Editorials: Steve Sebelius: Only drama in Nevada special election comes from court | ReviewJournal.com

This weekend’s Republican Central Committee meeting in Sparks had all the excitement of watching your favorite movie for the 113th time: Sure it’s fun, but you know exactly how it ends.

The selection of former state Sen. Mark Amodei as the nominee for the special election in the 2nd Congressional District was assured the moment Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Amodei’s only real competitor, announced he would not seek the office.

The only question was by how much Amodei — who stepped down recently as chairman of the state party — would beat two other contenders, appointed state Sen. Greg Brower and former USS Cole skipper Kirk Lippold. As Amodei himself said, if he’d failed to win the nomination (or if he’d won it by a less-than-impressive margin) it would have sent a very strong message. But Amodei did win, and convincingly (221 votes to just 56 for Brower, his closest competitor).

Pennsylvania: Voter ID bill nears final vote in Pennsylvania House | Connecticut Post/AP

A Republican proposal to make Pennsylvania voters produce government-issued photo identification at the polls moved a step from a final vote Tuesday in the state House with the defeat of a succession of proposed Democratic amendments.

Majority Republicans used sheer numbers and parliamentary maneuvers to turn aside proposed exemptions for victims of domestic violence or people with mental and physical disabilities, to have voting information printed in Spanish, or to provide additional information to voters about the change in law.

It was the second straight day the House’s floor action was dominated by the voter ID bill, promoted by its supporters as a way to help ensure the integrity of the voting process in the state. Democrats have argued there is no evidence the state has a significant problem with voting fraud, and warned the bill would needlessly impose a new barrier to voters.

Pennsylvania: House moves toward bill to require voter ID | Philadelphia Inquirer

With a controversial voter identification bill set for approval by the Pennsylvania House, Democrats and advocacy groups from Philadelphia and around the state voiced concern that the move could end up hurting voter turnout.

House Democrats and Republicans debated the legislation for more than seven hours Monday and Tuesday. With a Republican majority in the House, the bill passed a key hurdle Tuesday night and is expected to win final approval as early as Wednesday and be sent to the Senate. The action reflects a national trend – spurred by conservatives who won office in the 2010 midterm election – toward stricter election laws.

Ohio: Republicans add voter-ID provision to elections bill | The Columbus Dispatch

In a surprise move, Republican lawmakers added provisions that would require Ohio voters to present photo identification at the polls to an elections bill that could be approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.

The bill puts them at odds with Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose office released a statement condemning the action. And if the bill becomes law, Ohio Democrats will seek legal action to have it ruled unconstitutional.

The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee is taking up the photo ID provision as a part of a larger elections bill that would move Ohio’s presidential primary from March to May and would reduce the number of days allowed for in-person early voting.

Ohio: Senate Republicans add controversial photo ID requirement to election reform bill | cleveland.com

Senate Republicans today added a provision requiring a photo ID at the polls to a comprehensive election reform package that lawmakers are expected to approve within days. Democrats, blind-sided by the addition, said the requirement would disenfranchise voters, particularly in urban areas.

“They’re trying to suppress the vote in these areas,” Sen. Shirley Smith, a Cleveland Democrat said. “I think this is a really tough game they’re playing.”

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives approved a bill requiring photo ID at the polls in March — over the objections of House Democrats, the League of Women Voters and AARP Ohio.

Indiana: Recount narrows Leuthart victory in Clerk-Treasurer’s Race by one vote | The Courier-Journal

A recount of the vote in Clarksville’s Democratic Primary for Clerk-Treasurer Tuesday trimmed Bob Leuthart’s victory over incumbent Gary Hall by one vote, to 24, with 1,730 votes cast. But Hall’s lawyer, Jack Vissing, who had asked Clark County Circuit Court to order the recount of the May 3 primary, said his client will continue with his challenge of the election results.

A hearing is scheduled July 22 in circuit court on Hall’s claim that special election machines for voters with disabilities weren’t programmed properly and didn’t work on primary day, preventing an undetermined number of voters from casting ballots.

South Carolina: No money in South Carolina budget to fund 2012 GOP primary | The Associated Press

South Carolina will not fund the state GOP’s first-in-the-South presidential primary in February, leaving officials scrambling to sort out who will pay for it. The Republican Party insists the primary will go on, even if the GOP must come up with as much as $1.5 million to run it.

“In no way is this primary in jeopardy,” said Matt Moore, the state GOP’s executive director.

The party could go back to running the primary with paper ballots and volunteers, which is how it was done until 2008. That year, Republicans and Democrats pushed for and won state funding for the wide-open White House primaries and the state election commission started running them.

But Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, a conservative who has been making a name for herself nationally, insists that taxpayer funds be used only for what she calls core functions. She told lawmakers earlier this year that those functions don’t include primaries.

Ireland: Emigrants should have a vote in upcoming Irish general election | IrishCentral

With the General Election looming, millions of people around the globe will once again be robbed of their right to have a say in Ireland’s political destiny. Under Irish law if you are living abroad you cannot be entered into the register of electors. There are some exceptions for Irish diplomats, members of the defense and police forces who can apply for a postal vote if they are abroad in Election Day.

So for countless Irish abroad they are caught in diplomatic limbo. Not able to cast a vote in their homeland, and an immigrant in their new home, the act of voting becomes a thing of the past with your power to exercise your constitutional right stripped. More than 110 countries allow passport holders who live abroad the right to vote, however Ireland is not one of them. If you are not present in Ireland on polling day, then your vote is lost.

UAE: Emirates ID cards mandatory for members to vote in Federal National Council elections | gulfnews

Voters must have an Emirates Identity card to take part in the upcoming Federal National Council (FNC) elections. The card, which is equipped with a chip will be used for the first time to ensure the identity of the holder.

E-voting is considered to be one of the most efficient in ensuring a safe, effective and convenient election process, said Dr Ali Al Khouri, director-general of the Emirates Identity Authority and member of the National Election Committee (NEC). The election is scheduled to be held on September 24, officials said Tuesday.

The electronic voting system, he said, has been adopted in many countries across the world and the UAE was the first Arab country in the region to implement such an advanced system in 2006.

New Zealand: Politicians can tweet during campaign, but carefully | New Zealand Herald News

Politicians have been told they can tweet at will during the election campaign provided it is only their personal views they are expressing.

The Electoral Commission yesterday sent MPs a handbook of guidance on new election rules, which include a much broader definition of election advertising than previously.

It includes advice for the increasing number of MPs who use Twitter and Facebook. In its guidance, it says MPs using personal Twitter or Facebook accounts can continue to do so provided they only express personal political views. However, they should not post messages on election day itself, because of strict rules against any form of campaigning on the day.

Bulgaria: BulgPresidential, Municipal Elections to be Held in Bulgaria on Oct 23 | Novinite.com

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov has officially signed a decree scheduling presidential and municipal elections in the country for October 23.

October 23 was the date favored by ruling center-right GERB party and voted as recommended by Parliament last week. Nevertheless the Bulgarian Constitution has it that it is the President who has the power to schedule elections.

Monday President Parvanov chose to agree with the date suggested by Parliament. In the initial consultations, main opposition party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, had argued October 23 is too early after summer holiday season for a serious campaign to take place, and requested November 13 as an alternative.

Turkey: European observers: Turkish elections are well-managed and democratic | Trend

Turkey’s well-managed, democratic elections demonstrated pluralism but also showed a need for improvements on fundamental freedoms, according to international election observers from the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and Council of Europe.

“To fully live up to its democratic commitments, Turkey must do more than run efficient professional elections on the day of the vote,” said Pia Christmas-Moeller (Denmark), head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation.

“The ten per cent threshold, by far the highest in Europe, remains a central issue in these elections,” said Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden), head of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe delegation.

Ukraine: Yanukovych: New draft law on election to be submitted to Venice Commission | Ukraine News

Ukraine will forward the new draft law on elections to the Venice Commission, President Viktor Yanukovych said at a meeting with Director, Secretary of the European Commission for Democracy through Law Gianni Buquicchio, according to the Press office of President Viktor Yanukovych.

“Last year we adopted the Budget Code, Tax Code, and as I had promised, started working on the election law. To prepare it promptly, in advance, a large number of NGOs, political parties and international consultants are involved in this work,” Viktor Yanukovych said.

“A commission headed by Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych worked out a draft electoral law and we are ready to forward it to the Venice Commission,” he said.

Saint Kitts and Nevis: Elections Supervisor By-passes Electoral Commission Ruling | The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer

Supervisor of Elections Leroy Benjamin Sr. said the Electoral Commission does not have the authority to instruct him in regard to the reinstating of names on the Voters List.

On June 7, Mr. Benjamin responded to the Electoral Commission’s May 26 letter stating that names which Registration Officer Bernadette Lawrence had removed from the Voters List in Nevis were to remain. According to the Supervisor of Elections, the Commission could only supervise his work, not tell him how to carry out his duties.

“I am fully aware that the Commission shall supervise the Supervisor of Elections in the performance of his functions. But the operative word or duty is supervise and not the giving of directions,” Benjamin’s letter said.

