Philippines: Atienza seeks Comelec ruling on protest | Inquirer News

Former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza is asking the  Commission on Elections to decide on the case he filed against Alfredo Lim, who was  proclaimed the winner in the 2010 mayoral polls. In a statement, Atienza’s lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, said they will be filing their appeal to the Comelec en banc next week to reverse the decision of the poll body’s First Division that dismissed Atienza’s election protest case.

“A full recount and revision of all the precincts should have been conducted by the First Division,” Macalintal added, saying Atienza believes the protest case should not have been limited to the 200 pilot precincts but also to  unrevised 1,221 precincts.

Atienza had earlier said in  March that he was willing to withdraw his election protest if he were not able to gain a “substantial recovery” in the first 20 percent of the ballot boxes  under protest.

Tunisia: Constituent Assembly powers debated |

Just weeks before Tunisians head to the polls in historic Constituent Assembly elections, politicians are debating what role the legislative body will play in the future of the country.

Parties, independents and intellectuals are divided into two groups. The first group supports a proposal to restrict the task of the Constituent Assembly to creating a new constitution through a referendum on the same day as the October 23rd poll. The other faction, meanwhile, has called for making the assembly a sovereign entity with full powers.

Mohsen Marzouk, Secretary-General of the Arab Organisation for Democracy who came up with the idea of referendum, believes that the role of the Constituent Assembly must be restricted to drafting the constitution, and that the government should proceed with its work until legislative and presidential elections are held within one year. Marzouk expressed fear that members of the Constituent Assembly might not agree on the formation of a new government.

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 |

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.

The Voting News Daily: New Jersey election cover-up, Change proposed for Pennsylvania’s electoral vote process

Blogs: New Jersey election cover-up | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker During the June 2011 New Jersey primary election, something went wrong in Cumberland County, which uses Sequoia AVC Advantage direct-recording electronic voting computers. From this we learned several things: New Jersey court-ordered election-security measures have not been effectively implemented. There is a reason to believe…

Voting Blogs: New Jersey election cover-up | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

During the June 2011 New Jersey primary election, something went wrong in Cumberland County, which uses Sequoia AVC Advantage direct-recording electronic voting computers. From this we learned several things:

  1. New Jersey court-ordered election-security measures have not been effectively implemented.
  2. There is a reason to believe that New Jersey election officials have destroyed evidence in a pending court case, perhaps to cover up the noncompliance with these measures or to cover up irregularities in this election. There is enough evidence of a cover-up that a Superior Court judge has referred the matter to the State prosecutor’s office.
  3. Like any DRE voting machine, the AVC Advantage is vulnerable to software-based vote stealing by replacing the internal vote-counting firmware. That kind of fraud probably did not occur in this case. But even without replacing the internal firmware, the AVC Advantage voting machine is vulnerable to the accidental or deliberate swapping of vote-totals between candidates. It is clear that the machine misreported votes in this election, and both technical and procedural safeguards proved ineffective to fully correct the error.

Pennsylvania: Change proposed for state’s electoral vote process | Post-Gazette

A new proposal is pushing the often-forgotten Electoral College into the spotlight as Pennsylvania officials ponder the state’s role in next year’s presidential race. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is trying to gather support to change the state’s “winner-takes-all” approach for awarding electoral votes. Instead, he’s suggesting that Pennsylvania dole them out based on which candidate wins each of the 18 congressional districts, with the final two going to the contender with the most votes statewide.

So far, the idea has received support from colleagues of the Delaware County Republican in the state House and from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. But Democrats, who have carried the state in presidential contests since 1992, said the shift would erode Pennsylvania’s clout.

Indiana: All candidates will be on ballot | Palladium-Item

Unopposed candidates in this fall’s municipal election in Richmond will have their names on the ballot thanks to a decision Monday by Wayne Superior Court No. 2 Judge Greg Horn.

