Oklahoma: Second recount goes to Smith – Final say still lies with Cherokee Supreme Court | MuskogeePhoenix.com

Which man will be the Cherokee Nation’s principal chief will not be officially determined until tribal court justices consider challenged votes. Unofficial results of the second recount in the race give incumbent Principal Chief Chad Smith the edge with five votes.

However, the numbers aren’t yet certified, and officials did not release the number of challenged votes. The court reconvenes at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Officials spent more than 20 hours counting ballots on Saturday and Sunday — the second recount since the June 25 election.

Smith made a brief announcement once the recount was complete, thanking his supporters first, then announcing his five-vote lead. “After a long effort and a long day, we are pleased with this result,” Smith said. “This shows that every Cherokee vote was counted.”

North Carolina: Fayetteville election will go on, even if no one is running | HamptonRoads.com

You could say elections in Tar Heel this year are wide open. No one in this rural town of about 117 registered as candidates for any of its four elected positions, and now the deadline has expired, Bladen County Board of Elections Director Cynthia Shaw said Friday.

“The filing period for Tar Heel was the same as it was for everyone else, and no one stepped up to the plate,” she said.

The county elections board declined to extend the deadline for candidate filings, meaning ballots will be printed with blank spaces allowing voters to write in their preferences. “We’ve had single offices without candidates before, but this is the first time I can remember a whole town not filing for any of the offices,” Shaw said.

National: The Politics Behind New Voter ID Laws | NPR

Voters going to the polls next year — and even some this year — will encounter lots of new rules. Photo ID requirements and fewer options for early voting are among the biggest changes. A voter casts a ballot in a Democratic primary on July 12, 2011 in Wisconsin, one of seven states to enact voter ID laws this year.

They’re part of a wave of new laws enacted by Republican-controlled legislatures this year. Supporters say the rules are needed to ensure honest elections. But Democrats say it’s part of a concerted GOP campaign to suppress the vote. They say minorities, students, the poor and disabled — those most likely to vote Democratic — will be hurt the most.

Seven states so far this year have enacted news laws requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. Ohio and Pennsylvania are considering similar requirements, and several other states already have them on the books.

Tennessee: Debate rages over new Tennessee voter-ID law | The Commercial Appeal

With the recent passage of a state bill that changes what qualifies as valid voter identification, Memphis — and Tennessee — has entered a national conversation on whether such laws are justified or acts of voter intimidation. The bill, which requires voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls, becomes law on Jan. 1.

Though proponents of the bill have said it will help curb voter fraud, some contend that it’s a measure by Republicans to suppress Democratic votes in 2012 elections. State and local elected officials gathered at the Mt. Olive CME Cathedral Church near Downtown on Sunday afternoon for a forum on the bill, where about 50 attendees from across Memphis posed questions to the representatives.

Maine: Petition drive seeks return of same-day registration | The Kennebec Journal

Leaders of the effort to repeal a new law eliminating Mainers’ ability to register to vote on Election Day are “cautiously optimistic” that they will succeed in getting the issue on November’s ballot.

Opponents of the law must gather more than 57,000 signatures of registered Maine voters by Aug. 8 to put the repeal question on the statewide ballot in the fall.

Mark Gray, campaign manager for Protect Maine Votes, said, “We’re getting just an overwhelming amount of positive response, both from people that are calling or sending us emails, wanting to volunteer to circulate petitions, and the people that are out knocking on doors and talking to folks to collect signatures.”

Minnesota: Ranked-voting system to debut in St. Paul City Council elections in November | TwinCities.com

In November, voters in the St. Paul City Council election will be able to choose up to six candidates per seat, ranked in order of preference. In other words, downtown residents could conceivably vote for all five candidates who have filed to run for office in Ward 2.

Nov. 8 will mark the city’s first experience with the new “ranked voting” system, otherwise known as “instant run-off voting” or “ranked-choice voting,” which was supported by voters in a ballot question last year. As a result, Ramsey County, which is contracted to coordinate the city’s elections, is gearing up for significant changes from politics as usual, and candidates, too, have had to adjust.

For starters, the new system has eliminated political primaries. Votes are tallied on Election Day, and if no candidate has 50 percent of the vote plus one vote, the weakest vote-getter is dropped from the results.

California: Yamada bill for all-mail ballot voting goes to governor | Daily Democrat

A bill that would bring an all-mail voting pilot project to Yolo County has gone to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. The bill overcame its last legislative hurdle Thursday, passing the Assembly Floor on a 50-19 vote.

“An important feature of this bill is the data that will be collected about the effects of all-mail ballot voting. The study element featured in this bill could help guide the future of elections in California,” said the bill’s sponsor Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis.

“I am proud to have received support on both sides of the aisle this year. This practical bill will give local governments an opportunity to save thousands of dollars per election.”

Editorials: Should Wyoming voters be able to register online? Wyoming Tribune Eagle Online

It is unclear if Wyoming will join the growing number of states that are adding the ability of residents to register to vote online, state officials say. Recently passed legislation in Maryland makes it the 10th state to implement online voter registration. Advocates of abandoning the paper-only policy say it can save money and make voting more accessible to the public.

Jennie Bowser, a senior fellow with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said many states have considered adding the online option since Arizona became the first in 2002.

Indiana: Judge orders special Muncie City Council election in two precincts | The Star Press

Democratic voters in two eastside precincts will again cast primary ballots in the Muncie City Council District 6 race, a Delaware County judge ruled on Friday.

Circuit Court 3 Judge Linda Ralu Wolf ordered that a special election be held Sept. 13 in precincts 12 and 20, voting at the Buley Center and Price Hall, respectively. Those are the polling sites that current District 6 council member — and apparent primary winner — Julius Anderson was accused of entering, in violation of election law, while the May 3 primary election was under way.

