The Administrative Court for the State Council rejected a lawsuit on Tuesday that demanded a thorough review of the electoral register, the use of an electronic vote-counting system and replacing the use of a fingerprint to cast a vote. Judge Sami Darwish, vice-president of the State Council rejected the lawsuit that called for removing the names of people who died, policemen and soldiers from the electoral register, according to state-run Al-Ahram.
An important election survey that reveals patterns in voting and registration is the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey November Voting and Registration Supplement, or CPS for short. The 2012 CPS reveals insights to major stories about the election divined from the exit polls: the changing face of the electorate and the role of young people in determining the outcome of the presidential election. As I suggested previously, the increasing diversity of the 2012 electorate was a partially a turnout story, with non-Hispanic Whites modestly withdrawing from the electorate. The CPS further documents how it is also a story of the inevitable trend of increasing diversity of the country. Perhaps the most revealing new finding is a dramatic decrease in the youth vote, which has important ramifications for future elections.
In the run-up to last year’s general election, several political action groups worked to get residents of low-income and high-minority neighborhoods on Maricopa County’s permanent early voting list. As Nov. 6 approached, those groups had thousands of volunteers knocking on doors to encourage people to mail back those ballots and, if voters couldn’t for any reason, offering to deliver ballots to the county. “We’re in this to really be able to give a community a voice,” said Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, a Latino rights group that mobilized one of the larger ballot-collection efforts. “Voting is the very first step to doing that.”
California: CGI to implement new centralized statewide voter registration system, VoteCal | Santa Barbara Independent
CGI Group Inc. today announced it will implement California’s new centralized statewide voter registration database system, VoteCal, providing a single official source of voter registration information. The contract is valued at US$38.75 million over four years. VoteCal will connect to multiple state agencies and all 58 county election official offices to improve the efficiency of the voter registration process. Currently, information about new and existing registered voters is separately maintained in county election management systems with the current statewide voter registration database (CalVoter) storing a copy of each county’s voter registration data and refreshing that data based on daily updates.
Nearly 60,000 people voted absentee or early on whether the Miami Dolphins should get tourist taxes for a major facelift of Sun Life Stadium. But the legislature nixed the deal last Friday when the Speaker Will Weatherford, a Pasco County Republican, refused to allow it to be brought up. The election in Miami-Dade was called off as of the end of the day Friday. So what would become of all those votes? Would they be counted, revealed, thrown out? At Miami-Dade Elections headquarters there was confusion. No one could recall an election – already underway – being cancelled. Elections officials waffled. The ballots might be kept secret. They might be released. They might be destroyed. Mayor Carlos Gimenez put an end to the confusion Tuesday in an interview with CBS4′s Gary Nelson.
The Federal Election Commission has fined three men and two Tampa companies a total of $16,000 for illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota. The FEC’s case was prompted by a 2009 Tampa Bay Times story about contributions made in the name of Terry Keith Howell, a registered Democrat who was bankrupt when he gave $8,800 to Buchanan. The money actually came from Howell’s business partners in violation of a federal law that bans third-party contributions. Howell ” was concerned about the appearance of his contribution because Howell was a Democrat but was contributing to the Republicans at a time when he didn’t have any money,” according to a report by the FEC’s general counsel.
The Minnesota House passed an omnibus elections bill today that would allow eligible voters to cast absentee ballots without stating a reason for not voting in person on Election Day. The vote was 74-60, with only one two Republican joining Democrats on the prevailing side. That doesn’t appear to meet the “broad bipartisan support” standard that DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has said he’ll require to sign election law changes. In addition to no-excuse absentee voting, the bill includes higher thresholds for taxpayer-funded recounts, tighter controls over felon voting rights and a reduction in Election Day vouching. There’s also a change in way statewide elections would proceed if a majority candidate dies or is incapacitated.
The Jackson Free Press is hearing about a number of Election Day issues that seem to be associated with the use of new voting machines. This morning, the Jackson Free Press received a tip about issues at Ward 7’s Precinct 97 in south Jackson, located at the Wahabi Shriners, 4123 Interstate 55 S. The precinct is supposed to have one voting machine to read hand-marked ballots and count the votes. The machine, which poll workers said was scheduled for delivery at 6:15 a.m., didn’t show up until 8:43 a.m., nearly two hours after the polls opened. And then it didn’t work. In April, after a months-long process, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors agreed to a $1.2 million five-year contract with Electronic Systems and Software for new voting machines. Headquartered in Omaha, Neb., ES&S also holds a contract with the Mississippi secretary of state to facilitate overseas and military voting.
