New Hampshire: NH: Students decry residency voting bill |

A bill to strip college students of the right to vote conforms with the Founding Fathers’ view of domicile, its lone sponsor argued Thursday. Rep. Gregory Sorg, R-Easton, said he merely wants to return residency for voting to where you came from and not where you’re attending school.

“This doesn’t take away the right to vote for anyone,” Sorg insisted. “This says you vote where you reside, and you don’t vote where you happen to spend a few years of your time but have a domicile somewhere else.”

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Missouri: Missouri State Senate Passes Voter ID Bill |

A bill that would require Missouri to show a state, federal, or military picture ID when voting moved to the house Friday after passage in the state senate the day before. The bill would amend the state’s constitution to change those requirements. Republican Senator Bill Stouffer of Marshall sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 2.

“Our right to vote is probably one of the most important privileges we have and to ensure the integrity of the voting is extremely important,” Stouffer said. Versions of this bill have come up before, most notably in 2008, but Stouffer said this one lacks the flaws of previous versions.

India: Assam Electronic Voting Machines get Braille facility | The Telegraph Calcutta

The visually impaired in Assam will literally feel their right to franchise with their fingers, with the Election Commission arranging for Braille-inscribed electronic voting machines for this year’s Assembly elections.

Earlier, the visually challenged voters used to cast their votes guided by an escort to the press the right button on the EVM. But this time, the voter can directly press the button of his choice on the EVM by identifying the serial number that will be inscribed beside each button. A Braille voter can walk to the machine by himself, unaccompanied by any escort to cast his vote.

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Estonia: E-Voting Begins in Estonian Election | ERR

More than 20,000 people have already given their votes electronically in e-voting that started on Independence Day and continues until March 2 at 20:00.

The electronic votes are not necessarily the “final answer” – the voter can change the vote simply by re-voting, with the last recorded vote being the one of record.

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Colorado: Ballots, lies and videotape: A botched election in south-central Colorado triggers avalanche of allegations | Real Aspen

Colorado Elections Director Judd Choate has proclaimed “great faith” in the results of two dubious political races in south-central Colorado and says two of his staffers were on hand to help with its “retabulation.”

“On the fifth of November, we sent down a couple of people to work on their retabulation, and we had two of our people … help [Saguache] County reassess their numbers,” Choate told the state’s Best Practices and Vision Commission, which he chairs, in a January meeting. “They saw no problems.”

The explanation was intended to quiet an escalating controversy in Saguache County, where County Clerk Melinda Myers reversed the results of the Nov. 2 election and three days later declared herself the winner. The outcome of the county commissioner’s race also flipped in favor of the incumbent in Myers’ party.

Tennessee: Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett cites people as culprits | Cleveland Daily Banner

There were no comments while Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented a brief overview of his job — until he began talking about elections. After his speech Thursday in front of the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland, a member said the voting machines used in Tennessee do not have a recorded paper trail and could be hacked in five minutes.

“I don’t think they can be hacked in five minutes, but there is no perfect machine,” he said. “As long as we have people who want to commit fraud, they are going to find a way to commit it regardless of what kind of machine we have. Machines are not the culprit. People are the culprit” 

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Colorado: Colorado Secretary of State Gessler to weigh in on Seguache County Election Problems | Center Post Dispatch

During the legislative luncheon at the Colorado Press Association convention Friday, Secretary of State Scott Gessler told the Center Post-Dispatch that he will be weighing in soon on the problems with the Nov. 2 Saguache election.

The SOS oversight of the election began under previous Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, now counsel for the State Attorney General’s Office. Gessler said he is currently wading through a voluminous stack of documentation on the election and will carefully evaluate the information before responding.

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California: California Grand jury debunks reports of local voter fraud |

Many instances of voter fraud alleged in recent years have “morphed from facts and allegations to urban legend” and the biggest instances of the problem locally happened 20-plus years ago, according to a Kern County grand jury report released Thursday.

Jurors investigated the local voting system, according to the report, after receiving a letter last year detailing a public presentation made by a 2002 30th Assembly District candidate alleging there were “huge discrepancies in voter registrations” before his loss.

The report doesn’t name names but it’s obviously referring to Bakersfield businessman and Republican Dean Gardner, who lost the race to Democrat Nicole Parra by a razor-thin margin and alleged voter fraud at the time.

