West Virginia: Thompson refuses to participate in own election challenge  | The Charleston Gazette

Defeated mayoral candidate Janet “JT” Thompson told City Council Monday she won’t take part in the tribunal to hear the election challenge she filed. Even so, council members voted to give Thompson one more chance to appear at that court-like hearing on Thursday.

… Thompson, who has filed a number of legal challenges after losing to Jones in the May 17 election by more than a 2-1 margin, spoke briefly at the start of the council meeting Monday evening.

South Carolina: Voter ID law prompts concern | TheSunNews.com

West Ashley resident Everett Garlington is among the estimated 180,000 people who could be disenfranchised if S.C.’s photo ID law holds up.
His trouble: he misplaced his driver’s license.

True, he could get a replacement, but it will cost him more than $160 – money he said the Department of Motor Vehicles wants because years ago he was late turning in a license plate.

The other half of Garlington’s troubles: Because his missing driver’s license is still valid, the DMV won’t issue an alternative photo ID to use at the polls.
“If they had an election today, I couldn’t vote,” said Garlington, 59.

Egypt: Egypt military rulers name electoral council head | The Associated Press

Egypt’s military rulers commissioned a top judge Monday to form an electoral commission, starting the process of organizing the country’s first elections after the popular uprising that ousted authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.
The military decree effectively sets a timeframe for the first parliamentary elections in Egypt’s transition to democracy. The commission begind work on Sept.18, with the vote expected to follow roughly two months later, according to human rights lawyers. The decree, reported by the state news agency, did not set an exact date.

The decision settles a major dispute among various political factions over whether elections should come before or after the writing of a constitution. Many liberals fear well-organized Islamist groups are poised to win big in parliament and hence influence the writing of the country’s post-revolution constitution.

Pakistan: Election Commission of Pakistan postpones registration of new voters | The Express Tribune

The Election Commission of Pakistan (EC) has postponed a door-to-door campaign for the registration of new voters, Express 24/7 reported on Tuesday.

The campaign has been postponed due to a delay in the printing of electoral rolls. Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Ali Arshad Hakeem had requested that the schedule be reconsidered due to problems being faced in the printing of lists containing 80 million voters.
Following the request, the election commission decided to start the campaign from next month.

Editorials: False charges delay Election Commission work | Bangkok Post

The Election Commission is to endorse the election of more MPs today. The work of the EC has been slowed down by numerous objections lodged after the July 3 election. By this point after the 2007 general election, the EC had completed its inspection of party-list candidates. This year, the number of protests, complaints and objections means that as of this morning, 142 seats have yet to be filled out of the 500 MP seats. There is strong evidence, including statements from the EC, that many of the complaints are frivolous.

Kudos, then, to the sometimes controversial Commissioner Sodsri Satayathum for speaking out against trivial complaints lodged against the winning candidates. There seems little doubt that a small number of hardline political followers hopes to sideline candidates from other parties by launching official complaints of cheating during the campaign or at the polls. The EC should deal with such tactics with its own harsh response.

Thailand: Thai Panel Certifies Yingluck Election | VoA News

Thailand’s election commission endorsed the election to parliament of Pheu Thai leader Yingluck Shinawatra, Tuesday, clearing the way for her to become the nation’s first female prime minister.

The commission said it had voted unanimously to dismiss complaints that Yingluck violated election laws by involving banned politicians – including her elder brother – in her campaign. The decision eases fears of instability raised by the commission’s failure to endorse her with the majority of the July 3 election winners last week.

The commission also announced the endorsement of outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, whose endorsement also was delayed last week. A total of 370 lawmakers have now been approved.

Thailand: Yingluck, Abhisit ‘to get Election Commission nod’ | The Nation

Pheu Thai’s top party-list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra, the PM-in-waiting, and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva are expected to be endorsed as MPs today, Election Commission member Somchai Juengprasert said yesterday.

The Election Commission is scheduled to announce a second batch of endorsed MPs today. However, Somchai, who is in charge of election investigations, said it was not certain yet if all other winning candidates would be endorsed.

Saint Kitts and Nevis: Federal leader pledges support for Nevis administration | Antigua Observer Newspaper

A day after Joseph Parry and his Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) were returned to office following Monday’s elections on Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas pledged the federal government will continue to work closely with the sister isle’s new administration, a government statement here said, even as protests over Monday’s poll continued.

