Virginians who let their driver’s licenses, passports or other photo IDs expire will still get a chance to vote, as long as those documents aren’t too old. The State Board of Elections struck a compromise Wednesday between those who argued that an expired ID was not valid and those who said a photo ID should be valid no matter how long ago it expired. “The board tried to take a middle ground … we wanted to have a grace period,” said Secretary Don Palmer. It decided that photo IDs that expired within 12 months of an election day were valid for voting purposes, as long as they look genuine.
Florida legislators indicated Monday that they will meet in special session this week to make the court-ordered repairs to two congressional districts in North and Central Florida but they will not accept holding special elections this year to put them in place. In a joint email to legislators, House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz said they “continue to maintain our strong objection to any attempt to disrupt the current election process.” But they also laid out the schedule for the special session they are convening on Thursday in response to an Aug. 15 deadline imposed on them by Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis. Lewis ordered lawmakers to revise their congressional redistricting map to fix two districts he had previously ruled unconstitutional, those held by U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville and Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden. He wants the Legislature to fix the map to make Brown’s snake-shaped district more compact and to remove an appendage in Webster’s Central Florida-based district intended to give Republicans an advantage.
A judge in Tallahassee disqualified a write-in candidate in the Florida House District 64 race Thursday because the write-in didn’t live in the district. As a result, what was a closed primary election between two Republicans scheduled for Aug. 26 now will be open to all voters in November — as it should be. District 64, which runs from Safety Harbor in Pinellas County to Carrollwood in Hillsborough, is set up to lean Republican, so much so that Democrats didn’t even bother to field a candidate to challenge incumbent Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa. Grant did manage to draw a Republican challenger, however, in Miriam Steinberg, a Tampa engineer. Still, at that time all voters in the district were eligible to vote in the primary. Florida mandates an open primary if members of only one party are on the ballot and there are no other candidates running in the general election because the winner of the primary automatically wins the general election.
Michigan: Wayne County judge to hear request to block absentee ballots in Dearborn Heights | The Detroit News
A Wayne County judge will hold a hearing Wednesday over a request to halt counting of absentee ballots in Dearborn Heights suspected of potential election fraud. Judge Robert Colombo Jr. scheduled a 9 a.m. Wednesday hearing after a state Senate candidate sued and sought a temporary restraining order to set aside certain absentee votes cast in Tuesday’s primary. State Rep. David Nathan, one of six Democrats running in the 5th Senate District primary, filed a lawsuit late Monday seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Dearborn Heights Clerk Walter Prusiewicz from counting absentee ballots. Colombo’s clerk confirmed late Tuesday a hearing has been scheduled. Nathan’s attorney said the judge planned to issue an overnight injunction.
Montana Secretary of State and chief elections officer Linda McCulloch has implemented technology that allows Glacier County to expand satellite election services on the Blackfeet Reservation, which the county overlaps. Using a “ballot on demand” system, reservation residents will be able to go to Browning to late-register and in-person absentee-vote two days per week during the 30 days prior to national elections. Until now, voters have been able to late-register, request a mailed ballot and drop off completed ballots at the office, which also issued license plates and handled other county-government functions. Going forward, they will be able to vote on the spot as well.
Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers on Monday sued Secretary of State Jason Gant for not letting him replace his running mate on the November ballot. Myers’ lawsuit asks Judge Lawrence Piersol to order Gant to certify Lora Hubbel as his new lieutenant governor pick. Myers originally ran with Caitlin Collier as his lieutenant governor. But when Collier faced family health issues, she attempted to withdraw, leading Myers to pick Hubbel as his new running mate. But while South Dakota law has provisions for nominees of political parties to be replaced on the ballot, there’s no such provision for independent candidates. As near as anyone can tell, no independent lieutenant governor candidate has ever tried to withdraw from the ballot in South Dakota history.
The Department of Justice announced Tuesday afternoon it will oversee the August 7 election in Shelby County. Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Robert Meyers requested federal oversight during a phone call to the Office of the Attorney General Tuesday morning. Federal monitors will be sent to observe the Shelby County general election, as well as the federal and state primary. Polling places will be monitored, and a Civil Rights Division attorney will be in contact with local election officials. Meyers told WREG while he’s sure things will go smoothly Thursday, adding federal monitors should avoid any claims of shady business going on after the results are in. Both Shelby County Democrats and Republicans requested the feds to step in this week.
