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Posts tagged: Cliff Hayes

Hayes Explains Election Count Snafu

In a press release emailed moments ago, County Clerk Cliff Hayes explained the counting snafu that prevented final Kootenai County results to be posted online until shortly before 7 Wednesday morning:

Around 1:30 a.m. elections management saw online results were not adjusting correctly as each incremental posting of the machine counts was uploaded.  They   began investigating the problem and trying different input methods.  When a solution hadn’t been found after more than two hours of attempts, the results that had been posted were taken down, and a notice saying “Due to technical difficulties we are unable to post Election results now.  As soon as we have accurate numbers they will be posted here” put up about 4:30 a.m.  In addition, notification was made to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office and the media.  The notice was up until about 6:30 a.m. when the results reporting problem was identified and a solution tested out accurately.

“Some people think stopping the online results posting was the wrong thing to do”, Hayes said.  “I always believe that accuracy is more important than speed.”  Full news release here.


Hayes: 15,000 Voted So Far

County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced that Friday, November 2, is the last day for in-person absentee voting at the Elections office, 1808 N. Third Street in Coeur d’Alene. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We’ve received over 15,000 ballots so far, by mail and in-person. That’s about 20% of the County’s registered voters”, Hayes said. 604 people voted in-person on the busiest day during this election cycle/Kootenai County Clerk's Office news release. More here.

Question: Are you among the 15,000 who have already voted?

Clerk Hayes Sues For Clarification

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes wants some clarification on who has the power to hire, fire, authorize wage increases and evaluate the performance of employees working in the court system who are paid with county funds. He believes he has that authority, concerning bailiffs, security screeners, judicial state attorneys, and specialty court coordinators and trial court administrative assistants. But he hasn't been exercising it. That's because 1st District Court Judge John Mitchell signed an administrative order telling Hayes not to. “An administrative order is very strong, because you go to jail if you don't follow it,” Hayes said Monday. On Friday, Hayes filed a lawsuit in 1st District Court seeking clarification through the court system. Mitchell declined to comment because of the pending lawsuit. Hayes filed a petition with the Idaho Supreme Court, regarding the same question, but the court dismissed his petition, court documents show/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Does Hayes have much of a chance of winning this lawsuit?

Clerk Hayes Sues Judge Over Control

County Clerk Cliff Hayes and Administrative Judge John Mitchell (shown talking to an inmate involved in Mental Health Drug Court)  are involved in a flap re: who is responsible for the District Court employee supervision and budget — and deciding increases in compensation for bailiffs, court security personnel, judicial staff attorneys (law clerks), specialty court coordinators, etc. Hayes claims “final authority to hire, terminate the employment of, authorize wage increases, and evaluate the job performance of all county employees working in the court system in Kootenai County whose wages are paid from Kootenai County funds including, but not limited to, the District Court Fund. Mitchell disagrees with Hayes. Hayes has sued Mitchell, in his role as administrative judge. Also, Hayes has asked that all the other judges in the 1st District Court be disqualified from hearing the lawsuit since he believes they would have a conflict of interest. You can read the lawsuit that seeks declaratory judgment here.

Question: Can't figure out the end game here. Judges traditionally have control of District Court budget. Appears as the Idaho Supreme Court feels that way, too. Any thoughts?

Hayes: 8900 Have Voted So Far

County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced that both in-person absentee voting and absentee ballots cast by mail have been steady in the last couple of weeks. “We’ve received 8,900 ballots so far; that’s about 12% of the County’s registered voters”, Hayes said. That total includes ballots by mail as well as those cast in-person at the Elections office. One day this week 297 people voted in-person at the County Elections office, which is the highest daily total so far during this election cycle. “Saturday (Oct. 27) we’ll be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Hayes continued. That is the last of the Saturday in-person absentee voting options. About 60 voters utilized this option for casting their ballots last Saturday, October 20. Complete news release here.

Question: Have you voted yet?

