The Voting News Daily: Congressional Leaders Speak Out Against Voter ID Laws, Flaws seen in absentee ballot program for military voters

National: Congressional Leaders Speak Out Against Voter ID Laws at Press Conference on the Hill | Campus Progress Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) held a press conference on Capitol Hill today in opposition to the voter ID laws sweeping states across the country. The event featured statements from Reverend Jesse Jackson, the ACLU, the National Action…

National: Congressional Leaders Speak Out Against Voter ID Laws at Press Conference on the Hill | Campus Progress

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) held a press conference on Capitol Hill today in opposition to the voter ID laws sweeping states across the country. The event featured statements from Reverend Jesse Jackson, the ACLU, the National Action Network, and other civil rights leaders, along with a host of congressional representatives.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Corinne Brown (D-FL), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) were among the leaders who spoke out in strong opposition to photo ID requirements at the polls, emphasizing the laws’ disproportionate effect on the elderly, students, low-income communities, and people of color. This week, Rep. Fudge and twenty congressional representatives signed on to a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting that the Department of Justice investigate the constitutionality of voter ID requirements, which could possibly violate the Voter Rights Act of 1965. As Campus Progress previously reported, on June 29 Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) circulated a similar letter to AG Holder which was signed by 15 Senators.

National: Flaws seen in absentee ballot program for military voters | Washington Times

The Justice Department’s program for handling military absentee ballots suffers from major flaws, and a survey revealed low turnout among military voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, according to a report by a private group made public on Tuesday.

Less than 5 percent of 2 million military personnel in states that are home to 80 percent of U.S. troops voted last year, the report by the Military Voter Protection Project (MVP) said. The low numbers were in part the result of complicated and mishandled federal enforcement, said Eric Loveland, MVP founder and author of the report.

“We’re 10 years into conflict now, and we still can’t seem to get the absentee voting things right,” Mr. Eversole said. “This needs to be a priority now. We can’t let our servicemen suffer another election.”

Voting Blogs: Wisconsin’s Soft Launch and Hard Times | Rock the Vote Blog

As the Wisconsin recall elections kicked off yesterday, voters were greeted with a test run of the new photo ID law. The “soft implementation,” as officials were calling it, was an effort to get voters used to the real photo ID requirements, which will go into effect next year. Everyone who votes in the recall elections this year will be asked to show ID. If you don’t have one, you’ll still be allowed to vote and will be given a flyer on the new requirements and how to meet them.

The Government Accountability Board estimates that educating Wisconsin voters will cost about $750,000, not including the price of the IDs or infrastructure such as increased poll hours and worker training.

National: New EAC Report Shows Increased Voter Registration Among Low-Income Americans | Project Vote

A newly released review of a June 27 report by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) shows that voter registration application rates at state public assistance agencies have risen sharply following National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) enforcement actions by advocacy groups Demos, Project Vote, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and others. In contrast, the overwhelming majority of states not targeted have continued to see a long decline in registration of lower-income residents.

The EAC report covers voter registration that occurred between the November 2008 and November 2010 elections.

Wisconsin: Robo Calls To Democrats Add To Voter Confusion | WISN Milwaukee

Automated telephone calls to Democrats placed on a primary election day could be adding to an already confusing and controversial election day in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Right To Life began placing calls to Wisconsin Democrats stating they will be sent applications for absentee ballots for an upcoming election.
The phone calls, which were traced to a telemarketing company in Virginia, carried the following message from Wisconsin Right to Life executive director Barbara Lyons:

Hello, this is Barbara Lyons from Wisconsin Right to Life. I’m calling today to let you know that you will be receiving an absentee ballot application for the upcoming recall elections in the mail in the next few days. These recall elections are very important and voting absentee will ensure that your vote is counted and that we can maintain a pro-family, pro-life state Senate. We hope that we can count on you to complete that application and send it back to us within seven days. Thank you for your support. Wisconsin Right to Life can be reached by calling 877-855-5007.

Egypt: No Internet voting in Egypt: Telecom Minister | Ahram Online

Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) presented new draft amendments to the telecommunications law, according Maged Osman, minister of communications and information technology.

… The minister dismissed the possibility of utilizing electronic voting through the internet in the upcoming elections. “It has been proven worldwide that there is a high risk of security compromises using such method in elections”

Saint Kitts and Nevis: Nevisians took to the streets of Charlestown in Election protest | SKNVibes

The clamorous chants of “we want justice…we demand fair play” by some 1 500 supporters of the Concerned Citizens Movement, echoed through the streets of downtown Charlestown yesterday (July 12) in protest of what they claimed to be a rigged election.

At about 3:30 p.m., disgruntled supporters of the CCM began gathering at the Memorial Square in Charlestown for a 4:00 p.m. meeting at that venue with their party’s Leader Vance Amory.

On arrival of Amory and the party’s Deputy Leader, Mark Brantley, and hearing that the Premier-designate, Joseph Parry, Hensley Daniel and Robelto Hector were scheduled to be Sworn In at approximately 5:00 p.m. at the Elquemedo Willet Park, the rapidly growing crowd decided that a protest march should take the place of the meeting.

