Wisconsin: Constitutionality Of Voter ID Law Questioned – League Of Women Voters Plans Lawsuit | WISC Madison

The recently enacted Voter ID law is coming under fire as one group questions whether it is constitutional.

Beginning next year, voters will have to show identification before voting. But the League of Women Voters wants to put an end to the law now. The group plans to file a lawsuit questioning whether the law is legal. The group says about 30 percent of Wisconsin voters don’t have a proper ID and can’t afford to get one.

Mississippi: Hinds County officials hope for better day in primary run-off | The Clarion-Ledger

Foot traffic on the Hinds County Courthouse’s basement level went from casual to concentrated as the clock ticked Monday afternoon. Hallways began to get congested as Republican and Democratic managers at the county’s 119 precincts each picked up their box of supplies for today’s primary runoff – red for Republican and blue for Democrat.

A couple of hours earlier, employees in the circuit clerk’s office began placing completed absentee ballots in the numbered precinct boxes. Preparations were quiet and deliberate, in sharp contrast to the constant buzz and raised voices in the days following the Aug. 2 primary. Primary-day snafus with ballots, voting machines and poll workers to post-election arguments about absentee ballots and vote-counting security, increased tensions in the Democratic primary.

“I hope it will be a different day tomorrow,” Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee chairman Claude McInnis said Monday. “The lack of information on how elections work contributed to it more than anything.”

Mississippi: Hinds Election Officials At Odds Over Replacing Voting Machines | WAPT

The Democratic primary runoff is set for Tuesday. There were some issues reported during the primary election earlier this month. Hinds County Election Commissioner Connie Cochran said the only voting machine problems were at the Wynndale precinct and that was because they weren’t programmed correctly. But Cochran’s fellow commissioner, Jermal Clark, said he thinks the machines need to be replaced.

The machines were bought in 2002. The commission has $1.3 million set aside to buy new machines or upgrade them. It would cost more than that to replace them, Cochran said. Each voting machine has its own red bar code, which is the number they were programmed at the warehouse with and then sealed. During the primary election there were complaints about wrong ballots or not enough paper ballots at several precinct sites in the city.

Editorials: Voter ID debate needs to go away | Greensboro News-Record

The partisan battle over a voter ID bill didn’t end when Republican legislators failed to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue. The bill is still alive in a House committee, thanks to a deft and perfectly legitimate parliamentary maneuver by the majority leader, Rep. Paul Stam. It can be brought up for another override attempt anytime before the 2011-12 General Assembly session adjourns next year. It could happen when legislators return to Raleigh for a few days next month.

An override requires a three-fifths vote of members present, so the time to return a measure to the floor is when several opponents are absent. Democrats should take that as a warning against letting down their guard. News & Record Raleigh reporter Mark Binker also noted rumors that Republicans might try to pass voter ID requirements through a series of local bills, each one applying to a specific jurisdiction. The governor can’t veto local bills.

Tennessee: Groups prepare for voter ID law | timesfreepress.com

Local election commissions and advocacy groups are rolling out campaigns to educate people about a new Tennessee law that requires registered voters to present photo identification at the polls. Election commissioners say they worry that people don’t know or understand the new requirements. Senior and minority groups are concerned that the law, which will go into effect Jan. 1, creates voting “hurdles” for groups less likely to have photo IDs, including seniors, minorities and young voters.

The law, which lawmakers say was passed to reduce voter fraud, provides a mechanism for free photo IDs for people who do not have them. Qualified photo IDs include Tennessee driver’s licenses, gun permits with photos, any other state-issued ID except for student IDs issued by state universities, and federal government-issued IDs such as passports and military IDs.

“People don’t realize this is a law; people are angry,” said Hamilton County Election Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan. “Nobody can tell me there was voter fraud in Hamilton County.”

Texas: State Cites Controversial Bush-Era Approval Of Voter ID Law In Petition To DOJ | TPM

Texas officials are citing the Justice Department’s controversial approval of Georgia’s voter ID law during the Bush administration as a reason for the Obama administration to clear their new law.

