Editorials: Why Tomorrow May Be the Most Important National Voter Registration Day Ever | Page Gardner/Huffington Post

Ever since we started the Voter Participation Center more than a decade ago, we’ve honored National Voter Registration Day. It’s always been an important day for us, but never more so than this year. That’s because in 2016, for the first time ever, people of color, young Americans and unmarried women will likely cast over half of all the ballots in the presidential election. Think about that. For the first time in our nation’s history, the most diverse electorate ever will enter voting booths on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. They will look more like the real America, and drive their own destinies. But the first step starts tomorrow, with National Voter Registration Day. At the Voter Participation Center, we are dedicated to increasing the civic engagement of unmarried women, people of color and Millennials–the three demographic groups who comprise the Rising American Electorate (RAE), also called the New American Majority. We have helped 2.6 million Americans register to vote in the last decade, and see a direct line between registration and voting. There are about 125 million eligible voters in the RAE, or 57% of the vote-eligible population in this country. A true majority. But as our new research with Lake Research Partners makes clear, we have heavy lifting to do to make sure that the RAE is voting–and registering–in proportion to their share of the population.

Indiana: Lawson confident no problem with electronic poll books | NWI

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Friday she is confident there was not a problem with the new electronic poll books used in the May primary election in Porter County. Claims were made that the new poll books resulted in delays and other problems for voters. Kathy Kozuszek, Democrat director of the Porter County Voter Registration, who opposed purchasing the electronic poll books, said in May that the issue could be serious enough for candidates to call for a new election.

Nebraska: Seven Nebraska counties, one Iowa county accused of violating voter registration law | Omaha World-Herald

Seven counties in Nebraska and one in Iowa are being threatened with lawsuits over having more registered voters than voting-age residents. Two national groups say the numbers are evidence that county officials are not cleaning up voter registration rolls, as federal law requires. The Public Interest Legal Foundation, based in Plainfield, Indiana, and True the Vote, based in Houston, have both sent letters alerting county officials to the alleged violations. The letters said that poorly maintained voter rolls threaten the integrity of elections. “Corrupted voter rolls provide the perfect environment for voter fraud,” said J. Christian Adams, the legal foundation’s president and general counsel. But state and county officials said data quirks and requirements of federal election laws, not mismanagement or incompetence, account for the apparent discrepancies. They also say that they are complying with requirements concerning removing voters who have moved or died. Loup County Clerk Debbie Postany, one of the officials who received letters, emphatically denied any laxity in maintaining voter lists. “Before you send letters accusing hard-working, dedicated and often underpaid public officials of not doing their jobs, perhaps you should be aware of ALL the facts,” she wrote in a reply letter.

Nebraska: State to launch new online voter registration service | Associated Press

Nebraska residents who are eligible to vote will be able to register and update their registrations online under a new system that Secretary of State John Gale plans to launch this week. The secretary of state’s office will unveil the new project website Tuesday as part of National Voter Registration Day, said spokeswoman Laura Strimple. Gale has said the new system will mark one of the biggest technological advancements in voter registration in years. It also has been shown to boost voter registrations in other states that adopted the technology. “Online voter registration is really the tip of the spear when it comes to modernizing our election system in Nebraska,” said state Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln, the executive director of the voting-rights group Nebraskans for Civic Reform. “There’s a lot of work to be done, but this is a great first step.”

South Carolina: Age isn’t a virtue when it comes to voting machines | Post and Courier

South Carolina is just beginning to shop for new voting machines — and a new report found many other states should do the same. New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice released a report last week saying when Americans head to the polls for next year’s presidential election, 43 states, including South Carolina, will be using electronic voting machines that are at least a decade old. The cost of updating them could exceed $1 billion. Many of the increasingly outdated machines were bought with federal money not long after the infamous “hanging chad” controversy in Florida helped determine the 2000 presidential election. “No one expects a laptop to last for 10 years. How can we expect these machines, many of which were designed and engineered in the 1990s, to keep running without increased failures?” said Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Center’s Democracy Program and co-author of the study.

Virginia: McAuliffe proposed 'comprehensive redrawing' of congressional map | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Friday proposed a “comprehensive redrawing” of Virginia’s congressional map in order to fix constitutional flaws with the 3rd District. Lawyers representing Republicans in Virginia’s U.S. House delegation offered narrowly drawn proposals meant to correct the violation while deferring to the legislature’s choices in redistricting. A federal panel is working to redraw Virginia’s U.S. House districts after twice ruling that Virginia lawmakers packed too many black voters into the 3rd District, diluting their influence in adjacent districts. The judges who will redraw the lines gave outside parties a Friday deadline to propose revised maps. At least eight outside parties proposed redistricting plans by the judges’ deadline Friday.

Wisconsin: Some recoil at using FEC as model for elections overhaul in Wisconsin | Wisconsin State Journal

Some Assembly Republicans are looking to Washington, D.C., for inspiration to overhaul Wisconsin’s elections and ethics agency, the Government Accountability Board. But critics say the model those lawmakers cite, the Federal Election Commission, is not one of effective campaign oversight. Rather, they say, it’s one of gridlock and dysfunction. “It’s like setting up a disaster-relief agency and saying you’re going to use the FEMA handling of Hurricane Katrina as your model,” said Larry Noble, former general counsel to the Federal Election Commission. Noble now is senior counsel at a nonpartisan advocacy group, the Campaign Legal Center.

