Virginia: Perry fails to qualify for Virginia’s presidential primary | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has failed to qualify for Virginia’s March 6 Republican presidential primary, according to the Republican Party of Virginia. Volunteers at state GOP headquarters are continuing to assess whether former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has amassed the required 10,000 signatures of registered voters.

Earlier today the state GOP certified that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul will be on the ballot for the state’s Republican primary.

The Voting News Daily: Judge rules Indiana secretary of state was ineligible to run, Stephen Colbert on Naming rights, state mottoes and the South Carolina GOP primary

Indiana: Judge says White ineligible to serve as Secretary of State | Evansville Courier & Press Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White’s two-front fight for his political life could be on its way to the state Supreme Court. A Marion County judge on Thursday ruled that White was not legally qualified as a candidate for the…

Indiana: Judge says White ineligible to serve as Secretary of State | Evansville Courier & Press

Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White’s two-front fight for his political life could be on its way to the state Supreme Court. A Marion County judge on Thursday ruled that White was not legally qualified as a candidate for the office he holds, and ordered that Democrat Vop Osili, the second-place finisher in the 2010 election, be installed in his place.

The ruling by Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg overturns a decision made by the three-member Indiana Recount Commission. That panel had ruled that despite controversy over his legal residence, White, a Republican, was eligible for the ballot.

Now, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office, which represents the Recount Commission, will ask the Indiana Court of Appeals to consider the case, and also place a hold on the ruling that would keep White in office while the legal process plays out. That court is the last step before the case would reach Indiana’s highest court.

Indiana: Judge rules Indiana secretary of state was ineligible to run | 13 WTHR

A Marion County Circuit Court judge has ruled that Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was not eligible to be a candidate for the office, and that White’s Democratic challenger Vop Osili should be certified as the secretary of state. The matter now goes back to the Indiana Recount Commission.

The ruling by Judge Louis Rosenberg stems from a civil lawsuit by the Indiana Democratic Party. It sets aside the previous decision of the Indiana Recount Commission to allow White to remain in office.

Pennsylvania: NAACP mobilizes against Pennsylvania voter ID bill | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The NAACP’s Pittsburgh branch is mobilizing to oppose a bill that would require Pennsylvanians to show identification before voting. The organization on Wednesday likened the importance of the effort to ones that resulted in the abolishment of poll taxes. Members called on city residents to sign and help circulate petitions. They called on ministers to shout it down from their pulpits.

“The African-American community across the country fought long and hard to be able to vote,” said NAACP President M. Gayle Moss. “This is a tactic to reduce the number of senior citizen voters, African-American voters, who do not have cars or drive, and young voters.”

South Carolina: DMV reports flawed South Carolina voter ID list | Charlotte Observer

South Carolina election officials are using flawed data that include dead people as they deal with implementing a new state law requiring that people have photo identification when they cast ballots in person, according to an analysis by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The South Carolina State Election Commission and the DMV had matched data on licenses, ID cards and voter records as part of the new law, now under review by the U.S. Justice Department.

The election agency reported in October that nearly 240,000 active and inactive voters lacked South Carolina driver’s licenses or ID cards. The DMV’s analysis shows that more than 207,000 of those voters live in other states, allowed their ID cards to expire, probably have licenses with names that didn’t match voter records or were dead.

South Carolina: Naming rights, state mottoes and the GOP primary | Stephen Colbert/

As a proud son of South Carolina I must address recent unsubstantiated rumors published in The State that I, Stephen Colbert, tried to buy the naming rights to the 2012 Republican primary. First, never trust anything in a newspaper — except this column, and possibly “Mallard Filmore.” And second, these outrageous and scurrilous rumors border on libel, even if they are, technically, true. I don’t want to talk about it. Here’s what happened:

I have what’s called a super PAC — a political action committee that can receive unlimited funds to spend on political speech in unlimited quantities. About three months ago, I heard that local officials in South Carolina were suing the state political parties over who would pay for the upcoming presidential primary. The GOP said they would pay a big chunk of the cost, but insisted the taxpayers pick up the bulk. State and local officials said this private primary should be paid for entirely with party funds. And Gov. Nikki Haley said, “It’s a great day in South Carolina!”

South Carolina: No decision made in Atlantic Beach’s voting machines case | SCNOW

A judge did not make a decision Wednesday regarding what to with county-owned voting machines Atlantic Beach wants back in order to conduct an investigation. Horry County Magistrate Brad Mayers decided to take the whole case under advisement, asking both parties come to an agreement. If an agreement can’t be reached, they will go to court again.