… Secretary of State Hope Andrade wrote a letter to the chief of the Civil Rights Division’s voting section defending the measure and seeking preclearance under the Voting Rights Act. Andrade called the Texas law “remarkably similar” to Georgia’s precleared voter ID law. “In fact, DOJ precleared Georgia’s original photo-identification law even before Georgia enacted its free ID provision and its most recent extensive voter education mandate, which Georgia added in a subsequent legislative session.”

But the approval of the Georgia voter ID law was done by political officials in the Bush Justice Department over the objection of career employees in the voting section, who had recommended that the law not be approved.

Afghanistan: Afghan Election Panel Seeks to Expel Nine Legislators | WSJ.com

Afghanistan’s election commission on Sunday sought to bring the nation’s year-long political stalemate to an end, ordering the unseating of nine of the parliament’s 249 lawmakers for electoral fraud. The decision was meant to defuse a feud between President Hamid Karzai and the parliament stretching back to last September’s fraud-riddled legislative elections.

Mr. Karzai, who decried the parliament’s makeup as unrepresentative because of the fraud, paved the way for Sunday’s announcement earlier this month. Then, acting under strong international pressure, he dissolved a special elections court and recognized the Independent Election Commission’s authority to rule on the issue.

The special court, filled with judges appointed by Mr. Karzai, had been widely viewed as an attempt by the president to change the election results and dilute the increased power of his rivals. The court had called for the replacement of 62 of the parliament’s members.

Cambodia: Mounting election concerns | AIPA

Concern mounted yesterday over the lack of funding available for the upcoming 2012 commune and district elections, as representatives from the government’s National Election Committee held a press conference to appeal for more backing. “Up until now, the Royal Government has yet to dispense any funds for the NEC, not even one hundred riel,” Committee chief Im Sousdei said during a speech in Phnom Penh.

“The NEC has budgeted US$23 million for the administration of the elections, which will be held on January 29 of next year,” he said, adding that the NEC was planning to open an additional 790 polling stations, bringing the total nationwide to 18,126.

Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, yesterday echoed the NEC’s anxieties, calling an adequate budget “very important” for the process of voter registration.

Russia: Opposition cries foul at governor election landslide | RT

The St. Petersburg governor is one step closer to becoming the upper house speaker as she received over 95 per cent of the vote in municipal elections. The opposition claims the unusually high level of support could only be caused by a rigged poll.

Russian news agencies reported that Governor Valentina Matviyenko received 93.7 per cent of the vote in a municipal by-election in the Petrovsky district on Sunday.Voter turnout was at 36.54 per cent. The turnout at the Krasnenkaya Rechka district where Matviyenko was running was slightly lower – 28 per cent – where over 94.5 per cent voted in favor of the incumbent governor.

Elections monitors say that the poll was conducted without any major violations, but noted several incidents.At one polling station, the head of the elections commission tried to bar a journalist from Novaya Gazeta newspaper from observing the course of the voting, but failed.

Liberia: Referendum ballot causes confusion | AFP

Liberia’s electoral commission admitted Tuesday to an error on the ballot papers for a constitutional referendum, in a section where voters have to decide on the retirement age of the chief justice.

Among four laws the referendum asks voters to decide on Tuesday, is whether to change the retirement age from 70 to 75 for the chief justice and all Supreme Court judges. However the ballot paper has the ‘yes’ option at 75, as well as the ‘no’ option.

“We have noticed a very serious error while casting our vote, it is about the age of the chief justice,” said 28-year old university student Bille Koffe. “Instead of two propositions, 70 and 75, we saw only 75 and 75. We find it difficult to choose so I simply put there, ‘error’, because when I asked the administrator, he answered me saying it was an error noticed a week ago but it was too late to make a change.”

