The Voting News Weekly: The Voting News Weekly for March 28 – April 3 2016

Februrary 26, 2016. Bogotá, Colombia. Ándres Sepúlveda (31) lives at an undisclosed maximum-security building of the General Attorneys office (Fiscalia Nacional) in Bogotá, Colombia; where he is serving a 10 years sentence for hacking and spying on the government and elected officials. Photo Credit: Juan Arredondo for Bloomberg BusinessWeek. StateTech Magazine examined the reason behind the nationwide shift away from direct recording electronic voting machines to paper ballot system. The Canvass considered the traditionally low voter turnout among youger voters.The Washington Post posed the question of whether Arizona’s primary debacle was just a big mistake, or something more nefarious. The Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of a woman who is challenging the state law that permanently strips felons of their voting rights. Brian Newby, a Kansas county elections official used close ties to one of the nation’s leading advocates of voting restrictions to help secure the job of executive director of the Election Assistance Commission, a government agency entrusted with making voting more accessible, and then used the federal position to implement an obstacle to voter registration in three states. Civil rights groups challenging Texas’ voter identification law are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the measure from being used during the 2016 general election. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Andrés Sepúlveda, an online campaign strategist, claimed he helped to manipulate elections in nine countries across Latin America by stealing data, installing malware and creating fake waves of enthusiasm and derision on social media and Uganda’s Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the presidential election held in February, issuing a ruling on Thursday that secured President Yoweri Museveni a mandate for another five-year term.

Senegal: Here’s everything you need to know about Senegal’s recent referendum | The Washington Post

On March 20, 38 percent of Senegalese voters participated in a constitutional referendum that President Macky Sall chose to initiate halfway through his first presidential term. Of those who voted, 63 percent approved proposed amendments to Senegal’s constitution that were promoted by the president and his ruling coalition as 15 major propositions “to modernize the political regime, reinforce good governance and consolidate rule of law.” The propositions included reducing the presidential term from seven to five years, lowering barriers to independent candidacy in all types of elections, designating the leader of the largest parliamentary party as “head of opposition” and increasing the number of Constitutional Council members while diversifying their mode of appointment. These amendments might further democratic consolidation in Senegal, which has long enjoyed a reputation as a beacon of democracy in the region. But the politics of the referendum have been more complex than a mere “up or down” vote on strengthening certain aspects of Senegalese democracy.