We applaud U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren for adding her voice of support to voting rights for Americans living in Guam and other U.S. territories. She said citizens in the territories are treated like “second-class citizens” because they can’t vote in presidential elections, aren’t represented in the Senate and only have a nonvoting delegate in Congress. “I just have to say this is absurd,” Warren said at a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in Washington, D.C., earlier this week. “Four million Americans live on American soil and can only participate in our democracy, but only if they leave home. At their homes — on U.S. soil — all of their representation rights disappear.”
Kansas: Errors in Kansas’ Spanish voting guide include wrong registration deadline | The Kansas City Star
Spanish-language voter guides distributed by the Kansas secretary of state’s office did not match the English-language version and contained errors that could have resulted in people being unable to register and vote. The errors added fuel to complaints that Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s voter registration policies pose hurdles for some voters, including minorities. Ongoing lawsuits challenge the proof-of-citizenship requirements he wrote and shepherded through the Legislature. Craig McCullah, who is in charge of the office’s publications and a spokesman for Kobach, accepted responsibility for the errors and said they resulted from a clerical mistake in updating the guides for this year’s elections. “It was an administrative error that I am diligently working to fix,” he said.
Editorials: Kris Kobach is incompetent in Kansas and a national disgrace, too | Yael T. Abouhalkah/The Kansas City Star
The last week has exposed the incompetence of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach at home and his standing as a national embarrassment as a public official. For a guy who wants to wipe out “voter fraud” — which national experts have shown time and time again does not exist — Kobach appears to be involved in his own fraudulent attempts to prevent people from voting. Right now, Kansas residents are left to wonder who’s minding the shop at the secretary of state’s office as Kobach gallops around the country seeking fortune and fame. There’s so much to cover, but let’s start with this. On Friday, Johnson County court records show Kobach’s office suddenly dismissed misdemeanor counts related to unlawful voting against Betty Gaedtke “without intent to refile.” A jury trial scheduled for Monday was canceled.
A leading Democratic senator said Friday that Gov. Larry Hogan (R) may be open to a compromise proposal for redrawing the boundaries of congressional districts, after his own plan has stalled in the legislature for three months. Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery) said he met with Hogan, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and the governor’s chief of staff for nearly 25 minutes on Friday in a spirited discussion about Raskin’s proposal to create a “Potomac compact” that would allow an independent panel to draw congressional lines for Maryland and Virginia. Raskin’s rationale is that a two-state approach would offset Democratic losses in Maryland as a result of boundaries being redrawn with similar GOP losses in Virginia. “I found them very receptive to the idea,” Raskin said after his meeting Friday.
The Maryland Senate on Thursday killed a bill that would have automatically registered people to vote when getting their driver’s license. Some senators, mainly Republicans, had raised concerns that non-citizens wouldn’t be weeded out of the voter rolls, because they can receive driver’s licenses. Concerns also were raised that domestic violence victims or people who want to keep their identity as private as possible would be automatically on voting databases. In a rare maneuver, opponents asked for a roll call vote on adopting the report on the bill from the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. Usually committee reports are adopted without a recorded vote. The vote was 21-24, killing the bill.
Members from the Missouri NAACP, Empower Missouri, Missouri Faith Voices and other groups spoke at the Capitol Thursday to denounce the measure in the Missouri Senate that would make photo voter ID legal. NAACP Missouri President Rod Chapel and his organization have been among the most vocal opposition to photo voter ID, which Chapel says is an attempt to disenfranchise certain voters. “Our opposition to HB 1631… is about fundamental rights,” he said. “It’s about being an American, it’s about being a Missourian.”
The Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana is considering taking legal action against Blaine County and the Secretary of State of Montana for failing to provide equal access to the right to vote for tribal members, according to the tribe’s president. Fort Belknap Indian Community President Mark Azure said the tribe has retained the services of Timothy Purdon and Brendan Johnson of Robins Kaplan – the former attorneys general of North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively – and Bryan Sells, who was previously working in civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice before starting his own law practice. “We have made multiple requests of Blaine County officials for equal access to in-person late registration and absentee balloting on the Fort Belknap Reservation going back to August 2014,” Azure said.