Cyprus: EU citizens to vote in Cyprus local authorities’ elections | Famagusta Gazette

Thousands of European citizens who reside in the Republic of Cyprus will have the right to vote and/or to be elected in the local authorities’ elections, which will take place in December, 2011.

In statements to CNA, Head of the Election Service of the Ministry of the Interior, Demetris Demetriou, said that the number of European Union citizens who are expected to apply for registration in the special electoral list for European Community electors could surpass 6.000.

Kenya: Real winners of Kamukunji poll | Business Daily

By-elections in Kenya come and go, but few command attention in the form of drama or uniqueness. Among the few was the one held in Kamukunji constituency last Thursday. The turn-out was only 30 per cent of the registered voters.

Kamukunji is a special constituency that has, over time, acquired the status of a political shrine thereby giving the name Kamkunji to have extra political meanings. It is symbolic of struggles as well as a political weathervane. In colonial days, it acquired a reputation as the place where Africans could hold rallies, mostly political, because there were no other venues available for “natives”. It was an open field, surrounded by heavily crowded “African quarters” such as Shauri Moyo, Kaloleni, Muthurwa, Majengo and Gorofani.

The Voting News Daily: Wisconsin Photo ID law to face lawsuit, Rock the Vote urges Michigan to allow online registration — Secretary of State expresses concerns about security

Wisconsin: Photo ID law for voters to face lawsuit | JSOnline In approving one of the strongest photo ID requirements in the country for voters, GOP lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker violated a few little-noted paragraphs of the state constitution – so say opponents of the law who are preparing a legal challenge to it.…

Wisconsin: Photo ID law for voters to face lawsuit | JSOnline

In approving one of the strongest photo ID requirements in the country for voters, GOP lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker violated a few little-noted paragraphs of the state constitution – so say opponents of the law who are preparing a legal challenge to it.

But Republicans dismissed that claim, saying that in writing the legislation earlier this year they took care not to violate the federal or state constitution. They said the current objections over the state’s charter show photo ID opponents are recognizing the difficulties of a federal lawsuit over the law.

A lawsuit being prepared by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin will allege that the law violates right to vote provisions of the state constitution not present in the U.S. Constitution. The group plans to file its lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court, its attorney Lester Pines said.

Michigan: Rock the Vote urges Michigan to allow online registration – Secretary of State expresses concerns about security | Detroit News

Michigan is failing to engage young voters because it lacks online registration and some of its laws are too restrictive, according to a group whose aim is to get more youths to vote. Rock the Vote said the younger generation is comfortable with online access for everyday tasks and the current voting laws are outdated. Its study called for the state to update its laws.

“Today’s generation uses technology to register for classes and pay for taxes,” said Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote. “It would seem quite normal that we’d also be able to fill out a voter registration form with technology.”

Texas: Confusion reigns over 2012 election calendar | Star-Telegram

Despite efforts by state lawmakers to avoid a confusing election schedule in 2012, that may be exactly what many Texas voters face next year anyway. Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill this summer tweaking the election laws to comply with new federal rules designed to make it easier for members of the military to vote.

A key side effect is that the measure pushes back runoffs from next year’s March 6 primaries into May, when cities, school districts and other local entities hold elections. Early voting for primary runoffs would begin just days after the May 12 local elections. Supporters of the legislative action predicted that the new rules would lead local entities to move their elections to next November or to the following May.

New Mexico: Fewer voting sites, shorter lines? | KRQE

The City of Albuquerque is cutting a lot of its polling locations to help alleviate the long lines and confusion for voters. The county could soon be following suit. City Clerk Amy Bailey said for the October municipal elections the word precinct is out. Recently, city councilors approved the plan to move away from precinct polling locations to voting convenience centers. “We have decided to do Election Day a little bit differently than how it’s been done in the past,” Bailey said.

Bailey said that plan would consolidate the city’s 168 voting sites to 49. The convenience is that voters can vote at any location. “The most important thing for people to know is you’re not assigned to you’re not assigned to one particular place to vote on Election Day,” Bailey said.

