The City of Honolulu, HI will have to pay $250K to re-run a narrow November city council election after the state Supreme Court invalidated the result because 350 late-arriving ballots were counted. It’s just the latest (no pun intended) story where the timing of ballot arrival and pickup of mail ballots has become an issue.
Several hundred voters living in mail-only precincts did not have their votes counted recently because Minnesota state law regarding special elections meant they did not receive their ballots in time to vote and return them. Federal law has addressed this issue for military and overseas voters – perhaps it’s time to fix it stateside as well.
The Iowa House of Representatives voted yesterday along party lines to reject a challenge in a disputed election with a nine-vote margin, deciding that absentee ballots that arrived without traditional postmarks but with “intelligent mail barcodes” did not comply with Iowa law.
Butte County, CA is bracing for significant changes to its voter registration list in the aftermath of last year’s devastating Camp Fire, which left many residents without homes – and at new addresses. This story highlights the impact of forced relocations after a disaster, which can cross state lines and affect huge numbers of voters.
Georgia’s new Secretary of State is asking the legislature for $150 million to purchase a new statewide voting system – over the objections of some who claim a cheaper and more secure system is available. Technology aside, it’ll be interesting to see how – and where from – lawmakers find the money needed to make the change.
Kansas is considering two big changes after electing a new Secretary of State: eliminating the Crosscheck program and removing the SoS’ prosecution powers. Change like this often happens in states with partisan switches, but Kansas proves that it can happen in any state seeking a new direction – or to abandon the old one.
The city of Craig, CO is currently unable to conduct its April election because several resignations have left Moffat County without anyone with the required certifications to assist. Given that turnover like this often occurs following general elections, being prepared for it is just as important as planning for winter weather-related disruptions.
The latest electionlineWeekly features a piece by Katy Owens Hubler on behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures providing an outlook on upcoming election legislation at the state level. The combination of an “off year” and a high number of state partisan “trifectas” could make this an active year for legislation.
Michigan’s new Secretary of State announced yesterday that the state will become the 26th member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). The announcement means that a majority of states and D.C. will now be members – dramatic growth for ERIC in the first six-plus years since its founding.
Iowa’s Governor will propose a constitutional amendment ending the state’s policy of permanent disenfranchisement for people with felony convictions, citing the power of “second chances”.