Maine: Coalition to wage people’s veto campaign to revive Election Day voter registration law | Bangor Daily News

Critics of the Legislature’s recent decision to end Election Day voter registration in Maine said Thursday a broad coalition is building to quickly collect the 57,000-plus signatures needed to put the issue in front of voters this November.

“We are organized, we are energized and we will be successful,” said Ben Dudley, executive director of Engage Maine, a coalition of progressive groups.

After heated debate that elevated partisan tensions in Augusta, the Legislature voted largely along party lines earlier this month to repeal Maine’s 38-year-old law allowing voters to register at the polls on Election Day.

Alaska: Joe Miller told to reimburse Alaska for election challenge | Reuters

Failed Senate candidate Joe Miller must reimburse Alaska more than $17,000 in legal fees and costs incurred during his fight to overturn Lisa Murkowski’s write-in victory, a state judge ruled on Friday.

Miller, a Tea Party favorite, beat the more moderate Murkowski in the Republican primary. But she then mounted a write-in candidacy in the general election and beat him by about 4.5 percentage points.

Miller sued to overturn the results, arguing that elections officials improperly counted write-in ballots, but was rejected by a Superior Court judge, a ruling that was upheld at the state Supreme Court.

Senegal: Senegal’s Wade backpedals on poll as protests rage | AlertNet

Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade backed down on a proposed change to the country’s electoral law on Thursday after the bill sparked running clashes between riot police and protesters in the capital.

Wade’s rivals said the proposed change would have guaranteed his re-election against a fragmented opposition in a February poll and had threatened a popular uprising over it in a country long seen as an island of stability in West Africa. Analysts said the reversal showed how effectively the opposition and civil society groups could mobilise anti-Wade sentiment amid simmering social tensions.

Latvia: Referendum on Saeima to have record number of polling stations abroad | Latvians Online

A record number of polling stations abroad—78 in all—will operate July 23 for Latvian citizens to vote in a referendum that could result in dissolution of the parliament, or Saeima.

The Central Election Commission in Rīga announced June 21 that it has approved a Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposal to operate polling stations in 41 countries outside Latvia. In last October’s parliamentary vote, during which the legislators who may now lose their jobs were elected, 64 polling stations operated abroad.

The increase in polling stations is due to not enough time being available for voters abroad to apply for mail ballots, election commission Chairman Arnis Cimdars said in a press release. Applications for mail ballots are due July 1.

Botswana: Political parties to conference will discuss administration of Botswana primary elections | Mmegi Online

According to a press release issued by the publicity secretary of the BNF, Moeti Mohwasa, his party will hold its annual national delegates’ conference from Sunday 17th July to Tuesday 19th July in Tsabong. “The conference will be preceded by the Women’s League Congress to be held on 16th July where a new leadership will be elected,” said Mohwasa.

…  According to the executive secretary of the ruling party, Coma Serema, the main issues on the agenda will be a discussion of the compromise list which might replace the elections if it is adopted. The BDP delegates will discuss primary elections and how best to minimise contradictions occasioned by them.

Russia: Russia Blocks Registration of Opposition Party |

Russia denied registration of a key opposition political party Wednesday, effectively barring it from upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections that the Kremlin had hinted might be open to some competition.

The refusal signals the government plans to tightly manage the elections, critics said, despite avowals from President Dmitry Medvedev that he would like to see some opening up of Russia’s political life.

“This is an announcement that there will be no elections, because there will be no opposition parties,” said Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of the People’s Freedom Party, which was cobbled together by four prominent Kremlin critics in December. “The decision comes from the very top.”

Afghanistan: Unseated Afghan MPs threaten protests | Al Jazeera

Dozens of Afghan MPs unseated by a special election court investigating allegations of fraud and irregularities have threatened to call for protests, including blocking the country’s roads.

“If the special court is not absolved, we will call our constituencies to the streets and the president will bear responsibility for what might happen,” Haji Zahir Qadeer, an MP from Nengrahar province, told reporters.

