California: San Francisco Ballot Thief Gives Judge Silent Treatment | KTVU

A man accused of stealing ballots from a San Francisco polling station last November seems determined not to get out of jail after giving the silent treatment to the judge at his sentencing hearing Monday.

Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, was set to receive a one-year sentence but would likely have been set free today because of credit for time already served. Instead, he was to be held for at least two additional days for a mental health examination.

The silent treatment was the latest in a series of bizarre hearings involving the case, in which Nicholas was accused of taking ballots, a voter roster, and a memory box and access key to a voting machine on Knott Court in the city’s Crocker Amazon neighborhood where he was working as a voting station inspector on Nov. 2, 2010.

Editorials: ‘Noodlegate’ an utter farce | Bangkok Post

On the other, the complaint that the top candidate as the next prime minister had bribed voters is actually enshrined in the election laws. The idea that Yingluck Shinawatra’s noodle cooking amounted to an election bribe is ludicrous. Unfortunately, because of a bad law that never was corrected, the EC is actually forced to consider reversing Ms Yingluck’s election and banning her from politics.

How did we get in one week from a universally praised free and fair election to the point where almost every campaign stop by every candidate is contested by hard-nosed opponents?

It is not as if this issue arose suddenly. It is almost three years since then-prime minister Samak Sundaravej was thrown out of office because he had once conducted cooking shows on television.

Zimbabwe: Unofficial Zimbabwe poll result announcers face jail | The Herald

Political parties and their members will be liable for criminal prosecution for pre-empting the official announcement of results of any national election, new poll regulations have revealed. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is the sole body mandated to run and announce poll results countrywide.

Regulations released last week also stipulate that before being nominated as a party candidate, a person would have to be certified by an officer whom a political party indicates to ZEC. This is expected to go a long way in curbing incidents where more than one candidate from one political party submit their names before the nomination court to stand for a particular constituency.

Hungary: Fidesz may cut number of lawmakers and introduce single-round elections |

Hungary’s governing party plans to cut the number of lawmakers from 386 to 200, abolish the second round of voting and end the system of compensating for votes cast for runner-up candidates.

Fidesz proposes introducing a single-round election system featuring both individual candidates and party lists, MEP János Áder said on Saturday. Áder, whom Fidesz asked to coordinate the drafting of the new election law to be approved this year, told reporters about plans to field half the number of lawmakers from individual constituencies and the other half from national party lists.

Morocco: Partido Popular Opposes Granting vote to Moroccans | Gibraltar Chronicle

Partido Popular wants to prevent Moroccan migrants resident in Ceuta and Melilla from voting in local elections in 2015. The party said the right to vote could not be granted to the citizens of a country that has a territorial claim over the two Spanish enclaves, both of which are governed by the PP.

Party officials were speaking after Morocco approved a new Constitution on July 1 that allows foreign residents to vote in local elections. Four days later, Spain’s Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jiménez, said Spain would sign agreements to ensure that right was reciprocated.

Cameroon: Parliament Adopts Groundbreaking Bill Granting Voting Rights to Cameroonians Overseas | Nouvelles – CRTV

A bill awarding voting rights to Cameroonians resideing out of the country was examined and adopted during the extraordinary session that ended this 9th of July 2011. House Speaker, Cavaye Yeguie Djibril qualified the adoption as a landmark victory for Cameroon’s democracy.

He also considered it as an indication of President Paul Biya’s determination to foster the democratic process in the country.

The issue of double nationality was also raised during deliberations but postponed. According to some sources, it shall be decided through a national referendum to be organised in 2012.

Bangladesh: Election Commission to distribute smartcard ID for voters | Financial Express

The Election Commission (EC) is often at the receiving end of strong criticism for its failure to conduct national elections properly. Such criticisms are generally made by the defeated candidates or political parties. The presence of ‘ghost’ voters on the electoral rolls and fake voting are common problems that the EC has been facing for decades. There were, allegedly, some other greater schemes, designed by powerful quarters in the past, to which the EC had become a party by default or by design.

The EC, at the initiative taken by the last military-backed caretaker government, prepared and distributed national identity cards (IDs) to all eligible voters and also printed electoral rolls carrying photographs of the voters before the last general elections. It was a huge task for the EC. But it could accomplish the task quite efficiently under a Tk. 5.7 billion project — large part of which was financed by the external donors — with the active assistance from the Bangladesh Army. The EC had undertaken in the early 1990s a voters’ ID card project but it was abandoned later, after wasting a substantial amount of money.

