Missouri: State voting bill lessens workload for Missouri county clerks | SouthCountyMail.com

If people think all legislative bills are designed to make people’s lives harder, an introduction to Senate Bill 282 should dispel that myth. This new piece of legislation would make it unnecessary for county clerks to go through absentee ballots to make sure no ballot cast by a recently-deceased voter is counted on election day.

Under the old rules, absentee voters, who may have cast their ballot up to six weeks in advance, must be alive when polls open on election day. Clerks had to check obituaries for votes cast by the recently deceased, confirm the death with the Department of Health, then throw those ballots out.

If Gov. Jay Nixon signs the bill, it will be welcome news to Webster County Clerk Stan Whitehurst, who worried that the rules were not always evenly applied.

Minnesota: Board approves technology to make life easier for Anoka County election officials | ABC Newspapers

New technology designed to make life easier for election officials throughout Anoka County has been approved by the Anoka County Board. The board accepted a two-year subscription contract with InTech Software Solutions, Inc., for use of MODUS Election Manager software. The cost to the county is $31,582 for this year and $67,180 for 2012.

Essentially, the new software system will store in one data base election information needed not only by county election officials, but the city clerks who run the elections in the county’s municipalities. According to Cindy Reichert, county elections manager, the system is designed to manage only logistics and election operations.

“It does not contain data concerning votes cast or voter information,” Reichert said.

Iowa: Democrats file ethics complaint against Iowa Secretary of State | Iowa Caucuses

The Iowa Democratic Party today filed an ethics complaint against Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz, alleging he used public resources to advocate against a candidate.

Schultz earlier this week issued a statement criticizing former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman for saying he plans to skip the 2012 Iowa caucuses if he runs for the Republican presidential nomination.

Democrats believe that Schultz’s release attacks specific policy positions of Huntsman and violates state law that prohibits the use of public money to advocate political purposes. Democrats filed their complaint with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

Moldova: Communist MPs allege election fraud | Morning Star

Communist MPs and their supporters rallied outside parliament in Chisinau on Thursday over alleged irregularities in elections which gave a boost to the country’s ruling pro-European Union coalition.

Protesters chanted: “Down with the Central Election Commission” and “Down with the Alliance,” referring to the governing three-party Alliance for European Integration (AEI).

The election commission says that the AEI won about 57 per cent of the vote in local councils last Sunday, while the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) took nearly a third of the vote – more than any other single party.


Jamaica: Electoral Commission of Jamaica to get power to prescribe electoral boundaries | Jamaica Information Service

The House of Representatives has adopted a proposal to amend existing legislation to empower the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) to prescribe electoral division boundaries, and prohibit the publication of a new list of electors between nomination day and Election Day.

Piloting the proposals, which are contained in an ECJ report to Parliament, Leader of Government Business in the House, Hon. Andrew Holness, on June 7, explained that this would require amendments to the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act; the Parish Councils Act, and the Representation of the People’s Act.

Tanzania: Kikwete promises to resolve National Electoral Commission hitches – highlights need for more election workers | ippmedia.com

President Jakaya Kikwete has promised to solve four challenges facing the National Electoral Commission (NEC) in order to enable it to improve its performance.

Kikwete made the commitments yesterday in Dar es Salaam soon after he received the report on last October’s General Election which was handed to him by the NEC Chairman Judge (rtd) Lewis Makame during a short ceremony held at State House. Speaking soon after receiving the report, Kikwete thanked Judge Makame and members of the Commission.

While commending the commission for the job well done during the elections where CCM emerged the winner, the President said: “The work was done very well; it was a great job. We thank and congratulate you for it.”

India: Indo-Nepal election management pact signed | The Hindu

A Memorandum of Understanding for mutual cooperation in election management between India and Nepal was signed by Chief Election Commissioner of India S.Y. Quraishi and his Nepal counterpart Neel Kantha Uprety in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

The agreement covers exchange of knowledge/experience in the electoral process, exchange of material and expertise, training of personnel, production and dissemination of materials, voting technology and conducting voters’ education and awareness programmes.

The Voting News Daily: Estonian Parliament Sets up E-Voting Working Group, Voter ID bill easily passes North Carolina House

Estonia: Estonian Parliament Sets up E-Voting Working Group | ERR On June 9, the Parliament’s Constitutional Committee established a working group tasked with shoring up regulations related to the country’s much-touted e-voting system. … Though Estonia’s groundbreaking national e-voting system, introduced in 2005, is widely considered reliable by international observers, it came under fire last month…

Estonia: Estonian Parliament Sets up E-Voting Working Group | ERR

On June 9, the Parliament’s Constitutional Committee established a working group tasked with shoring up regulations related to the country’s much-touted e-voting system.

