III. Election News This Week
In what may come as news to some, the U.S. Postal Service has always prohibited the display of voter registration materials in their local branches. It was certainly a surprise to Santa Cruz County, Arizona Recorder Suzanne Sainz who said she was flummoxed recently when a staff member tried to drop off voter registration materials at the post offices — as they’ve been doing for more than 20 years — and were told no. Sainz was told by a postal worker and local supervisor that the policy was new, however, Peter Haas, a spokesman for the USPS told the Nogales International that the materials have never been allowed. “It’s just unfortunate because everybody goes to the post office and it’s convenient for a lot of people,” Sainz told the paper.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla recently announced that 100,000 16- and 17-year-olds have pre-registered to vote since the state kicked off a program to get them registered in 2016. “This is a big milestone,” Padilla said. “I’m optimistic it’s going to translate into action at the ballot box.” State officials reported that more than 10% of the total number of pre-registrations have come in just the last few weeks.
After a protracted legal battle, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) has finally appointed members to the state board of elections and to all county boards of elections including: Anson County, Ashe County, Brunswick County, Burke County, Cleveland County, Dare County, Guilford County, Moore County, Person County, Pitt County, Polk County, Randolph County, Richmond County, Robeson County, Sampson County, Scotland County, Shelby County, Surry County, Watauga County, Wilson County. Now that the county boards are complete, they can get down to business preparing for the upcoming May primaries and many are hard at work approving early voting sites and clearing up logjams that were created when the boards did not have a full complement members.
A hearty congratulations to Wendy Underhill and the rest of the staff at The Canvass, the National Conference of State Legislature’s elections-related newsletter that is celebrating 10 years this week. The 10th Anniversary edition of The Canvass includes a retrospective of the last 10 years, a look at the creation of the newsletter and interviews with notable politicians about the 10th anniversary. Congratulations Wendy et al!
Personnel News: Karen Richard, the first elected clerk in Colchester, Vermont will retire at the end of June after 31 years on the job. Will Gardner a businessman from Mandan, North Dakota has received the endorsement for secretary of state from of the state’s GOP. After the endorsement meeting, longtime Secretary of State Al Jaeger said that he will not seek re-election. Sherry Rene Whitehouse (D) and DeAnna Brangers (R) have been appointed to the Kentucky state board of elections. Canon City, Colorado Cathy Rabe has resigned from her job. Rabe cited health reasons for resigning from a job she’s held for six years.