National: Senator Warren Stands Up For Disenfranchised Voters in U.S. Territories After Snub | Huffington Post

On Monday, actor Tim Robbins of Shawshank Redemption fame made an ill-considered political dig against Hillary Clinton by making a punchline of disenfranchised voters in Guam, declaring at a Bernie Sanders rally that “winning South Carolina in a Democratic primary is about as significant as winning Guam.” Less than 24 hours later, Senator Elizabeth Warren took a stand for Americans who call Guam and other U.S. territories home, arguing at a Senate hearing that “the four million people who live in the territories are not the subjects of a King. They are Americans. They live in America. But their interests will never be fully represented within our government until they have full voting rights just like every other American.” As Senator Warren explained, Americans living in U.S. territories “are subject to federal law. More than 150,000 people from these islands have served our country in the Armed Forces – and many have died in that service.”

Editorials: Caucusing With a Disability | Rabia Belt/Stanford Law School

Like many in Iowa, Jacki O’Donnell is an avid political enthusiast. She was prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic caucus. Unfortunately, she had to leave before party business began. O’Donnell was in a back brace after fracturing her vertebrae, and sitting in a metal folding chair for hours while caucus-goers deliberated proved too much. Thus, she became one of thousands of U.S. citizens with disabilities unable to participate fully in the caucus process. Thirteen states use the caucus system to select 10 percent of Democratic and 15 percent of Republican delegates, who in turn vote for their party’s presidential nominee. Caucuses are the quintessential places of public accommodation. Everyone affiliated with a political party is expressly invited to attend and participate. But, whereas voters in a primary cast a secret ballot and then leave, caucus-goers cluster to listen to people speak about their chosen candidate. Attendees then vote for delegates who will carry their wishes to the national party convention.

Arizona: Records reveal scope of wait times in Arizona primary | Associated Press

Five polling places in metro Phoenix still had voters in line after midnight during Arizona’s botched presidential primary two weeks ago, including one location where the final ballot was cast at nearly 1 a.m., according to county records. The Associated Press obtained a document from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office that shows the time when each of the 60 polling sites closed in the March 22 primary, providing a more complete picture of the abysmal wait voters experienced. Votes were still being cast past 10 p.m. in 20 of the 60 locations, meaning residents had to wait at least three hours to choose a candidate in the White House race. The polls closed at 7 p.m., but anyone who was in line at that point could vote.

Kansas: Nonprofit demands investigation of former Kansas election official | Associated Press

A nonprofit public advocacy group called Wednesday for an investigation of a top federal elections official in the wake of a media report about his communications with one of the nation’s leading advocates of voting restrictions. Washington, D.C.,-based Allied Progress provided to The Associated Press a letter is said will be sent on Thursday to the Inspector General of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission asking it to look into communications between that agency’s executive director, Brian Newby, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The nonpartisan group calls itself a grassroots organization that aims to hold special interest groups accountable, and has taken up causes as diverse as voting rights, payday lending reform and keeping a crude oil export ban.

Kentucky: Grimes Touts New Online Voter Registration Tool | Richmond Register

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes continued her statewide tour of college campuses Tuesday at Eastern Kentucky University, where she is encouraging people, especially students, to register in time for the May 17 primary election using the Commonwealth’s new online voter registration portal, The deadline to register to vote in the May primary is April 18. Several students used the portal at the town hall to register to vote and attendees discussed the portal’s ease of use, accessibility and other election issues. Grimes said the OVR will improve the accuracy of voter rolls and will lead to major cost savings for the Commonwealth and hailed the portal as a major success for Kentucky. Grimes said her administration has worked creating the portal for less than a year and that the new online system was created in-house using Kentucky talent while partnering with Microsoft.

Maryland: Republican Larry Hogan really wants redistricting reform. He wrote to Obama about it. | The Washington Post

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is pulling out all the stops — including asking for President Obama’s help — in pressing Maryland’s Democratic-controlled legislature to vote on his plan for redistricting reform before lawmakers adjourn for the year on Monday. It is almost certainly not going to happen. Hogan has proposed putting a referendum on the November ballot that would ask voters whether they want a nonpartisan commission to redraw the state’s voting boundaries, which are widely considered to be among the nation’s most gerrymandered, or manipulated to give one party an advantage. In a state with an extremely popular Republican governor and a 2-to-1 ratio of registered Democrats to registered Republicans, all but one of the state’s eight congressional seats is held by a Democrat. The state constitution gives the legislature and governor authority to create congressional and legislative districts every 10 years.

Missouri: St. Louis County suffers ballot problems, voting confusion | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A voting debacle in St. Louis County left residents in more than 60 precincts unable to cast ballots Tuesday, leading the St. Louis County Council and Secretary of State Jason Kander to announce separate investigations. Gov. Jay Nixon called the problems “inexcusable,” adding: “The St. Louis County Board of Elections, and particularly its two directors, must rectify these mistakes, explain how they occurred, and be held accountable for this unacceptable failure.” Kander said his office’s Elections Integrity Unit would review the election in St. Louis County. He also called the election performance “unacceptable.”

Missouri: New proposal would only allow paper ballots in Missouri | KMOV

A St. Charles County lawmaker is pushing for a proposal that would get rid of electronic voting machines in Missouri. State Senator Bob Onder-R, Lake St. Louis, is the sponsor of a bill that would make paper ballots the only type of ballots available in Missouri when voters go to the polls. Onder has previously expressed doubts about the accuracy of electronic voting machines during recounts. The proposal comes in midst of a probe into problems with paper ballots in St. Louis County. On April 5, many precincts ran out of ballots or had ballots meant for other towns or wards. As a result, lots of voters were turned away. Only paper ballots were used on April 5. County election officials believe the mess would have been avoided if touch screen voting was available. Only paper ballots were used because officials believed there was not enough time between the presidential primaries and the April elections to properly test the machines.