… Though Estonia’s groundbreaking national e-voting system, introduced in 2005, is widely considered reliable by international observers, it came under fire last month after an OSCE review found a number of legal and procedural holes in the way it was being used.

In early June, the Tallinn City Government filed a motion with the Supreme Court to abolish e-voting at future local elections, citing many of the same concerns.

North Carolina: Voter ID bill easily passes North Carolina House | CharlotteObserver.com

North Carolina would join 13 other states requiring voters to show a photo ID under a bill passed Thursday by the Republican-led N.C. House. The measure passed 66-48 along party lines, despite Democratic protests that it would decrease turnout.

Some critics invoked comparisons to Jim Crow-era voting barriers. The bill now goes to the Senate, which is expected to endorse it. It would then go to Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.

National: Outdated and Failing: Modernizing Our Voting System for the Rising Electorate | Rock the Vote Blog

Day after day, from college campuses to high school classrooms, we hear stories about needless bureaucratic barriers that prevent young people from voting. For young Americans, the greatest barrier to participation is the out-dated process itself. Our complicated registration process varies state-by-state, and our country’s antiquated, paper-based electoral system is riddled with restrictive rules and red tape that don’t reflect advances in technology or meet the needs of modern life.

You’d think that the most basic element of our democracy – the very right to participate in our government that is guaranteed to all of us – would be something we would constantly work to improve. Yet somehow voting is an archaic ordeal, inconsistently implemented from place to place, and disturbingly, manipulated by whether people in power want someone like you to show up at the polls.

It doesn’t need to be this hard to vote.

National: Debunking Misinformation on Photo ID | Brennan Center for Justice

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed (“The Case for Voter ID”) by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  In the piece, Kobach touts restrictive voter ID bills, including the Kansas “Secure and Fair Elections Act,” which he drafted and Governor Sam Brownback signed into law a few weeks ago.  Kobach argues that (1) voter ID laws will not actually prevent any eligible citizens from voting; and (2) they will prevent in-person voter fraud, which he claims is a substantial problem.

But his arguments are built on inaccuracies, unsupported allegations, and flawed reasoning.  Because Kobach takes direct aim at the Brennan Center in this op-ed, we thought a thorough review of his claims was in order. We sent a letter to the editors at the Journal rebutting some of his claims, but the paper did not publish it.

Alabama: Voter ID bill passes Alabama Senate | Anniston Star

The Alabama Senate passed a bill 22-10 Thursday that would require voters to present photo identification at the polls. In a brief debate — limited to about 20 minutes by Senate leadership — supporters described the bill as a way to provide security to a crucial part of the democratic process.

“When you go to a convenience store, boarding a plane, or going to a courthouse, you have to show photo ID,” said Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, a supporter of the bill.

Opponents of the bill questioned the cost of implementing it in a year of budget hardship. Allen said the bill would cost the state approximately $250,000 in new equipment. One critic of the bill, Sen. Tammy Irons, D-Florence, said the bill would likely cost more in advertising to get the word out about the ID requirement.

New Jersey: Malfunctioning Voting Machines Delay Primary Results in Somerset County NJ | Basking Ridge, NJ Patch

Somerset County’s primary election polls may have closed Tuesday night at 8 p.m., but the results were not posted online until Wednesday morning.

With several county districts experiencing malfunctioning machines and a few close races (including a nine-vote difference in a Branchburg race), County Clerk Brett Radi explained, “I didn’t post them because we still had some ballots that needed to be added. I didn’t want to have results that didn’t reflect what was really going on.”

“We just didn’t do a final update, because we didn’t have the ‘emergencies’ [emergency ballots used when machines malfunction],” he noted.

New Jersey: Faulty parts delay election results in Middlesex County NJ | MyCentralJersey.com

It was late Tuesday night — hours after the polls closed for the primary elections — and some candidates still had yet to learn the final vote tally. That’s because municipal clerks in Monroe, Plainsboro, South River and Woodbridge, many of whom started their day at 5 a.m., clocked out without ever learning the unofficial results because of an issue with some of the voting machines.

“To work those kind of hours and not be able to give the candidates their results is frustrating,” Monroe Township Clerk Sharon Doerfler said.

