The Voting News Daily: Online voting not feasible in India: Chief Election Commissioner, Citizens challenge Colorado Secretary of State’s plan, discover ballot irregularities

India: Online voting not feasible in India: Chief Election Commissioner | The Times of India Making voting hi-tech will make the entire democratic process of voting an unsafe venture, feels S Y Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner of India. He said on Tuesday that India was not yet ready for bringing in technology into the voting system.…

Colorado: Citizens challenge Secretary of State’s plan, discover ballot irregularities | Center Post Dispatch

The review of the 2010 ballots, won by Sec. of State Scott Gessler last month began in Saguache Monday, with a core group of volunteers offering to serve as judges and observers for the hand count. Judge Martin Gonzales ruled in Gessler’s favor Aug. 11 allowing the SOS to view voted ballots, which Gonzales determined “may be subjected to public inspection.” His ruling shot down Saguache County Clerk Melinda Myers’ contention that such a review would violate voters’ rights to secrecy.

Directives for the review issued by the SOS last week did not preclude the counting of mail-in ballots separated out into precincts. But Jessica Duboe, Democrat judge for the Nov. 2 election told the SOS that the mail-in ballots were not sorted by precinct and indicated they should not be disturbed. Duboe added that she was speaking as a representative of the clerk’s office.

The group peppered Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) staff with questions about how the review should be conducted and what should be reviewed. They protested that the votes cast in Prec. 5 (Crestone) have been in question since the election and since they were largely mail-in, should be counted as a precinct in order to decide if the Nov. 5 “retabulation” of these votes following the discovery of the error was accurate.

Maine: Belmont Student at the Center of Maine ‘Voter Fraud’ Case | Belmont, MA Patch

What is it about being from Belmont and being accused of voter fraud. Earlier this year, a fringe candidate for the Republican presidential candidacy claimed that long-time Belmont resident and fellow candidate Mitt Romney was committing voter fraud, an allegation – later proven baseless – that was quickly picked up by websites and left-leaning political cable television shows.

Now a Belmont resident studying at the University of Maine is now at the center of a growing controversy in which the chairman of the state’s Republican Party claiming out-of-state students were engaged in voter fraud, according to a Maine media site.

Christopher Knoblock is among 206 students on the list submitted in July by Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster to the secretary of state for investigation of voter fraud.  “Webster is attempting to challenge students’ right to register and vote where they attend school, indicating some had registered in their home state and then re-registered on campus,” according to a report this week from the Bangor Daily News.

Arizona: Arizona high court accepts transfer of recall case | Arizona Daily Star

Arizona’s top court agreed Wednesday to decide whether a Nov. 8 recall election will be held for state Senate President Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican known nationally for championing legislation against illegal immigration.

A Pearce supporter’s appeal of a judge’s ruling against a challenge to holding the recall election was filed with the mid-level Court of Appeals. But the Supreme Court on Wednesday approved a request by sides in the case to accept transfer the case to the high court. That bypasses the Court of Appeals so there’s a ruling in time to avoid any interruption in the election process.

The Supreme Court will consider the case Sept. 13 during a closed-door conference, without hearing oral arguments, spokeswoman Jennifer Liewer said.

New Mexico: Watchdog: Probe of voter registrations detrimental | The Santa Fe New Mexican

A national elections watchdog group has told Secretary of State Dianna Duran that her referral of 64,000 voter registrations to the state Department of Public Safety for investigation might undermine confidence in the system and violate state law.

In a letter to Duran dated Thursday, Ben Hovland, senior counsel for the Washington, D.C.-based Fair Elections Legal Network, wrote, “We fear that your attempt to ensure ‘accuracy and integrity’ in the system has had the opposite effect as unsubstantiated claims of large numbers of irregularities on voter registration records do not lead to greater accuracy of records and may, indeed, serve to undermine confidence in the system.”

Hovland asked for additional details as to the nature of this investigation, including the methodology used to select and examine the 64,000 registration records, when the investigation might be finished, and information about the steps taken to protect the private data in the registration records being investigated.

