Kentucky: Secretary of State Candidates Spar Over Homeless Voters | WFPL News

The candidates for Kentucky Secretary of State are sparring over the issue of registering homeless people to vote, which is becoming the first line of attack in the race for the commonwealth’s chief election officer.

Earlier this month, the state board of elections sent a 2-page memorandum to county clerks telling them to uphold up state law and approve registration cards that have “homeless” or “place to place” listed under their addresses. The memo said a clerk should not refuse to register a homeless person on the grounds they do not have a traditional residence, but some county officials raised concerns about potential election fraud.

Citing state law and the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN, Republican candidate Bill Johnson decried the memo and called on current Secretary of State Elaine Walker, who chairs the state board, to resign from office.

Ohio: Bill edits overhaul of state election laws | The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio voters will not have to provide a full nine-digit Social Security number as an identifier, nor would they be able to register to vote online, under a bill headed to Gov. John Kasich for his signature.

Lawmakers are already changing provisions in a recently passed election-overhaul bill that doesn’t take effect until Sept. 30. As part of a deal between House and Senate leaders, the House agreed two weeks ago to approve House Bill 194, the election overhaul, after the Senate agreed to later remove certain objectionable provisions.

Ohio: New election law spurs ballot repeal effort | Beaumont Enterprise

Parts of a new election law in Ohio are being targeted for a ballot repeal effort about two weeks after the governor of this traditionally presidential swing state signed the overhaul measure. A coalition of lawmakers, progressive groups and state’s ex-elections chief said Thursday that they have started collecting signatures in an effort to stop pieces of the law from taking effect Sept 30.

Gov. John Kasich, a first-term Republican, signed the law July 1. Among other changes, the sweeping measure shortens the state’s early voting period, bans in-person early voting on Sundays and prohibits boards of election from mailing absentee ballot requests to voters. Former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, said those provisions place barriers on voters and should be repealed.

Ohio: Lawmakers axe online voter registration plan | Westport News

The Ohio Legislature approved a bill Wednesday that would do away with the parts of a new law that allow Ohioans to register to vote and update their addresses online. The provisions were included in an election overhaul law signed by Gov. John Kasich almost two weeks ago.

Under the sweeping new law, voters must give their full Social Security number when casting a provisional ballot, which they’re given if there are about questions about their identification, voting eligibility or voting precinct. The ballots are later counted if the voters’ information checks out.

The law also requires voters to provide their full nine-digit number when registering to vote, if they choose to use their Social Security number as a way to identify themselves.

California: Ballot Thief To Be Held Indefinitely After String Of Bizarre Court Hearings | KTVU

A man accused of stealing ballots from a San Francisco polling station last November is being held indefinitely after criminal proceedings against him were suspended today because of a judge’s doubts about his mental competency.

Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, is accused of taking about 75 ballots, a voter roster, and a memory box and access key to a ballot-counting machine on Knott Court in the city’s Crocker Amazon neighborhood where he was working as a voting station inspector on Nov. 2, 2010.

Nicholas was arrested the next day, and the ballots were later found in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts. The memory box and access key have yet to be found, and Nicholas has been in custody ever since.

Editorials: Will long lines sink new voter ID law? | Tri-State Defender

‘Not familiar with Voting Rights Act,’ says Tennessee official

Getting a driver’s license in Tennessee is a test of skill and endurance, but I’m not talking about the road test or written exam, I’m talking about the crazy long lines.

On Friday, I joined 40 people in an outdoor line at 6340 Summer Ave about 12:30 p.m. We huddled together outside of the service center for nearly two hours, standing one-behind the other in 90-plus degree temperatures and punishing humidity. There were no chairs, no water and no restroom breaks. As I steamed, my hair gallantly fought off frizz.

The security guard called four to five customers at a time inside, where we then stood in a second line for 45 additional minutes. It was then we received a customer number and the official wait began. (The Tennessee Department of Public Safety does not officially begin tracking its customer wait time until patrons receive this service ticket. Up to that point, we were just there visiting and hanging out.)

US Virgin Islands: Members unruly behavior forces Board of Elections to end meeting | Virgin Islands Daily News

Egos erupted Tuesday at the V.I. Joint Board of Elections meeting, and it recessed after an hour without having accomplished anything substantive because members were unwilling to offer each other the courtesy of the floor – constantly interrupting and talking over one another, officials said.

