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National: Senators concerned by photo ID requirement to vote | ajc.com

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.

Full Article: Senators concerned by photo ID requirement to vote  | ajc.com.

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.

Full Article: In conservative New England state, voter ID vetoed » peoplesworld.

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.

Full Article: Nevada News Bureau » Blog Archive » Nevada Supreme Court Set To Weigh In On Special Election In 2nd Congressional District.

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.”

Full Article: Who rules Nevada's elections? Court to decide. - Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | 2 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun.

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.

Full Article: White: 'There is no loss of credibility' | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com.

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.

Full Article: Jennifer Wagner: Charlie White's lonely outpost | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com.

Editorials: Voter-fraud bill misguided, wasteful | SentinelSource.com

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?

Full Article: Voter-fraud bill misguided, wasteful - SentinelSource.com:.

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

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.

Full Article: The Cherokee Nation Chief election will go to a recount.

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.”

Full Article: Baker accuses Smith employees of tampering with Cherokee election | Tulsa World.

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.

Thailand: Thai Election Commission gets 521 poll violation complaints | Bangkok Post

The Election Commission has received a total of 111 direct complaints about alleged campaign violations, backed with evidence, since May 23, and nearly half of them are about slander and intimidation by candidates. The EC also received another 410 poll-related complaints lodged via its hotline and website without any supporting evidence.

The commission said on Wednesday that of the 111 complaints, 51  alleged slander and acts of intimidation, 17 allege  cash handouts in return for votes,  four complained of candidates organising parties to woo votes, 20 questioned the political neutrality of  government officials and 19 were related to campaign billboards and campaign rallies.

Pakistan: Azad Jammu and Kashmir polls: Tribunal formed to address complaints | The Express Tribune

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Election Commission formed a tribunal to address what it expects will be many complaints by candidates relating to the June 26 Legislative Assembly polls, even as it denied charges of rigging in the polls.

A spokesperson for the election commission said that the tribunal would be a faster mechanism for dealing with petitions likely to be filed by many of the losing candidates. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has already begun filing cases alleging rigging in the AJK elections and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) is reportedly considering a similar move.

However, even as it formed the tribunal, the Election Commission spokesperson denied that they had been involved in any vote rigging.“No incident of casting fake votes or any unlawful use of influence upon the polling staff was reported in any of the constituencies,” the spokesman said.

Full Article: AJK polls: Tribunal formed to address complaints – The Express Tribune.

Kyrgyzstan: MP indignant at unfair election of Kyrgyzstan Central Election Commission’s members | eng.24.kg

Parliament member of Kyrgyzstan is indignant at unfair approach used during election of members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) by the presidential quota. Mrs. Galina Skripkina stated.

She said when the parliamentary quota of 8 persons was approved MPs voted for them through general ticket. “Now we are offered to vote for each four candidates separately. This is unfair. Tomorrow we can be accused of bias. We have to elect them through general ticket,” said Mrs. Skripkina.

Full Article: eng.24.kg.

British Virgin Islands: New Elections Bill Bringing Key Changes to British Virgin Islands | BVIDailyNews.com

A new bill is being proposed that will see many changes in the way some aspects of the elections process is conducted. Some of these changes are likely to take effect at the upcoming polls once legislators sit to pass the bill.

However, yesterday June 28, the House of Assembly granted the Acting Attorney General, Baba Aziz leave for the second reading and debate on the bill Elections (Amendment) Act, 2011 to be deferred to next month.

Full Article: New Elections Bill Bringing Key Changes; Debate Postponed - BVIPlatinum.com | BVIDailyNews.com.

Lesotho: No exact date for Lesotho elections | SABCNews

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of Lesotho is still not sure of the exact date on which the local government elections will be held. It was earlier scheduled for September, but a new date is now being considered.

Meanwhile, main opposition political parties which earlier threatened to boycott elections, are now calling for a postponement saying they still have to register voters and many will be excluded if the proposed September date is honoured.

Full Article: SABCNews - Main Feature > Top Stories.

Zambia: Electoral Commission of Zambia will not extend the voter verification exercis – Mambilima | Lusaka Times

Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Justice Irene Mambilima has maintained that the commission will not extend the voter verification exercise which came to an end June 12. This follows calls by political stakeholders for an extension to allow more registered voters to have their details verified before the final register is compiled.

Speaking in Lusaka today during the ECZ/political parties’ liaison Committee meeting, Justice Mambilima said the commission has little time left before the forthcoming tripartite elections and that extending the verification exercise will have a negative impact on the commission’s preparatory works.

Full Article: Zambia: Electoral Commission of Zambia will not extend the voter verification exercise-Mambilima.

Ghana: Electoral Commission to start biometric registration before end of year in Ghana, but no electronic voting in 2012 | Afari-Gyan

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), on Wednesday announced that the commission would commence biometric voter registration before the end of this year. He, however, dismissed speculations that the EC would use the electronic voting process for Election 2012.

Dr Afari-Gyan was speaking on the third day of a public lecture, organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, in Accra.

The three-day forum, which started on June 27 to 29, 2011, is on the theme: “Elections and the Democratic Challenges in Africa”.

Full Article: EC to start biometric registration before end of year - Afari-Gyan | General News 2011-06-30.

Nigeria: Ogun electoral commission sues Amosun | 234Next

The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission {OGSIEC} has dragged the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, to court for what the commission described as illegal and wrongful dissolution.

The chairman of the commission, Kayode Adeleye, and seven other members of OGSIEC, filed a suit at the Abeokuta High Court, challenging the May 31 dissolution of the commission by the governor.

In an originating summons filed by their counsel, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN), the commission members prayed the court to determine whether the governor had powers to dissolve it in line with Sections 197 and 199 of the nation’s 1999 Constitution, as well as Section 7 (1) of OGSIEC law.

Full Article: Ogun electoral commission sues Amosun.

Angola: Electoral commission learns about functioning of data processing office | Angola Press

The chairwoman of the National Electoral Commission (CNE), Suzana Inglês, on Tuesday here received detailed information about the functioning of the Data Processing Office of the Ministry of Territory Administration (MAT).

During a visit to the office, accompanied by the minister of Territory Administration, the chairwoman of CNE  checked the premises and watched a video on the steps that have already been taken in the process of updating the voters’ registration database, as well as the mapping of the location for the future voting stations.

California: Sentencing Delayed For San Francisco Ballot Thief | KTVU

A man who pleaded guilty to stealing ballots from a polling station he was working at in San Francisco’s Crocker Amazon neighborhood last November was set to be released next week but will stay in jail a little while longer after a bizarre sentencing hearing Thursday.

Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, had pleaded guilty to stealing the ballots, a voter roster, and a memory box and access key to a voting machine from the station on Knott Court where he was working as a poll worker supervisor on Election Day, Nov. 2, 2010. Nicholas was arrested early the next day and the ballots were later found in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts, prosecutors said. 

Full Article: Sentencing Delayed For SF Ballot Thief - News Story - KTVU San Francisco.