A special election court set up by Afghan President Hamid Karzai unseated 61 members of the Afghan parliament – a quarter of the lower house – including its deputy speaker on claims of fraud. The parliament has been in session for more than four months.

Australia: Taxpayers hit for Hanson’s failed election challenge | Sydney Morning Herald

Pauline Hanson’s political ambitions are undimmed, despite a failed NSW election challenge that has left state taxpayers with a hefty legal bill of more than $150,000. The One Nation founder was yesterday again widely criticised for launching the case, which was based on what turned out to be a bogus email sent to her by Sydney man Sean Castle who used a false name.

But Ms Hanson said she would think about running again for the NSW parliament after she narrowly missed out on winning an upper house spot at the March 26 poll. “I have received tremendous support from the public,” said the former Queenslander who now lives in NSW.

Hungary: Mixed electoral system to remain in Hungary, number of individual constituencies, rounds undecided |

It is almost certain that a mixed electoral system will be maintained in Hungary, and the debate within the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance now only concerns the number of individual constituencies and the number of election rounds, Magyar Nemzet daily said on Wednesday.

Fidesz deputy leader Lajos Kosa confirmed to the paper that the governing coalition would submit a bill to parliament on a new election law in the autumn that stipulates a mixed electoral system – a blend of individual voting districts and national lists.

It has also been decided that Hungarian citizens living abroad will have the option to cast their ballots for a single national list representing Hungary as one constituency, Kosa said.

Serbia: Serbian Human and Minority Rights Calls for Bosniak Council elections by year’s end | B92 News

Serbian Human and Minority Rights Minister Milan Marković has said that elections for the Bosniak National Council will need to be held by the end of the year.

“This is a national interest and a need of the Bosniak community and it would be best if this issue was tackled before winter,” Marković told Belgrade-based daily Politika and added that it was in Serbia’s interest for everyone to take part in the elections and this was the reason why talks with all lists’ representatives were underway.

North Carolina: Governor Perdue Vetoes GOP Voter-ID Bill | TPM

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D) has vetoed a Voter-ID bill passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature. The proposed law was part of a wave of similar bills that have been pushed by Republican-led legislatures in the wake of the 2010 elections. Like those, it would have required voters to show certain approved forms of photo identification at their polling places, or else cast provisional ballots and then have to prove their eligibility later.

“This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters,” Perdue wrote in her veto announcement.

National: House Votes Not to Confer More Power on Feckless FEC | Campaign Legal Center

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 672, a bill rather inappropriately named the “Election Support Consolidation and Efficiency Act.”  The legislation would dismantle the Election Assistance Commission and transfer some of its most important functions to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) – an agency hardly known for its efficiency (or effectiveness).  Fortunately, enough Representatives saw past the name to the damage it would have done to the administration of our elections, and the bill failed to receive the votes needed to pass.

But H.R. 672’s consideration by the House — and the gnashing of teeth over its defeat that will surely follow in the coming days– should not pass by without pausing to examine the folly of putting even more responsibility on the shoulders of the FEC at a time when it is incapable of carrying out its most basic functions.

Pennsylvania: State House passes bill to require ID to vote | Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The state House signed off on a voter identification bill Thursday after nearly 10 hours of sharply partisan floor debate over three days, sending the legislation to the Senate for consideration.

House members voted 108-88 to pass the divisive bill, which would require most voters to show photo ID before casting a ballot. Sponsor Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, said the measure is necessary to cut down on “significant voter fraud plaguing Pennsylvania’s elections.”

No Democrats voted to support the bill, unsuccessfully challenging its constitutionality more than five times during floor debate. They warned that enacting the legislation would cost tens of millions of dollars on a problem that doesn’t exist and would shut out thousands of eligible voters who lack proper ID.

Ohio: Senate OKs Ohio elections revamp | The Columbus Dispatch

A sweeping overhaul of Ohio’s election laws passed the Senate on a party-line vote yesterday, and a bill requiring Ohio voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot is now on track to move next week. After a day filled with heated rhetoric and shifting plans, majority Republicans pushed through House Bill 194, which moves the 2012 presidential primary from March to May.