Botswana: Botswana Democratic Party elects tomorrow | Mmegi Online

BDP Regional Secretary Baemedi Kudumane said they expect thousands of delegates from around and outside the country

“We expect up to 3, 000 delegates and people from all the 57 constituencies. Also we have representatives from SWAPO (South West People’s Organisation) from Namibia, Zimbabwe African Nation Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) invited to the congress.

Armenia: Chief Armenian Election Official Hopes To Stay On |

A senior official who administered Armenia’s last national elections acknowledged on Monday that he would like to head the new Central Election Commission (CEC) which will be appointed by President Serzh Sarkisian soon. Garegin Azarian expressed such hope after presiding over the last meeting of the outgoing CEC. The 8-member body conducted the February 2008 presidential election which was marred by opposition allegations of vote rigging and followed by deadly street unrest in Yerevan.

The CEC will be disbanded in accordance with a package of amendments to the Armenian Electoral Code that were enacted  by the authorities in May.The most important of those amendments relates to the formation of various-level commissions holding national and local elections. Until now, the president of the republic, a high court and the political forces represented in the Armenian parliament have each appointed one member of those commissions.

UAE: Emirates expand voting rights for some | Global Post

The United Arab Emirates increased the number of citizens eligible to vote in the country’s legislative elections, CNN reported on Monday, as protests calling for greater political reform continue sweeping across much of the Arab world.

More than 129,000 voters can now cast ballots in the UAE’s upcoming election for the country’s legislative advisory body – the Federal National Council. Still, only around 12 percent of Emirati citizens are allowed to vote in the country’s upcoming election.

In the 2006 election for the FNC, around 6,500 members of an electoral college were eligible to vote. Voters in the Gulf sheikhdom will elect a new FNC on September 24.

The Voting News Daily: ‘Madness Abounds’ as Fake Candidates Confuse Wisconsin Recalls, New Jersey vote count bug found; county blames software – ES&S iVotronic

Wisconsin: ‘Madness Abounds’ as Fake Candidates Confuse Wisconsin Recalls | Bloomberg Wisconsin voters will choose among real and fake Democrats this week to challenge six Republican senators in recall elections that may derail the agenda of Governor Scott Walker. The primaries are the opening skirmish in a state at political war. The six districts in tomorrow’s…

Wisconsin: ‘Madness Abounds’ as Fake Candidates Confuse Wisconsin Recalls | Bloomberg

Wisconsin voters will choose among real and fake Democrats this week to challenge six Republican senators in recall elections that may derail the agenda of Governor Scott Walker. The primaries are the opening skirmish in a state at political war. The six districts in tomorrow’s races have Republicans running as Democrats, hoping to win the nomination and effectively render the Aug. 9 recall votes meaningless.

At a time when politics usually takes a break, voters will select candidates to run against Republicans who supported Walker’s efforts to curb collective-bargaining rights for most public employees. On July 19, there will be two primaries and a full-fledged recall aimed at Democratic senators who fled the state in February in hopes of blocking the measure, which touched off weeks of protests across the nation.

“It feels like madness abounds in our state, like Wisconsin is 65,000 square miles surrounded by sanity,” said Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonprofit that advocates openness in government. “We’re just living in a really weird time,” McCabe added in a telephone interview from Madison, the capital.

New Jersey: Vote count bug found; county blames software – ES&S iVotronic | New Jersey Herald

Primary Day problems in Sussex County were not a matter of the votes counting, but of counting the votes. Computer experts have traced the problem with Sussex County’s election results on Primary Day to a bug in the software used to tabulate votes.

Marge McCabe, administrator for the county Board of Elections, said Friday that she received a verbal report from Elections Systems and Software that the problem had been traced to programming. “I’m relieved there was no problem with the voting machines nor our procedures,” she said. “The problem was not in voting, but in tabulating.”

A full written report on what the ES&S experts found is expected soon.

Florida: Did hacker get ‘inside details’ of Florida voting systems? |

Florida was the joke of tech websites this week after a hacker boasted he tapped the “inside details of Florida voting systems.” Twice in a week, the anonymous Twitter user @Abhaxas posted links to lists of voting-related files.

“Who still believes voting isn’t rigged?” he wrote above one list. “If the United States government can’t even keep their ballot systems secure, why trust them at all? FAIL!”

Except he didn’t breach any voting systems, the Florida Division of Elections says. And a major Web vendor to most of the state’s elections supervisors, VR Systems, doesn’t use the same kind of servers accessed by the hacker.

National: Students claim ID rules make it harder to rock the vote | Merimbula News Weekly

A series of laws and proposals popping up across the United States this year to strengthen voter identification requirements is part of an effort to discourage voting by students, who turned out in large numbers for Barack Obama in 2008, the head of a youth lobby group told a conference of young liberals on Thursday.