Idaho: Vote here, only – cities question county clerk’s decision to consolidate absentee voting | Coeur d’Alene Press

City halls might not be secure enough to house absentee ballot polling locations for November’s election, the Kootenai County Clerk’s Office decided. It’s too expensive to provide staff to work at the absentee polling sites too, the office said, so for the first time in decades, several Kootenai County municipalities won’t have their city halls available for voters to cast an early ballot.

So anyone – from Rathdrum to Hayden – who wants to cast an absentee ballot early and in person will have to do so at the Kootenai County Elections Office, 1808 N. 3rd Street, in Coeur d’Alene. It’s the latest change Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes has implemented since his election to office in 2010, having run his campaign on fixing the issues that arose in the heavily litigated 2009 Coeur d’Alene general election.

Oklahoma: Voter ID requirement will be new to most at polls Sept. 13 | Tulsa World

For most of those voting in the Sept. 13 city primary, this election will be the first requiring voters to present identification at polling places. The new law, approved in a statewide referendum last November, was actually in place for an Aug. 9 franchise vote. Only 3,410 voters turned out for that election, so the city primary will be the city’s first widespread experience with voter ID.

The law requires voters to present identification containing a name, photograph and expiration date that is after the date of the election.

Exceptions, however, are allowed for those carrying only a voter identification card, which does not have a photo, and for those older than 65 with a state identification card. Those cards do not have an expiration date.

Afghanistan: Election commission ruling may raise more problems than it solves | CSMonitor.com

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) has made a decision that aims to bring to a close nearly a year of drama and conflict following the country’s parliamentary election last fall. On Sunday, the IEC said it would remove nine of the 62 sitting members of parliament a special court ruled should lose their seats due to electoral fraud.

The decision is meant to be a final step in closing a dispute between President Hamid Karzai and the parliament that paralyzed the legislature and caused a constitutional crisis. Many of those losing their seats, however, say they will not accept the decision which may cause the electoral turmoil to drag on even longer. Among many Afghans, today’s attempted resolution for this standoff will do little to restore the government’s image, marred by its inability to efficiently find a solution and hold elections without widespread fraud and corruption.

New Zealand: Porirua mayor lobbies for internet voting test | dominion-post

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett wants his city to be a testing ground for new e-voting technology. Today he said he would lobby the Government to bring online voting to Porirua for the 2013 local body elections.

“New Zealand is long overdue for offering the option of voting online. The 2001 Local Electoral Act allows it to be used, which means Cabinet can make it happen through simple regulatory action. Officials, perhaps understandably, are exhibiting excessive caution — but our political leaders should embrace the democratic possibilities offered by this technology,” he said.

South Korea: Children demand vote in education elections in Seoul | Asia News Network

A total of 72 school students from across the country gathered for a forum in Seoul last week and demanded the government grant students aged 13 and older voting rights in the election of educational superintendents. They also requested that relevant ministries standardize educational programs for elementary school students to learn about elections and voting rights.

The demands came at the Korea Child Conference held Wednesday through Friday in Seoul, where children held fierce, logical and reasonable discussions. “We have every right to be respected. We are not an object of ignorance or indifference. We are not to be subject to force, violence or verbal abuse,” said Cho Ye-rin, a 12-year-old participant from Ansan in Gyeonggi Province, as she read the resolution adopted at the annual meeting.

UAE: Federal National Council elections: what substance behind the gloss? | Ahram Online

In a dark auditorium, rows of men in traditional white robes and women swathed in black watch silently as computer-animated characters take their turn at electronic voting machines in a film aimed at educating them on how to vote.
On 24 September they will cast their votes for half of the United Arab Emirates’ Federal National Council (FNC), a quasi-parliamentary body designed to serve as a link between the country’s rulers and its people to build democratic institutions gradually in the Gulf Arab state.

But given that the 40-member council has no legislative authority, half its members are appointed, and only about 12 per cent of citizens – themselves handpicked by the UAE’s rulers – can vote, critics question how much substance it has.

