District of Columbia: Rabbi files lawsuit against D.C. elections board | JTA

An Orthodox rabbi in Washington and two of his congregants have filed a class-action suit against the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics.

The complaint, filed May 27, claims that the board placed an unconstitutional burden on observant Jews by scheduling a special election on the last day of Passover this year.

Full Article: Rabbi files lawsuit against D.C. elections board | JTA - Jewish & Israel News.

Editorials: Supreme Court recount worthwhile? Our answer? Absolutely. | Appleton Post Crescent

The recount in the state Supreme Court race is done and, as expected, incumbent David Prosser is the winner over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg. Prosser held a 7,316-vote lead heading into the recount and finished with a 7,006-vote lead.

So, the question is, was the recount worthwhile?

Our answer? Absolutely.

Full Article: Editorial: Supreme Court recount worthwhile | Appleton Post Crescent |

Voting Blogs: State Election Board Failed to Review Minutes from Waukesha County ‘Recount’ Before Certifying Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Results | The Brad Blog

Last Monday, May 23rd, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state’s top election agency, officially certified [PDF] the controversial results of the extraordinarily close April 5th statewide Supreme Court election and its subsequent “recount”.

However, as The BRAD BLOG has learned, the agency certified those results without reviewing hundreds of official exhibits documenting wholesale ballot irregularities, on-the-record objections from the attorneys of the candidate who filed for the “recount”, and thousands of pages of official transcripts and minutes documenting the entire “recount” process from the election’s most controversial county.

Full Article: The BRAD BLOG : EXCLUSIVE: WI State Election Board Failed to Review Minutes from Waukesha County 'Recount' Before Certifying Supreme Court Election Results.

Virginia: The cost of voting in Virginia to go up |

The cost of voting has just gone up, big time, in some Virginia localities and the reaction is one of surprise.

The redistricting plan for both the state House and Senate approved by the General Assembly will create a large number of split voting precincts in Northern Virginia. Local governments will foot the bill for adding new voting machines and poll watchers, and for notifying voters when those changes take place. County governments could have to cut elsewhere to make up for the increased cost.

Full Article: The cost of voting in Virginia to go up -

Oklahoma: Many changes to come in election process |, Muskogee, OK

Voters can expect a lot of changes in the election process over the next several months, said Connie Parnell, regional coordinator for the Oklahoma Election Board.

Parnell also serves as Cherokee County Election Board secretary. She visited the Muskogee County Election Board last week to go over the changes with local officials.

Full Article: Many changes to come in election process » Local News », Muskogee, OK.

Oregon: Senate OK’s Legislation To Improve Oregon Voter Registration |

The Oregon Senate approved legislation Thursday that supporters said will help the state improve voter registration. House Bill 2880 will require state agencies to evaluate their compliance with the National Voter Registration Act and make plans for improving their compliance.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and Oregonians are proud of our high rate of registration and turnout in elections,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum, who carried the bill on the floor.

Full Article: Senate OK’s Legislation To Improve Voter Registration -

Wisconsin: Clerks say small-town poll workers may face shocked voters over new ID law | GazetteXtra

In the small towns of Walworth and Rock counties, voters and poll workers usually know each other, their kids and their kin. The friendly familiarity that clerks say has suppressed voter fraud might turn to hard feelings when photo identification becomes a voting requirement for the 2012 spring elections.

On the other hand, showing photo identification could prevent occasional misunderstandings by elderly, hard-of-hearing poll workers.

Full Article: Clerks say small-town poll workers may face shocked voters over new ID law -- GazetteXtra.

Massachusetts: Falmouth Massachusetts Election Recount to Be Held on Wednesday | The Enterprise Newspapers

Both Kevin E. Murphy of Dale Drive, North Falmouth, and Paul D. Brodeur of Bacon Farm Road, East Falmouth, will have to wait until Wednesday when a recount of last week’s election will take place to determine who is the fifth and final selectman.

Next Wednesday’s recount will be done by hand, to determine the accuracy of the machines that are used annually during an election. Town Clerk Michael C. Palmer was confident that the results of last week’s election, which had Mr. Murphy ahead of Mr. Brodeur by eight votes, 2,920 to 2,912, will hold up.

