All this and more in today's voting news below...
Editor Note: If you have friends in military, or US friends overseas, please pass on this newsletter or the articles about military voting so that they can get their ballot on time. Thanks!
AR: Rural mail changes cause voting problems* (absentee mail ballots)
Recent changes to rural residents' mailing addresses led to a voting fiasco on Election Day when people arriving at the polls complained they never received early voting ballots.
County officials became aware of the problem when the recorder's office started receiving returned ballots. Starting July 1, the post office stopped delivering mail to highway carrier (HC) addresses. Residents must use physical addresses.
All told, 1,414 registered voters had highway carrier addresses, and roughly 250 of those voters are on the permanent early ballot list.
AZ: Republican Runs Street People on Green Ticket
Arizona's Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint with local, state and federal prosecutors in an effort to have the candidates removed from the ballot, and the Green Party has urged its supporters to steer clear of the rogue candidates.
CA: Alameda County braces for ranked-choice voting
Years after voters approved it, ranked-choice voting has come to Alameda County.
Voters in three cities -- Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro -- will use the new voting method in electing local officials, such as mayor and city council members.
GA: Lawyers' Committee Condemns DOJ and Georgia's Maneuvers to Preclear New Registration Procedures
These maneuvers by the State and the Justice Department represent a departure from past practice and were apparently undertaken solely to prevent minority citizens of Georgia, as intervenors, from contesting preclearance.
MS: Hinds Hires New Administrator; Debates Voting Machines
Supervisors also spent over half an hour discussing a request from the county Election Commission to purchase 300 used voting machines. Election Commissioners Lelia Rhodes and Marilyn Avery urged the board to approve buying the two-year-old machines, at a cost of $350 per machine. New voting machines can cost $3,000 each, Rhodes said. The machines would arrive by Dec.1, after the November congressional elections but in time to be used for the 2011 statewide elections, she added.
The purchase would come out of the $1.722 million remaining in a federal grant for election equipment. Supervisors approved the purchase of scanners for the Election Commission earlier this summer.
NM: Secretary of State Mary Herrera axes critics
Ex-exempt workers may sue, citing whistle-blower law http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Secretary-of-State-Herrera-axes-critics-in-her-office
Secretary of State Mary Herrera has fired two of her administrators who talked to the FBI about possible wrongdoing in her office.
The Española lawyer representing both Manny Vildasol and James Flores on Tuesday formally notified the state Risk Management Division that his clients might be suing, claiming the terminations violate the Whistleblower Protection Act.
"As you are aware, they reported to the FBI what they believed to be criminal acts within her office and immediately after the media reported they had spoken to the FBI, they were both placed on administrative leave and now, FIRED!" Rudy Martin said in his letter to Risk Management.
TX: VOTING RIGHTS ACT ODDITY
http://electionlawblog.org/archives/016934.html According to this story, American Traffic Solutions, which owns and operates cameras monitoring traffic compliance at intersections, sued to stop an upcoming city referendum on the cameras in Baytown, TX
TX: We Didn't Start the Fire: Texas Loses Thousands of Voting Machines in Inferno
http://electls.blogs.wm.edu/2010/09/08/we-didnt-start-the-fire-texas-loses-thousands-of-voting-machines-in-inferno/ Though no official ruling has been made about whether the fire was arson, that has not stopped some from speculating about its origin.
WA: Military voting: '45 days to receive, mark & return'
http://blogs.sos.wa.gov/FromOurCorner/index.php/2010/09/military-voting-45-days-to-receive-mark-return/ Doug Chapin, a nationally prominent, independent elections analyst, writes at electionline.org that the common thread for Washington and the four other states that got a federal waiver was that all meet the test of providing at least 45 days for military and overseas voters to "receive, mark and return" their ballots.