Serbia: Dacic: Serbian elections will probably be held in March next year | EMG

President of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) Ivica Dacic said Saturday that he expects new elections in Serbia to be held in March the following year. He expects the SPS to do well at the elections, and possibly better than others.

At a meeting of the SPS Belgrade about new elections, held in the Serbian capital on Saturday, Dacic said the SPS would certainly not run in the elections to come third. He added that the latest attacks on the SPS in which the party had once again been associated with the family Slobodan Milosevic would not reduce the party’s rating.

The Voting News Daily: House to vote on repealing Election Assistance Commission set up after Bush-Gore, White Again Denied Immunity for Recount Commission Testimony

National: House to vote on repealing election commission set up after Bush-Gore | The Hill The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to repeal an election commission set up after the controversial 2000 presidential election. Members plan to vote on H.R. 672, which would repeal the Election Assistance Commission. That commission was established in…

Indiana: White Again Denied Immunity for Recount Commission Testimony | 93.1 WIBC Indianapolis

Secretary of State Charlie White has lost another preliminary round ahead of a Tuesday hearing on whether he can stay in office. Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg has rejected White’s request for immunity for his testimony at a Recount Commission hearing.

White’s facing a criminal trial in August on related charges, accusing him of voting from an address he’d already moved away from. Attorney Jim Bopp says allowing prosecutors to scour his testimony before the commission leaves him with “an unconscionable choice” between mounting his best defense in the criminal case or the election case.

Arizona: Arizona voter-registration law to be weighed by U.S. Court of Appeals | Arizona Republic

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit will hear arguments this afternoon surrounding Arizona’s 2004 voter-approved requirement that residents show proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

A three-judge panel of the Appeals Court ruled in October that the National Voter Registration Act pre-empts Arizona’s Proposition 200. Arizona appealed the ruling, and the court agreed to rehear the case “en banc” before an 11-judge panel of the court. The hearing is in Pasadena, Calif.

Among its provisions, the National Voter Registration Act creates a standard federal registration form that all states must accept. It requires applicants to sign a statement that they are citizens, but it does not require them to show any proof. Prop. 200 requires applicants, regardless of whether they are submitting a federal voter-registration form or a state one, to provide a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, tribal identification or naturalization certification number.

Indiana: White blames transient time for voting allegations | StamfordAdvocate

Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White is expected to paint a picture of a man with a complicated personal life who was essentially without a home for nearly a year when he defends himself against voter fraud allegations during an Indiana Recount Commission hearing.

But White’s tale of what he calls efforts to care for his son and respect the wishes of his then-fiancée may not hold sway with the commission, which is under a judge’s order to decide whether he illegally voted in the May 2010 primary while registered at his ex-wife’s address.

A ruling against White would invalidate his election and force his removal from office. He also could face jail time if convicted in a separate criminal case.

North Carolina: New legislation makes it easier for military overseas to vote | NewsObserver.com

Gov. Bev Perdue Monday signed into law model legislation that makes it easier for North Carolina military serving overseas to vote. Standing in front of dozens of National Guardsmen, Perdue said the legislation was part of North Carolina’s efforts to become make the state military friendly.

The bill mandates that absentee ballots be sent at least 60 days before a general election to military overseas. It would also apply to civilians stations overseas.

The measure, which had bipartisan support in the legislature, follows a model law approved last year by the Uniform Law Commission. A report by the Pew Commission of the States in 2009, found that many military stationed overseas did not have time to vote.

Indiana: Secretary of State Seeking ‘Use Immunity’ in Bid to Undermine His Own Prosecution for Voter Fraud | The Brad Blog

Having failed to prevent Tuesday’s scheduled hearing before the Indiana Recount Commission on a Democratic Party complaint that he was illegally registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy and thus, ineligible to have been elected as Indiana’s Sec. of State, Charlie White has filed a motion [PDF] to compel a grant of ‘use immunity’ in exchange for his and his wife’s testimony before the commission.

Separately, White is facing seven felony counts, including three for voter fraudrelated to his having been registered to vote at a house where he did not live, while serving as a member of a town council in a town where he also didn’t live. Trial in that criminal case is scheduled to commence on Aug. 8. The two special prosecutors assigned to the case have declined to provide the Whites with use immunity — with good reason. They no doubt want to avoid what happened to the Iran/Contra independent counsel when, for example, an appellate court ruled in United States vs. Col. Oliver North that a grant of use immunity to North shifted the burden to the independent prosecutor to “demonstrate an independent source for each item of evidence or testimony.”

Granting use immunity to White would make the job of the prosecutors in the criminal case that much more difficult.

