Wisconsin: Not all student IDs allowed in Voter ID Law | WQOW TV

There’s a solution in place to help address a concern of the new Voter ID Law.  To meet requirements of the new law, many universities have been worried they’d have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to update all student IDs.

Earlier this week, a solution was approved.  Universities will be able to issue students a sticker to place on their ID.  “They approached us about the idea of having special stickers that universities would issue that would bear the university’s logo and have a signature and the issuance and expiration dates,” says Reid Magney, Government Accountability Board spokesman.

However, not all student IDs work under the new law.  IDs issued to students at technical colleges are not valid.

National: Republicans rewriting state election laws in ways that could hurt Democrats | The Washington Post

Looking to capitalize on their historic gains last year, Republican lawmakers in several states are rewriting their election laws in ways that could make it more difficult for Democrats to win.

They have curbed early voting, rolled back voting rights for ex-felons and passed stricter voter ID laws. Taken together, the measures could have a significant and negative effect on President Obama’s reelection efforts if they keep young people and minorities away from the polls. As the primary season kicks into gear, Republican presidential hopefuls are hitting the road and meeting voters in Iowa , New Hampshire and other early primary states.

“It all hits at the groups that had higher turnout and higher registration in 2008,” said Judith Browne-Dianis, a civil rights lawyer who co-directs the Advancement Project, which has been tracking the new regulations.

Indiana: Allen County ballots to include unopposed candidates | The Journal Gazette

Uncontested candidates in the fall municipal elections will appear on the ballot in Allen County, at least for now. The county election board on Thursday unanimously voted to place the names on the ballot despite a state law saying the names should not appear.

Andrew Boxberger, the Democratic board member, said the board believed the new state law was ambiguous. “If it’s ambiguous, we are going to err on what is in the best interest of the voters,” Boxberger said. He said that after reaching the decision, the county’s election director has raised new questions about the issue and it might be revisited when the board meets next week.

Oklahoma: Cherokee Election Commission says Freedmen can vote | Native American Times

The Cherokee Nation Election Commission voted Wednesday night to allow previously registered freedmen voters to cast challenge ballots in the upcoming principal chief’s election.

“The purpose of the challenge ballot is that it allows us to be prepared for any possible court decision on the issue,” Election Commission chairwoman Susan Plumb said. “If a court decides the freedmen descendants can vote, we will have the ability to certify the election.  If the court decides they cannot vote, we will still be able to preserve the election.”

The election is scheduled for Sept. 24. Plumb and the other commissioners reiterated their desire to not change that date.

West Virginia: Kanawha County opts out of state contract for voting machine maintenance | Charleston Daily Mail

Kanawha County Commissioners opted not to go with a statewide contract for maintenance of electronic voting machines and instead struck their own agreement with Electronic Systems & Software.

Commissioners discussed at Thursday’s meeting whether to get in on the statewide contract, which was negotiated between ES&S and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office. Chief Deputy County Clerk David Dodd said that although he hasn’t yet read the entire contract, he believes it would be cheaper to sign an individual contract with the company.

The county will pay ES&S $56,269 a year for four years to maintain the 374 electronic voting machines and two tabulators. Dodd said the county saved $800 for maintenance on just one tabulation machine by going with the individual contract instead of the statewide agreement. “Going with the state contract would have definitely cost us more money,” Dodd said.

Texas: Young Voters challenge Voter ID law | Chron.com

The Young Voters Education Fund has joined in an objection to Texas’ Voter ID law, which the Justice Department is reviewing to make sure it does not harm minority voters.

“Texas’s proposed photo ID measure, which does not permit the use of a government-issued student identification card as an acceptable form of identification at the polls, would disfranchise students who only possess student identification,” said Christina Sanders,  State Director for the Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund.

Critics said this applies especially for many African-American students at Prairie View A&M University, a historically black university located in Waller County, who have been the target of multiple efforts to deny their votes over the years. The League of Young Voters Education Fund collected statements from dozens of students at Prairie View confirming that the proposed photo ID law will disfranchise them.