Ohio: New Lawsuit Challenges Alleged Voter Purge In Ohio | TPM

Voting rights groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging what they described as a massive voter purge in Ohio. The lawsuit accuses the state of violating the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 — also known as the “Motor Voter” law — by taking tens of thousand of voters off the registration rolls because they did not participate in past elections. “As a result of these violations, numerous Ohioans have been disenfranchised in recent elections, and many more face the threat of disenfranchisement in the 2016 Presidential Election and future elections,” the complaint said. The lawsuit is being brought by the progressive public policy organization Demos and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, who are representing a state chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an African-American labor group, and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. It was filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio.

Wisconsin: Jury is still out on voter ID after first big test | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The state’s first major test of its voter ID law arrived with historic turnout and scattered long lines, prompting Republicans to dismiss claims it suppresses the vote and Democrats to maintain that it played a role in some delays. U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) also said Tuesday that he thought the law would take Republicans a small step closer to winning the presidential election in Wisconsin for the first time in 32 years, and a former legislative aide said he had quit the Republican Party over the voter ID law, calling it the “last straw.” In general, voting went smoothly Tuesday, but there were lines of an hour or more in a few locations statewide, especially near college campuses such as Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Wisconsin: GOP congressman: Voter ID law will help Republicans | CNN

A Wisconsin Republican congressman confirmed Democratic critics’ claims Tuesday when he pointed to the state’s new voter ID laws as a reason the Republican candidate will be competitive there in the general election. The candid assessment by Rep. Glenn Grothman, who supports Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president, came during an interview with Milwaukee news station TMJ4 at the Cruz campaign’s victory rally Tuesday night. Asked by reporter Charles Benson why Cruz would be able to turn a reliably Democratic state like Wisconsin red, Grothman said: “Well, I think Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up. And now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.” Grothman pivoted back to praising Cruz and the interview moved on without any follow-up.

Wisconsin: Voter ID requirement has largest impact for students | Associated Press

The huge voter turnout in the Wisconsin primary could have been even higher without the state’s new photo identification requirement, voter advocacy groups said Wednesday. The 2011 voter ID law went into effect this year after lengthy court battles and had its first statewide run in the February election. The state Government Accountability Board says the primary Tuesday went more smoothly than February at the polls, but some voters faced long lines and difficulties trying to obtain valid IDs. “Probably by far the population that seemed to be struggling yesterday were students attempting to use their student IDs to meet the photo ID requirement,” said Neil Albrecht, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission. Most college IDs aren’t acceptable as photo IDs under the law, so University of Wisconsin schools and other colleges have been providing students with free secondary ID cards specifically for voting. Those IDs include a signature and expiration date and must be shown alongside proof of enrollment.

Iceland: Government appoints new Prime Minister, to call early elections | Reuters

Iceland’s government named a new prime minister and called for early elections in the autumn on Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson quit to become the first global politician brought down by the “Panama Papers” leaks. It was unclear whether the naming of Fisheries Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson to head the government or the call for early elections would satisfy the thousands of Icelanders who in street protests this week demanded the government resign immediately for early elections. Gunnlaugsson quit as prime minister on Tuesday after leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm showed his wife owned an offshore company that held millions of dollars in debt from failed Icelandic banks. The government said the decision to hold elections in autumn would give it time to follow through on one of the biggest economic policy changes in decades – the ending of capital controls introduced to rescue the economy from the 2008 financial crisis.

Netherlands: Dutch referendum voters overwhelmingly reject closer EU links to Ukraine | The Guardian

Dutch voters have overwhelmingly rejected a Ukraine-European Union treaty on closer political and economic ties, in a rebuke to their government and to the EU establishment.The broad political, trade and defence treaty – which had already been signed by the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte’s government and approved by all other EU nations, and Ukraine – provisionally took effect in January. But on Wednesday 64% of Dutch referendum voters rejected it; the turnout was just 32% – barely enough for the result to be valid. Voters said they were opposing not only the treaty but wider European policymaking on matters ranging from the migrant crisis to economics.

Peru: Thousands protest against presidential bid by daughter of corrupt former Peru leader | The Guardian

The statue of José de San Martín astride a horse in the plaza named after the South American liberation hero in downtown Lima has seen a lot of protests. But a march against the presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori on Tuesday was probably the biggest since the end of her father’s decade-long rule in 2000. At least 30,000 people joined the march, on the 24th anniversary of the infamous “self-coup”, or “auto-golpe”, when her father Alberto Fujimori dissolved congress, assumed extraordinary powers and sent tanks and soldiers onto the streets. Alberto Fujimori, who led Peru between 1990 and 2000, was jailed for 25 years in 2009 for directing death squads, embezzlement and bribing the media to smear his opponents. Five years earlier, he had been listed as No 7 in a list of top 10 corrupt leaders in Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report. Peruvians vote on Sunday in presidential elections and Keiko Fujimori is currently the frontrunner, with polls showing her with more than 40% of the vote. But Tuesday’s march suggested she may yet face defeat if the vote goes to a second round.

Seychelles: Parliament Votes to Limit Presidential Term Limits | VoA News

Seychelles parliament voted on Tuesday to amend the archipelago’s constitution and limit presidents to two five-year terms in office, officials said, in contrast to wider Africa where many presidents have sought to extend term limits. The Indian Ocean island nation of 92,000 people elected James Michel as president in December 2015, giving him a third term in office, but among the promises he made during his campaign was to ensure the change in the law. The amendment required two thirds of the 32 lawmakers to vote in favor but all sitting members are from the ruling party except opposition leader David Pierre, who also supported the change.