The Voting News Daily: Indiana Secretary of State White can stay in office, Bill passes requiring ID at Pennsylvania voting booths

Indiana: Secretary of State White can stay in office, recount panel rules | The Indianapolis Star The Indiana Recount Commission voted 3-0 this morning that Secretary of State Charlie White can remain in office. The panel of two Republicans and one Democrat turned down Democrats’ complaint that White was illegally registered to vote when he declared…

Indiana: Secretary of State White can stay in office, recount panel rules | The Indianapolis Star

The Indiana Recount Commission voted 3-0 this morning that Secretary of State Charlie White can remain in office. The panel of two Republicans and one Democrat turned down Democrats’ complaint that White was illegally registered to vote when he declared his candidacy last year.

The ruling came as a relief to White, who smiled and took his wife’s hand as they exited the hearing this morning. He said his feelings today reminded him of his elation after he handily defeated Democrat Vop Osili in last November’s election.

“I’m very humbled,” White said after hearing the commission’s ruling. “Obviously, our family is very happy that we’ve been able to at least put the recount commission phase of this is behind us.”

Pennsylvania: Bill passes requiring ID at Pennsylvania voting booths |

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill late Thursday night that would require all Pennsylvanians to show an official photo identification card every time they vote at the polls.

House Bill 934 – known as the Pennsylvania Voter Identification Protection Act – was introduced by state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, earlier this year. Metcalfe said his bill would prevent voter fraud, including impersonation at the polls, fictitious registrations, double-voting, and voting by illegal immigrants.

… Critics of the bill, including state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby, have argued it wastes taxpayer money and makes it more difficult for senior citizens and people with disabilities to vote.

Editorials: Kudos to Lynch for voter ID veto |

While it came as a surprise to no one, Gov. John Lynch did the right thing Monday when he vetoed legislation that would require voters to show some form of photo identification in order to vote in New Hampshire.

The Republican-initiated bill (SB 129) seeks to solve a problem that does not exist, raises the cost of elections for cities and towns, and in close elections would delay the naming of the winner for a minimum of three days, if not longer.

But all of those reasons pale in comparison to this: In a state with no history of voter fraud, why enact a change in state election laws that would actually discourage people from voting? We always thought the goal of government and civic leaders was to encourage people to vote.

Indiana: Charlie White wins ruling, to retain office | The Journal Gazette

The Indiana Recount Commission ruled 3-0 Tuesday that Secretary of State Charlie White will keep his statewide office despite confusion over his voting address last year.

The partisan panel – two Republicans and one Democrat – specifically found that White was legally registered to vote when he ran for office and won last year – something the Indiana Democratic Party contested.

Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said White was an eligible candidate and was properly registered at his ex-wife’s home because he intended to live there with his son until his marriage in late May 2010. The finding puts an end to the civil complaint unless the Democrats decide to appeal.

National: Doubling Down on Dubious Claims of Voter Fraud | Brennan Center for Justice

As the push for restrictive voter ID legislation in the states continues, so too does the rhetoric surrounding voter fraud. Last week, New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran doubled down on her previous claims of voter fraud in her state. Not only did the number of the suspected cases of voter fraud balloon from 37 to 64,000, but Duran went a step further in turning over the alleged 64,000 cases to New Mexico State Police for investigation. Noting that law enforcement will be investigating what may largely amount to data entry errors, some have questioned if investigating 64,000 cases —5 percent of registered voters in New Mexico — is a wise use of state resources.

As was the case when Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler unveiled his findings of alleged voter fraud in his state, the conclusions drawn here are questionable. While Duran has not released her methodology and analysis, her description in March of how she and her staff discovered 37 cases of possible voter fraud is of great concern. As previously discussed, Duran claimed to have found 37 possible cases of voter fraud by “matching” the names and birthdays from voter registration lists with a list of foreign nationals. She further claimed to have uncovered 117 individuals whose social security numbers did not match their name. Duran has not explained how this number suddenly ballooned to 64,000.

Ohio: Ohio is latest focus of voter ID struggle | MSNBC

On Tuesday the Ohio Senate might vote on a bill to require voters to show a form of photo identification when they go to the polls. John McClelland, a spokesman for the state’s Republican Senate caucus, said it’s unclear whether the Senate will take action on the bill before its summer recess. The senators’ immediate focus is on the state’s two-year operating budget, which must be approved by Thursday.

A voter ID bill potentially has big implications since voters in Ohio may decide who becomes president. Since World War II, Ohio has gone with the winner of the presidential election every time but once. The state, which will have 18 electoral votes in next year’s election, was decisive in 2004 and 1976, helping give narrow victories to George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Ohio, a former elections official, argued that the voter ID bill ought to be rejected. “Over the last 50 years, we have broken down barriers to voting,” she said, “We have eliminated literacy tests and poll taxes. We have expanded early voting to accommodate voters that are working longer hours.  We should continue to make voting accessible.  This measure instead takes us backward.”

Editorials: Nathaniel R. Jones: No evidence of voter fraud | Youngstown News

The legislation (House Bill 159) that would require Ohio voters to show various forms of identification in order to cast a ballot is not needed. It reflects a stunted sense of history, or most charitably, a form of electoral amnesia.

Where is the evidence of voter impersonation that might warrant such a requirement? This bill is simply an attempt to make it harder for certain citizens to vote. And many of those citizens are African-Americans.

