The Voting News Daily: Saguache, CO Ballot Dispute: New Clerk, But Same Old Controversy, Democrats ask court to enforce ruling making Vop Osili Secretary of State

Blogs: Saguache, CO Ballot Dispute: New Clerk, But Same Old Controversy | Doug Chapin/PEEA On January 24 Saguache County, CO voters overwhelmingly recalled County Clerk Melinda Myers. Myers had been under fire ever since presiding over a hotly-disputed 2010 election in which preliminary results – which showed some candidates, including Myers’ GOP opponent, leading –…

Voting Blogs: Saguache, CO Ballot Dispute: New Clerk, But Same Old Controversy | Doug Chapin/PEEA

On January 24 Saguache County, CO voters overwhelmingly recalled County Clerk Melinda Myers. Myers had been under fire ever since presiding over a hotly-disputed 2010 election in which preliminary results – which showed some candidates, including Myers’ GOP opponent, leading – were ultimately reversed due to reported machine problems and other errors. Although a grand jury found no evidence of criminal conduct, the 2010 election led to a long-running battle involving Myers, local activists, election officials and the courts about whether and how to allow scrutiny of voted ballots in the name of transparency.

Indiana: Democrats ask court to enforce ruling making Vop Osili Secretary of State | The Indianapolis Star

The Indiana Democratic Party has asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to enforce a judge’s ruling that would make their candidate Secretary of State. Former Secretary of State Charlie White, a Republican, was removed from office early Saturday morning after a jury convicted him of six felonies. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Jerry Bonnet, White’s chief deputy, as his interim replacement, but Democrats believe Vop Osili is White’s rightful successor, and they filed a motion this afternoon to try to get him in office.

Nevada: Religious Caucus Causes Protest in Las Vegas |

A special Saturday night Republican caucus here intended to accommodate Orthodox Jews who could not vote before sundown became the scene of controversy and confrontation after caucusgoers were told that to be admitted they had to sign a legal declaration under penalty of perjury that they could not attend their daytime caucus because of “my religious beliefs.” A one-stop destination for the latest political news — from The Times and other top sources. Plus opinion, polls, campaign data and video. Ballots were placed in boxes before they were counted on stage during a special caucus at the Adelson Educational Campus.

New York: New York unlikely to meet election deadlines | Star-Gazette

A federal judge’s ruling to set the congressional primaries for June 26 has turned New York’s election calendar on its head, making it almost impossible for the state to meet the deadline without changing laws. Legislators said Monday that the political calendar and the drawing of new district lines for state legislative and congressional seats this year makes it unlikely the state can comply with Judge Gary Sharpe’s orders. “I don’t see how you can meet it,” Sen. Thomas W. Libous, R-Binghamton, said.

Pennsylvania: Hearing set for today on motion that would delay Pennsylvania primary election | The Times Leader

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody said Sunday that they would oppose a GOP lawsuit to be heard Monday in federal court in Philadelphia. The GOP is seeking an injunction to halt use of out-of-date election maps in the primary for the state’s 203 state House districts and 50 Senate districts. After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated a new redistricting plan, calling it unconstitutional, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, a Delaware County Republican, floated the possibility of moving the primary so a commission could create new redistricting maps.

Texas: Primary election schedule nowhere in sight | Longview News-Journal

The parties to the contested redistricting litigation pending in the San Antonio Federal District Court, have until February 6, 2012 to reach a settlement, if they want to hold primary elections in Texas on April 3, 2012. The date of the primary had already been moved from March 6 to April 3rd. It is that date that now appears to be in jeopardy should there be no agreement by February 6. And, of course, no voter registration cards will be sent until all lines are drawn and approved. Panola County voter registrar Cheyenne Lampley stated, “People have been calling asking why they haven’t received their voter registration card, but all I can tell them is that the legislature must finish its job and draw correct redistricting lines before anyone gets a voter card.”

Editorials: Keeping Virginians from voting | The Washington Post

For decades Virginia has allowed residents who lack proof of identification or whose IDs have been lost or stolen to vote, provided they are listed in the voting rolls and sign sworn statements attesting to their identities. Now, in response to no known problem, Republicans are backing a change already approved by the House of Delegates that would allow such citizens to cast only provisional ballots, which would be counted only if their identities were subsequently verified with IDs. Given that 11 percent of voting-age citizens nationally lack photo IDs, that would place unmanageable burdens on thousands of would-be voters in the commonwealth. The bill’s chief sponsor is Del. Mark R. Cole (R-Fredericksburg), whose previous claim to fame was a bill in 2010 banning employers from planting microchips in their workers, on the grounds that doing so might enable a surreptitious incursion by the antichrist. Yes, really.

Virginia: House Narrowly Passes Bill to Allow Write-ins in Primaries | Ballot Access News

On February 3, the Virginia House passed HB 1132, the bill to allow write-ins in primaries, if the party holding the primary wants write-ins. The vote was 50-49. Republican legislators were more supportive of the bill than Democratic legislators. Republicans supported it by a margin of 38-28. However, Democrats opposed it, with 11 “yes” votes but 21 “no” votes. The lone independent, Delegate Lacey Putney, voted in favor of write-ins.

