Massachusetts: Mansfield Selectman wants to put voter ID on ballot | The Sun Chronicle Online

Mansfield Selectman Olivier Kozlowski wants voters to make the same effort to prove their identity when they go to the polls as they do at the airport or the checkout line. The attorney and first-term selectman has filed a statewide ballot initiative that would require every Massachusetts voter to bring government-issued photo identification with them when they head to the polls.

“In this day and age, you look at everything you need to show an ID for – everything from renting a car to getting on a plane,” Kozlowski said Wednesday. “We as a society have become accustomed to that. And something as important as voting, you have a right to say: ‘Are you really the person you claim to be?'”

Considered a common-sense precaution against fraud by supporters and an attempt to suppress low-income and minority turnout by opponents, voter identification laws have been debated and approved in several states this year.

Oklahoma: Costly city-run elections feared | Tulsa World

City councilors were told Tuesday that voter approval this fall of an initiative petition ballot question for nonpartisan races would be “extremely” costly for Tulsans because it would force the city to conduct some of the elections on its own. The nonprofit group Save Our Tulsa successfully petitioned to have voters decide Nov. 8 three questions that could make changes to the city’s form of government.

A question addressing the nonpartisan races calls for both the primary and runoff races to be held during months in which, by state law, the Tulsa County Election Board does not hold elections, Assistant City Attorney Patrick Boulden said. “It is obviously in conflict with state law and would mean the city of Tulsa would have to conduct the election in September and the Election Board would not participate,” he said.

Colorado: Weld County awaits federal decision on providing bilingual voting materials | Greeley Tribune

As the 2011 election season nears, Weld County is among 16 counties in Colorado that are waiting to find out whether they will be required to provide election materials in Spanish in November. The U.S. Department of Justice will hand down the decision in the next month, and county clerks will have to comply with the guidelines under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act.

The 1973 Voting Rights Act states that areas with large Latino, Asian, American Indian and Alaskan populations provide voting materials in languages spoken by these minorities. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, that requirement affects counties in which more than 5 percent of voting-age residents are members of a single minority language group, provided that group also has depressed literacy rates. This data is determined by the most recent census.

South Carolina: Audit shows Richland, Colleton Counties had most 2010 ballot problems |

State election officials have finished a county-by-county review of the November 2010 vote, concluding that Richland County was one of the biggest offenders in miscounting those general-election ballots.

The eight-month auditing process determined that “human error” was the culprit in mistakes made in “a number of counties” across South Carolina, said Chris Whitmire, assistant director of the S.C. Election Commission. The discrepancies would not have changed the outcome of any race or issue, Whitmire said.

Conducting the audit forced state officials to develop a new computer program that counties can use to identify specific problems in data collection from the touchscreen machines. The state has been using the machines for six years. “We think future elections are going to be better because of it,” Whitmire said.

Northern Mariana Islands: Man’amko preview AutoMARK disability-friendly voting machine | Saipan Tribune

Congregates at the Aging Center will now be able to use the new voting machine of the Commonwealth Election Commission when casting their votes in next year’s election. Executive director Robert A. Guerrero of the Election Commission, Raymond Diaz of the Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Thomas J. Camacho of the Disability Policy & Programs Office were at the center yesterday to conduct a presentation on how to use the AutoMARK accessible voting machine.

“The new voting machine is going to be available in the next election,” Diaz told his audience composed of about 60 man’amko and 20 caregivers of the center’s homebound clients. Diaz said the machine allows voters who have disabilities to cast their votes using any part of their body instead of the traditional way of voting by pen and paper.

Afghanistan: Karzai Annuls Afghan Court Reviewing 2010 Polls |

In a startling reversal on Wednesday, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan annulled a special court that he had set up to review the results of the 2010 parliamentary elections.

The decision, which came after months of pressure from Western diplomats, reaffirms the authority of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission, which finalized the results of the election last November only to have its authority undermined by the creation of the special court. It was also an acknowledgement that President Karzai’s effort to change the makeup of the new parliament through the court was hurting his administration more than helping it.

Afghanistan: Afghan president: Courts cannot change election

Afghanistan’s president issued a decree Wednesday stating that the country’s courts do not have the power to alter election results, appearing to bow to pressure to resolve an impasse over the parliament’s legitimacy that threatened to create a constitutional crisis.

The Afghan parliament has been in limbo after a special court in June called for the removal of 62 sitting lawmakers, saying they won their seats through fraud. The dispute hamstrung the country’s already tumultuous political system, with the courts, the president and legislature all claiming the right to make the final ruling about last year’s messy elections.

