Editorials: The true cost of Voter ID: Everything you need to know about the monumental cost of voter suppression | Sean McElwee/Salon

In my recent report, “Why Voting Matters,” I show the dramatic differences in opinion between voters and nonvoters, and argue that more voter turnout would lead to more progressive policies. One of the most dramatic gaps in opinion is between white voters and non-white nonvoters (shown below). As 2016 approaches, the question of how to mobilize the political power of people of color is increasingly being discussed with the rise of groups like Black Lives Matter. Though it’s clear that voter turnout will not be enough to fully realize political equality, it can have a dramatic influence on policy. In a study released last year, political scientist Jon Rogowski and Sophie Schuit of the Brennan Center for Justice find that members of Congress representing districts covered by the preclearance provision (which was struck down by the Roberts court when it gutted the Voting Rights Act) were more supportive of civil rights legislation.

Editorials: Will Americans Vote Differently on a Touchscreen? | Shlomo Benartzi/The Daily Beast

One of the basic insights of behavioral science is that the format of a choice set—how the options are arranged on a page—can significantly shape our decisions. This is true when ordering a meal at a restaurant, but also at the ballot box, as the design of a paper ballot can influence which candidates we end up voting for. For example, studies led by Jon Krosnick at Stanford University have shown that candidates at the top of the ballot get, on average, about 2 percentage points more votes than they would have if listed farther down. This primacy effect even holds in national elections, when voters are more familiar with the candidates. When the name order of candidates was randomized on the California state ballot in the 2000 election, George W. Bush’s vote total was 9 percentage points higher in districts where his name appeared first versus last, Krosnick says. To deal with this bias, many states have begun randomizing the order of candidates, taking steps to ensure that a cognitive quirk doesn’t determine the winner of the election.

Alabama: Democrats say Alabama’s closure of driver’s-license offices could make it harder for black residents to vote | The Washington Post

Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Democratic officials in Alabama in criticizing a decision by state officials to shutter 31 satellite driver’s-license offices, mostly in areas heavily populated by African Americans, a move that could make it harder for those residents to get photo IDs needed to vote. Alabama’s voter-identification law went into effect last year, requiring voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls. A state-issued driver’s license is the most popular form of identification, and critics say the closure of offices that issue them is yet another barrier for poor and minority voters. “It’s a blast from the Jim Crow past,” Clinton said in a statement Friday criticizing the move and calling on state officials to reverse the decision.

Kansas: Tough voter ID rules pull Kansas into multiple lawsuits | Associated Press

Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s successful push to require new Kansas voters to document their U.S. citizenship has spawned three lawsuits, including one he pursued against a federal agency in trying to enforce the policy. Kansas is one of only four states that make new voters show a birth certificate, passport or other citizenship papers. The Kansas requirement took effect in 2013, and Kobach has directed county election officials to cancel more than 31,000 incomplete registrations, most from people who’ve failed to comply with the requirement. Here is a look at the proof-of-citizenship law litigation it has prompted.

New Mexico: Secretary of state faces 65th charge: identity theft | Los Angeles Times

The New Mexico secretary of state, who oversees campaign finance reporting and once bemoaned a “culture of corruption” in the state, has been accused of using her election fund as a personal piggy bank at jewelry stores, ATMs and casinos. Secretary of State Dianna K. Duran already faces allegations of financial crimes, stemming from a separate August indictment. Late Friday, the New Mexico attorney general’s office alleged in a criminal complaint that Duran also falsified campaign finance reports by forging the name of a former state Senate colleague and claiming him as her campaign treasurer. The onetime colleague, Don Kidd, a banker in southeast New Mexico, denied any involvement with Duran’s campaigns in 2010 and 2014.

Vermont: GOP questions neutrality of election official | Burlington Free Press

The chairman of the Vermont Republican Party called for a Vermont elections worker to be sidelined Friday because of what he called “clear bias” in the official’s online comments. Secretary of State Jim Condos replied that the issue had already been resolved internally, and that he trusted the worker to perform his duties fairly. At issue are social media posts by J.P. Isabelle, an elections administrator in the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office. In one comment on the Vermont Political Observer, a liberal blog, a user called J.P. Isabelle wrote that he attended an event for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne and “left feeling energized.” Isabelle also commented on gubernatorial election dynamics on Twitter. Republican Party Chairman Dave Sunderland wrote to Condos about the online comments.