Along party lines, a Senate committee on Wednesday supported on a 3-2 vote changing the current state voter identification law by removing its clear statutory reference to student IDs as an acceptable form of voter ID. Also Wednesday, the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee voted — again along partisan lines — to recommend passage of legislation that addresses the requirements that one needs to meet to register to vote. Committee Chairman David Boutin, R-Hooksett, said although the specific reference to a student ID is removed under his voter ID amendment, it would allow state university system student IDs to be used under a broad requirement that the would-be voters produce “a nondriver’s identification card issued by” a “department, agency or office of any state.”
Secretary of State Jon Husted made a brief stop at a Dayton polling location about 10 a.m. Tuesday to highlight use of e-pollbooks for elections. The technology is currently in use in 11 counties. Montgomery County has used the e-pollbooks, which resemble an electronic tablet with a card reader, for six elections. The e-pollbooks are used as part of the sign-in identification process at the polls.
Voter ID was just the beginning. A trio of bills aimed at overhauling access to the ballot box in Pennsylvania will get a hearing on Thursday, when the Senate Democratic Policy Committee meets in the Allegheny County Courthouse, Downtown, at 10 a.m. The bills would allow voters to cast ballots up to 15 days before Election Day; vote absentee without giving an excuse; and register on the same day as voting. “It reflects modern life much better than the current situation does,” said Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks County, who sponsored the absentee ballot bill in part because, in 2009, she missed her chance to vote because she was unexpectedly out of town on business.
Elections BC has introduced a new initiative that they’re hoping will make voting easier for residents of one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods. For the first time, voters throughout the province will officially be allowed to present prescription bottles as a secondary piece of ID at the polls for next week’s provincial election. According to Don Main of Elections BC, the initiative was borne out of community consultations in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside — sometimes referred to as ‘Canada’s poorest postal code.’
Though it’s been tested on a small scale in local elections, many commentators believe it’s too soon to implement e-voting nationwide in Indonesia’s 2014 election. The technology has been tested in local elections in Pandeglang, Banten, West Java; the Jembrana Regency of Bali; and the Bantaeng Regency in South Sulawesi – but the experience was mixed, according to politicians and academicians. Idrus Paturusi, rector at Hassanuddin University in Makassar, praised what he said was efficiency and accuracy of e-voting tested at selected polling stations during an April 17th election in South Sulawesi, according to a recent opinion piece in The Jakarta Post. Another positive review came from Muhammad Alhamid, chairman of the Election Supervisory Committee (Bawaslu), who said e-voting could save money and eliminate potential violations during ballot counting. But scepticism about relying on the system nationwide next year is widespread.
Iran’s state television broadcast a live program on Tuesday in which passers-by were placed in a chair and asked what they would do if they were president. One man said he would “work for the people.” A second jumped up when he heard the question. “I don’t want this chair!” he said. Suddenly, a young woman grabbed the microphone. “This program is nonsense,” she said. “Those who really sit on this chair are only there to fill their own pockets.” The program rapidly broke for a commercial, but it was a rare and revealing unscripted moment in the strictly controlled run-up to the presidential election on June 14.
At least 50,000 Malaysian opposition supporters rallied at a stadium Wednesday to protest what they say are fraud-marred election results that enabled the long-ruling coalition to cling to power. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s three-party alliance believes the National Front coalition used illegal voters, bogus ballots and other irregularities in May 5 national polls to extend its 56 years of rule. Prime Minister Najib Razak has rejected the accusations and maintained that the elections were free and fair.
Over 2,000 journalists working in Islamabad and Rawalpindi will not be able to vote because of duties on May 11. The journalists have demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) devise a swift strategy to facilitate them to vote in their respective constituencies. Many journalists will be on duty on May 11 to report news promptly. Unfortunately the ECP has no system to ensure that journalists can exercise their voting rights.
A British expat who took a test case to the European Court of Human Rights to try to secure the right to vote in UK general elections has lost the case. Harry Shindler, 93, has lived in Italy since he retired from the army in 1982 argued that he should be allowed to vote in UK elections as he still has strong ties to the country. Currently anyone who has lived abroad for more than 15 years cannot vote in a general election in the UK but Shindler claimed that this breached his human rights. However, the court rules that it is entirely appropriate for the UK to have such conditions and said that there should always be ‘room for manoeuvre’ over eligibility for voting rights. It is an issue that is estimated to affect around a million British expats. The rules mean that expats can vote only in for general elections for a certain time but they can vote if they move back to the UK.