Tennessee: Quirky laws let prisoners vote | The Tennessean

For one eight-year, four-month period some 30 years ago, criminals could do anything they wanted in the state of Tennessee without losing at least one freedom: the right to vote. That fact now haunts Mary Carolyn Roberts, a candidate for a Metro Council seat representing the West Nashville district where three state prisons are located. “It’s just unsettling to see nine felons … deciding who our elected officials are,” Roberts said.

Roberts lost to Councilman Buddy Baker by 46 votes last month, but Baker received just nine more votes than he needed to avoid a runoff in the three-candidate District 20 race. Roberts later filed an election challenge, citing votes by nine prisoners — including six who aren’t even incarcerated in Nashville — and by 14 other people who allegedly don’t live in the district.

… Until Jan. 15, 1973, people found guilty of “infamous” crimes in Tennessee forfeited their voting rights. The definition of “infamous” was quirky to the point of ridiculousness: Someone convicted of abusing a female child would be banned from the ballot box, but nothing was said about abusing a male child. And while bigamy, horse stealing or destroying a will would lead to disenfranchisement, first-degree murderers including James Earl Ray, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin, continued to vote with the law on their side.

Belgium: 450 days after election, still no government  | ajc.com

Belgium hit a new milestone Monday — 450 days without a government — but still no one appears to be in any big hurry to resolve the situation. Europe’s financial crisis and feeble economic growth may scare governments from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea, but in Belgium it is a sideshow. Talks on a new Belgian government, which have been going on since the June 13, 2010 election, were at a standstill Monday for a third day running.

Why? Because Green Party negotiator Jean-Michel Javaux — also the mayor of Amay, a small eastern town — had to attend a town meeting to vote on, among other things, a new police car and a computer. Prime Minister Yves Leterme, meanwhile, was on a visit Sunday to Israel, assuring its leaders that all’s well in Belgium.

But that’s not really true — intractable divisions between Belgium’s Dutch and French-speaking camps are looming over the nation. And because anything can become a linguistic spat, Belgium has had 45 governments in 67 years.

Indonesia: Govt set to verify 14 new political parties | The Jakarta Post

The Law and Human Rights Ministry will begin verifying 14 new political parties on Tuesday, ministry state administration director Asyarie Syihabudin said on Monday. “We have formed teams, each consisting of six ministry officials to be deployed to check the parties’ preparedness as general elections contestants,” he said.

The verification processes, which would see whether the parties’ administrative, human and physical resources have met the requirements set by the 2011 Political Party Law, will be conducted until Sep. 20, Asyarie said. The law, for example, requires all parties to maintain offices in all 33 provinces, 75 percent of the cities and regencies in each province and 50 percent of the districts in each city and regency.

UAE: Election stimulates interest of young Emiratis in politics | gulfnews

Despite political apathy remaining a dominant feature among young Emiratis, a growing number of youth are showing keenness to participate in the election processes and are familiarising themselves with the rules of political participation in the UAE.

Although not listed in the electoral college of the 2011 Election of the Federal National Council (FNC), a number of Emirati youth have stepped in to attend and follow the election process to learn and understand the FNC and UAE political system and prepare themselves to take part in elections in the future.

Amani Al Beloushi, 17-year-old, is one of the young Emiratis who dreams of becoming a minister in future. Although neither Amani nor her family members are part of the electoral college, she is keen to follow the election process to enable her develop her political ambitions.

Zambia: Zambia’s Political Parties Witness Printing of Ballots | VoA News

An official of Zambia’s electoral commission says political parties and other stakeholders are monitoring the printing of ballot papers for the September 20 general elections. Chris Akafuna, spokesman for the electoral body, also called on Zambians to develop what he calls trust and interest in the electoral process ahead of the vote.

Akafuna said the electoral commission has implemented measures to ensure transparent, free and fair elections. “Apart from political parties,” he said, “we have representatives of civil society, the church, and law enforcement agencies monitoring the process.”

Some opposition political parties have questioned the printing of the ballot papers in South Africa. They also accuse the electoral commission of bias, while expressing concern that the September 20 vote could be rigged in favor of President Rupiah Banda’s Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).  But, Akafuna rejects the accusations as unfounded. “Whatever the commission does is based on the provisions of the law,” said Akafuna. “We follow procurement processes according to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority and we seek their clearance, before we go ahead [with] any procurement, and that is what we did even in this case,” said Akafuna.