National: Voter ID Laws May Affect Young Voters | Fox News

The same state voter ID laws that have drawn criticisms from Latino groups and immigrants are now taking heat from young voters. Gone are the days when young voters weren’t taken seriously. In 2008, they helped propel Barack Obama into the Oval Office, supporting him by a 2-1 margin. But that higher profile also has landed them in the middle of the debate over some state laws that regulate voter registration and how people identify themselves at the polls. Since the last election, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Wisconsin and Texas and other states have tried to limit or ban the use of student IDs as voter identification. In Florida, lawmakers tried to limit “third party” organizations, including student groups, from registering new voters.

Editorials: GOP’s fictional voter fraud charges aim to keeping Democrats from voting | Fox News

At a recent meeting of the Pennsylvania GOP State Committee, the top Republican in the state House of Representatives, Mike Turzai, declared that a new requirement for voters to show identification with a photograph on it “is going to allow Gov. [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” He drew wild applause from Republicans in the crowd. The new law being referred to won approval under the state’s Republican Governor Tom Corbett and the GOP majority in the state legislature. The result is that 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million voters are suddenly at risk of losing their right to vote. Eighteen percent of the registered voters in Philadelphia do not have government issued photographic identification. That means they won’t be able to vote.

Editorials: Repeat After Me: In-Person, In-Person, In-Person | Mother Jones

The court case against Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law is wrapping up, and supporters of the law say it’s necessary in order to reduce voter fraud. However, when you hear the words “voter fraud,” there are three things you need to keep clearly in mind: In-person, In-person, In-person. Got that? There’s only one kind of fraud that voter ID stops: in-person voter fraud. That is, the kind of fraud where someone walks into a polling place and tries to vote under someone else’s name. That’s it. There are plenty of other types of voter fraud, of course. There’s registration fraud, where you send in forms for Mary Poppins and James Bond. There’s insider fraud, where election officials report incorrect tallies. There’s absentee ballot fraud, where you fill in someone else’s absentee ballot and mail it in. But a voter ID law does nothing to stop those kinds of fraud. Even in theory, the only kind of fraud it stops is in-person voter fraud.

California: The Cost of Taking on California “Reformers” | NBC Bay Area

Prop 14, the initiative to put in place California’s new top-two primary system, was backed by business interests and rich folks, such as Charles Munger Jr. This year, as it is being used for the first time in a California election cycle, it has so far been a bust — except for adding considerably to the nastiness and expense of campaigns. A small group of less-than-wealthy citizens — many of them longtime supporters of minor political parties — has gone to the courts to challenge Prop 14, on multiple grounds. Among their objections are that the top-two primary limits the rights of people who would choose to vote for minor political parties (since they no longer appear on the general election ballot) and also excludes write-ins. … But the citizens lost their challenge in court, with judges finding that the top-two primary law was valid and constitutional. But unfortunately for these citizen-challengers, that’s not the end of the story.

Georgia: Secretary of State criticizes Fulton County over vote counting progress, communication | The Republic

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he is concerned about “numerous and substantial issues” surrounding Tuesday’s primary election in Fulton County and more concerned with a lack of communication with local voting officials. WSB-TV reports that Fulton County was scheduled to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary by noon Saturday. That deadline came and went. Now county election officials plan to meet Monday night.

Kansas: Voter ID questions continue |

A group opposed to the state law that requires Kansans to show a government-issued photo ID to vote will have volunteers at some polls Tuesday to see whether any voters are being deprived of their right to vote. “This law was pushed forward without thinking things through,” said Louis Goseland, coordinator for the KanVote campaign. On Tuesday, voters across the state will participate in Republican and Democratic party primaries. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach pushed the photo ID requirement through the Legislature, saying it was needed to protect against voter fraud. Critics say that incidents of voter fraud are almost nonexistent in Kansas and that the ID requirement will disenfranchise some elderly and minority voters who don’t have a photo ID. There have been several local elections in Kansas since the photo requirement took effect at the start of the year. But this is the first statewide test.

Minnesota: How could voter ID impact rural Minnesota elections? | Morris Sun Tribune

This November, Minnesota residents will be asked to decide whether voters should be required to present valid, government-issued photographic proof of identity prior to casting a ballot. While it is not the job of local election officials to determine whether this concept is valid, it is the responsibility of all local units of government, ranging from the smallest township to the largest county, to be properly prepared to administer elections in compliance with all applicable laws. In order to be fully prepared for the implementation of the proposed amendment, the Greater Minnesota Advisory Panel (GMAP), a voluntary association of representatives of rural townships, cities, counties, and school districts seeking to work with both the legislative and executive branches of the state government on rural concerns), believes it is important that local officials and voters understand the details and potential impact of what they are being asked to approve, and how local governments must prepare now even though the amendment has not yet been approved nor enabling legislation enacted.