Myanmar: Myanmar panel says Suu Kyi can run for Parliament | Associated Press

Myanmar’s Election Commission on Monday gave opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the green light to run for parliamentary by-elections, another step toward political openness in a country emerging from nearly a half-century of iron-fisted military rule. Suu Kyi announced her intention last month to run in the April elections but was waiting for official approval from the commission, which said it had to scrutinize her eligibility. A spokesman for Suu Kyi’s party said the commission approved her candidacy and would make a formal announcement later Monday. “There is no objection to her nomination and we can say that her candidacy is officially accepted,” Nyan Win said.

Colombia: Colombia to introduce electronic voting in 2014 | Colombia Reports

The Colombian government plans to implement an electronic voting system for the 2014 elections,reports newspaper Vanguardia. Government officials made the announcement in collaboration with the Interior Ministry Sunday. A forum led by Senator Juan Manuel Galan Pachon outlined a number of implementations that would improve Colombia‘s electoral system, including electronic voting, a fingerprinting system, and voter registration. Pachon said that modernizing the electoral system would combat crimes like buying of votes, impersonation, identity theft, and ‘transhumance’ — a method of electoral manipulation where voters move to cities other than their place of residence in order to vote for a particular candidate.

Egypt: Egypt Speeds Preparation for Presidential Vote | ABC News

Egypt’s military leader told electoral officials Monday to speed preparations for presidential elections after a new eruption of street protests demanding that the ruling generals move more quickly to hand power to an elected government. The military rulers had previously promised to hold presidential elections for their successor by the end of June. But Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling military council, asked election commission officials “to quickly finish legal procedures for presidency nominations,” according to Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA. Election Commission Chief Abdel-Moez Ibrahim told The Associated Press that based on Tantawi’s orders, nominations for president would be accepted March 10, a month earlier than the original date. He didn’t give a date for elections, but it was an indication that the vote may be held about a month ahead of schedule.

India: `None of Above’ can’t be installed for coming elections | The Economic Times

The Election Commission of India (ECI) and State Election Commission (SEC) today informed the Bombay High Court that it would not be possible to install a `No Vote’ panel on the Electronic Voting Machines to be used in the municipal and Zilla Parishad elections in Maharashtra, to be held this month. The division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Thane-based Dr Mahesh Bedekar, seeking no-vote option in EVMs, as the present system does not guard the secrecy of the voter casting a negative vote.

Editorials: Need for a paper trail | Daily Pioneer

It’s not fair to impose electronic voting machines as a substitute for paper ballots because there’s no way voters can verify which way their vote went. The Election Commission may have won the legal battle vis-à-vis the efficacy of electronic voting machines in view of the recent judgement of the Delhi High Court, but it has a lot of work to do if it wishes to remove the prevailing scepticism about these machines. Though Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, who heard Mr Subramanian Swamy’s petition, said they could not issue a mandamus directing the Election Commission to introduce the system of paper trail, they had advised it to take note of the apprehensions that EVMs may be vulnerable to fraud and that there could be security issues.

Kuwait: Veteran politician says negative phenomena impacted Kuwait election outcome | gulfnews

A veteran Kuwaiti politician has blamed the emergence of sectarianism as an important factor to be elected to parliament. “The emergence of chaos and of negative phenomena, including the sectarian dimension, has enabled people to reach the parliament,” Ahmad Al Khatib, the deputy chairman of the 1962 constituent assembly that drafted the constitution, said. “ The emergence of chaos and of negative phenomena, including the sectarian dimension, has enabled people to reach the parliament ”

Palestine: Abbas named as candidate for prime minister | Maan News

President Abbas has been put forward as a candidate for prime minster of an interim government, a Ma’an source said Sunday. The proposal was made as Abbas and Hamas chief-in-exile Khalid Mashaal agreed to form a unity government during a Sunday meeting in the Qatari capital. The proposal was reportedly made by Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa and endorsed by Hamas, Israeli news site Ynet said. Sources close to Abbas, who wished to remain anonymous, told Ma’an that the decision is not certain and that the role of prime minister could be an added burden on the President.

Yemen: Election preparations start in conflict-torn Yemen | Reuters

Yemen has begun a publicity campaign to get citizens to vote in the upcoming presidential election, officials said on Monday, part of a deal to ease President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of office and pull the country back from the brink of civil war. With Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as the only candidate in the Feb. 21 vote, there are fears of a low turnout that would dent the legitimacy of the man expected to lead Yemen during a two-year interim period when crucial decisions, dealing with restructuring the armed forms and introducing constitutional reforms, are expected to be taken. “Your vote protects Yemen,” read a giant poster hung in the capital Sanaa, depicting a smiling woman in a pink headscarf as she places her ballot into a voting box.