South Carolina: Compromise reached on South Carolina spending plan – no funding for presidential primary – State may use paper ballots | Westport News

Final deals agreed to Thursday on a $6 billion spending plan will give businesses a break on millions of dollars in unemployment tax collections and put millions more into public schools.

The budget conference committee also agreed not to put cash into South Carolina’s first-in-the-South Republican primary early next year and have left it unclear whether the state GOP will run the event with paper ballots.

The agreement means the House and Senate could accept the final plan on Wednesday and send it to Gov. Nikki Haley, who can veto what she doesn’t like. And she’s set the stage already by threatening to veto extra spending on schools or any taxpayer cash used for South Carolina Education Television or the state Arts Commission.

North Carolina: Final voter ID mandate appears headed for veto | BlueRidgeNow

Republican-backed legislation requiring North Carolina voters to show picture identification before casting a ballot they know will count is headed Thursday to the desk of Gov. Beverly Perdue, who sounds ready to veto the measure that fellow Democrats have called purely partisan.

The House agreed to minor changes to the bill approved Wednesday night by the Senate. The House vote of 62-51 was well short of the margin that would be needed to withstand a veto. Democrats have been critical of GOP efforts to place additional hurdles on voting in a state with history of civil rights restrictions during the Jim Crow era.

“The voter ID is clearly not in a form that the governor can support,” Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said.

Oklahoma: Voter ID law begins | Tulsa Today

Tulsa County Election Board Chairman Patty Bryant urges voters to be aware that effective July 1, 2011, State Question 746, also known as the “voter ID law,” and which was overwhelming approved by 74% of Oklahoma voters, goes into effect. Voters should know that when they go to vote after July 1, 2011, every voter will be asked for proof of identity whether they are voting at the polls or voting early at the County Election Board.

Documents used for proof of identity for voting purposes must have been issued by the federal, state, or a tribal government and must include the voter’s name, photograph, and an expiration date after the date of the election.  Voters also may use their voter identification card or a temporary voter identification document issued by the County Election Board.

Minnesota: Tom Emmer sends checks from campaign fund to reimburse counties for recount expenses | MinnPost

Thanks to recent Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, the check really is in the mail for Minnesota counties waiting to get repaid for their recount expenses.

When Emmer heard that around 20 counties were still waiting for the state Republican Party to reimburse them, he contacted the county auditors directly and sent them checks from the balance in the Tom Emmer for Governor campaign fund – about $20,000 to $25,000, he estimated.

“This is not my responsibility, but I feel it’s my obligation,” he said.

New Jersey: Morris County New Jersey freeholder race remains in doubt as recount finds 4 Parsippany residents voted twice | Daily Record

A manual recount today of 1,605 absentee ballots reduced Morris County Republican freeholder candidate William Hank Lyon’s slim primary lead over incumbent Margaret Nordstrom to just six votes, down from last week’s tally of 10.

But the race is hardly over, as a new wrinkle has emerged in that county election workers have discovered that four Republicans registered in Parsippany voted twice, both by absentee and provisional ballots, and the state Attorney General’s Office has been asked for guidance.

Illinois: Illinois Rep. Chris Nybo Sponsors Bill to Help Disabled Veterans Exercise Their Right to Vote | Elmhurst, IL Patch

In the final weeks of the 97th General Assembly regular session, state Rep. Chris Nybo (R-41, Elmhurst) was chief sponsor of Senate Bill 98, a measure to ensure disabled veterans residing in federally operated veterans homes and hospitals are able to exercise their right to vote. The bill unanimously passed the Illinois Senate and House and awaits the governor’s signature.

“Every veteran, especially those who are incapacitated, should be afforded the opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” Nybo said. “Given the sacrifices these men and women have made for our country and for our freedom, every means necessary should be employed to ensure their voices are heard in our democracy.”

Kansas: Kobach lauds new elections law | Wichita Eagle

Kansas became the safest state in the nation in terms of voter security when legislators passed his Secure and Fair Elections Act, Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday. “We went from one of the most vulnerable to the No. 1 state in America,” he said.

Kobach’s comments came during an address at a Sedgwick County Republican Party meeting at the Wichita Area Builders Association office at 730 N. Main.

