Editorials: Jeb Bush is tearing down what little campaign finance law we have left. | Richard Hasen/Slate

Jeb Bush speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit on April 17, 2015, in Nashua, New Hampshire.
(Pseudo-non)candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit on April 17, 2015, in Nashua, New Hampshire. In February, the Campaign Legal Center, a group which works on campaign finance reform issues, released a “white paper” contending that many of the leading potential presidential candidates were likely breaking federal law by not declaring their candidacy or setting up a “testing the waters” committee for a presidential election run. Such a declaration, among other things, limits donors to giving only $2,700 to the (would-be) candidate for the presidential primary season. It was an excellent report, but many shrugged off its findings as just one more way in which the campaign finance system has begun to unravel since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

California: ‘Spoiled Ballots’ Subvert Will of Voters in Special Election | San Jose Inside

Sitting in what we affectionately call the “bat cave,” watching returns come in from the special election for San Jose’s District 4 council seat, Steve Kline noted there was something wrong. “There are too many spoiled ballots, “ he said. Kline, our numbers guy, was noting the difference between votes cast and votes counted. In a small turnout, spoiled ballots can make a huge difference. Fortunately, it did not affect our candidate in the race: Tim Orozco. But it did hurt Lan Diep, who should be Orozco’s opponent in the runoff, not Manh Nguyen. It is an anomaly that falls in line with the “butterfly” ballots cast in Florida for Pat Buchanan, back in 2000. The spoiled ballots cost Diep, who finished just 13 votes behind Nguyen.

Florida: Ridiculous, unnecessary special election in HD 64 wraps up today | SaintPetersBlog

It’s too soon to say whether or not Jamie Grant will be re-elected to his House District 64 seat. But not really. He will be elected and everyone knows this. Grant, who was first elected in 2010, is literally the only name on the ballot for the special election being held Tuesday. Voters will head to the polls in parts of both Hillsborough and Pinellas to cast their ballots in Grant’s shoo-in bid. Early voting in the election wrapped up over the weekend.

Florida: Online voter registration steaming ahead despite top elections official opposing it | KeysNet

Florida should join the parade of 20 states allowing online voter registration, says the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections. “I think it’s a good thing,” Supervisor Joyce Griffin said Tuesday. “It would save paper, save money and save aggravation. It’s the next logical step.” The Florida Legislature seems to agree as House and Senate bills creating an online registration application by October 2017 are moving forward in the waning weeks of the spring session. A Tuesday vote on the House bill was delayed over questions about a $1.8 million cost for the new system. The primary opposition to the bill comes from the administration of Gov. Rick Scott. Scott’s appointed elections chief, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, warned of a “train wreck” and possible computer fraud by “forces of evil” in testimony to a Florida Senate committee April 15.

Guam: Election Commission looking at upgrading voting experience | KUAM

Just as the Guam Election Commission prepares for a special election next month, they’re also preparing for future elections and ways to improve the voting system on Guam. GEC executive director Maria Pangelinan says her goal has always been to provide fair and honest elections locally. And next week, she’ll be attending a national conference to help do just that. “One of the other things I want to do while I’m there is to see how other states conduct the election, and with all the research and all the people that will be there, it’s a great way to network and learn what everyone else is doing,” she said.

Illinois: Some clerks moving forward with Schock election | Bloomington Pentagraph

State lawmakers are trying to help county clerks cope with a new voter registration law for the upcoming special election for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s seat in Congress. But with the clock ticking on the July 7 special primary election, some clerks in the 18th Congressional District say the deadline for action by the General Assembly already has passed. Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray said Tuesday he is moving ahead with plans to comply with the new law requiring counties to allow voters to register and vote on the day of the election at each polling place. “I don’t have time to waste,” Gray said.

Kansas: Kobach PAC now embroiled in state naming-law issue; ‘stupid’ PAC gets letter from ethics panel | The Wichita Eagle

A Wichita group’s effort to form a committee to “fix stupid” in Kansas politics has snagged the state’s top election official, Kris Kobach, who may be running a political action committee that is illegally named. Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, will be getting a letter from the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission questioning the legality of using the name “Prairie Fire PAC” for his political fundraising committee, said Carol Williams, executive director of the commission. State law requires PACs that are affiliated with a larger corporation or organization to note that in their name. Unaffiliated PACs must use names indicating who’s involved or the cause the PAC is advocating for, Williams said. Kobach said Wednesday his interpretation is the law doesn’t apply to a PAC like his.