National: House to vote on repealing election commission set up after Bush-Gore | The Hill

The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to repeal an election commission set up after the controversial 2000 presidential election. Members plan to vote on H.R. 672, which would repeal the Election Assistance Commission. That commission was established in 2002 after confusion and controversy over ballots in Florida for presidential election between then-Vice President Al Gore and then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

The commission was set up under the Help America Vote Act approved in 2002. That law created the commission, which set voting guidelines for states, and to distribute funds to states that could be used to update voting equipment.

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), the sponsor of H.R. 672, says repealing the commission would save $14 million a year and that it can safely be repealed because the commission’s work has been completed. He said that in 2010, the National Association of Secretaries of State renewed their request to repeal the EAC, which has “served its purpose.”

Wisconsin: Some Recall Voters Might Get Turned Away | WUWM

In three weeks, some Milwaukee voters will cast ballots in a recall of state Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills. Darling, five other Republicans and three Democratic Senators face recalls…either for their support or opposition to Gov. Walker’s collective bargaining bill. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, a few people who go to the polls could find themselves unable to vote because of a new state law.

One provision in the new Voter ID law the Legislature and governor approved in May, requires voters to have lived in their ward for 28 days. That means anyone who moved into their voting wards after June 14 is out of luck. However, Milwaukee Election Commissioner Sue Edman does not expect there to be much outrage at the polling places on July 12.

Wisconsin: County, city clerks prep for recalls | Fox11 WLUK-TV

County and city clerks are busy preparing for some unprecedented recall elections. Nine State Senators will fight for their seats over the next two months.

That includes three Democrats, Dave Hansen of Green Bay, Jim Holperin of Conover and Robert Wirch of Pleasant Prairie. There are also six Republicans, including Robert Cowles from Allouez, Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Luther Olsen of Ripon.

The unusual round of elections has county and city clerks on their toes. They’re working on ballots for a July 12th primary. “They’re at the printers now and they’re being prepared for printing,” Outagamie County Clerk Lori O’Bright explained. Only this primary is a bit different.

New Jersey: Fairfield candidates contest election results, blaming touch-screen machines | NJ.com

Fewer than 50 people stepped up to a single Sequoia touch-screen voting machine on Primary Election day. Admittedly, that’s a low voter turnout total but apparently enough to cause controversy. Due to the alleged unreliability of that brand of touch-screen voting machines, two candidates want the results voided and a recount or new election held.

Current Deputy Mayor Ernest Zirkle received nine votes and resident Cynthia Zirkle got 10. What’s more, 28 Fairfield residents who voted in the early June primary election have signed affidavits that state they voted for the Zirkles. So, sore losers or the fallibility of a much-discussed modern machine? It would seem to be the latter.

Missouri: Missouri Governor Vetoes Controversial Voter ID Bill | Campus Progress

A major victory for voting rights was handed down on Friday when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed controversial voter ID legislation. The bill, which would have required a photo ID to vote, was heavily opposed by many state and national groups, including Campus Progress, who joined with over 40 other organizations in signing on to a letter that was sent to the Governor on Friday before he handed down his veto. In vetoing the legislation, Governor Nixon joins Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Mark Dayton of Minnesota who also struck down photo ID bills passed earlier this year in their states. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has more on Nixon’s justification for the veto:

“In a letter explaining his veto, Nixon said the photo ID requirement would have hurt senior citizens and people with disabilities who are qualified to vote but are less likely to have a drivers license or other government-issued photo ID. ‘Disenfranchising certain classes of persons is not acceptable,’ he said.”

Indiana: Judge: White’s testimony at election panel can be used in court | The Indianapolis Star

Anything Secretary of State Charlie White says at an election hearing Tuesday can be used against him in his criminal case in Hamilton County, a Marion Circuit Court judge ruled this morning. White’s attorney, Jim Bopp, said he is considering fighting the ruling in the Court of Appeals. If he appeals, he would ask for an expedited ruling so Tuesday’s hearing could continue as planned.

The Indiana Recount Commission will hear arguments and testimony Tuesday regarding Democrats’ complaint that White was illegally registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy and shouldn’t be allowed to hold office. The Democrats say that White’s Democrat opponent, Vop Osili, should replace White.

Indiana: Democrats sights set on White at hearing | The Desert Sun

Secretary of State Charlie White will be asked today to publicly answer Democrats’ claims that he was illegally registered to vote last year when he declared his candidacy. The Indiana Recount Commission will hold a hearing this morning to hear testimony and arguments over whether he should be removed from office.

But it’s uncertain how many questions White, who is also facing felony charges that include voter fraud, will answer. A judge ruled Monday that anything he says can be used against him in the Hamilton County criminal case.