The Voting News Daily: New York gets $2.5 million for technology upgrades for absentee voting, Ohio election reform petition continues to gain signatures

Blogs: New York gets $2.5 million for technology upgrades for absentee voting | New York’s absentee voting system has received almost $2.5 million from the federal government for technological upgrades. Earlier this month, the Federal Voting Assistance Program awarded the state money to ensure a smoother voting process for New York’s 40,000 overseas voters, with…

Voting Blogs: New York gets $2.5 million for technology upgrades for absentee voting |

New York’s absentee voting system has received almost $2.5 million from the federal government for technological upgrades. Earlier this month, the Federal Voting Assistance Program awarded the state money to ensure a smoother voting process for New York’s 40,000 overseas voters, with the goal of offering better online access to registration tools and absentee ballot systems.

State Board of Elections spokesman John Conklin said the money would be distributed among all 62 counties on a need basis. Conklin said that some of the money will be spent on improving the process of overseas voters accessing their ballots. He said that currently the local Board of Elections sends out an email when the ballot is ready and the voter can use that email to sign into a website that allows them to print out their ballot and access additional voting information. With this grant, Conklin said this will now be easier for the voter.

Ohio: Election reform petition continues to gain signatures |

The Ohio Democratic Party and Organizing for America turned in another 166,481 petition signatures on Tuesday to qualify for the November 2012 ballot for a voter referendum on House Bill 194, an elections reform package backed by Republicans. It was the second wave – they already submitted 333,063, of which 221,572 were deemed valid. To make the ballot, they need 231,150 valid voter signatures.

If the issue makes the ballot, the law will be put on hold until voters have their say. If enacted, House Bill 194 would shorten the window for early voting in person and absentee from 35 days to 17 days, eliminate early voting on Saturday afternoons and Sundays and remove a requirement that poll workers redirect voters to the correct precinct.

Pennsylvania: Corbett: Change in electoral votes going nowhere |

A Republican-sponsored proposal to change how Pennsylvania’s electoral votes are counted in next year’s presidential election appears to be running out of steam. Gov. Corbett, a key supporter of the idea, suggested Monday that it was going nowhere for the time being. “I see no movement on it. I’m not going to push for movement, but I still support it,” Corbett, a Republican, told a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon.

The proposal surfaced in September, with Corbett marketing it as a way to more fairly divide electoral votes to reflect the preferences of Pennsylvania’s voters. It split Republicans and drew heavy criticism from Democrats, who called it a partisan attempt to hurt President Obama’s reelection campaign and to minimize the influence of the state’s large number of registered Democrats.

South Carolina: State Supreme Court Sides with GOP, Requires Counties Hold 2012 Primary | Mauldin, SC Patch

The South Carolina Supreme Court voted Tuesday to require the State Election Commission and all counties to hold the 2012 Primary despite county contentions that the election lacked a mandate. The Court voted 3-2 in favor of the South Carolina Republican Party and the Election Commission, and as a result, counties must provide voting equipment, locations and staffing for the Jan. 21 primary. The court heard arguments on Nov. 14 after four South Carolina counties — Beaufort, Chester, Greenville and Spartanburg — filed suit to block the primary.

The main controversies in the case arose over whether a statute enacted for the 2008 primary carried over to 2012 and whether budget provisos that authorized the state election commission to fund the primary actually required it to do so.

Tennessee: Election officials ready for voters without photo ID | Marshall County Tribune

Nearly 180 election officials from Middle Tennessee counties attended training seminars Thursday at Henry Horton State Park and learned what to do if someone wants to vote without a government identification card showing their photograph. Even though Tennessee has a recently enacted law requiring voters to identify themselves with a photo ID card, Marshall County Election Commission Chairman Don Wright says, “Some people just walk up and say they want to vote. Well, we don’t do that anymore.

“We’re not trying to keep people from voting,” Wright said. “We just don’t want them voting in Marshall County and Pulaski or Columbia.” Thursday’s seminars were presented by the Tennessee Association of County Election Officers. TACEO spokesmen provided tips on how to serve the public and help people comply with the law.

