National: Ellison tries to rally support for voter rights amendment, which would nullify voter ID laws | Star Tribune

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison is taking his case against voter ID laws straight to the Constitution. He and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat, are trying to encourage support for their “right to vote” amendment that will guarantee a citizen voting rights “in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides,” according to the resolution’s text. Ellison and Pocan are holding a voting rights forum in Minneapolis Thursday, which will feature leaders from Asian American and Somali groups. The members are two of the 32 House Democrats supporting this potential amendment.

Voting Blogs: Oversimplifying Corruption and the Power of Disgust | More Soft Money Hard Law

Has the Supreme Court created an environment “pregnant with possibility of corruption?” The Washington Post Editorial Board makes this case, building it around the rise of super PACs, and it locates the problem in the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Citizens United. The argument does not clarify especially well the choices ahead in campaign finances, or the role of Citizens United in shaping them, or the means of grappling with bona fide corruption. The Post’s miscue is the insistence on keeping campaign finance reform tied tightly to the corruption debate—or, more accurately, tied up with it, with nowhere to go. What the editorial has to say about Super PAC independent expenditures could be asserted about any independent expenditure. The culprit, if there is one to be found, is Buckley v. Valeo: Citizens United followed its reasoning, perhaps more faithfully than some would like, but the 1976 Court rejected limits on expenditures made without the request or suggestion of, or in consultation with, a candidate.

Minnesota: Electoral process raises concerns | Grand Rapids Herald-Review

The next presidential election is looming, and those on both sides of the political spectrum are voicing anxieties about the modern electoral process. Through the course of the legislative session, several lawmakers have raised concerns about the changes they see in all elections. When Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township, weighed in on recent legislation that would allow high school students to pre-register to vote, he elaborated on the larger political implications of legislation around the country having to do with voter registration. In particular, Anzelc criticized Republican bills aimed at preventing voter fraud. “We just concluded a period where the Republican-leaning members of the Legislature have been interested in making it harder for people to vote because they’re hung up on what they think is voter fraud in the state,” said Anzelc. “I’ve concluded based upon the data I’ve seen there isn’t the level of voter impropriety that they thought there was. So now we may be going into a period where people are promoting voting.”

Nevada: Bill calls for check of noncitizen driver cards against voter rolls | Las Vegas Review-Journal

An Assembly committee Tuesday considered a bill setting up procedures to check whether noncitizens who obtain Nevada driver authorization cards show up on voter registration rolls. Assembly Bill 459 as originally proposed would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to forward information on driver authorization card holders who did not provide proof of citizenship to the secretary of state and county election officials, who would then determine if the person is registered to vote. “We’re just trying to make sure that those who do vote are citizens of the United States,” said Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, who presented the bill.

North Carolina: Machines limit 2016 early voting options | Winston-Salem Journal

With its current equipment inventory, the Forsyth County Board of Elections would have to make a tough choice for the 2016 general election: offer fewer early voting sites than it did in 2012 or offer fewer electronic voting machines at each site. Steve Hines, elections director for Forsyth County, presented those scenarios to election board members on Tuesday as part of his pitch for new equipment. He put in a budget request this year for about $1.4 million to replace the county’s voting equipment, which is about 10 years old. County commissioners will decide in the next few months whether to approve the request. In the 2012 general election, Forsyth County had 15 early voting sites, Hines said.

Voting Blogs: Indignities and Tyrannies in Local Elections | Texas Election Law Blog

I am informed that the city secretary for the City of Bartlett in Williamson County has asserted once again for the fourth year running that there is “no state law” requiring the city to conduct early voting within its city limits during the entirety of the early voting period for the May election, and that despite the fact that in-person early voting is to be conducted from April 27, 2015 through May 5, 2015, there will only be one day of early voting within the City of Bartlett city limits; namely on Saturday, May 2nd. This is both annoying and wrong, and a disservice to the voters of that city, but it may also be a shortcut chosen by other political entities as well, given that various other entities inside Williamson County also have weirdly truncated and limited early voting. Last year, in response to complaints about the lack of early voting, the Temple Daily Telegraph ran a story asserting the city’s position that an election services contract with Williamson County justified the lack of early voting locations. The story is behind a paywall, but there’s not much point in reading it, given that the city’s premise is wrong and is flatly contradicted by state law, as I’ve explained before.

