The Voting News Daily: New database of US voter fraud finds no evidence that photo ID laws are needed, Getting Disabled Voters Off the Sidelines?

National: New database of US voter fraud finds no evidence that photo ID laws are needed | News21 A new nationwide analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough…

Voting Blogs: Getting Disabled Voters Off the Sidelines? | Election Academy

Last week, USA Today ran a story about a study of disabled voters that suggests that as many as 3.2 million disabled voters are “sidelined” in the electoral process. The study, Sidelined or Mainstreamed? Political Participation and Attitudes of People with Disabilities in the United States by Lisa Schur of Rutgers and Meera Adya of Syracuse, finds that this large number of “sidelined” voters is the product of several different factors: lower motivation and reduced mobility plus, in some cases, the persistence of barriers at the polls. This last observation is somewhat puzzling given the apparent focus – especially since passage of the Help America Vote Act – on improving accessibility for disabled voters. And yet, as the study found, accessibility issues remain: a GAO report from 2009 found that only 27 percent of polling places nationwide had “no features that might impede access to the voting area for people with disabilities”, with another 45 percent presenting some barriers but offering curbside voting.

National: Election Day impersonation, an impetus for voter ID laws, a rarity, data show | The Washington Post

A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent. The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters. The News21 report is based on a national public-records search in which reporters sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states, asking for every case of alleged fraudulent activity — including registration fraud; absentee-ballot fraud; vote buying; false election counts; campaign fraud; the casting of ballots by ineligible voters, such as felons and non-citizens; double voting; and voter impersonation.

National: Student ID Cards Far From Sure Ticket to the Voting Booth | News21

Morehouse College students can use their ID cards to buy food and school supplies, use computer labs and get books from the library, but they can’t use ID from the historic Atlanta school to vote. A few miles away, Georgia State University students use their ID in the same way, but their cards allow them to vote. Across the country, college students are facing new questions about their voting rights. In some states, communities are debating whether students can vote as state residents or vote absentee from their hometowns. In others, legislators have debated whether student IDs can be used at the polls. In Georgia, the debate started with the state’s voter ID law, which accepts student IDs from state colleges but not private institutions such as Morehouse. College students, who led a record turnout among 18- to 24-year-old voters in 2008, could play a major role in this November’s elections, but their impact could be blunted by states’ voter ID requirements.

Connecticut: Connecticut GOP says its suing over top ballot line |

The Connecticut Republican Party said Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against Secretary of the State Denise Merrill challenging the order of candidates on state ballots for the upcoming November elections. The GOP announced it had taken legal action in a news release that was first obtained by The Associated Press after the state courts had closed for the day. Last month, Merrill, a Democrat, disagreed with Republicans who said their candidates should be on the top line of November’s statewide election ballot, even though a Democrat won the 2010 governor’s race. They argued that not all of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s votes came from the Democratic Party. In fact, Republican Tom Foley received 560,874 votes, while Malloy received 540,970 as a Democrat and 26,308 as a Working Families Party candidate.

Connecticut: Software glitch confuses New Haven voters | The New Haven Register

A software glitch caused about 2,400 postcards mailed to Republican voters to read “Democratic Primary,” and polling place confusion erupted when voters realized that new ward lines that resulted from redistricting had taken effect. Sharon Ferrucci, Democratic registrar of voters, said the glitch happened when the postcards were printed at Allegra Design of Grand Avenue, and the owner was very apologetic. “There were two lists given to me by the registrar of voters — one Republican and one Democratic list — and we do a merge of those. During the merge process, we combine the lists into a big file and code it so it would change one word,” said Allegra owner Bob Fraulo. “We thought we coded everything, but whatever happened in the software didn’t work.” The company was unaware of the issue until a city resident called the registrar of voters asking about the Republican primary that will be held Tuesday.

New Mexico: Voter purge postcards sent to active voters | New Mexico Telegram

The postcards by the Secretary of State’s office that Dianna Duran said are designed to clean the voter rolls of inactive voters and those who have moved are reaching at least some who do not fit either definition. And those who have received them say they are confusing. The mailers say in bold letters, “Confirmation of Voter Registration” and, “Please detach complete and return this postcard no later than Oct 9, 2012.” In smaller letters below, the postcard says: If this card is not returned and you do not vote in any election from the date of this notice through the November, 2014 general election, your name will be removed from the voter registration list. And the postcards are causing confusion over whether or not the recipients have to reply to the postcards to be eligible to vote.

