Press Release: Three More Virginia Jurisdictions Purchase Hart InterCivic’s Verity Voting System | Hart InterCivic

Hart InterCivic, a full service election solutions innovator and national leader in election technology, announced today that three more localities in the Commonwealth of Virginia have elected to purchase the Verity Voting system. Richmond, Henry and Essex Counties voted to purchase Verity, replacing their existing outdated voting equipment. These localities’ adoption of Verity follows on the heels of Prince William County, Virginia’s successful June 9, 2015 primary using the system. Verity in VA: Primary Election in Prince William County, VA Complete Success with Verity Voting System As in Prince William County, voters in Richmond, Henry and Essex Counties will scan their paper ballots using Verity Scan. Voters with disabilities may use the Verity Touch Writer ballot marking device with accessibility features to mark their ballots electronically before scanning them.

Editorials: You can transfer your paycheck, fill out your taxes and control airplanes online. Why can’t you vote? | Bangor Daily News

You can transfer your life’s earnings between bank accounts online. You can apply for a credit card and file your tax returns online. If you’re an air traffic controller, you probably use a Web-based system to direct the planes — and people’s lives — above you. So what’s the deal with voting? Why can’t you use your phone or computer to cast your ballot remotely? Experts don’t have faith in the ability of the Internet to maintain what’s needed in a voting system: keeping your vote secret, preventing coercion, verifying your identity, allowing you to vote only once, and recording your vote correctly. If not now, though, will the option to vote online be available in the future? … Skeptics of online voting are of course concerned about security breaches. Could a third party hack into the system and interfere with an election’s results? What about the potential for violations of voter privacy?

Editorials: Why should some Native Americans have to drive 163 miles to vote? | Natalie Landreth/The Guardian

Imagine if, in the 2016 elections, you had to drive 104 miles (167 km) to your nearest polling station, like National Congress of American Indians research found those people living in the Duck Valley Reservation in Nevada do, or 163 miles (262 km), like residents of the Goshute Reservation in Utah do. Or imagine if you had to take a plane flight to the nearest polling place because you cannot get to it by road, which was the case for several Native communities in 2008, when the state of Alaska attempted a “district realignment” to eliminate polling places in their villages. That’s just half the trip. In those circumstances, can you really be said to be enjoying full voting rights? Consider, too, that many reservations do not have access to early voting, so they will have just one day on which to make that astonishingly long journey. You can imagine the line at that polling place: either it will be very long because everyone is forced to go on that same day, or very short because not many people could afford an entire day off work to vote – that is if they even have a car and a driver’s license.

Voting Blogs: “Desperate” at the FEC | More Soft Money Hard Law

By petitioning their own agency for a rulemaking, Commissioners Weintraub and Ravel have found a novel way to charge their colleagues with fecklessness. Call it a populist gesture: they are stepping out of their roles as administrators and issuing their appeal from the outside, as members of the general public. They may have done all they could or intended to do with this Petition, which was to publicize their grievances. Or they may have sought to add to public understanding of the grounds of this grievance-to enlighten and inform, and not only turn up the volume of their complaint. A first point—minor but worth considering– is whether this agency needs another quirky procedural controversy. What does it mean for two Commissioners, one of whom is agency Chair, to dispense with their formal roles and petition as citizens, filing a petition on plain paper without their titles and just the Commission’s street address? Will they recuse themselves from voting on the petition as Commissioners? Will they testify before themselves?

Colorado: Smartphone voting isn’t ready | The Durango Herald

Technology isn’t yet ready to allow voting on your smartphone, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said Tuesday during a visit to Durango. “Right now, the technology isn’t sufficiently secure for that,” he said during an interview with The Durango Herald’s editorial board. In commercial applications, Williams said, “There are security breaches occasionally. We’re just not there yet.”

Florida: State’s top elections chief faces critics in Orlando | Miami Herald

As Florida heads toward a historic presidential election cycle with two home state favorites running, those in charge of orchestrating convenient, snafu-free voting statewide have charged that the administration of Gov. Rick Scott too often works against them, rather than with them. The ongoing tension was on display in Orlando Wednesday, as Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Florida’s top elections official, addressed a conference of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. Association leaders are still fuming over Detzner earlier this year trying to torpedo online voter registration in Florida, which is offered in at least 20 other states and had overwhelming bipartisan support. His opposition came after he told supervisors he supported the initiative.

