The Voting News Daily: Will Republicans accept if Barack Obama defeats Mitt Romney, 4 controversial rule changes to know in the 2012 elections

Editorials: Will Republicans accept if Barack Obama defeats Mitt Romney? | Slate Magazine What if President Obama wins re-election and Republicans don’t believe it? The question isn’t far-fetched. For several weeks, we have seen Republicans challenge the veracity of a number of election-related facts, and the outcome of the presidential election may be no different. First, some…

National: 4 controversial rule changes to know in the 2012 elections | Alaska Dispatch

Voter ID laws have received plenty of attention recently, but they’re not the only controversial changes to election rules this year. Some states have made changes that critics say could impact individuals’ ability to vote. Here are four. Ohio won’t count provisional ballots mistakenly cast in the wrong precinct. Four years ago in Ohio, there were 200,000 provisional ballots cast among a total 5.7 million votes. This was the most among any state other than California. (Federal law requires states to use provisional ballotswhen a voter’s eligibility is in question or if their registration doesn’t reflect a new name or address.) But Ohio requires county election boards to reject provisional ballots if the ballot doesn’t correspond to the voter’s assigned precinct — even if it was the poll worker’s mistake. (A few other states have similar rules, but Ohio is fighting a lawsuit right now to preserve its approach.)

National: All Mail in Elections Beneficial in Some States | WREG

In The last Presidential election, 61% of eligible voters in Shelby County cast a ballot. In this past summer’s primary election saw a measly 17% voter turnout.  Some states, like Oregon and Washington, have started mailing people ballots. Those two states have some of the highest turnout every election. The voter fills out the ballot and and puts it back in the mailbox, casting their ballot. “I am voting and I think it would be a lot more convenient for everybody if we could do that,” said Stephanie Helay. While Shelby County saw that seventeen percent turnout in August Washington state saw an average of thirty-eight percent voter turnout.

Editorials: Will Republicans accept if Barack Obama defeats Mitt Romney? | Slate Magazine

What if President Obama wins re-election and Republicans don’t believe it? The question isn’t far-fetched. For several weeks, we have seen Republicans challenge the veracity of a number of election-related facts, and the outcome of the presidential election may be no different. First, some Republicans claimed that public opinion polls were all skewed to show an Obama lead. As Slate reported, 71 percent of self-identified Republicans and 84 percent of Tea Partiers believe in the skew. Republicans confidently claim that the polls are oversampling Democrats, not realizing that these are self-reported party identifications, which rise and fall with candidates’ support. Distrust of the polls is not a new phenomenon, and it is not confined to Republicans. As Nate Silver pointed out, when Democrats were behind in 2004 they believed the polls were skewed toward Republicans. Fortunately, the Romney debate performance last week apparently was enough to “unskew” the latest numbers.

Arizona: Pima County readies its aged counting devices for election | azstarnet

The optical scanners that will be used to count Pima County votes in November’s general election were bought in the 1990s, when the technology was already old. “It’s like flying around in an old DC-7,” said Charles Geoffrion, chairman of the county’s Election Integrity Commission. He was referring to a 1950-60s’ era propeller airplane. The machines are being disassembled, cleaned and tested. Worn-out parts are being replaced with parts the county acquired by tracing the scanner supply chain. The original manufacturer no longer supplies them. Pima County Elections Department Director Brad Nelson hopes to buy new equipment next year, but he anticipates that the current scanners will be adequate for this election.

California: State makes it easier to vote, unlike many other states | San Luis Obispo

California is bucking a national trend this election season, making it easier for people to vote while many states are making it harder. Those forms you may remember picking up from the library or post office are no longer necessary to register to vote. With a few mouse clicks, Californians can now register or update their registration. Because of a law Gov. Jerry Brown signed last month, state residents also should be able to register to vote as late as Election Day by the next presidential election in 2016. Over time, experts believe, the changes will add many new voters to the rolls – especially those who are young or non-white, groups less likely to register now. Compare that with other parts of the country, where lawmakers are reducing registration opportunities or establishing new requirements that voters show photo identification at the polls.