The bill, which the House is likely to send to Gov. John Kasich next week after approving Senate changes, would let Ohioans register to vote or change their addresses online and reduce early voting from 35 days before an election to 21 days by mail and 17 in person – which eliminates the so-called “golden week” when people could register and vote on the same day.

Indiana: Easing Secretary of State White’s damage | The Journal Gazette

Secretary of State Charlie White could well have proven to be the worst thing that ever happened to the Indiana GOP – at least since Richard Nixon’s participation in Watergate triggered a Democratic landslide in 1974 – if not for a late-session maneuver by the GOP-controlled legislature.

If the Indiana Recount Commission rules next week that White was ineligible to run for the office he won last November, Democrats pick up a key statewide office and the Republican Party’s image is tarnished. But a White loss could have inflicted even greater damage to the party, giving it the legal status of an also-ran third party for the 2012 and 2014 statewide elections.

Indiana: Secretary of State’s request for investigation of voter fraud prosecutor gets rejected | The Republic

A prosecutor has turned down Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White’s request for an investigation into whether one of the special prosecutors pursuing voter fraud charges against him committed the same offense.

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said Wednesday that she saw no reason to move forward after a preliminary review of White’s allegations against Dan Sigler. A judge appointed Sigler last year as one of two special prosecutors for the case.

White, a Republican who took office in January, filed a complaint with Richard’s office on June 10, accusing Sigler, his ex-wife and current wife of voting at incorrect polling sites.

Indiana: Prosecutor won’t investigate Charlie White’s allegations | The Journal Gazette

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards declined the request of embattled Secretary of State Charlie White to investigate allegations he directed at one of the special prosecutors handling his criminal case.

Last week, White filed a complaint with Richards’ office alleging special prosecutor Daniel Sigler Sr. committed voter fraud. White asked that Richards appoint a special prosecutor to investigate.

Sigler, a former Adams County prosecutor, is one of two special prosecutors handling the criminal case against White, who was indicted earlier this year on multiple charges, including voter fraud.

Nevada: One-vote winner of North Las Vegas City Council race sues to stop new election |

The one-vote winner of a heated North Las Vegas City Council race is suing to stop a new election. An attorney for dentist Wade Wagner, who won election to the council’s Ward 4 seat by a single vote, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in District Court against the city and four council members over the decision to order a new election in one precinct after the discovery of an ineligible vote.

Wagner won the election “but is being deprived of the office due to the unlawful actions of partisan City Council members who claim the power to void lawful votes because their preferred candidate lost,” the complaint said.

It asks the court to order the city to certify the original election and to stop the city from going forward with a new one. The city has 45 days to respond.

Maine: Push to repeal new voting law in Maine |

One of the more controversial decisions of this year’s legislative session is still being debated – and may ultimately be decided at the ballot box.

Lawmakers voted to eliminate election-day voter registration in the state. The Maine Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters and some other groups are angry, and are launching a “people’s veto” campaign to overturn the new law. For 39 years, Maine has allowed people to register to vote up to and including Election Day itself. In 2008, roughly 49,000 voters registered on Election Day. In 2010, according to the Secretary of State’s office, about 18,000 registered on Election Day. But that law has now changed.

The Gambia: Gambia’s electoral commission registers 837 029 voters | Jollof News

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) registered 837 029 voters during 44 days of voter registration exercise, according to the commission’s chairman Alhagie Mustapha Carayol. He expressed satisfaction over the just concluded voters’ registration, saying:  ‘’at the end of the 44 days of the exercise, the provisional number of registered voters is 837, 029.’’

Chairman Carayol told a press conference at the commission’s headquarters Thursday ‘’I seized the opportunity to register the electoral body’s gratitude to the Government of the Republic of the Gambia for entirely and exclusively funding the General Registration of voters exercise.”