Burkina Faso: Mediators Propose November Election | Wall Street Journal

Mediators in Burkina Faso’s political crisis proposed new and more inclusive elections in November, though the military that seized power in a coup last week indicated Sunday it still wants its general to lead the country during any transitional period. That could prove to be a serious sticking point after a draft agreement was released late Sunday following two days of talks led by the presidents of Senegal and Benin. The proposed plan will be taken up Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria, by West African member states of the regional bloc known as ECOWAS. Senegalese President Macky Sall, who helped lead the weekend talks, said the draft was the result of discussions with all parties. “We have two ways out here: The first one is through peace…that will lead to an end of the crisis through fair and democratic elections,” Mr. Sall said, adding that the other route would lead to “chaos.”

Greece: Tsipras to form new Greek government after Syriza election triumph | The Guardian

Alexis Tsipras will be sworn in as Greece’s prime minister later on Monday and his new government formally announced on Tuesday, Greek media said, after the leftist Syriza leader romped to an unexpectedly convincing election victory. The result on Sunday was a personal triumph for the 41-year-old, who gambled on the snap poll last month to see off a revolt by party radicals over his U-turn on accepting more tough austerity measures in exchange for Greece’s third international bailout. The premier-elect will now make renegotiating the terms of Greece’s debt mountain a top priority. He will attempt to build a broad consensus among the parties he defeated so as to strengthen his hand in talks with the country’s eurozone creditors, a senior Syriza source told Reuters. “We will continue negotiations in the coming period, with the debt issue being the first and most important battle,” the source said. “We will ask all political forces to support our efforts.”

India: IT Department Working on E-Delivery of Ballots to Remote Voters | NDTV

The IT department in collaboration with the Election Commission is developing an e-postal ballot system which will enable electronic delivery of ballots to remote voters. The system is proposed to provide one-way e-delivery, wherein the ballots shall be delivered electronically to remote voters, who will then download and print the ballots, an official in Communications and IT Ministry told PTI. Voters will then mark their choices, thereby converting the ballot to vote and seal it in an envelope. “This envelope, along with procedurally required declarations, be put into another envelope and mailed through postal system to the returning officer by post,” the official said. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), under the Communications and IT department, is developing the e-postal ballot delivery system. At present, it is working on one-way or onward delivery of ballots but in future, it may include both ways – delivery and receipt of ballot.

Myanmar: Authorities to appoint 40,000 'special election police': official | Mizzima

Myanmar authorities will appoint 40,000 ordinary citizens as “special election police” ahead of November’s polls to boost security at polling stations, an official said Friday, amid concerns over the exact role they will play. The move comes as countries including the United States and Japan have expressed alarm that rising religious tensions could spark conflict in the former junta-ruled nation as election campaigning enters full swing. “We will appoint more than 40,000 people as special election police for one month starting from mid-October’,” a senior Naypyidaw-based police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. They will be unarmed and wield fewer powers than official police, he added, without elaborating on the extent of their remit other than “reinforcing” security and providing “early warnings” of any troubles brewing during the November 8 polls.

Nepal: Amid Protests, Nepal Adopts Constitution | The New York Times

After nearly a decade of delay marked by haggling and political infighting, Nepal formally adopted a constitution on Sunday, with President Ram Baran Yadav calling the moment a realization of “the continuous democratic movements initiated by Nepalese people” after he signed the document. Yet the process that led to the adoption of the Constitution, intended to bring much needed unity to the impoverished, fractious Himalayan nation, proved divisive and was attended by paralyzing strikes and violence that led to more than 40 deaths. The Constitution aims to reinforce Nepal as a secular, democratic republic with a provision for the protection of religion, and establishes seven provinces. Its passage is the latest chapter in a turbulent history that includes a bloody civil war, the overthrow of the 239-year-old monarchy and a devastating earthquake in April that killed thousands and left thousands more homeless.

New Zealand: Dunedin withdraws from online voting trial | Radio New Zealand

Dunedin City Council has withdrawn from an online voting trial. Councillors made the decision late this afternoon after a three-and-a-half hour debate. The decision makes Dunedin the fifth and last council to pull out of the internet-based voting trial – being organised for a set of councils – because security risks and the cost. Eight councils including Wellington, Porirua and Palmerston North have agreed to pursue the trial at next year’s local body elections.

Editorials: Wellington city council was wrong to think internet voting is safe | The Dominion Post

Wellington is a town of political junkies and digital hotshots. We are the coolest – and smartest – little capital. So perhaps it was obvious what the Wellington City Council would say about having internet elections here: “Of course.” But in fact the council’s decision is wrong. The risks – hacking, mainly – are too great, and the benefits – internet voting is supposed to boost voter turnout – are small. Software expert Nigel McNie warned councillors against internet voting and cited the problem of the Death Star. It had just one little hole of vulnerability, but it was big enough to let a bomb through. Now of course geeks disagree about the risk from hacking. Some say internet voting can be made safe, or as safe as can be reasonably expected. But everyone knows that no system is guaranteed against hackers.

Russia: Opposition Calls for Power Change in Moscow Rally | Bloomberg

Thousands of people gathered in Moscow Sunday evening calling for greater political freedoms and a change to the country’s ruling powers after opposition parties failed to win representation in regional elections this month. Between 8,000 and 10,000 gathered at the rally just outside of the center of the Russian capital, said Leonid Volkov, one of the organizers, by telephone on Sunday. Prior to the rally as many as 8,400 people had registered their interest on Facebook while Moscow authorities gave permission for up to 40,000 demonstrators to congregate. Moscow police press-service said that about 4,000 people turned up. Opposition leader Alexey Navalny called the rally after his party failed to win parliamentary seats in the one region where it was allowed to stand in elections on Sept. 13.