In Monroe, four of the voting machines were printing illegible numbers that ran over the top of one another. Like every other municipality, Monroe’s poll workers received an emergency number to call in the event of a malfunctioning voter machine.

New Jersey: Computer snag delays Montclair NJ Primary Election vote tally | NorthJersey.com

Due to a computer-software glitch, Montclair still didn’t have its Primary Election results as of Wednesday afternoon, and was doubtful about having them by the end of yesterday.

“A nightmare. Never had this happen before,” Township Deputy Clerk Carla Horowitz said Tuesday night as the township was struggling to tally the local results after a computer program went awry.

Late Wednesday morning, the Clerk’s Office still wasn’t able to get an accurate count of Montclair’s votes and the municipal Information Technology officer was away, so he couldn’t help.

“We worked on it this morning,” Horowitz said. “The program seems to be working a little bit better.”

North Carolina: Passionate debate resumes on North Carolina’s voter ID bill | Times Union

North Carolina House Republicans are trying to pass legislation that demands people show photo identification before they enter a voting booth, even though it appears the measure would face a veto from Gov. Beverly Perdue.

The House returned Thursday to debate further a politically divisive voter ID bill after the Republican-led chamber conducted the first of two required votes just before midnight Wednesday following just a few minutes of debate.

The bill was tentatively approved on a 67-50 party-line vote, but the GOP margin falls a few votes shy of overcoming any potential veto. Perdue’s office has been critical of the legislation, and Democrats and voting rights advocates have called it a veiled method to suppress voting among blacks, older adults and women.

North Carolina: More debate expected on Voter ID bill in NC | Beaumont Enterprise

North Carolina House Republicans are trying to pass legislation that demands people show photo identification before they enter a voting booth, even though it appears the measure would face a veto from Gov. Beverly Perdue.

The House was expected Thursday to discuss the voter ID bill more after the Republican-led chamber conducted the first of two required votes just before midnight Wednesday following just a few minutes of debate.

National: Three More Jurisdictions To ‘Bailout’ From Special Voting Rights Act Supervision | The Blog of Legal Times

A Virginia city, a California irrigation district and a Texas drainage district are the latest places to come to an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on exiting special supervision under the federal Voting Rights Act.

Today, DOJ announced it had reached agreements with the City of Bedford, Va. (PDF) and the Alta Irrigation District in California (PDF) on approving their “bailout” from special supervision; three-judge panels in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia are expected to approve both petitions.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel approved a bailout (PDF) for Jefferson County Drainage District No. 7 in Texas. The Justice Department had agreed to that petition in April.

Arizona: Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne angry at feds’ brief in support of 9th Circuit decision | Arizona Republic

Arizona State Attorney General Tom Horne is blasting President Barack Obama for getting involved in another Arizona lawsuit. The federal government has filed court documents supporting a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to strike down Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that residents provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

The court ruled that the National Voter Registration Act pre-empts Arizona’s Proposition 200, which was passed by voters in 2004. The state successfully asked the court to reconsider the decision and an 11-member judge panel of the Appeals Court will rehear it June 21 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 does not require them to show any proof.

Editorials: Dems, GOP, Each See Upper Hand in Voter ID Debate | PoliticsPA

It’s been put off for this week, but when lawmakers return from recess they’ll likely take up debate on a law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. We took a look at arguments for and against the bill when it was introduced. Today, we take a look at the politics.

Each party is digging in, and each sees itself with the upper hand in the battle for public opinion.

The measure, introduced by State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe and most popular among conservatives and tea partiers, aims to tackle voter fraud. Proponents say the bill would eliminate voting by people not registered, people voting multiple times, illegal immigrants voting and most of the horror stories they hear about elections in inner-city Philadelphia.

Editorials: Voters need to be able to register at polls | NJ.com

Gabriela G., Annalee S. and Ed V. are Rutgers University students who eagerly went to the polls to vote in the November 2008 general election. All three had registered to vote, prior to the 21-day deadline, from their college addresses.

However, when they went to cast their ballots, they were surprised to find that their names were not on the voting lists. They were directed to either leave the polling place or to vote by paper provisional ballots, which are checked post-election against the voting rolls. However, they were not informed of the strong likelihood that their provisional ballots would be thrown out, since their names were not in the system.


Editorials: A vote here and a vote there | Idaho Mountain Express

It’s not news that the people with political power do their best to maintain it. Making sure people vote is democracy at work. Erecting barriers to keep others from voting is called voter suppression, and that’s exactly what the Republican right is up to in 2011.

