National: With big field, unsettled primary calendar adds complexity to GOP race | Los Angeles Times

As the number of candidates seeking the Republican nomination nears a dozen, with more to come, the calendar of primaries has drawn increased attention, with party strategists trying to determine which contests will begin to winnow the field. Though the calendar remains unsettled, several Southern states, including Alabama and Arkansas, are looking to have an effect on the race by holding contests on the same date – creating a so-called SEC primary, named after the college sports Southeastern Conference. In Florida, Republicans have rallied around a winner-take-all primary that could be a jackpot in the race for delegates and potentially determine the electoral fate of the state’s former governor, Jeb Bush and its current Republican senator, Marco Rubio.

Editorials: The Most Important Redistricting Case in 50 Years | Sean Trende/RealClearPolitics

In a pair of cases decided in 1964, the Supreme Court of the United States famously established the “one person, one vote” test, which held that all congressional districts must have the same number of people, as must all state legislative districts. The consequences of those decisions were both immediate and far-reaching. A wave of mid-decade redistricting swept the country, as virtually every congressional and legislative district had to be, at a minimum, tweaked to account for population discrepancies. Rural districts in particular lost representation, while the depopulation of urban centers helped usher in the rise of the suburbs in Congress. Last week, the Supreme Court shocked watchers by agreeing to hear a case that could have consequences of a similar magnitude. In 1966, in a follow-up to the Reynolds v. Sims decision, the court had held that states did not necessarily need to use persons as the basis for their representation schemes. Since then the court has at times been asked to adopt various different metrics. It generally resisted these entreaties, although Justice Clarence Thomas has, at times, urged the court to take up these cases.

Voting Blogs: The Supreme Court and the “Constituent” | More Soft Money Hard Law

The Supreme Court has effectively decided to consider the question of who qualifies as the constituent of a legislator, and, as Joey Fishkin has pointed out, it got into this question from a different perspective in its most recent campaign finance decision, McCutcheon. There the Court included in that category donors, including out-of-jurisdiction donors. Is it possible that this Court would conclude that a donor is a constituent but that for purposes of the constitutional question presented in Evenwel , a resident under the age of 18 or a noncitizen is not? Fishkin writes: “[W]ho counts as a constituent? That’s the question, long latent, that the Court has decided to decide in Evenwel.”

Alabama: State leads ‘SEC Primary’ to make the South a major player in the presidential race | Yellowhammer News

After Alabama passed its bill moving primaries up to March 1st last week, joining Arkansas and four other Southern states, the “SEC Primary,” appears to be ready to make waves during the 2016 presidential race. The Yellowhammer State will join Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia to hold its presidential primary election on March 1st as soon as Governor Robert Bentley (R-AL) signs the bill into law. Electoral heavy hitter Florida will also have its primary in March, waiting until two weeks after its neighbors for March 15th. The SEC Primary, championed by Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill, is an effort to maneuver Alabama into a place of relevance in the nominating process.

California: Assembly OKs two different approaches to boost voter registration | Los Angeles Times

In a bid to improve California’s lagging voter participation, lawmakers in the Assembly approved two measures Tuesday that aim to increase registration among eligible citizens. One bill, by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to satisfy the existing federal “Motor Voter” law, under which eligible individuals can choose to register to vote when getting a drivers license at the DMV. “For 22 years, the DMV has only partially complied with Motor Voter,” said Levine. “Because of this partial compliance, Motor Voter has been a failure in California.” Levine noted that Gov. Jerry Brown had set aside money to update the department’s technology, making such compliance possible. His bill, AB 786, passed the Assembly on a 53-13 vote.

Connecticut: Bill Responding To Election Day Problems Wins Final Approval | Hartford Courant

In response to disastrous Election Day preparation in Hartford that kept two polling places open late last year, the state House of Representatives on Monday gave final legislative approval to a bill that establishes a training and certification program for Registrars of voters – and creates a process for their removal in cases of extreme negligence of duty. The House voted 126-20 to send the bill to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s desk. Last fall, Malloy was among the people who tried to cast early-morning votes in Hartford but were told they could not vote when they first arrived at the polling place.

