National: Study: Almost 1 Million Minority Voters to be Affected by Voter ID Laws | CBS DC

Come the November general election, close to 1 million minority voters under the age of 30 could be affected by voter ID laws implemented in 17 states, according to a new study. Between 700,000 and 1 million minority voters under 30 are expected to be unable to place a vote thanks to recently implemented voter suppression laws, with a potential drop-off in turnout amongst these voters to be close to 700,000, according to a study from the Black Youth Project.

National: Voter ID, Real ID might clash for some | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that many of the most zealous advocates of voter ID laws object to anything that remotely smells like a national ID card. Voter ID laws are designed to harass and discourage old people, young people and minorities inclined to vote Democratic in states with Republican-dominated legislatures. National ID cards like the one approved under the Real ID Act of 2005 mandate another layer of federal regulation for state driver’s licenses and personal identification cards. By 2014, each state must issue driver’s licenses and ID cards that meet minimum federal requirements to be compliant with the law. The new cards will contain tamper-proof information and, eventually, biometric technology. All citizens, not just Democrats, would be hassled by the implementation of this law. The burden and expense of providing required documents just to apply for Real ID would be universal. If you want to catch a commercial flight, gain access to a nuclear facility or enter a federal building, Real ID cards will eventually be the only acceptable form of identification.

Florida: Thosands of notices urging voters to vote absentee are mailed out to voters in Duval County |

The ballot is so long and complicated that Duval County elections officials are urging people to request an absentee ballot to avoid a two- to three-hour wait at the polls. The city is mailing out absentee ballot requests to more than 200,000 voting households. You can tear it off, fill it out, with up to two voter requests for absentee ballots per form. Then tape it and mail it. Postage is prepaid. The mailing is costing the elections office more than $21,000, but it will make the election more controllable, according to Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland. First Coast News decided to find out how long it would take to fill out the ballot.

Iowa: More legal action possible in Iowa voter registration fight | Radio Iowa

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz  told The Des Moines Register he may sue to try to get access to a federal database so he can cross-check his list of suspected illegal voters. Schultz has discovered there are 3582 people who weren’t U.S. citizens when they got their Iowa driver’s license, but they are also registered to vote in Iowa. A judge late Friday issued a temporary injunction that prevents Schultz from taking any further action. Schultz spoke about the issue last week during a legislative hearing. “When somebody casts a ballot, you can’t unring that bell,” Schultz said. “If somebody is ineligible to vote and they cast a ballot that’s been counted, we can’t take that back. This is an important election coming up — every election’s important — but there’s a lot of importance placed on this election and, you know, we were under a situation where we had these kind of numbers and we can’t be for sure whether they’re accurate or not.”

Kansas: Birthers Lose Kansas Fight: Obama Will Stay On Ballot | TPM

A board of three elected Republican officials decided to allow President Barack Obama to remain on the Kansas ballot during a brief meeting on Monday, despite the protest of California lawyer/dentist Orly Taitz, arguably the nation’s most infamous “birther.” The unanimous vote brought a swift end to a saga which began Thursday evening when the Kansas Objections Board considered a complaint from a state resident seeking to exclude Obama from the ballot. That resident, Joe Montgomery of Manhattan, Kan., originally said he believed Obama was not a natural born U.S. citizen and therefore was ineligible to qualify for reelection. But he withdrew his objection on Friday, making Monday’s meeting more or less a formality to close the matter. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer voted to close the matter during the 15-minute meeting. They did so without making a ruling about the president’s citizenship. State Election Director Brad Bryant told TPM, however, that the board added a certification of Obama’s place of birth that Hawaii sent Kansas over the weekend into the record before bringing the matter to a close.

Mississippi: Democrats request return of paper audit trail printers in Chickasaw County |

The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors heard a request from the Democratic Executive Committee to reinstate the paper trail in the electronic voting machines at their Sept. 4 meeting. Circuit Clerk Sandra Willis said when the Diebold machines were first installed, the county paid for an addition of an attachment that provided a paper readout of the voter’s choices, but the machine additions did not work well and were discontinued. Willis said the $250 additions jammed often and most voters never asked for copies of their voting choices to be printed, instead reading them on the electronic screen and approving them. However, Willis also said the additions could be reinstalled if the board so chose. “It will cost you more money and more headaches,” Willis warned.

Missouri: State can’t print ballots until judge rules on election measure appeal | Watchdog News

Parties involved in an appeal over the language of a state amendment for judge appointments wait as the deadline to prepare general election ballots approaches. The western division of the Missouri Court of Appeals heard arguments Thursday regarding an initial ruling by a Cole County judge that does not change the original ballot summary penned by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.  The summary will ask voters on Nov. 6 if they want to give more latitude to the governor in appointing members of the commission that nominates judges for the Missouri Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Eight Missouri residents filed a lawsuit challenging the language.

