Arkansas: No Small Stuff (cont.): Ballot Error Costs Pulaski $12,800 | Election Academy

The latest example of “there is no small stuff” in elections comes to us from Pulaski County (Little Rock) Arkansas – where a small but crucial error in preparing ballots for an upcoming millage election ended up costing the county thousands of dollars when they had to be reprinted. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has more:

One number put in the wrong place resulted in a decision Saturday to reprint more than 53,600 ballots before the March 11 Pulaski County special millage election. The Pulaski County Election Commission — which now holds meetings during each poll-worker training session — voted unanimously Saturday to reprint the ballots after realizing the misprinted forms could not be counted by the voting machines at the precincts.

Connecticut: State launches online voter registration | Journal Inquirer

Elijah Alvarez of Vernon became one of the first people to use the state’s new online voter registration system Tuesday. Alvarez, 17, set up his tablet computer, grabbed his driver’s license, and was ready to go. It took minutes. “Very easy,” Alvarez said afterwards. He’ll be 18 this month. And once his registration application is approved by his town’s registrars of voters, he’ll be able to vote in the November election. At the same time, Lisette Rodriguez of East Hartford, who is 20, used the program to change her voting address to reflect a recent move from Church Street to Tolland Street. They were the first two to use the online voter registration system after it was announced Tuesday by Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill.

Kentucky: Senate appears poised to approve constitutional amendment on felon voting rights |

After years of languishing in the Republican-led Senate, a constitutional amendment that would restore voting rights for most ex-felons appears poised to win legislative approval Wednesday at the behest of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. The full Senate is expected to sign off on the proposal Wednesday afternoon, following a scheduled appearance by Paul to push the bill through the Senate State and Local Government Committee at noon, said Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester. “I think it has a good chance of passing,” Stivers said Tuesday afternoon.

Nebraska: Democrats decide to open primary voting to independents this year | Associated Press

Nebraska Democratic Party leadership has decided to open its statewide May primary to independents. The party’s Central Committee voted 32-30 on Saturday to make the change. State party chairman Vince Powers said the measure is aimed in part at encouraging people to vote. “This vote emphasizes the openness of our party and the great importance we place on the political process and voter participation in all elections,” Powers said.

Ohio: GOP bill alters Ohio rules for provisional ballots | The Columbus Dispatch

As two controversial election bills head to the House floor today, Democrats and elections officials yesterday raised concerns about a third bill dealing with provisional ballots that is likely to get a committee vote this morning. Current provisional ballot envelopes require a voter’s printed name, a form of identification and the voter’s signature. Senate Bill 216 also would require the voter to add date of birth and a current and former address, plus check a box instructing the voter to provide those addresses. The new information would allow the envelope to double as a voter-registration form.

Ohio: 3rd voting-restriction bill set to clear House panel today | Toledo Blade

The third bill so far this year imposing new restrictions on casting ballots is expected to clear a committee today on its way to the full House. The bill, which would increase the field of information voters must supply for their last-resort provisional ballots to be counted, will have to wait in line. Two bills affecting absentee and early voting are ahead of it for full House votes as soon as today. Under the bill, a voter who casts a provisional ballot must provide a current home address and birth date on top of existing requirements for name, signature, and the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number or a driver’s license number. Senate Bill 216, sponsored by Sen. Bill Seitz (R., Cincinnati), also clarifies that it would be the voter’s responsibility, not the workers at the poll, to ensure the information is complete. If it is determined that the information was incomplete, the board of elections will contact the would-be voter by mail to give him up to seven days after the election to fix it.

Oregon: Internet voting would be studied under bill advanced by Senate panel | OregonLive

A panel of Oregon lawmakers Tuesday took a small first step toward Internet voting by advancing a bill to study its feasibility, despite concerns about ballot security. Senate Bill 1515 would establish a work group to study the issue and submit a report to the Legislature by Dec. 1. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill in the coming days. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, said studying the concept doesn’t mean the state will definitely move toward Internet voting. Opponents charge that electronic voting systems would be susceptible to malicious hacks that could compromise the security of ballots, especially in light of this month’s breach of the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.

Utah: Bill advances to prevent posting voter rolls online | The Salt Lake Tribune

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday aiming to prevent the online posting of personal information from Utah’s voter-registration rolls, but it still would allow access by political parties, journalists and researchers. Meanwhile, a tougher bill — which could allow voters to check a box to entirely cut off public access to their data on the rolls such as birth date, address, phone number and party affiliation — has been advancing in the House. The Senate voted 26-0 on Tuesday to pass SB36, the less restrictive bill by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, and sent it to the House.

Utah: Proposed constitutional amendment would counter Count My Vote initiative | Deseret News

A proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting infringement on a political party’s right to nominate candidates for public office could be on the November election ballot. Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, is sponsoring the measure to counter the Count My Vote initiative to replace Utah’s unique caucus and convention system with direct primaries, which might also be on the ballot this fall. Also, the Senate scheduled a floor debate on SB54 — legislation that would allow parties to avoid direct primaries — for 11 a.m. Thursday. Jenkins sees his resolution, SJR15, as complementary to the bill but also an attempt to thwart the Count My Vote effort. The group must gather more than 100,000 signatures to put its measure before voters in November.

Wisconsin: State Supreme Court to hear Voter ID cases | Agriview

Oral arguments in two cases challenging the state’s voter photo identification (ID) law are scheduled for 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 25. In January, the court asked the parties to advise the court in writing, if they believed arguments in the two cases should be consolidated. The responses from the two parties indicated they did not wish the cases to be consolidated. The two cases are: No. 2012AP584-AC – League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network, Inc. v. Scott Walker L.C.#2011CV4669/ and No. 2012AP1652 – Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Scott Walker L.C.#2011CV5492. Both the League of Women Voters and the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP have challenged Wisconsin’s voter photo ID law. In both cases, Dane County judges struck down the law.

Australia: Fresh Senate poll likely in Western Australia | Perth Now

West Australians could go back to the polls as early as March after the High Court could not declare who was elected to the Senate because of lost votes. The Australian Electoral Commission petitioned the court for the election to be declared void, after it lost 1375 votes during a recount for the September 2013 election. The initial count declared the Liberals and Labor winners of the first four of six seats. The final two seats went to Zhenya Dio Wang of the Palmer United Party and Labor Senator Louise Pratt. But the recount narrowly gave the final two seats to the Australian Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich and the Greens’ Senator Scott Ludlam.

Libya: Militia threat pressures leaders on eve of Libya vote | GlobalPost

A threat by powerful militias to dissolve parliament ramped up pressure on Libya’s weak central government Wednesday on the eve of a vote to elect a constitution-drafting panel. The vote is the latest milestone in the chaotic transition following the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi, but has generated little enthusiasm among Libyans frustrated by the government’s inability to impose order on former rebels. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said late Tuesday a “compromise” had been reached with ex-rebel militias who had given Libya’s interim assembly a deadline to hand over power. Zeidan said the deadline had been extended by 72 hours but did not give further details of the compromise, telling journalists only that “wisdom has prevailed” after discussions with representatives from the militias, the assembly and the United Nations.