”Under the radar, there [is] a set of people trying to make it harder for students to vote,” said the president of Rock the Vote, Heather Smith, at the Campus Progress National Conference, just one day after Rhode Island announced a new voter identification law requiring photo IDs.

Oklahoma: Automated Election Services consultant denies changing chief race outcome | Cherokee Phoenix

The president of the election service hired by the tribe to help conduct the June 25 general election denied changing the outcome of the principal chief’s race by annotating a tally sheet.

Terry Rainey, president of Automated Election Services, testified he did not know who was winning the election in the early hours of June 26 despite being part of the counting process. During questioning by Tim Baker, Principal Chief-elect Bill John Baker’s brother and attorney, Rainey also stated no one from either Bill John Baker’s campaign or Principal Chief Chad Smith’s campaign contacted him about election results between Sunday and Monday mornings.

Rainey has taken the witness stand several times in Smith’s repeal of the principal chief’s race, which Bill John Baker was certified the winner of after a June 30 recount.

Wisconsin: Voter ID law impacts Wisconsin recall elections |

Voter Photo ID is now the law in Wisconsin. Starting next year, voters will be required to show a photo ID in order to receive a ballot and vote. While it’s not in place just yet, the new law will still have an impact on this summer’s recall elections.

Ahead of Tuesday’s primary recall elections, area poll workers are undergoing intense training with the passage of the new Voter Photo ID law. Poll workers are required to ask people for photo identification, even though it’s not mandatory yet.

“If people don’t have photo identification with them then they’re required to give them information on what they can bring for photo identification for next spring. So it’s kind of like a little early run through to get people familiar with that process,” said Chief Deputy Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno.

Wisconsin: Everything you need to know heading into Tuesday’s state senate recall election | Primary Matters/The Oshkosh Northwestern

The story of how state Sens. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon; and Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac, are the subjects of a July primary and August recall election is as odd as the idea of two summer elections.

Just the same, voters will go to the polls Tuesday for a primary election to determine their opponents in an Aug. 9 recall election, a tale with a few plot twists along the way as well.

It began on Feb. 10 when Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature proposed to curtail the ability of some public employee unions to collectively bargain for wages and benefits and required employees to pay parts of their health insurance and pension contributions.

Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation Supreme Court stops to count envelopes |

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court interrupted its third day of hearing Principal Chief Chad Smith’s challenge to the June 25 election results to do a little counting of its own.

Shortly after Chief-elect Bill John Baker’s team completed its direct examination of Terry Rainey, president of Automated Election Services, the court ordered an examination of the absentee ballots and the corresponding mailing envelopes.

Rainey told the court that comparison would be the best way to establish a base line to determine whether Smith’s allegations of “vanishing votes” are credible.

Oklahoma: Cherokee justices order voter comparison in recount appeal | Tulsa World

Cherokee Supreme Court justices Saturday ordered a comparison of the 15,000 voters who participated in the June 25 election for principal chief with the 300,000 registered Cherokee Nation members who are eligible to vote.

The action came during a hearing on Principal Chief Chad Smith’s appeal of the election. He had asked the court to order an electronic recount or to invalidate the election and call a new one. Bill John Baker is the chief-elect, having won by a 266-vote margin in a hand recount on June 30.

The comparison could match names of voters who should not have been able to vote, as first reported in a Tulsa World review of databases provided by the Cherokee Election Commission.

Oklahoma: Court hears testimony on absentee ballots | Muskogee Phoenix

Concerns that some 273 absentee ballots were not tallied in the recount to determine the next leader of the Cherokee Nation seemed to  evaporate Saturday. Two witnesses testified the absentee ballots counted by hand immediately after the election because they could not be tabulated automatically were counted and tallied during the recount.

The first witness observed the recount on behalf of Principal Chief Chad Smith. The second witness, called by Chief-elect Bill John Baker, counted and tallied the ballots at issue. Valerie Giebel, a University of Tulsa law student and Smith campaign volunteer, said during direct examination she saw things that caused concern. But she said she saw counters use a calculator to tally the hand-counted absentee ballots and the “total was moved over to the tally sheet.”

Malaysia: Malaysian authorities crack down on protesters demanding free and fair elections |

Malaysian authorities cracked down on protesters demanding free and fair elections Saturday, firing tear gas and arresting more than 1,6000 people. Some 1,667 people had been arrested as of early evening, according to the Royal Malaysia Police, with 16 children among them. Protest organizers said at a news conference earlier in the day that about 400 had been detained.
By Saturday night, police said the crowds had been dispersed.

The government said the protest, organized by a loose coalition of opposition groups known as Bersih 2.0, was illegal. It had already declared Bersih an illegal organization and police said anyone found with Bersih-related materials, such as yellow T-shirts, could be arrested.

