Most voting machines are only designed to last about a decade. A new study shows many of the machines in use across the U.S. are close to that age, and that could increase the chances of voting irregularities for the 2016 election cycle. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports. The Brennan Center for Justice says the outdated machines are more susceptible to hacking and other security problems. Replacement parts for the older machines are also hard to find, and their internal computers crash more often, which could slow down the voting process.
San Mateo County’s recent mail election did more than boost voter participation in a sleepy off-year cycle, a preliminary analysis shows. It yielded dramatic spikes in turnout among young people and minorities. The eye-popping numbers from the county’s experiment, the first of its kind in an urban county in California, are sure to bolster a movement to expand mail elections throughout the state, following the lead of Oregon, Washington and Colorado. Turnout was up 16 percent over the last comparable election in 2013, and the voting rate among Asians increased by more than 30 percent in six cities.
Colorado: Taking party politics out of mapping Colorado’s electoral districts | The Colorado Independent
Three of the last four attempts to map the state’s congressional and legislative districts have wound up in court with both Republicans and Democrats wagging fingers, accusing each other of carving up the state to favor one party over another. A bipartisan group, including two former governors and three former secretaries of state, wants voters in November 2016 to weigh in on reforming how this mapping works. The political bickering, they say, needs to stop. Last week the group submitted a ballot measure, Initiative 55, that would create a 12-member commission made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and four unaffiliated voters, that would take over the mapping from the legislature. The nonpartisan legislative legal staff of the General Assembly would still develop the maps for the commission to consider. After three tries, if the staff were unable to come up with a map to the commission’s liking, the ballot measure says, the map would go to the state Supreme Court.
To get out of voter registration “purgatory” in Kansas, it helps to sue. That’s what two young men and their attorneys found when they took Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) to court over a state law that requires residents to present proof of citizenship documents in order to vote in state and federal elections. If a Kansan registers to vote but does not provide one of 13 valid proof-of-citizenship documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, he or she is placed on a so-called “suspense” list. Just three other states in the country have such a requirement on the books, and Kansas and Arizona are the only states enforcing it. About 36,000 Kansans were in this state of “voter purgatory” as of early October. For comparison, the state has 1.7 million registered voters.
HeadIng into the final two weeks of his administration, Gov. Steve Beshear is scheduled to hold a press conference early Tuesday for an announcement on voting rights, an issue that has kept House Democrats and Senate Republicans at loggerheads for years. Officials did not provide details about the announcement, but lawmakers have long clashed over legislation that would restore voting rights to felons after they have completed their sentences.
When Massachusetts voters head to the polls next November, they’ll be able to cast their ballots more than two weeks ahead of Election Day. “Every year, we hear of people missing voting because their employers don’t necessarily give them the day off, or because they may have irregular work schedules, or because they have a…
North Carolina: 2 sides argue in federal court over timing of redistricting lawsuit on legislative primaries | Associated Press
Attorneys representing the state and registered voters argued before a three-judge panel on Monday about the impact of a lawsuit filed over North Carolina’s legislative district maps on the state’s 2016 primaries. The plaintiffs say the lines drawn by Republican lawmakers for nearly 30 House and Senate districts are illegal because they relied too much on…
A federal judge Monday permanently barred the state from forcing political parties to hold open primary elections and dismissed all other claims in the Utah Republican Party’s lawsuit. As U.S. District Judge David Nuffer closed the case, the Utah GOP and the state continued to wrangle over the meaning of part of the law, setting the stage for another court battle, possibly before the Utah Supreme Court. Meantime, Gov. Gary Herbert told the Republican State Central Committee over the weekend that he wishes he would have vetoed the controversial new election law and let voters decide the issue as proposed by the Count My Vote initiative.
Despite a half-day off the Egyptian government granted its employees on Monday, a low voter turnout continued to plague the country’s parliamentary elections on the final day of the second stage in the balloting. Egypt has not had a parliament since a court ruling dissolved its Islamist-dominated legislature in 2012. The elections come against a backdrop of growing security and economic concerns following the crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 people on board last month. Russia has said that a bomb had downed the plane and a local Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility for the attack, dealing a severe blow to Egypt’s vital tourism sector.
At least one person was killed and several others wounded as opposition supporters staged violent protests in the capital against the preliminary results of the October 25 legislative and first round presidential elections, police and opposition party officials said. They said that the protesters erected barricades, burning tyres as they took to the streets demanding a recall of the election results. Police said one man was shot during the protest over the weekend that also saw police using tear gas and fired gunshots to disperse the crowd. A spokesman for the Pitit Dessalines party, whose presidential candidate, Moise Jean-Charles, came third in the first round, has blamed the authorities for the incident.
More Filipinos abroad are expected to come out and participate in the May 2016 elections. Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista over the weekend said the Comelec is eyeing higher turnout for the overseas absentee voting (OAV). Bautista said Filipinos abroad are not only expected to register but also actually participate and vote in the coming elections. “We are also trying to beat that of the voter turnout. We are targeting hopefully at least half-a-million to vote for the 2016 elections,” Bautista said.
An amendment that would have given long term British expats the ability to vote in the UK’s referendum on the country’s future in the European Union has been defeated. Currently expats who have lived abroad for more than 15 years cannot vote in British elections, but there has been a major campaign for them to vote in the referendum based on the argument that it affects expats as well as those living in the country. A number of members of the House of Lords, the upper house in the British parliament, presented an amendment to allow them to vote but it has been defeated by 214 to 116 votes and there is currently no other move to change the voting system. The upcoming Votes for Life bill will overturn the law that bans those who have lived abroad for longer than 15 years from voting, but it will not be passed before the referendum, which must take part by 2017.