A former Elections official has raised questions about what appear to be discrepancies in unofficial vote counts that the V.I. Elections System posted at different times on Saturday evening as the results from the primary election were rolling in. However, a spokeswoman from the company that sold the V.I. Elections System the DS200 vote tabulating machines said there is a simple explanation for what occurred – and that the final unofficial tallies posted in the system from Saturday’s count are the correct ones. “The results are absolutely correct at this time,” said Kathy Rogers, a spokeswoman for Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software. Former V.I. Elections System Supervisor John Abramson Jr. raised the issue in a letter Monday to St. Croix Board of Elections Chairman Adelbert Bryan. Abramson seeks an explanation of “discrepancies,” in which a few candidates appear to lose votes that had already been counted. Bryan said Monday afternoon that he had not yet seen Abramson’s letter.
Virginia: Attorney General warns voter ID definition may be unconstitutional | Richmond Times-Dispatch
Attorney General Mark R. Herring has warned state election officials that their new definition of what constitutes a valid photo ID, as proposed by the State Board of Elections, would likely lead to unconstitutionally unequal treatment of voters. “The language as drafted by the Board of Elections could cause confusion at the polls, lead to unequal treatment of voters in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and potentially prevent qualified voters from casting a ballot,” Herring said in an email today. The attorney general’s assessment was part of the regulatory review to ascertain that proposed regulations are in compliance with the law. The board is scheduled to meet Wednesday to further discuss the new definition following a 21-day public comment period on the issue, which has sparked comments from hundreds of citizens.
Wisconsin’s attorney general asked a federal appeals court to revive the state’s suspended voter identification law in time for the November elections. The law, which requires would-be voters to present a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot, was blocked in an April ruling by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee. He concluded after a trial that the measure illegally makes it more difficult for minority voters to cast ballots. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, in his request filed today with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, cited two rulings handed down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court last week, upholding the measure enacted by Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2011.
Afghanistan’s election audit needs to be fast and decisive to avert the threat of spiralling instability as US troops pull out, but attempts to speed up the process are bogged down in squabbles and confusion. Election officials are sorting through more than eight million votes in front of domestic observers, international monitors and representatives from the two presidential candidates. Every individual vote is physically examined and, if either campaign team complains, it is put to one side for further assessment. In a sweltering warehouse in Kabul on Monday, a UN official peered at a row of disputed ballot papers from the eastern province of Paktika — a hotbed of alleged fraud on polling day more than seven weeks ago. Both campaign teams had alleged that some papers showed suspiciously similar tick marks for their opponent, leading to a noisy four-hour dispute over one single ballot box. “We have a pattern here,” the adjudicating UN official said, pointing at some ticks. “But it is only three in a row, so it is ok. Now let’s look at the other side’s complaints.”
Indonesia: Court Hears Prabowo Subianto’s Challenge to Indonesia Election Results | Wall Street Journal
Indonesia’s Constitutional Court began hearing a legal challenge Wednesday lodged by presidential contender Prabowo Subianto to overturn the results of last month’s election, won by Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo. The former army general lost the tightly contested two-man race by 8.4 million votes, the country’s election commission said July 22, in an official count two weeks after more than 133 million ballots were cast. Mr. Widodo accumulated 53.15% of the votes, a gap that legal and political experts have said is all but unbridgeable in Mr. Subianto’s attempt to challenge the results on the basis of what he has said is wide-scale fraud and irregularities. Chief among Mr. Subianto’s claims is the contention that ballots exceeded the number of eligible voters at more than 50,000 of the sprawling country’s 479,000 polling stations.
Turkey’s main opposition candidate in the upcoming presidential election questioned on Tuesday why electoral authorities are printing millions of extra ballots. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said international observers had noted that about 18 million additional ballot papers were being printed for the vote, the first round of which is on Aug. 10. If no candidate wins an absolute majority, a runoff will be held on Aug. 24. “Of course some of the ballot papers may come to harm. They could be destroyed by rain, floods and mud,” Ihsanoglu said. “But what does it mean to print 18 million extra? Who will use these ballots? How will they not go into the wrong hands? This is what we are asking. Who is responsible?”