The Voting News

Uzbekistan: Polls Open In Uzbekistan’s Heavily Criticized Presidential Election | RFE/RL

Polls have opened in Uzbekistan for a presidential election that appears certain to bring incumbent President Islam Karimov to a fourth term in office. Voting began at 6 a.m. (local time) on March 29 across the former Soviet republic in Central Asia, where Karimov has eliminated almost all opposition during more than two decades in power. Karimov is being castigated by critics who descirbe the election as a sham in which his hand-picked rivals are effectively campaigning for him. Karimov faces three other candidates — Khotamjon Ketmonov of the People’s Democratic Party, Nariman Umarov of the Social Democratic Party Adolat (Justice), and Akmal Saidov of the Milli Tiklanish (National Revival) Party. All three are from pro-government parties and have spent their campaigns praising Karimov’s policies. Read More


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Nigeria: The Independent Nigerian Electoral Commission’s Website Has Been Hijacked | TechCabal

The Nigerian presidential elections are in full swing. And as if the Independent Nigerian Electoral Commission doesn’t have enough things to worry about, their website just got hacked by some people calling themselves the Nigerian Cyber Army. As is customary, there is a rambling signature left by the hackers, in place of the usual website. It’s not like the website is essential to the elections or anything. Their software and servers are likely not pointed to that url. This, as far as I can tell, has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the election, which is more physical than digital. It’s more of egg on their face. We are reaching out to INEC for comment. “Sorry x0 Your Site has been STAMPED by TeaM Nigerian Cyber Army. FEEL SOME SHAME ADMIN!!”, the hackers said on the defaced site. Read More

El Salvador: Still Counting Votes One Month after Polls | PanAm Post

One month after polls took place, El Salvador’s rival parties are still disputing the results of the Central American country’s national elections. On Wednesday, March 25, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) began opening more than 200 ballot boxes in the San Salvador department to determine which party obtained the final seat. The Democratic Change (CD) party challenged an initial vote count after the results in the race for congress in the department were published on Sunday, March 22, almost one month after the election date. “The review in San Salvador could impact” the results, TSE Judge Fernando Argüello Téllez told press. Read More

Ohio: Counties moving toward electronic pollbooks for elections | The News-Herald

If county boards of elections are mandated by the state to use electronic pollbooks as part of future elections then most elections officials want the state to provide funding to purchase the equipment or provide reimbursement for previously purchased systems. The Ohio Association of Elections Officials District 8 met March 25 at Classic Park in Eastlake to discuss common concerns about issues, share best practices, meet with Ohio Secretary of State Office staff, and to network with their peers. District 8 consists of representatives from Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina and Summit counties were in attendance. Read More

California: Secretary of state proposes automatic voter registration | Los Angeles Times

Every eligible Californian with a driver’s license would be automatically registered to vote under a proposal Thursday by Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who estimated it would add millions of people to the voter rolls. Padilla and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) are modeling their legislation on a “motor voter” law signed last week by the governor of Oregon in an attempt to boost voter turnout. The California proposal is partly in response to the 42% record low turnout in California’s November election, as well as this month’s Los Angeles election, which saw about 10% of eligible voters go to the polls. Read More

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Australia: There’s a huge design flaw in the NSW online voting system which Labor wouldn’t be happy about | Business Insider

New South Wales goes to the polls today and despite incumbent Liberal Premier Mike Baird being the clear favourite there’s a huge design flaw on the online voting platform which could cost the Labor government votes. It’s all got to do with the user experience of the NSW Electoral Commission’s online iVote system which is clunky to start with. After registering to use the platform and figuring out how to commence the voting process the ballot paper for the lower house appears on the screen, all candidates can be viewed, you can scroll up and down, fine. The problem becomes apparent when voting above or below the line. Even when the paper is enlarged on a 24 inch monitor, it doesn’t render to fit so this is what voters see. However, to the right of that are all the other options (including the Labor party). And while there are big red arrows at the top, that’s not where a user usually focusses their attention, a user experience designer, who wished to not be named, told Business Insider. Read More

National: Federal Vote-By-Mail Act Gets New Push from Rep. Susan Davis | Times of San Diego

Rep. Susan Davis has re-introduced two of her election reform bills to “restore integrity to federal elections and end constraints placed on voters who want to vote by mail, known as absentee,” her office said Thursday. Rep. Susan Davis, who represents California’s 53rd District. The Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act would end restrictions many states impose on a person’s ability to vote absentee, such as requiring a doctor’s note, the details of a religious obligation, latest pregnancy status or details of a vacation destination. Read More

National: Supreme Court Declines To Hear Challenge To Strict Wisconsin Voter ID Law | NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday not to hear a case involving the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s strict voter ID requirement shifts attention now to voter identification laws working their way through the courts in Texas and North Carolina. As in Wisconsin, these laws are being challenged on the grounds that they hurt minorities and other voters who are less likely to have the required government-issued photo ID. It’s possible — depending on what happens in the lower courts — that the Supreme Court could be asked to weigh in on one or both of these cases before the 2016 presidential election. In the meantime, the Wisconsin law is now set to go into effect, although the state’s attorney general, Brad Schimel, said that won’t happen until after state elections are held April 7. Read More

Editorials: Online voting still faces security issues | Mark Pomerleau/GCN

For those interested in expanding voting access by allowing voters to cast their ballots over the Internet, one government expert/activist has bad news – the security and privacy risks associated with Internet voting won’t be resolved anytime soon. David Jefferson, computer scientist in the Lawrence Livermore’s Center for Applied Scientific Computing, has studied electronic voting and security for more than 15 years. He believes “security, privacy, reliability, availability and authentication requirements for Internet voting are very different from, and far more demanding than, those required for e-commerce.” In short, voting is more susceptible to attacks, manipulation and vulnerabilities. Some champions of Internet balloting believe the safeguards that protect online shoppers from hackers can also protect the sensitive information and meet the legal regulations associated with voting online. Advocates further believe that Internet voting will increase turnout, cut costs and improve accuracy. Jefferson refuted these claims by asserting that there currently is no strong authentication or verification solution for online shopping. Also, while proxy shopping is a common occurrence and is not against the law, proxy voting is not allowed. Read More

Alabama: Supreme Court hands win to opponents of Alabama redistricting plan | The Washington Post

The Supreme Court sided with black challengers Wednesday and told a lower court to reconsider whether a redistricting plan drawn by Alabama’s Republican-led legislature packed minority voters into districts in order to dilute their influence. The court voted 5 to 4 to send the plan back for further judicial review. Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote the opinion, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy sided with the court’s liberals to make up the majority. The challenge was brought by black officeholders and Democrats who argued that the state’s Republican leadership packed minority voters into districts that allowed the election of African American officials but reduced their influence elsewhere. Read More