Editorials: Scot Ross: Why voter ID bill may be unconstitutional | CapTimes

We believe Wisconsin’s new voter ID law is overly burdensome on voters and that the state is simply unequipped to administer this law and ensure legal voters will not be disenfranchised or subject to a poll tax. We continue to confer with legal counsel about what potential legal challenges can be made against Gov. Scott Walker’s voter suppression bill.

The bill originally was based on Indiana’s voter ID bill. According to the U.S. Supreme Court case upholding Indiana’s bill, the lower court found that “99 percent of Indiana’s voting age population already possesses the necessary photo identification to vote under the requirements.” The Supreme Court concluded that Indiana’s law was constitutional, specifically because so few Indianans were without the state-issued photo identification.

Wisconsin: Election officials wary over cost, implementation of Wisconsin voter ID bill | LaCrosse Tribune

Election officials across Wisconsin are bracing for a difficult transition as the state rushes into place new rules for voting signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday — including a controversial measure requiring voters to use photo identification.

Passage of the law, which has been discussed by Republicans for more than a decade, means those charged with enforcing it have less than two months to develop and implement the training needed to handle polls in the coming recall elections.

“This will be a huge undertaking, to get everything and everybody ready,” said Diane Hermann-Brown, Sun Prairie city clerk and president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association. “We still have questions about how this will work.”

Texas: After Six-Year Fight, Perry Signs Texas Voter ID into Law | Texas Observer

After six years of fierce partisan battling, the legislative war over voter ID in Texas is officially over. Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter ID bill into law this morning. The legislation requires voters to present one of five acceptable forms of photo ID—a drivers license, military ID, passport, concealed handgun license or a special voter ID card provided free of charge by the state. Gov. Perry designated voter ID as an “emergency item” early in the session, giving it particular priority as lawmakers rushed it through the legislative process.

… The bill signed today enacts a voter ID law more stringent than its counterparts in other states. Unlike Indiana’s law—which the bill was largely based on—Texas’ voter ID law doesn’t recognize student IDs as acceptable forms of voter identification and it gives people with a missing an ID only six days to produce one in order for their vote to count.

California: Report finds Santa Clara County California mail-in ballot hiccup may have impacted local races | Inside Bay Area

Santa Clara County election officials sent more than 7,500 mail ballots to the wrong addresses during last June’s election, unwittingly canceling votes cast by some South Bay residents even as those living out of state received ballots.

A report released Friday from the county’s civil grand jury concludes the Registrar of Voters does not follow the proper procedures to avoid errors when mailing out ballots to people who have recently moved.

Florida: Tampa’s election cost much less than expected | TBO.com

With a packed ballot, two weeks of early voting and several runoffs, Tampa officials were bracing for a hefty price tag from the recent citywide elections. As it turns out, those costs won’t be as much as expected.

Figures from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office indicate the March 1 election cost $747,748, including expenses for early voting and the runoff elections. That’s about $250,000 lower than the original estimates for the election, which Elections spokesman Travis Abercrombie attributed to keeping the staffing costs under control.

Kenya: 2012 electronic voting plan receives support of Kenyan MPs | Nairobi Star

MPs want the electronic voting system put in place in readiness for the 2012 general election. Several MPs yesterday supported a motion by Karachuonyo MP James Rege for the government to facilitate the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to develop an electronic system for collection, collation, transmission and tallying of electronic data.

Cabinet minister Otieno Kajwang rooted for the passage and adoption of Rege’s motion which he said will help weed out electoral malpractices. He said an electronic voting system will facilitate the release of instant results after an election.

Philippines: Watchdog says vote-buying rampant in Ilocos Sur Philippines special polls | Inquirer News

The special election Saturday for the Ilocos Sur congressional seat vacated by Ronald Singson was peaceful despite reports of rampant vote-buying, the head of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting said.

Henrietta de Villa, PPCRV chair, said that the election watchdog’s local volunteers reported many incidents of vote-buying and barangay officials entering poll precincts while voters were casting their votes in Ilocos Sur’s first congressional district.

India: Voter ID registration drive in India from June 6 | The Times of India

The district administration has geared up to launch the voter ID registration drive ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections to be held next year. Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) and NGOs will also be roped in to raise awareness among voters about the importance of the voter ID cards.

The drive will start from June 6 and residents can register themselves at the nearest election booth. District magistrate, Deepak Aggarwal stated that people can approach the nearest booth with the essential documents so that the Election Commission directives are fulfilled.

Canada: Vancouver voters will not be casting ballots online in November | The Province

Internet voting won’t be a part of the political process in this November’s civic election in Vancouver, The Province has learned. The mayor’s office was notified earlier this week.

