John Glover Roberts, a 25-year-old graduate of Harvard Law School, arrived in Washington in early 1980. Harvard Law professor Morton Horwitz described Roberts as “a conservative looking for a conservative ideology in American history,” and he found that ideology in the nation’s capital, first as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist and then as an influential aide in Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department. At the time, Rehnquist and the Reagan administration were at the vanguard of a new conservative counterrevolution in the law—a legal backlash against the historic and liberal-leaning civil rights laws of the 1960s.
Arizona may continue to use a ballot registration form that lists only the two largest political parties in the state, the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday. The Arizona Libertarian and Green parties, and three of their members, sued then-Secretary of State Ken Bennett in 2011 after the state legislature decided that only the two largest political parties would be listed by name on voter registration forms. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in Tucson Federal Court claimed the statute discriminated against Green and Libertarian voters, who now had to write out their party affiliation in a small box, forcing them to “abbreviate, and run the risk that their abbreviation is illegible or misread.”
It was 101 degrees in the shade Monday afternoon when Florida legislators gaveled open a two-week special session to redraw — for the third time — the state’s congressional districts and, within minutes, it became apparent that hardly anyone wanted to be there. The governor and his family had jetted off to Paris for a vacation. The Florida Supreme Court, which ordered lawmakers to redraw the map that forced the special session, was on its summer break. At least 10 of the state’s 40 senators and 17 of the 120 House members received permission to skip out for the session. House and Senate leaders announced that they disagreed with the court ruling that said the Republican-led redistricting process was “tainted” by illegal partisan intent but vowed to fix it as part of the “remedial” process laid out by the court. “We continue to believe that we drew a constitutional map in 2012 and again in 2014,” said House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, addressing the chamber in a 20-minute opening session. “Unfortunately, we are here today because the Supreme Court disagreed and ordered that eight districts be redrawn.”
Susanna Randolph, one of the candidates running for Alan Grayson’s 9th district congressional seat, sent a letter today asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to launch a Department of Justice probe into the state’s voter system. The request comes less than one month after an independent report by the state auditor general found flaws with the nine-year-old registration database. The audit found the system at risk of a security breach, citing unauthorized access to voter data by Department of State employees. It also labeled the system overdue for upgrades and a disaster recovery plan evaluation
Four Kansas Lawmakers went on record Monday opposing Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proposal to cancel voter registration applications after 90 days if those voters do not submit proof of citizenship or other required information. Those statements came during a meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations, which reviews proposed regulations, but which does not have authority to veto them. “I want to record my opposition to this arbitrary and capricious 90-day rule,” said Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, who also raised new questions about whether the state’s proof-of-citizenship requirement is constitutional, in light of a recent federal appeals court opinion.
If a legislative committee signs off on a new regulation later this month, Kentuckians will soon be able to register to vote online. Twenty-one states allow voters to register online, which Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has advocated for during her tenure. Kentucky already allows members of the military and overseas voters to register on the web. In a statement, Grimes said that program has been a “tremendous success,” and she hopes expanding online registration to all Kentuckians would lead to greater participation.
A Houma attorney seeking to return to the state House wants to be listed as both Democrat and Republican on the ballot this fall. Damon Baldone filed a petition today in state court seeking to force the Terrebonne Parish Registrar of Voters to allow the dual registration. “By working with both parties you have a voice,” he said. “By going independent, you just kind of lose that voice and I believe my political beliefs fall within the spectrum of both the Democrat and Republican parties. That hasn’t changed and won’t change.”
Recently passed Ohio voting laws create new hurdles for minority voters casting absentee and provisional ballots, election rights advocates argued in an updated federal lawsuit filed Monday. The laws and similar orders by the state’s elections chief unconstitutionally permit absentee votes to be thrown out for ID errors, according to the lawsuit. Those mistakes could include putting down the wrong birth month on the absentee envelope even when a voter supplied the correct information when requesting the ballot, the lawsuit said. The laws also removed protection for voters casting provisional ballots by failing to provide the chance for voters to be notified of errors that could cause the ballot to be rejected, according to the lawsuit.
Waiting up late to see who wins on election night may be frustrating Tuesday. More municipal primary races than usual may remain undecided — for up to two weeks — because many ballots will still be in the mail. Most major Utah cities switched this year to voting primarily by mail, including seven of the eight Salt Lake County cities holding primaries Tuesday. Fourteen of the 16 cities in Utah’s largest county will also vote by mail in the Nov. 3 general election — all but Taylorsville and West Valley City. By-mail ballots must be postmarked by Monday, the day before the election. So they may trickle in over several days. State law prohibits updating vote counts publicly between election night and the final official vote canvasses by city councils — which must be held between seven and 14 days after the election.
Canada’s election to choose a new government has begun but new rules will restrict the right of ex-pats to vote. Is that fair? William Affleck-Asch-Lowe moved to the US 22 years ago, but the Canadian expatriate says he never lost touch with his roots. The University of Washington student keeps on top of news from home and is regularly in touch with Canadian friends online. Affleck-Asch-Lowe grew up in British Columbia and went on to serve in the Canadian army for seven years. When he finishes his PhD programme, he plans to come home and teach engineering. “Once a Canadian, always a Canadian,” he told the BBC. And yet, living outside his country has cost William Affleck-Asch-Lowe his right to vote.
China: Address… Hong Kong park: How city’s homeless are able to register to vote citing playgrounds and public spaces as home | South China Morning Post
Like many other Hongkongers, 58-year-old Ah Sun is a registered voter – only the address he uses for the enrolment is a playground in Sham Shui Po, where he has lived for nine years. Ah Sun is one of the three voters who cited public space in Sham Shui Po – Shun Ning Road Playground, Tung…
An international mission that monitored legislative elections in Haiti said Monday that there were scattered problems with violence and other disruptions during Sunday’s first round but not enough to disrupt the legitimacy of the overall vote. The Organization of American States had 28 observers monitoring Sunday elections that saw Haitians choose lawmakers for the next Parliament in a contest that was delayed for nearly four years. They visited 171 of more than 1,500 voting centers across the country of 10 million people.
Two people were killed during Haiti’s long-delayed legislative elections, political parties said Monday, amid violence that forced some polling stations to close early. The elections, held on Sunday after a four-year delay, were meant to be a stride toward restoring consitutional order in the destitute Caribbean country. Turnout was reported to be low. Several Port-au-Prince polling stations were vandalized in the morning and 26 shut down early because of violence.
Russia’s joint Democratic Coalition, led by renowned anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny and the supporters of the late opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, have been refused the right to run for election across all the regions where they opted to campaign on the grounds of irregularities in their applications, Russian national daily Kommersant reports. Local council elections in Russia will be held in September and the Democratic Coalition, which is made up of several of the biggest opposition movements to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s regime, was due to contest four constituencies.
Turkey sustained an unprecedented slew of militant attacks Monday, the product of a controversial “war on terror” instigated by an interim government under the guidance of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In recent weeks the Turkish military has carried out hundreds of air strikes while police have arrested more than a thousand suspects linked to ISIS, the Kurdish militant group the PKK, and far-leftist groups including the DHKP-C. Almost all suspects in Monday’s attacks belonged to the latter two groups. In total, six security personnel were killed in attacks carried out in Istanbul and the Kurdish southeastern region, raising concerns about Turkey launching anti-terror operations at a time when it has no elected government and is facing likely snap elections in November amid continuing regional unrest.