National: The White House Names Princeton University Professor Ed Felten as Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer | Planet Princeton

Edward Felten, a Princeton University computer scientist who is a leading expert on computer security, has been named deputy chief technology officer in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. The White House announced the appointment this afternoon. Felten has been teaching at Princeton University since 1993. In 2005, he was named director of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. His research interests include public policy issues related to information technology, including electronic voting, cybersecurity policy, technology for government transparency, and Internet policy.

National: Democrats Eased Way for GOP Mega-Donors | Bloomberg

More than half of Senate Democrats voted with Republicans in December to increase fundraising limits for the political parties. The change was tucked in the 1,599th page of a 1,603-page budget deal. Given how aggressively Republicans are taking advantage of the new rules, and how little they seem to be benefiting Democrats, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid may regret his support. The Republican National Committee raised almost $26 million in the first quarter of 2015, $10 million more than the Democratic National Committee — even though the DNC has President Barack Obama headlining fundraising events. The RNC owes its advantage to huge donations, which were formally prohibited.

Editorials: Democrats embrace the logic of ‘Citizens United’ | Lawrence Lessig/The Washington Post

Since the Supreme Court cleared the way for unlimited independent political expenditures by individuals, unions and corporations, there has been a fierce debate among academics and activists about what the term “corruption” means. For five justices on the court, “corruption” means “quid pro quo” — a bribe, or an exchange of a favor for influence. But an almost unanimous view, certainly among Democrats, and even among many Republicans, has emerged that this is a hopelessly stunted perspective of a much richer disease. Certainly, quid pro quo is corruption. But equally certainly, it is not the only form of corruption.

Connecticut: Campaign finance reform bill languishes | Connecticut Post

After special interest groups spent $18 million in the 2014 governor’s race, campaign finance reformers are waiting with bated breath to see if a bill that curbs outside money in statewide elections is passed by the General Assembly. Crafted by the state Elections Enforcement Commission, the legislation is part of a logjam of bills on the calendar of the Democratically controlled state Senate, which has been noncommittal on its prospects. The initiative to bring greater transparency to expenditures by political action committees and nonprofit advocacy groups has state Democrats and Republicans accusing each other of undermining Connecticut’s clean-elections program.

Minnesota: Senate passes elections bill, would allow early voting, restore felon voting rights | StarTribune

The Senate passed a wide-ranging elections bill 39-28 on a mostly party line vote that would expand early voting and restore voting rights to felons once they are no longer incarcerated. The bill would automatically register eligible voters when they apply for a driver’s license or state identification card or have it renewed. It would also allow 16- and 17-year olds to “preregister” to vote. A driver’s license applicant could opt-out of registering to vote.

North Carolina: Paper trail indicates DHHS aware of voting issue despite response | WRAL

When a group of voting rights advocates notified the state Department of Health and Human Services recently that North Carolina may not be living up to federal requirements that social services agencies help their clients register to vote, a spokeswoman indicated the department was surprised. “This administration has always supported increasing voter registration and will fully review any alleged variance along with our processes to determine if the Department needs to revise its procedures,” Alexandra Lefebvre, a DHHS press assistant, emailed Friday in response to both verbal and emailed requests for comment. “Given the gravity of this issue, we wish these activist organizations had approached the Department sooner when they first had concerns about the registration process.” That profession of surprise is a much different response than WRAL News received from the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Friday, where officials indicated that they were not only aware of the problem but said they had been prodding DHHS for years to address the issue.

Ohio: Republicans push new voter ID bill | MSNBC

With 2016 approaching, Ohio Republicans are making a new push for a voter ID bill—setting the stage for another battle over voting in the nation’s most pivotal swing state. Legislation introduced last week by conservatives in the statehouse would require that voters show a driver’s license, passport or military ID. They could also get a special state ID card which costs $8.50, or is free for those who make less than the federal poverty line—$11,770 a year. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Andrew Brenner, has offered the usual rationale: the need to stop illegal voting by non-residents, non-citizens or others.

Burundi: President Rejects Election Delay | VoA News

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has rejected an appeal from the European Union and the United States to delay the June 26 presidential election. Nkurunziza reportedly told the BBC that postponing the vote would worsen the situation. Willy Nyamitwe, senior advisor to President Nkurunziza on media and communication, said delaying the election is a technical matter that must be managed by the electoral commission. In addition, he said the election is a constitutional mandate and Burundi must be careful not to create an institutional vacuum.

Guyana: Guyana votes in general election | BBC

Guyana has voted in general elections described by police as steady and peaceful. Incumbent President Donald Ramotar of the People’s Progressive Party – Civic (PPP/C) is running against David Granger, representing a five-party opposition coalition. Mr Ramotar’s party has been in power for more than two decades. If the PPP/C wins, it will be its sixth consecutive term in office and the second for Donald Ramotar.

Luxembourg: Referendum campaign gets underway | Luxemburger Wort

Official campaigning for Luxembourg’s referendum began on Monday with politicians embarking on a shoe-string campaign to encourage Luxembourgers to follow their lead. The referendum itself takes place on June 7 when Luxembourgers will be asked to vote on three specific questions. The first question concerns the lowering of the voting age of Luxembourgers from 18 to 16 years old. The proposal would make it optional for 16 and 17-year-olds to vote, unlike the rest of the population, for which voting is compulsory. The second question explores the proposal of enabling foreign residents to vote in national elections in Luxembourg. Already, they may vote in local and European elections provided they meet certain criteria.

Philippines: Smartmatic appeals disqualification from voting machine deal | GMA News

It is less than a year before the 2016 presidential elections, but the PCOS machines to be used are still not ready. This is after the Commission on Elections again disqualified Smartmatic-TIM from supplying 23,000 additional PCOS vote-counting machines for the elections because of incomplete documents and because demo units failed to meet technical requirements. Smartmatic has already filed a Motion for Reconsideratino to Comelec. In a statement, Smartmatic Asia president Cesar Flores said the company is confident they will still get the contract.

United Kingdom: Why can’t the UK vote online? The answer is simple – we fail at passwords | Information Age

In an age where so many of us handle our banking, tax returns and bill paying online, many have asked why can’t we cast a vote via the internet as well? Last year, over eight in ten (83%) of UK adults were active online – just imagine if we saw this sort of turnout for 2020’s election. However, moving voting online has its own risks as well. And much of this is down to poor password security. Much of this insecurity is rooted in existing Electronic Voting Machines – or EVMs – which are already in use throughout the world. India, for example, adopted EVMs for its 2004 parliamentary elections, with 380 million voters casting their ballots on more than a million machines. In the United States, push button or touchscreen style EVMs have been used regularly since 1976. However, across the world, EVMs have been roundly criticized for being susceptible to hacking and fraud. In India, It was successfully demonstrated that the 2009 election victory of the Congress Party of India could easily have been rigged – forcing the election commission to review the current EVMs.

United Kingdom: Conservative win means end in sight for 15 year expat voting limit | The Connexion

A Conservative victory at the UK general elections means the UK will now be expected to hold to a pledge to end the 15-year limit on the expat vote. That was one of the party’s main promises to Britons overseas, and it was the only party to offer it unequivocally. However, the Conservatives will also now be expected to follow through with another policy likely to divide expats much more – an in/out referendum on the EU, by the end of 2017. The party has not clarified if it would give the vote back to long-term expats in time to take part in it.