Newly sworn Adams County Clerk Stan Martin is determined to avoid the problems and embarassment his office experienced in November, when the county was the last in the state to report its election results. The indecision about the victor in Adams County’s closely contested Senate District 24 race led to three tortured days of speculation over which party had secured control of the state Senate. “Any time you’re feeding ballots one at a time through a scanner and you’ve got 127,000 ballots to put through, you’re going to have problems,” Martin said of the voting machines the county uses.
Federal judges last week ordered black legislators challenging Alabama’s legislative maps to come up with their own boundary lines. The three-judge panel Friday told the Legislative Black Caucus and the Alabama Democratic Conference to develop redistricting maps that follow the guidelines established by the Legislature in 2012. The proposal must be filed by Sept. 25. Plaintiffs have the option of filing together or creating different plans. The state will have 28 days to respond. The new proposals will not be the final word on the state’s district lines. The judges will consider the maps as part of plaintiffs’ broader argument that the 2012 map had racial biases.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women Voters are among the groups expected to turn out Wednesday to speak against proposed new voting regulations that would allow the Kansas Secretary of State to purge voter registration applications for more than 30,000 people who have failed to show proof of citizenship. Secretary of State Kris Kobach is proposing that new rule. A public hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the auditorium of Memorial Hall, 120 SW 10th Ave., in Topeka. “Rather than strengthening democracy by making voter registration easier, the secretary of state continues to try to create new barriers to registration by eligible Kansans,” said ACLU of Kansas Executive Director Micah Kubic. Also expected to testify is Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, according to information from Kobach’s office.
New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran faced escalating pressure Monday to resign, as a slew of criminal charges related to her alleged use of campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses, including gambling debt, threatened to put an end to a nearly 30-year run in elected office. Top-ranking House Democrats said they were prepared to take the first steps in a possible impeachment effort if Duran did not resign, while Republican lawmakers also voiced concern about the seriousness of the charges leveled against Duran. House Speaker Don Tripp, R-Socorro, called the impeachment talk premature but said Duran’s alleged withdrawal of hundreds of thousands of dollars at casinos around the state raised concern about a possible gambling addiction, calling the situation a “personal tragedy. I’m confident the secretary of state will take personal responsibility for any mistakes she made,” Tripp told the Journal. However, Duran’s attorney said late Monday that the secretary of state is preparing to fight the charges.
North Carolina Supreme Court justices heard new arguments Monday on a four-year-old case challenging the maps that set out legislative and congressional districts for this decade. At issue is whether race played a key role in how the Republican-led legislature drew maps that challengers contend reflect a widely criticized redistricting system in which lawmakers choose their voters rather than voters choosing their lawmakers. In North Carolina, the NAACP and other challengers argue that the 2011 maps are racial gerrymanders drawn to weaken the influence of black voters. In Dickson v. Rucho, filed by former state Rep. Margaret Dickson and others against state Sen. Bob Rucho and others, challengers contend that black voters were packed into districts where they already had been electing candidates of their choice – largely Democratic candidates, effectively limiting minority voting power across the state.
Virginia: Paralysis on redrawing the boundaries of Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District | Daily Press
Sept. 1 brings yet another reminder of the partisan rancor that too often paralyzes the Virginia General Assembly these days. Despite convening briefly for a special session in mid-August, that body failed to meet the deadline imposed by a federal court for redrawing the boundaries of the state’s Third Congressional District. … While the legal and political wrangling continues, the failure of the General Assembly to address its responsibilities will likely leave the map-drawing in the hands of the federal judiciary — a job that the League of Women Voters of Virginia suspects the judges are not eager to take on. The league believes that these maps are a good place to begin, because they were developed by persons seeking to adhere to the redistricting requirements embedded in the Virginia Constitution, rather than by persons seeking only to amass enough voters of the right political stripe in their districts to assure their easy re-election.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe says his administration has restored the voting and civil rights of more than 10,000 Virginians with criminal records. The Democratic governor said Monday that more Virginians have had their rights restored under his watch than under any other governor in a four-year term. That process allows an ex-offender to vote, run for public office and serve on juries. McAuliffe has made several changes to the process, including allowing residents to submit their application before they’ve paid their court fees.
here will be several changes during the 2016 election process in West Virginia. For the first time, West Virginia voters will choose their judges during next May’s primary election without any indications of political party affiliations on the ballots. The state law allowing for nonpartisan judicial elections officially took effect in June. The change will apply to elections, by division, for the state Supreme Court along with circuit court, family court and magistrate court. “That’ll be a big change for the voters. Now they’re not in the bulk of the ballot on the front where it’s partisan races. They actually shift to the back as non-partisan races, such as school board and different items like that,” said Putnam County Clerk Brian Ward, who spoke to MetroNews during a statewide election planning conference Monday in Charleston.