Colorado: County clerks blast Gessler for “errors and oversights” | The Denver Post

The Colorado County Clerks Association today unleashed a litany of complaints on Secretary of State Scott Gessler, pointing to a “cumbersome list of issues” with his office.In a letter from Executive Director Donetta Davidson, the clerks’ association called for greater cooperation. Gessler, a Republican, was not available for comment, but a spokesman Andrew Cole, defended the office. “The items that they (clerks) are complaining about have all been meant to and have increased voter registration to the highest level ever in Colorado and have made it easier for military voters to vote than ever before,” Cole said.

Colorado: Voter Signature Investigations | KKTV

Your vote in the upcoming election may not be counted and you won’t even know it, until it’s too late. The reason, steps are being taken to protect against voter fraud and it all revolves around your signature. Before voters get to the polls, most of them will spend some time going over every issue on the ballot. “I usually take some time; I know when I’m going in there so it happens pretty quickly.” But turns out there is one thing many voters will just skim over. “I guess sometimes you might not sign your signature the same every time.” Chief Investigator, Larry Martin with the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office says whatever you do, don’t rush the signature line. “When you sign your ballot sign it with your proper signature, that you had when you registered, don’t just scribble your name on there because it’s going to be rejected,” Martin said.

Florida: In voter registration fraud case, it’s not Mickey Mouse you have to worry about | Tampa Bay Times

The obviously fraudulent applications filed by a vendor hired by the Republican Party of Florida have gained wide attention in a case that’s now being investigated by law enforcement. The dead woman registered to vote in Santa Rosa County. Phony addresses in Palm Beach County for voters that lead to a gas station, a Land Rover dealership and the Port Everglades administration office. But it’s not blatant fraud like this that has elections experts worried about possible voting mayhem come November. Rather, it’s the re-registration of voters, where personal information such as someone’s party affiliation, signature or address could have been changed without the person’s knowledge. “If they’re submitting the names of dead people or Mickey Mouse, that will be caught,” said Daniel A. Smith, a political scientist at the University of Florida. “The more pernicious type of fraud is where they change the addresses of people already registered, so that when they go to vote, they’ll be at the wrong precinct.”

Maryland: Officials not concerned about voter-registration fraud | Capital Gazette

Volunteers, interest groups and any individuals who want to print out the proper forms are rushing to register voters as Maryland’s deadline looms less than two weeks away. But while recent voter-registration scandals have been cause for concern in some states, the state Board of Elections said the focus in Maryland is on voter roll maintenance, not registration fraud prevention. “There’s a process in place, a very specific process that we work through,” said Ross Goldstein, spokesman for the board. “We meet the letter of the law with respect to voter registration list maintenance.” Prominent businessman and voter-registration drive leader Nathan Sproul, who runs Strategic Allied Consulting, is at the center of a voter-fraud registration scandal in Florida. Sproul, who has consulted prominent Republican candidates such as Mitt Romney, was linked to hundreds of forms containing irregularities, including suspicious signatures and missing information in nine Florida counties. Voter-registration fraud such as this, or when firms don’t send in forms for voters from the opposite party, is insidious, said Paul Herrnson, director for the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland.

Ohio: Ohio asks to curb early voting | SCOTUSblog

State officials in Ohio on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court for permission to close the voting booths to early voters on the weekend prior to election day on November 6, for all but overseas military voters.   The Sixth Circuit Court, in a ruling sought by President Obama’s campaign and by the Democratic Party, ruled that excluding non-military voters from casting their ballots on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday just before election day would unconstitutionally deny the opportunity to vote to citizens who have lower incomes and are less educated. The dispute fits into a nationwide pattern in which state officials have moved to narrow voting opportunities, with Republicans arguing that those steps were needed to prevent fraud and to allow election officials to conduct elections in an orderly way, and with Democrats claiming that the efforts are designed to reduce voting by groups that are assumed to favor Democratic candidates.   Ohioans have already started early voting, with crowds seeking to do so on the first days of this form of “absentee” balloting.   Although conducted under absentee voting laws, the early voting at issue actually occurs in person.