Michigan: Judge says Flint mayoral candidate Eric Mays’ petitions fall short |

Eric Mays has found himself in the same boat as the other three candidates for mayor of Flint — needing a change in state law to see his name on the ballot later this year. Genesee Circuit Judge Archie Hayman on Monday, June 1, dismissed a lawsuit filed by Mays, which sought to show he filed at least 900 valid signatures by the April 21 deadline. Flint Clerk Inez Brown claimed Mays filed 854 valid signatures by the deadline. Hayman said his own count showed Mays had no more than 861, while Mays himself claimed he had as many as 889 valid signatures — and said he wasn’t finished counting.

Nevada: Legislature stays with caucus system | Associated Press

Nevada is keeping its caucuses for selecting presidential nominees, disappointing supporters of several Republican presidential contenders who had hoped to shift the early-voting state to a system of primaries. Caucuses are considered favorable to candidates who have a network of highly motivated activists, and in Nevada they are seen as especially favoring Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul because of his family’s support in the state Republican party. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval backed legislation to change to a primary, but the bill never came up for a vote before the Legislature adjourned Monday night. It was the subject of frantic horse-trading and lobbying in the state capitol in Carson City until the final minutes of the session.

North Carolina: State Put On Lawsuit Notice Over Declining Voter Registration | Huffington Post

A slate of civil rights groups put North Carolina on notice Monday, writing in a pre-litigation letter that the state must meet its voter registration obligations or risk a lawsuit. The letter alleges that the state’s motor vehicle and public assistance agencies are violating legal requirements set out in the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) to provide voter registration services to citizens and transmit registration information to election officials. The legislation, signed in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton and commonly referred to as the “motor voter” law, delineates that state motor vehicle agencies must provide voter registration services whenever a person applies for, renews or changes his or her address on a driver’s license or government-issued identification card. It also requires public assistance, disability and military recruiting offices to facilitate voter registration.

Pennsylvania: Same-day voter registration bill pushed as way to increase turnout | Patriot-News

Legislation that seeks to boost voter turnout by making exercising this constitutional right more convenient in Pennsylvania is being pushed by two Democratic House members and several organizations. Same-day Voter Registration Could Increase Voter Participation, Supporters Say Lawmakers and others are calling for the passage of legislation that would allow voters to register at their polling place on Election Day and vote by provisional ballot. Their ballot t would only be counted after the Department of State approved their voter registration application. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, and lists 28 Democrats as its co-sponsors, would allow voters to register to vote at their county courthouse or polling place on the day of the election.

Texas: Abbott Opposes Curbs on Dark Money | The Texas Tribune

All that Republican infighting about revealing political “dark money” during the just-concluded session of the Texas Legislature was probably for naught. Gov. Greg Abbott has come out firmly against the idea. Speaking at a news conference Monday in the Capitol, Abbott said he had already written about the issue when he was on the Texas Supreme Court, telling reporters that legislation requiring secret political donors to come out of the shadows would violate the U.S. Constitution. Proponents of dark money disclosure dispute the claim.

US Virgin Islands: Non-profit makes case for lawsuit to restore voting rights to territories | Virgin Islands Daily News

Speaking in front of the V.I. Bar Association, We the People Project founder Neil Weare outlined the case for extending the right to vote in presidential elections to residents of the territory. He also said that his organization, a non-profit group devoted to achieving voting rights for all U.S. territories, would file a lawsuit within months featuring plaintiffs from the territory who claim that their Constitutional rights have been violated by their disqualification from casting federal ballots. Semaj Johnson of the K.A. Rames, P.C. law firm will join Weare in filling the suit. “Virgin Islanders defend the Constitution and democracy abroad while being denied democracy at home,” Weare said to a crowded banquet room Friday morning at Mahogany Run Golf Course, which included Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett and District Court Judge Curtis Gomez.