Editorials: Wisconsin’s photo ID law has big image problem | JSOnline

I’m officially done arguing with people about whether the new photo ID law is a plan to suppress the vote in the minority community or not. Thanks to a whistle-blower in Madison, I’ve finally got my answer.

For a long time I’ve argued with readers that a photo identification law for Wisconsin wasn’t really necessary but could actually open the door for voter suppression among low-income minorities in a city like Milwaukee.

Even after Wisconsin Republicans passed the photo ID bill last May, I argued about the need to make sure it wasn’t overly restrictive or difficult to obtain. I have also pointed out my troubling racial concerns about a photo ID bill passed in a state where white Republicans currently run things. How many times have you heard the Democratic Party referred to as the main party for minorities and poor people?

Denmark: New Danish leader to forge Red bloc government | Reuters

Denmark’s prime minister-in-waiting, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, begins the tricky task on Friday of piecing together a centre-left government after an election which ended 10 years of centre-right rule.

Climbing rather than sweeping to victory on Thursday, Thorning-Schmidt led a diverse “Red bloc” of parties that succeeded in tapping voter anger about the state of the economy and ousting Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. It was the latest in a series of defeats for incumbents in European countries. Rasmussen was to tender his formal resignation later in the day, opening the way for Social Democrat Thorning-Schmidt to try to form a government. She will be Denmark’s first woman prime minister.

Egypt: Parties want Mubarak allies barred from vote | Reuters

Political parties have called on Egypt’s military rulers to ensure that figures associated with the government of ousted President Hosni Mubarak cannot run in parliamentary elections expected this year.

The military council that took over from Mubarak after street protests forced him to stand down in February has said it will hold a parliamentary vote this year, although a statement earlier this week announcing plans for voter registration did not mention any dates.

“The members of the coalition insist on changes to the parliamentary elections law and a law that would prevent the return of remnants of the former regime,” a coalition of 17 groups, including the leading Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group, said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Egypt: Army warned of election delay | The Egyptian Gazette

Muslim fundamentalists are warning that they are ready to shed their blood in Tahrir Square, if the Military Council decides to delay parliamentary elections due in November. Egypt’s fundamentalists have also announced September 27 as the date for an end to the transitional period in post-revolution Egypt.

Since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted on February 11, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has been ruling the nation; it is also responsible for supervising the transfer of power to a civil government and an elected president.

It was the Muslim Brotherhood, who threw down the gauntlet to the army generals during a mass rally organised in Alexandria, widely regarded as a bastion for Egypt’s fundamentalists and Salafis (ultra-fundamentalists).

Maldives: E-voting for 2013 presidential election | Asian Tribune

The Maldives Election Commission announced plans to introduce electronic voting for the first time at the 2013 presidential election. The commission said the members unanimously agreed on the matter and necessary amendment to the election laws will now be made.

Electronic voting technology can vary from punched cards, optical scan voting systems and specialised voting kiosks. It can also involve transmission of ballots and votes via telephones, private computer networks or the internet. On previous occasions, the Commission planned to introduce e-voting although it did not materialize.

Russia: A woman’s place is in the Duma? | Russia & India Report

During the Soviet era, Vladimir Lenin’s famous saying “every cook must learn to govern the state” was used to justify quotas for women in government positions. But in today’s Russia, female politicians are few and far between. In fact, there is only one woman on the national political scene – Valentina Matviyenko, former governor of St. Petersburg and the next head of the Federal Council.

After Soviet quotas were abolished in the early 1990’s, women disappeared from the politics in Russia; today, a traditional view of gender roles has replaced the Communist ideal of gender equality. According to Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist who focuses on politics at the Institute of Sociology at the Russian Academy of Sciences, women trying to make it in politics fall into one of two categories: Those who have been placed there by a man who wishes to look at a pretty doll, and those who have achieved their positions by talent and hard work.