Michele Bachmann has been named the winner of the Iowa straw poll, taking 4,823 votes out of nearly 17,000 cast. Ron Paul was a close runner-up, taking 4,671 votes and trailing Bachmann by less than 200 ballots. In a distant third place was former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who took 2,293 votes after investing heavily in the event.
The rest of the lineup: Rick Santorum – 1,657 votes; Herman Cain – 1,456 votes; Rick Perry – 718 votes; Mitt Romney – 567 votes; Newt Gingrich – 385 votes, Jon Huntsman – 69 votes; Thaddeus McCotter – 35 votes.
Romney, Huntsman and Gingrich were listed on the ballot, but did not contest the poll. Perry’s sixth place finish came despite not being listed on the ballot; his votes came through write-ins, since the Texas governor only announced his campaign this weekend.
Jerry O. Eaton and Sean M. Hennessey, who are Jefferson County’s Republican and Democratic elections commissioners, respectively, said Cape Vincent’s town law does not trump state election law and “has no legality.”
“We follow state election law and that resolution has no bearing on our office,” Mr. Eaton said, adding that county election workers — in charge of administering the election — will be made aware of the issue.
The commissioners also said absentee voters do not have to submit a copy of their driver’s license with a Cape Vincent address along with their ballot.
“They are not allowed to tell voters to do that,” Mr. Eaton said.
Jennifer Givner, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general, said that the issue had been brought to the office’s attention.
“We’re very much aware of the issue,” she said.
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State Education Commissioner John King Jr. released a statement this afternoon on the state’s new teacher- and principal-evaluation system, which takes effect for many teachers in the upcoming school year. New York State United Teachers, which represents 98 percent of all public-school teachers in New York, is suing the state over aspects of the new system. There was a hearing on the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Albany today.
One of NYSUT’s primary objection is the Board of Regents is allowing school districts to use student performance and growth on state assessments for up to 40 percent of the evaluation, which means a teacher could be rated “ineffective” based on one test. The statute states that 20 percent should be based on state tests and 20 percent on locally based measures of achievement. The Education Department’s regulations permit districts to base up to 40 percent on the state tests.
NYSUT has other issues with the regulations, saying they violate collective-bargaining rights. The union claims the regulations “illegally” address appeals procedures for ineffective teachers; mandate how much of an evaluation is based on classroom observations; and authorize districts to use independent evaluators. They “incorrectly assert” that evaluations should be a factor in making tenure decisions, according to NYSUT.
This is King’s statement:
“Our goal all along has been to make sure every child gets the best education possible. Sound, comprehensive teacher evaluations will help ensure every classroom has a great teacher leading the way to that goal. That’s exactly what our regulations create—a comprehensive, fair teacher evaluation process.
“New York is in a ‘Race to the Top’ on behalf of our students; the longer we go without a process for evaluating educators, the longer that race will take us.
“It’s not appropriate to comment about on-going litigation, but we’re confident our regulations will be upheld by the court.”