Burundi: Nkurunziza to postpone vote after pressure from African leaders | Mail & Guardian Africa

Burundi is to postpone presidential elections by a month to July 26 with the backing of five East African Community (EAC) member states after weeks of unrest left at least 20 people dead. “Postponing elections for us is not a problem, but we won’t go beyond the limit accorded by the constitution,” presidential spokesman Willy Nyamwite said on the sidelines of an EAC summit in Dar es Salaam late Sunday. At least 20 people have died in unrest since President Pierre Nkurunziza signaled he will run for a third term, a move his opponents say violates peace accords. At least 112,000 others have fled to neighbouring countries, fearing a return to conflict in a nation where 300,000 people died in a civil war that ended in 2005, according to the UN Humanitarian Agency.

Denmark: Candidate bares all in bid to be prime minister | The Guardian

Conversations tail off mid-sentence; students stop to take selfies and parents shield young children’s eyes. The cause of their embarrassment: giant posters of a man wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, a gun holster and a knowing smile. This is John Erik Wagner, and he wants to be Denmark’s next prime minister. It may not be a conventional political billboard but, in this time of frenetic campaigning before the Danish general election this month, every available tree or lamppost is plastered with images of politicians and wannabes, and a relatively unknown candidate needs to work hard to make an impression. For Wagner, a 51-year-old Copenhagener, the way to do that was to bare all.

Italy: Renzi wins in most regions, but suffers bruising setback | Europe Online

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi suffered his first election setback Monday, as results of weekend regional elections showed ebbing support for his centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and gains for populist opposition forces. Voting took place in seven out of Italy‘s 20 regions on Sunday, during a bank holiday weekend that saw many voters stay away from polling booths. Turnout fell to 53.9 per cent, compared to 64.1 per cent five years ago. The PD prevailed in five out of seven races, but suffered a surprise loss in Liguria, in the north-west, and saw its overall share of the vote fall sharply compared to last year‘s European elections, when it scored a record 41 per cent.

Pakistan: Election chief nullifies male-only election | ucanews

Election authorities in Pakistan today nullified the results of a by-election held in a remote district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province last month that barred women from exercising their right to vote. Masroor Shah, a lawyer representing human rights activists and who challenged the legality of the elections, said that Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Raza Khan has declared the by-elections of Lower Dir null and void and has ordered new elections. “Women from Dir have testified before the three-member inquiry commission that they were not allowed to vote,” Shah said. “The announcements had been made from a mosque’s loud speakers to stop women from participating in the elections.”

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka considering passing vote to Tamil refugees | Fulton News

If Sri Lanka’s government moves a special parliamentary bill to empower Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in South Indian in the coming weeks, over 50,000 refugees of Sri Lankan origin will be able to vote at the forthcoming parliamentary election. Officials at Sri Lanka’s Election Commission have signalled that the vote can be facilitated if Sri Lanka, together with the Indian administration, prioritize the creation of legal structures for overseas voting. “Many other countries have their expatriates voting, from their current location. Sri Lanka can also take that route,” said Additional Election Commissioner M. M. Mohamed.

Turkey: Volunteers flock to monitor knife-edge election | Reuters

In a meeting room above an upmarket restaurant in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district, some 200 people listen as a young lawyer explains what to watch for when votes are counted in Sunday’s pivotal parliamentary election. Tens of thousands of volunteers have signed up to monitor the vote, set to be the closest in more than a decade, in what organisers say is a response an erosion in the rule of law. Oy Ve Otesi (“Vote and Beyond”), was set up the aftermath of anti-government demonstrations two years ago. In last year’s presidential election, it was able to monitor six cities. This time it is targeting 70,000 volunteers in 162 towns.