Florida: Ex-congressman’s top aide to plead guilty to breaking election law | Miami Herald

A former campaign manager for one-time Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia plans to plead guilty Thursday in Miami federal court to financing a tea party candidate in a scheme to siphon votes from his Republican nemesis. In April, Jeffrey Garcia was charged with a misdemeanor of conspiring to give a campaign contribution of less than $25,000 to the shadow candidate in the 2010 Miami congressional race. Prosecutors said Garcia, no relation to the former congressman, surreptitiously put up the $10,440 qualifying fee for Jose Rolando “Roly” Arrojo to pose as a GOP challenger to David Rivera in the general election. Arrojo was also charged with the same misdemeanor.

Guam: Election Commission seeks funds to clear debt | Pacific Daily News

More than $246,000 in legal services and $12,500 in commissioner stipends is among the debt the Guam Election Commission hopes to wipe clean. The commission last month requested an appropriation of about $371,000 for the coming fiscal year that would go toward paying debt accrued in prior years. GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan said she recently reached out to Sen. Rory Respicio to follow up on the request, but the senator is off island. Respicio is chairman of the committee that oversees the commission.

North Carolina: State Officials Deciding How Voter ID Law Will Work At Polls | WFMY

The State Board of Elections held a public hearing in Winston-Salem Tuesday night to get feedback from voters about how the voter ID law should work at the polls. The board of elections has a proposed list of rules that voters got to comment on during the two-hour hearing. “Voting is fundamental, it’s extremely important. We take it very seriously, it’s what we do every day. It doesn’t surprise us that folks have feelings that run deep on these issues,” Josh Lawson said, the public information officer for the board of elections. This is the fifth meeting state officials have held to get feedback from citizens across the state. The next meeting is in Boone. A large crowd came to share their thoughts on the hotly debate law that goes into effect in 2016. It will require all voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot. “This is not a light subject, these rules. People died trying to earn a right to vote. People died. So, please keep that in mind,” one woman said at the meeting.

Ohio: Electronic pollbooks a possible solution to long lines on Election Day | The Columbus Dispatch

In a move that could ease lines on Election Day and one day allow Ohioans to vote at any polling location in their county, the Ohio Senate wants to provide $13 million to help all counties purchase electronic pollbooks. The proposal drew praise from county elections officials and Secretary of State Jon Husted, who said that for voters in the 19 counties that currently use electronic pollbooks, the check-in process is streamlined and wait times are reduced. “Electronic poll books are revolutionizing elections here in Ohio, making it easier for voters to cast ballots and saving valuable taxpayer resources,” said Shawn Stevens, president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials and a member of the Delaware County Board of Elections.

Virginia: GOP ponders: Primary or convention in 2016 presidential race | Daily Press

Virginia Republican Party leaders will gather later this month to decide whether to hold a presidential primary next year. Based on the past positions of the party’s State Central Committee, which will make the decision, a nominating convention seems more likely, party insiders said Wednesday. This is an ongoing struggle in the Republican Party of Virginia, but it takes on wider significance going into a presidential election year. The party’s right wing generally prefers conventions, figuring the dedicated folks willing to spend all Saturday in a political meeting will pick more conservative nominees. Others push for primaries, arguing that they help widen the party’s tent and juice the Republican ground game as GOP candidates traipse through the state and campaign volunteers collect voter information well ahead of general elections.

Virginia: Another lawsuit coming in redistricting fight | Daily Press

Virginia’s General Assembly districts, already under attack from a federal lawsuit, will face a new challenge in coming months: A lawsuit in the state courts questioning their fitness under the state constitution. The federal challenge alleges that the assembly’s Republican majority packed minority voters into a handful of districts to dilute their strength – and boost GOP fortunes – in neighboring ones. This new suit will focus instead on the idea of compactness. Like many modern-day districts, a number of Virginia House and Senate districts stretch into amoeba-like ink blots as they meander across the map, picking up known pockets of Republican or Democratic voters.

