Canada: Close race leads to recount request | Napanee Guide

Greater Napanee mayoral candidate Robert Dorey is asking council to consider a recount of the municipal election results announced on Oct. 27. Dorey said in a statement issued to media and supporters that he has been “inundated with requests from supporters that I demand a recount of the votes cast.” Incumbent Mayor Gordon Schermerhorn regained the mayoral seat on Monday night with 2,907 votes — only three votes more than first-time candidate Dorey, who received 2904. While he doesn’t believe a recount will come up with a different outcome, Dorey does think that there are some major flaws with the electronic voting system that Greater Napanee adopted for the first time this election. “I don’t think that the results will change, but I think that it’s important that we use this opportunity to examine electronic voting in a way that really matters,” Dorey said in an interview with QMI Agency on Wednesday. “I’m doing this to draw attention to the flaws in the voting process. They were obvious to me, and to other candidates and residents in this election.”

Editorials: A Supreme Court Misstep On Voting Rights | Linda Greenhouse/New York Times

Two articles about young people in search of an education caught my attention last week. Both appeared in The Times on the same day. One celebrated the improbable journey of a young man “from a Rwandan dump to the halls of Harvard.” Justus Uwayesu, photographed in front of the iconic John Harvard statue in Harvard Yard, didn’t run as the other children did when a American charity worker approached them more than a decade ago as they scavenged for food. “I want to go to school,” the boy told his American rescuer. This fall, he enrolled as a freshman at Harvard. The other story reported the intervention of New York State officials in a scandalous situation in suburban school districts in the New York City area. Faced with an influx of undocumented Central American children whom immigration authorities have released to live with relatives or other sponsors, school districts in the region seem to be doing their best to keep these kids out of school.

Editorials: This is what it’s like to try to get a Voter ID when you’re disabled, poor or don’t drive | The Washington Post

What’s the big deal about getting an ID? You need one, after all, to participate in society in all kinds of other ways — to drive, to get married, to buy beer. Surely the requirement to show an ID on Election Day can’t be that burdensome. This is a common defense of Voter ID laws like the kind now on the books in Texas, ostensibly meant to curb voter fraud. But it glosses over the reality of life for some voters, who may struggle to get around because of disabilities, who may lack the seemingly small sums necessary to pay for documentation, who may not have the flexible scheduling to visit a government office twice, or three times, or more. Small obstacles like these are magnified in the frantic days leading up to the election — and add to this the confusion that ensues when people who have voted for years are suddenly told at their familiar polling places they don’t have what they need this time.

Florida: Who has the right to vote? | First Coast News

By this time next week we should know which party controls the Senate, if marijuana for medical use will be legal in Florida and if Rick Scott will be governor here for another four years. Voters will help decide those things. But more than five million voting-age tax-paying U.S. citizens will not be allowed to due to felony disenfranchisement. It’s an issue that affects 1 in 10 voting age residents in the state of Florida. 12 states restrict voting rights after felons have served their time and the sunshine state tops the list of people affected. “I made some bad choices in life,” said Keith Ivey. He served 8 1/2 years in prison for fraud. Ivey was released in January of 2012 but says he feels like his past continues to dictate his future. “I pay taxes, I run a business, but I have no voice,” said Ivey, who cannot vote.

Florida: How would Florida handle a recount? | Associated Press

There’s a chance that Florida’s bitter — and expensive — governor’s race between incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist could trigger a recount — a word that sends shudders through the state. Polls consistently show the contest between Scott and Crist tied, but if that sticks voting officials insist a recount would not be a replay of 2000, when the presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore was not decided until 36 days later as both sides battled in the courts over the state’s results. The U.S. Supreme Court halted an ongoing recount and Bush won Florida — and the presidency — by 537 votes.

Georgia: Court Ruling May ‘Wreak Havoc’ On Election Day | Huffington Post

Voting rights advocates are considering legal options after a Georgia judge denied their lawsuit that would have compelled the state to add 40,000 newly registered voters to the rolls. Judge Christopher Brasher said voters whose registration applications were lost may cast provisional ballots in next week’s election. But he declined to force Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp and counties to ensure voting for the thousands of new voters. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the New Georgia Project, and the Georgia branch of the NAACP are weighing whether to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. “You’ve got a situation that was designed to wreak havoc on the elections office if a large number of provisional ballots are cast,” Julie Houk, a senior special counsel with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights’ voting rights project, told The Huffington Post Wednesday. She said provisional ballots are “not an adequate remedy” because “registered voters are entitled to cast a regular ballot.”