A federal court ruled two months ago Republican legislators weren’t legally justified in turning two North Carolina congressional boundaries into majority-black districts and ordered new lines. Starting Monday, another panel of three federal judges convenes a weeklong trial deciding whether close to 30 of the 170 state House and Senate districts approved almost five years ago by the General Assembly also are illegal racial gerrymanders and must be redrawn. Voters in the challenged districts who sued make largely the same arguments that won out in February’s separate congressional litigation. They say legislators created too many minority-majority districts when evidence shows black voters have been able to elect their preferred candidates in districts when their voting-age population was well below 50 percent. The congressional district ruling forced lawmakers to quickly redraw the map and delay the March congressional primary until June. It’s unclear whether, if the legislative plaintiffs are successful, new boundaries would be ordered for this year.
The Utah Supreme Court ruled against the Utah Republican Party on Friday, mandating that candidates — not the party — can choose how to access the primary election ballot. The ruling comes during an ongoing battle over Utah’s new election law, SB54, which gives candidates the option to collect signed petitions, go through the state’s longstanding caucus and convention system, or both to secure a spot in the primary election. The GOP argued that the statute allows the decision to rest with the party, which should be able to preclude a member from gathering signatures. It’s an attempt — with the party’s conventions taking place this month — to recognize only those candidates who go through the party’s conventions. But the state has contended that SB54 allows the candidate to choose his or her own pathway to the ballot.
Long lines at polling places on several college campuses during last week’s primary election had at least one thing in common: students who waited until the last minute to register to vote. Due to new voting laws in Wisconsin, college students who are already juggling classes, homework and jobs have their work cut out for them before they can fill in an election ballot. If they don’t figure out what documents they need until election day, they may show up at the polls to register without the proper photo ID or proof of current address. That can create bottlenecks in voting wards with high student turnout. Student leaders on campuses in Wisconsin and elsewhere are figuring out creative ways to build excitement around registering to vote. That could be the key to managing a heavy voter turnout on election day in November, when a new crop of freshmen and out-of-state students will be eligible to cast ballots, along with upperclassmen who tend to move often and will have to fill out change-of-address forms.
Chad voted in a presidential election on Sunday with incumbent Idriss Deby running for a fifth term in office, arguing that only his government can maintain stability in the face of a threat from Islamist militants. Boko Haram has staged a series of attacks in Chad in the past year as part of a campaign to expand its Islamist insurgency from bases in northeastern Nigeria into neighboring countries. Chad has one of the most capable armies in the region and Deby has played a key role in efforts backed by the West to combat the group, which is linked to Islamic State, as well as other militants linked to al Qaeda. “I call on Chadians to vote in calm and serenity. Our country is starting from a long way back but the future looks bright. I ask all politicians to respect the verdict of the ballot box,” Deby told journalists as he voted.
Comoros election officials began counting ballots late Sunday after a tense three-way presidential run-off poll featuring the current vice president and a former coup leader who ruled the country for seven years. The day of voting was marred by a number of incidents notably on Anjouan, one of the three islands which make up the Indian Ocean archipelago. Results in the race to succeed outgoing President Ikililou Dhoinine are not expected before Wednesday. The second round of the presidential race comes after Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi — known as Mamadou — won the disputed first round in February with 17.88 percent of the vote.
Djibouti opposition leaders are rejecting the results of the country’s presidential election, citing fraud. Djibouti’s ruling party declared on Saturday that President Ismail Omar Guelleh won Friday’s presidential election, gaining nearly 87 percent of the votes. Three candidates who ran against the incumbent told VOA Somali the result was “false.” The independent candidate Mohamed Muse Tourtour said, “A national vote-stealing occurred, it is false and I will not accept it.”
Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of a jailed former president, led Peru’s election on Sunday but she likely faces a tight run-off against centrist economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in a vote that would protect the country’s free-market economic model. Fujimori, whose father Alberto was Peru’s authoritarian leader throughout the 1990s, fell well short of the 50 percent needed for outright victory in the first round of voting and will likely be vulnerable in a second-round vote on June 5. With about 40 percent of votes counted, Fujimori had 39 percent support while Kuczynski, a former World Bank economist, had 24 percent and leftist lawmaker Veronika Mendoza trailed with 17 percent. A quick-count by pollster Ipsos also showed Kuczynski securing second place and heading to the run-off. Despite her lead on Sunday, polls have shown opposition to Fujimori has grown since the start of the year and many opposed to her father’s divisive rule will likely rally behind her rival, whether Kuczynski or Mendoza.
The bosses of some of Britain’s biggest companies are warning that they may refrain from further interventions in the debate about Europe amid concerns that they risk falling foul of strict campaign rules. Sky News understands that the Electoral Commission will publish new guidance on Monday setting out the scope of activities permissible for businesses once the referendum period formally begins on Friday. The decision to issue the updated rules comes after groups including the CBI warned the regulator that existing guidelines were mired in confusion.