Washington: Senate bill would let cities hold district elections | Yakima Herald

The state Senate is considering new legislation to give localities more authority to hold elections by district. Senate Bill 6129, filed Tuesday by Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, would change state law to allow all counties and cities to hold district elections for their councils or commissions if local officials or voters so choose. State law currently only allows charter cities such as Yakima to change their elections systems, but a number of nonchartered localities with increasing minority populations, such as Pasco, have sought to create districts to improve minority representation. Yakima is one of just 11 charter cities in the state.

Belarus: Election set for Oct. 11, Lukashenko poised to run again | Reuters

Belarus on Tuesday named Oct. 11 as the date for a presidential election which is almost certain to usher in a new five-year term for veteran Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko, 60, who has been in power in the ex-Soviet republic since 1994, has said several times he will stand for what will be a fifth consecutive term in office. Lukashenko has been ostracized by the West for most of his rule because of alleged human rights abuses and his clampdown on political dissent which has eradicated any real political opposition. His re-election for a fourth term in 2010 brought huge street demonstrations which were dispersed by riot police. Several opposition candidates were beaten up and detained and dissenters rounded up.

Burundi: New election dates set after weeks of civil unrest | Deutsche Welle

President Pierre Nkurunziza has approved parliamentary elections for June 29 and a presidential poll for July 15. “He has published the decree,” spokesman Gervais Abayeho said on Wednesday. The revised dates were proposed by the electoral commission, CENI. The parliamentary dates were originally set for May and the presidential vote for late June. Burundi’s opposition has rejected the commission’s proposal saying its demands for free elections have not been met.

Mexico: Electoral authorities to recount more than half of midterm election votes | VideoNews

Electoral authorities in Mexico announced Wednesday that they are recounting more than half of the ballot boxes from midterm elections held last Sunday. At little more than 89,000 of the more than 149,000 ballot boxes installed will be recounted – about 60 percent of the vote in the congressional election. The National Electoral Institute (INE) Edmundo Jacobo Molina said the entire votes in 17 of the 300 electoral districts will be recounted.

Editorials: Russia’s Sham Democracy Is Fooling Nobody | Georgy Bovt/The Moscow Times

The authorities have bumped up State Duma elections from December to September 2016 as nonchalantly as if they were merely doing a routine oil change on their car. It is obvious to everyone that the Kremlin administration made this decision, reasoning that the ruling authorities could achieve a stronger win in September before everyone has returned from summer vacation than in cold and gloomy December. The shorter time frame will make it more difficult for the opposition to mount a serious campaign, and the traditionally low voter turnout in fall will work to the advantage of the authorities, who can more easily mobilize their administrative resources. Many political analysts maintain that the ruling authorities will also benefit from the fact that half of the Duma deputies come from single-seat districts. According to the rules, such candidates are not required to state their party affiliation.

United Kingdom: UK lawmakers back Cameron’s EU referendum plans but debate highlights risks | Reuters

Lawmakers on Tuesday backed Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, but a heated debate highlighted passions that could split his Conservative Party and re-open Scotland’s bid for independence. Cameron, seeking to put an end to a decades-old rift within his party over Britain’s place in Europe, has promised to negotiate a new settlement with Brussels and hold a referendum by the end of 2017. Voters will be asked: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?”, a choice of wording which allows the “in” campaign to brand itself as “Yes”.

Zimbabwe: Bulawayo Residents ‘Boycott’ Parly By-Elections | VoA News

There was a low turnout in most polling stations in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo. At the various polling stations that Studio 7 visited, there were few voters who were coming to cast their ballots after long intervals. At Stanley Hall in the Makokoba constituency, some residents in the surrounding area were going about their daily business, with some women and children fetching water from a bowser just outside a local polling station. At other polling stations, including Mpopoma High School in the Mpopoma/Pelandaba constituency and Pumula Community Hall in the Pumula constituency, the turn-out was equally low. By lunch time, nearly 140 people had cast their ballots at the Pumula Community Hall, with 31 having been turned away for various reasons.