Press Release: New Verity Voting System Offers Increased Convenience for Chelan County | Hart InterCivic

Chelan County has become the first Washington county to adopt Hart InterCivic’s new Verity Voting system. Chelan has been a steadfast Hart customer since 2006. With the purchase of the Verity solution, the County will continue to receive consistent and efficient service from a solution provider they trust. Their new Verity system will provide improved usability and overall workflow.

Alaska: Division of Elections director resigns at Lt. Governor’s request | Alaska Public Media

A veteran election official resigned abruptly on Friday at Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s request. The Walker-Mallott administration was Gail Fenumiai’s third as head of the state Division of Elections. Claire Richardson is special assistant to Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. She says they accepted Fenumiai’s resignation on Friday. “There’s nothing personal in the request. The lieutenant governor would like to move in some new directions with the Division of Elections and it was felt that it was time for different leadership.” Fenumiai has been director of elections since 2008, and has 10 years of earlier experience in the division. She didn’t return calls for comment.

Florida: Legislature sets special session for October to redraw Florida Senate districts | Miami Herald

The Florida Legislature has set yet another special session, this time for October to redraw the Florida Senate district lines that opponents had argued violated the state constitution prohibition on gerrymandering to favor or disfavor politicians. The Legislature will meet from Oct. 19 to Nov. 6, according to a joint statement put out by House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner.

Florida: Legal maneuvers continue in redistricting cases | News Service of Florida

As a Leon County judge finalized the dates for a hearing on a third draft of Florida’s congressional districts, a key lawmaker Monday refused to rule out the possibility of continuing the legal fight over the map, this time in federal court. Meanwhile, attorneys for the Legislature and critics of the 2012 redistricting process declined to discuss whether settlement talks were underway in a separate case dealing with a state Senate map that opponents also say was tainted by political considerations. The legal maneuvering came in the wake of a Florida Supreme Court decision July 9 that struck down eight of Florida’s 27 congressional districts and called for wide-ranging changes to some of them. One of the most dramatic shifts is likely to be switching the district of Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown from a north-south configuration that runs from Jacksonville to Orlando to an east-west arrangement that runs from Jacksonville to Tallahassee.

Kansas: Committee Of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission To Hold Hearings on State Voter ID Law | KCUR

One of the strictest voter ID laws in the country will be under the microscope when the Kansas Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission holds hearings to determine whether the law has suppressed voter turnout in some communities. The Civil Rights Commission has advisory committees in all 50 states and the Kansas committee voted Tuesday to move forward with its investigation. “Some of the initial information with the respect to the law is that it disproportionately impacts certain age groups and certain racial categorizations,” says Elizabeth Kronk who chairs the Kansas committee. Kronk is a law professor at the University of Kansas.

New York: Citizens United loses New York ruling over donors | Reuters

A federal judge on Monday rejected Citizens United’s effort to block New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from demanding that the conservative group disclose more information about its major donors. U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein in Manhattan refused to impose a preliminary injunction that would stop Schneiderman from requiring charities to disclose names, addresses and total contributions of big donors in order to solicit funds in the state. Citizens United argued that Schneiderman’s interpretation of a 2006 state regulation on donor disclosures violated its First Amendment free speech and association rights, and invaded the privacy of donors who wished to remain anonymous.

North Carolina: Expert: New voting law wouldn’t have affected black turnout in 2014 | Greensboro News & Record

An elections analyst testified Monday that North Carolina’s new voting law had no discernible impact on black voter turnout in the 2014 election. But attorneys for the N.C. NAACP and other groups suing the state and Gov. Pat McCrory objected to testimony from Sean Trende, the senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics, saying he is not qualified to be an expert. House Bill 589, which became law in 2013, is at the center of a federal trial in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem, which is in its third week. House Bill 589 eliminated same-day voter registration, reduced the number of days for early voting from 17 to 10 and prohibited out-of-precinct provisional voting. The law also eliminated preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds, among other provisions. Plaintiffs, including the U.S. Department of Justice, allege that the law imposes disproportionate burdens on blacks and Hispanics, poor people and young people, and that state Republican legislators had discriminatory intent in passing the law.

