississippi Election Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran is taking no chances of running out of ballots in the county’s upcoming August primary. Cochran told The Clarion-Ledger that she is planning on ordering about 66,000 more ballots than there are voters in the county. “We will have adequate ballots for the primaries,” Cochran told the paper. “There is a lot of waste in here. We are throwing away thousands and thousands of dollars, but it is the law.”
- Massachusetts officially launched the state’s online voter registration system this week. “This is the first step in a cycle to participate in the 2016 election. It’s a great step forward,” Secretary of State William Galvin said in a State House press conference. The site is accessible in Spanish and Chinese.
- Three cheers to the Brevard County, Florida supervisor of elections office for recently presenting a check for $6,010 to the United Way/Project Hunger. Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott and her staff raised the money through Scott’s 6th Annual Vote to End Childhood Hunger Raffle and Bake Sale. “As a mother, I am very passionate about this program,” Scott told the Space Coast Daily. “My staff embraced the ides of this bake sale from the very start. We are honored this money will make a difference in the lives of children in our community.”
- Personnel News: Jody Foskeyis retiring from the Coffee County, Georgia board of elections where she first started as a poll worker more than 20 years ago. Erica Inderlied is the new Pismo Beach, California city clerk. Marian Coffey has been named the deputy director of the Medina County, Ohio board of elections. Barbara Castleman has retired as the Weakley County, Tennessee administrator of elections. Gaye Swanwick has been appointed to serve as the permanent city clerk for the city of Parsons, Kansas.