Download Grand Jury Report (pdf)

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Editorials: Is Anyone Watching? |

Two years ago, the Supreme Court looked over a cliff and decided not to jump. The question was whether a core section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as renewed by Congress in 2006 for another 25 years, was constitutional. A majority opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. strongly suggested that it wasn’t. The section’s provisions “raise serious constitutional questions,” the chief justice said. He suggested that the administrative burdens the law places on the states where black citizens once faced nearly insurmountable obstacles to voting were no longer justified: “Things have changed in the South.”

During the April 2009 argument in the case, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District v. Holder, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in particular, appeared exasperated by the failure of Congress to take those changes into account when it renewed the law in the same format as the previous renewal in 1982. An iconic achievement of the civil rights era seemed headed for history’s dustbin, most likely by a vote of 5 to 4, and an anticipatory outcry began to build. But then either the chief justice or Justice Kennedy, or maybe both, blinked.

Maine: Maine Bill would disallow ‘do-overs’ for absentee voters | Bangor Daily News

Lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would prohibit Mainers who cast votes by absentee ballot from asking for a do-over simply because they changed their minds.

The issue of when and how voters could request a new absentee ballot arose in the final days of last fall’s gubernatorial race.

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Colorado: Saguache County Colorado Clerk Myers postpones testing of counting machine | Center Post Dispatch

In a Feb. 15 letter to election volunteers, Saguache County Clerk Melinda Myers postponed testing for the M650 that could destroy any remaining information about the Nov. 2, 2010 election.

Denver attorney Rob Maguire, representing Aspen voting integrity activist Marilyn Marks in a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) suit filed Feb. 11, asked Myers and County Attorney Ben Gibbons to postpone the testing last week so that any possible data could be preserved.

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California: California Voting rules remain vague | Glendale News-Press

The City Council this week broached ditching so-called “emergency ballots” for last minute voters in favor of beefing up absentee vote-by-mail allowances, but stopped short of making any changes for the April 5 election.

Glendale voters can request a vote-by-mail ballot up to seven days before the election, but after that deadline they can fill out an application for a so-called “emergency” vote-by-mail ballot up to Election Day.

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Wisconsin: GOP raises the stakes: Voter ID Bill Coming to Wisconsin Legislature in Dems’ Absence? | JSOnline

In a move meant to lure boycotting opposition senators back to Wisconsin, the Republican leader of the state Senate threatened Monday to force a vote soon on a bill that is abhorred by Democrats: requiring people to show an ID at the polls.

The push on the photo ID bill by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) is the latest example of Republicans pressuring Democrats in hopes of ending the standoff over the bill on union rights. Senate Democrats disappeared to Illinois on Thursday to prevent a vote on that bill, and they’ve been there ever since.

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Maryland: Motor voter registration sees gaps | Baltimore Sun

Nearly one out of four Marylanders who have tried to register to vote at a Motor Vehicle Administration office in the past four years has not been added to the voter rolls, according to state records obtained by The Sun.

Though some of these tens of thousands of would-be voters have undoubtedly found alternative methods to register, officials at the State Board of Elections say they field calls every year from residents who say they turned up at the polls on Election Day only to discover their names did not appear on the rolls. Elections officials, good-government advocates and lawmakers say the failures illustrate the challenges of implementing the federal Motor Voter Act.

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National: Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) Introduces Bill to Terminate EAC | Yall Politics

Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections Chairman Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., introduced legislation to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and save taxpayers approximately $14 million dollars a year.

“The Election Assistance Commission is a prime example of an unnecessary government organization developed with good intentions that has outlived its usefulness. By eliminating the EAC, we are furthering our commitment to eradicate wasteful spending and inefficiencies in government operations.”

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Iowa: Iowa county elections officials oppose bill to require photo ID to vote | Des Moines Register

A proposed requirement that Iowans show a photo identification in order to vote would be expensive, would pinch voter turnout — and is unnecessary, several county election officials said Monday.

“We already have a very secure elections process. It doesn’t seem to make good sense in tough economic times to increase the costs and make it more difficult to vote,” said Tom Slockett, Johnson County’s 34-year elections chief. “It could be a chilling factor to people who aren’t real motivated to vote anyway.”

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Alabama: AL: Election Center director Granger resigns, will take federal court job | Montgomery Advertiser

A Montgomery official who has headed the county’s emerging election center since its inception has accepted a job with the federal court system, but his absence is not expected to affect the two upcoming city elections. Trey Granger has been director of the Montgomery Election Center since the office was created in 2005, but he notified county officials on Thursday that he would be leaving his post to become deputy chief clerk for the Middle District of Alabama. Granger said he would likely begin his new job by the first of March. He will report to Clerk of Court Debra Hackett, who did not return a call seeking comment Thursday. Center director Granger resigns will take federal court job