Ohio: Banned voting options popular with voters | The Columbus Dispatch

Four in 10 Franklin County voters would have to find a new time, place or way to cast their ballots under election-rules championed by Ohio Republicans in a new law. Experts and the people who run local elections fear lower turnout or longer lines on Election Day as a result.

“If we put 140,000 people back on Election Day, you have to wonder,” said William A. Anthony Jr., director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, citing the approximate number of people who took advantage of the conveniences the county offered in 2010 that allowed them to vote without going to the polls. “That’s a whole lot of people,” Anthony said. “Even 60,000 is a lot.”

Or 234,000. That’s the number of Franklin County voters who cast ballots during the 2008 presidential election on dates, at times or in locations that would be shut down if the GOP election changes – which have been signed into law but are the target of a referendum campaign – are implemented.

North Carolina: House to test Perdue on vetoes, repeatedly | The Daily Reflector

As North Carolina House leaders try this week to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of voter ID legislation, they’re ready to risk defeat on one of the most politically divisive issues raised by the General Assembly’s new GOP majority.

House Speaker Thom Tillis has committed the House to attempt that override and several others during this week’s brief legislative session focused on redistricting. An override vote that fails to get a three-fifths majority means the legislation dies until after the 2012 elections. Still, Republicans appear ready to lose some votes to stake out a position for next year’s campaigns.

“You’d rather never lose on a veto override. There are some that you are more willing to take that risk than others, because you know it’s the right thing to do and the public will know that you did the right thing,” said Rep. Ruth Samuelson, who counts votes for House Republicans. “There are some vetoes that are more political than others.”

Editorials: Election chance to restore faith – Cherokee election process under review | MuskogeePhoenix.com

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court’s order for a new election gives the candidates for principal chief a second chance to declare a definitive win. It also gives the tribe’s embattled election commission a chance to restore faith in the system.

The contest between Principal Chief Chad Smith and challenger Bill John Baker became a back-and-forth tug-of-war during the days immediately following the June 25 general election.

After both candidates were declared winners — then losers — allegations of fraud and deception surfaced. The integrity of the tribe’s election process suffered, and at least one commissioner targeted for criticism became a casualty of the bitter contest.

Ohio: IDs exceed voter-age residents | The Columbus Dispatch

One Democratic state politician says there are 887,000 Ohioans without a state-issued driver’s license or photo ID. The Service Employees International Union also puts the number of Ohioans without IDs at hundreds of thousands.

The number has become important because of a bill that passed the Ohio House and is now before the Senate that would require a state-issued photo ID to vote.

But records from the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles show about 8.83 million voting-age residents have an Ohio driver’s license or photo ID – about 28,000 more than there are voting-age residents in the state, according to the 2010 census. A Dispatch analysis of state driver’s license data found that the percentages of voting-age Ohioans with state-issued IDs also vary from county to county.

Wisconsin: Absentee vote costs adding up quickly | LaCrosse Tribune

Area municipal clerks are seeing a jump in requests for mailed absentee ballots, thanks to efforts by special interest groups to make sure people don’t miss out on the Aug. 9 Senate election.

In that rare recall election, Republican Sen. Dan Kapanke will face Democratic challenger Jennifer Shilling, a five-term state Assembly member who last week won a primary over Republican James Smith, who ran as a Democrat to give Kapanke more time to campaign.

“We’ve got so many people going door to door, and they’re kind of strong-arming people into applying for an absentee ballot,” said West Salem Village Administrator/Clerk Teresa Schnitzler.

Florida: Controversial Voter Registration Law Raises DOJ Investigation | Land O Lakes, FL Patch

Recent changes to Florida law require third party voter registration organizations to register with their local supervisor of elections office. Those that don’t follow the law can be held liable to fines and criminal penalties.

While the new law seeks to minimize voter fraud, a U.S. Department of Justice investigation is under way to determine if the rules violate the Voting Rights Act.

Malaysia: Ethics and the Election Commission | Free Malaysia Today

A key member of Bersih 2.0′s steering committee said he does not trust the biometric voting system proposed by Election Commission (EC) because of the latter’s poor reputation.

Wong Chin Huat said: “I don’t trust the biometric system because I don’t believe the EC has the competence and integrity to prevent rigging and other abuses.