Kobach said the act has three parts, the first of which goes into effect next year and will require voters to show a photo ID when voting in person.

Bangladesh: Election Commission recast a big challenge in Bangladesh |

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) has suggested holding one or two general elections under the caretaker government system until a strong Election Commission is formed.

“Reorganisation of the EC to make it acceptable to all after the present one will be a big political challenge,” party president Hasanul Haque Inu said during a dialogue with the EC on Thursday.

The leftist party also favoured phased introduction of electronic voting machine (EVM) in elections.

Nevada: North Las Vegas winner to review legal options |

Wade Wagner, who won election to the North Las Vegas City Council by one vote last week, is considering his legal options after the council decided Wednesday not to certify the election results, a member of his campaign said.

“It has to happen pretty quickly,” campaign spokesman Dan Hart said, ensuring Wagner and his team would decide whether to pursue a case within the next couple of days. Wagner disagrees with the council’s call for a revote , but incumbent Richard Cherchio said he supported the council’s decision after the meeting.

In the Ward 4 race, Wagner received 1,831 votes versus Cherchio’s 1,830.

Massachusetts: Wait — Did Mitt Romney Commit Voter Fraud? | Boston Magazine

Last year, the presidential hopeful cast a ballot for Scott Brown for U.S. Senate. One problem: Romney may not have been living here at the time. Or so says Fred Karger, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate who’s filed a complaint with state election officials, a hard copy of which I have from Karger’s office. Here’s Karger’s complaint:

Romney and his wife, Ann, bought a home in La Jolla, Calif., in 2008 for $12.5 million. A year later, they sold their $3.5 million place in Belmont and, according to Karger, took up residency, well, it’s not really clear where they took it up, except it didn’t seem to be in Massachusetts. By 2009, Mitt was sort of campaigning and sort of on his book tour. Home was wherever he finished the day. Sometimes it was in California. Sometimes, Karger says, and the National Journal bears this out, it was in New Hampshire. But it probably wasn’t in Massachusetts.

Colorado: Saguache clerk cleared in election investigation | The Pueblo Chieftain

A statewide grand jury cleared Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Melinda Myers of any criminal wrongdoing in the November election, according to a report released through the Colorado Attorney General’s Office Tuesday.

“The results of the 2010 general election were a product of the votes of the citizens of Saguache County and were not affected by individual violations of the procedural rules by the clerk and others,” the report concluded.

Myers said in a written statement she hoped the findings would put the election controversy to rest and provide citizens with confidence that the will of the voters was reflected in the election.

Editorials: Focus on Charlie White hearing | The Indianapolis Star

Allowing cameras in the Indiana Recount Commission’s hearing on Secretary of State Charlie White’s eligibility to hold that office is the right decision.
Indiana’s Open Door Law clearly gives the public the right to “observe and record” meetings of governing bodies of state and local public agencies. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld that right in its 1989 decision in Berry v. Peoples Broadcasting Corp., where the court said cameras and tape recorders could not be banned from public meetings.

One can appreciate that White and his wife, Michele, may be uncomfortable testifying about where they lived or slept at particular time, but that’s a key element in the question as to where White lived and where he should have voted in the 2010 election.

The public’s right to know whether one of the top elected officials should be removed from office, overturning the election result, trumps the uneasiness witnesses may experience knowing their testimony is being videorecorded.

Editorials: Robert M. Brandon: Have You Checked Your Right to Vote Lately? | Hufffington Post

Over the past few years, many states have attempted to implement restrictive photo identification laws. The debate surrounding this legislation is now familiar — those supporting such laws state that a government-issued photo ID is needed to board a plane, rent a movie, or purchase cold medicine. Opponents point out that none of those activities are fundamental rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, and that certain groups — the poor, minorities, the elderly, the disabled — are far less likely to have the required types of ID.

It is easy to block out both sides of the argument, attributing it to the noise of partisan political bickering, especially if you are part of the fortunate 89% of the country that does have a valid driver’s license.

