South Korea: Technology brings changes to voting | Korea Herald

Korea posted a record high early voter turnout in part due to technologies such as electronic voting, adopted at ballot stations nationwide. Various political agenda ― from the Sewol ferry sinking and education, to public welfare and security ― have driven mostly those in their 20s and 30s to vote in advance. But the record turnout of 11.5 percent during the two-day period last week was partly attributable to a connected system allowing more than 3,500 polling stations to rapidly cross-check voters’ identities with a centralized database. Given that the database stored information of eligible voters, constituents were able to quickly and comfortably cast their ballots anywhere by either showing identification cards or having their fingerprints scanned.

California: No ballots, no voting machines and other glitches at Los Angeles County polling places | Daily News

With some 5,000 polling places operating throughout Los Angeles County on Tuesday and a shortage of volunteers, some voting locations reported problems such as missing ink and other materials and a lack of staffing. Loyola Marymount University’s Center for the Study of Los Angeles, which had students at polling sites throughout the area, was keeping track of the problems through its Twitter feed, noting issues such as an absence of workers at one site, and voting machines without ink. “Still no ballots at Fire Station 99. Polls have been open for FOUR HOURS,” one tweet noted, referring to a site on the Westside.

Mississippi: Election funds up in the air | Desoto Times Tribune

DeSoto County officials feel they are entitled to receive compensation for ongoing maintenance costs of the county’s fleet of election machines just like other counties in Mississippi, despite the fact the county chose another type of machine a decade ago than the one preferred by the Secretary of State’s Office. DeSoto County is one of five so-called “opt-out counties” that chose to purchase optical scanning machines or M-100s rather than a touch-screen voting machine known as a TSX. Other counties which opted out of buying state-sanctioned machines are Yalobusha, Hinds and Rankin counties. Thompson said she has since been told there is no money for the upkeep and maintenance of the five “opt-out” counties. Thompson said maintenance costs for DeSoto County’s machines top $30,000.

Syria: Vote a Mix of Exuberance and Fear | Wall Street Journal

Government supporters stuffed ballot boxes and staged rallies inside polling stations in an election that President Bashar al-Assad is expected to use as a mandate to prosecute the civil war. Opponents of the regime inside and outside the country have dismissed the presidential election as a parody of democracy. As the voting proceeded on Tuesday, the nearly 40-month war continued without letup and the sky above Damascus was filled with the buzz of military aircraft carrying out bombing sorties against targets in rebel-held suburbs. The mood was a mixture of fear, intimidation and exuberance. The voting was held only in regime-controlled areas of the country. At polling stations in the capital Damascus and its suburbs, Assad supporters were seen casting handfuls of ballots for absent members of their families. At other stations, government workers arrived aboard buses and chanted adoring slogans before casting their votes for the 48-year-old president, who is locking in a third, seven-year term.

Canada: Feds appeal expat voting rights decision | Canadian Press

A court decision that handed the right to vote to more than one million Canadians who have lived outside the country for more than five years will be appealed, the Conservative government said Monday. In addition, Ottawa said it would seek a stay of the ruling, dashing hopes some expatriates might have had of voting in the byelections scheduled for the end of the month.”Non-residents should have a direct and meaningful connection to Canada and to their ridings in order to vote in federal elections,” Pierre Poilievre, minister of state responsible for democratic reform, said in a statement. “For over two decades, Canada’s policy has limited to five years the length of time someone can be abroad and still vote. That is fair and reasonable.” The application to put the ruling on hold pending the appeal is expected to be heard on June 20.

Egypt: Ex-Army Chief Declared New President | Associated Press

Egypt’s former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was officially declared the next president Tuesday, winning elections to replace the Islamist leader he removed from the post last year. The Election Commission announced the results of last week’s election, saying al-Sisi won a landslide victory with 96.9 percent of the vote, with turnout of 47.45 percent. Al-Sisi garnered 23.78 million votes, while his sole rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, got 318,000 — lower than the 1.4 million invalid ballots cast in the polling. After the announcement, several hundred people gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square set off fireworks, cheered and sang pro-military songs.

Ohio: New campaign for voter ID in Ohio | MSNBC

Ohio Republicans have already imposed a slew of voting restrictions in the nation’s most pivotal swing state. But now, they may be gearing up for a renewed push on the most contentious tactic of all: voter ID. The Ohio Christian Alliance (OHA), a conservative group, said last week they’re launching a campaign aimed at getting a voter ID measure passed, either by the legislature or by voters themselves. The effort is already giving heart to Republican voter ID supporters. Here’s how the OHA initiative works:  If the group gathers 100,000 signatures by the end of the year, lawmakers would have four months to act on a voter ID bill the group has drawn up.

National: Judge denies attorneys’ fees for Shelby County in voting rights case | Montgomery Advertiser

Shelby County won the case that led the Supreme Court to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act, but that victory doesn’t mean the federal government should pay the county’s lawyers, a judge ruled last week. Washington D.C.-based lawyers for Shelby County had asked for $2 million in fees for the team that pursued the case all the way to the nation’s highest court. The case had challenged the Voting Rights Act’s formula that was used to determine which parts of the country needed to get pre-approval from the Justice Department before making any changes to their election procedures. The court found the formula unconstitutional. Its ruling ended the “pre-clearance” process for Alabama and several other states, a historic shift in how the federal government enforces anti-discrimination laws meant to protect minority voters.

Alabama: Voter fraud? 92-year-old great-grandmother’s expired driver’s license unacceptable for voter ID |

A Huntsville woman, 92, who has lived in the same house in Huntsville for 57 years and voted in every election since she was eligible, was turned away from the polls today because her driver’s license expired nine months ago. The voter, a great-grandmother to five, was deeply embarrassed by the whole incident and declined to talk directly with, but she gave her go-ahead for her neighbor, who took her to the polls, to relay the incident, with the provision that her name not be used. The woman had the license with her when she came to vote at the precinct at First Baptist Church a little before noon today, June 3, 2014, said Libba Nicholson, a neighbor who often drives her elderly friend on errands. The license had expired in August 2013. She had not renewed it because her eyesight is failing and she has made the tough decision to quit driving. But she thought since it was so recent, it would work. She uses it to cash checks and in other rare incidences when she is asked for an ID.