Editorials: Ben Chipman: Bill to end same-day voter registration in Maine could take away right to vote for thousands of people | Portland Daily Sun

For the last forty years, Maine has allowed people to register to vote on Election Day and cast a ballot if they have proof of residency and some form of identification. A bill making its way through the Maine Legislature this session, L.D. 1376, would prohibit same-day voter registration and eliminate voting rights we have had since 1972.

It is hard enough to get people to vote now. Why would anyone propose making voting more difficult? Some have said that processing new registrations on Election Day is too much of a burden for city and town clerks and that allowing people to register and vote the same day opens up the potential for fraud.

Philippines: Bill seeks to get biometric data of all Filipino voters | FutureGov

The Philippine government is seeking to institutionalize the use of biometrics in voter registration to clean the voter record in preparation for the midterm elections in 2013. House Bill 3469 which requires all voters to have their biometrics data — photographs, fingerprints and signature — taken by an election officer and prohibits those without biometric data from voting has now hurdled Third Reading at the House of Representatives.

According to the author of the bill, 2nd district Tarlac Representative Susan Yap, the move will “cure the perennial problem of multiple registrants and flying voters” since every registrant is assigned a unique key of identification.

Editorials: Jon Ralston: If only Heller had done his job as secretary of state, we wouldn’t have mess to replace him as U.S. representative | Reno Gazette-Journal

If only Secretary of State Dean Heller had written regulations for a House special election, we wouldn’t have such controversy over filling U.S. Sen. Dean Heller’s seat.

But the Republican did not, as a 2003 law instructed, write any rules, so now we have chaos, thanks to a Carson City judge’s stunning decision last week that overturned the guidelines proposed by Heller’s Democratic successor, Ross Miller. And reading through the 97-page transcript of Judge Todd Russell’s decision reveals a jurist who seemed immediately predisposed to the GOP argument that party central committees should nominate and hostile to the Democratic Party claim that it should be, as Miller calls it, a “ballot royale.”

Arizona: Group Determined to Get More Signatures to Arizona Senate President Recall Pearce | myFoxPhoenix.com

Tuesday marks the deadline for one group looking to force a recall election of state Sen. President Russell Pearce. The group needs thousands of valid signatures from Mesa residents in order to move the recall effort forward.

Organizers with the Citizens for a Better Arizona believe they not only have enough signatures, they’re going for a kind of end zone spike symbolic victory as well.

California: Dean Logan and Michael Alvarez: Needed – a 21st century voter registration system for California | San Francisco Chronicle

The world looks to California for 21st century innovation, especially for the application of technology that makes life less costly and more efficient.

Californians are well into the 21st century, working in the cloud, using smart phones and tablet computers, and getting their entertainment on-demand by satellite. But when it comes to voter registration, California seems to be stuck in the 18th century. State law won’t allow eligible citizens in our state to register online until at least 2015 — and maybe much later.

Spain: Spain’s election commission says weekend protests illegal | AFP

Spain’s electoral commission declared late Thursday that protests set for this weekend by thousands of people angry over the economic crisis are illegal.

The Central Electoral Commission (JEC) said protests planned for Saturday and for Sunday, the day when regional and municipal polls are scheduled, “go beyond the constitutionally guaranteed right to demonstrate.”

Tunisia: Electoral Commission Wants Vote Delay | ThirdAge

Tunisia’s electoral commission announced Thursday it wants the first national election since the toppling of the country’s longtime strongman delayed for three months.

According to CBS News, the commission wants to hold the vote for a constituent assembly on Oct. 16 instead of in July to allow organizers more time.

Pakistan: Election Commission impasse: Pakistan Government to introduce 20th amendment | The Express Tribune

The government announced on Sunday that it would introduce the 20th amendment to the constitution, in a bid to pre-empt a likely Supreme Court decision to disqualify 26 lawmakers for having been elected through by-elections that were held without a fully constituted Election Commission of Pakistan.

The move is likely to trigger fresh concerns about the priorities of the government at a time when the country is facing severe security and economic challenges. The Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition is bleeding political capital even as the opposition Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz is actively campaigning against what it describes as the government’s failures.

Zimbabwe: How Zanu-PF plans to steal the Zimbabwe elections | Politicsweb

Despite clear and binding international agreements to the contrary, evidence now available shows that President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF is again planning to steal the next elections with the help of a grossly rigged electoral register.

After the 2008 elections, in which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change won a parliamentary majority but in which the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was forced to withdraw from the ensuing presidential election due to the overwhelming level of government-orchestrated violence, Zimbabwe’s neighbours in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) stitched together a deal, the Global Political Agreement, which saw Mugabe remain as President with Tsvangirai as Prime Minister and a commitment to a new constitution with free and fair elections.


