National: Voter Privacy: What You Need to Know About Your Digital Trail During the 2016 Election | EFF

The right to an anonymous vote is a cornerstone of the U.S. democratic process. Yet from the time until you walk into the voting booth until long, long after you cast your ballot, your personal information is a highly sought-after commodity. Often your name, contact details, and political leanings are frighteningly easy for political campaigns to access, collect, share, trade, and sell. First, a caveat. As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, we are prohibited from electioneering, i.e., endorsing or opposing any particular candidate. So while we’ll offer some illustrative examples, none of what follows is intended to single out any particular candidate—candidates and independent campaign committees across the political spectrum are collecting information about you. This post is not intended to influence your vote, but rather to inform you as a citizen about the privacy implications of your participation in the democratic process. Data collection is an entrenched part of how modern political campaigns work, and that should concern you regardless of your political affiliation.

National: Super Tuesday turnout set to smash records | Politico

If the early voting numbers are any indicator, get ready for a huge turnout on Super Tuesday. In state after March 1 state, election officials are reporting increases in the number of voters who cast their ballot before election day. Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts — to name just a few — report upticks in absentee ballots and voter registration. In at least two of the 12 states voting Tuesday, Georgia and Tennessee, election officials report dramatic surges that have blown past previous records. “We are seeing an upsurge. In the last couple of election cycles we’ve seen about 100,000 people early vote. Through yesterday, we’ve had about 120,000 already. And we’ve got today, tomorrow and Monday still,” Chris Powell, a spokesman in the Arkansas secretary of state’s office, said Friday. The numbers vary but the story is similar in many of the Super Tuesday states — voters seem primed to come out in large numbers and are eager to vote earlier in 2016.

Editorials: Here Comes Another Super Tuesday With Our Terrible Voting Infrastructure | Brentin Mock/CityLab

Heading into Super Tuesday—the day when presidential candidates hope to rack up delegates from a dozen state primaries—Democratic voter turnout is down. It’s way, way down compared to the 2012 and 2008 elections. There could be multiple reasons for this: Perhaps Democrats just aren’t as excited about their primary choices, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as they were about electing the first black president. Maybe photo voter ID laws are having the pernicious, dampening effect on Democratic turnout that experts have been saying they could have. It could also be that people are increasingly just over the voting process itself, nonplussed by the inefficiency of the act in an era when many data-collection activities are carried out with digital precision and efficiency. Plenty of evidence of this is shown in a survey released Monday by the market research group Edelman Intelligence. After speaking to roughly one thousand registered voters nationwide between January 28 and February 1, the firm found that a third failed to vote in at least one recent election, even though they intended to. Of that group, 45 percent ended up skipping voting because of time constraints—some actually showing up at the polls but leaving because the lines were too long.

American Samoa: How Many Delegates Does American Samoa Get? The US Territory Gets A Say In The 2016 Primaries, Too | Bustle

Super Tuesday is the biggest voting day of primary season. A total of 14 states and territories will cast their votes on March 1st, and it’s a diverse roster: Texas, Vermont, Georgia, Colorado and Oklahoma are amongst the states that will head to the polls on Super Tuesday. And then there’s American Samoa, the tiny US territory 2,500 miles from Hawaii that will also hold a caucus on March 1st. How many delegates does American Samoa get? In the Democratic contest, American Samoa gets 10 delegates. Six of them are regular pledged delegates, while the other four are superdelegates who can vote for whomever they please at the national convention over the summer. Republicans in American Samoa will select a candidate on March 22nd, with nine delegates at play.

Florida: Voters’ mistakes mean some won’t have their vote-by-mail ballots counted | Sun Sentinel

Florida voters who cast their ballots by mail are making mistakes — which may mean their choices in the March 15 presidential primary won’t count. The numbers are small. Of the 580,000 Florida ballots processed as of Friday, about 8,000 weren’t accepted. Polls currently show blowouts in the Democratic and Republican primaries, but if the contests tighten, those uncounted votes could be significant. Statewide, about 99 percent of mail ballots returned as of Friday have been accepted, said Daniel Smith, the University of Florida political scientist who crunched the numbers.

Idaho: Billboards fixed after Democrats threaten to sue | Coeur d’Alene Press

A billboard along U.S. 95 in Coeur d’Alene claims “Idaho Votes,” with no reference to the Republican Presidential Primary on March 8.
That’s good news to Idaho Democratic Party leaders who protested the signs when the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office put them up earlier this month — at a cost of $20,000 — with the words “Presidential Primary March 8.” The March 8 state-funded primary is only open to voters affiliated with the Idaho Republican Party and the Constitution Party of Idaho. The signs made no mention of the Idaho Democratic Presidential Caucus that will take place March 22. “…your advertising campaign is misleading and inaccurate and likely to cause much confusion for voters seeking to participate in the primary or those voters who associate with any other parties,” stated Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Bert Marley in a letter to Secretary of State Lawrence Denney.

Illinois: Bill aims to digitize voter registration signatures | The State Journal-Register

In an effort to further streamline and digitize the voter registration process, Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, has introduced legislation to allow electronic signatures on any voter registration document. These documents include applications to register, certificates authorizing the cancellation or transfer of registration and requests for provisional ballots. Manar said he was motivated by proposals from Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray to update the online registration system. The current system requires ink signatures from anyone who registers to vote. This can be done at a secretary of state driver’s facility or any local election authority. However, voter registration can be done online, which allows users to submit relevant voter information that gets cross-checked through records from the secretary of state.

