National: An estimated 5.9 million voting-age Americans won’t be able to vote next Tuesday | The Washington Post

Next Tuesday, tens of millions of Americans will take to the polls to vote on everything from ballot issues to federal, state and local representation. But millions of voting-age adults will be sitting this one out. An estimated 5.85 million Americans won’t be able to vote due to prior felony convictions, according to an estimate from the Sentencing Project, a criminal justice nonprofit think tank. Of those, roughly 44 percent are estimated to be felons who live in the 12 states that still restrict voting rights after sentences have been served, a practice that excludes as many as 1 in 10 voting-age residents of Florida, the state with the highest rates of felon disenfranchisement. Such policies have a disproportionate impact on blacks, restricting the vote for roughly 1 in 13 voting-age blacks nationwide.

National: Turns Out Nobody Wants To Donate To Politicians With Bitcoin | Huffington Post

The Federal Election Commission voted earlier this year to allow political candidates and committees to accept donations in bitcoin. But a week before Election Day, candidates who accept the popular virtual currency reported that their total bitcoin donations were small to nonexistent, though they remained optimistic about the currency’s political future. Candidates who have entered the Wild West frontier of accepting bitcoin donations said they have been unable to turn bitcoin into a major fundraising strategy — yet. Blaine Richardson, an independent House candidate running in Maine’s 2nd District, reported that he didn’t get any bitcoin contributions at all. “I think there is a future for it, but we just may be ahead of the curve right now,” he told The Huffington Post.

Arizona: Voter Fraud Allegations Land Protesters at Arizona Republican Party HQ | Phoenix New Times

The activist group Citizens for a Better went to the state GOP headquarters in Phoenix to demand an apology after Maricopa County Republican Party chairman A.J. LaFaro accused the group of voter fraud. LaFaro drummed up nationwide controversy by implying he witnessed voter fraud when someone with Citizens for a Better Arizona dropped off some voters’ completed ballots at the Maricopa County elections headquarters, which is actually a completely legal practice. “LaFaro started the rumor,” CBA organizer Ramiro Luna said to state GOP executive director Chad Heywood, who greeted the protesters in the lobby yesterday. “The Republican Party, the extreme right has been spreading that rumor so much that it has caused much harm. My young canvasser right here, the cops got called on her. We have another canvasser who got put in the back of a cop car because of these statements.”

Florida: Rick Scott, Charlie Crist ready to lawyer up if Florida recount needed | Tampa Bay Times

It’s the nightmare scenario nobody wants to discuss: an election night result for Florida governor that’s so close it demands a recount. “Oh, no, the R-word,” said Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley. “It’s going to be a close one. We’re ready.” It’s Florida. Anything can happen. With polls showing Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist in a virtual deadlock, both sides are making plans in case of a stalemate next week. Republicans and Democrats would mobilize armies of lawyers in a frantic search for ballots, triggering memories of the agonizing and chaotic five-week Florida recount that followed the 2000 presidential election. “Expect the unexpected,” said Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent.

Georgia: Judge declines to intervene in ‘missing’ voters lawsuit | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Georgia judge declined Tuesday to intervene in Georgia’s voter registration process, letting stand existing measures by state and local election officials to help applicants ahead of the Nov. 4 election. The decision came after a two-hour hearing Friday, during which Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher seemed skeptical of a lawsuit that sought what he called an “extraordinary legal remedy.” “What does the law require that they haven’t done?” Brasher asked during the hearing. “That’s what I’m a bit fuzzy about here.”

Hawaii: Election officials preparing for threat from lava | The Maui News

Officials are hoping to avoid disruptions in next month’s elections from an advancing lava flow in a mostly rural region on the Big Island of Hawaii. In August, Tropical Storm Iselle kept some voters in the Puna region from during the polls primary election, and there was subsequent confusion about how they could cast their ballots. Now, a lava flow threatens to isolate some voters ahead of the Nov. 4 general election.

Kansas: Statewide network of Republican lawyers ready to intervene on Election Day | Topeka Courier-Journal

The Kansas Republican Party plans to have a statewide network of GOP lawyers ready to intervene on Election Day, and it will analyze close races for potential legal action — as its director warns of “dubious tactics” from Democrats. The network of attorneys is part of the Republicans’ plan for a poll-watching program as well as an Election Day war room with a complement of lawyers on standby. The party will target some polling locations for all-day observation and is urging candidates, county officers and precinct leaders to become poll agents (often called poll watchers) and visit polling locations. The Kansas Republican Party’s poll-watching operation is detailed in a Sunday email from Clayton Barker, the organization’s director. The email, obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal, begins with a reminder of the election’s consequences.

