Indiana: White’s trial on voter fraud delayed again | The Indianapolis Star

Secretary of State Charlie White’s criminal trial has been postponed again. It will now begin Jan. 30, White’s attorney, Carl Brizzi, confirmed this morning after a telephone conference with a Hamilton County judge and prosecutors.

White faces seven felony charges, including voter fraud and theft, because of confusion over where he lived during his campaign for statewide office. His trial had been scheduled for Aug. 8 but was pushed back to Sept. 12.

The latest delay comes days after Brizzi, the former Marion County prosecutor, took over the case. “I think the most compelling reason (for the continuance) is that I’m brand new to the case, so the judge thought it was a good idea to get me up to speed,” Brizzi said this morning.

Editorials: Gessler Prevails | The Pueblo Chieftain

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has won his lawsuit over the manner in which Saguache County conducted its 2010 election. We’re happy he prevailed.

Mr. Gessler sued County Clerk and Recorder Melinda Meyers after she refused to turn over ballots from the election and argued that a public review would violate the secrecy of the ballot. Reflexively, many of the state’s county clerks backed her argument.

But District Judge Martin Gonzales ruled that Ms. Meyers had not established that ballots contained information which would identify a voter. He further ruled that requesting the ballots for review was within the powers of the secretary of state — the state’s top elections official.

Editorials: Two-timers in North Carolina |

The arrest warrants for nine people in Wake County charged with felonies for voting twice in the 2008 election were barely dry when the state Republican Party came to its fanciful conclusion that its stymied campaign for requiring photo identification of all voters would have thwarted these people. The problem is, it wouldn’t have.

Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby (yes, a Democrat) says voter IDs would have made no difference in these cases. This was about people voting twice, perhaps by absentee and then at the polls. And it should be noted that nine people were charged, and that’s out of a huge 2008 turnout. There were more voter fraud cases statewide than usual in that year, more than 200, out of over 4 million votes cast.

Which is to say, nine is not many, and there probably would have been nine with or without voter ID.

Afghanistan: Thousands protest over Afghan vote rigging row |

Afghan lawmakers and thousands of their supporters took to the streets of Kabul on Tuesday to protest at the latest twist in a row over fraud in elections last year, officials said. Afghanistan is currently gripped by what experts say is a constitutional crisis over the results of the fraud-tainted parliamentary elections in September last year and how many lawmakers should be disqualified as a result.

President Hamid Karzai last week ordered the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to resolve the long-standing dispute and it is expected to announce within days its decision on how many members of parliament will be kicked out.

“There are about 3,000 people, members of parliament and their supporters demonstrating around the parliament building,” Hashmat Stanikzai, a Kabul police spokesman, told reporters.

Arizona: In Open Primary Plan for Arizona, a Call for Moderation |

The person who recently hurled a padlock out the window of a passing vehicle at a Republican candidate for the State Senate, who was jogging along the side of the road, may have had no political motive at all. But as the police investigate, some here already consider the incident one more example of the politics in this state veering toward the extreme.

… In wake of the incident, a bipartisan group has stepped forward with a remedy for what members describe as the lack of moderation in the state’s politics. Voter registration records indicate disaffection with both parties, as independent voters increase in numbers and both registered Republicans and Democrats decline. By doing away with partisan primaries, the newly formed Open Government Coalition says, more independent voters will participate in choosing candidates and more moderate voices will emerge.

Nevada: Board agrees to ask Legislature to cover special election costs |

A board chaired by the governor voted unanimously Monday to ask the Legislature to cover the $539,137 cost of the special election on Sept. 13 to fill a vacancy in Congress.

Instead of requiring counties to cover election costs, the state Board of Examiners wants the Legislature to reimburse counties out of its $12 million interim contingency fund. The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee will consider the proposal on Aug. 31.

Editorials: Dean C. Logan and R. Michael Alvarez: Let’s bring registration online now | LA Daily News

The world looks to California for 21st century innovation, especially for the application of technology that makes life less costly and more efficient.
Californians are well into the 21st century, working in the cloud, using smart phones and tablet computers, and getting their entertainment on demand by satellite. But when it comes to voter registration, California seems to be stuck in the 18th century. State law won’t allow eligible citizens in our state to register online until at least 2015 — and maybe much later.

Fortunately, Californians may not need to wait much longer. SB 397, a bill that would allow for online voter registration as soon as 2012, has now been approved by the state Senate and passed through the Assembly Policy Committee. Since the bill’s introduction by Sen. Leland Yee in February of 2011, SB 397 has continued to garner legislative support by adding a number of coauthors.