“I believe the machines are accurate, and I welcome the opportunity to show how accurate they are and give people confidence in how we operate our elections and are doing things correctly,” he said. “This will certainly show me whether I’m right or wrong in how I feel about the machines.”

Full Article: Falmouth Election Recount to Be Held on Wednesday - Falmouth - Communities | The Enterprise Newspapers.

Nevada: Lawmakers vote 13-8 to restore voting rights to ex-felons in Nevada | Daily Reporter

Voting restrictions for ex-felons are on their way to being overhauled in Nevada. Senators voted 13-8 Monday to wipe away the restrictions surrounding ex-felons and the right to cast a ballot. Current law excludes certain felons, whereas AB301 is a blanket restoration of voting rights.

AB301 would also eliminate the requirement that former felons apply for the right to vote, a measure Sen. Greg Brower of Reno told lawmakers was a step too far.

Full Article: Lawmakers vote 13-8 to restore voting rights to ex-felons.

Maine: Coalition Battles GOP Plan to Eliminate Same-Day Voter Registration in Maine | MPBN

A bill that would eliminate same-day voter registration has some heavy-hitters behind it. Secretary of State Charles Summers says he crafted the bill as a way to lighten the workload for clerks on Election Day, and he’s gotten leaders of the Republican majority in both houses to be sponsors.

But opponents says the bill’s passage will get rid of a four-decade old tradition, and throw up a barrier to voting for people who can’t register ahead of time. A coalition representing a diverse group including single mothers, seniors and the disabled is using the Memorial Day weekend to urge House Republicans to break with their party before an expected vote Tuesday.

Full Article: Coalition Battles GOP Plan to Eliminate Same-Day Voter Registration.

Editorials: Bill to end same-day voter registration in Maine a solution in search of a problem | Bangor Daily News

In 1973 the last Republican-controlled Legislature unanimously passed “same-day registration” allowing voters to register and cast their votes in a one-step process on Election Day. Same-day registration has been an overwhelming success.

Since it passed, Maine has risen from 21st in the country in voter participation to 3rd in the country. A higher percentage of Maine voters participate in our local and national elections than the voters of any other state except Minnesota and Wisconsin, both of which also have same-day voter registration. In fact, same-day registration is the single-most important thing states can do to improve voter participation by 5 to 15 percent.

Full Article: Bill to end same-day voter registration a solution in search of a problem — Maine Opinion — Bangor Daily News.

Armenia: Armenian Election Law Again Amended |

The National Assembly on Tuesday approved in the second reading a set of legal amendments which its pro-government majority says will facilitate the proper conduct of the next Armenian elections. Armenia’s leading opposition groups dismiss the amendments as insignificant, however. They have also denounced the parliament majority for rejecting virtually all major proposals made by them.

The latest changes in the Electoral Code stem from sweeping political reforms that have been promised by the Armenian authorities to the Council of Europe. The Strasbourg-based organization’s Venice Commission, which monitors legal reforms in Council of Europe member states, has made a largely positive assessment of them.

Full Article: Armenian Election Law Again Amended - «Ազատ Եվրոպա/Ազատություն» ռադիոկայան © 2011.

India: Bar association polls: status quo ordered on Indian Electronic Voting Machines | The Hindu

The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Election Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association to maintain status quo in respect of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in the May 11 election of office-bearers for 2011-12.

… In the present application, the plaintiffs said it was their contention in the suit that though as per the election schedule the time for voting was declared to be from 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.., the time was illegally extended first till 5.00 p.m. and later on up to 7.00 p.m.

Full Article: The Hindu : News / National : Bar association polls: status quo ordered on EVMs.

Malaysia: Aggressive voter registration by political parties in Malaysia | My Sinchew

Political parties have been aggressively registering new voters nationwide with some 115,989 already signed up as of March. Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the registration was done by 5,686 Voter Assistant Registrars.

“Their appointment was to facilitate voter registration regardless of time and place. We monitor the registration monthly,” he told Bernama here today. Aziz said EC had registered 21,042 voters including 15,726 new ones while the other 5,316 applied for change of voting centres.

