The Voting News Daily: “Corporate Personhood” Is Not the Problem, Billionaires fall in line behind Romney

Editorials: “Corporate Personhood” Is Not the Problem | Garret Epps/American Prospect American politics is in trouble. A tsunami of unaccountable, untraceable political money is overwhelming the Republican race for the presidential nomination and threatens to do the same to the fall election. For many people, especially progressives, the culprit is easy to name: the Supreme…

Oklahoma: Two ballots in HD 71 election apparently counted twice, officials say | Tulsa World

Two voters in the disputed House District 71 election appear to have had their preferences counted twice because of human errors at separate precincts, state and local election officials say. Meanwhile, two other ballots that apparently were counted by election machines — but somehow were never transferred to the Tulsa County Election Board for safekeeping — are part of a growing legal controversy that could decide the ultimate winner in the April 3 contest between Republican Katie Henke and Democrat Dan Arthrell. On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court stopped any further action on the election by the Tulsa County Election Board, the State Election Board or Tulsa County District Court. The high court scheduled the dispute for oral arguments before a referee April 25.

Editorials: “Corporate Personhood” Is Not the Problem | Garret Epps/American Prospect

American politics is in trouble. A tsunami of unaccountable, untraceable political money is overwhelming the Republican race for the presidential nomination and threatens to do the same to the fall election. For many people, especially progressives, the culprit is easy to name: the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which swept away any limits on election-advocacy ads by corporations, unions, and “independent” political-action committees (PACs) and issue groups. Many progressives believe that Citizens United “made corporations people” and that a constitutional amendment restricting “corporate personhood” will cure this political ill. Citizens United is a bad decision. This obvious fact may even be dawning on the Court’s conservative majority, which is taking a surprisingly leisurely look at American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, in which the Montana Supreme Court directly challenged Citizens United, in essence telling the justices that they didn’t understand the first thing about politics. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, dissenters in Citizens United, have publicly stated that American Tradition may offer an opening to limit or even overturn the malign precedent.

National: Billionaires fall in line behind Romney | Kenneth P. Vogel/

The super PAC mega-donors who dragged out the GOP primary are getting behind the establishment, rather than continuing to back rogue candidates and causes — as some in the Republican Party feared. Donors like Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess, who gave millions to anti-establishment presidential primary campaigns, are starting to fall in line — promising to support Mitt Romney and cutting checks to groups fighting for congressional Republicans. Casino mogul Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who donated more than $15 million to a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, gave $5 million to a super PAC linked to House Speaker John Boehner in February — according to newly released filings. And Adelson is hosting a fundraiser next Friday at one of his Las Vegas hotels for a Boehner umbrella group that works closely with the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, POLITICO has learned.

Alaska: Anchorage Election Officials Hold Brief Canvassing Meeting |

Anchorage election officials held a canvassing meeting Tuesday afternoon that produced more numbers from the city’s troubled elections earlier this month — as well as a nearly denied opportunity for one East Anchorage voter to challenge the rejection of her vote. The municipal Election Commission started its meeting at City Hall at 1:30 p.m., receiving a report on the election (PDF) that listed 14,043 legitimate absentee and questioned ballots yet to be counted. An additional 609 ballots were rejected for a variety of causes, including 159 from voters registered outside the city, 187 from unregistered voters and 142 who registered to vote less than 30 days before the April 3 elections.

Alaska: Anchorage Election Precinct Chair Gathers Signatures for Investigation | Alaska Dispatch

petition calling for an independent review of Anchorage’s botched April 3 election has been delivered to the municipal clerk’s office. Some Assembly members said they might support an independent review at this week’s meeting. The delivered petition had the signatures of 580 Alaskans, said Barbara Gazaway, an election precinct chair who began gathering signatures after experiencing her own glitches in the East Anchorage polling place where she worked. She launched the petition the day after the election as reports surfaced that numerous precincts suffered ballot shortages, forcing many people to try voting at more than one polling place or to cast votes on sample or photocopied ballots.

Arizona: Court Upholds Voter ID Law, Strikes Down Proof of Citizenship Requirement | Fox News

Arizona has racially polarized voting and discriminated against Latinos, but a voter identification law did not disenfranchise Hispanics, a Court of Appeals ruled. A 12-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a law that required voters to show ID before casting their ballots, ruling it didn’t give Latinos less opportunity to vote. The court, however, struck down a critical provision of the law, known as Proposition 200,  that required that voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote in federal elections. The court ruled the federal National Voter Registration Act trumps that section of the Arizona law.   MALDEF, a Latino civil rights organization, one of the organizations that challenged the 2004 law, hailed the decision.

Arizona: Appeals court upholds Arizona’s requirement that people show identification before they can vote | AP/The Republic

An appeals court upheld a requirement in a 2004 Arizona law that voters show identification before they can cast ballots. The court says there wasn’t evidence that the mandate disparately affected Latinos as the challengers of rules had alleged. A 12-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says in a ruling Tuesday that there was evidence Arizona has racially polarized voting and a history of discrimination against Latinos.