Editorials: What’s the rush? One major election change is enough for Kansas counties to handle this year |

If there was reason to believe that Kansas has a serious problem with noncitizens voting in its elections, it might make sense to rush into a voter registration system designed to stem such abuse.

However, because there is little evidence that such a problem exists, it only makes sense for the state to take a little time to implement the requirement that Kansas residents show proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

The county clerks who actually have to run the elections are saying they have enough changes to deal with in the coming year without adding the proof-of-citizenship requirement. Secretary of State Kris Kobach should respect their opinion.

Nigeria: Granting Congress for Progressive Change access to Nigerian biometric data will harm national security – INEC | Daily Trust

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday told the Presidential Election Tribunal headed by President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ayo Salami that allowing the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) access to the biometrics data base of registered voters used for the April presidential election will jeopardise national security.

This is just as the Tribunal adjourned to August 29 for the interpretation its earlier order granting CPC access to INEC sensitive materials and also entertain CPC’s motion seeking to declare its presidential candidate in April general elections General Muhammadu Buhari as President would be heard.

The CPC had filed a motion praying the Tribunal to give the party judgment, alleging that the INEC disobeyed the tribunal’s order by denying the party access to the sensitive material used during the April 2011 President.

Malaysia: Road Map For Automatic Voter Registration Needed – Saifuddin | Bernama

A road map needs to be instituted to enable Malaysians reaching the age of 21 to be automatically registered as voters, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. He said that he was not only in favour of this but also reducing the voting age to 18.

“Though these are not possible for the next general election, nevertheless, a road map needs to be in place to realise these matters.

“To have a great decracy, we need as many people as possible to come out and vote. To achieve this, we must make it easier for the people to do so (vote),” he said at the Electoral Reform and Purification of Democracy Forum organised by the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) and the Abim Lawyers Group (GPA) at Kolej Dar Al-Hikmah here today.

Liberia: Upcoming elections must be peaceful, free and fair – Ban Ki Moon | UN News Centre

With preparations for the upcoming general elections in full swing,Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the people of Liberia to do everything possible to ensure the polls are free, fair and peaceful.

The presidential and legislative polls, scheduled for 11 October, will be second round of democratic elections since the end of the decade-long conflict in Liberia that killed nearly 150,000 people, mostly civilians, and sent 850,000 others fleeing to neighbouring countries.

“The success of these elections, and the peaceful inauguration of a new administration, will be critical to the consolidation of the tremendous progress the country has made over the past eight years,” Mr. Ban writes in his latest report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Philippines: Overseas poll registration plan sought | The Manila Bulletin

A Filipino migrant rights watchdog on Thursday Thursday urged the government to bare its plan and timetable of activities on information dissemination and campaign for the upcoming overseas absentee voters (OAV) registration.

“It is barely more than a month from now, the OAV registration will soon commence. But there is no information dissemination drive yet conducted by various posts abroad,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, noting the importance of having the Filipino communities and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) organizations abroad to be informed of the upcoming OAV registration.

United Kingdom: Why expats should be able to keep their votes | Telegraph

It was quaintly ironic how President Sarkozy’s decision to reach out to his thousands of expatriate French citizens by giving them proper representation in the French Senate, by way of their own Senators to represent their interests, boomeranged spectacularly when he attempted to impose a tax on second home owners.

As his ministers quite rightly pointed out to him, the hundreds of thousands of French citizens resident and working in countries like the UK, many of whom now owned what had become a “second home” in France, were more than likely due to this legislation to vote against him. And bingo, he performed an incredible U-turn and dropped the tax.

Does this give British citizens now resident in France and elsewhere who after 15 years have lost their right to vote in the UK pause for thought? I do hope so. It shows the power of democracy, and the ability of voting citizens to change legislation.

Slovenia: Prime Minister calls for deal over early elections | New Age Online

Slovenia’s prime minister urged all political sides in the tiny EU state Friday to reach an agreement on early elections, after his coalition suffered a new blow this week.

“The political sphere has to reach an agreement on how to appoint a new government through early elections,” Borut Pahor wrote in a commentary published in the daily Vecer. “In the current complicated circumstances, a political crisis is a luxury we cannot afford and we have to take quick and energetic steps.”

Montenegro: Montenegro To Make Another Attempt to Pass Election Law | Daily News Montenegro

The Montenegrin parliament must pass a new election law in order to continue on the path towards EU membership. The EU has been very clear in it’s message — without a revised election law there will be no EU membership.
Nonetheless, the Montenegrin parliament has failed to pass the needed law — after seven attempts. Unfortunately, there is little reason to hope that this attempt will fare better.