After less than an hour, the majority of which was spent in executive session, members poured outside the conference room, some shouting at each other. Shortly after, the stenographer walked out because it had been impossible to accurately transcribe the meeting with members continually cutting in and talking at the same time, said Board Chairman Rupert Ross Jr.

The board will reconvene Friday morning to pick up the meeting where it left off, essentially doubling expenses paid for by taxpayers in order to fund the meeting. With flights and board member stipends, the total additional costs amount to about $2,500.

Guam: Election Commission looks at Guam plebiscite | Pacific Daily News

The Guam Election Commission commissioners gave themselves homework at the end of last night’s regular meeting — to read sections of Guam law and analyze the exact meaning of language on the political status plebiscite.

The assignment came in response to a discussion on Bill 154, which proposes changes to current law regarding the political status vote, and which prompted larger questions about the content and intent of current law as it relates to the plebiscite.

Guam law requires that the island’s native inhabitants vote on the three political status options — statehood, independence or free association with the United States.

Thailand: Election Commission gives first ‘Yellow Card’ to Pheu Thai party winner in Nong Khai | mcot

Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) issued its first ‘yellow card’ to the Pheu Thai Party winning candidate in Nong Khai Constituency 2 while a new election for this constituency will be held on July 31.

Election Commissioner Sodsri Satayathum said the agency commissioners late Thursday agreed unanimously to hold a new election for Constituency 2 in the northeastern province of Nong Khai after suspending endorsement for Somkid Banthaising, winning candidate of the Pheu Thai Party, for alleged election fraud. Mr Somkid allegedly paid pedal taxi drivers to carry people to the election campaign rally and allegedly gave money to prospective voters. Eight witnesses gave statements that reported the same observation, she said.

Thailand: Election Commission strives to endorse most MPs by July 28 | Bangkok Post

The Election Commission is giving assurances it will be able to endorse at least 95% of MPs by July 28. At least 475 of 500 MPs are required to convene the first meeting of the House of Representatives. The EC has endorsed 358 MPs.

EC secretary-general Suthipol Thaweechaiyagarn said the agency would investigate complaints against the remaining winners, and endorse the results if it finds no reason to pursue the complaints. Pheu Thai’s potential prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva are among those still waiting.

Malaysia: Electoral Reformers Plan Next Steps After Protest Crackdown | VoA News

The organizers of Saturday’s massive demonstration in Malaysia, the largest such protest criticizing the government in years, are demanding authorities release six people still in detention and respond to their list of grievances. Organizers are not planning more street protests at this time.

The fallout from the Bersih electoral reform rallies which attracted tens of thousands of people onto the streets of the capital has not diminished, with the government defending the actions of its police force and arguing the movement does not enjoy any popular support.

Lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is president of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections which organized the Bersih rallies, says there is no need for more rallies until authorities address their concerns about improving electoral transparency.

Indonesia: House finds loopholes in election mechanism | The Jakarta Post

The Election Law will see major changes after a legislative committee, established to probe alleged election fraud in the 2009 polls, found that many alleged election violations were due to loopholes in the current law, lawmakers said on Wednesday. The findings prompted the House of Representatives to delay deliberation of the revisions to the Election Law.

Committee chairman Chairuman Harahap of the Golkar Party said a slight delay would not be a problem because his committee’s purpose was to ensure transparent and accountable elections in the future.

“We are working very hard to finish deliberation of the bill on time even though at the same time we have the election fraud committee, which has made many interesting findings about many alleged violations in the last elections,” he said.

The Voting News Daily: Congressional Leaders Speak Out Against Voter ID Laws, Flaws seen in absentee ballot program for military voters

National: Congressional Leaders Speak Out Against Voter ID Laws at Press Conference on the Hill | Campus Progress Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) held a press conference on Capitol Hill today in opposition to the voter ID laws sweeping states across the country. The event featured statements from Reverend Jesse Jackson, the ACLU, the National Action…

National: Congressional Leaders Speak Out Against Voter ID Laws at Press Conference on the Hill | Campus Progress

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) held a press conference on Capitol Hill today in opposition to the voter ID laws sweeping states across the country. The event featured statements from Reverend Jesse Jackson, the ACLU, the National Action Network, and other civil rights leaders, along with a host of congressional representatives.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Corinne Brown (D-FL), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) were among the leaders who spoke out in strong opposition to photo ID requirements at the polls, emphasizing the laws’ disproportionate effect on the elderly, students, low-income communities, and people of color. This week, Rep. Fudge and twenty congressional representatives signed on to a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting that the Department of Justice investigate the constitutionality of voter ID requirements, which could possibly violate the Voter Rights Act of 1965. As Campus Progress previously reported, on June 29 Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) circulated a similar letter to AG Holder which was signed by 15 Senators.

