First they came for blacks, and we said nothing. Then they came for Latinos, poor people and married women, and we again ignored the warning signs. Now, after our years of apathy, they’re coming for us: the nation’s millennials. Across the country, Republican state policymakers have hoisted barriers to voting by passing voter-ID laws and curtailing electoral accommodations such as same-day registration and early voting. These policy changes are allegedly intended to eradicate the imagined scourge of voter fraud, but the real point seems to be voter suppression. For a time, the targeted populations were primarily racial, ethnic and income groups that traditionally vote Democratic. Now they happen to include Gen-Y’ers, more specifically my college-age brethren. We millennials may be fickle in our loyalties, generally distrustful of government institutions and unaligned with any political party, but our generation’s motley, liberal-to-libertarian-leaning ideological preferences still threaten red-state leadership.
Lawyers from the Justice Department and a variety of civic groups appeared at an Asheville, North Carolina, federal courthouse this week, seeking an injunction that would delay portions of a state voting law from going into effect before the midterm elections this November. At issue are a reduction in days for early voting, the elimination of same-day voter registration and a prohibition on counting provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct. (The most controversial provision, a photo ID requirement, does not go into effect until 2016.) Now a judge will decide if those elements should be delayed or implemented at all.
th just 481 votes keeping him from the November runoff for state controller, former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez filed a request this week to begin machine and hand recounts of ballots in 15 counties, making this the largest recount request in California’s modern history. Perez’s petition for a recount is understandable, even necessary, given the close margin in the race — the deciding votes were 0.01% of the ballots cast. Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, finished first in the June 3 primary. Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, a Democrat like Pérez, came in second to advance to the general election.
Election officials across California on Monday began preparing for a historically large hand recount in the state controller’s race amid uncertainty about how to coordinate an effort involving thousands of precincts in 15 counties. During a normally slow time on the election calendar, counties were calling back employees from vacation, getting in touch with potential members of recount boards and studying the finer points of the state’s recount laws. The activity began after former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez filed papers Sunday seeking manual recounts in 15 counties where he ran well against Board of Equalization member and fellow Democrat Betty Yee. “There are more questions right now than answers,” said Michael Scarpello, registrar of voters in San Bernardino County, where the Pérez campaign seeks recounts in 495 of the county’s nearly 1,700 precincts.
Lawmakers went into back to back sessions today to discuss a pair of bills – the first of which would address funding to purchase new tabulation equipment for the Guam Election Commission. “Si yu’os ma’ase to all of them for their support,” said Guam Election Commission executive director Maria Pangelinan. She refers to swift action by lawmakers today on addressing funding for new tabulation machines. It was last week when Bill 334 lapsed into law appropriating $206,000 from the Supplemental Appropriation Revenue Fund for the purchase of the machines along with ballot stock and coding services. However BBMR recently informed her that there is actually no funding in the SAR account. “So because of that, the only option they would have is to see about using fiscal year funding that was brought up to the attention of the commissioners and we all know that the commissioners and I don’t want to have a deficit at the end of the fiscal year,” she said.
A blind voter who had a “horrific” experience voting during the primary election has filed a new complaint against the state election board, adding to the list of grievances in a lawsuit initiated by the National Federation of the Blind in May. One of the original plaintiffs, Janice Toothman, is seeking an unspecified amount of damages for what she says was a bungled voting experience that left her without the ability to vote privately or independently. Toothman, 52, is deaf and blind with a limited ability to hear. … Election officials eventually determined Toothman’s voting card was not properly programmed as a “non-visual ballot,” an observation Toothman originally offered. Toothman’s voting card was updated which allowed for sound in the headset, but Toothman said she had difficulty hearing due to background noise in the voting station and the low volume of the head set.
At 11 a.m. today, July 8, the Ann Arbor city election commission will meet to discuss the question of how to count votes that are cast in the Ward 3 Democratic primary. In-person voting for the election takes place on Aug. 5, 2014. But the point in dispute concerns ballots that were printed incorrectly and sent to absentee voters. … The question of counting votes has arisen because the ballots for the race were initially printed incorrectly, omitting the name of one of the candidates. Printed correctly on the ballots were Julie Grand and Samuel McMullen. However, Bob Dascola – who had filed a successful lawsuit against the city in order to be a candidate – was mistakenly left off the ballots. About 400 of those incorrect ballots were sent to absentee voters. The city has taken steps to attempt to rectify the situation, sending replacement ballots with instructions to those voters who received incorrect ballots. For background on the series of events that led to the incorrect printing of ballots, see “Dascola Mistakenly Left Off Ward 3 Ballot.”
Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party-backed Mississippi U.S. Senate candidate, is preparing a possible legal challenge to his defeat in last month’s Republican primary after supporters spent Monday sorting through voting records in dozens of counties, campaign officials said. The conservative state senator has blamed his loss to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran on what he describes as illegal voting by Democrats who favored the six-term incumbent. The primary election is scheduled to be certified on Monday evening by the state Republican party, which will forward the results to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, party spokesman Bobby Morgan said. McDaniel and his supporters allege that the Democrats in question voted in the Democratic primary and then in the Republican runoff, which is against election rules.
