National: Senators concerned by photo ID requirement to vote |

Sixteen Democratic senators want the Justice Department to look into whether voting rights are being jeopardized in states that require photo identification in order for people to vote.

The lawmakers wrote Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday to express concern that millions of voters do not have a government-issued ID — particularly older people, racial minorities, low-income voters and students. The senators say the photo ID requirements have the potential to block millions of eligible people from exercising their right to vote.

Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the department is monitoring, as it routinely does, this type of legislative activity in the states. Read More

New Hampshire: In conservative New England state, voter ID vetoed | peoplesworld

New Hampshire might be the most conservative state in New England, but John Lynch, the Democratic governor, isn’t following the tea-party crowd. He vetoed June 27 a bill that would require all residents to present photo identification before voting.

“There is no voter fraud problem in New Hampshire,” Lynch said upon vetoing the bill. “We already have strong elections laws that are effective in regulating our elections.”

Stricter voting laws have been pushed in New Hampshire and in states across the country by the Republican Party and its tea-party allies. They argue that civic groups like ACORN have manipulated the voting process. Opponents point out that no significant cases of voter fraud have actually been uncovered. Read More

Nevada: Supreme Court Set To Weigh In On Special Election In 2nd Congressional District | Nevada News Bureau

Attorneys for the state Democrat and Republican parties argued their cases Tuesday before the Nevada Supreme Court over whether they should pick their candidates for the special election to fill the vacant 2nd Congressional District seat, or whether it should be a “ballot royale.”

The Democrat Party and Secretary of State Ross Miller, himself a Democrat, are asking the court to rule by July 6 that any and all comers should be able to file to fill the vacancy left with the appointment of former Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., to the U.S. Senate.

Attorneys for the Republicans say Miller exceeded his authority in making the election a free-for-all, and that the parties should select the single candidate to represent them in a special election that has been set for Sept. 13, although it is possible this date might have to be changed. Read More

Nevada: Who rules Nevada’s elections? Court to decide. | Las Vegas Sun

Seems there’s nothing like a deadline, or perhaps a U.S. House vacancy, to focus the mind. That mantra apparently applied to both the Legislature — which passed a bare bones special election law eight years ago — and the secretary of state’s office, which never got around to writing regulations governing how a special election should be conducted.

Now that Nevada is facing its first U.S. House vacancy, the state Supreme Court will decide how the next representative from the 2nd Congressional District will be chosen. It’s a political process that most justices appeared uncomfortable wading into, based on questions they asked during oral arguments Tuesday on the case that will decide the matter.

“Why shouldn’t we let the secretary of state make this decision?” Justice Mark Gibbons said. “Otherwise we’re going to have judges running elections, and that may not be a good idea.” Read More

Indiana: White: ‘There is no loss of credibility’ | The Indianapolis Star

Secretary of State Charlie White smiled triumphantly, took his wife’s hand and calmly walked past the reporters waiting to talk to him Tuesday after the Indiana Recount Commission allowed him to keep his job.

But his victory might be short-lived. His job still is in jeopardy.

Even though the bipartisan panel voted 3-0 to reject Democrats’ complaint that he was illegally registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy, the Democrats could appeal to the courts. Read More

Editorials: Jennifer Wagner: Charlie White’s lonely outpost | The Indianapolis Star

If there’s one thing Indiana Republicans and Democrats can agree on, it’s that disgraced Secretary of State Charlie White should step down from the office he’s embarrassed since the day he took the oath.

On Tuesday, the Indiana Recount Commission granted White a temporary legal reprieve, ruling that the state’s election laws are sufficiently vague to prevent his removal from office. White faces criminal trial in August on seven felony counts of voter fraud, theft and perjury.

White has attempted to turn his failure to properly register to vote and his illegitimate service on the Fishers Town Council into an intricate personal tale: It wasn’t his fault he broke the law. Life just got too complicated to focus on the details. Read More

Editorials: Voter-fraud bill misguided, wasteful |

QUESTION: What will cost New Hampshire taxpayers $108,670 during the next two years to address a problem that does not exist?

ANSWER: Senate Bill 129, the so-called Voter I.D. bill, which mandates that every voter in the state show photo identification before casting a ballot. The mandate is flawed, because some photo-IDs are deemed okay to use whereas others, such as photo IDs that are provided by town and city employers, are not necessarily okay. Also, the bill doesn’t guarantee secrecy for the provisional ballots that would be required of those voters who must scurry off to get acceptable photo IDs on election day.

However, these are piddling matters compared to the justification for the bill, and here we leave it to D.J. Bettencourt, the House Majority Leader, to argue the case. In a news release issued shortly after Governor John Lynch vetoed Senate Bill 129 this week, Bettencourt wrote: “It is mystifying to me why the governor of New Hampshire, elected to uphold our Constitution, would oppose legislation that would put an end to allegations of voter fraud that surface after every single election in our state.”

Allegations of fraud? How about actual fraud? Read More

Oklahoma: The Cherokee Nation Chief election will go to a recount |

The tight Cherokee Nation chief election will now be hand counted beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. Initially, challenger Bill John Baker was named the un-official winner of the Cherokee Nation election on Sunday, by 11 votes

On Monday, the official results showed incumbent Chief Chad Smith the winner by seven votes. Both candidates hope Thursday’s recount will end the dispute.

“I think it’s black eye on the Cherokee Nation, I think it’s a travesty to the citizens that voted because they ought to know that their vote counted,” said candidate Bill John Baker. Read More

Oklahoma: Baker accuses Smith employees of tampering with Cherokee election | Tulsa World

Cherokee Nation principal chief candidate Bill John Baker on Wednesday afternoon formally requested a recount of this weekend’s election.

The tribe’s election commission overturned the unofficial results posted on its website early Sunday morning. The unofficial tally — 7,600 to 7,589 — listed Baker as the winner by 11 votes, but official figures released by the commission Monday afternoon declared current chief Chad Smith the victor by a 7,609-7,602 margin.

“We demand to know what caused the change in vote tally. We want to know who demanded the change and why,” he said at a news conference. “All Cherokees should demand to know the truth.” Read More

Thailand: ‘There are three phases of vote buying in this year’s Thai election’ | TODAYonline

The fierce race to claim victory at Thailand’s general election on Sunday has resulted in more rampant vote buying nationwide, with the average price of vote buying in central provinces higher than in other regions, a survey has revealed.

This time, vote buying was divided into three phases including a period before the candidate registration, during the official election campaign after the election registration and in the final leg of the race, said Mr Sukhum Chaloeysap, director of the Suan Dusit Poll by the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University.

In the first phase, vote buying was aimed purely at boosting the popularity of the political parties and the average price of such vote buying was 300 baht (S$12) per voter per candidate, Mr Sukhum said. Read More