Malaysia: Solid proof to declare Sarawak polls null and void | Free Malaysia Today

A political activist said he has visual and documented evidence to prove that rampant vote-buying in the recent Sarawak polls was a well-oiled plot from the very top. BK Ong, who was deported from Kuching last Tuesday, claimed he has the evidence which revealed cheques and vouchers to voters were issued from the Chief Minister’s Office.

“The evidence is strong enough to declare Sarawak polls null and void,” said Ong, a coordinator of the Malaysian Election Observers Network (MEO-Net).
Ong claimed that BN candidates were the main culprits in buying votes with monetary payments to secure ‘default’ victories.

Vietnam: Impressive Election Day in Vietnam | VOVNEWS.VN

Last weekend Vietnam held general elections for its National Assembly (NA) and all levels of People’s Councils. Such elections are held every five years but this year’s elections were particularly significant because it was the first time the NA and People’s Councils were elected simultaneously.

… Electronic voting has not yet appeared in Vietnam and the ballots are still counted by hand, similar to the way I voted in the small town where I lived in the USA. While this method may take longer to count and ostensibly have greater potential for human error, it does avoid fiascos like the infamous “dangling chads” of the US 2000 presidential elections.


UAE: UAE Election Commission approves formation of sub-committees | gulfnews

The National Election Commission (NEC) Sunday approved the composition of the sub-election committees across the UAE.

The formation of the committees was made in coordination with the courts of Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and the Rulers of the Emirates. The setting up of the Emirates Committees is one of the basic stages of the election of half of the 40-member Federal National Council (FNC).

The Voting News Weekly: TVN Weekly May 21-29 2011

Laws requiring that voters produce a photo ID were signed into law in Texas and Wisconsin this week – and vetoed in Minnesota. John Tanner, former chief of the voting section of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, has an interesting perspective on how the Texas bill might fare in the inevitable court challenges…

Texas: Perry’s Provocative Push Back | Technorati

Governor Rick Perry of Texas today signed into law “voter ID” legislation which requires polling places within the state to verify the identity of potential voters with a photo identification card. Voter ID laws are designed primarily to address voter fraud and prevent ineligible citizens, or non-citizens, such as criminal aliens, from participating in elections. Twelve states, including Texas, now have voter ID laws which require photo identification.  Seventeen additional states have similar laws which require a form of identification, but not a photo.

Editorials: John Tanner: Why voter ID won’t fly in Texas | statesman.com

It has started again. Proponents of voter ID requirements are preparing another push, confident that the law is on their side. In fact, they are backing into a buzz saw.

On the surface, the pro-ID group has reason to be complacent. It won in the Supreme Court in Indiana, which had the most restrictive ID requirement in the nation, and also in Georgia. Those states, however, are a world away from Texas.

The Voting News Daily: Without DOJ sign-off, Florida elections chief balks at voting law, Election Transparency Must be Apolitical

Florida: Without DOJ sign-off, Florida elections chief balks at voting law | MiamiHerald.com Until the Justice Department gives a green light, the elections officials in five [Florida] counties won’t begin implementing an election law that critics say violates the Voting Rights Act protecting minorities. The elections supervisor in Rick Scott’s home county refuses to recognize…

Florida: Without DOJ sign-off, Florida elections chief balks at voting law | MiamiHerald.com

Until the Justice Department gives a green light, the elections officials in five [Florida] counties won’t begin implementing an election law that critics say violates the Voting Rights Act protecting minorities.

The elections supervisor in Rick Scott’s home county refuses to recognize a new law the governor signed out of concerns that the U.S. Department of Justice hasn’t decided whether it violates a law protecting minority voters.

Voting Blogs: Election Transparency Must be Apolitical | TrustTheVote

For those of you who have been following the recount saga in Wisconsin, here is a bit of news, and a reflection on that.

So, the news from a couple of days ago (I’m just catching up) is that the process of re-counting is complete, but the resolution of that close election may not be.  The re-counting did not change which candidate is leading, and apparently expanded the margin slightly.

Trailing candidate Joanne Kloppenburg explains her motivation for the recount in a newspaper letter to the editor, building on the old but true assertion that, “One may be entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.”

Bangladesh: Moudud Ahmed says BNP to boycott e-voting in Bangladesh | bdnews24.com

A [Bangladesh Nationalist Party] BNP policymaker has said they will not take part in elections if the government introduces e-voting, as it will be ‘a tool of vote rigging’.

“We won’t accept e-voting and take part in elections. Elections must be held under the existing voting system,” Moudud Ahmed said at a human chain programme at the South Plaza of the parliament building on Saturday morning.