New Hampshire: State Supreme Court hears arguments on voter bill | Associated Press

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about whether a 2012 law amending the language of voter registration forms discourages out-of-state college students and others living in the state temporarily from voting. Assistant Attorney General Stephen LaBonte told the justices the language merely clarifies that New Hampshire residents must abide by state laws requiring them to obtain driver’s licenses and register their cars in the state. Attorney Bill Christie, representing the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, urged the justices to uphold two lower-court rulings that deem the law’s language to be confusing and unconstitutionally restrictive on a person’s right to vote.

New York: Federal judge OKs Albany County’s new political map | Times Union

A federal judge on Tuesday blessed Albany County’s new political map, effectively ending a nearly four-year voting rights lawsuit triggered by a plan that shortchanged minority voters. Senior U.S. Judge Lawrence Kahn approved the map over the objections of the leadership of the Bethlehem Democratic Committee, which hoped to file a motion Wednesday arguing that the county used the court-ordered do-over to gerrymander at least one Democratic challenger out of an incumbent’s district. The new map was ordered by Kahn’s March 24 ruling that the county’s 2011 redistricting plan violated the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting African-American voting power — the third time in three decades the county has been forced to redraw its lines in the face of a Voting Rights Act challenge.

Guinea: Opposition calls protests nationwide over vote timetable | AFP

Guinea’s opposition sought to spur protests across the country against a disputed election timetable on Thursday after days of violent clashes in the capital, even as the president ruled out any review. Violence between supporters of the opposition Union of Republican Forces (UFR) and police during unauthorised protests in Conakry left several dead in recent days, but supporters are undeterred and seeking to consolidate their regional backing. Guinean President Alpha Conde insisted Wednesday that the country’s constitution rules out the kind of changes to the election timetable sought by opposition supporters.

Philippines: Comelec seeks alternatives | Manila Standard

With only a year, two weeks and three days to go before the 2016 polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is considering using only the 23,000 optical mark reader (OMR) machines that are the subject of a public bidding, under a centralized setup, a spokesman for the agency said Wednesday. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said this “central count optical system” would bypass the need for the old 81,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, after the Supreme Court nullified a negotiated contract with Smartmatic-TIM to have them refurbished and repaired. “What we plan now is to use the machines that are still in the bidding process. We are considering using the 23,000 OMR units for a central count optical system,” Jimenez said. The CCOS would entail transporting ballots from a group of precincts to a designated voting center where they would be scanned and tabulated.

Russia: Opposition coalition to contest regional polls | BBC

Russia’s main opposition groups say they will combine forces to fight for election in three regions this autumn. They are hoping for a springboard for the 2016 national parliamentary vote. The “democratic coalition” was formed last weekend to unite six parties and groups under the banner of RPR-Parnas, the party of murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. The coalition includes the party of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, but he cannot run for office. He is serving a suspended prison sentence in an embezzlement case that he argues was fabricated.

Uganda: New Measures to Prevent Voter Irregularities in Uganda | VoA News

The Electoral Commission of Uganda will use a biometric system – a system that uses human body characteristics to determine identity – to update its voters register ahead of next year’s general election, says Electoral Commission spokesman Jotham Taremwa. Denying reports that the electoral commission lacks funds needed to organize the elections within the next 10 months, Taremwa says the electoral body needs about $90,000,000 to organize the elections. The government has disbursed $67,000,000 but has yet to release the rest of the funds.

United Kingdom: Does ‘vote swapping’ work? | BBC

Vote-swapping websites seem to be gaining traction on social media. But what makes people swap votes, and will it really make a difference to the election result? Jodie Holland and Dr Tim Killeen don’t know each other. But they’ve made a pact. On 7 May, they will walk into polling stations in different constituencies and vote for the party the other wants to win. In doing so, both believe it will boost the chances of the party they want in power.