Texas: More than half a million registered Texans don’t have the right ID to vote on Super Tuesday | The Washington Post

As voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday, many will be casting ballots in states that have passed strict election laws that didn’t exist during the last presidential race. Out of the 13 states holding primaries or caucuses, there are five where voters will face new rules: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The laws range from asking voters to present photo IDs at the polls to requiring proof of citizenship when registering to vote. Voting experts say that primary voters tend to be of demographics relatively unaffected by such requirements, as they are typically older and wealthier. The primaries also tend to attract more white voters. Still, Super Tuesday could serve as an early test of how the new laws will play out in the general election in November. This presidential race will be the first since a divided Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act and triggered a number of states to pass stiffer requirements for voting.

Australia: New Senate voting rules could be ready for July election, says electoral commission | The Guardian

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) says it could implement new Senate voting rules within 100 days, clearing the way for the system to be implemented in time for a July double-dissolution election. On Tuesday the AEC commissioner, Tom Rodgers, told a truncated inquiry into the voting overhaul the “three-month clock” would begin as soon as legislation was passed but “the AEC stands ready to deliver an election whenever the government call it with the legislation that’s in force at the time”. “If I get less time or resources, internally that’s not going to be a pretty look but we will deliver a successful election,” Rodgers told the joint select committee on electoral matters.

Iran: Iran set to elect record number of women into parliament | The Guardian

With reformist-backed candidates securing a sweeping victory in Tehran, and moderates leading in provinces, a record number of women are set to enter the next Iranian parliament. Estimates based on the latest results show that as many as 20 women are likely to enter the 290-seat legislature known as the Majlis, the most ever. The previous record was set nearly 20 years ago during the fifth parliament after the 1979 revolution, when 14 women held seats. There are nine women in the current Iranian parliament. Eight of the women elected this time were on a reformist-backed list of 30 candidates standing in the Tehran constituency known as “the list of hope”. Among them is Parvaneh Salahshori, a 51-year-old sociologist and university professor originally from Masjed Soleyman, in the south of Iran. Her husband, Barat Ghobadian, also a university professor, was disqualified from running. As the results were being counted, an interview surfaced online showing Salahshori speaking out about discrimination against women in Iran, pleasing many women’s rights advocates. She also said women should be able to choose whether or not to wear the hijab, a taboo subject in the Islamic Republic.

Ireland: Divided parliament mulls awkward pacts, second election | Associated Press

Ireland’s election has produced a parliament full of feuding factions and no obvious road to a majority government, spurring lawmakers to warn Sunday that the country could face a protracted political deadlock followed by a second election. For the first time in Irish electoral history, the combined popular vote Friday for Ireland’s two political heavyweights – the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael parties – fell below 50 per cent as voters infuriated by austerity measures shifted their support to a Babel of anti-government voices. The results left parliament with at least nine factions and a legion of loose-cannon independents, few of them easy partners for a coalition government, none of them numerous enough to make a difference on their own.

Jamaica: Military on streets as election winner’s margin narrows | Reuters

Jamaican reservist soldiers reinforced security at electoral offices on Monday after a final count of votes cast in last week’s general election narrowed the winning party’s majority to one seat in the heavily indebted Caribbean nation. The opposition Jamaican Labour Party (JLP) was declared the victor of Thursday’s closely fought election but after a second count authorities stripped it of one seat, reducing it to 32 of 63 seats. One more constituency remains to be recounted. The tight election reflects division about Jamaica’s economy, with the winners promising low taxes and job after years of austerity under an IMF program. The ruling People’s National Party was credited by many with restoring economic order.

South Africa: Election 2016 going ahead – IEC | eNCA

There is no consideration by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to postpone the upcoming 2016 municipal elections, vice chairperson Terry Tselane said on Monday. “I must indicate here that from the side of the commission, there has never been a consideration to postpone the election. That question has never arisen and it will not arise,” Tselane told reporters at a briefing in Pretoria. “We are confident that we will be able to deal with all the issues that we are supposed to be dealing with. We will then be able to deliver the elections with constitutionally stipulated period. That is important … because there is a narration saying otherwise, particularly in the media.”

South Korea: New electoral boundaries finalized | The National

The electoral map for the April 13 general election was finalized Sunday, just 45 days before voters go to the polls. The electoral redistricting committee, a sub-committee of the National Election Commission (NEC), delivered the final draft that set the constituency boundaries for the upcoming election to the National Assembly. The leaders of the rival parties agreed last week to pass the bill today. Completion of the process drew additional attention because it could lead to bipartisan negotiations on the contentious anti-terrorist bill, and possibly ending the opposition’s marathon filibuster.

Uganda: How Elections Were ‘Rigged’ |

Opposition stalwart Kizza Besigye has said that the February 18 general election was the worst in Uganda’s history. But how was the election rigged? Collating anecdotal evidence, SADAB KITATTA KAAYA attempts to explain how the alleged rigging happened. When the presidential and parliamentary elections ended on February 18, a fierce public debate over alleged vote rigging began and hasn’t relented since. The opposition set the tone and the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) offered the much-needed supporting arguments in its preliminary assessment of the entire electoral process.