The Voting News Daily: Online Voting ‘Premature’ Warns Government Cybersecurity Expert, Santorum: ‘The Only Reason You Don’t Have A Voter ID Is You Want To Continue To Perpetrate Fraud’

National: Online Voting ‘Premature’ Warns Government Cybersecurity Expert | WBUR Warnings about the dangers of Internet voting have been growing as the 2012 election nears, and an especially noteworthy one came Thursday from a top cybersecurity official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Bruce McConnell told a group of election officials, academics and advocacy groups…

National: Santorum: ‘The Only Reason You Don’t Have A Voter ID Is You Want To Continue To Perpetrate Fraud’ | ThinkProgress

To Rick Santorum, the more than 23 million American voters who don’t have a government-issued photo ID aren’t potential victims of disenfranchisement. The presidential hopeful uses a different name: perpetrators of fraud. ThinkProgress spoke with the Republican presidential hopeful about voter ID laws — which require that citizens present a certain form of photo identification or they are barred from voting — during a campaign stop in Milwaukee last weekend. Santorum said that he supports such laws because, as he states it, “the only reason you don’t have a voter ID is you want to continue to perpetrate fraud.” He went on to dismiss the notion that anyone might not have access to a voter ID, saying that “it’s not a problem.” Santorum’s claim falls somewhere in the murky world between audacity and lunacy. More than one in ten Americans lack a government-issued photo ID. These people are not committing voter fraud — indeed, voter fraud is rarer than getting struck by lightning — they are potentially having their right to vote stripped away. Santorum appears to have confused the disenfranchisees with the disenfranchisers.

Voting Blogs: Peeling Back the Layers of Super PACs | Brennan Center for Justice

Russian dolls are an attractive toy for children — peel back the layers of wooden figurines until the smallest doll is revealed. But imagine a campaign finance system in which the identity of political donors is shielded from public knowledge. Peel back the layers of this doll and rather than learning who is financing a political advertisement, all you get is the name of a benign-sounding group. Such is the state of disclosure laws today, which were made worse after the influx of new money allowed by Citizens United. The DISCLOSE Act of 2012, being considered today by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, goes a long way to remedy this problem — as Brennan Center testimony illustrates.

Alaska: Consultant Redrawn election district map doesn’t meet federal standards | Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

The map adopted by the Alaska Redistricting Board as a starting point in its Alaska Supreme Court-ordered redrawing of the state’s election districts likely won’t comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, according to the board’s consultant, Lisa Handley. Handley, who helped the board draw its original plan that was later rejected by the Supreme Court, did an overnight analysis of the plan adopted by the board on Tuesday. She said the federal Voting Rights Act would require the plan to have one additional House seat and one additional Senate seat effectively controlled by Alaska Native voters. The board adopted an initial plan Tuesday afternoon that it felt complied with the Alaska Constitution.

Colorado: Democrats want Secretary of State Scott Gessler removed from office | The Denver Post

Colorado Democrats unleashed some of their strongest criticism yet of Secretary of State Scott Gessler Wednesday, saying he should be removed from office after he opposed an election-related bill that was later killed by fellow Republicans. “(Gessler) has once again prioritized his partisan agenda above the rights of Coloradans to vote,” Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio said. “If (he) is unwilling to fulfill his duties as a non-partisan election officer, the people of Colorado should consider all avenues necessary to remove him as Secretary of State.” Asked if the Democratic party was referring to a recall election, spokesman Matt Inzeo replied: “I wouldn’t rule it out.”

Florida: Wellington voters file suit to speed recount of ballots | Palm Beach Post

A hand recount could come soon for Wellington residents weary over disputed election results that have left the village council in limbo. On Wednesday, one day after the village’s canvassing board said it wanted a hand recount, seven Wellington residents filed a complaint, as did council candidate John Greene, seeking a court-ordered recount of Wellington’s March 13 races. The county’s elections office and the canvassing board Tuesday agreed to file lawsuits for the recount, but did not say when those filings would happen. “We’re not going to wait on them,” said Greene, who filed a complaint late Wednesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. “If a hand recount is what is going to appease everybody, we want it to happen. We want to move on.”

Voting Blogs: New York Times article on Florida third party voter registration misses the big story | Election Updates

Today’s New York Times article on the effect of HB 1355 on the activity of third party voter registration groups misses the most important voter registration story in Florida. The more important story is the fact that voter registration from all sources has crashed, from the heights leading up to the elections of 2000 and 2004.    Maybe HB 1355 is seriously restricting the ability of third party groups to register voters.  But, why not an article about why the number of voter registrations in Florida over the 2005-08 cycle fell 54% compared to the 01-04 cycle, or 36% compared to the 97-00 cycle? Here are the basic patterns, gleaned from a great set of reports on the Florida Elections Division web site.