National: Flaws seen in absentee ballot program for military voters | Washington Times

The Justice Department’s program for handling military absentee ballots suffers from major flaws, and a survey revealed low turnout among military voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, according to a report by a private group made public on Tuesday.

Less than 5 percent of 2 million military personnel in states that are home to 80 percent of U.S. troops voted last year, the report by the Military Voter Protection Project (MVP) said. The low numbers were in part the result of complicated and mishandled federal enforcement, said Eric Loveland, MVP founder and author of the report.

“We’re 10 years into conflict now, and we still can’t seem to get the absentee voting things right,” Mr. Eversole said. “This needs to be a priority now. We can’t let our servicemen suffer another election.”

Voting Blogs: Wisconsin’s Soft Launch and Hard Times | Rock the Vote Blog

As the Wisconsin recall elections kicked off yesterday, voters were greeted with a test run of the new photo ID law. The “soft implementation,” as officials were calling it, was an effort to get voters used to the real photo ID requirements, which will go into effect next year. Everyone who votes in the recall elections this year will be asked to show ID. If you don’t have one, you’ll still be allowed to vote and will be given a flyer on the new requirements and how to meet them.

The Government Accountability Board estimates that educating Wisconsin voters will cost about $750,000, not including the price of the IDs or infrastructure such as increased poll hours and worker training.

National: New EAC Report Shows Increased Voter Registration Among Low-Income Americans | Project Vote

A newly released review of a June 27 report by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) shows that voter registration application rates at state public assistance agencies have risen sharply following National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) enforcement actions by advocacy groups Demos, Project Vote, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and others. In contrast, the overwhelming majority of states not targeted have continued to see a long decline in registration of lower-income residents.

The EAC report covers voter registration that occurred between the November 2008 and November 2010 elections.

Wisconsin: Robo Calls To Democrats Add To Voter Confusion | WISN Milwaukee

Automated telephone calls to Democrats placed on a primary election day could be adding to an already confusing and controversial election day in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Right To Life began placing calls to Wisconsin Democrats stating they will be sent applications for absentee ballots for an upcoming election.
The phone calls, which were traced to a telemarketing company in Virginia, carried the following message from Wisconsin Right to Life executive director Barbara Lyons:

Hello, this is Barbara Lyons from Wisconsin Right to Life. I’m calling today to let you know that you will be receiving an absentee ballot application for the upcoming recall elections in the mail in the next few days. These recall elections are very important and voting absentee will ensure that your vote is counted and that we can maintain a pro-family, pro-life state Senate. We hope that we can count on you to complete that application and send it back to us within seven days. Thank you for your support. Wisconsin Right to Life can be reached by calling 877-855-5007.

Egypt: No Internet voting in Egypt: Telecom Minister | Ahram Online

Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) presented new draft amendments to the telecommunications law, according Maged Osman, minister of communications and information technology.

… The minister dismissed the possibility of utilizing electronic voting through the internet in the upcoming elections. “It has been proven worldwide that there is a high risk of security compromises using such method in elections”

Saint Kitts and Nevis: Nevisians took to the streets of Charlestown in Election protest | SKNVibes

The clamorous chants of “we want justice…we demand fair play” by some 1 500 supporters of the Concerned Citizens Movement, echoed through the streets of downtown Charlestown yesterday (July 12) in protest of what they claimed to be a rigged election.

At about 3:30 p.m., disgruntled supporters of the CCM began gathering at the Memorial Square in Charlestown for a 4:00 p.m. meeting at that venue with their party’s Leader Vance Amory.

On arrival of Amory and the party’s Deputy Leader, Mark Brantley, and hearing that the Premier-designate, Joseph Parry, Hensley Daniel and Robelto Hector were scheduled to be Sworn In at approximately 5:00 p.m. at the Elquemedo Willet Park, the rapidly growing crowd decided that a protest march should take the place of the meeting.