Afghanistan’s September 2010 ballot was plagued by irregularities and voter intimidation. Fraud monitors discarded 1.3 million ballots — nearly a quarter of the total — for fraud, and disqualified 19 winning candidates for cheating.

India: Maharashtra governor calls for online voting | Mumbai DNA

The state governor, K Sankaranarayanan, has advocated major electoral reforms in the form of introduction of online voting system in elections. He was speaking at the launch of the official website of the state election commission at Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (Yashada), in Pune on Tuesday.

“If we can have online banking, why can’t we have online voting?’’ he asked, making a strong plea for the educated to be involved in the process of elections and the political system at large. “There is a general feeling that the political process is too corrupt to be involved in. It is wrong to blame politicians for all ills in society,’’ he said.

Ghana: Biometric voter registrarion without verification is a meaningless exercise | Ghana Online

Ghana is almost certainly gearing towards a revision of our voters’ registration and the Electoral Commission has been mandated and resourced to introduce biometric registration in the last quarter of the year. The fact that our current voters’ register has outlived its usefulness is well known and agreed upon by many political analysts. The fact also that the government has allocated GHS50 million to the Electoral Commission to implement biometric registration is equally known.

What is however uncertain is the kind of biometric technology the Electoral Commission is going to deploy and whether the biometric register that will be created will be able to stop multiple voting. Biometric verification is any means by which a person can be uniquely identified by the evaluation of a biological trait such as fingerprints, hand geometry, earlobe geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves, DNA or signatures.

Ireland: Sinn Féin urges presidential voting rights for North | The Irish Times

Sinn Féin has called for voting rights in the presidential election to be extended to Irish citizens in Northern Ireland. In a protest outside Leinster House yesterday, members of Ógra Shinn Féin wore the county jerseys of Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone with a gag covering their mouths to indicate the lack of voting rights for those in the North.

The party is expected to introduce a Private Members’ motion in the Dáil in the autumn on the issue. Sinn Féin education spokesman Seán Crowe said the extension of voting rights was “a natural outworking of the Good Friday agreement, which enshrines the rights of people in the North to Irish citizenship”.

UAE: National Election Committee underlines broad participation in Federal National Council election | Khaleej Times

The National Election Committee (NEC) discussed the preparations of the Election Management Committee for the Federal National Council elections at the 7th committee meeting chaired by Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the NEC.

The Committee discussed several aspects including the preparations for polling stations, the electronic voting system, and the registration of candidates to be held from August 14 to 17. Members of NEC, the Election Management Committee, chief editors of local newspapers and columnists attended the meeting.

Philippines: Filipino declared senator after 4-year recount | Taiwan News Online

A Philippine candidate for Senate has been declared the winner of a contested seat more than four years after the election.

Aquilino Pimentel III had been locked in a recount battle since 2007, when he lost the mid-term senatorial race to rival Juan Miguel Zubiri. He filed a fraud protest after the results, citing witness statements that fake ballots were used to favor allies of then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The Voting News Daily: Democrats Remove Vote Tampering Allegations in Recall Election, Hinds County Democrats close vote certification meeting

Wisconsin: Democrats Remove Vote Tampering Allegations in Recall Election | Fox Point-Bayside, WI Patch The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has pulled a news release from its website that alleges vote tampering in Waukesha County by the county clerk. The party chairman, Mike Tate, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that they would not“not pursue questions of irregularities” that was…

Wisconsin: Democrats Remove Vote Tampering Allegations in Recall Election | Fox Point-Bayside, WI Patch

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has pulled a news release from its website that alleges vote tampering in Waukesha County by the county clerk. The party chairman, Mike Tate, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that they would not“not pursue questions of irregularities” that was referenced by the Democratic Party in “heat-of-the-moment statements.”

Earlier: Perhaps one of the most controversial county clerks in Wisconsin, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is again under political scrutiny during the Alberta Darling recall election. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is claiming there is tampering going on in Waukesha County.

“The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate in a prepared news release. “She is once more tampering with the results of a consequential election and in the next hours we will determine our next course of action. For now, Wisconsin should know that a dark cloud hangs over these important results.”

Mississippi: Hinds Dems close vote certification meeting | The Clarion-Ledger

Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Claude McInnis is not allowing reporters in the committee’s meeting this evening on whether to certify the results from the Aug. 2 primary. McInnis turned away a Clarion-Ledger reporter at the door, saying news media would not be allowed. Asked why, he said, “because we have so desired it.”

