Indiana: Court hears appeal of ex-secretary of state, who’s fighting voter fraud convictions | Associated Press

An attorney for former Secretary of State Charlie White faced tough questioning Tuesday from Indiana’s three-judge appeals court during White’s latest bid to overturn the voter fraud convictions that forced him from office. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik interrupted attorney Andrea Ciobanu only seconds after the attorney began her oral arguments and asked Ciobanu what her “strongest argument” was in White’s appeal of his convictions on six felony counts. Ciobanu said her most substantial argument in seeking to overturn White’s 2012 convictions is that the trial court in central Indiana’s Hamilton County failed to apply Indiana’s residency statute “at all” as his case played out. She said that left White unable to convey to jurors where his actual place of residence was as they heard evidence and eventually convicted him on three counts of voter fraud, two counts of perjury and one count of theft.

Maine: Maine secretary of state pledges review of rules, stresses human error caused recount controversy | Bangor Daily News

After a recount error caused the wrong candidate to be temporarily seated in the Maine Senate, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is pledging a full review of his office’s approach to election recounts. But Dunlap said Wednesday he’s pleased that the system in place for disputed elections ultimately yielded the right conclusion, despite weeks of controversy surrounding Senate District 25’s election, which stoked fears about election fraud. “It’s mortifying as all get out that there was an error at the recount, but the process worked itself out,” Dunlap said in an interview. “It also finally answers the question about who makes the decision about who gets seated: The voters do.”

Maine: GOP Sen. Manchester resigns after investigation shows 21 ballots were counted twice | Bangor Daily News

In a dramatic turn of events, an inspection of ballots from Long Island on Tuesday showed that 21 votes for Republican Cathy Manchester appear to have been counted twice during a Nov. 18 recount in Senate District 25. That was enough to deprive Manchester of the victory she appeared to gain from the recount and send Democrat Cathy Breen to the Senate as the Yarmouth-area district’s senator for the next two years. “I have full confidence that no one did anything wrong, that we have human error at the recount. I believe the people of District 25 have spoken, and they have spoken to vote Catherine Breen as their state senator,” Manchester said after a special Senate committee conducted an investigation into the Long Island ballots on Tuesday.

New Mexico: Hobbs residents approve voter ID measure | Associated Press

Residents in a Southeastern New Mexico city have approved a measure that will require people to present a photo ID to vote in municipal elections. The proposal, which amends the city charter in Hobbs, passed with 78 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s special election. About 1,300 people cast ballots in the city of about 33,000. The amendment says that if voters don’t have identification, the city will provide it free of charge. The oil-boom town is the latest battleground over requiring strict identification to cast ballots.

Ohio: Faber says he’s 85% sure of redistricting deal | The Columbus Dispatch

Senate President Keith Faber said this morning he is 85 percent sure there will be agreement on a legislative redistricting plan that his chamber will pass on Thursday. The House last week passed a redistricting plan with broad bipartisan support that would create a seven-member commission to draw legislative districts. For the maps to take effect for 10 years, they would need approval from at least two minority party members on the commission. Otherwise, the maps must be redrawn again in four years. Under the current system, the party that controls the five-member board gerrymanders districts to its benefit. The House-passed plan provides new criteria on how legislative districts should be drawn, which supporters say reduces the ability to split up communities and gerrymander districts. It also says the commission should attempt to draw maps that do not favor one political party, and create a legislature that reasonably reflects the political makeup of the voting public, a concept known as representational fairness.

Ohio: Husted doesn’t want legislators to redraw their own district | The Columbus Dispatch

Secretary of State Jon Husted expressed optimism this morning that Ohioans will see a revamped process of redrawing legislative districts, although he is pushing for a key change in the current proposal under consideration. A measure passed almost unanimously by the Ohio House calls for a seven-member panel to redraw the districts. The group would include the governor, auditor, secretary of state, and four lawmakers — two from each major party. Only four votes would be required to approve a new map, but two of them must come from members of the minority party. That means the four legislators could draw the maps themselves, without any input from the statewide officials on the panel. “Essentially, the legislature is granting itself a new constitutional right to draw their own districts without any interference. That is probably my biggest concern about where it stands at the moment,” Husted said during a session this morning at the Ohio State University’s College of Law.

Oregon: Measure 92 recount: All but 2 counties have turned in new GMO results | Oregonian

Only two counties remain: Clackamas and Sherman. All the others have finished their recounts in Oregon’s whisper-close Ballot Measure 92 recount on GMO labeling, according to results posted Wednesday afternoon by the Secretary of State’s Office. The tally — right now — shows the measure ahead by more than 9,000 votes. But both Clackamas and Sherman counties voted down the measure in the Nov. 4 election. If their recounts closely follow their original votes, the measure will still fail by about 800 votes. The current tally shows a net change of just 11 votes added to the yes column — far from the 812 needed to overcome the margin of defeat in the original result.