Voting Blogs: Welcome to the Jungle: Senate Majority May Come Down to Louisiana | State of Elections

Pundits have framed this year’s election cycle as having the potential to shift control of the United States Senate from Democrats to Republicans—and given the sheer number of close races across the country, nearly every seat in serious contention has the makings of being the deciding race. Due to Louisiana’s unusual election laws, however, the chattering class might not know which way the pendulum will swing until long after Election Day on November 4th. Louisiana’s Senate race is, by all accounts, extremely close: both Republican and Democratic party committees (as well as outside superPACs) have poured money into the state in recent weeks. Incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has struggled to distance herself from an unpopular President, is facing Republican challenger Bill Cassidy, who some have characterized as “too boring” for a state with a history of colorful political characters. Louisiana’s election laws are atypical in that they provide for a non-partisan “jungle primary” on November 4th—the general election day for the rest of the country—with the general election following a month later, if necessary, on December 6th.

Montana: Court to decide quickly on campaign law challenge | Associated Press

A group whose tax-exempt status allows it to keep its donors and spending secret is asking a federal appeals court to block several Montana laws regulating campaign contributions and expenditures before next Tuesday’s elections. An injunction request by Montanans For Community Development was rejected earlier this month and again Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, who called the breadth of what the group was trying to do “staggering.” The group has now gone to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency injunction that would allow it to release ads that mention candidates in this year’s elections, without fear of being labeled a political organization. That designation would require Montanans For Community Development to disclose who is funding the group, and possibly open it to accusations of illegally coordinating with candidates.

US Virgin Islands: Early voting put on hold on St. Croix | Virgin Islands Daily News

With more than 400 ballots already cast early voting was suspended Sunday night in the wake of the V.I. Supreme Court re-affirming its decision that Sen. Alicia Hansen be removed from the ballot. According to a press release, Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes made the decision to comply with the Supreme Court order. It is anyone’s guess when early voting will resume and what course of action the St. Croix District Board of Elections and the Supervisor of Elections will take to ensure that the ballots for the Nov. 4 General Election are in compliance with the order handed down Friday. As part of the opinion by the justices, Supervisor Caroline Fawkes has been ordered to immediately recall all General Election ballots with Hansen’s name and replace them with ballots omitting her as a candidate or in the alternative “remove Hansen’s name from the ballot, such as by covering her name with a sticker”, the opinion read.

Botswana: What Botswana’s elections say about Africa’s postcolonial headache | The Week

Botswana, a tiny landlocked country north of South Africa, held an election over the weekend. The result was a victory for the incumbent, the Botswana Democratic Party, but by the narrowest margin in the country’s electoral history. It was an alarming campaign. As Amy Poteete points out at The Washington Post, the run-up to the election featured some extremely ugly politics, including the death of an opposition politician under mysterious circumstances and the alleged kidnapping and torture of others by the security apparatus. One journalist fearing for his life fled to South Africa, and his editor was charged with sedition. Nevertheless, the election itself appears to have been free of overt fraud. To folks unfamiliar with the region, all this may seem like typical African politics. But Botswana has always been the great exception to the rule. It is the only country in the entire continent to have had free and fair elections since the end of colonial rule. But it seems even Botswana is now dealing with the same sort of postcolonial troubles that have afflicted most other African nations.

Tunisia: Vote ‘transparent and credible,’ EU observers say | AFP

Tunisia’s first parliamentary election since the Arab Spring revolution of 2011 was transparent and credible, the head of the EU observer mission said on Tuesday. “The Tunisian people have reinforced their commitment to democracy with credible and transparent elections that gave Tunisians of all political tendencies a free vote,” Annemie Neyts-Uytterbroeck told a news conference. “Polling day passed off in a calm and orderly fashion. Everything was really very normal,” she said. “The campaign generally went smoothly. Freedom of expression and assembly were respected.”

Ukraine: Ukraine Denounces Russian Stance on Rebel Vote in East | VoA News

Ukraine on Tuesday condemned as “destructive and provocative” Russia’s stance towards elections organized by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine next Sunday, saying Moscow’s recognition of the vote could wreck chances of bringing peace. The November 2 vote would be held in defiance of Ukrainian national elections last Sunday in which pro-Western parties, dedicated to holding the former Soviet republic together and negotiating a settlement to the conflict, triumphed. Russia announced Tuesday it will recognize the results of upcoming elections in Donetsk and Luhansk. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the voting would be important for the “legitimization of power” in the “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, not recognized by Kyiv or the West. “We expect the elections to be held as arranged and of course we will recognize their results,” Lavrov told Russia’s Izvestia paper and LifeNews TV in an interview published on his ministry’s website on Tuesday.

Uruguay: A broad front advances | The Economist

In the weeks preceding Uruguay’s October 26th presidential elections, the capital of Montevideo was blanketed in political advertisements. Billboards for Tabaré Vázquez (pictured), who was president from 2004 to 2009 and belongs to the current ruling party, the Broad Front, read: “Uruguay will not be stopped.” For a while, however, it looked like Mr Vázquez might be. Pollsters predicted he would not collect the 50% of votes needed to avoid a run-off, where they thought Luis Lacalle Pou, a flowing-haired, centre-right 41-year-old lawyer and son of a former Uruguayan president, might scrape a victory. In Uruguay “it is very rare for governments to increase their support base while in power,” says Adolfo Garcé, a political scientist at the University of Social Sciences in Montevideo. Put more simply, “what comes up must come down,” says Luis Eduardo Gonzalez of Cifra, a polling group.