Horn granted an injunction stopping Wayne County Clerk Jo Ann Stewart from omitting the names of unopposed candidates from local ballots. Stewart was following a new state law, effective July 1, that required county clerks across the state to omit names of unopposed candidates.

Voting Blogs: Kris Kobach and the Seven Dwarfs | Rick Hasen/Election Law Blog

During yesterday’s “To the Point” show, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and I went over the question whether voter identification laws actually can prevent fraud.  I pointed out that impersonation fraud rarely if ever happens, and Kobach confirmed he’s got no cases of impersonation fraud he can point to in Kansas.  But Kobach also said that a state id requirement would be necessary to prevent a different type of crime: the use of false registrations (of fictitious people) to cast votes in elections.  He gave the example of someone registering and voting ballots for the fictitious seven dwarfs.  I pointed out that I was not aware of a single case of fraudulent registrations (such as from ACORN) leading to actual fraudulent votes (the reason the ACORN-type fraud occurred was because poor people who worked to register voters made up fake names to keep their jobs, not to rig elections.)  But a reader sends along another great point about why a state i.d. is unnecessary to stop voter fraud in this instance:

I was struck by the “perfect crime” tale — the  hypothetical attempt to register the seven dwarves. He seems to have ignored that HAVA’s voter id requirements for any voter who registers to vote by mail and has not previously voted in a Federal election. (See HAVA Section 303)  That is of course, presuming that Sleepy and Grumpy are not long time registered voters. If those “voters” want to vote absentee (I doubt the fraudster would be able to produce Sleepy and Grumpy to cast an in person vote without arousing some suspicion), they are required to provide a valid photo ID or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.

Voting Blogs: It’s Not Just Who You Are, It’s Where You Live: Domicile and the Elections Stained Glass Window | Doug Chapin/PEEA

The past week’s headlines have a number of stories about the importance of political geography:

+ In Indiana, the state Supreme Court refused (for the time being) to take a case challenging the eligibility of Secretary of State Charlie White to serve, given allegations that he had registered to vote at an address where he did not live;

+ In New Jersey, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated former Olympian and current state Senate candidate Carl Lewis to the ballot after a trial court removed him because of the state’s “durational residency” requirement for candidates; and

+ Maine’s GOP chair cited evidence that 19 medical students registered to vote in 2004 from a South Portland Holiday Inn Express in arguing that the repeal of the state’s same-day registration law should stand.

Texas: Voter ID law in federal hands as groups file papers | Star Telegram

The contentious issue of voter ID in Texas is now in the hands of federal officials. On Wednesday, several civil-rights groups filed documents with the Justice Department, asking officials to oppose any early approval or “pre-clearance” of the measure, which fully takes effect in Texas on Jan. 1.

The groups — which include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Asian American Justice Center, the Advancement Project, the Southwest Workers Union, and the New York-based public policy and advocacy group DEMOS — said the law discriminates against black and Hispanic voters.

“This law is a part of the largest legislative effort to turn back the clock on voting rights in our nation in over a century,” said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the civil-rights “action tank” the Advancement Project. “If this bill is allowed to stand, it will undermine the basic fabric of our nation’s democracy.”

Oklahoma: Cherokee Commission: Principal Chief Election Will Go On Despite Litigation |

The Election Commission for the Cherokee Nation decided to move forward with a special election September 24th for principal chief. The Commission met in Tahlequah Wednesday evening because of new developments in the Freedmen case.

The Nation recently kicked out 2,800 descendants of the tribe’s black slaves who want to vote, and the federal government says that violated an old treaty. A federal judge will hear the case next week. They commission also approved to expedite absentee ballots to Freedmen who are registered voters and requested absentee ballots for the election.

New Mexico: Judge limits investigation of immigrant driver’s-license holders | The Santa Fe New Mexican

A judge is allowing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration to move ahead with a limited investigation to determine whether some immigrants with New Mexico driver’s licenses still live in the state.