US Virgin Islands: St. Croix recount will resume today | Virgin Islands Daily News

The St. Croix District Board of Elections is expected to resume its recounting efforts today after V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks issued an order Monday prohibiting them from proceeding with the recount while barring members of the media or public from observing the count. Following a hearing Monday, Willocks found that the board members were wrong in their interpretation of the law and issued an order from the bench granting The Daily News’ request for the court to issue a restraining order and permanent injunction. He ordered the board to accommodate the public for the recount. On Tuesday afternoon, Daily News legal counsel Semaj Johnson met with Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes and Assistant Attorney General Angela Polk, who is representing the board. They did a walk through of how they expected the recount areas would be set up for public accessibility today when the recount resumes at 10 a.m. The conference room at the Elections System Office in Sunny Isle Annex is being used and is set up similarly to how it was set up during the ballot counts in the days that followed November’s General Election.

Canada: Overseas voters will have to prove citizenship, residency under new rules | CBC

The government has introduced legislation to tighten the rules for Canadians who want to cast a ballot while living outside the country. Under the proposed new rules, anyone who wants to vote in a Canadian federal election while living abroad will have to provide proof of citizenship, as well as their most recent Canadian address, in order to receive a ballot. The new requirements will not apply to those serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. The chief electoral officer will also be authorized to cross-reference current voting list with citizenship and immigration data to purge non-Canadians from the voting list. A government-issued backgrounder accompanying the bill notes that in Canada, voters “cannot pick and choose their riding,” but are required to cast a ballot in the riding in which they live. “By contrast, Canadians living abroad do not have to prove any past residence in the riding in which they vote,” it notes.

Israel: Alliance Adds Twist to Israeli Elections | New York Times

Isaac Herzog, the leader of Israel’s center-left Labor Party, and Tzipi Livni, the recently dismissed justice minister and the leader of a small centrist faction, announced on Wednesday that they would run on a joint slate in elections next March in a bid to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the conservative Likud Party from winning a fourth term. The move injected an intriguing twist to the start of the election campaign. It also added an element of uncertainty for Mr. Netanyahu eight days after he fired Ms. Livni and his centrist finance minister, Yair Lapid, saying their public criticism of his policies made it impossible to govern the country and calling early elections less than two years after the last ballot. Mr. Herzog and Ms. Livni said that if they won enough votes to form the next government, they would take turns in the role of prime minister, with Mr. Herzog serving for the first two years and Ms. Livni for the second two, in an Israeli political compromise known as rotation. That deal seemed lopsided since the Labor Party, now with 15 seats in the 120-seat Parliament, is likely to win more than Ms. Livni’s Hatnua party, which currently has six.

Japan: Animated Communists Back in Action for Election Campaign | Wall Street Journal

The Japanese Communist Party is gearing up for what could be its biggest election win in more than a decade with more of the same: cartoons, puns and breakdancing. The 92-year-old party has revived a rowdy bunch of animated mascots–the Proliferation Bureau–to spread the gospel ahead of Sunday’s lower house election. This year, armed with a bigger budget, they’re out to stop Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from letting the sales tax rise again, restarting nuclear reactors and revising the nation’s constitution. The Proliferation Bureau debuted during the 2013 upper house election after restrictions on Internet campaigning were lifted for the first time. The eight characters were meant to appeal to net-savvy youth who might otherwise associate Communism with bloody revolutions. “This time the theme is us against the Liberal Democratic Party,” Kazushi Tamura, deputy head of the publicity department, told JRT, referring to Mr. Abe’s ruling party. The party wasn’t sure the Proliferation Bureau would return after the last election, but positive feedback on social media made the difference, he said.

Mauritius: Voters hand opposition victory, reject constitution change | Reuters

Mauritius voters rejected plans to grant more powers to the president by handing an unassailable lead in a parliamentary election to a coalition that rejected changing the constitution, according to television reports on Thursday. The coalition of the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) and the Parti Mauricien Social Democrate (PMSD) had secured 44 of the 62 contested seats by 2.50 p.m. (1750 GMT), while the ruling Labour Party and its ally which backed the change had just 13.

Namibia: Electronic voting comes to Namibia, all is not well | GIN

Presidential polls in Namibia have incumbent prime minister Hage Geigob of the ruling SWAPO party leading with 84 percent of the roughly 10 percent of votes officially released so far but the new electronic polling gizmos are leaving some Namibians skeptical. Some 1.2 million people are expected to cast their votes electronically in the country’s fifth election since independence.  It will be the first use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) on the African continent. Voters will select presidential and parliamentary candidates directly on the EVMs—slabs of green and white plastic with the names and images of candidates and their party affiliation—that make a loud beep after each vote. The voting modules will not be connected externally to any sources to prevent tampering, and the commission hopes electronic voting will reduce lines and speed up counting. But according to local media reports, results have been trickling in at a snail’s pace at the election centre in the capital Windhoek, worrying the ruling party.

Liberia: Liberians worry that next week’s elections might spread Ebola | PRI

The deadly Ebola virus continues to elude control in Liberia, with the outbreak retreating in some regions and popping up in others. And now, with Liberian Senate elections tentatively slated for next week, a debate is raging about whether it is safe to hold a vote.  “People are going to march into the same polling booth, and touch the same pens, possibly,” says New York Times correspondent Sheri Fink, who has spent much of the last two months in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone. “How do you protect people in that case?” Liberia’s Senate election was originally slated for October 14, but was moved to December 16. The country’s Supreme Court is considering petitions filed by civil society groups who would like to see a further postponement. But most Liberian political parties are pushing for a vote. The court’s ruling is expected on Friday.