Nevada: Supreme Court Set To Weigh In On Special Election In 2nd Congressional District | Nevada News Bureau

Attorneys for the state Democrat and Republican parties argued their cases Tuesday before the Nevada Supreme Court over whether they should pick their candidates for the special election to fill the vacant 2nd Congressional District seat, or whether it should be a “ballot royale.”

The Democrat Party and Secretary of State Ross Miller, himself a Democrat, are asking the court to rule by July 6 that any and all comers should be able to file to fill the vacancy left with the appointment of former Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., to the U.S. Senate.

Attorneys for the Republicans say Miller exceeded his authority in making the election a free-for-all, and that the parties should select the single candidate to represent them in a special election that has been set for Sept. 13, although it is possible this date might have to be changed.

Nevada: Who rules Nevada’s elections? Court to decide. | Las Vegas Sun

Seems there’s nothing like a deadline, or perhaps a U.S. House vacancy, to focus the mind. That mantra apparently applied to both the Legislature — which passed a bare bones special election law eight years ago — and the secretary of state’s office, which never got around to writing regulations governing how a special election should be conducted.

Now that Nevada is facing its first U.S. House vacancy, the state Supreme Court will decide how the next representative from the 2nd Congressional District will be chosen. It’s a political process that most justices appeared uncomfortable wading into, based on questions they asked during oral arguments Tuesday on the case that will decide the matter.

“Why shouldn’t we let the secretary of state make this decision?” Justice Mark Gibbons said. “Otherwise we’re going to have judges running elections, and that may not be a good idea.”

Indiana: White: ‘There is no loss of credibility’ | The Indianapolis Star

Secretary of State Charlie White smiled triumphantly, took his wife’s hand and calmly walked past the reporters waiting to talk to him Tuesday after the Indiana Recount Commission allowed him to keep his job.

But his victory might be short-lived. His job still is in jeopardy.

Even though the bipartisan panel voted 3-0 to reject Democrats’ complaint that he was illegally registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy, the Democrats could appeal to the courts.

Editorials: Jennifer Wagner: Charlie White’s lonely outpost | The Indianapolis Star

If there’s one thing Indiana Republicans and Democrats can agree on, it’s that disgraced Secretary of State Charlie White should step down from the office he’s embarrassed since the day he took the oath.

On Tuesday, the Indiana Recount Commission granted White a temporary legal reprieve, ruling that the state’s election laws are sufficiently vague to prevent his removal from office. White faces criminal trial in August on seven felony counts of voter fraud, theft and perjury.

White has attempted to turn his failure to properly register to vote and his illegitimate service on the Fishers Town Council into an intricate personal tale: It wasn’t his fault he broke the law. Life just got too complicated to focus on the details.

Editorials: Voter-fraud bill misguided, wasteful |

QUESTION: What will cost New Hampshire taxpayers $108,670 during the next two years to address a problem that does not exist?

ANSWER: Senate Bill 129, the so-called Voter I.D. bill, which mandates that every voter in the state show photo identification before casting a ballot. The mandate is flawed, because some photo-IDs are deemed okay to use whereas others, such as photo IDs that are provided by town and city employers, are not necessarily okay. Also, the bill doesn’t guarantee secrecy for the provisional ballots that would be required of those voters who must scurry off to get acceptable photo IDs on election day.

However, these are piddling matters compared to the justification for the bill, and here we leave it to D.J. Bettencourt, the House Majority Leader, to argue the case. In a news release issued shortly after Governor John Lynch vetoed Senate Bill 129 this week, Bettencourt wrote: “It is mystifying to me why the governor of New Hampshire, elected to uphold our Constitution, would oppose legislation that would put an end to allegations of voter fraud that surface after every single election in our state.”

Allegations of fraud? How about actual fraud?

Oklahoma: The Cherokee Nation Chief election will go to a recount |

The tight Cherokee Nation chief election will now be hand counted beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. Initially, challenger Bill John Baker was named the un-official winner of the Cherokee Nation election on Sunday, by 11 votes

On Monday, the official results showed incumbent Chief Chad Smith the winner by seven votes. Both candidates hope Thursday’s recount will end the dispute.

“I think it’s black eye on the Cherokee Nation, I think it’s a travesty to the citizens that voted because they ought to know that their vote counted,” said candidate Bill John Baker.

Oklahoma: Baker accuses Smith employees of tampering with Cherokee election | Tulsa World

Cherokee Nation principal chief candidate Bill John Baker on Wednesday afternoon formally requested a recount of this weekend’s election.