Kentucky: Redistricting haunts election with ‘ghost precincts’ | Cincinnati Inquirer

Kentucky’s legislative redistricting haunted the county clerks of Campbell and Kenton counties by forcing them to set up “ghost precincts.” “Ghost precincts” were created in strips of land where nobody lives in response to make House and Senate districts contiguous, said Campbell County Clerk Jack Snodgrass. The legislature approved the redistricting plan in August 2013. A wooded hillside along Sleepy Hollow Road is home to Kenton County’s ghost Fort Wright 4.5 precinct. Nobody is registered to vote in the Sleepy Hollow precinct including Ichabod Crane. And Crescent Springs 3.5, another ghost precinct, is along the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. The new precincts were created in response to the redrawing of the 23rd Senate District and the 65th and 69th House districts.

Missouri: Lawmakers, clerks, debate merits of early voting amendment | Columbia Missourian

Missouri will join the 33 states that allow early voting if voters approve Amendment 6 on Tuesday. But the proposed amendment would make Missouri’s early voting laws some of the most stringent in the country. Amendment 6 would allow for six business days of early voting per general election, beginning in 2016. The early voting would occur at county clerks’ offices during normal business hours and depends on the Statehouse and governor approving extra funding for the added expenses. Voting policies vary by state, but most states, including Kansas and Illinois, offer longer early voting periods and more flexible locations and times. An earlier ballot proposal would have allowed up to six weeks of early voting in Missouri. The measure failed to garner enough signatures to appear on the ballot.

Montana: Stanford apologizes to Montana voters for ‘election guide’ | San Jose Mercury News

In an academic experiment gone awry, researchers at Stanford and Dartmouth Universities sent official-looking campaign mailers assessing the political leanings of candidates to voters in California, Montana and New Hampshire — a move that may have violated university policy and state laws. The universities were forced to apologize Tuesday to 100,000 Montana voters who received one of the mailers. Adorned with a state seal, it placed four Montana state Supreme Court justices running for nonpartisan offices on an ideological scale, comparing them to President Barack Obama and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “Take this to the polls!” the guide says in large letters. That led Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch to file a complaint late last week with her state’s commissioner of political practices, saying the mailer appeared to violate several state laws.

New Jersey: Report says emergency voting after Sandy not a success as claimed | Asbury Park Press

Here’s a view of the super storm Sandy disruption you may not have heard about — a new step in Garden State voting some think was a big failure. After Sandy, Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno in her dual role as secretary of state told county clerks she issued an emergency order granting any registered voter displaced by Sandy to ability to cast votes via email or fax. Journalist Steve Friess writes the Constitutional Rights Clinic at Rutgers Law School-Newark spent the past 18 months following a public document trail to show how that went. The team was led by law professor Penny Venetis. “There was mass confusion among county officials and voters alike,”‘ the 83-page report, called “The Perfect Storm: Voting in New Jersey in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy,” said.

Ohio: Democrats pushing voting-rights update | The Columbus Dispatch

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Joyce Beatty said yesterday that they are working to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 in the Senate and House, respectively, to improve voter access before Election Day. “That’s one way to suppress the vote is by confusing voters, and we’ve seen that in this state for a number of years,” Brown said at the event at Bethel AME Church on Cleveland Avenue in South Linden. Dispatch Voters Guide: View a sample ballot customized to your location. The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 would be an update to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prevents voter discrimination based on race, color or membership in a minority language group.

Virginia: Voting rights groups mobilize for Election Day and new photo ID law | The Washington Post

When Virginia’s new voter identification law goes into effect statewide Tuesday, voting rights groups will monitor select polling places to help people comply with the rules, which are among the nation’s strictest. For years, voters have been required to provide identification at the polls, but this year — for the first time in Virginia — an ID with a photograph will be required. “We’re all very concerned about the implementation of the photo ID law across the state and whether or not voters have been educated about the fact that they need a photo ID to vote,” said Hope Amezquita, staff attorney and legislative council at the ACLU of Virginia.

Texas: Ginsburg Was Right: Texas’ Extreme Voter ID Law Is Stopping People From Voting | Huffington Post

A Texas voter ID law considered to be one of the most restrictive in the country is doing exactly what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned it would do: stopping Americans from voting. A disabled woman in Travis County was turned away from voting because she couldn’t afford to pay her parking tickets. An IHOP dishwasher from Mercedes can’t afford the cost of getting a new birth certificate, which he would need to obtain the special photo ID card required for voting. A student at a historically black college in Marshall, who registered some of her fellow students to vote, won’t be able to cast a ballot herself because her driver’s license isn’t from Texas and the state wouldn’t accept her student identification card. There are plenty of stories like this coming out of Texas in the early voting period leading up to Election Day. Texas’ tough voter ID law, signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011, requires voters to show one of seven types of photo identification. Concealed handgun licenses are allowed, but college student IDs are not, nor are driver’s licenses that have been expired for more than sixty days.

