Rhode Island: Opponents surprised by Chafee’s signing of voter-ID bill | The Providence Journal

The fight over Rhode Island’s new voter identification law continued for three days after Governor Chafee quietly signed the legislation, with opponents saying they were led by the governor’s office to believe they still had a fighting chance.

A week earlier, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed a voter-ID bill passed by her state’s Republican-controlled legislature, saying it would “unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters.”

But there was no such opposition from Chafee in Rhode Island, where Democrats overwhelmingly control the House and Senate. Democratic House Speaker Gordon D. Fox was one of the co-sponsors of the new voter-identification law, along with Democrat Jon Brien, of Woonsocket, and Republicans Joseph Trillo, of Warwick, and Doreen Costa, of North Kingstown. The Senate version was sponsored by Sen. Harold Metts, a Providence Democrat.

Oklahoma: Smith campaign worker alleges disorganization in recount | Tulsa World

Eight exhibits attached to Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith’s appeal of the tribe’s recent election became available to the public Wednesday morning.

Smith filed the appeal Tuesday afternoon, asking the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court to either order a machine-conducted recount of the ballots cast in the June 26 election or, failing that, invalidate the certified recount results and call for a new election. Currently, challenger Bill John Baker is the chief-elect, having won a hand recount conducted Thursday afternoon and evening by a 266-vote margin.

National: Bill Clinton: GOP Voting Crackdown Worst Since Jim Crow | TPMDC

Former President Bill Clinton weighed in on Republican efforts in several states to pass new restrictions on voting, comparing the measures to the Jim Crow laws of the past.

“There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today,” Clinton said in a speech at a Campus Progress conference in Washington. He specifically called out Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) for trying to reverse past precedent and prevent convicted felons from voting even after they’ve completed their sentence.

Florida: Officials say hacker did not steal sensitive Florida voting database information | Bridget Carey/Miami Herald

Florida elections officials said no sensitive information was exposed following a Saturday morning Twitter post by a hacker who claimed to access a Florida voting database. The hacker, who writes under the Twitter name Abhaxas, posted lines of data and passwords said to be “inside details of Florida voting systems.”

The information was from a poll worker training program within a Liberty County elections website, according to Marcia Wood, supervisor of elections for Liberty County, which is based out of the Panhandle city of Bristol.

“It has nothing to do with vital information at all,” Wood said. “It’s not confidential information. As far as the actual passwords they claim to have gotten, it was for poll workers to be able to log on to view training videos.”

Nevada: Nevada’s Top Court Upholds Republican Nomination Process for Senate Seat | Bloomberg

The Nevada Supreme Court upheld a ruling allowing state Republicans to nominate one candidate to represent the party in a special election to fill the House of Representatives seat vacated by U.S. Senator Dean Heller.

In May, a lower court judge ruled in favor of the Nevada Republican Party and barred Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, from declaring a “free-for-all” election in which candidates could nominate themselves. The Supreme Court agreed and ruled in a 6-1 decision that although the state law is “ambiguous” deferring to Miller was not appropriate in this case.

Ohio: State Sen. Nina Turner says more than 14,000 wrong-precinct ballots were disqualified in 2008: True | PolitiFact Ohio

“Voting in the wrong precinct led to over 14,000 registered voters statewide to lose their vote in 2008.”

— State Sen. Nina Turner

An elections reform bill approved in June by the Ohio Senate had plenty of troubling new provisions for critics of the proposal, namely Democrats.

The bill contained a number of changes to Ohio’s voting and election procedures, some of which may lead to voter suppression, opponents of House Bill 194 argued before the Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill along party lines.

Ohio: Elections chief suspects voter fraud – Ohio Secretary of State seeks criminal investigation | The Tribune

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted wants the attorney general and the Lawrence County Prosecutor to determine if a group of Democrats attempted voter fraud in the 2010 general election. If so, it could mean prison time and a fine for anyone convicted of these crimes.

On Tuesday Husted turned over to Mike DeWine and J.B. Collier the findings of his investigation into the applications of 119 Lawrence County absentee ballots for further review and possible prosecution.

“There was an attempt to violate the election law with the attempt to cast and count fraudulent votes,” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said in an interview with The Tribune on Tuesday. “If we didn’t believe there were irregularities that amounted to a violation of law we would not have referred it to the attorney general and the county prosecutor.”