As I said in my testimony before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee on June 22, “throughout history, whenever those engaging in the strategy of voter obstruction were challenged, the answer was always a denial that racial motives were involved, just as those advancing this pernicious voter ID now contend.”

Oklahoma: Voter-ID law faces another legal challenge in Tulsa | Tulsa World

Another legal challenge has been filed in Tulsa County against Oklahoma’s new voter-identification law.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday against the state Election Board asserts that the impact of that law, approved by state voters in November, will create “serious interference” with the unrestricted right to vote for voters who “do not have appropriate identifying credentials or who are unwilling to accept any level of this statewide infringement on the right to vote.”

Rhode Island: Rhode Island among the 10 states least friendly to voting |

It’s not easy to rock the vote in Rhode Island. That’s according to a new scorecard from Rock the Vote that ranks Rhode Island’s voting system 10th-lowest based on 12 metrics related to voter registration; casting a ballot; and young voter participation.

Rhode Island scored a 30%, better than neighboring Connecticut (20%) and Massachusetts (28%). The top state was Washington at 68%; the worst were South Carolina and Virginia, both at 18%.

I asked Secretary of State Ralph Mollis for his reaction, and he sent along this statement highlighting his office’s efforts on these fronts:

Nevada: High court hears arguments on special election for House seat |

Several Nevada Supreme Court justices suggested Tuesday that perhaps they should defer to Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller to set the rules for a special election for Congress.

“Why shouldn’t we go along with the secretary of state?” asked Justice Kris Pickering during oral arguments that lasted less than one hour.

Justice James Hardesty said that when there are no clear regulations on election matters, the court should defer to the administrative decision. But he seemed to take positions on both sides of the matter Tuesday.

Florida: New voter registration laws don’t stop everyone | St. Petersburg Times

Standing inside the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office early Tuesday morning, Vince Cocks proudly handed over 13 completed voter registration forms. It might not look like much, but Cocks is learning to celebrate the small victories in the wake of stringent new state elections laws.

“I’m honored to register voters,” he said. “I believe this is what the country is about.”

Critics say the laws, which went into effect in May, make it too difficult for third-party organizations — which include groups like the Boy Scouts and the League of Women Voters — to register voters. Supporters say the laws are designed to combat voter fraud and will provide better oversight of the voting process.

Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma election draws comparisons to 2000 presidential vote in Florida | The Republic

Cherokee Nation council members expressed hope Tuesday that the controversy swirling around the disputed election for the principal chief’s office can be resolved amicably. The election and its aftermath are drawing comparisons to the famed recount in the 2000 presidential election in Florida involving Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore.

Longtime tribal councilman and challenger Bill John Baker, who trailed three-term incumbent Chad Smith by seven votes in the latest count from Saturday’s election, didn’t file a formal recount request Tuesday but is expected to do so by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

The Cherokee Nation is Oklahoma’s largest American Indian tribe and one of the nation’s biggest, with membership approaching 300,000 members.

Uganda: Court okays vote recount for Kasese Woman MP | Daily Monitor

High Court sitting in Kasese has upheld a request for a vote re-count by Ms Rehema Muhindo (NRM), who lost to Ms Winfred Kiiza (FDC) in the February 18 parliamentary polls.

She had successfully applied for a vote recount in the Kasese lower court but during the counting, court found some ballot boxes tampered with and halted the exercise. Later Ms Muhindo, through her lawyers, Mr Ngaruye Ruhindi unsuccessfully applied to High Court in Fort Portal presided over by Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama for a revision order.

Philippines: Tiñga: Taguig recount snags Brillantes appointment | Metro

The delay in the confirmation of Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes is actually due to an electoral protest in Taguig City and not a sincere desire to have clean elections, retired Supreme Court Justice Dante O. Tiñga said yesterday.

The retired magistrate said Senate Minority Leader Alan Cayetano, a member of the Commission on Appointments, delayed the approval of Brillantes’ appointment because he wanted to indefinitely delay the recount of Taguig’s mayoral election which Cayetano’s wife Lani won by a slim margin.

“The senator is really not interested in seeing an appointee who has a “roadmap towards clean and honest elections,” as he calls it, but someone whom he personally likes, to head the Comelec,” said Tinga, who was also a Taguig congressman.

South Africa: Disappointment at South African election gender figures | News24

The drop in the representation of women in local government confirms the need for laws on increasing the number of women in decision-making positions, the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities said on Tuesday.

“The ministry is disappointed at the decline in the percentage of women as councillors in the country from 40% in 2006 to 38% after the 2011 local government elections,” the department read.

According to Gender Links research and advocacy organisation, which analysed representation at the May local government elections, in 1995 representation of women in local government was at 19% overall; 29% in 2000; 40% in 2006 and then dropped two percentage points to 38% for May 2011.

Bahamas: Prime Minister outlines sweeping election act changes | Bahama News

Amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act could lead to the elimination of the requirement for Bahamians whose addresses do not change to register before every general election.

“We are unique in that we require people to register every general election no matter whether you’ve moved or didn’t move,” said Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham as he led debate on the bill in the House of Assembly yesterday.

The requirement has been viewed as an unnecessary one for years. The government is hoping that this will be the last time that people who maintain their addresses will have to re-register.