“You have elected a government to look after the interest of the people of Nevis. My duty as the leader of the Federal Government is to lend support whenever that support is required,” said Douglas in brief remarks as Premier Parry and his cabinet were sworn in at a public ceremony at Elquemedo Willett Park in the Nevisian capital, Charlestown.

“Today, I yet affirm that you can depend upon me and the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Government to do at all times what is right for the people of Nevis and what is right for the people of St. Kitts as well,” he added.

Kenya: Kenya election team plans to enroll 19m voters | Daily Nation

A key leader they have brought on their side is former National Assembly Speaker Francis ole Kaparo who wants to be UDM chairman. “We are talking to many people and we are ready to make sacrifices to win the next election,” Mr Keter said.

Ms Karua was in Western seeking support for her presidential bid. And four ODM ministers and three assistant ministers said on Sunday they have a strategy to ensure the elections do not end in a run-off.

Ministers Fred Gumo, James Orengo, Otieno Kajwang’, Dalmas Otieno and assistant ministers Oburu Oginga, Ayiecho Olweny, Katoo ole Metito and chief whip Jakoyo Midiwo said they had a campaign in place.

Guyana: Guyana Elections Commission targets mid-November for election readiness | Demerara Waves

The Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday voted 3-2 in favour of reopening the Claims and Objections period to allow several thousand persons with source documents to be registered in order to vote later this year.

“The proposed date for the reopening of the exercise is July 25th 2011 for a duration of 13 days with the Claims aspect running for 10 days,” GECOM Chairman Dr. Surujbally announced at news briefing Monday afternoon.

Indonesia: House to Rule on Party Electoral Threshold Level | The Jakarta Globe

A plenary session of the House of Representatives will rule on Tuesday on a draft election bill that includes an unsettled clause about the electoral threshold level for political parties.

Viva Yoga Mauladi, House faction deputy chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN), said that because the factions had been unable to agree on three clauses, the leadership of the House, also known as the DPR, agreed on Monday to bring the draft bill to the plenary session for a decision.

Grenada: Ruling party gears for general election | Antigua Observer Newspaper

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has launched 2013 general election re-election bid y reminding supporters that it has no intention of going back to the pre-2008 period when the party was in opposition.

Newly elected chairman, Kenrick Fullerton, told the annual convention here on Sunday that “the message from the Grenadian people is clear,  and we must hear them; that we must do better because going back to the wastage and mismanagement and national tension that existed before 2008,  is not an option.

Oklahoma: Second recount goes to Smith – Final say still lies with Cherokee Supreme Court | MuskogeePhoenix.com

Which man will be the Cherokee Nation’s principal chief will not be officially determined until tribal court justices consider challenged votes. Unofficial results of the second recount in the race give incumbent Principal Chief Chad Smith the edge with five votes.

However, the numbers aren’t yet certified, and officials did not release the number of challenged votes. The court reconvenes at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Officials spent more than 20 hours counting ballots on Saturday and Sunday — the second recount since the June 25 election.

Smith made a brief announcement once the recount was complete, thanking his supporters first, then announcing his five-vote lead. “After a long effort and a long day, we are pleased with this result,” Smith said. “This shows that every Cherokee vote was counted.”

North Carolina: Fayetteville election will go on, even if no one is running | HamptonRoads.com

You could say elections in Tar Heel this year are wide open. No one in this rural town of about 117 registered as candidates for any of its four elected positions, and now the deadline has expired, Bladen County Board of Elections Director Cynthia Shaw said Friday.

“The filing period for Tar Heel was the same as it was for everyone else, and no one stepped up to the plate,” she said.

The county elections board declined to extend the deadline for candidate filings, meaning ballots will be printed with blank spaces allowing voters to write in their preferences. “We’ve had single offices without candidates before, but this is the first time I can remember a whole town not filing for any of the offices,” Shaw said.

National: The Politics Behind New Voter ID Laws | NPR

Voters going to the polls next year — and even some this year — will encounter lots of new rules. Photo ID requirements and fewer options for early voting are among the biggest changes. A voter casts a ballot in a Democratic primary on July 12, 2011 in Wisconsin, one of seven states to enact voter ID laws this year.

They’re part of a wave of new laws enacted by Republican-controlled legislatures this year. Supporters say the rules are needed to ensure honest elections. But Democrats say it’s part of a concerted GOP campaign to suppress the vote. They say minorities, students, the poor and disabled — those most likely to vote Democratic — will be hurt the most.