New York: Independence Party Decides to Nominate No One for President | Ballot Access News

According to the New York State Board of Elections, the ballot-qualified Independence Party has decided not to nominate any presidential candidate. This is the first time a ballot-qualified party in New York has declined to nominate anyone for President since 1984, when the Right to Life Party had declined to nominate anyone for President. Before that, the last time in New York state was when the Conservative Party nominated no one. However, the only reason the New York Conservative Party ran no one for President in 1968 was that the party wanted to cross-endorse the Republican nominee (Richard Nixon) but the New York Republican Party refused to let the Conservative Party cross-endorse the Republican slate.

Ohio: Early voting boon to voters but can lead to problems, officials say | Coshocton Tribune

Ohio’s chief elections officer proudly hails a new program under which every registered voter will receive an absentee ballot application as a step that will “turn their kitchen table into a voting booth” in this fall’s presidential election. Now all voters have to do is make sure their ballots don’t end up — to stick with Secretary of State Jon Husted’s analogy — going down the electoral garbage disposal. Husted’s plan marks the first time in Ohio history that all of the state’s nearly 8 million registered voters will receive absentee applications.

Ohio: Democrats, Husted Still At Odds Over Ohio Weekend Voting | WBNS

A federal judge has denied a request by Ohio’s elections chief to hold off enforcing his court’s order on disputed early-voting days. Secretary of State Jon Husted asked the judge to stay the ruling that restores early voting on the final weekend and the Monday before the November election while the state appeals the decision. Husted said he did not want to confuse voters by setting hours a court could later change. A judge in Columbus said Wednesday that Husted did not demonstrate his likelihood of succeeding on appeal or show “sufficiently compelling reasons” for the stay. He said Husted also didn’t show there would be enough time after the appeals process to set new hours.

Ohio: Secretary of State Jon Husted frustrated by court challenges but confident in state’s elections operation |

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a young and rising star in the Ohio Republican Party, has become one of the most embattled election officials in the country, thanks to a spate of recent court decisions his critics have used to fuel their charges of voter suppression. Judges in three courts have ruled against Husted and forced the secretary to set early voting hours on the weekend before Election Day, revisit how provisional ballots are handled and rewrite misleading ballot language for a redistricting proposal. Those rulings came on the heels of a barrage of state and national criticism Husted already faced over Ohio’s uneven rules for early voting. He responded last month by setting uniform hours throughout the state, but invited more criticism by excluding weekend voting.

Oklahoma: Mail-in ballots curtailed by new Oklahoma law | Tulsa World

Danya Curtis explains her 398-30 advantage from mail-in absentee votes in her Aug. 28 Adair County Clerk runoff with Cathy Jones Harrison very simply. “I identified about 1,200 people who did not vote in the primary who said they would vote for me, and I encouraged them to apply for absentee ballots.” Curtis lost the election day vote 925-748 and the early walk-in vote 85-35, but won because of write-in absentees. She also finished first in the three-way June 26 primary on the strength of mail-in absentee voting. “I followed the law. I helped with the request papers if they needed help and sent a notary to notarize the ballots if they needed that. “From my point of view, I honestly believe it was a matter of being able to get out and work.”

South Dakota: Secretary of State Says ES&S M650 Scanner ‘100 percent accurate’ | The Daily Republic

A task force report issued Friday by South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant says Davison County’s ballot scanner is “100 percent accurate.” That means human error by the Davison County Auditor’s Office, which is led by Auditor Susan Kiepke, herself an elected official, was the culprit in a June 5 miscount that left the county’s primary election results in doubt for several days. “My statement to South Dakota voters,” Gant said in an interview following the issuance of the report, “is that the machines we use to count our ballots are 100 percent accurate.”

Belarus: Go fishing on election day, Belarus opposition urges people | Reuters

Belarus’s two main opposition parties said they would boycott a parliamentary election next Sunday, denouncing it as a fake exercise and are calling on people to “go fishing or visit your parents” instead. The poll for the 110-seat chamber takes place two years after police cracked down on street protests after a presidential election which installed hardline President Alexander Lukashenko for a fourth term in power. Scores of opposition activists were arrested in the December 2010 unrest and many people, including several candidates who stood against Lukashenko, were handed prison terms. “Honest people cannot take part in pseudo-elections to a fake parliament,” Anatoly Lebedko, leader of the United Civic Party, said at a weekend rally at which the party announced it was withdrawing its 38 candidates from the election. “I know I shall not be elected. And that is in no way because people will not vote for me,” said Grigoriy Kostusev, deputy head of the Belarussian People’s Front, which also opted to pull its 31 candidates out of the poll.

Malawi: Malawi Electoral Commission drills stakeholders | Malawi Post

The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) says there’s need for adequate, correct and value based information and capacity building among their stakeholders to contribute to acceptable and professionally managed elections. Mec Chairperson, Justice Anastazia Msosa, spoke on Monday during the opening of a five-day “building resources in democracy governance and elections” workshop in Blantyre.

Venezuela: Venezuela’s foreign policy decisive in presidential election | El Universal

Foreign diplomatic missions appointed to Venezuela are closely keeping track of the Venezuelan political process as the effects of the results of the upcoming Venezuelan presidential election will extend beyond the country’s borders. After 14 years in office and hoping to extend such period to 20 years, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez represents the continuity of his foreign policy, which aims at privileging those countries with common ideological interests or opposing US interests.