National: States are ignoring federal law about voter registration. Here’s why. | The Washington Post

What federal voting rights law, according to the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, is the election statute most often ignored? It’s the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), a law that each year helps millions of citizens with either updating their voter registration records or applying to vote for the first time. Below I explain what the NVRA is, its impact and the challenges it has faced in being put into practice. The NVRA is often referred to as “Motor Voter,” but it is more complex than this implies. The NVRA requires states, among other things, to accept voter registration applications by mail and to offer voter registration services at government offices providing state identification and drivers’ licenses (hence “motor”), armed forces recruitment centers, and government offices providing services to people with low incomes or disabilities. This post focuses on the requirement to register voters at health and social services agencies (or, simply “agencies” in this post). This is a requirement that many states are ignoring or implementing poorly.

National: I.R.S. Expected to Stand Aside as Nonprofits Increase Role in 2016 Race | The New York Times

As presidential candidates find new ways to exploit secret donations from tax-exempt groups, hobbled regulators at the Internal Revenue Service appear certain to delay trying to curb widespread abuses at nonprofits until after the 2016 election. In a shift from past elections, at least eight Republican presidential candidates, including leading contenders like Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, have aligned with nonprofit groups set up to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters are considering a similar tactic. Some of these so-called social welfare nonprofit groups are already planning political initiatives, including a $1 million advertising campaign about Iran by a tax-exempt group supporting Mr. Rubio.

Editorials: Supreme Court gives Colorado a green light to fix redistricting | The Denver Post

Now that independent redistricting commissions have the seal of approval of the U.S. Supreme Court, maybe it’s time for Colorado to consider one. The high court ruled last week that Arizona voters had been within their rights when they passed a referendum stripping the legislature of its authority to draw congressional boundaries every 10 years. Voters set up an independent commission to do the job instead. The 5-4 ruling is controversial, and appears to override fairly explicit constitutional language, but it’s now the law of the land. And it provides an opportunity for Colorado to reform its redistricting process and thus address what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delicately called “the problem of partisan gerrymandering.”

Guam: Election Commission seeks more funds for online registration, debts | Pacific Daily News

The head of the Guam Election Commission on Thursday morning appeared before the legislative Committee on Appropriations to request supplemental funds for the fiscal 2016 budget. The GEC, according to the governor’s budget request submitted to the Legislature in January, is seeking more than $1.56 million for the next fiscal year, which begins in October. The agency also needs an additional $610,531 for other expenses. GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan told lawmakers funds from the initial appropriation will be used to pay for costs associated with the Primary Election in August 2016. The commission plans to purchase 70 voting booths and 116 privacy curtains.

Michigan: Groups eye redistricting ballot drive after ruling | Associated Press

Buoyed by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, advocates of overhauling how Michigan draws legislative and congressional seats plan to raise public awareness about redistricting in preparation for a potential 2016 ballot initiative. The ruling, issued in the last week, upheld the authority of states to strip lawmakers’ authority to set congressional district maps once a decade. Arizona voters had created an independent commission in 2000 to take the politically charged job out of the hands of the Legislature. The League of Women Voters and Common Cause, groups that advocate for fairer maps, are researching other states’ redistricting systems and conducting polling before ramping up educational efforts with help from local civic groups.

Nevada: Mineral County Election Lawsuit: “Voter Fraud” | KOLO

The fallout from the Mineral County election debacle continues with a lawsuit raising questions about the reliability of the state’s electronic voting system and our election officials. This much we know. There were 178 more votes cast in Mineral County in November 2014 than showed up in the final tally. Those missing votes have been traced to one machine used in early voting. How that happened has never been explained, but a lawsuit filed by one of those losing candidates alleges, as we’ve reported, that when that discrepancy was noted, former County Clerk Cherrie George was directed by the Secretary of State’s office to correct the voter turnout numbers to match the votes tallied. The Secretary of State’s office signed off on that report and sent the final canvass to the state Supreme Court.

Editorials: Same day voter registration will improve New Jersey’s embarrassing turnout | Star Ledger

New Jersey had an election last month, and nobody showed up. Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but just barely: The primary turnout was the lowest in 90 years. Our elected officials – who apparently want to be taken more seriously than the rest of us take them – recognize this as a trend. We avoid the polls like anthrax, so the voting reform package sent to the governor included smart proposals such as early-voting accommodation, registration for eligible residents when obtaining a driver’s license, and online registration. But when the omnibus bill advanced out of committee, same-day registration – which allows for residents to register at polling places on Election Day and cast provisional ballots – wasn’t in it.

Argentina: Police finds messenger to shoot after e-vote vulnerability allegations | The Register

Argentinian police have reportedly raided a programmer who went public with vulnerabilities in the electronic voting system used in Buenos Aires elections last June. Joaquín Sorianello has told La Nacion that police raided both his home and that of a friend, looking for computers and storage devices. Argentina’s e-voting system comprises a terminal that prints out a ballot (tagged with an RFID chip), and a separate communications terminal to send votes for counting. Security problems in the system have reached GitHub here (discussed here) and include poor security and the chance to cast multiple votes.

Burundi: UN mediator rejected after critical report about elections | Reuters

Burundi on Sunday rejected a second UN diplomat named to help resolve the country’s political crisis, saying a critical UN report on last week’s parliamentary elections was biased. The tiny east African country plunged into turmoil in late April when protests erupted in response to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term. The opposition boycotted the June 29 parliamentary election and says it will boycott the July 15 presidential vote.

Canada: Voter ID cards not enough at ballot box, government argues | Toronto Star

Fraud and reduced public confidence in the electoral system could result if voter information cards are used as valid ID at the polls, lawyers for the federal government argued in court Friday. The government is fighting an injunction request to suspend a key identification provision in its Fair Elections Act. The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Federation of Students are asking the court to restore the power of Canada’s chief electoral officer to recognize voter information cards as one form of valid ID — a power taken away in the act — in time for the fall election.

Canada: Fixed-date election comes with concerns, observers say | Montreal Gazette

The first fixed-date election in Canadian history is just around the corner, but some observers are raising concerns about overspending because of a law they say is flawed. When the Conservatives introduced a fixed election date nine years ago, political financing rules were not adjusted accordingly, says Elections Canada boss Marc Mayrand. “We must not be blind,” said Mayrand. “As much as it is easier for Elections Canada to plan for the election, it’s just as easy for political parties and third parties” to plan their spending before the election. Those expenses generally go “beyond the rules outlined in the electoral law,” he added.

Greece: In landslide 61% to 39% vote, Greece says ‘no’ to bailout deal | Los Angeles Times

The resounding rejection of an international bailout deal by voters in Greece raised fears Sunday of the collapse of the country’s banking system, a catastrophic government default, an eventual exit from the euro and potential social unrest. In a surprising 61% to 39% result, Greeks said “no” in a referendum on a rescue package that would have kept their debt-ridden country afloat but subjected it to additional austerity measures. The landslide delivered a sharp rebuke to European Union leaders who had warned that the plebiscite was, in effect, a vote on whether Greece wanted to remain a member of the Eurozone, the group of 19 nations that share the euro currency. The EU is now confronted with one of the gravest challenges to its mission of “ever closer union” between member states.