The Voting News Daily: Maurice Emmer and Harvie Branscomb: Why insist on secrecy but dismiss anonymity?, Protesters call for postponement of elections

Editorials: Maurice Emmer and Harvie Branscomb: Why insist on secrecy but dismiss anonymity? | We both write repeatedly about the importance of election transparency. We present facts. We don’t make things up. Stories about revealing ballot “secrets” often sound like scary tales told to children. They are designed to frighten, not inform. Jack Johnson’s…

Editorials: Maurice Emmer and Harvie Branscomb: Why insist on secrecy but dismiss anonymity? |

We both write repeatedly about the importance of election transparency. We present facts. We don’t make things up. Stories about revealing ballot “secrets” often sound like scary tales told to children. They are designed to frighten, not inform. Jack Johnson’s scary story recently published in another paper might trigger your instinct to fight, but that’s what fiction and political propaganda are intended to do.

Johnson’s column, and recent announcements by the city of Aspen, misconstrue election and open-records law as well as misrepresent the Marks v. Koch case and the Court of Appeals’ unanimous opinion in favor of ballot transparency. As untrue assertions have become Aspen’s norm, here we try to separate fact from fiction.

Connecticut: Typo blamed for wrong candidate’s election to local finance board in Connecticut town | The Washington Post

A typo has led to the election of the wrong man to a finance board in Derby, Conn. James J. Butler was the highest vote-getter, winning 1,526 votes for the 10-member Board of Apportionment and Taxation, which monitors the town’s finances.

However, his father, 72-year-old James R. Butler, was the candidate nominated by Democrats. The News Times of Danbury and New Haven Register report that he said he wants the job and that his son is not interested in public office.

Utah: Election recount reveals ballot scanner malfunctions in Provo District 1 race | Deseret News

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.”

Utah: Provo city council ballot recount suffers technical malfunction | Daily Herald

Provo residents will have to wait a little longer to know if Gary Winterton defeated Bonnie Morrow in the recent Municipal Council race.
County officials recounted the ballots cast for the Provo Municipal Council District 1 Tuesday morning, but the discrepancy between the recount total and the total from election night became so large that officials stopped the counting process. There will be a recount by hand at 10 a.m. today in the Utah County Commission conference room in the Utah County Administration Building, 100 E. Center St.

“They did a recount and the numbers came out so extremely in favor of the opposite candidate that there appears to be something wrong with the machine,” said Helen Anderson, spokeswoman for Provo city.

Egypt: Ganzouri to become Egypt’s prime minister, military says | CNN

Several planned demonstrations in Egypt Friday could test whether the nation besieged by recent violent clashes can remain peaceful.The area around Cairo’s Tahrir Square was eerily calm early Friday morning. There were no protesters and only security forces could be seen near Tahrir Square.

Since Saturday, protesters have clashed with police near the Cairo square, the epicenter of the movement that led to Mubarak’s ouster as president nine months ago. Among other demands, they have called for the interim military rulers step down. But the situation seemed to calm down Thursday after soldiers came to the area an erected barbed wire barricades to separate protesters from police.

Egypt: Military rejects call to delay elections |

Egypt’s military rulers rejected calls Thursday to delay parliamentary elections scheduled to take place next week and issued a strongly worded statement that has the potential to further polarize the country as it reels from a week of violent protests.

The statement called on “honorable people” to apprehend those causing strife and turn them over to the authorities. The vague directive could encourage vigilantism between camps supportive and critical of the military as the unrest that has killed at least 38 people and wounded thousands more continues to sow anger and frazzle nerves.

Egypt: Military rulers reject calls to step down | Connecticut Post

Egypt’s military rulers rejected protester demands for them to step down immediately and said Thursday they would start the first round of parliamentary elections on time next week, despite serious unrest in Cairo and other cities.

The ruling military council insisted it is not the same as the old regime it replaced, but the generals appear to be on much the same path that doomed Hosni Mubarak nine months ago — responding to the current crisis by delivering speeches seen as arrogant, mixing concessions with threats and using brutal force.

Egypt: Protesters call for postponement of elections | The Guardian

Egyptian protesters want elections scheduled for Monday to be postponed and a council of elders to replace the military rulers who on Wednesday again sent in security forces to quell demonstrating crowds. The current protests are seen as a second – and decisive – phase of the January revolution that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. In the symbolic heart of the revolution, Tahrir Square, demonstrators were chanting the same slogans used 11 months ago, but this time directing them at the interim military ruler, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

“If the wheels of democracy move on Egypt and this problem is still here, then democracy will have failed,” said Ikramy Esayed. “Next Monday is very important for Egypt, but not because [the poll] should be held, but because we should acknowledge that this is not the time.” A second man, Nashad Bishara, agreed. “It is unsuitable now to hold elections,” he said. “For those who love Egypt stability must be established first. The truth is the army doesn’t want elections.”

Morocco: Election faces low turnout despite new constitution |

Moroccans go to the polls in an Arab Spring-inspired election that faces a boycott by democracy campaigners who say the ruling monarchy is not committed to real change. A moderate Islamist party and a pro-palace coalition are expected to do well in the voting, but a key test for the authorities’ legitimacy will be how many voters cast ballots. The result will be watched by Morocco’s US and other western allies, as well as European tourists who visit its beaches and resorts.

Morocco’s reputation as a stable democracy in North Africa has been damaged by this year’s protests. And its once-steady economy is creaking from the amount of money the government has pumped into raising salaries and subsidies to keep people calm amid the turmoil in the region.

Morocco: Morocco Votes in First Ballot Since Reform of Parliament | NYTimes

Under pressure from the Arab Spring uprisings, King Mohammed VI of Morocco proposed a new constitution last summer providing for a more empowered Parliament. On Friday, voters went to the polls to determine its makeup.

The new constitution reserves critical powers for the throne, which retains absolute authority over military and religious matters. But while still appointed by the king, the prime minister must be chosen from the party with the most seats in Parliament.

Uganda: Luwero vote recount stopped, Nabukenya reinstated |

Luweero district returning officer Peter Kasozi has today afternoon stopped the vote recounting exercise for the Luweero district woman MP by-elections. This comes after the presiding officer said one of the ballot boxes had been tampered with. Kasozi has reinstated DP’s Nabukenya as the winner and urged NRM to seek court redress if they are not satisfied with the results.

The Electoral Commission on Tuesday declared Democratic Party’s Brenda Nabukenya a winner trouncing NRM’s Rebecca Nalwanga Lukwago with a small margin of over 30 votes. NRM protested the results and demanded for a recount.  Earlier, Police fired tear gas to disperse DP supporter who were protesting the recount exercise. Businesses came to a standstill as DP supporters joined by FDC engaged Police in running battles.