Canada: Internet voting nixed for November municipal elections | Vancouver Sun

Vancouver voters can expect to line up the old-fashioned way this November, after the provincial government, citing “a number of serious risks,” nixed a plan to allow online voting in upcoming municipal elections.

“There are potential benefits to Internet voting namely convenience to voters, and accessibility for voters with disabilities or limited mobility,” James said in the letter. But online voting technology cannot guard against hackers, service disruptions or vote buying and selling, James said.

As well, B.C.’s chief information officer is still developing a way to confirm a voter’s identity and then make their vote anonymous. “[The voting process] is unlike online banking where the user’s identity is maintained throughout the transaction,” James said in his letter.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Governor Walker Signs Voter ID Law, Angering Democrats | Suite101.com

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker signed a bill that will require voters to produce a photo identification card (Wisconsin issued driver’s license, passport, military ID, or student ID with certain details) at the polls. Poll workers will begin to ask voters for identification on January 1, 2012, but it will not be required by law until the spring elections of 2012.

The primary rationale for the law, according to Republican proponents, is to combat voter fraud. Democrats, however, feel that the law is a political move to limit the vote of their biggest constituents.


Editorials: Scot Ross: Why voter ID bill may be unconstitutional | CapTimes

We believe Wisconsin’s new voter ID law is overly burdensome on voters and that the state is simply unequipped to administer this law and ensure legal voters will not be disenfranchised or subject to a poll tax. We continue to confer with legal counsel about what potential legal challenges can be made against Gov. Scott Walker’s voter suppression bill.

The bill originally was based on Indiana’s voter ID bill. According to the U.S. Supreme Court case upholding Indiana’s bill, the lower court found that “99 percent of Indiana’s voting age population already possesses the necessary photo identification to vote under the requirements.” The Supreme Court concluded that Indiana’s law was constitutional, specifically because so few Indianans were without the state-issued photo identification.

Wisconsin: Election officials wary over cost, implementation of Wisconsin voter ID bill | LaCrosse Tribune

Election officials across Wisconsin are bracing for a difficult transition as the state rushes into place new rules for voting signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday — including a controversial measure requiring voters to use photo identification.

Passage of the law, which has been discussed by Republicans for more than a decade, means those charged with enforcing it have less than two months to develop and implement the training needed to handle polls in the coming recall elections.

“This will be a huge undertaking, to get everything and everybody ready,” said Diane Hermann-Brown, Sun Prairie city clerk and president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association. “We still have questions about how this will work.”

Texas: After Six-Year Fight, Perry Signs Texas Voter ID into Law | Texas Observer

After six years of fierce partisan battling, the legislative war over voter ID in Texas is officially over. Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter ID bill into law this morning. The legislation requires voters to present one of five acceptable forms of photo ID—a drivers license, military ID, passport, concealed handgun license or a special voter ID card provided free of charge by the state. Gov. Perry designated voter ID as an “emergency item” early in the session, giving it particular priority as lawmakers rushed it through the legislative process.

… The bill signed today enacts a voter ID law more stringent than its counterparts in other states. Unlike Indiana’s law—which the bill was largely based on—Texas’ voter ID law doesn’t recognize student IDs as acceptable forms of voter identification and it gives people with a missing an ID only six days to produce one in order for their vote to count.

California: Report finds Santa Clara County California mail-in ballot hiccup may have impacted local races | Inside Bay Area

Santa Clara County election officials sent more than 7,500 mail ballots to the wrong addresses during last June’s election, unwittingly canceling votes cast by some South Bay residents even as those living out of state received ballots.

A report released Friday from the county’s civil grand jury concludes the Registrar of Voters does not follow the proper procedures to avoid errors when mailing out ballots to people who have recently moved.

Florida: Tampa’s election cost much less than expected | TBO.com

With a packed ballot, two weeks of early voting and several runoffs, Tampa officials were bracing for a hefty price tag from the recent citywide elections. As it turns out, those costs won’t be as much as expected.

Figures from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office indicate the March 1 election cost $747,748, including expenses for early voting and the runoff elections. That’s about $250,000 lower than the original estimates for the election, which Elections spokesman Travis Abercrombie attributed to keeping the staffing costs under control.

Kenya: 2012 electronic voting plan receives support of Kenyan MPs | Nairobi Star

MPs want the electronic voting system put in place in readiness for the 2012 general election. Several MPs yesterday supported a motion by Karachuonyo MP James Rege for the government to facilitate the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to develop an electronic system for collection, collation, transmission and tallying of electronic data.

Cabinet minister Otieno Kajwang rooted for the passage and adoption of Rege’s motion which he said will help weed out electoral malpractices. He said an electronic voting system will facilitate the release of instant results after an election.