Louisiana: Louisiana Violated Disabled Voter Rights, U.S. Says in Suit | Bloomberg

The state of Louisiana and some of its agencies and officials violated the National Voter Registration Act through their treatment of disabled residents and people on public assistance, the U.S. said in a lawsuit.

The U.S. Justice Department said in the suit filed today in federal court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that the state broke the law by failing to provide voter registration services at offices administering to residents on public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. The law requires states to “identify and designate” these offices as voter registration agencies, the U.S. said.

Arizona: Who will challenge Pearce in recall election? |

The petitions have been certified, and the recall election date has been set but it remains unclear who will run against State Senator Russell Pearce in his Mesa district in November. Political analysts say the fact that no one has come forward suggests a lack of planning on the part of those behind the recall.

“It’s a little alarming that we’re this far down the process and we have yet to have a candidate that’s running,” said political analyst Marcus Dell’Artino of First Strategic. Those organizers of the “Citizens for a Better Arizona” group say they expect a candidate will come forward in the coming week.

Montana: New tools to help Montana absentee voters move |

Montana’s legislators might have shot down a move to allow people to do all their voting by mail, but Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is taking steps to make it easier for absentee ballots.

GOP lawmakers led the move to squash a proposal to allow vote-by-mail during the recently completed legislative session. That opposition came despite support from elections officials in every Montana county and successful adoption of vote by mail by other states like Washington a decade ago.

However, the Legislature did agree to have voter registration cards to display an option for people to sign up for the Annual Absentee List. McCulloch has now issued the new enhanced voter registration card, as well as a postcard allowing currently registered voters to permanently switch over to absentee voting.

Ohio: State OKs paying lawyers in Ohio voting-rights case | Columbus Dispatch

The State Controlling Board approved Secretary of State Jon Husted’s request for more than $332,000 yesterday to pay attorneys’ fees for plaintiffs who sued the state in 2006 over alleged violations of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

The lawsuit, filed by two Cleveland-area residents and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, named then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Barbara E. Riley, then-director of the state’s Department of Job and Family Services, as defendants.

US Virgin Islands: Elections preparing to purge voter rolls | Virgin Islands Daily News

The St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections will begin cancelling about 4,700 voter registrations this week. According to law, if a voter misses two consecutive elections, that voter’s registration is cancelled, and he or she must re-register to vote in any future elections.

Following each election, the Elections staff sifts through the voter books and pulls out the registrations to be cancelled. Notices are sent out urging those voters to apply for reinstatement if they do not want to be pulled from the voter rolls.

Thailand: Thai Election Commission Postpones Certifying New Prime Minister | VoANews

Thailand’s Election Commission has delayed certifying the election victory of both Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra and the former leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva, because it says it is still looking into complaints of irregularities in the vote.

Ms. Yingluck is playing down the decision, but it is just one in a series of challenges she faces before forming a new government.
Voter fraud Thailand’s Election Commission has been investigating complaints of irregularities and fraud in the July 3 vote and postponed endorsing the victory of the 44-year-old Pheu Thai Party leader, Yingluck Shinawatra.

Ukraine: Nine Oppositional Parties Agree To Meet On September 12 To Create Committee To Ensure Fair Elections | Ukranian News

Oppositional political forces Our Ukraine, Ukrainian People’s Party, Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, Svoboda All-Ukrainian Association party, Sobor Ukrainian Republican Party, Motherland defenders party, Ukrainian party, Republican Christian Party and the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine have agreed to meet on September 12 to create committee to ensure fair elections.

Respective agreement was reached at the working meeting of representatives of these political forces initiated by the Our Ukraine.

Hungary: Hungary Proposes Single-Round Election | Wall Street Journal

Over the weekend, Hungary’s governing party Fidesz proposed a mixed, single-round parliamentary election system instead of the current two-round one, immediately attracting huge public outcry.

The governing party, which has a sweeping majority in parliament, is in the process of revamping the country’s public sector. This spans from changes in the administration to cutting red tape to simplifying the election system. Part of the latter effort is a plan to eventually decrease the number of parliament members to 200 from the current 386.

Serbia: No elections this year, says Serbian parliament speaker | B92 News

Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Đukić-Dejanović says there will be “no elections in Serbia this year”. The speaker, a high ranking official of Ivica Dačić’s Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), note that sge had received no initiative for early local elections.

Slavica Đukić-Dejanović told reporters at the parliament building today that the political elite would agree on whether to hold parliamentary and local election at the same time or separately.