National: Huckabee’s Pitch, Whether Joke or Not, At Odds With Federal Election Law | Wall Street Journal

In his presidential campaign announcement on Tuesday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee emphasized his status as a Washington outsider who would not be “funded and fueled” by billionaires. But as he decried wealthy donors’ influence in the political system, he also ran afoul of federal election law. Mr. Huckabee said his campaign would be funded by “working people who will find out that $15 and $25 a month contributions can take us from Hope to higher ground,” he said, a reference to Hope, Ark., where he was speaking. But, he cracked: “Rest assured, if you want to give a million dollars, please do it.” Not so fast. Individuals are only permitted to give up to $2,700 per election to a candidate, according to Federal Election Commission rules. Though in a joking manner, Mr. Huckabee was likely making a pitch to the audience on behalf of a super PAC, Pursuing America’s Greatness, that he formed last month to back his campaign. Super PACs can accept unlimited donations from individuals but are not allowed to coordinate with campaigns.

Colorado: Senate GOP kills party’s own push for 2016 presidential primary | DEnver Post

An apparent disagreement among Republicans led a Senate panel Monday to reject the party’s own push to create a presidential primary in 2016. The surprising move, in the final three days of the Colorado legislative session, left a cloud of confusion and hurts the state’s ability to draw a bigger spotlight in the much-watched contest for the White House. Sen. Jesse Ulibarri, one of the Democratic sponsors, said he had “no clue” what happened. “This is one of those where I walked away scratching my head,” the Westminster lawmaker said.

Editorials: Colorado GOP flubs chance for 2016 presidential primary | The Denver Post

Do Republican leaders in Colorado want a presidential primary or don’t they? It’s hard to tell. And the unfortunate result is that hundreds of thousands of Coloradans will be deprived for another four years of a convenient way to help nominate presidential candidates. Officially, GOP leaders are on board, with party chairman Steve House favoring a primary and a number of GOP lawmakers, including the Senate president, co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill creating a presidential primary. But four Republican senators killed that bill in committee Monday over the votes of three Democrats, with one of the Republicans citing mixed signals from the party chairman.

Editorials: Register Minority Voters in Georgia, Go to Jail | The New Republic

In the weeks leading up to the 2012 election, Helen Ho, an attorney who has worked to register newly naturalized immigrants to vote in the Southeast, made an alarming discovery. Some new citizens that her group, then known as the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, had tried to register in Georgia were still not on the rolls. Early voting had begun and polling places were challenging and even turning away new citizens seeking to vote for the first time. After more than a week of seeking answers from the office of Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, which oversees elections, AALAC issued a sharply worded open letter on October 31 demanding that Georgia take immediate action to ensure the new citizens could vote. Two days later Ho received her response. In a letter, Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, offered few specific assurances about the new voters in question and informed Ho that his office was launching an investigation into how AALAC registered these would-be voters. Kemp’s office asked that AALAC turn over certain records of its registration efforts, citing “potential legal concerns surrounding AALAC’s photocopying and public disclosure of voter registration applications.”

Indiana: Early poll book problems widespread in Porter County – Post-Tribune

Early voters in Porter County faced challenges when they went to the polls Tuesday and the county’s new electronic poll books weren’t working. “As of 7 o’clock this morning, there were at least 30 (polling places) that weren’t online. They were all over,” said Kathy Kozuszek, Democratic director in the county’s Voter Registration Office. “Everything was up and running by 8 o’clock.” The problems, she said, ran the gamut, from not having enough routers for each electronic poll book, which scans identification cards and offers an electronic signature pad for voters, to not having the necessary Internet connection at Woodland Park in Portage for the equipment to work.

Kansas: House panel advances prosecutor power for Kobach | Topeka Capital-Journal

A Kansas House committee pushed forward legislation Monday to give Secretary of State Kris Kobach the power to prosecute election fraud. The House Judiciary Committee voted 14-8 to send Senate Bill 34 to the floor. The vote marked a revival of the legislation, which was first approved by the the committee in March. Because of parliamentary rules, the panel had to re-approve the bill. Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, said he had initially had some reservations about the legislation. But the secretary of state has unique knowledge about election fraud that makes allowing that office to prosecute appropriate, he said.

Maine: Democrats block bill to require voters to show photo ID | The Portland Press Herald

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted Tuesday to block a bill that would require Maine voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot. The House voted 82-66 to reject L.D. 197, sponsored by Sen. Ronald Collins, R-Wells, and backed by Republican leadership. Tuesday’s vote broke along party lines with Republicans supporting the measure and Democrats opposing it. Last week the Republican-controlled Senate approved the proposal, 18-17. Two Republicans, Sens. Roger Katz, of Augusta, and Brian Langley, of Ellsworth, voted against the measure. Republicans have argued that a voter ID law will protect against voter fraud. Democrats countered that there has been little to no evidence of election fraud in Maine and that voter ID laws are political tools designed to suppress certain voters from participating in elections.