The 18-member committee is facing criticism and scrutiny in the face of election-day snafus and a post-election ballot count fraught with problems. The committee is meeting at the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, 612 N. State St. in Jackson, to vote on certifying the results. Incumbent Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin will not address today as planned whether he’ll contest his loss to Tyrone Lewis in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary.

Voting Blogs: Controversial Changes to Florida Election Law Remain in Question | Project Vote Blog

Today, Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning announced that the Justice Department approved part of a controversial new election law that is being challenged by Project Vote and the ACLU. The critical portions of the bill relating to restrictions on early voting and voter registration drives remain in question.

Browning took the most controversial elements of the law to a federal court in Washington D.C. instead of the Justice Department, a move that he claims was to avoid “outside influence” at the hefty expense of taxpayers.

Wisconsin: Ballot machine malfunction delays voters in Fond du Lac | JSOnline

A ballot machine malfunction in Fond du Lac delayed voters for a short time early this afternoon, in one of the six recall elections drawing strong turnout of electors in Wisconsin.

Ballots cast during the temporary shutdown in Fond du Lac were placed in an auxiliary bin, then scanned through a new machine when it was delivered about 12:30 p.m., said City Clerk Sue Strands. No voters were turned away, although some may have left instead of waiting in line, she said. All of the ballots were counted.

Wisconsin: Recalls: Slow Returns in Waukesha County Upset Democrats | WUWM

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has issued a statement critical of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus for the length of time it has taken to produce election results from Tuesday’s recall. The race between incumbent Republican Senator Alberta Darling and Democratic Representative Sandy Pasch is the only one not yet called.

Nickolaus came under fire earlier this year, when she was late in reporting thousands of votes in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court and bags of ballots were not secured.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s Katherine Harris |

It’s down to one race for control of the state Senate in Wisconsin and Democrats are accusing a GOP county clerk of holding up the ballot count. GOP incumbent Alberta Darling is leading Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch 52 percent to 48 percent with nearly 80 percent reporting.

But before 10 of 11 precincts had reported in Senate District 8’s Waukesha County, Democrats began taking aim at clerk Kathy Nickolaus. Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate took the stage at the Majestic Theater to accuse her of “sitting on ballots.”

“We hope the Waukesha County clerk’s office is doing the right thing tonight . . . But it is a little curious isn’t it. Here we are on the cusp of victory . . . and Kathy Nickolaus is sitting on our ballots,” Tate told the crowd of Democrats to a ripple of boos.

Mississippi: Poll-worker error led to incorrect ballot style in Mississippi Primary |

Complaints of voters receiving the incorrect ballot during the Aug. 2 primary election has been attributed to an error on the part of poll workers. Circuit Clerk Vickie Hariel said during the election she received a call from a candidate that a voter at the Carriere precinct did not get the proper ballot, and could not vote for the proper justice court judge.

Going to the precinct, Hariel diagnosed the problem as poll workers encoding voting cards with the wrong information. In the Gumpond precinct a similar situation occurred, with voters receiving incorrect ballots for the superintendent of education. That problem was caused by a poll worker incorrectly clearing out a voting card that was used by a previous voter.

Maine: Rhetoric heats up in Maine people’s veto move |

Supporters of an effort to preserve election day voter registration in Maine insist it’s not a partisan issue, but their effort to let voters decide the issue is drawing sharply opposing views from Democrats and Republicans.

The rhetoric heated up as the coalition to keep same-day registration gave state election officials petitions that could force a November referendum on the issue. More than 68,000 voters’ signatures were turned in Monday, and the campaign said the total could reach about 70,000 before the filing deadline arrived Tuesday afternoon.

The Protect Maine Votes coalition — 18 groups that include organized labor, civil libertarians, consumer and public health advocates, disabled and homeless groups — is seeking to repeal a state law that requires registration at least two business days before an election.

Voting Blogs: As Minority Language Assistance Becomes More Common, A More Common Approach Makes Sense | PEEA

The Denver Post had a story this weekend about the likelihood that 16 counties in Colorado will soon be required to make ballots and other election materials available in Spanish.

These requirements will be driven by 2010 Census data and required by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 203 uses the Census data to identify jurisdictions in which the citizens voting age population in a single language group within the jurisdiction 1) is more than 10,000, OR 2) is more than five percent of all voting age citizens, OR 3) on an Indian reservation, exceeds five percent of all reservation residents AND the illiteracy rate of the group is higher than the national illiteracy rate.

