Michigan Republican Candice S. Miller was appointed chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, House Speaker John A. Boehner announced Friday afternoon, making Miller the only female chairman of a House committee for the 113th Congress. Miller’s selection over Mississippi Rep. Gregg Harper — who had expressed interest in the post — comes just days after House Republicans were chided by Democrats and some womens’ groups for signing off on an all-white male cast to lead the 19 major House committees. Miller will replace Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., who lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Ami Bera.
In a condescending but shallow response to a Huffington Post piece written last week by my colleague Emily Phelps and me, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto accuses us of appealing to “emotion” and wallowing in “nostalgia for the heroism of the civil rights movement half a century ago.” Our piece mourned the recent death of Lawrence Guyot, a civil rights hero who was repeatedly “challenged, jailed and beaten” in his efforts to register black voters in Mississippi in the 1960s, while making broader points about the continued need for the law — the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — that represents one of the most important accomplishments produced by the struggles of Mr. Guyot and his civil rights movement compatriots.
Pizza, popsicles and port-a-potties may have helped secure the decisive win for President Barack Obama and other Democrats in Florida. Obama’s data-driven campaign machine and the popular president himself deserve most of the credit. But the GOP-majority legislature may have unwittingly given Obama a boost with a restrictive election law reportedly targeted at Democratic and minority voters. Progressives, left-leaning groups and the NAACP, which did not endorse Obama, rallied in opposition to the law and used it to motivate voters, including blacks for whom restrictions on early voting triggered a generations-old sensitivity to having their vote suppressed.
A Polk County judge said she would rule “soon” on whether an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Secretary of State Matt Schultz will go on. Judge Mary Pat Gunderson also will decide if lawyers from the ACLU can depose Schultz and a Department of Criminal Investigation agent working for him as part of the case. The main issue was a pair of voter registration rules Schultz’s office approved as emergency measures in the run up to the November election.
A proposal by Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller to seek a voter photo requirement in the upcoming Legislature appears dead before arrival, with legislative leaders of his own party expressing opposition. Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, and Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas question how Nevada can afford the $10 million to $20 million price tag of a voter ID program when the state faces more pressing needs. Denis said there was scant evidence of organized voter fraud in the fall elections, so it makes no sense to implement the Miller plan.
Here’s one way Gov. Andrew Cuomo can match the acclaim he achieved by getting same-sex marriage approved in New York State: persuade the State Legislature to make New York’s system of electing legislators the fairest and most transparent in the country. Such a system should include a public financing mechanism modeled on New York City’s successful efforts to involve small donors with matching contributions. It would set sensible limits on individual and corporate contributions. It would close loopholes. It would be transparent and strictly enforced. By setting a national standard for public financing, New York State could go from laggard to leader.
A Pennsylvania lawmaker’s plan to divvy up electoral votes based on a presidential candidate’s public support may be just the first of many state legislative moves to alter the way the nation chooses a leader. State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, a Republican from Chester, wants to replace the winner-take-all system, which gave President Barack Obama Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, with one that divides them to reflect the proportion of public support for each candidate. His method would have given 12 votes to Obama and eight to Republican Mitt Romney this year.
Two days after Richland County election officials assured their bosses and the public that all votes had been counted, they learned that a voting machine from the Lincolnshire precinct, stored in a warehouse after the election, contained 27 uncounted votes. The notice came not from keen-eyed election officials but from a USC computer science professor who analyzes elections and who happened to be a poll watcher at Lincolnshire, a precinct off Monticello Road north of I-20. The analysis by professor Duncan Buell also found that in addition to the machine used by curbside voters at Lincolnshire, votes in six machines at six other precincts might not have been counted.
US Virgin Islands: Federal audit of Elections System delayed by John Abramson’s absence | Virgin Islands Daily News
A federal audit of the V.I. Elections System scheduled to begin last week is being delayed because of the absence of V.I. Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. Curtis Crider, the inspector general for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, said Thursday that two factors contributed to the delay. “One, we wanted to make sure it was after the election was over,” Crider said.
Del. Mark Cole is worried about voter fraud in Virginia. Not that any evidence of widespread fraud has come to light in the commonwealth. But, well, it could be happening, Cole figures. So he’s going to double back on his effort this year to tighten up. Cole, a Republican from Spotsylvania County, has prefiled a bill for the 2013 General Assembly session, HB 1337, that would remove several forms of identification voters can present at the polls when they go to cast their ballots. He wants to strike current utility bills, bank statements, government checks or pay stubs that show a person’s address — all added this year to help win Justice Department approval when the Republican-dominated assembly passed, and Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell signed, legislation making it significantly harder for Virginians to vote without proper ID.
Three of this area’s state legislators are divided on whether they would support no-excuse, in-person early voting in Virginia to alleviate some of the long waits to vote that occurred on Election Day Nov. 6. Del. Charles Poindexter said Virginia’s current election system has worked well — “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said — and he sees some drawbacks to allowing voters to cast ballots early in person without an excuse. Del. Don Merricks said he would not be opposed to no-excuse, in-person early voting in concept, but a lot of logistical issues would need to be worked out. Del. Danny Marshall said he would favor such early voting if it could be done at registrar’s offices. State Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Glade Hill, could not be reached.
Ghana’s presidential and legislative elections set for 7 and 28 December 2012 respectively, will be extremely close and come at a significant time given the region’s instability. The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has again selected Nana Akufo Addo as its presidential candidate and aim to regain power after its 2008 defeat. Akufo Addo was defeated by less than 1% of the vote in the final run-off – just 40,500 votes. The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, President John Mahama, is campaigning to convince voters that he and his party are fit to continue in office.
Police used water canon to break up rock-throwing protesters in Slovenia’s capital on Friday after a rally against budget cuts and alleged corruption turned violent two days ahead of a presidential election. Officers said it was the first time they had used that level of crowd control since the country’s independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and 15 people, mostly policemen, were injured. Thousands of Slovenians took to the streets in Ljubljana and six other cities in the financially troubled euro zone country, the latest in a series of protests.
Slovenia’s prime minister is on trial accused of involvement in a bribery scandal. The main opposition leader – who is also mayor of the capital – is under investigation for alleged corruption. So is the mayor of the EU nation’s second-largest city. Slovenes say they have had enough. Chanting “Thieves!” several thousand people took to the streets again Monday in this small, crisis-hit Alpine state, rejecting what they call the country’s “corrupt elite.” Thousands also took to the streets last week in what has become biggest outburst of public discontent in decades, outrages that has seriously shaken the nation once praised for its smooth transition from communism to market economy.