Serbian nationalist parties within the Montenegrin parliament are refusing to allow the EU membership to move forward unless Montenegro agrees to change it’s national language to Serbian and returns to teaching Serbian in Montenegrin schools.

Texas: Vet ID holders cannot vote? | San Antonio Express-News

Local Democrats are up in arms about a controversial voter ID bill that would exclude veterans’ identification cards from the short list of photo IDs required to cast a vote in Texas. Ann McGeehan, director of the Secretary of State’s elections division, said last week at a seminar in Austin that photo ID cards issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are not acceptable forms of military ID to vote, according to a recording provided by the Texas Democratic Party. Jordy Keith, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state, backpedaled Friday on that determination.

“It was an informal Q&A, and (McGeehan) was answering based on what was expressly called out in Senate Bill 14,” Keith said. “Right now our office has not issued a final determination on that.”

Passed after Gov. Rick Perry declared voter ID an emergency issue in the last session, the strict bill is touted by Republicans as a way to reduce voter fraud but decried by Democrats as an effort to lower voter turnout among minorities and the elderly, disabled and poor.

South Carolina: County voting records absent in South Carolina state audit | The Times and Democrat

An audit of electronic voting records by South Carolina election officials did not include local files, Orangeburg County Voter Registration Director Howard Jackson says. “The state sent our office a software program to extract data from the (November 2010) general election,” Jackson said. “When we installed it, it crashed the whole computer system.

“We now have a new system in place but that data is gone. We usually catalog and save data soon after an election but we ran into problems involving the special election for (Orangeburg County) sheriff.”

Following the November 2010 election, the Election Commission determined several counties certified inaccurate election results. As a result, it conducted audits of all 46 counties’ results beginning in January. Federal law mandates voting records must be stored for 22 months. Jackson said he provided state officials with paper tapes taken from the voting machines used in each precinct in the election.

Guatemala: Electoral Violence Escalates in Guatemala | InSight

It is estimated that 38 people have died so far in the run-up to the Guatemalan 2011 general elections, an even higher number than was recorded during 2007 contest. The head of Guatemalan Civil Rights Office (Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos) has described the current level of violence as “alarming,” and likely to worsen over the coming month, prior to the September 11 vote. An advisor to the presidential candidate Otto Perez Molina, who is currently tipped as the favourite to win, was also gunned down recently, along with his son.

According to Guatemalan NGO, Mirador Electoral, the pre-election period presents “high levels of danger” in at least 24 of the country’s 333 municipalities, due to the presence of criminal groups. As reported by Insight Crime, Mexican criminal gangs such as the Zetas have been stepping up their presence in Guatemala, which could explain the higher level of pre-election violence this year.

Kansas: Election officials want Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to wait on citizenship requirement |

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proposal to move up the date when Kansans must show proof of citizenship to register to vote is not getting good reviews from the people who run elections.

“If you rush implementation of a policy, you have a stronger chance of mistakes,” said Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew. He said voting is a constitutional right, “so you don’t want to make a decision on the fly about who gets to participate and who doesn’t get to participate.”

Wisconsin: Recalls let clerks test new Wisconsin voting rules | Green Bay Press Gazette

Sara Peeters waited at the First United Presbyterian Church in De Pere for an hour to register and vote in Tuesday’s recall election. It didn’t deter her from casting a ballot — “I came here for a reason,” she said — but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an inconvenience.

“It’s not an efficient system,” Peeters said. “I work in a pharmacy. No one would put up with that in a pharmacy.”

Lines at several precincts in the region topped an hour in Tuesday’s high-turnout races, a dry run for clerks and poll workers to test some of the new voting laws the Republican-led Legislature recently approved. Voters had to sign a poll book and were asked to show a form of identification, although the latter wasn’t required.

California: New primary system could shake up California politics |

California voters will engage in a new election process next year that does away with traditional political party nominations and replaces them with primaries that could result in two candidates from the same party squaring off in the general election. In the so-called top-two primary election in June, state and congressional candidates of all parties will appear on the same ballot, allowing all voters to choose nominees without partisan constraints.

The new election system, approved by voters last November, will go into effect after the once-a-decade redrawing of political districts was done for the first time by an independent citizens commission, rather than the politicians themselves.

