Alison requested that I post her update to the VMCTA listserve, as she has attempted to post since this morning.
Kudos to Alison for the great job she does representing our views to the legislators!
Have a great weekend!
Thank you very much to those who responded to me on this issue. It was a good conversation and I was able to summarize many of your comments for the Committee to consider. I talked with the Committee about specifics such as managing the checklist, confusion among the voters regarding different rules for different elections, and I stressed the point made by Ann Webster that “it looks like we make the rules up as we go along”.
One Legislator asked if the Clerks automatically “raise a red flag” when an elections proposal comes out of a committee because of workload. I stated that workload is the least of concern for most Clerks and that if a job needs doing, we get it done. I stressed that the integrity of the process is top priority for us and that the entire election process seems like it’s in a constant state of flux, with the rules changing for every election. We as clerks deal with this on a regular basis, but our JP’s and election workers do not. I explained that we sometimes have a difficult time training our workers to understand everything at the same level we do. Every time a law or rule is changed, it’s one more place in the process for a potential mistake. Let’s leave well enough alone for a while and realize those effects first.
I also told them if they feel the need to change the Constitution, the area they should really be working on is the language about “quiet and peaceable behavior”. The language is designed to allow a community to remove a disruptive person from an open meeting. I suggested that since the ultimate goal for every election administrator is to increase voter participation, they should re-work that language so that we’re not removing voters at a rate far exceeding that at which we add them (because of behavior?).
Regardless of what the Committee decides to do with this, we will have much more time to express our concerns as this is likely to take about 4 years to get through the Constitutional change process.
Thanks again for your responses!