Mississippi: E-poll books spark controversy | Desoto Times Tribune

A plan put forth by the DeSoto County Election Commission to place a minimum of two electronic poll books at each of the county’s 39 precincts at a total cost of $172,000 has been put on hold for at least another two weeks. The DeSoto County Election Commission has set aside funds to pay for the e-poll books and did not ask county supervisors Monday for any more funds to pay for the new devices. The plan for the new electronic poll books, which would eventually replace paper poll books, was approved by four of the county’s five election commissioners. District 5 Election Commissioner Tina Hill is the lone holdout, saying that she expressed reservations about implementing the e-poll books at the present time, saying that new scanners need to be purchased instead.

Editorials: North Carolina Supreme Court should move quickly on voting maps | News & Observer

The U.S. Supreme Court’s order remanding the N.C. Supreme Court’s flawed decision on voting district maps officially arrived in Raleigh on Tuesday. With that, the clock gets ticking for the state Supreme Court to make up for its disturbing delay in deciding the case. It should accelerate the process the second time around. Redistricting cases have a special urgency, and this one has been handled with intolerable foot-dragging. The state’s previous redistricting case in 2002 was resolved within five months. In the current case, a consolidation of Dickson v. Rucho and the NAACP v. The State of North Carolina, the lawsuits filed in November 2011 have waited more than three years and five months without resolution. Typical of the pace was the state Supreme Court’s taking 11 months after hearing oral arguments before issuing its 4-2 ruling in December upholding the maps.

Ohio: “E-polling” coming to Hamilton County | WVXU

Hamilton County’s polling places could soon replace paper poll books with electronic ones – possibly by November’s election. The Hamilton County Board of Elections unanimously voted Monday morning to authorize its staff to prepare a contract with Tenax, a Florida company, to place the electronic poll books in all 373 of the county’s polling places. Voters would have their identification cards, such as driver’s licenses, scanned and would automatically be given the correct ballot for their precinct. If voters were in the wrong polling place, it would print out directions to their proper polling places.

South Dakota: Court Says Sioux Voting Rights Suit Will Proceed | Courthouse News Service

A lawsuit alleging that Jackson County has impaired Native Americans’ right to vote on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota will move forward, a federal judge ruled on May 1. Plaintiff Thomas Poor Bear, Vice President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, filed the lawsuit in September 2014, alleging that Jackson County’s refusal to open a satellite voter registration office on the reservation amounted to discrimination against Native American voters, many of whom did not have transportation to the county seat for voting. The defendants – Jackson County, County Auditor Vicki Wilson, and County Commissioners Glen Bennett, Larry Denke, Larry Johnston, Jim Stillwell and Ron Twiss – responded by filing a motion to dismiss, arguing “the complaint contains no facts showing that the plaintiffs were unable to vote absentee or vote by regular ballot.”

Pennsylvania: New voting machines might not make it past Philly City Council vote | NewsWorks

Philadelphia’s budget plan calls for purchasing new voting machines, but some City Council members are balking at the $22 million expense. The request for new voting machines is based on the age of the current machines, now about a decade old, said Greg Irving of the City Commissioners. “The current voting technology is now 13 years old, it has seen an increase in the number of power failures and printer problems,” Irving said. “We also have issues in election board and committeeperson races with missing write in tapes because our machines only produce one copy of write in votes.”

China: Hong Kong Lawmakers Promise to Block Election Plan | VoA News

Political tensions continue to rise in Hong Kong. Pro-democracy legislators are promising to block China’s plan for electoral reform in the territory. The plan calls for electing a city leader from a list of candidates approved by the central government in Beijing. Democracy activists say they will travel throughout Hong Kong over the next several weeks. They want to convince people to support the direct election of Hong Kong’s chief executive. Last year, pro-democracy activists shut down parts of the city for months.

United Kingdom: Expats in uproar over missing ballot papers ahead of Thursday’s poll | Telegraph

British expats around the world have complained that they’ve not received their ballot papers in time for their postal votes to count in Thursday’s general election. Reports from as far afield as France, Brazil and the United States emerged this week of the problem, which has left expats “damn cheesed off” according to one campaigner. Brian Cave, 82, who has lived in south eastern France for 17 years, runs a blog focusing on expat voting rights.

United Kingdom: General Election 2015 explained: Voting | The Independent

Most people who vote in tomorrow’s general election will vote in person, in one of around 40,000 polling stations that will be open from 7am to 10pm. All voters should have received a poll card no less than a week before election day. You should present this at the polling station when you vote. Each voter is then given a ballot paper on which to mark their vote. The paper bears an alphabetical list of all the candidates standing in that constituency. In addition to your elector number, your ballot paper will carry an “official mark” which should be visible from both sides of the paper. This will usually be stamped with a special instrument immediately before it is given to you; but some papers may have a pre-printed mark or barcode instead.