The Voting News Weekly: The Voting News Weekly for September 29 – October 5 2014

absentee_260The Electronic Privacy Information Center is suing the Federal Voting Assistance Program over its failure for three years to disclose the results of testing on the security safeguards of Internet voting systems that are increasingly being used to cast absentee ballots. Voting activists have developed the Can I Vote Absentee? widget – a new online tool to make it easier for service members deployed overseas to cast their votes by providing information about absentee voting rules and regulations, and assisting with voter registration and absentee ballot requests. Verified Voting and Common Cause encouraged military and overseas voters to protect the integrity and privacy of their votes by returning absentee ballots by postal mail rather using email, fax, the web, or any other electronic means. A judicial panel ruled that the Kansas Democratic Party does not have to supply a name to the Secretary of State’s office for the upcoming general election race for US Senate. A federal appeals court on Wednesday forced North Carolina officials to restore two provisions for ballot access that had been eliminated in a law passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature that civil rights groups said would disproportionately harm black voters. Texas’ voter identification law, which was the focus of a federal trial that concluded Monday in Corpus Christi, could be on a fast-track to the U.S. Supreme Court before Election Day in November. Opponents of a strict new voter identification law set to go into effect for the first time in this year’s elections are asking the Supreme Court to block the law, arguing there isn’t enough time to properly implement the law before Election Day. As voters head to the polls in Brazil, flaws found in the Brazilian electronic voting system have raised security concerns and Spain’s Constitutional Court has temporarily halted an independence referendum called by the rich northeastern region of Catalonia.