National: How Citizens United Made It Easier For Bosses To Control Their Workers’ Votes | International Business Times

The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is most famous for the torrent of outside ad spending it unleashed on the American election system. But the ruling did more than just lift caps on outside political expenditures; it also gave corporations more leverage over the political behavior of their employees. Citizens United eliminated restrictions on the ability of employers to lobby their workers in support of particular candidates and causes. Bosses can even make employees attend partisan political events during work hours. In addition to now being legal, those tactics are also effective, according to new research by Paul Secunda, a law professor at Marquette University, and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, a doctoral candidate in government and social policy at Harvard. A survey they conducted for an upcoming UCLA Law Review paper found that workers are generally responsive to political pressure from their managers.

Editorials: The electoral college could still stop Trump, even if he wins the popular vote | Derek T. Muller/The Washington Post

Donald Trump will be the GOP’s presidential nominee. Within the party, talk of a brokered Republican National Convention or even a supporting a third-party candidate has circulated among those hoping to stop him from becoming the next president, leaving Trump antagonists across the spectrum to ponder whether there’s any fail-safe left, after November, to stop a Trump administration from becoming a reality. There is. The electoral college. If they choose, state legislators can appoint presidential electors themselves this November, rather than leaving the matter of apportioning electoral college votes by popular vote. Then, via their chosen electors, legislatures could elect any presidential candidate they prefer. Remember, Americans don’t directly elect the president. The electoral college does: Slates of electors pledged to support presidential and vice presidential candidates are voted upon in each state every four years. Each state, and the District of Columbia, is apportioned at least three of the 538 electors, allocated by the total number of U.S. senators and House members each state has. In December, these electors will gather in their respective states and cast votes for president and vice president. And in January, Congress counts these votes, determines if a candidate has achieved a majority — at least 270 votes — and then certifies a winner.

Colorado: How 3 ballot initiatives could change which lawmakers you vote for | The Denver Post

Voting rights activists displeased with a ballot measure that would change the way Colorado draws up maps for U.S. House and state legislative districts are now offering up two new ballot questions of their own. The competing reforms, their supporters say, are aimed at ending the dogfight that happens every 10 years over the boundaries for Colorado’s U.S. House members and 100 legislators. Which neighborhoods are included in a district can give an advantage to one party over the other based on demographics and voting history. Initiative 122 would create a commission to redraw congressional districts, and Initiative 123 would establish a separate commission to shape legislative districts after every 10-year ce

District of Columbia: Merrick Garland and D.C. politics: His role in voting rights | The Washington Post

When President Obama announced Wednesday that he would nominate Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) held her applause. Norton, the District’s non-voting representative in Congress, has long been one of the city’s chief proponents for voting representation in Congress — and Garland ruled in a landmark case on the issue in 2000 that the residents of the city do not have the constitutional right to such representation. The Supreme Court later affirmed that decision, although it did not hear oral arguments in the case. “Norton and other officials and residents were deeply disappointed with the decision, even though they realized that the case was one of first impression,” a Wednesday statement from Norton’s office read. “Norton has not yet had the opportunity to look into Judge Garland’s 19-year record on the federal court and before, but she said that especially considering that the District has no senators, she believes that the Senate must fulfill its constitutional obligation to give Judge Garland a fair hearing so that he may be questioned about the D.C. case and the rest of his record.” Garland, who is the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and is widely considered to be a moderate, was part of a three-judge federal panel to preside over the Alexander v. Daley case in March 2000.

Voting Blogs: D.C. Board of Elections works with civic hackers for voting insights | electionlineWeekly

Election administrators generate heaps of data beyond the election night returns that take center stage, but the data revolution that now drives decisions in campaigns, business, and parts of government has yet to transform how we run elections. As the Presidential Commission on Election Administration noted in its report, a “new technological gap is beginning to emerge, between the data analytical capacity that has improved customer service in the private sector, and the lack of data-driven efforts to improve the experience of voters.” A lack of money for election administrators to pay skilled data pros is largely responsible for creating and sustaining this gap. But fear not, cash-strapped election administrators, there is hope.

Illinois: Election officials say true test for same-day registration is in November | Daily Herald

The competitive presidential contests on both the Republican and Democratic tickets drove record turnout in Tuesday’s primary, suburban election officials say. But Cook County Clerk David Orr said that the tens of thousands of residents registering to vote on Election Day was even more surprising than record turnout. “That was shocking, in a good way,” he said In suburban Cook County, 682,022 voters cast ballots, almost 100,000 more than in the last contested presidential primary on both sides in 2008. Around 23,000 of them registered and voted on Election Day. In DuPage County, 267,754 people turned out to vote, 25,580 more than in the 2008 primary. Of that number, around 3,700 participated in grace-period registration on Election Day. Kane and Lake county officials say they also saw record turnout, with nearly 7,500 same-day registrants between them.

Kentucky: House, Senate disagree on felon voting rights | The State Journal

Pam Newman said her mother served out a felony sentence in Pennsylvania and could vote again in that state, but when her family moved to Kentucky her mother’s voting right was taken away. During a bill hearing Wednesday, Newman pleaded with lawmakers that the time had come for a change to the state’s voting restoration laws. Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) testified on his bill giving state residents a chance to add an amendment to Kentucky’s constitution which would give the General Assembly the right to decide felon eligibility for voting right restoration. Restoring felon voting rights has become an evergreen issue in the legislative session for at least 10 years.

Missouri: Bernie Sanders Says He Won’t Seek Recount in Missouri | Associated Press

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said he would not seek a recount of the results in Missouri’s Democratic presidential primary, conceding defeat to Hillary Clinton. Mr. Sanders said that it was unlikely the results of any recount would affect the awarding of delegates in the state and that he would “prefer to save the taxpayers of Missouri some money.” Mrs. Clinton has a narrow lead of 1,531 votes. Under state law Sanders could have sought a recount because the margin was less than one-half of 1 percent. Mrs. Clinton will get an extra two delegates from Missouri for winning the statewide vote. She won all five of Tuesday’s primary contests, including Florida, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina.

Ohio: Cleveland One Step Ahead of Trump’s Convention Riots Prediction | Bloomberg

Cleveland will be ready should Donald Trump’s prediction come true of riots at the Republican National Convention if he’s denied the presidential nomination, security officials say. Though the Ohio city won’t say whether Trump’s remarks have it reconsidering security for the July 18-21 gathering, preparations for possible unrest are well under way. The convention is designated a national special-security event, like Pope Francis’s visit last year and the Democrats’ nominating meeting in Philadelphia in July. “It’s going to be a secure event,” said Kevin Dye, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, the lead agency coordinating with federal, state and local law enforcement.

Rhode Island: Board of Elections: Executive Director Kando suspended | Providence Journal

With tempers flaring and voices raised, two Board of Elections board members stormed out of a monthly board meeting Wednesday night while another criticized Executive Director Robert Kando’s job performance. Within hours, Kando was suspended without pay for 30 business days beginning Monday, which means the suspension will last through the state’s presidential primary day, April 26. The reason: He failed to sign up in January for management classes he was directed to take in connection with his last suspension. Disorder first ensued when board member Stephen P. Erickson began reading a previously undisclosed directive Kando was given in 2013 after he introduced legislation on the board’s behalf without its knowledge. The letter said Kando was directed to produce reports to the board about his legislative activities — something that has not consistently happened.

Australia: Paving way for early election, Australia passes voting reforms | Reuters

Australia’s Senate on Friday passed voting reforms after a marathon session lasting over 28 hours, clearing the way for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to dissolve both houses of parliament and call an early election to end a hostile Senate. Independent and minor party senators elected at the last election in 2013 have stalled key aspects of the government’s agenda, including changes that would make higher education and health care more expensive and limit access to welfare. The Senate voting reforms would make it harder for smaller parties to enter parliament through vote sharing deals. Turnbull is now seen as likely to opt for a rare double dissolution election, which sees both houses of parliament face voters, arguing that it will clear the Senate of obstructionists and allow long-stalled economic reforms.

