Are Hawaii voters ready to cast their votes by mail only? Some lawmakers think so. It’s a measure that’s been proposed and election officials have a strong argument for it. Chief election officer Scott Nago says the numbers show more people are not heading to the polls anymore. Voting by mail would also save the state money. We learned that 62 percent voted absentee during the 2016 primary. For the general election, absentee votes made up 54 percent.
all mail ballot
A bill that attempts to ramp up Hawaii’s voter turnout by mandating all-mail elections is now headed to the full House of Representatives. House Bill 2541 cleared the Finance Committee after a hearing Tuesday. The bill calls for eventually mailing out all ballots and closing traditional polling places. The Aloha State has had the worst voter turnout in the country for the last five presidential elections. And just 35 percent of voters participated in the 2014 primary election, a record low. Oregon switched to all-mail ballots 20 years ago and has seen increased voter participation ever since. Washington and Colorado also vote exclusively by mail.
Colorado: First year of open, mail-in primaries will be an unprecedented experiment with unclear implications | Summit Daily
Colorado will elect a new governor in November, and at least a dozen candidates are currently in the running on both the Republican and Democratic sides. This year, unaffiliated voters have reason to take early notice in the race to replace term-limited Governor John Hickenlooper — and not just because of the dizzying number of candidates. Thanks to an open primaries ballot measure passed in 2016, voters who aren’t registered to either major party will able to help choose nominees for the first time in June. Proponents of the measure argued that opening up primaries to independents could give a boost to more moderate candidates and wrest some control from the hardcore partisans who cast a disproportionate number of primary votes.
A solid majority of Australians voted in favor of same-sex marriage in a historic survey that, while not binding, paves the way for Parliament to legally recognize the unions of gay and lesbian couples. Of 12.7 million Australians who took part in the government survey, 61.6 percent voted yes and 38.4 percent voted no, officials announced on Wednesday morning. Participation was high, with 79.5 percent of voting-age Australians sending back their postal ballots. “The Australian people have spoken, and they have voted overwhelmingly ‘yes’ for marriage equality,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who called the survey in a move described by advocates as a delay tactic devised to appease his party’s far-right faction. “They voted ‘yes’ for fairness, they voted ‘yes’ for commitment, they voted ‘yes’ for love.”
Colorado voters who failed to sign the outside of the return envelope they were supplied with their 2017 ballots have until the close of business on Wednesday to “cure” that problem in order to have their votes counted in the final official election tallies. County clerks have mailed notifications of the issue to voters that turned in ballots without the required signature — as well as notifying voters in cases where election judges could not verify that the signatures on the envelopes matched signatures on the voters’ registration records. Mircalla Wozniak, a spokeswoman for the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, said that as of Monday afternoon, there still were 562 county voters’ ballots that needed to be “cured.”
Australia won’t know the results of the same-sex marriage survey until 10am on Wednesday morning. But there has been a growing assumption over the course of the campaign that the “yes” camp will win. Senior ministers such as Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop have said they think the “yes” vote will win. “Yes” campaigner Sarah Hanson-Young has said she’s “very, very confident”. And as voting closed last week, “no” spokesman Lyle Shelton conceded, “we’re chasing down a big lead”. Poll after poll has also found support for same-sex marriage is at about two to one. Just before the survey closed last week, a Guardian Essential Poll found 64 per cent of people who voted say they ticked “yes”.
It’s no secret that Utah County faced some issues during its first foray into an all vote-by-mail election during the August primary, but the county is taking steps to make sure the general election goes more smoothly. The issues started when 60,000 ballots were sent to unaffiliated voters in the county, mistakenly containing the option to vote in the Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District Race. Then final results were drawn out, with the fourth and final batch of election results being released more than a week after the primary election on Aug. 15.
A lawsuit filed by members of the Navajo Nation who say mail-in voting in southern Utah disenfranchises tribal voters is headed for trial. U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish set a March 16 trial date Thursday in the case filed by the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. Mail-in ballots are harder for Navajo voters to receive because many don’t have mailboxes and can be difficult to use for people who speak Navajo, said John Mejia with the ACLU.
Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine on Oct. 10 presented details about how county voters will vote next year. She gave the details to the Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club. LaVine’s speech was an educational presentation related to Senate Bill 450 – aka the California Voters Choice Act – which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 28. Through that bill, beginning in 2018, ballots will be sent to every registered voter. LaVine noted that voter registration will automatically occur through any interaction one has with the Department of Motor Vehicles. But she added that those who do not specify a political party preference will be defaulted to the category of “no party preference.” Voters will also be introduced to vote centers, LaVine said.
Oregon City’s Roxane Riseling said it was “very weird” to get a letter from the elections office for her daughter Megan saying that signatures didn’t match after the September police-bond measure; the same thing happened to both the mother and daughter in two different recent elections, and they say that their signatures “haven’t changed.” Clackamas County has some of the highest proportions of ballots being rejected because county elections officials determine that the voter’s signature on the ballot doesn’t match their registration card.