“Does the EC have the competency to maintain the system and also to detect or eliminate hacking by an external party?” asked Chin Huat.

Thailand: Election Commission hoping to meet 30-day deadline | The Nation

The Election Commission would consider whether to endorse Pheu Thai party-list candidates and red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan within the 30-day deadline, EC chairman Apichart Sukhagganond said.

Meanwhile, another red-shirt leader, Thida Thawornseth, said the group would wait and see the EC’s decisions before deciding on future moves. However, Thida said the group’s decision had nothing to do with a request by Pheu Thai’s PM-in-waiting Yingluck Shinawatra for the group not to pressure the electoral body.

“The red shirts are formed by the people. People’s opinions can vary. However, no one should be worried that the red shirts will do any damage,” she said.

Philippines: Comelec to implement reforms through 5-year program | The Philippine Star

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday said it will strive to modernize, reform and redeem the integrity of the agency through a five-year program.

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes said the program, the Comelec Strategic Plan 2011-2016 or Comstrat, is anchored on the guiding principles of independence, integrity, accountability, transparency, impartiality, professionalism, efficiency, service orientation and rule of law.

“Comstrat is the summary of the five programs that we will be doing at the Comelec. It will start this year up to 2016. Most of us (commissioners) will not see the end of this program because we shall be retired by then,” he said. “But Comstrat had been ratified by the Comelec en banc so it will have to be implemented in the next five years.”

Malaysia: Najib says government to allocate funds for Election Commission’s biometric system | The Brunei Times

The government has agreed in principle to provide allocations for the Election Commission (EC) to implement the biometric voter verification system, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday.

Notwithstanding the funds, he said, it was important to ensure the system was running smoothly when the time came for it to be implemented. “I want the EC to ensure the system’s integrity and functionalities in line with its objective,” he told reporters after meeting Barisan Nasional component party leaders. He hoped that the system would be in place in the coming election but said that it was up to the EC whether they had sufficient time to develop the facility.

Latvia: Latvians back dismissal of parliament in vote | Al Jazeera

Latvians have overwhelmingly voted in favour of dissolving parliament in a referendum called to combat the power of oligarch businessmen, early results of the poll showed.

With more than 57 per cent of ballots counted, 94.8 per cent of voters supported the legislature’s dissolution, according to Central Election Commission data released on its website on Saturday.

“Overall voter participation in the referendum was good,” election commission chairman Arnis Cimdars told a news conference. The referendum will lead to a snap election in September.

Latvia: Saulkrasti registers highest turnout as referendum polls close in Latvia | Latvians Online

Voter turnout in Latvia topped 44 percent in the July 23 national referendum on dissolving the Saeima, according to data compiled by the Rīga-based Central Election Commission shortly after polls closed at 10 p.m. local time.
Now the counting begins, but the result will likely be that 100 MPs will be out of a job and will start planning their campaign for the expected September elections.

In all, about 682,000 citizens voted, with turnout especially strong along the Gulf of Rīga, where many people were spending their weekend at a beach. Saulkrasti County, on the gulf’s eastern side, registered turnout that topped 150 percent thanks to voters from outside the district casting ballots there.

Egypt: Egypt’s vote in November, says election official | gulfnews

Egypt’s parliamentary elections will be held in the second half of November, two months later than originally scheduled, Chief of the Higher Election Commission Abdul Moaez Ebrahim said on Saturday.

He added that the elections of both houses of the parliament will be held at the same time and fully supervised by judges. “Whether Egyptian expatriates will be able to vote or not needs a political decision,” Ebrahim told reporters in Cairo.

Zimbabwe: New bill does not create peaceful electoral environment: Zimbabwe Election Support Network | The Zimbabwean

In its preliminary response to the bill, which has been welcomed by some sections , the Zimbabwe Election Support Network said that it has, “critically assessed the draft Electoral Amendment Bill gazetted last month and suggested further improvements.”

“The Electoral Amendment Bill addresses a number of issues which ZESN believes are essential for the creation of a conducive environment and the levelling of the playing field for credible free and fair elections. At the same time ZESN notes that, even though some of the reforms will significantly improve the current electoral legal framework, the proposed amendments do not go far enough in addressing the creation of a peaceful electoral environment.”