Macedonia: Electoral Roll Has 495,000 Suspect Names | Balkan Insight

A State Electoral Commission report intended to identify fake voters, which was leaked to media on Thursday, said that around 500,000 names on the country’s electoral roll may be fictional and need to be additionally verified. After a computer cross-referencing of voters’ data from 10 different state institutions, the report said that there are more than 495,000 names that need to be checked, as their data does not appear to match. The report noted that 192,000 of the people listed on the electoral roll do not appear in any other database. Fake voters are a key concern raised by the country’s opposition, which accuses the ruling party of tampering with the electoral roll in order to rig polls in its favour.

National: Audit Slams Management at Former Job of EAC Executive Director | Associated Press

A top U.S. election official improperly claimed mileage and travel expenses, intentionally skirted oversight of government credit card expenses and wasted taxpayer funds while at his former job as an elections commissioner in Kansas, according to an audit released Thursday. Brian Newby was hired in November as executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and the “transitional audit” of the Johnson County Election Office covers the last five years of his 11-year tenure as the county’s election commissioner. Newby called the audit “inaccurate, very misleading, very incomplete” and said he didn’t get to review it before it was released. The scathing audit of Newby’s fiscal management while at the Kansas job is the latest controversy to dog him since he took over the helm of the EAC. Newby infuriated voting rights advocates when he decided without public notice or review from his agency’s commissioners that residents of Alabama, Kansas and Georgia can no longer register to vote using a federal form without providing proof of U.S. citizenship. Voting rights groups last month sued him and the EAC over the move, saying it hurts voter registration drives and deprives eligible voters of the right to vote.

Editorials: “Soft” Voter-ID Laws Are Supposed to Make Strict Voting Requirements Constitutional. They Don’t. | Richard Hasen/The Atlantic

A recent lawsuit accuses the state of Wisconsin of disenfranchising an eligible voter who had lost the use of her hands, because she could not sign a government document to get a voter ID. Another voter, who was born in a German concentration camp and could not produce a birth certificate, had to go to extraordinary lengths at the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles in order to vote. Strict state voter-identification laws are proving disconcerting on the ground. So why are the courts bending over backward to uphold them? In 2014, the Wisconsin Supreme Court considered whether Wisconsin’s stringent voter-ID law violated the Wisconsin constitution’s right to vote. The court found that the law would impose severe burdens on voters who could not afford to pay for underlying documents, like an out-of-state birth certificate, to prove identification, and on those voters who, through no fault of their own, could not establish their identity under the exacting rules established by the state.

Nevada: State settles lawsuit over registering low-income voters | Las Vegas Sun News

Voting rights advocates and the state of Nevada settled a lawsuit today over the state’s implementation of a federal law aimed at registering low-income voters. Under terms of the settlement, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services will provide each of its clients a voter registration application, help them fill out the forms and send the applications to state election officials. The department administers benefit programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, cash assistance, Medicaid and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, to low-income Nevadans.

Niger: Opposition says it won’t recognize Sunday run-off | Andalou Agency

Niger’s opposition coalition has announced that they “will not recognize” the outcome of the second round of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for Sunday. The opposition “demands a political transition that will organize new democratic elections – free, legitimate, and transparent and honest,” the opposition coalition COPA 2016 said in a statement late Thursday. Incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou won 48.4 percent of the vote in the first round to Hama Amadou’s 17.7 percent on February 21, but such results are often subject to legal challenges.

Uganda: How to Win an Election in Uganda | Newsweek

Ugandan opposition parties are faced with a familiar conundrum—fairly sure that the election they just lost was rigged, but unsure how to prove it. There is evidence that President Yoweri Museveni’s main challenger, Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), made significant gains in many parts of the country, especially urban areas. It is also clear that intimidation and repression were widespread, including the repeated detention of Besigye in the weeks of and after polling day. But neither domestic courts nor international election monitors are likely to declare an election unfree or unfair on the basis of this kind of background manipulation, although both the European Union and U.S. State Department found the election process to be marked by a lack of transparency and worrying irregularities. At the end of the day, it is only hard evidence of ballot box stuffing or faulty vote tallying that is likely to sway them. So, do the results, published by the Electoral Commission (EC) in almost complete form towards the end of February, point to a rigged election? And if so, how was it done?