4 County Officials Oppose Measure

Four elected officials from Kootenai County — Assessor Mike McDowell (pictured), Clerk Cliff Hayes, Treasurer Tom Malzahn and Coroner Debbie Wilkie — have sent Huckleberries a news release raising concerns about the proposal to change county government. All four hold offices that would be appointive if voters pass the November ballot measure. They write:

“This press release is intended to offer another perspective (and more specific details) about the “Optional Forms of County Government” question the County Commissioners have placed on the November 6 ballot.  We hope you find the question & answer format used in this release to be informative. Optional forms of county government is a simple-sounding concept that actually has many potentially negative consequences.  Therefore, several of us at Kootenai County are willing to meet with groups holding educational forums or debates leading up to the general election.” You can read their concerns here.

Question: My greatest concern is that 2 radicals could win commissioner seats and then appoint allies to important positions? What concerns you?

Recall Verification Count Cost: $6750

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes released the costs of verifying the signatures on four recall petitions for the City of Coeur d’Alene.  “We’ve had several requests for the cost information,” Hayes said.  “The total is approximately $6,750, all of which is for wages.  This does not include 180 hours of time by the Clerk, Chief Deputy Clerk and the Elections Manager, who are salaried employees,” Hayes noted. All permanent Elections staff members worked on the recall verification task, plus two County employees loaned from the Auditor’s department.  In addition, several temporary workers who had previously worked on Elections tasks joined the project, and one Saturday, five additional temporary workers helped out. “Most days the crew worked 10 or 11 hours, so there were several hundred hours involved, including some overtime,” said Hayes/Kootenai County Clerk's Office press release. More below.

Question: Do you consider the cost to verify recall petitions too much/too little/just right?

Hayes Offers Link To Rejected Names

Kootenai County has posted reports showing accepted and rejected signers of recall petitions for three Coeur d’Alene City Council members and for the Mayor on its website.  (Go to the Elections homepage, Department Links, Recall Verification Reports; or click The reports show accepted signers first, then rejected signers.  Both groups are sorted by precinct and then in alphabetical order by last name. “Searchers can save lots of time by using the ‘Find’ box in the upper right corner of the task bar,” said County Clerk Cliff Hayes.  “Type last name first for the fastest results,” he continued.  (If there is no “Find” box already showing on your toolbar, click Edit, then Find and one will appear.) The rejected listings note whether the rejection was for an invalid address or an invalid signature.  A “not valid” rejection means signers who signed a petition on a date earlier than their voter registration information was accepted/Kootenai County clerk news release. More here.


Extra! Final Rejecton Rate 23%

From news release provided moments ago by Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes: “Today Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced the completion of signature verifications for the Coeur d’Alene Recall petitions.  'We’ve completed 100% of the petition verifications.  The final reject rate is approximately 23% for all three Council members and for the Mayor,' Hayes said. 'We will deliver the petitions back to the City of Coeur d’Alene this afternoon,' Hayes concluded.” At the rate of 23 percent disqualification, the final signature totals should be close to the following:

  • Mayor Sandi Bloem (with 5384 signatures against her): 4146, or 165 signatures short
  • Councilman Mike Kennedy (with 5327 signatures against him): 4102, or 209 signatures short
  • Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander (with 5314 against her): 4092, or 219 signatures short
  • Councilman Woody McEvers (with 5267 signatures against him): 4056, or 255 signatures short


Breaking! Rejection Rate Now 18%

From County Clerk Cliff Hayes' office: “This afternoon Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced further progress on signature verifications for the Coeur d’Alene Recall petitions.  “With more petitions verified and checked, most signatures are valid.  However, the rejection rate has increased”, Hayes said. Approximate signature rejection percentages for all Council members are now 18%; the signature acceptance rate has fallen to 82%.” In a follow-up email, Hayes reports that petition checkers have gone through 30% of the signatures so far. At 18% disqualification (up 6% from the first day's counting), the signature totals would be as follows:

  • Mayor Sandi Bloem (who had roughly 5384 signatures): 4418
  • Councilman Mike Kennedy (5327 signatures): 4368
  • Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander (5314 signatures): 4357
  • Councilman Woody McEvers (5267 signatures): 4319