Colorado: No indictments issued in Saguache election | Valley Courier

The grand jury report on the Saguache County 2010 General Election was released Tuesday afternoon by the State Attorney General’s Office but no indictments were returned in the investigation.

The report relates that Saguache County Clerk Melinda Myers did admit during her testimony that she failed to follow the Secretary of State (SOS) rules during the election.

In commentary submitted to the grand jury following its decision, Myers stated that she was “encouraged to see the conclusions so well explained and hope that we can finally put this election to rest.”

Colorado: Editorial: Restore Saguache voters’ faith with public recount | The Denver Post

A statewide grand jury’s finding that Saguache County’s controversial elections last fall ultimately were decided correctly should reassure local residents. Members of the panel went through events in minute detail and wrote a report that persuasively explains how procedural problems did not affect the outcome of the election.

It seems that information and transparency can go a long way toward defusing an explosive situation. We wish Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Melinda Myers, who was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, would fully embrace that message.

Myers remains engaged in a court battle with Secretary of State Scott Gessler over his plan to hold a public recounting of votes in that election.

South Carolina: GOP’s early voting opposition may nix Haley agenda in South Carolina | The Item: AP

It appears almost certain that lawmakers won’t be able to push through the government restructuring legislation wanted by Gov. Nikki Haley, as Democrats have vowed to block it unless Republicans compromise on early voting.

That’s an issue that Republicans generally are dead-set against. GOP lawmakers won’t be able to pass a resolution that allows them to consider Haley’s proposal without the support of at least some Democrats. Haley had hoped the House and Senate could get her legislation approved when they return to the Statehouse today for wrap-up on the budget and redrawing election district lines.

North Carolina: Voter ID requirement passes North Carolina Senate |

Over protests that they would effectively disenfranchise thousands of voters, the state Senate Wednesday night passed a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID. The bill passed along party lines 31-19. It now goes back to the House for agreement on minor changes.

Meanwhile a House committee passed a bill that includes sweeping changes in election law, including eliminating Sunday early voting and same-day registration.

Both bills are expected to get final approval this week and go on to Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat.

North Carolina: GOP seeks sweeping election law rewrite |

Just days from the end of session, House Republican leaders have unveiled a massive rewrite of the state’s election laws. Senate Bill 47, introduced with little notice in House Elections this afternoon, would repeal same-day registration in North Carolina, ban straight-ticket voting, shorten the early-voting period by a week, and ban early voting on Sundays (popular with churches for “Souls to the Polls” voting drives).

It would also repeal publicly-financed elections for the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Insurance Commissioner and Treasurer.

The measure also makes changes to campaign finance, creating a new type of account at political parties – a “headquarters” account – that could accept corporate money for operational support, though not for electioneering purposes.

Arizona: County validates more than enough signatures for AZ Senate President Pearce recall election | Arizona Capitol Times

Elections officials in Maricopa County have so far verified as valid more than 8,000 signatures submitted by a group seeking to recall Senate President Russell Pearce.

This means it’s almost certain that a special election will take place – most likely this November – since the recall group, Citizens for a Better Arizona, only needs 7,756 valid signatures.

Karen Osborne, director of elections for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, said her office has so far gone through about 13,600 signatures and validated 8,239 of them as of today.

Australia: Pauline Hanson had no choice but to challenge election loss, a judge says | The Australian

Pauline Hanson had no option but to go to court to challenge the outcome of upper house voting in the NSW election after receiving information alleging a fraud had taken place, a judge has said.

In the NSW Supreme Court today, Justice Peter McClellan was deliberating on costs in the failed legal action taken by the former One Nation leader. Ms Hanson could face a huge legal bill if she incurs the costs racked up by the NSW Electoral Commission and two upper house MPs involved in the action.

Justice McClellan expressed the initial view that Ms Hanson had no other option than to present her evidence to the court after receiving an email alleging the fraud.

Australia: Taxpayers could wear Hanson court costs

Pauline Hanson is relieved that NSW taxpayers may be forced to pick up hefty legal costs stemming from her botched state election challenge. The former One Nation leader had faced the prospect of paying the likely hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees incurred by the parties called to answer her case. But the NSW…

India: Electronic Voting Machine scan to clear doubts | The Telegraph

With several political parties voicing doubts on the functioning of electronic voting machines, the Election Commission has decided to conduct a field trial of the Vote Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system in five locations in the country, including Cherrapunjee, by the end of July.