Ohio: Ohio Libertarian Party sues secretary of state, wants parts of election overhaul overturned | AP/The Republic

The Libertarian Party of Ohio is suing the state’s election chief over provisions of a new law that they say will keep them off the ballot.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Columbus, the party says parts of Ohio’s new election law are unconstitutional because they don’t give third parties enough time to collect signatures to get on the 2012 ballot.

Kansas: Voter ID: Defeated in Kansas Senate, Secretary of State Tries to Unilaterally Change Voting Laws | Campus Progress

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach came under fire last year for his anti-gay missionary work in Africa. This year, it appears Kobach has a new target: Kansas voters. In April, Kansas became the 10thstate to pass a voter ID bill. The legislation gives Kansas one of the most strict voting laws in the country despite the fact that even by Kobach’s own generous estimate, there have been just 221 incidents of voter fraud in the state in the last 14 years—a rate of just more than 2/100ths of 1 percent of all votes cast. (Or, in decimal form: 0.0002% of all voters.)

But that wasn’t enough for Kobach. Soon after the initial voter ID bill passed, Kobach attempted to push through a second bill that would allow the legislation to take effect before the 2012 elections. Despite overwhelming support for the initial bill, the Kansas Senate rejected Kobach’s second measure in bipartisan fashion.

Indonesia: Watchdog Asks For Right to Cast Protest Votes | The Jakarta Globe

Should voters who favor no candidate be allowed to express this on their ballot paper? The Independent Committee for Election Monitoring (KIPP) believes so and has proposed that lawmakers accommodate the right of these voters, referred to as golput (white group) , by providing a “vote no” column on the paper ballot.

According to KIPP coordinator Girindra Sandino, the “vote no” column might help minimize the chances of corrupt candidates, or old faces who broke their promises, being elected. “The voters who feel confused and are not satisfied with the candidates will have room to express [that feeling] on the ballot paper,” Girindra said. The “vote no” could be a healthy incentive for leaders to improve the political system and for the government to improve its performance, he added.

Nigeria: Battle for Lugard House: Can Action Congress of Nigeria tame Peoples Democratic Party? | The Moment

Just last week, the Independent National Electoral Commission {INEC] rolled out the election timetable for the conduct of the governorship election in Kogi State. The timetable which was widely publicised has heightened tensions among different camps within the same party and across party lines.  The Moment gathered that pressure is being mounted on the two main camps within the Peoples Democratic Party, the ruling party in the  state.

The Jibrin Isah /Clarence Olafenmi groups who have been labouring assiduously to convince the party hierarchy to ensure that the last gubernatorial primary election which produced the duo as governor and deputy governorship candidates respectively should be made to stand while on the other hand the meeting of governorship aspirants who contested  are urging the party to call for a fresh primary election to enable them participate in it.

Zambia: Patriotic Front opposes Movement for Multi-Party Democracy origins case submissions | The Post Newspapers Zambia

The opposition PF has asked the High Court to dismiss with costs the preliminary issues raised by the Attorney General, the MMD and the Electoral Commission of Zambia in a case relating to President Rupiah Banda’s parentage issue. According to submissions in opposition to the defendants’ submissions, Wynter Kabimba who sued in his capacity as PF secretary general, asked the court to dismiss the preliminary issues on grounds that they are misconceived.

In this case, Kabimba sued the Attorney General, MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe and the Electoral Commission of Zambia claiming that the ruling party cannot by law sponsor President Rupiah Banda because his parents are not Zambian citizens.

The Voting News Daily: Wisconsin clerks ready for heavy turnout for recall elections, Mississippi Secretary of State Looks To Fix Election Problems

Wisconsin: Clerks ready for heavy turnout for recall elections | The Oshkosh Northwestern Clerks across the 18th and 14th Senate districts have been gearing up for a heavy turnout in the recall elections pitting two incumbent Republican senators against their Democrat challengers. The stage for the final recall election has been set for today in…

Wisconsin: Clerks ready for heavy turnout for recall elections | The Oshkosh Northwestern

Clerks across the 18th and 14th Senate districts have been gearing up for a heavy turnout in the recall elections pitting two incumbent Republican senators against their Democrat challengers.

The stage for the final recall election has been set for today in which 18th District state Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Empire, will square off against Democrat candidate Jessica King of Oshkosh while 14th District state Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, will face challenger state Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo. Hopper and Olsen are among six Republican senators facing recall in today’s election. Two more Democrats face recall elections on Aug. 16.