District Judge Sarah Singleton on Tuesday decided that some residency checks can continue, although she’s putting on hold the administration’s broad plan for potentially certifying the licenses of tens of thousands of foreign nationals, including those living illegally in the country. The judge said she will issue an injunction to block the program pending the outcome of a lawsuit brought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

West Virginia: State Supreme Court rejects Charleston election challenge | West Virginia Record

The West Virginia Supreme Court has rejected a request by Janet “J.T.” Thompson, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones’ lone challenger in the May election, to block Charleston City Council from holding a hearing on her claims of voter fraud. According to the Court’s order list Friday, all five justices voted to turn down her request for a writ of prohibition.

Jennifer Bundy, a spokeswoman for the Court, said Monday the individual order was not yet ready. The Court’s ruling means that the results of the tribunal, which rejected all of Thompson’s claims, will remain.

Ghana: Lessons from the foiled Ugandan e-voting system |

The Centre for Open ICT Policy Analysis has noted, with grave a concern, similarities between Ghana’s impending e-voting system and that of the Uganda. The Ugandan project, also known as the voter registration database implementation system, was a failure as shown in their 2001 and 2006 elections. The District Electoral Commission (EC) of Uganda had been smoothly organising the country’s elections until in 2000 when they initiated a programme to rid the voters’ register of names of imposters, double voters, and dead voters by photographing all qualified voters. This programme was also meant to create an election database to be used to verify the 2001 elections. Therefore the government of Uganda invested $22 million on equipment, consultancy services and operations.

However, things went wrong at the early stages of the project, particularly during the bidding and delivery of equipment. This led to a strong public outcry about the transparency of the process. The public outcry came from stakeholders such as civil societies groups and the opposition political parties. Ugandan EC ignored these criticisms. And a s result a number of court cases between government and opposition groups, on one hand, and Ugandan EC and some companies, on the other hand (as it has already started in Ghana) were filed.

Russia: Russia at Odds With West Over Parliamentary Election Monitors |

Russia’s top election official said Wednesday that Western election observers are proposing an unacceptably large delegation to monitor parliamentary voting in December, raising the possibility of a standoff like the one that caused the cancellation of an observation mission four years ago.

Vladimir V. Churov, the chairman of Russia’s Central Election Commission, said Russia will approve delegations of between 40 and 100 observers apiece. The election-monitoring arm of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has proposed a mission of 260 observers.

The cancellation of the O.S.C.E. mission in 2007 was the first since Russia undertook to hold free elections in 1990, and followed reports that said the country was falling short of democratic standards.

Zambia: Electoral Commission wins kudos | Times of Zambia

Various Stakeholders have commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for the transparent manner in which the electoral process has been handled so far. Southern Africa Centre for Conflict Resolution and Disputes (SACCORD) programmes manager Boniface Cheembe said he was happy that the electoral process had been done in a transparent manner.

Mr Cheembe said he was happy that all stakeholders had been invited and were involved in the electoral process since the beginning of the exercise. He said SACCORD was also happy that ECZ had assisted in maintaining peace during the electoral process.

The Voting News Daily: Arizona: Author of illegal immigration law to face recall election, Aspen woman sues Mesa County elections officals over voting records

Arizona: Author of illegal immigration law to face recall election | An Arizona lawmaker best known as the author of a controversial law that cracks down on illegal immigrants will face a recall election Nov. 8.  In a ruling Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the recall election of Russell Pearce, the…

Arizona: Author of illegal immigration law to face recall election |

An Arizona lawmaker best known as the author of a controversial law that cracks down on illegal immigrants will face a recall election Nov. 8.  In a ruling Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the recall election of Russell Pearce, the president of the state Senate and arguably the most powerful politician in the Arizona.

Supporters describe Pearce, a former sheriff’s deputy, as a principled lawmaker trying to protect his state; critics say he panders to racism and demonizes immigrants, legal and illegal.

The justices held a closed-door conference on an appeal from a Pearce supporter who alleged that because of flawed paperwork, the recall drive did not amass enough valid voter signatures to force the recall election in the lawmaker’s district in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa.