Editorials: How Many Primaries in New York Next Year? | NYTimes.com

New York State, which will struggle with a deficit projected to be more than $3 billion in 2012, is facing the ridiculous and costly possibility of holding three primaries next year instead of the usual two in presidential election years.
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This particular lunacy is possible because state lawmakers have failed to comply with a 2009 federal law that requires military personnel overseas to get ballots 45 days before a federal election. New York officials got the Defense Department to give them a one-time exemption from the law to hold Congressional primaries, along with state legislative primaries, in September 2010.

Ohio: Ohio ballot in ’12 likely to include election law | Toledo Blade

Opponents of a new law limiting absentee voting and early voting and making numerous other changes to Ohio elections law filed an additional 166,481 signatures Tuesday to virtually guarantee that voters will serve as final judges on the measure next year.

Led largely by former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and fellow Democrats and with support from President Obama’s campaign, the latest petition filings are expected to be far more than the roughly 10,000 needed to patch a hole in the coalition’s first filing at the end of September.

South Carolina: Supreme Court Sides with GOP, Requires Counties Hold 2012 Primary | South Carolina 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: Chattanoogas strange linguistic problem with the recall | Recall Elections

Chattanooga’s mayoral recall has taken a turn into a joint constitutional crisis and linguistic nightmare, as the election commission, city council and (eventually) the courts will have to grapple with an almost unheard of problem — what does a “recall” mean?

The issue is that a section of the city’s charter holds that in case the mayor is unable to serve for a host of reasons, the chair of the council becomes interim mayor. One of the reasons cited is simply “recall.” The council, commission and others are debating whether the phrase recall means removed from office after a retention or new election vote or ordered to face a new election or retention vote due to petitioners gathering enough signatures to get a recall on the ballot.

Antigua: Labour Party Seeks Legal Opinion on Electoral Changes | caribarena.com

The Antigua Labour Party (ALP) has sought legal counsel on the government’s interpretation of the constitutional office of the supervisor of elections and its ultimate decision to strip the holder of significant responsibilities thought to have been “understood” as being part of the job title. The legal opinions will come from Elliott Mottley of Barbados, Anthony Astaphan of Dominica, and Sir James Guthrie of Britain.

The party was poised to host a press conference on Tuesday, but cancelled in anticipation of the legal opinion, which will determine whether or not it has sufficient grounds to challenge the government’s legislative changes in court.

Armenia: Opposition Leader Demands Safeguards For Fair Elections | rferl.org

An Armenian opposition leader has challenged President Serzh Sarkisian to prove his commitment to hold democratic elections by enacting radical changes to the law and not allowing government resources to be used by his ruling Republican Party (HHK), RFE/RL’s Armenian Service reports.

Sarkisian has pledged to “spare no effort” to ensure that parliamentary elections in May are widely recognized as free and fair. Visiting Brussels earlier this month, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian (no relation) said the vote will be the most democratic in the country’s history.

The Gambia: Electoral Chief Insists Election Will be Credible | voanews.com

The chairman of Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission is sharply denying reports conditions on the ground are not conducive to ensure today’s (Thursday) presidential election is transparent, free and fair. Mustapha Carayol says “it is impossible to rig elections in Gambia” despite opposition and international observer group claims that the vote will not be credible.

Polling stations in the 48 constituencies are scheduled to open at 7:00 am and close at 4:00pm local time. Carol predicts Gambians will learn the outcome of the presidential vote by 6:00 am, Friday.

Ghana: Leave Electoral Commission Alone | vibeghana.com

The Overlord of Gonjaland, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Sulemana Jakpa Bore Essa I, has called on all political parties to refrain from setting the agenda for the Electoral Commission (EC). “I call on all political parties to dialogue with the Electoral Commission to ensure free and fair polls”, Yagbonwura said.

He said the “EC has the constitutional mandate to conduct elections in Ghana” adding therefore no interest groups should try to teach it how to do its job. “I urge all well meaning citizens of this country to resist any person or group of persons who would want to create chaos and make the country ungovernable”, he said.

Morocco: Elections challenged by voter mistrust | San Francisco Chronicle

It should be a moment of excitement: Moroccans are choosing a parliament in elections Friday prompted by the Arab Spring’s clamor for freedom. Yet there are few signs here that elections are even taking place. Posters and raucous rallies for candidates are absent in the cities and instead there are just stark official banners urging citizens to “do their national duty” and “participate in the change the country is undergoing.”

“The parties have presented the same people for the past 30 years, the least they could do is change their candidates,” said Hassan Rafiq, a vegetable vendor in the capital Rabat, who said he didn’t plan to vote.

Like elsewhere in the Arab world, Moroccans hit the streets in the first half of 2011 calling for more democracy, and King Mohammed VI responded by amending the constitution and bringing forward elections. But since then the sense of change has dissipated.

Namibia: It is time for introspection for the Electoral Comission of Namibia |Informante

The Electoral Commission in Namibia (ECN) has proven to be a farce in the last ten years judging from allegations and counter allegations of vote rigging, including ballot stuffing. At the centre of the controversial ECN is the credibility of the commissioners, who are bipartisan and biased in favour of the ruling class.

The recent Informanté exposé of a commissioner appointed with fake qualifications, but who even made if to the shortlist of the successful candidates, served as the straw that broke the camel’s back. An investigation points to a deliberate endeavor to have a commissioner who could be bought and sold, with an appropriate profile, to collaborate in one way of the other to sway the election results in favour of the powers that be.

Philippines: Comelec, DOJ to resume probe on vote rigging in 2004 polls | The Philippine Star

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) joint panel will resume its investigation and find necessary evidence to pin down other personalities involved in rigging the results of the 2004 presidential elections.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes yesterday said the poll body and the DOJ will continue with the inquiry into the electoral fraud. “Tuloy-tuloy na ito dahil walang temporary restraining order. Lilipat na kami sa 2004 (The investigation will proceed since there is no TRO. We will shift now to the 2004 polls),” he said.