Kentucky: County clerks worry Kentucky homeless voter policy could lead to fraud | FOX19

Kentucky election officials say there’s been an increase in the number of voter registration forms from the homeless so they felt the need to clarify a few rules. However, some local county clerks say the policy could lead to voter fraud.

Last week, State Board of Elections Executive Director Sarah Ball Johnson wrote all of the county clerks in Kentucky a memo, instructing them to approve all voter registration applications from people who are homeless — even if clerks can’t verify the addresses on the forms. The policy has been in place since 1998, but Johnson wanted to clarify it because of the number of applicants and newly elected county clerks.

National: Voter ID Supporters Need Statistics 101 | Brennan Center for Justice

Any good student of Statistics 101 will tell you that correlation does not imply causation. Apparently, many voter ID supporters never got the memo.

Two and a half years ago, Justin Levitt wrote on this  blog about how some proponents of voter ID requirements were asserting that stringent ID laws in Georgia and Indiana did not depress turnout in 2008. Those proponents thought they had found their magic bullet: turnout in Georgia and Indiana was higher in 2008 than in 2004, despite the implementation of strict ID laws in the interim.

Mr. Levitt gave them a simple statistics lesson. Even if turnout increases at the same time as the adoption of a new voter ID law, there may be something other than the voter ID law – Mr. Levitt identified campaign mobilization, in particular – that caused the turnout increase. In other words, correlation does not imply causation.

Minnesota: Government Shutdown Will Not Affect Duluth Minnesota Elections | Northland’s NewsCenter

If it weren’t for some exceptions, the government shutdown could have caused problems for election. Tuesday was the first day candidates were allowed to file for Duluth city council and school board positions.

The election process is safeguarded from the shutdown. A judge had ruled the Secretary of State’s office to remain open and all parts of the election process to continue. Had it not been for that ruling, new voters may not have been able to get registered or voters obtain absentee ballots, as the election systems would have been done. The elections in Duluth will run as usual.

South Carolina: South Carolina Election Commission hopes to have deals reached on 2012 presidential primary by October | The Republic

South Carolina’s Election Commission expects to have plans in place for running the first-in-the South presidential primary by October, the agency said Wednesday.

The primary’s funding and fate were put in doubt by state budget writers and Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto of money for the contest. The Legislature overrode the veto last week and the state’s attorney general says the Election Commission can run the primary and bill the state Republican Party.

That will happen under a contract the state will discuss, draft and commit to by October, Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said.

New Jersey: Foster files court challenge to Smith-Reid’s Morristown New Jersey primary win | Daily Record

Toshiba Foster is asking a judge to overturn councilwoman Raline Smith-Reid’s victory in the 2nd Ward Democratic primary, alleging close to 100 violations involving dozens of votes that her attorneys say were cast illegally. The challenge comes two weeks after a recount determined Smith-Reid won the election by 21 votes, 196-175.

Sharon Weiner, an attorney representing Foster, said the papers were filed just in time to beat a deadline Tuesday for making such a challenge and after an examination of various voting records, including absentee ballots. She said some absentee ballots were “improperly handled” and in one case someone cast two votes, one by absentee ballot and another by provisional ballot.

“We’re asking the court to assume jurisdiction over these illegal votes,” Weiner said.

Iowa: Scott County Auditor’s office aims to streamline voting | Quad City Times

Scott County will purchase 90 netbook computers to use during elections, bringing the total for use by the auditor’s office to 140. The purchase of the 90 Dell Latitude netbooks is $42,300. The purchase will be voted on Thursday by the Scott County Board of Supervisors.

The auditor’s office has been trying to introduce the small laptop-style computers into election use to help streamline how voter information is recorded. The computers are loaded with a software developed in Cerro Gordo County that links with the state’s I-Voter system.

California: Online voter registration moves closer in California | Central Valley Business Times

Legislation that would allow Californians to register to vote via their county’s election office website has been approved by the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee.

If the measure makes it into law, California would joins several other states that already offer online registration. California has lagged behind awaiting implementation of the statewide online database system known as VoteCal, which has been delayed until at least 2015.

SB 397, authored by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, also puts into place greater safeguards to fraud than the current paper registration process.