Ohio: Obama Campaign Called Ohio Decision On Early Military Voting “Appropriate” In Lawsuit | Buzzfeed

The Obama campaign said in a lawsuit drawing attention this weekend that the Ohio Secretary of State “appropriately” allowed a longer time period for early, in-person voting among members of the military and their families — a line that contradicts suggestions that the suit opposes early voting for servicemembers. The lawsuit — filed more than two weeks ago by the Obama campaign, Democratic National Committee and Ohio Democratic Party — has become a target of the Romney campaign, with Spokesman Ryan Williams telling BuzzFeed that Obama’s campaign “sued Ohio to object to the three extra days the state is giving military voters and their families during Ohio’s in-person early voting period.” Fox News went further, reporting that the lawsuit aims to “block a new state law allowing men and women in uniform to vote up until the Monday right before an election.” In fact, the lawsuit is addressing what it calls “a confused legislative process” surrounding the passage of three voting laws in a short period in Ohio. The effect of those laws is: (1) in-person early voting in Ohio ends for most voters on the Friday before the election and (2) two conflicting deadlines regarding the end of in-person early voting for those voting under the auspices of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act, which includes servicemembers and their families.

Pennsylvania: State Senator Solobay: Voter ID Goes from Bad Idea to Embarrassment | Canon-McMillan PA Patch

State Sen. Tim Solobay this week called Pennsylvania’s implementation of new voter ID requirements “embarrassing.” Solobay’s comments come in the wake of five days of Commonwealth Court testimony that revealed a “stunning lack of preparation and knowledge on the part of Pennsylvania officials only 12 weeks before national elections.” “This was a bad idea and now we’re seeing a bad idea badly implemented,” Solobay, D-Canonsburg, said. “It’s embarrassing. Reports from the court testimony this week are being broadcast across the country and have made Pennsylvania a laughingstock.” In an hour of testimony “marked by sarcasm and humor,” Solobay said, Secretary of State Carol Aichele insisted that 99 percent of Pennsylvanians have a valid photo ID, in clear contradiction with news releases by her department and the sworn testimony of staffers.  On further questioning, Aichele said she didn’t agree with the analysis of her staff before admitting, “We don’t know.”

Tennessee: State Democratic Party disavows Senate nominee | The Tennessean

The party of Cordell Hull, Estes Kefauver and Al Gore Sr. and Jr. won’t have a standard-bearer — or at least not one it can stomach — in Tennessee’s next U.S. Senate race. Less than 24 hours after a man espousing conservative and libertarian views surprised the state’s political scene by winning the Democratic nomination, the Tennessee Democratic Party disavowed him, saying he’s part of an anti-gay hate group. The party said Friday that it would do nothing to help Mark Clayton, 35, who received nearly twice as many votes as his closest challenger in Thursday’s seven-candidate primary, winning the right to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in November.

Texas: 5 Voter Registration Provisions Focus of Texas Injunction | The Texas Tribune

A federal judge on Thursday granted a temporary injunction against five state provisions that affect voter registration in Texas. U.S. District Judge Gregg Costa of Galveston ruled that a law that prohibits third-party voter registrars from working in more than one county and another that mandates registrars in Texas be residents of the state violate the First Amendment. “During the 2011 legislative session, the Governor signed two bills that imposed a number of additional requirements,” Costa wrote in his 94-page opinion. “The result is that Texas now imposes more burdensome regulations on those engaging in third-party voter registration than the vast majority of, if not all, other states.”

Washington: Yakima woman mystified to find herself as a candidate on ballot | Yakima Herald-Republic

Sarah Glasscock of Yakima opened her primary ballot envelope Sunday intending to familiarize herself with the candidates and the issues. One named leaped off the page: Her own. Glasscock saw her name on the ballot as a candidate for a Republican precinct committee post in Precinct 110, an area along West Yakima Avenue. Problem is, Glasscock didn’t file a candidacy declaration and she’s not a Republican. Should she gain the most votes among the three candidates, she could resign. That’s not the problem. The problem is how her name appeared in the first place.  The intrigue includes her declaration arriving as a fax from a New Jersey phone number that belongs to a marketing office for the Japanese manufacturing firm Miki Sangyo. According to its website, the diversified firm has interests in specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, specialty paper and opticals.

Malawi: Electoral Commission ready for 2014 tripartite polls | Msosa

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) authorities declared on Thursday that they have sufficient time to prepare for the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in 2014. The message from MEC Chairperson Anastasia Msosa follows comments from the legal affairs committee of parliament that Malawi is not ready to hold the tripartite elections in 2014 due to financial and time constraints. The committee also feared that rushing the polls will not lead to free, fair and credible general elections thereby proposing for 2019. However, Msosa said the institution’s view is that two years is enough to prepare for a free, fair and credible election.

Venezuela: Thumbprint Scanners Intimidate Voters, Hugo Chavez Opponents Say | Fox News

Forget voter ID laws–Venezuela is using thumbprint readers at its ballot boxes. But with President Hugo Chavez facing his tightest re-election race yet, some of his opponents say the devices may scare away voters, adding to fears about the fairness of the vote scheduled for Oct. 7. The country’s electoral council has long used fingerprint scanners at the entrance to polling places to ensure voter identification. But this year, the readers will be hooked to the electronic voting machines themselves. Citizens must press down a thumb to activate the ballot system. Some say they fear that could let the government know how each person votes. “If the thumbprint makes the machine work, how do you know it doesn’t end up being recorded who you voted for?” asked Jacqueline Rivas, a 46-year-old housewife.