Seven states so far this year have enacted news laws requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. Ohio and Pennsylvania are considering similar requirements, and several other states already have them on the books.

Tennessee: Debate rages over new Tennessee voter-ID law | The Commercial Appeal

With the recent passage of a state bill that changes what qualifies as valid voter identification, Memphis — and Tennessee — has entered a national conversation on whether such laws are justified or acts of voter intimidation. The bill, which requires voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls, becomes law on Jan. 1.

Though proponents of the bill have said it will help curb voter fraud, some contend that it’s a measure by Republicans to suppress Democratic votes in 2012 elections. State and local elected officials gathered at the Mt. Olive CME Cathedral Church near Downtown on Sunday afternoon for a forum on the bill, where about 50 attendees from across Memphis posed questions to the representatives.

Maine: Petition drive seeks return of same-day registration | The Kennebec Journal

Leaders of the effort to repeal a new law eliminating Mainers’ ability to register to vote on Election Day are “cautiously optimistic” that they will succeed in getting the issue on November’s ballot.

Opponents of the law must gather more than 57,000 signatures of registered Maine voters by Aug. 8 to put the repeal question on the statewide ballot in the fall.

Mark Gray, campaign manager for Protect Maine Votes, said, “We’re getting just an overwhelming amount of positive response, both from people that are calling or sending us emails, wanting to volunteer to circulate petitions, and the people that are out knocking on doors and talking to folks to collect signatures.”

Minnesota: Ranked-voting system to debut in St. Paul City Council elections in November | TwinCities.com

In November, voters in the St. Paul City Council election will be able to choose up to six candidates per seat, ranked in order of preference. In other words, downtown residents could conceivably vote for all five candidates who have filed to run for office in Ward 2.

Nov. 8 will mark the city’s first experience with the new “ranked voting” system, otherwise known as “instant run-off voting” or “ranked-choice voting,” which was supported by voters in a ballot question last year. As a result, Ramsey County, which is contracted to coordinate the city’s elections, is gearing up for significant changes from politics as usual, and candidates, too, have had to adjust.

For starters, the new system has eliminated political primaries. Votes are tallied on Election Day, and if no candidate has 50 percent of the vote plus one vote, the weakest vote-getter is dropped from the results.

California: Yamada bill for all-mail ballot voting goes to governor | Daily Democrat

A bill that would bring an all-mail voting pilot project to Yolo County has gone to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. The bill overcame its last legislative hurdle Thursday, passing the Assembly Floor on a 50-19 vote.

“An important feature of this bill is the data that will be collected about the effects of all-mail ballot voting. The study element featured in this bill could help guide the future of elections in California,” said the bill’s sponsor Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis.

“I am proud to have received support on both sides of the aisle this year. This practical bill will give local governments an opportunity to save thousands of dollars per election.”

Editorials: Should Wyoming voters be able to register online? Wyoming Tribune Eagle Online

It is unclear if Wyoming will join the growing number of states that are adding the ability of residents to register to vote online, state officials say. Recently passed legislation in Maryland makes it the 10th state to implement online voter registration. Advocates of abandoning the paper-only policy say it can save money and make voting more accessible to the public.

Jennie Bowser, a senior fellow with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said many states have considered adding the online option since Arizona became the first in 2002.

Indiana: Judge orders special Muncie City Council election in two precincts | The Star Press

Democratic voters in two eastside precincts will again cast primary ballots in the Muncie City Council District 6 race, a Delaware County judge ruled on Friday.

Circuit Court 3 Judge Linda Ralu Wolf ordered that a special election be held Sept. 13 in precincts 12 and 20, voting at the Buley Center and Price Hall, respectively. Those are the polling sites that current District 6 council member — and apparent primary winner — Julius Anderson was accused of entering, in violation of election law, while the May 3 primary election was under way.

When the votes cast that day were tallied, Richard Ivy had finished 10 votes behind Anderson in a three-candidate primary field.

Cameroon: Diaspora Member: Voting Rights Law Falls Short | VoA News

A leading member of Cameroon’s Diaspora says recent changes in the West African country’s electoral law fall short of their demands. Cameroon’s National Assembly last week agreed to extend voting rights to the estimated five-million citizens living abroad, but only to those who are registered with their local embassy and who do not hold dual nationality.