The tribe’s election commission overturned the unofficial results posted on its website early Sunday morning. The unofficial tally — 7,600 to 7,589 — listed Baker as the winner by 11 votes, but official figures released by the commission Monday afternoon declared current chief Chad Smith the victor by a 7,609-7,602 margin.

“We demand to know what caused the change in vote tally. We want to know who demanded the change and why,” he said at a news conference. “All Cherokees should demand to know the truth.”

Thailand: ‘There are three phases of vote buying in this year’s Thai election’ | TODAYonline

The fierce race to claim victory at Thailand’s general election on Sunday has resulted in more rampant vote buying nationwide, with the average price of vote buying in central provinces higher than in other regions, a survey has revealed.

This time, vote buying was divided into three phases including a period before the candidate registration, during the official election campaign after the election registration and in the final leg of the race, said Mr Sukhum Chaloeysap, director of the Suan Dusit Poll by the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University.

In the first phase, vote buying was aimed purely at boosting the popularity of the political parties and the average price of such vote buying was 300 baht (S$12) per voter per candidate, Mr Sukhum said.

Thailand: Thai Election Commission gets 521 poll violation complaints | Bangkok Post

The Election Commission has received a total of 111 direct complaints about alleged campaign violations, backed with evidence, since May 23, and nearly half of them are about slander and intimidation by candidates. The EC also received another 410 poll-related complaints lodged via its hotline and website without any supporting evidence.

The commission said on Wednesday that of the 111 complaints, 51  alleged slander and acts of intimidation, 17 allege  cash handouts in return for votes,  four complained of candidates organising parties to woo votes, 20 questioned the political neutrality of  government officials and 19 were related to campaign billboards and campaign rallies.

Pakistan: Azad Jammu and Kashmir polls: Tribunal formed to address complaints | The Express Tribune

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Election Commission formed a tribunal to address what it expects will be many complaints by candidates relating to the June 26 Legislative Assembly polls, even as it denied charges of rigging in the polls.

A spokesperson for the election commission said that the tribunal would be a faster mechanism for dealing with petitions likely to be filed by many of the losing candidates. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has already begun filing cases alleging rigging in the AJK elections and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) is reportedly considering a similar move.

However, even as it formed the tribunal, the Election Commission spokesperson denied that they had been involved in any vote rigging.“No incident of casting fake votes or any unlawful use of influence upon the polling staff was reported in any of the constituencies,” the spokesman said.

Kyrgyzstan: MP indignant at unfair election of Kyrgyzstan Central Election Commission’s members |

Parliament member of Kyrgyzstan is indignant at unfair approach used during election of members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) by the presidential quota. Mrs. Galina Skripkina stated.

She said when the parliamentary quota of 8 persons was approved MPs voted for them through general ticket. “Now we are offered to vote for each four candidates separately. This is unfair. Tomorrow we can be accused of bias. We have to elect them through general ticket,” said Mrs. Skripkina.

British Virgin Islands: New Elections Bill Bringing Key Changes to British Virgin Islands |

A new bill is being proposed that will see many changes in the way some aspects of the elections process is conducted. Some of these changes are likely to take effect at the upcoming polls once legislators sit to pass the bill.

However, yesterday June 28, the House of Assembly granted the Acting Attorney General, Baba Aziz leave for the second reading and debate on the bill Elections (Amendment) Act, 2011 to be deferred to next month.

Lesotho: No exact date for Lesotho elections | SABCNews

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of Lesotho is still not sure of the exact date on which the local government elections will be held. It was earlier scheduled for September, but a new date is now being considered.

Meanwhile, main opposition political parties which earlier threatened to boycott elections, are now calling for a postponement saying they still have to register voters and many will be excluded if the proposed September date is honoured.

Zambia: Electoral Commission of Zambia will not extend the voter verification exercis – Mambilima | Lusaka Times

Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Justice Irene Mambilima has maintained that the commission will not extend the voter verification exercise which came to an end June 12. This follows calls by political stakeholders for an extension to allow more registered voters to have their details verified before the final register is compiled.

Speaking in Lusaka today during the ECZ/political parties’ liaison Committee meeting, Justice Mambilima said the commission has little time left before the forthcoming tripartite elections and that extending the verification exercise will have a negative impact on the commission’s preparatory works.

Ghana: Electoral Commission to start biometric registration before end of year in Ghana, but no electronic voting in 2012 | Afari-Gyan

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), on Wednesday announced that the commission would commence biometric voter registration before the end of this year. He, however, dismissed speculations that the EC would use the electronic voting process for Election 2012.

Dr Afari-Gyan was speaking on the third day of a public lecture, organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, in Accra.

The three-day forum, which started on June 27 to 29, 2011, is on the theme: “Elections and the Democratic Challenges in Africa”.