Texas: State Wants Supreme Court to Strike Legal-Fee Award in Voting Case | National Law Journal

Texas wants the U.S. Supreme Court to review an order that forces the state to pay more than $1 million in legal fees to groups that challenged the state’s redistricting plans. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in August ordered Texas to pay the fees, finding lawyers for the state essentially forfeited the issue by failing to make substantive arguments in the lower court. On Thursday, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller said in court papers that the state planned to appeal to the Supreme Court. Keller didn’t say when his office would file the petition. A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office was not immediately available for comment. Paul Smith of Jenner & Block, who argued for the challengers in the D.C. Circuit and leads the firm’s appellate and Supreme Court practice, declined to comment.

Washington: State adopts opposing stance from Yakima in redistricting case | Yakima Herald

Yakima and the state of Washington are on opposing sides in a U.S. Supreme Court case seeking to define “one person, one vote.” The state Attorney General’s Office has joined 20 other states in filing a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the plaintiffs in Evenwel v. Abbott, a Texas redistricting case that could in effect overturn Yakima’s new district-based council election system. Yakima previously filed a brief in support of the plaintiffs, who are seeking to require state legislative districts be drawn by eligible voter population and not total population, as is currently the practice in all 50 states. The brief filed by the 21 states in opposition to Evenwel says requiring states to redistrict based on eligible voters would disrupt their “long reliance on well-settled redistricting practices,” adding that states lack any “reliable, administrable method” to carry out such a process.

Kyrgyzstan: Pro-Russian Social Democrats win Kyrgyzstan elections | AFP

The Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, linked to pro-Moscow President Almazbek Atambayev, came out on top at Sunday’s parliamentary election in the ex-Soviet state, with five other pro-Russian parties also winning seats. Results released by the country’s Central Electoral Commission showed the SDPK, founded by Atambayev, won the hard-fought poll with close to 27 percent of the vote. In second place was the nationalist Respublika-Ata-Jurt party at just over 20 percent. Most of the parties competing in the election appeared to be alliances of convenience, targeting a regionally divided electorate without clear political platforms.

Portugal: Centre-right coalition retains power but could lose majority | The Guardian

Portugal’s ruling centre-right coalition has retained power in a general election seen as a referendum on its austerity policies, but near-complete results indicated it has lost its absolute majority in parliament. Prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s Portugal Ahead coalition took 38.6% of the vote, according to the partial results, against 32.4% the opposition Socialists of former Lisbon mayor Antonio Costa. Costa, who campaigned on a promise of easing some of the painful reforms imposed on western Europe’s poorest country, was quick to concede defeat but ruled out stepping down as party leader. “The Socialist party did not achieve its stated objectives, and I take full political and personal responsibility,” Costa told supporters in the capital. But he added: “I will not be resigning.”

UAE: Emirates vote for federal council sees 35-percent turnout | Associated Press

The United Arab Emirates held a tightly controlled election Saturday for its largely advisory Federal National Council, though only just over a third of those Emiratis allowed to vote by their rulers cast a ballot. While authorities heralded the election as a success, the third-ever such poll in the seven-state federation that includes oil-rich Abu Dhabi and the commercial hub of Dubai largely failed to excite those granted the opportunity to vote. That may have been due in part to the scope of the council’s powers. The 40-member panel considers federal laws and provides oversight of government ministries, though it rarely opposes the decisions or recommendations of the country’s ruling sheikhs.

United Kingdom: David Cameron: I will ignore Europe’s top court on prisoner voting | Telegraph

David Cameron has vowed to ignore a European Court of Justice ruling expected this week that could outlaw Britain’s blanket ban on prisoner voting. In an explosive move on the eve of Mr Cameron’s conference speech, Europe’s highest court is on Tuesday predicted to rule that automatically stripping convicts of the vote is a violation of their human rights. It would be a defeat for the British government, whose lawyers argued it would be a major extension of the EU’s powers because voting arrangements a matter for national governments to decide.