Virginia: Republicans reject McAuliffe’s request for redistricting meeting | The Washington Post

Republican leaders of Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday rebuffed an effort by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to strike a deal on the state’s congressional elections map before a court-imposed deadline. According to a June ruling, the General Assembly has until Sept. 1 to redraw congressional district boundaries, which the court said illegally pack African Americans into a single district to dilute their influence elsewhere. On Tuesday, McAuliffe (D) sent a letter to House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment (R-James City) requesting a meeting “to forge compromise on a plan that is agreeable to the General Assembly and can be reviewed quickly by the public and our congressional colleagues.”

Virginia: GOP questioning proposed changes to voter registration | The Virginian Pilot

People registering to vote in Virginia would no longer be required to check boxes to indicate whether they are U.S. citizens or felons barred from voting if changes being considered by the Virginia Department of Elections are adopted.Voters would still have to affirm elsewhere on the application – under the threat of a felony conviction – that they are citizens and otherwise eligible. But instead of responding to separate questions about their citizenship or felony status, they would simply sign off on language that attests to their eligibility based on those and other requirements. The distinction may seem small, but it is one that hits the political hot buttons of voter fraud, illegal immigration and the restoration of felons’ voter rights.

Bulgaria: President makes case for national referendum | The Sofia Globe

There is no more powerful tool to increase citizens’ confidence than a referendum, Bulgarian head of state President Rossen Plevneliev told the National Assembly on July 28, making the case for a referendum on three questions on electoral reform proposed for October 25. The proposal is to hold the referendum on the three questions along with scheduled mayoral and municipal elections, the first round of which will be held on the last Sunday in October. Plevneliev has long been campaigning for a referendum on electoral reform, but his proposals were blocked by the previous parliament, at the time of the now-departed ruling axis of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and Movement for Rights and Freedoms in 2013 and 2014.

Canada: Conservatives likely to lengthen election campaign: sources | Reuters

Canada’s governing Conservatives are likely to lengthen this year’s election campaign by launching it in August, three senior party sources said, a move that would benefit the cash-rich party. Canadians go to the polls on Oct. 19. Given that campaigns must last at least 37 days, the latest date Prime Minister Stephen Harper could start this year’s would be Sept. 13. Five of the last six campaigns have run about that length. But the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Harper’s party already has its machinery in place and is expected to launch the campaign in August, possibly the first week. This would benefit the Conservatives, who last year changed a law that had imposed a maximum spending limit of around C$25 million ($19 million) on campaigns.

Russia: Opposition activists on hunger strike after election disqualification | The Guardian

Three Russia opposition activists have gone on hunger strike in Novosibirsk to protest against the authorities’ decision to disqualify them from a local election. Leonid Volkov, campaign chief for the opposition Democratic Coalition, and candidates Yegor Savin and Sergei Boyko began the strike on Tuesday after the election commission in Russia’s third-largest city didn’t accept the signatures they submitted to register to run in the upcoming local legislature vote.

Somalia: Somalia unable to hold full elections in 2016 | AFP

War-torn Somalia will not be able to hold full elections due next year, lawmakers said Tuesday, although it remained unclear whether some kind of voting process would still be held. The current President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and parliament were appointed by clan elders in 2012 with foreign backers promising full democracy in 2016, signalling an end to decades of chaos and instability.

United Kingdom: Scottish Voting Law Will Allow 16 And 17-Year-Olds To Cast Ballots | Huffington Post UK

Sixteen and 17-year-olds in Scotland will soon be able to vote, after a landmark law was passed by MSPs in Holyrood. The key new piece of legislation, formally titled ‘The Scottish Elections (Reduction of Voting Age) Act 2015’, received Royal Assent on Friday. It will give some teenagers, who have been denied the vote for centuries, the right to cast a ballot in Scottish Parliamentary elections, due to take place in 2016, as well as local government and council elections.