Nigeria: Ogun electoral commission sues Amosun | 234Next

The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission {OGSIEC} has dragged the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, to court for what the commission described as illegal and wrongful dissolution.

The chairman of the commission, Kayode Adeleye, and seven other members of OGSIEC, filed a suit at the Abeokuta High Court, challenging the May 31 dissolution of the commission by the governor.

In an originating summons filed by their counsel, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN), the commission members prayed the court to determine whether the governor had powers to dissolve it in line with Sections 197 and 199 of the nation’s 1999 Constitution, as well as Section 7 (1) of OGSIEC law.

Angola: Electoral commission learns about functioning of data processing office | Angola Press

The chairwoman of the National Electoral Commission (CNE), Suzana Inglês, on Tuesday here received detailed information about the functioning of the Data Processing Office of the Ministry of Territory Administration (MAT).

During a visit to the office, accompanied by the minister of Territory Administration, the chairwoman of CNE  checked the premises and watched a video on the steps that have already been taken in the process of updating the voters’ registration database, as well as the mapping of the location for the future voting stations.

California: Sentencing Delayed For San Francisco Ballot Thief | KTVU

A man who pleaded guilty to stealing ballots from a polling station he was working at in San Francisco’s Crocker Amazon neighborhood last November was set to be released next week but will stay in jail a little while longer after a bizarre sentencing hearing Thursday.

Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, had pleaded guilty to stealing the ballots, a voter roster, and a memory box and access key to a voting machine from the station on Knott Court where he was working as a poll worker supervisor on Election Day, Nov. 2, 2010. Nicholas was arrested early the next day and the ballots were later found in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts, prosecutors said.

The Voting News Daily: Indiana Secretary of State White can stay in office, Bill passes requiring ID at Pennsylvania voting booths

Indiana: Secretary of State White can stay in office, recount panel rules | The Indianapolis Star The Indiana Recount Commission voted 3-0 this morning that Secretary of State Charlie White can remain in office. The panel of two Republicans and one Democrat turned down Democrats’ complaint that White was illegally registered to vote when he declared…

Indiana: Secretary of State White can stay in office, recount panel rules | The Indianapolis Star

The Indiana Recount Commission voted 3-0 this morning that Secretary of State Charlie White can remain in office. The panel of two Republicans and one Democrat turned down Democrats’ complaint that White was illegally registered to vote when he declared his candidacy last year.

The ruling came as a relief to White, who smiled and took his wife’s hand as they exited the hearing this morning. He said his feelings today reminded him of his elation after he handily defeated Democrat Vop Osili in last November’s election.

“I’m very humbled,” White said after hearing the commission’s ruling. “Obviously, our family is very happy that we’ve been able to at least put the recount commission phase of this is behind us.”

Pennsylvania: Bill passes requiring ID at Pennsylvania voting booths |

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill late Thursday night that would require all Pennsylvanians to show an official photo identification card every time they vote at the polls.

House Bill 934 – known as the Pennsylvania Voter Identification Protection Act – was introduced by state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, earlier this year. Metcalfe said his bill would prevent voter fraud, including impersonation at the polls, fictitious registrations, double-voting, and voting by illegal immigrants.

… Critics of the bill, including state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby, have argued it wastes taxpayer money and makes it more difficult for senior citizens and people with disabilities to vote.

Editorials: Kudos to Lynch for voter ID veto |

While it came as a surprise to no one, Gov. John Lynch did the right thing Monday when he vetoed legislation that would require voters to show some form of photo identification in order to vote in New Hampshire.

The Republican-initiated bill (SB 129) seeks to solve a problem that does not exist, raises the cost of elections for cities and towns, and in close elections would delay the naming of the winner for a minimum of three days, if not longer.

But all of those reasons pale in comparison to this: In a state with no history of voter fraud, why enact a change in state election laws that would actually discourage people from voting? We always thought the goal of government and civic leaders was to encourage people to vote.

Indiana: Charlie White wins ruling, to retain office | The Journal Gazette

The Indiana Recount Commission ruled 3-0 Tuesday that Secretary of State Charlie White will keep his statewide office despite confusion over his voting address last year.

The partisan panel – two Republicans and one Democrat – specifically found that White was legally registered to vote when he ran for office and won last year – something the Indiana Democratic Party contested.

Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said White was an eligible candidate and was properly registered at his ex-wife’s home because he intended to live there with his son until his marriage in late May 2010. The finding puts an end to the civil complaint unless the Democrats decide to appeal.