… [R]isks include: the vulnerability of Internet voting to service disruptions or hacker attacks; authentication of voter identity without jeopardizing anonymity of the vote; and protecting voters from intimidation or coercion when they are exercising their franchise away from the transparent environment of a physical voting place,” said the letter acquired by The Province.

Minnesota: Minnesota governor vetoes voter identification bill | Reuters

Democratic Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have required voters to provide photo identification to cast votes. Dayton cited a lack of broad bi-partisan support for the bill and its potential as a $23 million unfunded mandate on local governments in part for his veto. The Republican-led Legislature had sent the bill to him on Monday.

… Dayton said he did not believe voter fraud to be a significant problem in Minnesota and that the reason most often cited for requiring photo identification, felons voting, would not be resolved by the bill.

“We have the highest voter turnout year after year and under intense, bipartisan scrutiny, the recent statewide recounts have highlighted how reliable the results are,” Dayton said in a letter notifying the Senate of his veto.

Wisconsin: Correcting the Record: Merchants are not required to ask for ID when using a credit card | Dane101

In many of the articles I’ve read regarding the Voter ID legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker yesterday I’ve seen a variation of the following statement from officials who support the legislation. This version of the statement comes from Oneida County Clerk Mary Bartlet:

“”You have to show an ID to buy liquor, you have to show an ID to use a credit card so why not?” “

This simply isn’t true. You do not “have to show an ID to use a credit card.” There is no law in the State of Wisconsin that makes that a requirement. There is no federal law that makes that a requirement.

New Zealand: Tweeters face big fine if they break New Zealand’s electioneering law | NZ Herald News

Twitter and Facebook users face $20,000 fines if they use their accounts to campaign for their favourite party or leader on election day. Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden said material posted on social media websites was covered by strict rules which prohibit electioneering on election days.

“People should be aware that if they tweeted on election day to influence how somebody votes they will be breaching the [Electoral] Act and the [Electoral] Commission will take action.”

Connecticut: Ballot Reform Bill Gets Final Approval In Connecticut House; Malloy To Sign It | Courant.com

The House of Representatives gave final legislative approval Wednesday to a bill that would establish standards to ensure that local voting officials buy enough paper ballots, a response to last November’s Election Day problems in municipalities like Bridgeport, where a ballot shortage helped delay the declaration of a new governor.

The 117-26 vote — with only Republicans voting against it after expressing concerns about interference with local voting officials — came 12 days after the Senate’s 34-0 approval of the bill. It now goes to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who intends to sign it.

Editorials: League of Women Voters denounces passage of South Carolina voter suppression legislation | The Pickens Sentinel

League of Women Voters of South Carolina President Barbara Zia strongly denounced passage of the “voter photo identification” bill in the state General Assembly and calls on Governor Haley to veto this legislation.

The legislation requires eligible citizens to present specific government-issued photo identification in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote. This is an expensive new government program that will create barriers to voting for thousands of citizens in an effort to “fix” a problem that doesn’t exist.

Missouri: General Assembly Passes Missouri Voter ID Requirements | Oakville, MO Patch

Voters could be prompted to show photo identification at the polls under a proposal that the Missouri General Assembly passed earlier this month.

The legislature passed two measures in May that would prompt Missourians to show government-issued photo identification at the polls. The first is a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to enact the requirement. That amendment requires voter approval. The second piece of legislation is a statutory change that would put the photo identification requirement into effect.

Ohio: State Rep. Armond Budish says GOP-approved changes would cut early voting to just six days | PolitiFact Ohio

Ohio’s Republican-led House recently passed a set of voting regulations that overhaul the state’s elections system. The proposed changes in House Bill 194 include allowing voters to change their address online, requiring people casting provisional ballot to provide additional forms of identity, eliminating the requirement that poll workers direct voters in the wrong precinct to the correct one and prohibiting elections boards from mailing absentee ballots to voters.

Among the controversial changes are new limits on early voting, which Democrats say amount to voter suppression. Republicans say the state needs more uniform voting regulations and less costly ways to manage elections.

Texas: Texas Passes Voter Photo-ID Law | Bloomberg

Texas joined South Carolina and Wisconsin in passing a bill to curb vote fraud by demanding photo identification before letting someone cast a ballot. Republican Governor Rick Perry plans to sign the measure tomorrow, according to an e-mailed statement today. The second most-populous state joins six others including Florida and Indiana that demand a photo ID from voters at the polls.

Opponents plan to challenge the measure in court, said Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project. The Austin-based nonprofit group, which advocates on behalf of minorities, says the law is unconstitutional and aimed at making it harder for Latinos to vote. Republicans who dominate the Legislature say it will survive judicial review.