The state elections board’s employees have personal political views but they don’t make any decisions, the board’s director said Tuesday as he tries to stave off Republican lawmakers’ plans to restructure the agency. Conservatives’ calls to overhaul the Government Accountability Board have grown louder following a newspaper story Thursday detailing a former staff attorney’s emails. The messages offered encouragement to an investigator looking into whether Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign illegally coordinated with outside conservative groups. The GAB consists of six retired judges appointed by the governor and their employees.
In response to allegations of electoral fraud in the northwestern province of Tucumán on Sunday, August 24, the presidential candidates representing Argentina’s opposition have proposed the country resume using electronic ballots in future elections. Argentineans have successfully used electronic ballots twice this year during the mayoral election in Buenos Aires in July. Opposition leaders made the call for changes in the voting system on Thursday, August 27, following accusations of fraud in the election for governor in Tucumán, which was marred by violent clashes between protesters and police and the burning of ballot boxes. “In light of the recent irregularities registered in local and national elections, this change is urgent, and aims to provide real transparency and efficiency to the most important act of all modern democracies: the elections,” said the Radical Civic Union (UCR) in a press release.
Vassiliki Thanou, Greece’s top supreme court judge, was sworn in Thursday as a caretaker head of the government, becoming the country’s first female prime minister. Yesterday, the country’s far-left leader also formally gave up a bid to form a coalition government, thereby allowing the President to finally set a date for early elections, after a week of political wrangling. Greece’s prime minister on Wednesday raised the political stakes forward of subsequent month’s early nationwide election, saying he won’t enter a coalition with the primary center-right and centrist opposition events even when he wants their backing to control. She will hold the position until a new government emerges from the vote expected on September 20.
Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC) on Tuesday rejected all but one candidate from an Islamic party based on citizenship requirements before general elections in November in a move that could lead to the party’s disbandment, the organization’s political leader said. The commission rejected the applications of 17 of 18 candidates who had filed to run for parliamentary seats as members of the Democracy and Human Rights Party (DHRP), Kyaw Min (a) Mahmood Shomshul Anwarul Haque, the party’s chairman, told RFA’s Myanmar Service. Eleven of the rejected candidates are from Rakhine state, and the six others are from the Yangon division, he said, leaving only one party candidate to stand in the elections. “The rejection notice did not mention detailed reasons behind the decision, but just said the candidates were rejected for violations based on laws and regulations,” he said.
To prevent speculation and misinformation before election results are announced on Sep 11, the Elections Department (ELD) said it will be conducting sample counts after voting ends and releasing the results to the public. This will be done at the start of the counting process at each of the 163 counting centres islandwide, once voting ends at 8pm. A total of 100 ballot papers from each polling station will be randomly picked by a counting assistant in the presence of candidates and their counting agents. The votes will be added up, and weightage given, to account for the difference in the number of votes cast at each polling station. The Assistant Returning Officer will then record the votes. The sample count for each constituency will be broadcast and published on the ELD website, while counting continues.
David Cameron has accepted a recommendation by the Electoral Commission to change the wording of the EU referendum question to avoid favouring the pro-EU side. Downing Street has announced that the government will table an amendment to the EU referendum bill to reflect the new wording. The move by No 10 means that voters will be asked whether Britain should remain a member of the EU or whether the UK should leave the EU. The government had intended to ask voters simply whether the UK should remain a member of the EU, prompting the Electoral Commission to warn that this could favour the status quo in the referendum. The prime minister’s spokeswoman said: “We will follow the recommendation of the Electoral Commission by tabling an amendment to the bill. The government’s approach has been to follow the Electoral Commission’s advice.” The move means that, unlike the Scottish referendum, there will not be a yes and a no campaign. Instead, there will be a campaign to remain in the EU and a campaign to leave.