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Editorials: Thad Cochran’s victory shows voting rights well protected | Jeff Jacoby/The Boston Globe

Tea Party insurgent Chris McDaniel came tantalizingly close to knocking off Senator Thad Cochran in Mississippi’s Republican primary runoff last week, but a surge in black voter turnout saved the six-term incumbent’s bacon. Cochran’s election to a seventh term in November now seems a foregone conclusion, and boy, are a lot of conservatives mad. “There is something a bit unusual about a Republican primary that’s decided by liberal Democrats,” McDaniel fumed on election night, slamming Cochran and the GOP establishment for “once again reaching across the aisle [and] abandoning the conservative movement.” But whatever else the election outcome meant, Cochran’s “reaching across the aisle” made his victory a noteworthy instance of something that supposedly doesn’t and can’t happen in Mississippi even today: A white GOP politician sought support among Democrats, and particularly black Democrats. And far from being politically powerless, they tipped the election. Read More

Alaska: Voting officials knew of poor translation | Associated Press

The official who coordinated the Division of Election’s Yup’ik language program knew the translation for a radio announcement was off but suggested ignoring it anyway. Emails entered as exhibits during a federal voting-rights trial include a 2009 back-and-forth between the division’s then-language coordinator in Bethel, Dorie Wassilie, and her boss, Shelly Growden. The emails came in the midst of a prior lawsuit, settled in 2010. Wassilie, in her email, said the division would be criticized by the plaintiffs if they caught it, “but what the heck, it’s a similar word and hope that it goes right over their heads! :-)” Wassilie, a Yup’ik speaker, wrote to Growden. Growden, who does not speak Yup’ik, responded: “I too think it should be fine.” Read More

Voting Blogs: Big changes coming to little Delaware | electionlineWeekly

This week, the Delaware General Assembly approved broad legislation that will fundamentally change the way elections in the First State are administered, if not conducted. Under House Bill 302 the state’s election law will be amended to consolidate the three county—Kent, New Castle and Sussex—elections boards into one 11-member state board of elections. Unlike most, if not all other states, currently elections staff in each of Delaware’s three counties are state employees although they report to local elections boards and not the state. Read More

Illinois: Same-day voter registration coming to Illinois | Chicago Tribune

Sweeping Illinois election law changes likely to be in place this fall mean it’ll be easier to register, vote while away at college and cast an early ballot. Democrats say the relaxed rules will allow more people to exercise a basic democratic right, but Republicans are leery the moves are aimed at pumping up the Democratic vote in what has been a decidedly blue state. The changes are part of a measure lawmakers approved this spring that Gov. Pat Quinn plans to sign into law this summer. The biggest one will allow same-day registration for the first time, meaning Illinois voters could register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day. Read More

Iowa: Secretary of state candidates play down voter ID | Des Moines Register

The loud cry for voter identification and vote fraud investigation is fading to a whimper as Iowa’s top election official prepares to leave and those running to replace him downplay the politically charged issues. Matt Schultz, who recently was defeated in his bid for the Republican Party’s 3rd Congressional District nomination, was elected secretary of state in 2010 after a campaign largely focused on promoting voter ID and fighting what he argued was problematic voter fraud. Once in office, Schultz unsuccessfully lobbied lawmakers for a voter ID law, spent about $250,000 in a two-year investigation of election fraud and tried to pass a voter purge rule for those lacking citizenship proof, which led to a lawsuit. Read More

Mississippi: Voter-Fraud Claims and Activist’s Suicide Add to Turmoil in Mississippi | New York Times

The long and bitter Republican primary fight between Senator Thad Cochran and his Tea Party challenger descended into accusations of voter fraud on Friday, with the defeated candidate, State Senator Chris McDaniel, making clear he would not accept the results anytime soon. The escalating feud raised the prospect that a seething bloc of conservative voters could sit out the November election, improving the chances of the long-shot Democratic candidate, Travis Childers. A somber note was introduced into the intraparty fight on Friday when a Tea Party leader committed suicide. The man, Mark Mayfield, had been accused of being part of a conspiracy to photograph Rose Cochran, Mr. Cochran’s wife, in the Mississippi nursing home where she lives. Mr. Mayfield, a lawyer and a leader of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, had been arrested last month and charged with conspiring to break in to the room of Mrs. Cochran, who has dementia. Read More

Mississippi: Hinds County Republican Party Chairman: Mistakes were made, but no voter fraud found | Clarion-Ledger

Hinds County Republican Party chairman Pete Perry said Friday morning that examples of voter fraud cited by the tea party and Chris McDaniel’s campaign are simple clerical errors that were fixed. Since Tuesday’s runoff, Hinds County has been the epicenter of voter fraud allegations leveled by McDaniel and his supporters. Thursday night, McDaniel himself told a national television show that a review of some of the poll books from Hinds County turned up more than 1,000 instances where Democrats had voted in that party’s primary June 3 and illegally crossed over to vote in the GOP runoff Tuesday. Poll workers were trained extensively to prevent such crossover voting, Perry said. Hinds County’s Republican and Democratic parties switched poll books so poll workers could cross-reference voters to ensure they did not vote in the Democratic primary June 3 before giving them GOP ballots Tuesday. Read More

Montana: Republican leaders: Closing primaries will wait | The Missoulian

A conservative Republican who sponsored a successful resolution to close primary elections to nonparty members during last week’s convention wants a federal lawsuit filed immediately to get the process underway. But party leaders said this week they have no timeline and haven’t decided how they’ll proceed. That isn’t sitting well with resolution sponsor and House District 69 candidate Matthew Monforton. He said moderate party leaders are stalling because closed primaries threaten their chances for election. “The GOP leadership has no intention of following through,” Monforton said. “They’ve chosen their own interests over the call of their party.” Read More

Oklahoma: GOP Candidate Charges Opponent Is Dead, Represented By A Body Double | Huffington Post

Political opponents accuse each other of lying all the time, but one Oklahoma congressional candidate took his accusation to a new level this week when he claimed his opponent was actually dead and being represented by a body double. KFOR in Oklahoma reports that Timothy Ray Murray believes Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), his opponent in the congressional Republican primary, was executed three years ago and is being represented by a look-alike. Because he believes Lucas is really dead, Murray said he will challenge the results of Tuesday’s Republican primary, in which Murray received 5.2 percent of the vote. Lucas won the primary with 82.8 percent of the vote. “It is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a look alike. Rep. Lucas’ look alike was depicted as sentenced on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011,” Murray said in a statement posted on his campaign website. The statement claimed Lucas and “a few other” members of Congress from Oklahoma and other states were shown on television being hanged by “The World Court.” Read More

China: Hong Kong Ends Voting in Referendum, Readies for Rally | VoA News

More than 780,000 votes were cast by Sunday, the final day of an unofficial referendum on how Hong Kong’s next leader should be chosen. The ballot has been branded illegal by local and mainland Chinese authorities. Hong Kong, a free-wheeling, capitalist hub of more than 7 million people, returned to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997, with wide-ranging autonomy under a “one country, two systems”  formula, along with an undated promise of universal suffrage. China has promised to let all Hong Kong residents vote for their next leader in 2017. But it said candidates must be approved by a nomination committee. Read More