Louisiana: Louisiana Violated Disabled Voter Rights, U.S. Says in Suit | Bloomberg

The state of Louisiana and some of its agencies and officials violated the National Voter Registration Act through their treatment of disabled residents and people on public assistance, the U.S. said in a lawsuit.

The U.S. Justice Department said in the suit filed today in federal court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that the state broke the law by failing to provide voter registration services at offices administering to residents on public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. The law requires states to “identify and designate” these offices as voter registration agencies, the U.S. said.

Arizona: Who will challenge Pearce in recall election? |

The petitions have been certified, and the recall election date has been set but it remains unclear who will run against State Senator Russell Pearce in his Mesa district in November. Political analysts say the fact that no one has come forward suggests a lack of planning on the part of those behind the recall.

“It’s a little alarming that we’re this far down the process and we have yet to have a candidate that’s running,” said political analyst Marcus Dell’Artino of First Strategic. Those organizers of the “Citizens for a Better Arizona” group say they expect a candidate will come forward in the coming week.

Montana: New tools to help Montana absentee voters move |

Montana’s legislators might have shot down a move to allow people to do all their voting by mail, but Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is taking steps to make it easier for absentee ballots.

GOP lawmakers led the move to squash a proposal to allow vote-by-mail during the recently completed legislative session. That opposition came despite support from elections officials in every Montana county and successful adoption of vote by mail by other states like Washington a decade ago.

However, the Legislature did agree to have voter registration cards to display an option for people to sign up for the Annual Absentee List. McCulloch has now issued the new enhanced voter registration card, as well as a postcard allowing currently registered voters to permanently switch over to absentee voting.

Ohio: State OKs paying lawyers in Ohio voting-rights case | Columbus Dispatch

The State Controlling Board approved Secretary of State Jon Husted’s request for more than $332,000 yesterday to pay attorneys’ fees for plaintiffs who sued the state in 2006 over alleged violations of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

The lawsuit, filed by two Cleveland-area residents and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, named then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Barbara E. Riley, then-director of the state’s Department of Job and Family Services, as defendants.

US Virgin Islands: Elections preparing to purge voter rolls | Virgin Islands Daily News

The St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections will begin cancelling about 4,700 voter registrations this week. According to law, if a voter misses two consecutive elections, that voter’s registration is cancelled, and he or she must re-register to vote in any future elections.

Following each election, the Elections staff sifts through the voter books and pulls out the registrations to be cancelled. Notices are sent out urging those voters to apply for reinstatement if they do not want to be pulled from the voter rolls.

Thailand: Thai Election Commission Postpones Certifying New Prime Minister | VoANews

Thailand’s Election Commission has delayed certifying the election victory of both Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra and the former leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva, because it says it is still looking into complaints of irregularities in the vote.

Ms. Yingluck is playing down the decision, but it is just one in a series of challenges she faces before forming a new government.
Voter fraud Thailand’s Election Commission has been investigating complaints of irregularities and fraud in the July 3 vote and postponed endorsing the victory of the 44-year-old Pheu Thai Party leader, Yingluck Shinawatra.

Ukraine: Nine Oppositional Parties Agree To Meet On September 12 To Create Committee To Ensure Fair Elections | Ukranian News

Oppositional political forces Our Ukraine, Ukrainian People’s Party, Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, Svoboda All-Ukrainian Association party, Sobor Ukrainian Republican Party, Motherland defenders party, Ukrainian party, Republican Christian Party and the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine have agreed to meet on September 12 to create committee to ensure fair elections.

Respective agreement was reached at the working meeting of representatives of these political forces initiated by the Our Ukraine.

Hungary: Hungary Proposes Single-Round Election | Wall Street Journal

Over the weekend, Hungary’s governing party Fidesz proposed a mixed, single-round parliamentary election system instead of the current two-round one, immediately attracting huge public outcry.

The governing party, which has a sweeping majority in parliament, is in the process of revamping the country’s public sector. This spans from changes in the administration to cutting red tape to simplifying the election system. Part of the latter effort is a plan to eventually decrease the number of parliament members to 200 from the current 386.

Serbia: No elections this year, says Serbian parliament speaker | B92 News

Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Đukić-Dejanović says there will be “no elections in Serbia this year”. The speaker, a high ranking official of Ivica Dačić’s Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), note that sge had received no initiative for early local elections.

Slavica Đukić-Dejanović told reporters at the parliament building today that the political elite would agree on whether to hold parliamentary and local election at the same time or separately.

UAE: Federal NationalNational Election Commission launches roadshows | WAM

In the run-up to the forthcoming elections to the Federal National Council (FNC), the National Election Commission will flag off a series of roadshows to enlighten the UAE community on the election process and its importance.

Nearly 130,000 citizens, both men and women from all the seven emirates in the UAE, are supposed to cast their votes to elect half of the members to the country’s national assembly.