BTW, you can find a link leading to all the recall petitions here

DFO: Two key numbers: 4311 (amount of valid signatures needed to trigger a recall election) and 20% (the amount of disqualified signatures needed for Mayor Sandi Bloem to survive; others would need slightly lower percentage). BTW, these numbers are consistent with the ones anti-Recallers have tabulated in their unofficial monitoring and perusual of the petition signatures. They had a total of roughly 12% on the first day of counting signatures likely from local Tea Party/GOP/anti-tax lists. Then, the number of disqualifications began to grow significantly. I keep hearing from anti-Recallers that it's going to be a squeaker.

1st Day Petition Rejections: 12-13%

This morning Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced Tuesday’s progress on signature verifications for the Coeur d’Alene Recall petitions. “With the first day’s work completed, we’re finding most petition signatures are valid”, he said in a news release. “Or few of the petition signatures have been rejected, depending on how you want to look at it”, Hayes continued. (Huckleberries estimates that 20 percent disqualification is needed for the four elected Coeur d'Alene officials to survive the first round of the recall attempt.) Approximate verification percentages for each Council member are:

  • Sandi Bloem (5,384 signatures) Accepted: 88% Rejected: 12%
  • Deanna Goodlander (5,314 signatures) Accepted: 88% Rejected: 12%
  • Mike Kennedy (5,327 signatures) Accepted: 87% Rejected: 13%
  • Woody McEvers (5,267 signatures) Accepted: 88% Rejected: 12%

Hayes said most of the invalid signatures were people with a Coeur d’Alene mailing address, but who don’t actually reside within the city limits according to the Secretary of State’s voter registration data base. And he stressed that these percentages are approximate, and “are only one day’s worth of information. The percentages could, and probably will, change tomorrow.”

DFO: If DQ percentage holds, Mayor Sandi Bloem would have 4738 valid signatures for recall (4311 needed); Mike Kennedy 4634; Deanna Goodlander 4676; and Woody McEvers 4635.

Some errors on election night

Some polling station errors were discovered during Kootenai County's primary election canvassing, including one case that resulted in apparent voter fraud.

But most poll workers performed professionally on election day, said Clerk Cliff Hayes, with no mistakes egregious enough to affect the winners of each race.

“We always seem to have a few that make errors at the polls,” Hayes said on Tuesday. “We'll continue to work on those.”

The county commissioners voted unanimously at their weekly business meeting on Tuesday to adopt the canvass results for last week's primary elections, which include state, county, precinct committeeman and U.S. representative races. More here. Alecia Warren, Cda Press

KREM story here.

How confident are you in Clerk Hayes and his staff?

Hayes Pulls Recall Suit Against City

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes has withdrawn his lawsuit against the city of Coeur d'Alene, seeking to clarify the deadline date for the attempted recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members, Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy. Acting on behalf of Hayes, Prosecutor Barry McHugh wrote to Coeur d'Alene counsel Michael L. Haman that Hayes was swayed by an opinion issued by Secretary of State Ben Ysursa on May 1. Ysursa said that a city recall attempt, including verification of signatures by the clerk's office, must be complete within 75 days (June 19, in this case). According to McHugh's letter, Hayes plans to turn over all verified signatures by the June 19 deadline but will continue to count additional signatures beyond that deadline to complete his duty (in case the law is interpreted differently than Ysursa suggests). You can read McHugh's letter & supporting documents here.

Question: Does this mean the community's conspiracy theorists will say that Hayes has gone over to the other side?

Ysursa: Absolute Recall Deadline 6/19

Item: Cd'A gets state's vote: Officials expected to meet about recall lawsuit today/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The Secretary of State's office said Tuesday the 75-day timeline for recall petitioners to gather signatures includes the time it takes the Kootenai County Clerk to certify them. The letter sent by Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said that interpretation is the official position of the state's chief election officer and intended to help clarify a dispute between Kootenai County and the city of Coeur d'Alene in regard to how long signature collectors have to collect signatures in their attempt to oust four city officials.

