The Republican National Committee, in a move designed to box in Donald Trump and prevent him from a third-party run, on Wednesday asked the party’s presidential candidates to sign a loyalty statement vowing not to run as an independent or third-party candidate in the general election. Trump and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus plan to meet Thursday in New York, according to a Trump campaign spokeswoman. Trump has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference where he could make an announcement about the RNC pledge. All summer, Republican leaders have been trying to prevent Trump, the billionaire businessman who has rocketed to the top of GOP polls, from running as an independent candidate if he does not win the Republican nomination.
Californians will have an easier time determining who is giving money to political candidates and causes starting Thursday, when a new tool becomes available on the secretary of state’s website. The antiquated CalAccess system, which shows political donations and lobbying information on the site, is clunky and difficult to use, especially for searching and sorting the data. A new search engine has been added to help users see more fully and easily, for example, the money received by candidates and ballot-measure campaigns. It will also be easier to see where industries and other special interests are concentrating their money.
A federal court has rejected Montana’s request to rehear its defense of state campaign contribution limits. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that none of its 44 judges moved to reconsider the case that the court already decided was tried on out-of-date standards. A panel of three federal judges ruled in May that a state District Court must re-examine the constitutionality of Montana’s contribution limits based on legal tests outlined in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling. “That last hearing was hasty, just before the (2012) election, and as you can see from this decision the legal standards it was reviewed by were murky,” Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl said of the original decision by U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell of Helena.
Nebraska will implement a new system of online voter registration this month, easing the registration process and opening the door to larger voter turnout. “We hope to improve registration and turnout,” Secretary of State John Gale said in announcing a rollout scheduled for Sept. 22. Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln, founder and executive director of Nebraskans for Civic Reform, said the new system implements a modern registration process his organization has been urging the state to adopt since 2008.
New Mexico: House speaker: Committee to investigate charges against Duran | The Santa Fe New Mexican
New Mexico House Speaker Don Tripp on Wednesday notified legislative leaders and state Attorney General Hector Balderas that he plans to form a committee to begin the process of impeaching Secretary of State Dianna Duran, whom Balderas charged late last week with 64 criminal counts, including embezzlement, fraud and tampering with public records. This “special committee,” said Tripp, a Socorro Republican, will try to determine whether there is enough evidence to impeach Duran, who is in her second term overseeing the office that administers election and campaign finance laws, among other duties. The case against Duran, filed late last week by Balderas, centers on allegations that she illegally transferred thousands of dollars in campaign funds to her personal bank accounts and falsified her own campaign finance reports. Tripp asked Balderas to share his case file on Duran with the committee after it is formed.
Wisconsin: Government Accountability Board moves toward use of electronic pollbooks | Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has edged closer to embracing electronic pollbooks, voting Tuesday to develop ground rules for their use. The board also voted to ask state lawmakers to decide when Wisconsin lobbyists should be permitted to donate to presidential candidates, including Gov. Scott Walker. The board — made up of six former judges tasked with overseeing the state’s campaign finance, elections, ethics, and lobbying laws — voted 4-2 for the electronic pollbook motion at its regular meeting. The motion authorizes board staff to develop standards and procedures for the use of e-pollbooks, which are laptops or tablets that replace paper pollbooks.
Belarus: Presidential Elections in Belarus: Why the West Should Not Hold Its Breath | Belarus Digest
On 1 September the Central Elections Committee of Belarus announced that four presidential candidates had submitted enough signatures to run in elections scheduled for 11 October this year. Although few question the outcome of this elections and the official victory of the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenka, the elections take place in a very different geopolitical context. In the 2010 presidential elections, the authorities saw the Belarusian opposition as the main threat and crushed protests, putting several presidential candidates in jail. After the recent events in Ukraine the authorities seem to view Russia as a more serious threat although they would not publicly admit it. Belarus only had real elections during a brief period of competitive politics in the early 1990s, prior to the election of current President Alexander Lukashenka in 1994. This is why for many Belarusians, particularly older generations, elections are not an opportunity to change their leadership but something of an old ritual.
Voting rights for Saudi women took another step forward this week. Female candidates began registering to run in upcoming municipal elections — and for the first time, women will be able to vote for them. Voter registration began in mid-August and goes through mid-September. Sunday marked the start of candidate registration for the Dec. 12 municipal elections. The developments came ahead of King Salman’s visit to the White House on Friday, when he and President Barack Obama are expected to discuss counterterrorism efforts, the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, and the Iran nuclear agreement.
Singapore: Singaporeans overseas to vote at 10 polling stations, Dubai the latest addition | The Straits Times
Singapore citizens located overseas will be able to cast their votes for the 2015 General Election at 10 designated overseas polling stations, the Elections Department announced in a press release on Thursday (Sept 3). The Singapore Consulate-General in Dubai will be the newest added to the list, after it was designated an overseas polling station this year. The other overseas polling stations are in London, Tokyo, Beijing, Washington, Hong Kong, Shanghai, San Francisco, New York and Canberra. They are all places where a significant number of Singaporeans are present.
United Kingdom: Labour leadership election chaos as 120k ballot papers were sent out only last week | Daily Mail
The first voting papers went out in mid-August, but party sources revealed yesterday that ‘well over’ 120,000 were sent out on Friday. With that amounting to more than one in five of all of those eligible to vote, a source in one contender’s camp said there was still ‘all to play for’. Another said the race was still ‘up for grabs’. The surge in new members and supporters has caused a huge headache for Labour HQ as officials attempt to weed out infiltrators. Members of other political parties have been barred from voting as part of a huge ‘purge’ of unwanted applicants. At the beginning of last week Labour insisted all ballots would be verified in time, and said checks on voters would be ‘finished in the next few days’.