Thailand: Troubled path to election in Buri Ram Thailand | Bangkok Post

The lead up to the election in Buri Ram is becoming heated with the Election Commission receiving evidence of alleged vote buying and facing a residents’ protest.

Police had given the election watchdog a photo of a person clearly handing out money to villagers, EC Apichart Sukhagganond said on Friday. He would not say where this occurred. Investigators are looking into which party was involved and election commissioner would meet to consider the case on June 28, he said.

Saint Kitts and Nevis: Premier Parry announces Nevis Election Day | SKNVibes

Amidst loud cheers by supporters and well-wishers, Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), Hon. Joseph Parry last night (June 22) announced that Nevisians would go to the polls on Monday, July 11, 2011. The incumbent Premier made the announcement at a rally in Brick Kiln Village in the St. James Constituency.

Parry told the gathering that he consulted the Governor-General and advised him to dissolve the Nevis Island Assembly yesterday (June 22).

“Today, I consulted with His Excellency the Governor-General. It is with the confidence of knowing that we have done our best on the circumstances that I advised on the dissolution of Parliament here in Nevis,” Parry told his party supporters. “And with the dissolution of Parliament,” he added, “I can ring the bell.”

China: Web plan dumped by China Electoral Affairs Commission | China Daily

The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) has abruptly scrapped its proposal to regulate electioneering activities on websites. The announcement came a month after public consultation began, revealing the guideline was unpopular, unrealistic and hard to execute.

The EAC on Thursday published guidelines on subsector elections of the Election Committee to be held in December and the 2012 Legislative Council (LegCo) geographical constituency elections.

Nigeria: Seven Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission staff arrested over election materials | Vanguard

Ekiti State Police Command has nabbed seven staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for allegedly doctoring electoral materials used in April general elections. The workers were said to have been caught in the act at an undisclosed hotel in Omuo-Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government area of the state.

Their motive was not immediately known. Vanguard however, gathered that they were working for unnamed politicians in the area in attempt to use the doctored electoral materials as evidence in the state Election Petition Tribunal.

Afghanistan: Afghan Court Ruling Seeks to Alter Parliamentary Election Results |

A special court set up at the behest of President Hamid Karzai ordered on Thursday the reinstatement of 62 candidates who had lost their seats or had been disqualified from last year’s parliamentary elections, reviving the prospect of a constitutional crisis for the nation.

The decision was the latest chapter in a heated dispute over allegations of fraud in last September’s elections. Coming a day after President Obama’s announcement of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, it provided a stinging reminder of the potential for turbulence in the country’s fledgling democracy.

India: India’s new democracy institute opens doors to Kenyans | Mangalorean.Com

The newly established Indian Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM) will be sharing India’s experience of conducting elections for six decades with its very first batch of students: election officials from Kenya.

The institute will be formally opened with a special five-day training programme for the Kenyan officials from June 27. Eight Kenyans, including an Election Commissioner (Kenya has eight Election Commissioners), will participate in the first training programme in New Delhi.

The Voting News Daily: House rejects GOP bill to terminate Election Assistance Commission, Recall elections surge in state and local governments

National: House rejects GOP bill to terminate Election Assistance Commission | The Hill Members of the House on Wednesday rejected a bill to end the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which Republicans said would save $33 million over five years by eliminating a commission who’s primary purpose has been achieved. Members voted 235-187 in favor of…

National: House rejects GOP bill to terminate Election Assistance Commission | The Hill

Members of the House on Wednesday rejected a bill to end the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which Republicans said would save $33 million over five years by eliminating a commission who’s primary purpose has been achieved.

Members voted 235-187 in favor of the bill, which was not enough to ensure passage under a suspension of House rules. Suspension votes require the support of two-thirds of all voting members. Every voting Republican supported it, and every voting Democrat opposed it.

The House debated the bill, H.R. 672, Tuesday night. Republicans said the vote would test the willingness of Democrats to support cuts to federal spending, while Democrats argued that the EAC still serves a useful purpose in helping states establish voting standards and test voting equipment.