Uncategorized: Ohio asks Supreme Court to overturn early-voting ruling | The Washington Post

Ohio asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to overturn a federal appeals court’s ruling that the state must allow all voters to cast ballots on the weekend before the election, not just those in the military. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit sided with state Democrats and President Obama’s reelection campaign last week and said the state had not shown why in-person voting during the Saturday-Monday period should be offered to only one group of voters. Ohio Secretary of State Jon A. Husted (R) called that an “unprecedented intrusion” by federal courts. “We are asking the Supreme Court to step in and allow Ohioans to run Ohio elections,” he said in a statement.

Editorials: Ohio’s Secretary of State Subverts Voting Rights | The Nation

Once again, political experts are predicting that the 2012 presidential election could be decided in the battleground state of Ohio, like it was in 2004. Remember what happened that year? George W. Bush won the state by a narrow 118,000 votes in an election marred by widespread electoral dysfunction. “The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters,” found a post-election report by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. According to one survey, 174,000 Ohioans, 3 percent of the electorate, left their polling place without voting because of massive lines in urban precincts and on college campuses. Ohio’s Secretary of State that year was Ken Blackwell, co-chairman of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign.

Wisconsin: Absentee Ballots Getting Numbered to Smooth Election Night || Caledonia, WI Patch

Voters who line up early on Nov. 6 to cast a ballot may find that they’re not really number one or two or even 102. Instead, early morning voters may find themselves holding numbers that start much higher. The reason is because clerks in the Villages of Caledonia, Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant are using poll workers to pre-number absentee ballots in the days leading up to election day. Veronica Rudychev, village clerk/treasurer in Mount Pleasant, said taking these steps before election day should help results roll in a little more quickly and the day go more smoothly as well.

Ghana: Electioneering, Ghana Style |

The December elections may prove to be one of the sternest tests faced by Ghana’s electoral commission. Ghana’s Electoral Commission has proven robust in trying circumstances in the past. But the coming elections this December may test its capabilities like never before. A re-drawing of constituency boundaries has provoked cries of foul play and, although lauded in the past for impartiality, the electoral commission faces difficult challenges.

India: Advani favours voting rights to Indians settled abroad | ibnlive

Senior BJP leader LK Advani on Tuesday said he is in favour of granting voting rights to Indians and people of Indian-origin settled abroad. Advani, who is leading a group of visiting Indian Parliamentarians here to attend sessions of the UN General Assembly, addressed a large gathering of Indian-Americans and community leaders at an event organised over the weekend by the Overseas Friend of BJP in Edison, New Jersey. He said Indians living abroad have been making efforts to get voting rights and wish to participate in the electoral process of their country. “I want that all Indians and people of Indian origin living abroad should get voting rights. It will be a very good step,” Advani said, adding that this can be made possible only when there are changes in India and the country’s laws.

Russia: Horse-Trading Positions Kremlin Allies to Win Gubernatorial Races | The Moscow Times

Three candidates running for mayor in the Moscow region town of Khimki announced Tuesday that they will withdraw from the high-profile race, one of dozens of local and regional elections slated for Sunday that include the first gubernatorial elections since 2005. Igor Belousov, a former Khimki deputy mayor who became an opposition supporter, said he has decided to quit the race and back acting Mayor Oleg Shakhov, who is supported by the ruling United Russia party. Also exiting the race is Yury Babak, a candidate from the obscure Cities of Russia party who said he would also support Shakhov. The third person to abandon his candidacy Tuesday was Alexander Romanovich of the Just Russia party. Without elaborating, Romanovich said actions by the regional administration were preventing him from running a proper campaign, the party said in a statement.