Virginia: Morrissey lawsuit seeks to stop printing of primary ballots | Richmond Times Dispatch

Joseph D. Morrissey, a former delegate from Henrico County running for the state Senate, has filed suit in Richmond Circuit Court, asking for a review of 750 petition signatures the Democratic Party of Virginia rejected last week, making him ineligible for the party’s June primary. Morrissey also is seeking a preliminary injunction, asking the court to prevent printing of the ballots, “in order to vindicate the rights of a candidate to appear on a ballot and the rights of citizens to participate in political speech,” according to the complaint filed Monday. “This getting on the ballot isn’t about me; it’s about a system that the Democratic Party is supporting that consistently disenfranchises thousands of African-American voters and deprives them of their First Amendment rights,” Morrissey said in an interview Wednesday.

Wisconsin: Chief Justice sues to keep her job for four more years | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

A day after voters approved changing the state constitution to allow members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court to elect their leader, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson on Wednesday sued the six other members of the court to hold onto her job. Supporters of the measure — which passed 53% to 47% — had said it would help heal relations on a court that has been marked by personal and ideological clashes in recent years. Abrahamson, the longest-serving justice in Wisconsin history, filed her lawsuit in federal court in Madison. In it, she contends she should be able to remain chief justice until her term on the court ends in July 2019. If Abrahamson is demoted, “the term of the current, elected chief justice will be disrupted, her constitutionally protected interest in the office of chief justice will be impaired, the votes of her supporters will be diluted and the results of the 2009 election undone long after-the-fact, while the Wisconsin court system’s leadership will become unsettled,” her attorney wrote in the federal lawsuit.

Australia: NSW iVote ballot mistake put down to human error | ZDNet

New South Wales Electoral Commission (NSWEC) CIO Ian Brightwell has defended the state’s online iVote system for the second time in as many weeks, after concerns were raised that a ballot error could put the state’s Legislative Council results in question for some seats. In the first two days of voting for the NSW state election, which was held on March 28, an error on the electronic ballot paper used for the online iVote system saw voters unable to vote above the line for two parties. … Brightwell’s defence of the NSW iVote system comes just two weeks after he fended off claims by online security researchers that the system had been vulnerable to a range of potential attacks, including those using the FREAK vulnerability. At the time, Brightwell played down the findings of the two researchers, Michigan Computer Science professor J Alex Halderman and University of Melbourne research fellow Vanessa Teague, saying that the vulnerability claims had been “overstated”.

Sudan: Border closed ahead of elections | Star Africa

Sudan has closed its border with South Sudan as part of security measures before the presidential elections scheduled to begin on April 13. The new measures have been put in place in the nine Sudanese states that share border with South Sudan including the five Darfur states, West Kordofan, South Kordofan, White Nile and Blue Nile states. The police have confirmed that more than 70,000 troops will be deployed all over the country to ensure a secure voting process on Monday. The East Darfur government reportedly closed all crossings on the border to secure the elections.

Togo: Presidential Hopefuls Agree on Voter List, Allowing April 25 Poll | VoA News

All of Togo’s presidential candidates have agreed on an updated but still “imperfect” voter roll, removing an obstacle that had forced a delay in the election that will now take place on April 25, election officials said on Wednesday. “The current state of the election list is good enough for the 2015 vote,” said Siaka Sangare, a Malian former general working for the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF). The French-speaking nations group has worked with election organizers to address opposition complaints that election lists included numerous duplicates, potentially favoring President Faure Gnassingbe.

United Kingdom: One million go online to register to vote | BBC

More than one million people have gone online to register to vote in the space of just over three weeks, the Electoral Commission has said. Most of the applications were from young people, with peaks coinciding with the start of the campaign period and the televised leaders’ debate. A further 100,000 applications have been made on paper since 16 March, the commission says. … Some of these applications would have been made by people already registered to vote, the Electoral Commission said, so it was not expecting to add another one million people to the electoral register.