Florida: Florida Elections bill stirs mixed reactions – Ponte Vedra Recorder

St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections Penny Halyburton wouldn’t have been disappointed if Gov. Rick Scott refused to sign the elections bill. “It puts an unnecessary burden on our voters,” she said.

The bill, called HB1355, enacts numerous election reforms in Florida. The two that most concern Halyburton are new rules regarding voters who change their address on election day and new restrictions to early voting periods.

Editorials: Voter ID Will Put Right Wing Democrats In Mississippi In Tricky Position | Majority In Mississippi

Of the three ballot initiatives that voters will decide upon this fall, the generally thinking is that they favor Republicans and will drive up conservative turnout- and I think it’s fair to say they will all pass. These would be the first ballot initiatives to get the okay from voters, should they get majority support.

One of the initiatives voters will decide upon is a law to require voter identification at the polls. Throughout the country, voter ID is generally popular and there is no reason to believe it is any different in Mississippi. As it was the Mississippi Republican Party that spearheaded the signature drive, we know where the GOP stands and this is certainly a good issue for them.

New York: Candidate files for preemptive order to enjoin certification in NY-26 | Electionline Weekly

Even before a single ballot was cast on election day in the special election in New York‘s 26thCongressional District, Republican Candidate Jane L. Corwin filed a request for a court order to prevent the election from being certified citing the closeness of the race in pre-voting polling.

On election day Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia issued an 11-page order preventing the elections boards in Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Livingston and Monroe counties from certifying the election until Buscaglia could hold a show-cause hearing on Thursday. Within the order, attorneys for Corwin had until Wednesday to serve copies of the court order to the affected county boards of elections, their sheriff‘s offices, the state board of elections and the other three candidates in the race.

New York: Corwin Camp Cancels Vote Count Hearing | wgrz.com

A court hearing to challenge the results of the election results in the 26th District Congressional race has been cancelled.

The lawyer for the Jane Corwin campaign camp made a move to impound paper ballots, but the Republican candidate has since conceded victory to Democrat Kathy Hochul.

Texas: Possible voting-date complications remain with Texas absentee voting changes | dallasnews.com

Questions as to whether Texas might move its primary from March into April appeared resolved late on Tuesday when the House amended a voting bill to keep the March primary intact. Turns out the uncertainty might not be over quite yet. Under the current arrangement, local May elections and early voting for primary runoffs would be just two days apart.

Senate Bill 100, which passed the House on third reading Wednesday, is aimed at trying to make it easier for military and overseas voters to cast absentee ballots. Federal law requires that Texas make the changes.

Venezuela: Changes in voting system allow the National Electoral Council to hold joint elections | El Universal

The National Electoral Council (CNE) will use fingerprints from the file of the Venezuelan Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Citizenship (Saime) to complete the register of voters.

The electoral schedule 2012 may not be known until the fourth quarter of this year, but the technical restriction that prevented “joint” voting at different levels (for instance, elections for president and state governors) will be overcome by the implementation of the Comprehensive Authentication System (SAI).

Jordan: ‘New electoral system will change the elections scene drastically’ | Jordan Times

The new electoral system will end individual competition for parliamentary elections as the candidates will be able to join the race as part of a list at the governorate or the Kingdom level, members of the National Dialogue Committee said on Wednesday.

The committee also agreed that the Kingdom list must include representatives from all governorates in order to ensure that all seats are distributed equally across all governorates and not concentrated in smaller ones.

Tunisia: Tunisia to keep election date | Magharebia.com

Tunisia will keep the initial date of constituent assembly elections, the cabinet said on Tuesday (May 25th). The announcement came a few days after electoral commission chief Kamel Jendoubi suggested that the vote might be postponed until October due to “the lack of proper conditions”.

The transitional government has been “committed” to free elections on July 24th “since the day it took office”, the cabinet maintained in a communiqué. The same was said by Interim President Foued Mebazaa in March “after consultation and national consensus”, the statement read.

The Voting News Daily: Election Transparency Project nabs federal grant, Election officials wary as Walker signs Wisconsin voter ID bill into law

California, National: Transparency Project nabs federal grant; money to be used to augment post-election audit project, allow for duplication elsewhere | Times-Standard Online A local project that uncovered a fatal flaw in Humboldt County’s old elections system just got some national recognition that may ultimately lead to its becoming the standard rather than the exception.…

California: Transparency Project nabs federal grant; money to be used to augment post-election audit project, allow for duplication elsewhere | Times-Standard Online

A local project that uncovered a fatal flaw in Humboldt County’s old elections system just got some national recognition that may ultimately lead to its becoming the standard rather than the exception. The federal Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) officially notified the Humboldt County Elections Office this week that it was receiving a $25,000 grant to…