Question: Does this remain unclear to anyone but County Clerk Cliff Hayes & County Prosecutor Barry McHugh & the Recall leaders?

Ysursa: City Right RE: Recall Deadline

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, pictured, has written a letter to Coeur d'Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers & Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes, confirming that Weathers is right regarding the June 19 deadline to collect & certify recall petitions. The 75-day deadline includes the time the county clerk will spend verifying the signatures, said Ysursa in a letter sent today that confirms an April 18 letter sent by Ysursa's Chief Deputy Tim Hurst. Idaho code requires that  “the recall petition must be perfected with the required number of certified signatures within 75 days following the date of approval as to form,” Ysursa wrote in his two-page letter. You can read it here.

Question: Don't you think it's time for Hayes and Prosecutor Barry McHugh to drop their lawsuit against the city to clarify the recall deadline?

CdA Asks McHugh To Withdraw Suit

The Coeur d'Alene City Attorney's office has asked Prosecutor Barry McHugh (pictured) to withdraw the lawsuit filed against the city on behalf of County Clerk Cliff Hayes to clarify the deadline in the attempted recall of Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members. Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson told McHugh in a three-page letter that the Secretary of State's office had backed Coeur d'Alene's position (that recallers had 75 days to complete their signature gathering including about 15 days for the county clerk to verify the signatures). “Unfortunately, Mr. Hayes has not followed the instructions from the Secretary of State's office. Instead a suit has been field against the City of Coeur d'Alene and four of its elected officials challenging the interpretation contained in Mr. Hurst's instructions. Mr. Hayes continues to disregard this instruction as a 'city opinion' and continues to insert himself into a process that, by statute, is to be administered by the City Clerk.” Letter and related information here. And here.

Question: Who do you trust more to give a proper opinion re: city recall rules — County Clerk Cliff Hayes or the Secretary of State's office?

Hayes Sues To Clarify Recall Date

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes has filed suit against the city of Coeur d'Alene and individuals involved on both sides of the recall attempt in an effort to clarify the recall deadline, now set for June 19. Hayes, through his counsel, Prosecutor Barry McHugh, wants to clarify whether the recall process, including signature verification ends on June 19. Or whether that is the date to complete signature gathering, with verification coming afterward. Named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit besides the city of Coeur d'Alene are Mayor Sandi Bloem and the three recall targets, Councilman Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy, as well as Recall CdA and recall organizer Frank Orzell. link to lawsuit here.


Cost Of Recall Election $20K — Hayes

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes told The Press that the cost of a recall election in November, should recalls of four Coeur d'Alene officials be on the ballot, would be roughly $20,000. That is in addition to the cost to run the general election. Last week, citizens hoping to oust Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members, Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers and Deanna Goodlander began officially collecting the 4,311 signatures per candidate needed to get each on the ballot in November. The recall referendum will go before voters if enough valid signatures are collected by June 19 at 5 p.m./Coeur d'Alene Press.

Question: Expensive? Reasonable?

Clerk: 1 Less Commish Candidate

There will not be seven candidates for County Commissioner District 1 after all. Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced today that “Elections staff did not follow all our procedures when handling the candidacy declaration for Steven Peter Benner. We allowed Mr. Benner to file for County Commissioner District 1 without verifying his residency within that district.” County Commissioners are elected county-wide, but Idaho Code 34-617 requires them to reside in the Commissioner District for which they declare candidacy. Mr. Benner resides in Commissioner District 2, which isn’t up for election in 2012/Kootenai County Clerk's Office news release.


Hayes Gives Spencer Residency Exam

Spencer: And for those wondering about my residence, I spent a half hour proving that to Cliff this morning. We covered my residences for the last fifteen years, and I have been given a clean bill of health on the residence question. And let me tell you, he was well prepared. It wasn’t a case of “show me a utility bill” it was more like a full on police interrogation. Thorough doesn’t even begin to describe it.


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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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