Kenya: 2012 could be an electronic voting year in Kenya | Capital FM Kenya

The country may next year start full scale electronic voting after a team of international consultants arrived in Nairobi to assist in developing a master plan for e-voting in line with the Constitution. The team from IBM’s Corporate Service Corps Programme will volunteer their expertise for the next four weeks after which they will present findings and a plan to the government.

“IBM is partnering with the Government of Kenya to propose a framework that addresses Kenyan voting challenges,” said IBM Country General Manager Anthony Mwai.

“Our consultants will review the experience of the recent electronic voter registration pilot and compare this with global e-voter frameworks and evolving standards,” he added.

Ukraine: Kyiv unable to tell investors date of mayoral elections | Kyiv Post

Kyiv is unable to name the date of the next mayoral elections due to there having been amendments made to the Constitution of Ukraine, according to information in Kyiv’s bond issue prospectus

“The mayor of the city is elected by direct voting. Until 2011, the residents elected the mayor for a term of four years. But the amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, which are envisaged by the law adopted on February 1, 2011, extended mayor’s service term to five years. The previous snap elections were held on May 25, 2008.

Namibia: Parties endorse voting machines in Namibia | New Era

There seems to be general consensus on both sides of the country’s political divide about the introduction of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN). The ECN announced on Friday the purchase of EVMs to the tune of about N$22 million from India, to all but kick off a new era of voting in the country.

The sometimes-mediocre conduct of elections, as pointed out by Judge President Petrus Damaseb in his electoral judgment earlier this year, could be a thing of the past with the introduction of this new technology. And all parties that New Era spoke to yesterday agreed in unison that with EVMs in place, whoever cries foul after elections could be rightly dubbed a “crybaby”.

According to the manual published by the ECN about how the EVMs work, “there is no scope for invalid votes”, while “total secrecy of voting data is maintained”.

Poland: Opposition party unhappy at election date | The Warsaw Voice

The leftwing opposition Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) party has criticized President Bronislaw Komorowski’s decision to hold parliamentary elections on Oct. 9, arguing that the timing would benefit the government.

“The opposition will have less time to put forward their proposals and their accusations against the ruling party,” SLD spokesman Tomasz Kalita was quoted as saying by the Rzeczpospolita daily.

Saint Kitts and Nevis: OAS and Saint Kitts and Nevis Sign Agreement for Electoral Observation Mission | South Florida Caribbean News

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Interim Representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the Organization, Kemoy Liburd Chow, today signed the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities for the Electoral Observation Mission that will be present for the 2011 Nevis Island Assembly Elections on July 11.

During the signing ceremony, Liburd Chow expressed her country’s appreciation for the OAS by affirming that “we commend the OAS for its continued service and efforts to promote democracy in the hemisphere.”

Kyrgyzstan: Authorities in Kyrgyzstan want to control the Central Election Commission – Omurbek Tekebayev | eng.24.kg

“Authorities in Kyrgyzstan want to control the Central Election Commission (CEC),” the leader of Ata Meken faction Omurbek Tekebayev told 24.kg news agency.

He said that there is diarchy in CEC. “The current CEC doesn’t want to hand the power to the new CEC not understanding that its historical task is completed already. Instead of worthful remaining in the history the old CEC headed by Akylbek Sariev plumped into it. And nobody noted the important thing behind numerous scandals around the CEC: it is the first time when the CEC was headed by representatives of the opposition. This is very important thing demonstrating that the system started working in spite of antagonism. However, statements and actions of authorities show that they don’t want that and are trying to control the CEC in every way,” said Omurbek Tekebayev.

Croatia: Coalition to set election dates this week | Croatian Times

Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor together with the coalition partners is expected to set the parliamentary election dates sometime this week, daily 24 Sata writes.

According to some sources, 20 or 27 November are under consideration. Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader is also expected to be extradited to Croatia after having been held in detention in Austria since December.

Wisconsin: Need a free photo ID to vote? Be prepared to wait | madison.com

JoAnne Balthazor can’t remember ever not voting in an election — it’s that serious of a civic duty to her. That’s why Balthazor, 69, a retired postal clerk from Madison, was getting a state-issued photo identification card Friday at the Division of Motor Vehicles Center on the city’s Far East Side.

A new state law requires residents to show photo identification to vote. Balthazor does not have a driver’s license — a physical disability prevents her from driving — and so needed to find another way to prove her identity.

