The Voting News Daily: Supreme Court recount worthwhile?, State Election Board Failed to Review Minutes from Waukesha County Before Certifying Election Results

Editorials, Wisconsin: 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.

On its face, the margin after the election — about a 7,000-vote victory with about 1.5 million votes case — was close enough to make a recount a legitimate request. But the extraordinary circumstances nearly demanded a recount. Read More

Blogs, Wisconsin: 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. Read More

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.

On its face, the margin after the election — about a 7,000-vote victory with about 1.5 million votes case — was close enough to make a recount a legitimate request. But the extraordinary circumstances nearly demanded a recount.

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.

Virginia: The cost of voting in Virginia to go up | WTOP.com

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.

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

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

Armenia: Armenian Election Law Again Amended | azatutyun.am

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.

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.

… It is thus imperative that the EVMs used in the election of SCBA be sealed and kept intact, they said and sought a direction that the sealing of EVMs be held in their presence.

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.

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.

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

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.”

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.

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.

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

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.”

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.

Malawi: Malawi tripartite polls in 2014; opposition accuses government of violating law | The Maravi Post

Malawi will for the first time since the re-introduction of multiparty politics in 1994 hold tripartite elections in 2014, a decision the country’s opposition said was a violation of the constitution. The government announcement follows the cancellation of Local Government Elections that were scheduled to be held this year.

“This means voters will be voting for the president, Members of Parliament and Councillors at the same time,” Local Government and Rural Development Minister Anna Kachikho said Monday.  “Very soon I will be launching a guide, code of ethics and conditions of service related to local government structures.”

Oregon: Why Return of Voted Ballots Should Not be Permitted via Email | Voting Matters Blog

Email voting?  Why not, one might ask?!  A lot of folks use the false analogy of  online banking to argue that email voting should be allowed for the convenience and accessibility of voters.  Not a moment of thought is given to the security risks involved.  So I’ve done a brief Fact Sheet summarizing the major arguments against returning voted ballots via email.  I’m OK with distribution of blank ballots via email but not the return of voted ballots by the same method.

Oregon, like many other states, considering authorizing email return of ballots — the bill is HB 3074 and this post is directed toward that proposed law, but could effectively be applied to a host of other states which are considering similar legislation (or perhaps need to review already adopted laws in light of these arguments).

Latvia: Election commission slates July 23 as date for Saeima referendum | Latvians Online

A national referendum on dissolution of the Latvian parliament is set July 23, the Central Election Commission in Rīga has announced. The date was approved May 30 after President Valdis Zatlers on May 28 used his constitutional power to initiate dismissal of the Saeima—the first time any Latvian head of state has done so.

In a nationally broadcast speech, the president reacted to the May 26 failure by the Saeima to back the prosecutor general’s request to allow a search of residences controlled by oligarch and MP Ainārs Šlesers. Zatlers said the decision revealed a split between the legislative and judicial branches of Latvia’s government.

Bulgaria: Bulgarian Expats Demand Having Own Public Councils | Sofia News Agency

Bulgarians, residing abroad, sent a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister, Nikolay Mladenov, and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, insisting on having their support in organizing a vote for Public Councils in October. The vote is to be held simultaneously with the presidential and local elections in Bulgaria in the fall.

The authors remind that as early as 2000, the Law for Bulgarians Living outside Republic of Bulgaria has been passed, providing for the establishment of a National Council of Bulgarians Abroad, which is to have nine members, five of whom from the diaspora. The same law provides for creating consulting bodies of Bulgarian communities abroad at Bulgarian diplomatic representations in the respective country.

The Voting News Daily: Takoma Park explores online absentee voting, Numerous Challenges Could Push Back Date of Wisconsin Recall Election

Maryland: Takoma Park explores online absentee voting | Gazette.net Takoma Park may offer absentee voters the option to vote online in this falls city council and mayoral election. The city Board of Elections is working with Scantegrity, a research group that ran the citys 2009 elections, to develop a system in which absentee voters could…

Maryland: Takoma Park explores online absentee voting | Gazette.net

Takoma Park may offer absentee voters the option to vote online in this falls city council and mayoral election.

The city Board of Elections is working with Scantegrity, a research group that ran the citys 2009 elections, to develop a system in which absentee voters could vote online. The city will still be conducting traditional voting at polling places, regardless of whether an online absentee system is implemented, City Clerk Jessie Carpenter said.

Wisconsin: Numerous Challenges Could Push Back Date of Wisconsin Recall Election | Fox Point-Bayside, WI Patch

Challenges filed by state Sen. Alberta Darling and three other senators against the recall petitions filed against them could push back the date of the recall elections, the state Government Accountability Board said Friday.

The board had tentatively set the date for all recall elections for July 12. However, that date was set before the four incumbents – Darling, and Democrats Jim Holperin, Robert Wirch and Dave Hansen  – raised “numerous factual and legal issues” regarding the petitions, the board said.

National: Republican States Push Revisions to Voting Laws | NYTimes.com

Less than 18 months before the next presidential election, Republican-controlled statehouses around the country are rewriting voting laws to require photo identification at the polls, reduce the number of days of early voting or tighten registration rules.

Republican legislators say the new rules, which have advanced in 13 states in the past two months, offer a practical way to weed out fraudulent votes and preserve the integrity of the ballot box. Democrats say the changes have little to do with fraud prevention and more to do with placing obstacles in the way of possible Democratic voters, including young people and minorities.