National: Doubling Down on Dubious Claims of Voter Fraud | Brennan Center for Justice

As the push for restrictive voter ID legislation in the states continues, so too does the rhetoric surrounding voter fraud. Last week, New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran doubled down on her previous claims of voter fraud in her state. Not only did the number of the suspected cases of voter fraud balloon from 37 to 64,000, but Duran went a step further in turning over the alleged 64,000 cases to New Mexico State Police for investigation. Noting that law enforcement will be investigating what may largely amount to data entry errors, some have questioned if investigating 64,000 cases —5 percent of registered voters in New Mexico — is a wise use of state resources.

As was the case when Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler unveiled his findings of alleged voter fraud in his state, the conclusions drawn here are questionable. While Duran has not released her methodology and analysis, her description in March of how she and her staff discovered 37 cases of possible voter fraud is of great concern. As previously discussed, Duran claimed to have found 37 possible cases of voter fraud by “matching” the names and birthdays from voter registration lists with a list of foreign nationals. She further claimed to have uncovered 117 individuals whose social security numbers did not match their name. Duran has not explained how this number suddenly ballooned to 64,000.

Ohio: Ohio is latest focus of voter ID struggle | MSNBC

On Tuesday the Ohio Senate might vote on a bill to require voters to show a form of photo identification when they go to the polls. John McClelland, a spokesman for the state’s Republican Senate caucus, said it’s unclear whether the Senate will take action on the bill before its summer recess. The senators’ immediate focus is on the state’s two-year operating budget, which must be approved by Thursday.

A voter ID bill potentially has big implications since voters in Ohio may decide who becomes president. Since World War II, Ohio has gone with the winner of the presidential election every time but once. The state, which will have 18 electoral votes in next year’s election, was decisive in 2004 and 1976, helping give narrow victories to George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Ohio, a former elections official, argued that the voter ID bill ought to be rejected. “Over the last 50 years, we have broken down barriers to voting,” she said, “We have eliminated literacy tests and poll taxes. We have expanded early voting to accommodate voters that are working longer hours.  We should continue to make voting accessible.  This measure instead takes us backward.”

Editorials: Nathaniel R. Jones: No evidence of voter fraud | Youngstown News

The legislation (House Bill 159) that would require Ohio voters to show various forms of identification in order to cast a ballot is not needed. It reflects a stunted sense of history, or most charitably, a form of electoral amnesia.

Where is the evidence of voter impersonation that might warrant such a requirement? This bill is simply an attempt to make it harder for certain citizens to vote. And many of those citizens are African-Americans.

As I said in my testimony before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee on June 22, “throughout history, whenever those engaging in the strategy of voter obstruction were challenged, the answer was always a denial that racial motives were involved, just as those advancing this pernicious voter ID now contend.”

Oklahoma: Voter-ID law faces another legal challenge in Tulsa | Tulsa World

Another legal challenge has been filed in Tulsa County against Oklahoma’s new voter-identification law.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday against the state Election Board asserts that the impact of that law, approved by state voters in November, will create “serious interference” with the unrestricted right to vote for voters who “do not have appropriate identifying credentials or who are unwilling to accept any level of this statewide infringement on the right to vote.”

Rhode Island: Rhode Island among the 10 states least friendly to voting |

It’s not easy to rock the vote in Rhode Island. That’s according to a new scorecard from Rock the Vote that ranks Rhode Island’s voting system 10th-lowest based on 12 metrics related to voter registration; casting a ballot; and young voter participation.

Rhode Island scored a 30%, better than neighboring Connecticut (20%) and Massachusetts (28%). The top state was Washington at 68%; the worst were South Carolina and Virginia, both at 18%.

I asked Secretary of State Ralph Mollis for his reaction, and he sent along this statement highlighting his office’s efforts on these fronts:

Nevada: High court hears arguments on special election for House seat |

Several Nevada Supreme Court justices suggested Tuesday that perhaps they should defer to Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller to set the rules for a special election for Congress.

“Why shouldn’t we go along with the secretary of state?” asked Justice Kris Pickering during oral arguments that lasted less than one hour.

Justice James Hardesty said that when there are no clear regulations on election matters, the court should defer to the administrative decision. But he seemed to take positions on both sides of the matter Tuesday.

Florida: New voter registration laws don’t stop everyone | St. Petersburg Times

Standing inside the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office early Tuesday morning, Vince Cocks proudly handed over 13 completed voter registration forms. It might not look like much, but Cocks is learning to celebrate the small victories in the wake of stringent new state elections laws.

“I’m honored to register voters,” he said. “I believe this is what the country is about.”

Critics say the laws, which went into effect in May, make it too difficult for third-party organizations — which include groups like the Boy Scouts and the League of Women Voters — to register voters. Supporters say the laws are designed to combat voter fraud and will provide better oversight of the voting process.