Pakistan: Election Commission takes steps to curb frauds in voting | International News Network

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to introduce water marked ballot papers in an effort to stop fraudulent votes. Secretary Election Commission Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan has said that NADRA had provided new voter’s list consisting almost 80 million entries to the Election Commission, and process of their home to home verification would be commenced from 22nd August, which would be completed till 30 September.

He was addressing a media briefing here on Saturday. He said that it is a historical development which would ensure holding of free, fair and impartial elections in the country. He said that after completing the verification these lists would be returned to NADRA that would publish final lists in March next year.

Latvia: 13 parties to vie for 11th Saeima | Latvians Online

A total of 13 political parties or coalitions will be on the ballot Sept. 17 when Latvian voters go to the polls in the homeland and abroad to elect a new parliament, according to the Central Election Commission in Rīga.

No. 1 in the packet of candidate lists voters will receive will be Vienotība (Unity), a center-right party that merges Jaunais laiks (New Era), Pilsoniskā savienība (Civic Union) and Sabiedrība citai politikai (Society for a Different Politics).

Afghanistan: Election commission expels 9 lawmakers | CNN.com

The Afghan election commission on Sunday expelled nine lawmakers who faced election fraud allegations.

A special court set up by President Hamid Karzai had been prosecuting alleged electoral fraud by 62 parliament members. The nine were among them. The election commission announced the expulsions Sunday, four days after the special court was dissolved.

The Voting News Weekly: TVN Weekly August 15-21 2011

Voting in Guatemala

Elections Canada announced their support for online voting on Wednesday, leaving others to point out the security vulnerabilities such a plan would introduce. The Jones County Mississippi clerk convinced his county’s Board of Supervisors to allow the removal of voter verified paper audit trail printers with the astonishing claim that there is no way to tamper with Diebold TSx touchscreen voting machines. An audit of South Carolina’s 2010 elections revealed widespread discrepancies and irregularities with the state’s ES&S iVotronic touchscreen voting machines. Also this week, the Department of Justice determined that South Carolina’s new voter ID requirement could not be enforced this year at least. The Wake County North Carolina District Attorney noted that none of the nine people charged last week for voting twice in the 2008 elections would have been deterred by a photo ID requirement, though of course all were caught under current law. Though a concealed weapon license can serve as identification for voting under emergency legislation signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Veteran’s ID apparently can not. At least 38 people have been killed in election-related violence in the run-up to the Guatemalan elections and thousands protested in Kabul after an Independent Election Commission recommended the removal of 62 legislators due to irregularities in last year’s elections.

The Voting News Daily: Canada isn’t ready for online voting, Mississippi Democrat contests primary result in House race

Editorials: Canada isn’t ready for online voting | National Post Elections Canada intends to seek approval to implement a system of online voting, according to a report released Wednesday. Let me say first that, on the one hand, it’s positive that an organization that is as culturally-conservative and traditional as Elections Canada is even pondering exploring alternate…

Editorials: Canada isn’t ready for online voting | National Post

Elections Canada intends to seek approval to implement a system of online voting, according to a report released Wednesday.

Let me say first that, on the one hand, it’s positive that an organization that is as culturally-conservative and traditional as Elections Canada is even pondering exploring alternate methods of service delivery. Some years back I interviewed their chief information officer a few weeks into the job. He’d come from the private sector and was amazed at the degree of institutional resistance to even minor technological advancement. They had their way of doing things. It was all laid out step-by-step in a big binder.

On the other hand, while voter registration seems like an obvious step, I’d have a very hard time trusting Elections Canada to devise a secure and reliable system for online voting when every time I try to use their online contributions database, I want to cry over how unnecessarily complicated and cumbersome even simplest tasks is.

But online voting is one of those things that sounds great in theory — vote easily and quickly wherever you are, you don’t need to travel or wait in line — but, upon further reflection, loses some of its lustre.