Full Article: Aggressive voter registration by political parties | My Sinchew.

New Zealand: Electoral Commission begins $5m education campaign in New Zealand | 3 News

The Electoral Commission has begun a six month campaign to prepare voters for the second big question they’ll be asked at the general election in November. For 15 years we’ve been used to just two ticks, but this election there’ll be two more – whether the voter wants to keep MMP and if not, which voting system they’d prefer.

Voters will be asked whether they want to keep the current system or switch to one of four alternatives, which means voters should understand how five different voting systems work.

Full Article: Electoral Commission begins $5m education campaign - Story - Politics - 3 News.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Constitution might change dual citizenship election rule for Turks and Caicos Islanders |

A little noticed change proposed for the 2006 Constitution would make Turks and Caicos Islanders holding dual citizenship eligible for election to the House of Assembly if they renounce their citizenship in another country before nomination.

Section 47(1) of the 2006 Constitution — which is currently suspended — states, “No person shall be qualified to be a member of the House of Assembly who is, by virtue of his or her own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to any foreign power or state.”

Full Article: Constitution might change dual citizenship election rule.

Bermuda: One Bermuda Alliance calls for fixed term elections | Bermuda Politics

One Bermuda Alliance Chairman Michael Fahy yesterday called for fixed term elections as speculation grows over when Premier Paula Cox will send people to the polls. The OBA has pledged in its platform to introduce fixed term elections as part of a proposal to improve democracy meaning a general election would take place on a set date instead of one the Premier selects.

After Ms Cox put the Progressive Labour Party in election mode last week, Mr Fahy told The Royal Gazette: “In the event of an election being called the OBA will be prepared to contest all constituencies.

Full Article: OBA calls for fixed term elections | Bermuda Politics.

Guyana: Elections still some time away as Guyana’s voters list not updated | Stabroek News

PNCR Leader Robert Corbin says his party has “some time” to prepare for an election, since neither national nor local government elections can be held unless the voters’ register is updated.

Asked during a press conference on Friday about the perceived lethargy within the party concerning the holding of local government elections, Corbin said his party was not being “lethargic” but rather “pragmatic”. He said that information from the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom) indicated that the voters’ register list had to be updated.

Full Article: Elections still some time away as voters list not updated – Corbin - Stabroek News - Guyana.

Belarus: Sannikov’s Statements are Groundless says Belarus Election Commission Head Yermoshina |

Head of Belarus’s Central Election Commission Lidia Yermoshina sees no legal grounds for the second round of presidential elections, while the statement of imprisoned former candidate Andrei Sannikov are baseless, as she believes. “Applications on recognizing the elections null and void shall be submitted within three days after the polling day,” she pointed out.

“But if to assume that Mr. Sannikov was in “places not so remote” at that time and was unable to apply, then such a statement was filed by one of the candidates – Mr. Kastusiou. This application was considered at the CEC meeting summing up the elections results. It was recognized groundless and consequently rejected. Mr Sannikov provides no additional facts and is unable to. Therefore, all Sannikov’s statements are a desire to draw the attention of the international community to the situation, as well as to push a criminal case in the political sphere,” said Lidia Yermoshina, reports “European Radio for Belarus.”

Full Article: | Sannikov's Statements are Groundless, Yermoshina.

China: Grassroot elections show path best suited for Chinese democracy | GlobalTimes

Authorities in South China’s Guangdong Province recently reported 12 typical cases of voter fraud in local village elections since 2008. Candidates tried to rig the elections by buying votes, tampering ballots and even grabbing ballot boxes to prevent people from voting.

Differing from Western practice, China’s democratic experiment has adopted a bottom-up path. Village elections, first launched in 1987, have prevailed nationwide since the early 1990s.

Some liberal scholars simply describe China’s democratization as copying the Western model, and fail to observe the specific conditions of the nation. Just like other countries undergoing social transformation, China has seen its own problems in its experiments with democratization.

Full Article: Grassroot elections show path best suited for democracy - GlobalTimes.