Virginia: 2 GOP Lawmakers Help McAuliffe Kill Voter ID Bill | Roanoke Star

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a photo identification bill was upheld by two Republican lawmakers who maintained that the election measure was flawed. Siding with a solid bloc of Democrats, Delegate Bob Bloxom Jr. left Republicans one vote short of overriding the governor. The freshman lawmaker said requiring that mail-in requests for an absentee ballot be accompanied by a copy of the voter’s photo “wouldn’t solve anything.” Delegate James Edmunds, R-Halifax, also bolted from the party line. “A picture of someone’s photo doesn’t get compared with anything (at the election office.) It could be a picture of anyone,” Bloxom, of Mappsville, told McAuliffe made much the same argument.

Burundi: General Claims to Oust President Pierre Nkurunziza | New York Times

An army general in Burundi announced on Wednesday that the military had ousted President Pierre Nkurunziza, setting off celebrations in the streets among protesters who had been trying to block the president’s bid for another term. “President Pierre Nkurunziza is removed from office,” Maj. Gen. Godefroid Niyombare said in a broadcast on a radio station in the capital, Bujumbura. In explaining the coup, General Niyombare said the president had killed opponents and protesters, overseen a corrupt government and — by seeking a third term — had disregarded the 2000 peace agreement and the 2005 Constitution to end the country’s civil war.

Ethiopia: Opposition claims harassment ahead of elections | Associated Press

Ethiopian opposition groups are accusing the government of harassing their members and carrying out illegal detentions ahead of the May 24 elections. Yonathan Tesfaye, spokesman for the Blue Party, told The Associated Press this week that some party members are being beaten, especially in the southern region. He said his party may boycott the elections. “If the current level of harassment and detention along with the problem in registering our observers continues, we might be forced to consider exiting from the election process,” he said.

Guyana: Opposition Vote Count Shows Victory Over Ruling Party | Associated Press

An opposition coalition challenging the governing party and the racial politics that have long dominated in Guyana said Tuesday it appeared to have won national elections, though official results had not been released. The leader of the Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change told reporters the coalition’s own tabulation of publicly available results from nearly all polling stations gave it a substantial lead over the governing People’s Progressive Party. Opposition candidates for Parliament had more than 180,000 votes, compared to nearly 130,000 for the ruling party, David Granger, a retired army general who leads the coalition, said at a news conference in the capital. “There is no way that the PPP can close this gap that we have opened up,” Granger said

Ireland: Ireland prepares for historic vote on gay marriage | 4 News

Voters in the Republic of Ireland will take part in a historic vote next week allowing the public to decide if same sex marriage can be allowed in a traditionally Catholic country, Neil Markey writes. The referendum has seen a bitter battle between religious conservative organisations and a younger generation, who worry about the nation’s perception globally if it fails to pass. If the referendum is passed married same-sex couples will be recognised as a family and entitled to the same Constitutional protection as opposite sex couples. The vote comes almost twenty two years after homosexuality was decriminalised in the country and more than four years after a Civil Partnership Bill came into effect.

United Kingdom: Online voting is convenient, but if the results aren’t verifiable it’s not worth the risk | The Conversation

In one of the most fiercely contested elections in years, the turnout of the 2015 British general election was still stubbornly low at 66.1% – only a single percentage point more than in 2010, and still around 10 points lower than the ranges common before the 1990s. There has been all manner of hand-wringing about how to improve voter engagement and turnout. Considering the huge range of things we now do online, why not voting too? A Lodestone political survey suggested that 60% of respondents said they would vote if they could do so online, and this rose to around 80% among those aged 18-35. As recently as this year, the speaker of the House of Commons called for a secure online voting system by 2020. But designing a secure way to vote online is hard. An electronic voting system has to be transparent enough that the declared outcome is fully verifiable, yet still protect the anonymity of the secret ballot in order to prevent the possibility of voter coercion.