Missourians serving in the Armed Forces who are stationed away from home now have access to a new online platform that makes voting significantly easier for them, according to the Missouri secretary of state’s office. The Military and Overseas Voting Access Portal available at www.momilitaryvote.com, has been launched to give active duty service members the opportunity to securely register to vote and request and receive absentee ballots for all local, state and federal elections.
A Public Education Commission member is asking a federal court to invalidate New Mexico’s requirements for independent candidates to secure a place on the ballot. Tyson Parker of Corrales brought a lawsuit in federal district court last week, contending state election laws discriminate against candidates unaffiliated with a political party by requiring them to submit an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions. To get on the ballot, Parker needed nearly eight times more signatures than a Democratic candidate, almost five times more than a Republican and three times more than a minor party candidate.
New York: Twenty-six votes could be all it takes to become mayor of this tiny New York town | The Washington Post
Things are getting tense in the nail-biter that is Dering Harbor’s mayoral election. Never heard of Dering Harbor, you say? That could be because the tiny village boasts only 11 full-time residents, according to the most recent census. Its current mayor, Timothy Hogue, is fighting for his political life after last month’s election resulted in a 25-25 tie with his challenger, retired Wall Street banker Patrick Parcells, who wrote himself in, according to Newsday. A second election is being held today in the 35-home village on Shelter Island, N.Y.
A federal judge recently ruled that Dallas County has no business being involved in a lawsuit against Texas over its Voter ID Law. The county bankrolled the partisan lawsuit using taxpayers’ money. The Voter ID Law passed in Texas in 2011, and Democratic Congressman Marc Veasey, the U.S. Justice Department and a number of others, including two Texas counties, joined the lawsuit challenging the law. Last summer, Commissioner Mike Cantrell balked over Dallas County voting to join the federal lawsuit and then voting to spend $275,000 to help pay for that lawsuit. “This is not something that our taxpayers should be on the tab for,” said Cantrell. Turns out, Cantrell was right.
For the third time in recent years, Virginia voters will face new voter ID requirements when they go to the polls this November. Virginia’s new photo ID law, which went in to effect on July 1, was a long time coming. The law, sponsored by Senator Mark Obenshain, was passed in the 2013 legislative session but is only now being fully implemented. Despite over a year of time to plan, one of the largest questions still has to be answered: what IDs will actually serve as voter ID? At a State Board of Elections (SBE) hearing on June 10, board members heard testimony from community groups, voters, and county registrars (the people tasked with enforcing this ID standard at the polls).
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah defiantly told thousands of supporters Tuesday that he will declare victory in the country’s election, claiming massive fraud was responsible for preliminary results that put his rival in the lead. The United States warned both camps against trying to seize power, saying international financial and security support was at stake. The turmoil came as violence escalated around the country. A suicide bomber struck Afghan and foreign forces near a clinic in the eastern province of Parwan, killing at least 16 people, including four Czech soldiers. Abdullah said he received calls from President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and he was told that Kerry would be flying to the Afghan capital on Friday in a bid to help defuse the crisis. State Department officials accompanying Kerry in Beijing declined to comment on his travel plans.
Activists in the gambling hub of Macau have announced an unofficial referendum on electoral reform in the latest challenge to Beijing, after almost 800,000 turned out for a similar poll in Hong Kong. The former Portuguese colony returned to Chinese rule in 1999 and has a separate legal system from the mainland. As with Hong Kong, Macau’s leader is known as its chief executive and is chosen by a pro-Beijing electoral committee. Three civil groups have joined forces to organise the poll, which will run between August 24 and August 30 — just ahead of the naming of the enclave’s new leader on August 31.
Indonesians are voting in the tightest and most divisive presidential election since the downfall of dictator Suharto, pitting Jakarta governor Joko Widodo against Prabowo Subianto, a former general with a chequered human rights record. After a bitterly fought campaign that saw long-time favourite Widodo’s lead shrink dramatically, voters in the world’s third-biggest democracy must choose between two starkly different candidates. A former furniture exporter from a humble background, Widodo is the first serious presidential contender without links to the authoritarian past, who is seen as likely to usher in a new style of leadership and consolidate democracy.
Up to 190 million Indonesians will cast ballots in a tightly contested presidential race Wednesday, with questions mounting about whether one candidate can win convincingly enough to stave off vote challenges and unrest over ambiguous results. Pollsters say the race is too close to call between candidates with starkly different leadership styles and backgrounds: Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, a former army general under the late authoritarian ruler Suharto. Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, at the end of his maximum 10 years in power, has warned of potential unrest in a close election, Indonesia’s first presidential race featuring only two candidates. The vote will pave the way for the first exchange of power between two directly elected presidents in the Southeast Asian nation’s history. More than 250,000 police will be on hand throughout the archipelago during the vote, with the military adding more than 30,000 in a supporting role.