Horry County sheriff’s deputies served a court order on Atlantic Beach Dec. 13 and seized the voting machines from the town’s evidence room. Town leaders were holding them there as evidence of fraud and irregularities that they say occurred on the Nov. 1 municipal election. Those leaders now argue that the seizure of the machines has caused an unnecessary delay in their investigation.

Town council member Carolyn Cole suggested after the hearing Wednesday that Atlantic Beach’s voting machine incident may play a bigger role. “There are problems with these machines,” Cole said. “We’re coming up on presidential elections and primaries and voters in this state and this county deserve to know where we stand with these machines.”

Voting Blogs: Election Results Websites Heading to the Cloud | GovTech

As more people go online to see polling results on Election Day, the increased traffic can wreak havoc on IT infrastructure not designed for huge spikes in demand. But experts agree that the cloud is starting to gain momentum for hosting those sites, due to the belief that the cloud is more reliable and can upscale quickly to avoid crashes.

Andy Pitman, industry solutions manager for Microsoft, said in addition to the technical benefits of the cloud, by not maintaining expensive infrastructure for a capability that’s only used sporadically each year, using cloud technology for elections reporting and results can also save governments money.

Australia: Let voters dump bad government, experts decide | Sydney Morning Herald

Voters should be given the power to force early elections in NSW with a view to dumping unpopular governments, a majority of experts has advised the Premier, Barry O’Farrell. But an early election could only be called with the support of 35 per cent of eligible voters, including at least 5 per cent from half the state’s electorates, under the model for ”recall” elections preferred by a panel commissioned by the government in June.

The panel’s report

The possibility of introducing a recall system emerged during the lead-up to this year’s election amid demands for an early poll due to the soaring unpopularity of the Labor government. Under the present system of fixed four-year terms, an early election could only have happened if the government effectively sacked itself with a vote in the Parliament.

Congo: Counting halted in parliamentary vote | BBC

Vote counting in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s parliamentary elections has been halted, the election commission has said. It said it needed international help to complete counting following allegations of rigging in the 28 November polls. More than 18,000 candidates contested 500 parliamentary seats.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi plans to inaugurate himself as president on Friday after rejecting the incumbent Joseph Kabila’s victory. These were the first elections organised by the election commission since the end of the war in 2003 – the first poll in 2006 was held under the auspices of the UN.

Egypt: Egyptians turn out in fresh poll round | The Australian

Egyptians trickled into polling stations in the run-off of a staggered election marred by clashes between protesters and security forces that have left 15 people dead in five days. Polling took place in a third of the country’s 27 provinces, with a visibly lower turnout than in previous rounds, AFP reporters said.

The run-off in the second phase of legislative polls, taking place over two days, will see the two largest Islamist parties go head to head for 59 seats in the lower house. The ruling military has decided on a complex election system in which voters cast ballots for party lists, which will comprise two-thirds of parliament, and also for individual candidates for the remaining third of the lower house.

Russia: Who is Calling the Shots at the Duma? |

The Russian elections this month held some unwelcome surprises for the nation’s ruling party, “United Russia”. Administered in tandem by current president Dmitri Medvedev and prime minister Vladimir Putin (soon to be president once again), United Russia found itself receiving significantly lower-than-normal parliamentary results. This, combined with the protests that ensued quickly thereafter, seems to have sparked the corporate media’s hopes for a “colour revolution”.

The situation echoes the Serbian, Georgian and Ukrainian models; in these and several other countries, the governments had to step down after mass protests were organised with the support of US think tanks including the National Endowment for Democracy. These actions, led by the US and several EU countries, were geared toward the installation of leaderships that were more in line with Western agendas than their predecessors, and not necessarily in the interest of the Russian population. Certainly no effort is being spared to work towards a change of government in Russia.

However, these suggestions of a “colour revolution” do not correspond to Russian realities at all. American and West European media love to project their perceptions of a pro-Western civil society onto the protesters in Russia. Without a doubt, the archetype of the young academic activist who blames the government for being “undemocratic” and who advertises his West-friendly ideas on his internet blog certainly does exist in Russia. And the way the various neoliberal-oriented groups are being financed by the usual suspects is well documented[1]. But even in Western media one can read between the lines and notice that the majority of those expressing their dissatisfaction do not fit this scheme.

First of all it should be mentioned that the composition of the Russian Duma following the election results does in fact represent the will of Russia’s majority as much as it is possible in a system of representative democracy, which mirrors the framework of most Eastern and Western European countries. In the end, the ruling party received 238 of altogether 450 seats, which means a loss of 77 seats and its (up to now) two-thirds majority rule. The strongest opposition party, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), gained 35 seats and raised its total number to 92.[2] Furthermore, the Liberal Democrats, led by the nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and a party called “A Just Russia”, which is supposed to be government-friendly and focuses on social issues, are also represented in the new parliament. [3]