The law includes a clause that allows residents to get a state photo ID card for free if they need it to vote. The cost is $28 otherwise. Friday was the first day the cards were available for free. Balthazor, who waited an hour and 51 minutes to get to a window, was not pleased with the process or the law.

“This is what people are going to have to go through,” she said. “I think a lot of people are just going to say the heck with it and leave.”

Texas: State Supreme Court: no e-voting paper trail required | Ars Technica

A group of Texas voters seeking to stop the use of paperless electronic voting machines reached a dead end on Friday; the Texas Supreme Court ruled that their suits could not proceed without evidence that they have been personally harmed.

Texas has been using direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines for more than a decade. In 2006, a coalition of voters led by the Austin NAACP sued to stop Travis County from using the eSlate, a DRE machine made by Austin-based Hart InterCivic. (Hart does offer a printer as an optional component of its system.) The voters claimed the machines were insecure and did not allow meaningful recounts.

Travis County disagreed. In a FAQ on the county’s voting website, officials answered questions about paper trails and security.

Wisconsin: $750,000 to be spent on voter ID education in Wisconsin | GazetteXtra

The state board in charge of running elections says it plans to spend more than $750,000 educating the public about the new photo identification law that fully takes effect next year.

The Government Accountability Board was given nearly $2 million by the Legislature to help pay for implementation of the new law.

The board says it will use about $436,000 on a public information campaign to inform the public about the requirement that photo identification be shown at the polls.

National: Senator Michael Bennet: The Right to Vote | Rock the Vote Blog

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment, a landmark achievement in our nation’s history that gave young Americans 18 and older the right to vote.

But this momentous occasion comes at a time when this right has come under assault, as lawmakers in states across the country push highly-restrictive voter ID laws that have the potential to disenfranchise countless Americans young and old.

These laws are a solution in search of a problem. Instead of protecting the integrity of our voting system, they can effectively drown out the voices of thousands of law-abiding, taxpaying American citizens.

Ohio: Ohio GOP Weakens Election Law By Allowing Poll Workers To Refuse To Inform Voters Where They Can Vote | ThinkProgress

Last week, the GOP-led House passed an election law overhaul without the highly restrictive voter ID provision. However, the House tweaked the bill to weaken a law mandating poll workers to direct voters in the wrong precinct to their correct voting location. Under the new language, a poll worker need not direct a voter to where they are eligible, adding that “it is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.”

Allowing poll workers to refuse to help those who are legitimately confused about where they should vote opens the door for increased voter suppression. As state Sen. Nina Turner (D) pointed out, “Voting in the wrong precinct led to over 14,000 registered voters statewide to lose their vote in 2008.”

Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation election chairman turns in resignation letter | Tulsa World

Cherokee Nation Election Commission chairman Roger Johnson filed a resignation letter early Tuesday morning. No action has been taken yet on the filed letter.

“My honor, character and integrity have been unreasonably damaged,” he wrote, citing inaccurate media reports in the election’s aftermath.

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court has set a hearing for 8:30 a.m. Friday on all pending applications and motions.

Oklahoma: Cherokee chief-elect: Incumbent should step aside | MiamiHerald.com

The chief-elect of one of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes called on the incumbent to give up the post Tuesday, as tribe officials confirmed a new election could be called if the bitter back-and-forth and legal wrangling don’t stop.

A recount determined longtime councilman Bill John Baker had defeated chief Chad Smith by 266 votes in the June 25 election, but Smith wants another recount. The election was very close, with Baker first declared the winner by 11 votes, and then Smith announced as the winner by seven before the recount threw the election back to Baker.

Smith has since appealed, and the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court set arguments for Friday. If things get any more contentious, the court could intervene and order a new election, officials said Tuesday.

Nevada: Justices allow one candidate per party in special election | ReviewJournal.com

The Nevada Supreme Court has determined the two major political parties can choose one candidate each to run for the state’s open Congressional District 2 seat, putting an end to Secretary of State Ross Miller’s vision of a “ballot royale.”

There will be only eight candidates — not 30 — on the ballot when U.S. Sen. Dean Heller’s replacement is chosen in a special election Sept. 13. Republican Mark Amodei and Democrat State Treasurer Kate Marshall will top the ballot along with candidates from the Independent American and Libertarian parties and four independents. The decision is important more for political reasons than legal concerns.