Proponents say the top-two primary, along with the new districts, will spur competition, help guard against spoiler candidates and potentially lead to more moderate lawmakers being elected. They further hope a new dynamic will emerge to lessen partisan rancor. But critics contend the new primary will limit choice, drive up the cost of campaigning and spell the end of third-party candidates.

US Virgin Islands: Abramson’s tenure extended in 10-3 vote | Virgin Islands Daily News

In a frenzied but semi-functional reconvened meeting of the V.I. Joint Board of Elections on Wednesday, the board reappointed the current supervisor of elections and took some long-awaited, though slightly retroactive, steps toward election reform. The meeting, which was recessed while in executive session on July 12, reconvened about 9:45 a.m., still in executive session for the purpose of discussing the position of supervisor of the V.I. Election System.

Within an hour, the board re-opened to the public, and St. Croix member Dodson James reported that they had discussed the findings of the Screening Committee, which recommended two names: current Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. and James Weber III.

Afghanistan: U.N. pushes risky plan to resolve Afghan election impasse |

The United Nations is quietly pushing a plan aimed at healing a rupture between President Hamid Karzai and the opposition-dominated parliament that threatens to ignite a full-blown constitutional crisis, two international officials said.

The proposal, however, risks inflaming the feud and triggering charges of foreign interference with the country’s electoral commission, which is supposed to be independent but has had its credibility battered by two successive fraud-marred national elections.

The U.N. is pressing the commission to overturn for alleged fraud the results of 17 of last year’s 249 races for parliament’s lower house, the officials said on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. The number is far fewer than the 62 contests that Karzai wanted reversed, but stops short of granting opposition lawmakers’ calls for no changes at all.

Angola: Vice-minister presses for stronger engagement in electoral register update | Angola Press

The Angolan vice-minister of Territory Administration for Institutional and Electoral Affairs, Adão de Almeida, Saturday in Luanda appealed to all citizens to participate in raising civic awareness on the electoral register update.

“Electoral register is a commitment with peace and democracy, therefore everyone who likes peace must participate in the process. We are all devoted to consolidating peace and promoting the development of democracy in Angola,” said the Government official.

Armenia: Central Election Commission to elect district committee members | Trend

Armenian’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has launched an open voting to elect members to district electoral committees, reported.

The voting session attended by reporters comes to mark the 50th day of adopting amendments to the Electoral Code. And even though today is not a working day in Armenia, the voting was held extraordinarily since the law mandates that district electoral committees be set up upon the expiry of the above time limit.

Congo: Democratic Republic of Congo gears up for general elections | Newsday

More than 31 million voters have registered for the forthcoming general election scheduled for November in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This represents a significant increase compared to about 25,6 million that registered for the last election held in 2006.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni) has said it is happy with the way the electoral process is progressing, adding that the response from voters had been overwhelming. “It is more than we expected,” Ceni chairperson Daniel Ngoy Mulunda said at a Press conference following the completion of the first phase of the updating of the electoral roll. He said overwhelming response is a positive sign that people are willing to participate in national development.

Tunisia: Tunisians slow to register for ballot | AFP

Only about half of potential voters in Tunisia have registered to cast their ballot in October polls, the first since the January ouster of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, early figures showed Sunday. Just over 3.7 million of an estimated seven million potential voters had added their names to the roll, a member of the independent election commission, Larbi Chouikha, told AFP ahead of the close of registration at midnight (2300 GMT).

The provisional figure, which does not include an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 Tunisians of voting age abroad, represented about 52 percent of potential voters still in the country. The commission will release official figures on Tuesday. Registration opened on July 11 and was supposed to close on August 2, but was prolonged due to a slow turnout.

The Voting News Weekly: TVN Weekly August 8-14 2011

Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Melinda Myers with records in the county vault

A district court ruled that Saguache County clerk Melinda Myers must turn over ballots from 2010 election to the Colorado Secretary of State. In a related decision the same court threatened to hold Election Systems and Software in contempt for failing to appear for depositions retaed to their M650 central count tabulators and related software. Though charges of double voting against three Wake County North Carolina residents were quickly used in support of a voter ID bill recently vetoed by Governor Perdue, the law would not have stopped the voters from attempting to vote twice. Current law did, however. Post-election ballot counting in the Hinds County Mississippi primary election marred by voting machine malfunctions became chaotic. Florida’s new election law received pre-clearance by the Department of Justice – except for its most controversial provisions. The Post and Courier gave an account of the obstacles faced by one South Carolina citizen in trying to obtain required identification to allow her to vote. And from the Verified Voting Blog, a plea to let the provisions of the Federal MOVE Act have a chance to work before considering the electronic return of voted ballots.