A bill to allow prospective voters to register and cast their ballots on the same day as an election is pending a vote in the Delaware Senate. Introduced June 3, Senate Bill 111 was reported out of the Administrative Services/Elections Committee on June 11, and now is awaiting consideration by the full Senate. A similar bill was barely approved in the House during the last General Assembly session, but died before being considered by the upper chamber.
There’s one less excuse for not voting in the coming elections. The absentee ballots won’t require postage. Broward Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes has agreed to send absentee ballots postage-paid, after county commissioners made the request in hopes it would increase voter turnout. Snipes also has agreed to seek a Florida Bar ethics decision about whether she should continue allowing her office’s contract attorney to contribute to or participate in political campaigns on the side.
Facing a $1.8 million price tag for implementation, Kane County is poised to ask Springfield politicians to back away from a new law requiring same-day voter registration at all polling places.A state law that just went active June 1 requires same-day registration at all polling places in counties and municipalities with populations of more than 100,000. The new law followed an experiment with same-day voter registration at a handful of polling places in each county during the November 2014 election.
Hinds County Election Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran admitted she violated the law by not ordering enough ballots for last year’s general election, so she plans to order approximately 66,000 more ballots than there are registered voters in the county for the August primary. Because of the shortage of ballots in some precincts in November, some voters had to either stand in line for hours to wait for additional ballots to be delivered to the precincts. “We will have adequate ballots for the primaries,” Cochran said. “There is a lot of waste in here. We are throwing away thousands and thousands of dollars, but it is the law.”
Legislation dropped quickly on the General Assembly by Republican leaders and approved Thursday would allow some North Carolina residents to legally vote in person without photo identification as will be required in 2016. The House and Senate separately voted by wide margins for the elections legislation, which would ease the mandate in a 2013 law that anyone showing up to vote at an early-voting center or Election Day precinct show one of eight qualifying photo IDs. Driver’s licenses, military IDs and U.S. passports meet the standard. This and other provisions in the 2013 law are being challenged in federal and state courts, with the first trial scheduled next month. Meanwhile, state election officials still are preparing to carry out the photo ID requirement.
West Virginia: DMV partners with Secretary of State to offer electronic voter registration | Associated Press
The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles, in cooperation with the secretary of state, announced Thursday that a statewide electronic voter registration program has been installed at each of the 24 DMV regional office locations. Customers may now electronically register to vote when they visit any DMV regional office for the purpose of issuing or renewing a driver’s license or identification card.
China: Hong Kong’s opposition pan-democrats plot their next move after defeating reform package | South China Morning Post
When a botched ballot magnified an expected defeat of the government’s electoral reform package with just eight votes in favour on Thursday, pan-democratic lawmakers gathered in a victorious mood to pose for a group photograph, enjoying their moment in history – but only very briefly. Soon after they emerged from the Legislative Council chamber, the pan-democrats sounded a prudent note, vowing to continue fighting for true universal suffrage. Granted, their wish to relaunch the reform exercise for the chief executive election may not come true any time soon, as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said his administration will put aside the process for the remaining two years of his term.
When European Parliament member Bernd Posselt failed to get reelected last year, he simply decided to ignore the election results. One week after his defeat, the 59-year-old entered the European Union’s legislative building in Strasbourg as if nothing had happened — and has done so, ever since. The member of Germany’s CSU party, a powerful local party which is aligned with Angela Merkel’s governing CDU, still participates in parliamentary debates and refuses to lay off his bureau chief. Back at home in German Bavaria, he holds weekly roundtables with citizens to discuss their concerns. Posselt says that he pays privately for nearly all of his expenses.
Myanmar’s indomitable opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has entwined her life with the politics of her country, but as she turns 70 on Friday “The Lady” is facing one of the greatest challenges of her decades-long freedom fight. While her National League for Democracy (NLD) party is expected to triumph at key elections this year, Suu Kyi’s pathway to the presidency is blocked by a controversial clause in Myanmar’s junta-era constitution. With polls slated for November, time is running out to change the contested clause before the vote and Suu Kyi’s advancing age adds urgency to her quest of leading a democratic Myanmar. Analyst Mael Raynaud said she was likely to refocus attempts to take the top job to a later election.
Lawmakers in Russia’s Kremlin-controlled parliament on Friday gave tentative approval to a bill that would move up next year’s parliamentary election by three months, a tactic seen by critics as an attempt to weaken the opposition. The lower house voted 339-101 with one abstention Friday to approve the bill in the first of three readings. It would also need to be approved by the equally-docile upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin.
16 and 17 year olds have been granted the vote in all Scottish parliamentary and council elections, on the same day they have been denied it in the EU referendum. The Scottish Election (reduction of voting age) bill was voted for by 86 MSPs, with only 8 voting against the proposal. The SNP has long wanted to lower the voting age to 16, and in the Independence Referendum last September 16 year olds were able to cast their ballot for the first time.