Texas: As Texas votes early, voter ID sparks frustration and motivation | MSNBC

Pastor Frederick Douglass Haynes marches across the stage of Friendship Baptist Church, a mega-congregation of 12,000 people here. It’s Oct. 26, the penultimate Sunday before the 2014 midterm elections. “This is Freedom Sunday!” Haynes shouts into a microphone, drawing out each word. The sound system plays “Jesus Walks,” an upbeat anthem by rapper Kanye West that samples “Walk With Me,” a gospel classic. The choir, about 50 teenagers clad in black t-shirts, sways. Haynes has promised a briefing on the church’s new political program, but he doesn’t say much about the candidates. His largest applause lines are about the right to vote itself. “There’s a shameful, sinful attempt to suppress the vote,” he says, criticizing Texas for “one of the most suppressive Voter ID laws in the nation.”

Wisconsin: Voters getting confusing, misleading messages about election | Wisconsin Gazette

Wisconsin residents are receiving confusing messages by phone and in the mail about the election, according to the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. The organization said that just last week some people received a Wisconsin voter registration form in the mail with their name and address already filled in. They were told to mail the form in to their municipal clerk, even though it was already too late for mailed registrations to be processed. Other people have reported receiving robocalls telling them to bring a photo ID to vote. This happened after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the voter ID law would not be implemented in this election.

Canada: Angry towns consider withholding payment to Internet voting company | Windsor Star

Leamington and Kingsville are considering withholding payment to the company that conducted Internet voting this election after results came in hours later than expected. “I’m very disappointed,” said Leamington clerk Brian Sweet, who is bearing the brunt of complaints in his municipality about how long it took to release voting results Monday night. “We were under the impression we would have our results between 8:30 and quarter to nine, possibly, before 8:30,” Sweet said. Instead, like in Kingsville and Tecumseh, results were not released to waiting crowds until close to 11 p.m. “What was frustrating for us was we were not getting results and we weren’t getting any information or time estimates either,” Sweet said. “We didn’t understand what the problem was.”

Romania: Ponta heads for presidency with justice in spotlight | Reuters

Romanians are likely to move Prime Minister Victor Ponta into the presidency in elections that start on Sunday, offering one of Europe’s poorest countries political stability but raising concerns about judicial independence. Backed by a well-oiled party machine, Ponta has led opinion polls in the run-up to the Nov. 2/16 vote, trumpeting a record of easing the painful spending cuts and tax hikes Romanians endured in a 2009-10 recession. A Ponta win would consolidate his leftist Social Democrats’ hold on power. His combative rival, incumbent President Traian Basescu, steps down after two terms, which should end constant feuds over policy.

Ukraine: Eastern Ukraine’s Fake State Is About to Elect a Fake Prime Minister | Foreign Policy

The sounds of artillery fire boomed from the northwest suburbs of Donetsk, but in the glittering foyer of what was once a downtown conference center, camouflage-clad militants toting Kalashnikovs sat in leather armchairs, paying no heed to the noise. They were keeping guard over those engaged in the important work upstairs: In the luxurious penthouse, trapped in stifling heat but cut off from the sound of shelling, Roman Lyagin worked to turn a fantasy republic into reality. Lyagin, as head of the Central Election Committee of this unrecognized nation, is writing the rules that will govern the first parliamentary elections of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, scheduled for Nov. 2. “I and some like-minded people are making a new state,” he said. “We are building the state of our dreams.”

Tunisia: The election result isn’t simply a victory for secularism over Islamism | The Guardian

A self-styled, secular, modernist party called Nidaa Tounes won against the Islamist Ennahda party in the Tunisian election this week. For many, the subsequent headline – “Secularist party wins Tunisia elections” – will seem more impressive than the fact Tunisia just completed its second genuinely competitive, peaceful elections since 2011. Indeed, in a region wracked by extremism and civil war, the secularists’ victory will strike many as further proof that Tunisia is moving forward and is the sole bright spot in a gloomy region. Some may prematurely celebrate, yet again, the death of political Islam, arguing that Tunisians achieved through the ballot box what Egyptians achieved through a popular coup, rejecting the Brotherhood and its cousin-like movements once and for all. We should exercise caution, however, in labelling Nidaa Tounes’s victory part of a seamless sweep of democratic achievements, or seeing Sunday’s vote as a clear referendum against all varieties of political Islam.

Ukraine: Europe, Russia at odds over early eastern Ukraine elections | The Age

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone that elections planned for Sunday in eastern Ukraine were illegitimate and would not be recognised by European leaders, a Berlin government spokesman said on Friday. Ms Merkel and Mr Putin held a joint telephone conversation with French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ms Merkel’s spokesman Georg Streiter said at a government news conference. He said in the call there were diverging opinions on Sunday’s “so-called elections” in the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. “Merkel and Hollande underlined that there can only be a ballot in line with Ukrainian law,” he said, adding that the vote would violate an agreement endorsed by Russia and further complicate efforts to end the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Sunday’s separatist poll is aimed at electing leaders and a parliament in a self-proclaimed autonomous republic.