To date, 23 states—including Idaho—have passed or are considering new requirements that voters produce picture identification when they come to the polls. Without such proof, a voter in Idaho must sign a document swearing to his or her identity. The penalty for swearing falsely is perjury, a felony.

Australia: Star witness in Hanson case fronts court | ABC News

A Sydney teacher and father of three who allegedly led Pauline Hanson to believe her New South Wales election result had been sabotaged has appeared in court. Sean Castle appeared in the NSW Supreme Court and apologised for not showing up when required to on Wednesday.

“My name is Sean Castle. I have represented myself as being Michael Rattner,” he said. “Firstly, I sincerely apologise to the Supreme Court for my conduct in not attending the court on June 8. “I’ve given an undertaking today to the court that I will attend any further hearings as required by the court until excused by the court.”

Earlier this week, a warrant was issued for a man identified as Michael Rattner after he failed to appear to give evidence in the case.

Australia: Three characters in search of a Hanson recount may be one person | The Australian

It’s got all the makings of a great thriller: the politician locked in a desperate legal battle with a mystery builder, a fake journalist and a former history teacher with a hidden agenda.

But for Pauline Hanson, this story is not likely to end as she had hoped. And it seems certain that it will not end well for the man who has allegedly assumed three identities in his bid to prompt a recount of upper house votes from the NSW election.

Yesterday, Ms Hanson’s lawyers and Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham publicly aired their concern that key witness Michael Rattner, supposed journalist Michael Wilson and Hanson supporter Sean Castle — all of whom are central to the former One Nation leader’s push for a recount of votes from the March election — are the same person.

Pennsylvania: South Greensburg PA councilwoman refuses to concede primary | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

South Greensburg Councilwoman Linda Iezzi on Wednesday refused to concede in her race to secure one of two Democratic nominations for Westmoreland County commissioner. “I have to talk to my lawyer,” Iezzi said as she weighed a potential recount of votes cast in the May 17 primary.

The county Elections Board yesterday preliminarily certified the results of the race, declaring incumbent Commissioner Ted Kopas of Hempfield and Mt. Pleasant Mayor Gerald Lucia as winners of the Democratic primary for county commissioner. Lucia, the long-time mayor of Mt. Pleasant Borough and its fire chief, finished 74 votes ahead of Iezzi.

Pennsylvania: After Recount, Boockvar Wins Commonwealth Court Primary

Bucks County lawyer Kathryn Boockvar was confirmed as the winner of the Democratic Commonwealth Court primary on Wednesday following an automatic recount. Boockvar beat Pittsburgh attorney Barbara Behrend Ernsberger by a margin of 0.3 percent, getting 311,732 votes to Ernsberger’s 309,680. Boockvar will now face Republican and fellow Bucks County attorney Anne Covey in the general election this fall.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carol Aichele ordered the recount last month pursuant to Act 97 of 2004, which mandates that the votes be re-tallied whenever the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent.

K. Kevin Murphy, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, said last month that the estimated cost of a recount is nearly $500,000, based on $50 per ballot box multiplied by 9,248 districts.

Delaware: Don’t toy with the US Constitution | delawareonline.com

Once again, the Delaware General Assembly is tinkering with a new way of picking presidents. And, once again, we still say it is a bad idea.

House Bill 55 follows something called the National Popular Vote. It would swing Delaware’s three Electoral College votes to whoever wins the popular vote across the nation.

In other words, if the total popular vote from every state across the nation picked Donald Trump to be president, then Delaware’s Electoral College votes would go to him even if Barack Obama won the vote here.

West Virginia: Commission president demands proof of fraud in Kanawha County election challenge | Charleston Daily Mail

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper is asking that failed Democratic mayoral candidate Janet “J.T” Thompson bring evidence to the commission regarding her allegations of voter fraud by the county clerk.

Carper had a strongly worded letter hand-delivered to Thompson Wednesday. In the letter, Carper asks Thompson to publicly present evidence of her claims.

“If you do not have proof of these allegations through evidence, I would recommend you withdraw your contestation and apologize,” he wrote in the letter. “I’ll call a special meeting for her to come in if I have to,” he said when reached by phone Wednesday.

Indiana: Clarksville Indiana recount set | News and Tribune

Clark County’s Circuit Court has set a date and named a commission to recount the votes in the Democratic primary election for Clarksville’s Clerk-Treasurer.

Bob Leuthart edged out Gary Hall in the race to be the Democratic representative in November’s general election by 26 votes, receiving 880 votes to Hall’s 854 votes.