“Malaysians of all walks of life overcame the oppressive acts of the police to come out peacefully and in incredibly large numbers to show their love for their country and for the principles of justice,” the coalition said on its website.

Malaysia: Malaysia braces for pro-democracy street protests in Kuala Lumpur | The Guardian

Malaysia is bracing for an Arab spring-style stand-off on Saturday, when activists angry at “dirty politics” are expected to rally in Kuala Lumpur despite draconian government efforts to nip the movement in the bud.

Tensions have mounted in this normally staid state, often called “Moderate Malaysia”, after a group of 62 non-governmental organisations known locally as Bersih 2.0 proposed a peaceful protest, dubbed the “Walk for Democracy”, against alleged vote-rigging and other electoral abuses in a recent state election.

But the government last week declared Bersih – which means “clean” in Malay – illegal, and has warned that anyone wearing the yellow colours of protest will be detained. It has already arrested more than 200 supporters and organisers on charges ranging from the promotion of “illegal assembly” to “waging war against the king”. Some are being held for an indefinite period without trial.

Arizona: Maricopa County shuns voting centers | Arizona Republic

Next week, a new law will allow counties to set up centralized voting centers to replace or supplement neighborhood polling places. But Maricopa County officials say that kind of system wouldn’t work in the state’s largest county.

Voting centers would allow county residents to walk into any location and get a ballot specific to where they live. State elections officials say the system could help rural counties save money by closing underused precincts.

That’s not necessarily the case in Maricopa County.

West Virginia: West Virginia Welcomes Secretaries of State | Metro News

West Virginia is hosting Secretaries of State from across the country this week. The annual meeting for the National Association of Secretaries of State gets fully underway Monday morning at Glade Springs Resort in Raleigh County.

“It’s easy to be a great host in West Virginia,” Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said.

Those attending will be discussing 2012 election issues, business identity theft, the future of voting systems and new possible state laws for voting.  They’ll learn about social media and business identity theft.

Maine: Lawmakers, Mainers Have Mixed Response To Recent Voting Measures | WMTW Portland

Maine Democrats say they’re bothered by two voting bills that came up during this year’s legislative session. Senate Minority Leader Barry Hobbins of Saco says the two measures attack Mainers’ voting rights.

One to require a photo ID every time you vote has been held over until next January’s session. Hobbins says Democrats will fight “tooth and nail” against it.

The other bill, which has since been signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage, eliminates election-day voter registration. A people’s veto campaign has been launched to repeal it.

California: San Francisco mayoral election to change shape as ranked-choice voting debuts | San Francisco Examiner

Gone are the days when voting was as simple as voting for the best person you most want to see serve. When voters head to the polls on Nov. 8, they will be asked to vote for not only who they want to win the most to serve as San Francisco’s mayor, but also their second and third choices.

For a chart detailing how ranked-choice voting played a role in Jean Quan’s surprise Oakland mayoral election victory, click on the photo to the right.

This way of voting for San Francisco’s mayor has yet to be tested in a citywide race — this is the first time what is known as ranked-choice voting will come into play in the race for The City’s top post.

Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan’s Central Election Commission adopts regulation on territorial election commission |

Central election and Referendum Commission adopted regulation on territorial election commission. Deputy Head of Organization Department Myrzabek Argymbaev reported that the KR will establish 59 territorial election commissions for the presidential election period.

“We must keep the areas principle because these commissions will be working the next 2 years, during which district and village elections will be held. Candidates reserve for membership will be valid for five years,” he said.

UAE: Federal National Council announces full list of Emiratis eligible to vote | gulfnews

The electoral rolls, including more than 129,000 Emiratis eligible to vote in and run for the Federal National Council (FNC) elections, scheduled for September 24 was posted on the internet at

The rolls comprise 47,444 voters and possible candidates from Abu Dhabi, 37,514 from Dubai, 13,937 from Sharjah, 3,920 from Ajman, 3,285 from Umm Al Quwain, 16,850 from Ras Al Khaimah, and 6,324 from Fujairah.

The right to elect members of the Federal National Council (FNC) was extended to almost 20 times those enfranchised in 2006 elections, it was announced on Monday.

India: Citizens to decide fate of e-voting before Mumbai civic polls | Express India

Even as tenders have been invited for creating the online portal and supporting data systems to enable e-voting in the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections in February next year, the process will be finalised only after citizens give their go-ahead.

The State Election Commission’s (SEC) plan to introduce e-voting met with some reservations because of which the mega experiment will be first carried out on a demo basis before seeking public opinion on taking it forward.