Ohio: Husted may review early-hours voting rule | Toledo Blade

Four years ago, more than 60 percent of the voters in Butler and Warren counties backed Republican John McCain. This year both counties, the biggest two in Ohio to go for the GOP presidential candidate, are staying open extra hours on weekdays and Saturdays so their residents can cast early ballots. In 2008, voters in Ohio’s two largest counties, Cuyahoga and Franklin, went for Democrat Barack Obama by 60 percent or more. But elections offices in those two predominantly Democratic counties will be open for early voting only during regular business hours on weekdays and not at all on Saturdays. A similar Republican-Democrat disparity is occurring in several areas across the state as county elections boards decide whether to add hours during Ohio’s early voting period, which begins Oct. 2.  “This is patently political,” said Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. “The Republicans know they can’t win this election playing the right way.” “Jim Crow has been resurrected in Ohio,” state Sen. Nina Turner (D., Cleveland) said on MSNBC. She said most of Ohio’s African-American voters live in urban counties that don’t have extended hours.

Editorials: Pennsylvania Voter ID case: A chief justice’s time to eschew partisanship? | Philadelphia Inquirer

Picture this: A conservative Republican chief justice is called upon to decide the fate of one of the most partisan issues of our time, and, surprisingly comes down on the Democratic side. Health care and John Roberts? Actually, I was thinking of voter ID and Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ron Castille. There is a plausible scenario whereby he will cast the deciding vote regarding the controversial new law. And while his brethren might rule along party lines, Castille has a history of flexing his independence. With the testimony concluded in the challenge to the state’s voter-ID law, a decision is soon expected from Judge Robert Simpson of Commonwealth Court. Regardless of what he decides, this matter is destined for the state Supreme Court, which currently consists of six, rather than the customary seven, members. Republican Justice Joan Orie Melvin was recently suspended after being criminally charged, leaving the court with three Republicans and three Democrats, and Castille in a position of power. As goes the state Supreme Court, so will go the law. It’s doubtful that any effort to put this before the federal judiciary will be successful, as this challenge is predicated upon the commonwealth’s constitution.

Pennsylvania: Voting law experts keep close eye on Pennsylvania | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As the U.S. Department of Justice investigates the new Pennsylvania voter ID requirement for discrimination against minorities, election law experts say a legal challenge could require the courts to navigate undeveloped areas of federal voting rights law. The commonwealth was preparing to defend the Voter ID Law in state court last month when the Justice Department’s top civil rights lawyer wrote to announce a review for compliance with the Voting Rights Act, the 1965 legislation that prohibited literacy tests at the polls and strengthened the federal government’s ability to enforce the voting guarantee of the 15th Amendment. While the department has blocked the enforcement of voter identification laws in Texas and South Carolina, those states fall under a part of the Voting Rights Act requiring Justice Department or court approval for election law changes in places with a history of discrimination.

Wisconsin: Ryan can run for House seat, VP at same time under Wisconsin law | The Hill

If Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) doesn’t become vice president of the United States, he has a backup option: his old House seat. Under Wisconsin law, Ryan can run simultaneously for both offices. The lawmaker hasn’t said anything about his House election, which he is strongly favored to win, but he may not have much of a choice. The law specifically states that once a candidate is nominated, his or her name has to remain on the ballot except in the case of death. But if Ryan does make it to the vice presidential mansion, that election would “void the candidate’s election to any other office,” and a special election would be called, according to the law. And names are already being floated in case that comes to pass.

Wisconsin: Ryan would appear on ballot twice in Wisconsin | The Washington Post

Mitt Romney’s decision to select Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his vice presidential running mate raises the question of what happens in the Badger State’s 1st District, where Ryan is favored to win reelection in the fall. According to state election law, Ryan would not have to sacrifice his spot on the congressional ballot even though he is also running for vice president. He would appear on the ballot twice. Ryan would appear on the ballot as both a candidate for the House and for vice president. If the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket is not successful, but he wins his congressional race, Ryan can keep his seat. If the national ticket wins the White House and Ryan holds his House seat, a special election would be held to replace him in the House. “If the candidate is elected president or vice president of the United States such election shall void the candidate’s election to any other office. A special election shall be held to fill any office vacated under this subsection,” reads a state statute on multiple nominations.

New Zealand: Politicians make MMP threshold picks ahead of New Zealand Electoral Commission review tomorrow | The National Business Review

An Electoral Commission is due to report tomorrow on its MMP review. On TVNZ’s Q+A, Labour’s Lianne Dalziel and Mana leader Hone Harawira predicted the Commission will recommend lowering threshold for getting MPs into parliament from 5% to 4% of the party vote. National has argued it should be kept at 5%. On Q+A, NZ First leader Winston Peters took the same side. Lowering the threshold would create “instability” and “chaos”. Mr Peters said. “If you’re good enough, you should make 5%.” Ms Dalziel argued a 4% threshold that would avoid thousands of wasted votes, as happened to New Zealand First in 1999 (when it got 4.23% of the vote) and 2008 (when it got 4.07%).