Kenneth Ndeh, founder of the American Association of Cameroonians says the Diaspora has been asking for dual citizenship and that the recent changes are only intended to benefit President Paul Biya’s ruling party.

“There are lots of things that most Cameroonians in the Diaspora have asked for from the government both at the executive level and at the legislative level.  Most Cameroonians in the Diaspora have asked for dual citizenship and basic and respectable services at the consulate level of various embassies abroad and none of these things have been implemented,” he said.

Saint Kitts and Nevis: OAS Observers Confirm NIA Election Irregularities | The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer

The OAS Electoral Observation Mission has confirmed that two days prior to the July 11th Nevis Island Assembly Elections, voter names had been “added to and removed” from the voter’s list. The presence of the five-member team of experts in Nevis marked the first time the OAS had deployed a mission to observer a local election in the Caribbean.

Monday’s NIA elections saw the incumbent Premier Joseph Parry-led Nevis Reformation Party return to government with a controvertible 3-2 win over the Concerned Citizens Movement.

According to a statement issued by the OAS following the election, the observers collected complaints regarding the addition and removal of names from the voters list and its legal expert observed the related cases presented before the High Court last Friday. Based on their independent observations, the OAS team expressed concern with the process.

Malaysia: NGOs in the Election Commission? | Free Malaysia Today

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said NGOs can participate in the Election Commission (EC) but it comes with a lot of conditions attached. First, it was up to the EC to decide if civil society groups, which want to become the EC’s check and balance, are allowed to partake in its decision-making process.

Nazri says the although the EC is an independent body, the NGOs must negotiate with the government to participate in the commission. And the final caveat – if they want to negotiate with the government, they must promise that there will be no more street demonstrations.

Vietnam: Election Council pronounces May polls resounding success | Viet Nam News

The draft review report on elections for the 13th National Assembly (NA) and local People’s Councils showed that voting proceeded legitimately and democratically. General Secretary of the Election Council Pham Minh Tuyen reported yesterday that 99.51 per cent of voters or over 61 million citizens, turned out for the May 22nd election.

At a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday, Tuyen said 500 NA deputies and 302,648 People’s Council members had been selected.

India: Shillong to host first test for advanced Electronic Voting Machines | DNA

None of the existing MLAs will feel the threat of losing their seats even as candidates from all parties will be out on the electoral battlefield to woo voters as ballots will be cast in Cherrapunjee on July 26.

Confused? This will just be a mock polling exercise to be conducted in Sohra and Shella constituencies of Cherrapunjee just to test the efficacy of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system, a new technology which verifies the recording of votes in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Guyana: Government Ministers decry attempts at administrative disenfranchisement of voters in Guyana | NCNGuyana

Following Friday evening’s discussion on the National Communications Network (NCN) on which Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon appeared with Dr Prem Misir, discussions continued on disenfranchisement of a significant number of Guyanese who were not in possession of their source documents prior to the closure of the Claims and Objections period.

On the panel, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony and Minister in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran reiterated that those who have not been able to register due to no fault of their own and who would have made stringent efforts to get registered should be able to do so.

Thailand: Electoral Commission gets tough on complaints | Bangkok Post

Commissioner Sodsri Satayathum said an old tactic by opponents of victorious candidates is to set up networks which lodge false complaints, either in a bid to set up the disqualification of the MPs-elect or to stall for time in the hope that they are not endorsed before the deadline. Ms Sodsri said she could not yet confirm if such tactics had been employed since the July 3 election, but conceded “anything is possible”.

“We can encounter both real and false complaints,” she said. She warned people against trying to deceive the EC. In the past, the EC has taken criminal action against people found to have been involved in dishonest complaints.

The watchdog has been flooded with between 300 and 400 complaints stemming from the July 3 poll, with the number rising after the election as complaints came in even after the polling day.

Zimbabwe: In Zimbabwe, not enough money for elections | CNN.com

Zimbabwe’s electoral commission is not able to conduct the country’s elections this year unless it gets a cash injection from the government, a state-owned weekly newspaper reported Sunday.

The commission was only given $8.5 million by the country’s treasury, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairman Simpson Mutambanengwe said, according to the Sunday Mail. “We’re barely surviving. There is no money.”

Earlier this month, representatives of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party agreed that it would not be possible to have elections this year.
But last week, Mugabe’s party called for general elections this year to end the country’s two-year-old coalition government.