When the votes cast that day were tallied, Richard Ivy had finished 10 votes behind Anderson in a three-candidate primary field.

Cameroon: Diaspora Member: Voting Rights Law Falls Short | VoA News

A leading member of Cameroon’s Diaspora says recent changes in the West African country’s electoral law fall short of their demands. Cameroon’s National Assembly last week agreed to extend voting rights to the estimated five-million citizens living abroad, but only to those who are registered with their local embassy and who do not hold dual nationality.

Kenneth Ndeh, founder of the American Association of Cameroonians says the Diaspora has been asking for dual citizenship and that the recent changes are only intended to benefit President Paul Biya’s ruling party.

“There are lots of things that most Cameroonians in the Diaspora have asked for from the government both at the executive level and at the legislative level.  Most Cameroonians in the Diaspora have asked for dual citizenship and basic and respectable services at the consulate level of various embassies abroad and none of these things have been implemented,” he said.

Saint Kitts and Nevis: OAS Observers Confirm NIA Election Irregularities | The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer

The OAS Electoral Observation Mission has confirmed that two days prior to the July 11th Nevis Island Assembly Elections, voter names had been “added to and removed” from the voter’s list. The presence of the five-member team of experts in Nevis marked the first time the OAS had deployed a mission to observer a local election in the Caribbean.

Monday’s NIA elections saw the incumbent Premier Joseph Parry-led Nevis Reformation Party return to government with a controvertible 3-2 win over the Concerned Citizens Movement.

According to a statement issued by the OAS following the election, the observers collected complaints regarding the addition and removal of names from the voters list and its legal expert observed the related cases presented before the High Court last Friday. Based on their independent observations, the OAS team expressed concern with the process.

Malaysia: NGOs in the Election Commission? | Free Malaysia Today

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said NGOs can participate in the Election Commission (EC) but it comes with a lot of conditions attached. First, it was up to the EC to decide if civil society groups, which want to become the EC’s check and balance, are allowed to partake in its decision-making process.

Nazri says the although the EC is an independent body, the NGOs must negotiate with the government to participate in the commission. And the final caveat – if they want to negotiate with the government, they must promise that there will be no more street demonstrations.

Vietnam: Election Council pronounces May polls resounding success | Viet Nam News

The draft review report on elections for the 13th National Assembly (NA) and local People’s Councils showed that voting proceeded legitimately and democratically. General Secretary of the Election Council Pham Minh Tuyen reported yesterday that 99.51 per cent of voters or over 61 million citizens, turned out for the May 22nd election.

At a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday, Tuyen said 500 NA deputies and 302,648 People’s Council members had been selected.

India: Shillong to host first test for advanced Electronic Voting Machines | DNA

None of the existing MLAs will feel the threat of losing their seats even as candidates from all parties will be out on the electoral battlefield to woo voters as ballots will be cast in Cherrapunjee on July 26.

Confused? This will just be a mock polling exercise to be conducted in Sohra and Shella constituencies of Cherrapunjee just to test the efficacy of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system, a new technology which verifies the recording of votes in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Guyana: Government Ministers decry attempts at administrative disenfranchisement of voters in Guyana | NCNGuyana

Following Friday evening’s discussion on the National Communications Network (NCN) on which Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon appeared with Dr Prem Misir, discussions continued on disenfranchisement of a significant number of Guyanese who were not in possession of their source documents prior to the closure of the Claims and Objections period.

On the panel, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony and Minister in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran reiterated that those who have not been able to register due to no fault of their own and who would have made stringent efforts to get registered should be able to do so.

Thailand: Electoral Commission gets tough on complaints | Bangkok Post

Commissioner Sodsri Satayathum said an old tactic by opponents of victorious candidates is to set up networks which lodge false complaints, either in a bid to set up the disqualification of the MPs-elect or to stall for time in the hope that they are not endorsed before the deadline. Ms Sodsri said she could not yet confirm if such tactics had been employed since the July 3 election, but conceded “anything is possible”.

“We can encounter both real and false complaints,” she said. She warned people against trying to deceive the EC. In the past, the EC has taken criminal action against people found to have been involved in dishonest complaints.

The watchdog has been flooded with between 300 and 400 complaints stemming from the July 3 poll, with the number rising after the election as complaints came in even after the polling day.

Zimbabwe: In Zimbabwe, not enough money for elections | CNN.com

Zimbabwe’s electoral commission is not able to conduct the country’s elections this year unless it gets a cash injection from the government, a state-owned weekly newspaper reported Sunday.

The commission was only given $8.5 million by the country’s treasury, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairman Simpson Mutambanengwe said, according to the Sunday Mail. “We’re barely surviving. There is no money.”

Earlier this month, representatives of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party agreed that it would not be possible to have elections this year.
But last week, Mugabe’s party called for general elections this year to end the country’s two-year-old coalition government.

Albania: Albania’s Labyrinthine Local Elections | Worldpress.org

After two months and countless debates and legal proceedings, the local elections are finally over, or so it seems. Against all facts and expectations that pointed towards a revote in Tirana, the Electoral College on July 8 confirmed Lulzim Basha as the new mayor of Tirana with 93 votes more than his opponent, Edi Rama.

The Socialist Party, headed by Rama, won the major cities including Tirana, but dubious legal proceedings by the Central Electoral Commission, heavily criticized by OSCE-ODIHR, changed the result—which on May 14, when the counting process in Tirana finished, saw Rama winning by just 10 votes.

There were two main problems in Tirana. One votes were counted that were found in other ballot boxes. Two, in the final result from the Central Electoral Commission there are more votes than voters.