Thursday, August 17, 2017

Electionline Weekly Aug-17-2017

Election News This Week

Fulton County, Georgia: Officials have Reversed course and no longer Plan on Closing a Number of Polling Places in Majority Black neighborhoods. “We heard from members of the public that they would be very inconvenienced and disrupted by certain changes,” Mary Carole Cooney, the Chairwoman of the Elections Board told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We decided that we would not change anything prior to the November election. We can always revisit that” after the Election is complete, she said. The County had been Sued by the ACLU of Georgia over the Changes.

UTAH: Several Counties conducted Vote-by-Mail Elections this Week and in a world of instant gratification that we now live in, Utah County, Utah’s Clerk/Auditor Bryan Thompson is Warning Candidates and Residents that life may be forever changed now that the County has moved to Vote-by-Mail. “In a way, convenience and voting by mail may be mutually exclusive of more final results on election day,” Thompson told the Daily Herald.

In Utah County, some Voters confusingly showed up at the Polls on Tuesday due to a Mail Error that sent Unaffiliated Voters a GOP Ballot.

Mercer County, New Jersey: In Vote-by-Mail News, more than 100 Mail Ballots for the June Primary were found in the Post Office in early July and therefore unable to be Counted in the Primary. Most of the found Ballots were postmarked May 31st or June 1st. Mercer County Board of Elections Chairwoman Joanne Palmucci said the Board was willing to Hold a Special Meeting to Count the Ballots but that the State’s Attorney General advised against it. Palmucci points the finger directly at the Postal Service. “There was no rhyme or reason for this, because every municipality had some in there and both parties were affected,” she said.

Legislative Updates

Texas: The Senate Approved Senate Bill 5, which the House had Amended, and Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has Signed it. The New Law will broadens the Definition of Mail-In Voter Fraud and Increases the Penalties for those who Commit it. The Amended Bill also Repeals another recently Approved Law that would have made it Easier for those in Nursing Homes to vote.

The Hidalgo County Commission voted to foot the $120,888 Bill to Extend Early Voting Hours in the upcoming November Election.

Legal Updates

Florida: Gladys Coego, 74, of Miami-Dade County was ordered to serve Two Years of House Arrest plus Three Years of Probation for Filling in other People’s Absentee Ballots.

Hawaii: The Hawaii Supreme Court has agreed to hear a 2012 Defamation Lawsuit by Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto against former County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi and former Council Chairman Dominic Yagong.

Kentucky: Keith Justice of Pikeville Pleaded Guilty to Four Counts of attempting to Intimidate an Election Officer and One Count of attempting to Interfere with an Election and was Sentenced to 30 Days Home Incarceration and must pay a $500 fine.

Michigan: Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger has invoked her 5th Amendment Rights and will not Speak with Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office who are Investigating that Spranger filed False Documents about her Residency when she filed to Run for Office. Also, Macomb County Circuit Judge Kathryn Viviano Recused herself from Spranger’s Case saying that while she believed she could be Impartial, she felt it was appropriate to Recuse herself since she previously oversaw a Case between Spranger and the County Executive.

Chief Circuit Judge Robert Colombo Jr. Denied an Election Challenger’s request to have all Detroit Absentee Ballots from the August Primary thrown out saying that there was no evidence to justify the move and that it would Disenfranchise Voters.

Minnesota: The Minnesota Voters Alliance, a self-proclaimed Election Watchdog group, has filed Suit against Secretary of State Steve Simon to gain Access to the State’s Voter Data. Simon turned over information he deemed Public: Names, Year of Birth, Voting History, but did not turn over other information that the group claims is Public such as Voter Status and Details about Voting Challenges.

Texas: In a 107-page Ruling, a Three-Judge Panel of Federal Judges in San Antonio Unanimously Ruled that Two Texas Congressional Districts Violate the U.S. Constitution and the Federal Voting Rights Act and that they must be Fixed either by the Legislature or a Federal Court.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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