Missouri: Court strikes down proposed voter ID amendment |

A Cole County judge on Thursday struck down a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would have required voters to show photo identification at the polls. Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce ruled that the summary that would have appeared on the ballot was “insufficient and unfair” and pointed to two reasons for her ruling. First, the ballot summary includes the phrase “Voter Protection Act,” even though the phrase never actually appears in the constitutional amendment. Second, the summary stated that the amendment would allow the General Assembly to establish an early voting period, when in fact the amendment would “restrict the time period during which advance voting may occur,” Joyce said. “Because significant changes are required here and policy choices need to be made as to how to reallocate the words in a revised summary statement, the court chooses to vacate the summary statement and to provide the General Assembly an opportunity to revise it,” Joyce’s ruling said.

Missouri: Judge strikes down voter ID ballot summary |

A Missouri judge struck down the wording of a Republican-backed ballot measure that would clear the way for a state voter ID requirement, finding it lacking and leaving it to lawmakers to revise. Several legislators wasted no time getting started, saying Thursday they hoped to put the issue to voters this year. The Republican-led Legislature passed a proposed constitutional amendment last year that would allow separate legislation to require a photo ID and to establish an early voting period. Lawmakers wrote their own ballot summary, but Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce struck the summary down earlier this week after concluding the statement was unfair and insufficient. House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller already has filed a new version and said Thursday that he expected lawmakers to move quickly on it. He said he thinks a photo ID requirement would be popular with voters.

Montana: Missoula Elections Activist Asks Judge To Seize Absentee Ballots | NBC

A local elections activist has filed another court action against the county, saying that someone tampered with absentee ballots from last May’s school mill levy election. Last week, NBC Montana told you how Patty Lovaas organized a team to look over ballot envelopes from last May’s school mill levy election. She says the records were unsealed, and that someone tampered with them — adding her claims to a civil lawsuit she already filed against the county. “This was intentional, and they know the law,” Lovaas said. “It doesn’t matter what spin they put on it. They know the law. There are numerous irregularities in that election — numerous. And that prompted me to do the review in the first place.”

Nebraska: Voter ID bill filibustered to death | McCook Daily Gazette

State senators have filibustered to death a bill that would have required voters to show government-issued photographic ID at their polling places.
State senators debated the bill, LB239, on March 27 and March 28. A motion for cloture, or ending debate, Wednesday failed by three votes on a vote of 30-16. LB239 was introduced by Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont and prioritized by Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala. The bill, which was first debated Feb. 27, would require voters to present a driver’s license or state-issued identification card. With an amendment introduced by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, voters who lacked the needed ID would be mailed an acknowledgement of registration card to use as identification when voting.

Wisconsin: Voter ID challenges may be headed to Supreme Court | JSOnline

Two legal challenges to Wisconsin photo identification requirement for voters seem to be headed for the state’s highest court. On Wednesday, two separate appeals courts sent challenges to the law on to the state Supreme Court, which is expected to take up the issue. To do that, a majority of the seven-member court must decide to take up the cases as requested by the appeals court. Earlier this month, two Dane County judges in different cases separately ruled to block the law, which requires citizens to show a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. The Supreme Court will have little time to decide whether to bring back the law before Tuesday’s spring elections. Elections over whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker and four Republican senators could also be ordered as soon as May 8 and June 5. The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin brought one of the two lawsuits, saying that the state went too far in requiring photo ID to vote. “The League of Women Voters is confident that we have a strong case built on clear language in the Wisconsin state constitution.

Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi: Burma election not ‘free and fair’ | BBC News

Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken of irregularities ahead of Sunday’s by-election. Speaking ahead of the 1 April vote, she said the election campaign could not be considered ”genuinely free and fair”. But the Nobel laureate said she was ”determined to go forward” and did not regret taking part in the poll. The National League for Democracy (NLD) party head is expected to win her seat in Kawhmu, south-west of Rangoon. In a press conference, Aung San Suu Kyi said the irregularities went “beyond what is acceptable for democratic elections”.

Egypt: Rulers lift block on Ayman Nour election bid | Reuters

Egypt’s military rulers on Wednesday lifted a ban preventing Ayman Nour from running for the presidency, opening the way for a presidential bid by the liberal politician who came a distant second to Hosni Mubarak in a 2005 election. Nour mounted the most serious challenge to Mubarak that year. He was sentenced a few months later to five years in prison on charges of forgery that were widely viewed as trumped up as part of a political vendetta. Under Egyptian law, a former convict cannot run for the presidency until five years after the end of their jail term – Nour was released in February 2009 on health grounds. But the pardon issued on Wednesday will allow him to run.

Guinea-Bissau: Electoral body throws out fraud complaints | Reuters

Guinea Bissau’s election commission on Wednesday rejected opposition complaints of fraud during a March 18 first-round presidential vote in the West African state, and set a decisive run-off for April 22. The election to replace Malam Bacai Sanha, who died in a Paris hospital in January after a long illness, was meant to usher in stability to the coup-prone country, which has become a transhipment point for Latin American cocaine bound for Europe. Former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior, who fell just short of an outright majority in the first round, is meant to face rival Kumba Yala in the run-off, but Yala has said he will boycott the vote in protest over alleged first-round rigging. Yala and four other opposition leaders filed a formal complaint with the national election commission last week, saying that Gomes Junior orchestrated “massive fraud” that included widespread double-voting.