List of write-in names not OK - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

List of write-in names not OK

Residents: County elections workers not following rules

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Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2010 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Some Kootenai County residents revealed on Wednesday that the county Elections Department wasn't following Idaho procedure in disclosing write-in candidates' names at polling stations.

Jeff Ward, president of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, voiced complaints Wednesday that poll workers were providing lists of write-in names to voters.

That's akin to giving out campaign literature, Ward said.

"In essence, providing that information is a violation of state code," said Ward, adding that he knew one individual who had walked out of the elections office with such a list. "They can't hand out campaign material in an election place."

Members of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee were looking into addressing the situation with the Secretary of State's office, Ward added.

County Clerk Dan English verified early Wednesday afternoon that polling stations have been offering a single list of write-in candidates for voters to peruse briefly, only if they requested it first and then returned it before voting.

"They look at them (the lists) and do their business, but they don't take it away," English said, adding he had gotten approval from an employee at the Secretary of State's Office.

But as it turns out, no lists are allowed.

Tim Hurst, chief deputy secretary of state, said that providing a list of write-in candidates at polling stations is against state policy.

"That's akin to electioneering at the polls," Hurst said. "That's the challenge that write-in candidates have, is getting the word out. People need to know before they go to the polls."

Poll workers are only allowed to divulge write-in candidates' names vocally - and at moderate volume - if voters ask, he said.

"That policy has been there as long as I know of," Hurst said.

The state office contacted Kootenai County about correcting its methods on Wednesday afternoon after fielding a complaint, he added.

There is no penalty for violating the policy, Hurst said. The state office just instructs on correcting the situation.

English said he wasn't surprised to hear the rules were more rigid.

"You just have to be cautious. You don't want to do anything that seems to favor one candidate over the other," he said. "I don't know if there's a huge difference (between verbal information and a list), but we'll do exactly what they say."

English believes county poll workers have provided write-in names verbally in past elections, he said.

Write-in candidates file to run in the general election following the primaries. Their names are not included on the ballot, so voters have to pen their names on a blank line.

Athol Republican Howard Griffiths, a write-in candidate and the only challenger to Rep. Phil Hart, said he thinks it is unfair that write-in names aren't more accessible at polling stations.

"I think it's important to let people know, especially when there's an unopposed opponent, that they have a choice," Griffiths said, adding that he lacks funds for advertising.

County Commissioner Rick Currie, running as a write-in against Jai Nelson for the district 2 seat, said he understands the policy.

"I would dearly love them to say, 'Oh, by the way, you've got write-in candidates,' but it wouldn't be right," he said.

Currie is confident that many already know his name, he added, from his plethora of ads, hand-outs and appearances at public forums.

"I get stopped in grocery stores, out pumping gas," he said. "It is a challenge. But anything this important is worth working hard for."

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9 comments:

  • Dan Gookin posted at 10:23 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    Dan Gookin Posts: 750

    Save your melt-down for Wednesday morning, Phaedrus. This is a CDA Press article. Are you going to weave a conspiracy theory of how OpenCdA now owns The Press?

    English is toast because of his own ineptitude, not because others are finally pointing it out. Live with it.

     
  • phaedrus posted at 9:46 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    phaedrus Posts: 96

    Nice to see the OpenSewer.Com crowd venturing out from their lonely cave to spread their special brand of venom and bile and seeing illegality that only they can.

     
  • LTRLTR posted at 9:00 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171


    Tim Hurst, chief deputy secretary of state, said that providing a list of write-in candidates at polling stations is against state policy.

    That policy has been there as long as I know of," Hurst said.

    The state office contacted Kootenai County about correcting its methods on Wednesday afternoon after fielding a complaint, he added.

    Kootenai County got-it-wrong once again. Now they will be opening absentee ballots the day before the election breaking state law another time.

     
  • phaedrus posted at 8:39 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    phaedrus Posts: 96

    Mary Souza has had an obsession with Dan English ever since her buddy Jim "I'm under the desk" Brannon lost a close election to Mike Kennedy (as opposed to Mary's electoral loss to Mike Kennedy when she came in forth in a three way race.) Yet, Mary Souza twists and contorts the facts to defend timber thief and illegal tax protester Phil Hart. Why? Because Dan is a 'D" and Phil is an 'R'? Pathetic partisan puffery.

    So now Mary doesn't want the names of the write-in candidates available to the voters. Is it because one write-in candidate is running against her boy Phil Hart and the other write-in candidate is running against Hart's girlfriend Jai Nelson? Is this just Mary's support of her own Good Ol' Boys network?

    Oh, and I wonder if this will have a bearing on the SOS's opinion:

    The Alaska Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling yesterday, paving the way for voters to see a list of write-in candidates when they go to the polls on Tuesday, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/alaska-supreme-court-rules-voters-can-see-write-in-list-after-all.php

     
  • ancientemplar posted at 8:32 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1283

    Just another example of Dan English's ineptitude. HE'S GOT TO BE VOTED OUT!

     
  • Dan Gookin posted at 8:27 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    Dan Gookin Posts: 750

    It's time to retire the incompetent Dan English.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 8:10 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    Mary Souza Posts: 813

    Wow. How can Dan English speak both ways? First he admits his staff has been giving out information about write-ins, then, when he hears the State says that's illegal, Dan says he's "not surprised to hear the rules are more rigid"?

    Why didn't he check BEFORE they started giving out the illegal info? Isn't he supposed to KNOW the laws? He's been in charge of the Elections for 15 years...it's time for a change. Please vote for Cliff Hayes.

    Cliff is the recently retired Chief of Police from Post Falls. He's highly admired and respected there for his leadership and administrative abilities. Let's get some new energy in our Elections Dept.!

     
  • LTRLTR posted at 7:42 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    Dan English is running for Kootenai County Clerk, a position that his campaign flyer states " I also want to emphasize my experience, training, and knowledge as your Kootenai County Clerk for the past 15 years. As most people will agree, experience has value"...............

    If he is so experienced, then WHY does he allow his office to make so many MISTAKES? Mr. English has lost his value. Time for change. Use your voice at the polls and vote for Cliff Hayes.

     
  • TakeBackTheUSA posted at 4:01 am on Thu, Oct 28, 2010.

    TakeBackTheUSA Posts: 765

    This is why the "party" primary system is worthless. A better system is when anyone who can get a certain number of signatures, like an initiative, gets their name on the primary ballot. Then, the top 2,3,4 get on the November ballot. No write-ins, no parties, just people. The current idiotic system is totally broken, but it serves the special interests, so don't expect any changes.

     
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