North America

Articles about voting issues in North America outside the United States.

Canada: Blind voters could also be disenfranchised under feds’ elections law overhaul | The Hill Times

Advocates for the blind and marginalized Canadians with a range of disabilities warned MPs Tuesday the government’s plan to legislate an end to vouching in federal elections would prevent many of the people they represent from being able to vote. Leaders from the Canadian Institute of the Blind, which lends support and volunteer services to tens of thousands of blind or partially sighted citizens, and an advocate with People First called on the Conservative government to amend key sections of controversial election legislation they said would heighten ballot box hurdles that their members and clients already face. The testimony came as a House of Commons committee hearing witnesses on Bill C-23 began a rush to jam in as many witnesses as possible in the two weeks remaining before a government-imposed May 1 deadline for the committee to complete its business and send the bill back to the House for final passage.  Read More

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Canada: Elections changes impact half million voters | The Canadian Press

The Harper government’s overhaul of federal election rules could make it difficult for more than half a million voters to exercise their constitutional right to a ballot, says the author of a report that’s been used to justify the crackdown. ”Either amend it or pull it,” Harry Neufeld said of Bill C-23 — dubbed the Fair Elections Act — after appearing before a parliamentary committee Thursday. Neufeld, the former British Columbia chief electoral officer, was just one of five non-partisan experts in electoral process to tell MPs the legislation requires some major fixes. In fact all five witnesses said the bill, as written, would do more harm than good to Canadian democracy. Read More

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El Salvador: Quijano right accepts election defeat | EFE

El Salvador’s right-wing ARENA party formally accepted on Thursday the victory of leftist Salvador Sanchez Ceren in the March 9 presidential runoff. The announcement came a day after the Supreme Court rejected ARENA’s demand for a manual recount of the ballots. Sanchez Ceren beat ARENA’s Norman Quijano by just 0.22 percentage points. The standard-bearer of the governing FMLN got 1.49 million votes, or 50.11 percent of the total, compared with 1.48 million – 49.89 percent – for Quijano. Read More

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Canada: Jean-Pierre Kingsley: Election bill puts right to vote at risk | CBC

A change proposed by the Conservatives in their new election bill would “directly affect” some Canadians’ right to vote, former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley said Tuesday. Abolishing the process of vouching, which serves as proof of a voter’s identification, “will impact very negatively on the values of participation, impartiality and transparency,” Kingsley told a committee of MPs. ”This will directly affect the constitutional right to vote of a significant number of Canadians without justification.” “Please. Please do not get rid of it,” he said. Read More

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Canada: No irregular activity or vote stealing says Quebec’s Chief Electoral Officer | Global News

The elections office in Quebec is throwing cold water on a theory put forward by the Parti Quebecois on Sunday that students from elsewhere in Canada could be trying to steal the provincial election. The PQ expressed concern about media reports that an influx of English-speakers and other non-francophones from outside the province were trying to vote in the April 7 election. By late afternoon, however, the province’s chief electoral officer brought forward numbers showing there were no signs of an irregular increase in voter registration. Read More

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El Salvador: Court rejects opposition challenge to vote tally | GlobalPost

El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal Monday dismissed opposition claims of irregularities and confirmed the leftist ruling party candidate as president-elect. Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former guerrilla commander who ran in the March 9 vote, will be presented with his credentials on Tuesday, said the head of the court, Eugenio Chicas. Read More

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Canada: Faltering Parti Québécois fears voters from outside province are trying to steal election | The Globe and Mail

The Parti Québécois is trying to bolster a faltering campaign with a new wedge issue on Quebec identity, accusing Ontarians and other Canadians from outside Quebec of trying to steal the provincial election. PQ Leader Pauline Marois went to a sugar shack and left the main campaign spotlight to three of her candidates Sunday. They held a news conference at PQ headquarters to demand an investigation over an influx of voters – frequently young anglophone university students – who are trying to register for the April 7 vote. “Will the Quebec election be stolen by people from Ontario and the rest of Canada?” said Bertrand St-Arnaud, the Justice Minister and PQ candidate in Chambly. “The coming week is crucial for democracy.” Read More

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Canada: Director General debunks Parti Quebecois complaint, says voter registration requests are down | CTV

Quebec election officials are debunking the notion that voter registration requests are up since the 2012 election, as Denis Dion, a spokesman for the electoral office, told CTV Montreal that only one of five ridings cited by the Parti Quebecois has seen a rise in demands to vote. One of the five ridings had 56 more requests over this time in the last election, while the others were significantly down. The Parti Quebecois had asked the Director General of Elections to take action concerning reports of unusual voter registration requests in three Montreal-area ridings and two others in the Eastern Townships. Justice Minister Bertrand Saint-Arnaud, MNA Leo Bureau-Blouin and Families Minister Nicole Leger demanded stricter supervision and training for election officials determining voter eligibility, daily reports on voter registration and a post-revision report.  Read More

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Canada: Glitches in electronic voting system concern mayor | Gananoque Reporter

Mayor Frank Kinsella said he was ready to endorse electronic voting for the next election in the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands until a couple of Sundays ago. That’s when the mayor tried to vote for Prescott to be named “Hockeyville” in the national competition run by Kraft. Kinsella said he went through the prompts on the telephone, but at the end, the computer cut him off without recording his vote. If a computer system run by the multinational Kraft has glitches and cannot record votes properly, then how can we trust a small company to run the municipal vote in the TLTI, Kinsella wondered at last week’s council meeting. Clerk Vanessa Latimer recommended that the township contract Intelivote at a cost of about $28,000 to run telephone and electronic voting for the next municipal election on Oct. 27. Intelivote is the company selected by a number of towns and townships in Leeds and Grenville, including Gananoque, which sent out a joint tender call. But Intelivote is also the company that ran electronic voting for the TLTI for the 2010 election, which was plagued by bugs and glitches in the system. Read More

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Canada: Neufeld says more than 100,000 to be disenfranchised under feds’ election bill, will testify at House Affairs Committee next week | Hill Times

The opposition parties have former B.C. elections chief Harry Neufeld at the top of their witness lists for testimony on proposed Conservative election law after he warned that “well over 100,000” electors will be denied their right to vote if the government goes ahead with plans to prohibit voter vouching for electors with no official ID. Mr. Neufeld, who conducted an exhaustive review of electoral law and rule compliance in the 2011 election, has challenged the government’s position that widespread irregularities he found in the way vouching was administered on election day were indicative of potential fraud, as well as the government claim that an Elections Canada voter information card is too unreliable to be also used by voters who have insufficient ID to prove their residence. Elimination of the two voter identification methods are among the most controversial aspects of Bill C-23, and are also on a list of measures in the legislation that the opposition says could benefit the Conservative party the most because electors who generally use either vouching or the information cards—which Elections Canada had planned to approve as official residence ID for the next election—have tended to support parties other than the Conservatives. Read More

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