Michigan: Voters may be asked to affirm U.S. citizenship | The Detroit News

During Michigan’s presidential primary in February, voters were required for the first time to affirm their U.S. citizenship when obtaining a ballot to vote. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said she added the check-off on ballot applications to weed out legal immigrants who have been improperly — or inadvertently — registered to vote over the past two decades while obtaining a driver’s license. State election officials say they’ve received reports of a handful of noncitizens who are registered voters showing up at polls in Kent, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, Johnson said. Now she’s asking state lawmakers to make affirming U.S. citizenship a permanent step toward obtaining a ballot. Johnson has joined a nationwide effort to tighten up ballot box security and clean up voter rolls that sometimes contain duplicate registrations.

Ohio: County ready to count ballots in disputed Hamilton County race |

The election that is believed to be the longest in Hamilton County history isn’t over yet. But it’s getting close. A federal appeals court ruling Monday cleared the way to count some 300 disputed ballots in the razor-close election for Hamilton County juvenile court judge, which took place 17 months ago. The decision does not end the long court battle over the ballots, but it requires county election officials to count the ballots, declare a victor and seat the winning judge while the legal fight continues for months, or even years, in the federal courts. The Board of Elections will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss how the ballots will be counted and how long it might take. “I think we are all ready to try to get this thing moved to a resolution,” said Tim Burke, the county’s Democratic Party chairman and a member of the Board of Elections.

Oklahoma: Supreme Court referee hears HD 71 election dispute | Tulsa World

The resolution of a hotly contested special election for an Oklahoma House seat representing Tulsa moved a step closer Monday. At issue is the winner of the special election for House District 71, which pitted Democrat Dan Arthrell against Republican Katie Henke. Greg Albert, an Oklahoma Supreme Court referee, heard arguments in the case Monday. A proceeding in Tulsa County District Court was put on hold pending action by the state’s high court, which may or may not take the case. Attorneys for both sides said they can agree to a series of facts in the case.

Utah: Candidate Threatens Lawsuit Over Use of Electronic Voting at Utah GOP Convention | KCPW

The State Republican Party could have a lawsuit on their hands. Brian Jenkins, who is running against U.S. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, says he is upset about the possibility of electronic voting being used at the upcoming Republican state convention. Jenkins says the electronic method can be manipulated and he’s worried about the inability to check the votes after they are cast. “I actually think that if we can verify, there won’t be any skullduggery,there won’t be any kind of cheating if there is true verification,” Jenkins says. ” But if there is not verification the temptation to alter the outcome is almost irresistible.”

Virginia: Miller seeks simpler absentee voting in Virginia | The Suffolk News-Herald

A state legislator wants to make it easier for Virginians who can’t go to the polls on Election Day to obtain an absentee ballot. Sen. John C. Miller, D-Newport News, whose district includes a portion of Suffolk, has proposed that voters be able to request and receive an absentee ballot by email. They still would have to return the completed ballot by regular mail or by hand. Currently, only voters who are in the military or are overseas can use email to request and receive an absentee ballot from Virginia election officials. During the General Assembly’s 2012 regular session, Miller sponsored a bill to allow any registered voter to use email to apply for an absentee ballot.

Bahamas: Grand Bahamians ready to mark their ‘X’ | The Freeport News

With 25 days left before the 2012 general elections and more than 172,000 Bahamians registered to vote, most of residents polled in Grand Bahama yesterday say they are simply marking time. Parliament was officially dissolved Tuesday, signaling the countdown to what is believed will be the hottest contested election in the history of The Bahamas. Up to this point, the three parties — the governing Free National Movement (FNM), the Progressive Liberal Party and the recently formed Democratic National Alliance (DNA) — have mounted an aggressive campaign to woo the electorate. Now that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has announced the long-awaited date, Grand Bahama residents who intend to vote say they are ready.

Egypt: Candidate bans may ease rancor of Egypt vote | Reuters

A move to exclude some of the more divisive contenders from Egypt’s presidential election may help moderate candidates seen as better able to forge the consensus many believe can foster a peaceful transition to democracy. Two prominent Islamists – one a hardline Salafi sheikh, the other the Muslim Brotherhood’s official nominee – as well as ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s spy chief were battling to stay in the running on Monday as a deadline approached for them to appeal against disqualification by the state election committee. All three had put their names forward late in the process in a way that reinforced an impression in recent weeks that the shaky temporary consensus of necessity between an increasingly assertive Islamist bloc and the generals ruling Egypt since Mubarak’s overthrow 14 months ago was breaking down.

Guinea-Bissau: Presidential hopefuls condemn coup |

Five candidates in Guinea Bissau’s aborted presidential election united to condemn last week’s coup, as West African delegates arrived for overnight talks with military and political figures. The April 12 military coup tipped the restive impoverished west African country into fresh chaos and interrupted a second-round presidential vote on April 29. UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Monday that a move by the coup leaders to declare a transitional government would only worsen the crisis in the African nation. Ban will “intensify cooperation” with international governments and bodies to deal with the situation following last Thursday’s coup, said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey. For its part the junta insisted that it was in control of the situation in the west African nation and urged the population not to panic.

Maldives: Opposition in Maldives says polls bolster its early vote call | Reuters

A new government in the Maldives has won two by-elections, according to results on Sunday, defeating the party of former President Mohamed Nasheed who was unseated in February and, his party said, bolstering its call for an early presidential poll. The ouster of Nasheed, the islands’ first democratically elected president, dented the Indian Ocean archipelago’s reputation as a laid-back luxury tourist paradise. Nasheed and his party say the new government of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik is illegitimate and they have been demanding an early presidential election.