Utah: Voting malfunction: Machine causes problems for Provo council race |

Paper ballots in the Municipal Council District 1 race will be counted by hand Wednesday because of a technical problem that may have resulted in a miscount in a very close race. The unofficial vote tally after Election Day separated winner Gary Winterton from Bonnie Morrow by just nine votes — 804 to 795. Morrow asked for a recount, which was taking place Tuesday when county election officials concluded they had machine problems.

“The numbers were varying too much,” said Utah County Chief Deputy Clerk/Auditor Scott Hogensen. “It became obvious the machines weren’t counting things correctly.” The county was bringing in technical support from the machines’ vendor, Dominion Voting Systems. The scanners read paper ballots and feed results into computer software that totals the results.

Wisconsin: Colleges to issue IDs to comply with voter law | Reuters

Wisconsin’s election board on Tuesday authorized a state university to issue identification cards that students can use to comply with the new law requiring voters to present photo ID at polling places. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point joined six other schools authorized by the Government Accountability Board to issue secondary ID cards that comply with the law in Wisconsin, one of several states to pass such legislation this year.

In addition to Stevens Point, the system’s flagship university in Madison along with schools in Milwaukee, Whitewater, La Crosse, Eau Claire and Green Bay will issue the secondary ID cards. The eighth school — the University of Wisconsin-Superior — has received approval to re-issue primary identification cards to all students that meet the voter ID requirements.

Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi to Run for Burma Parliament |

A spokesman for Burma democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she will run for a seat in parliament in the country’s next by-election, expected by the end of the year. Nyan Win, a member of the National League for Democracy’s executive committee, told reporters Monday the Nobel Peace laureate will run for one of the 48 seats available in Burma’s new Senate, but has not yet decided which district she will represent.

The democracy activist hinted that she would run for office at a meeting of party delegates Friday, when they decided to re-register as a political party and take part in elections.

Egypt: Military leader: Egyptian elections will be held on time |

Egypt’s military-led government Tuesday denied using violence against protesters and said the resignation of the country’s Cabinet has been accepted, although members will remain until a new government is formed.

“We never fired one bullet against any Egyptian,” said Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi in a speech. “Our first goal from the start of the transitional phase was to restore security in the streets.” Tantawi spoke on the fourth straight day of protests and clashes in Cairo and beyond, in which 30 people have died, and about 1,950 have been injured, the Health Ministry said.

Ghana: NPP Zongo Youth Club Dares President…claims EC Can’t Determine Outcome of Elections |

Kumasi — The national Zongo Youth Club of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has started that the outcome of every election is determined by the discerning electorate and not the Electoral Commission (EC) and its commissioners. “It is only the people of Ghana who has the legitimate right to determine the outcome of the 2012 elections by registering their vote to give the mandate to the candidate of their choice”, the group said at a press conference in Kumasi.

In an apparent response to the President’s comment that it is the referee (EC) that determines the out come of elections following claims by NPP flagbearer that the 2012 election is a win at all cost for the NPP, Mr. Tanko Ali Yahaya, the Secretary said on behalf of the group that the President’s position was not tenable.

India: BJP says no to EVMs from Malkangiri |

The BJP has petitioned the Election Commission against the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), procured from Malkangiri district, in Umerkote by-election in Nabarangpur district. In a memorandum to the Election Commission, the BJP alleged that the election officer of Nabarangpur district has violated the election handbook for the contestants by not inviting them for the first-level checking.

The second objection of the party was that the district election officer has not intimated the name of the nodal officer appointed by him to the political parties in the fray.

Indonesia: Activists, politicians form women’s caucus | The Jakarta Post

Held at the Denpasar Legislative Council building, the discussion was attended by only three of the 30 invited women councillors. The three councillors were Ni Nyoman Sumiati of Karangasem, Tutik Kusuma Wardhani of Buleleng and Utami Dwi Suryadi of Denpasar.

Sumiati and Wardhani talked about their political journey to underline what they said was a prevalent discriminatory culture practiced by political parties and male politicians. Such a culture was one of the primary barriers preventing women’s participation in politic. “Male politicians still find it difficult to accept women in a party’s structure,” Sumiati said, admitting that at one point in her campaign she had to hire bodyguards to cope with the political pressure.