The VVPAT will ensure that the voting machine prints a paper ballot or facsimile, which can be verified by the voter. This audit trail will help the electorate examine how their votes were cast and tabulated.

Turkey: Prime Ministry working to enable Turkish expats to vote | World Bulletin

The Prime Ministry’s Overseas Turks Agency (TYB) has begun working on making it possible for around 2.5 million Turkish expats to vote in Turkey’s elections. In March, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced that Turkish expatriates can only vote in the general elections at customs gates, causing displeasure among Turks in many countries.

Only about 10 percent of Turkey’s 2.5 million expats make the effort to go to the border to cast their vote. The YSK said it cannot allow electronic voting at Turkish missions abroad because the infrastructure for it is not yet in place.

Laos: Laos’ National Assembly re-elects President Choummaly, PM Thongsing |

Laos’seventh National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday re-elected General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Choummaly Sayasone as president of Laos, and the party’s Politburo member Thongsing Thammavong as prime minister.

NA members voted in the country’s senior leaders during the assembly’s first session, which opened on Wednesday morning at the NA building in the Lao capital of Vientiane .

The Voting News Daily: Octogenarian Former GOP State Rep To Run As Fake ‘Democrat’ In Wisconsin Recalls, Fred Karger’s Voter Fraud Allegations Against Mitt Romney

Wisconsin: Octogenarian Former GOP State Rep To Run As Fake ‘Democrat’ In Wisconsin Recalls | TPMDC Don’t let anyone say there isn’t bipartisanship in Wisconsin. The newest example of Wisconsin Republicans recruiting fake Democratic candidates, to force Dem primaries and make trouble in the state Senate recalls: Otto Junkermann, an 82-year old former Republican state…

Wisconsin: Octogenarian Former GOP State Rep To Run As Fake ‘Democrat’ In Wisconsin Recalls | TPMDC

Don’t let anyone say there isn’t bipartisanship in Wisconsin.

The newest example of Wisconsin Republicans recruiting fake Democratic candidates, to force Dem primaries and make trouble in the state Senate recalls: Otto Junkermann, an 82-year old former Republican state representative, who will challenge official Democratic candidate Nancy Nusbaum for the recall against GOP state Sen. Rob Cowles.

As the Green Bay Press Gazette reports, Junkermann very openly professes to support Cowles:

Otto Junkermann, 82 of Allouez, said he thinks “very highly” of Cowles, a Republican also from Allouez, and will run against Nusbaum as a “conservative Democrat.”

“I respect Rob a great deal. I’ve known him, I followed him into the Assembly and took the position he had when he went into the Senate, and I always admired him,” Junkermann said.

Junkermann served in the Assembly as a Republican for one term from 1987-88. He was also a Brown County supervisor from 1982-87 and ran again in 2002, 2004 and 2008 but lost.

Massachusetts: Fred Karger’s Voter Fraud Allegations Against Mitt Romney | The Daily Caller

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president, is facing allegations that he committed fraud when he voted in the January 2010 Massachusetts special election. The allegations come from fellow Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger, a self-desribed “old opposition research campaign consultant” who is running a long-shot campaign.

Karger filed a complaint Monday with the State of Massachusetts, asking that Romney be investigated for registering to vote from an address that he did not live at. During the special election Romney was living in one of two places, and neither of them was in Massachusetts, Karger alleges.

Indiana: White seeks to ban TV cameras in Recount Commission hearing | The Indianapolis Star

Tuesday’s hearing on Charlie White’s eligibility to serve as Indiana Secretary of State will be streamed online, the Indiana Recount Commission decided today.

White’s attorney expressed that some questions at the hearing might be inappropriate in reference to his sex life. Commission members said if that’s the case the cameras can be turned off.

Also, the commission denied a request by that White’s wife, Michelle, that not to be subpoenaed to testify because of the possibility of self-incrimination. The commission said she must show up and assert her Fifth Amendment rights.