National: Online voting would be a ‘complete disaster’ according to Stanford Computer Scientist | Examiner

Imagine the convenience of being able to cast a vote from the comfort of a couch, coffee shop, library or a toilet if you’re truly trying to capture the spirit of the 2016 election cycle. Online voting may seem like a no-brainer given myriad of ways one can connect to the internet. However, according to David Dill, a computer scientist from Stanford, it would be a ‘complete disaster.’ It’s not just him that isn’t fond of the idea of putting the future of our country into computer, but security experts as well. “Computers are very complicated things and there’s no way with any reasonable amount of resources that you can guarantee that the software and hardware are bug-free and that they haven’t been maliciously attacked,” Dill said in an interview. “The problems are growing in complexity faster than the methods to keep up with them. From that perspective, looking at a system that relies on the perfectibility of computers is a really bad idea.”

Editorials: Ideas on Reconciling Critics of the Presidential Primary Process | Albert R. Hunt/The New York Times

It’s rare that President Obama and Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, agree. In recent weeks, they both have said that the presidential nominating process is not rigged. They are right. But that hasn’t stopped those displeased with the results — not only establishment Republicans but also Democrats who support Senator Bernie Sanders — from insisting on changing the rules for the next election. Some tweaks are always in order, but both sides are trying to craft procedures that would have benefited them this time. As with generals fighting the last war, experience shows this rarely works and often backfires. “Every time someone tries to game out this system,” said Benjamin Ginsberg, a leading Republican election lawyer, “the great law of unintended consequences rears its head.”

Editorials: The Supreme Court needs to settle American Samoa birthright citizenship | Mark Joseph Stern/Slate

Soon, the Supreme Court will decide whether to take a case of astounding constitutional importance. Its outcome could alter the rules governing citizenship, equal protection, and the power of the federal government. And it centers around a tiny chain of islands that you probably cannot find on a map. The question: Can Congress decide that an entire group of Americans—born in America, raised in America, allegiant to America—does not deserve United States citizenship? American Samoans, the group in question, have been Americans since 1900, when the United States acquired their territory in the midst of an imperialist expansion. Since then, residents of America’s other territories have either achieved independence or gained U.S. citizenship. But in 2016, American Samoans stand alone: Unlike people born in, say, Puerto Rico or Guam, they are not granted citizenship at birth. Instead, they are considered “noncitizen nationals,” a legally dubious term that effectively renders them stateless, a mark of second-class status imprinted on their (American) passports.

Editorials: Awarding presidential delegates by congressional district is unfair | Derek T. Muller/The Sacramento Bee

This year’s presidential primaries have exposed problems in the nomination process, and they’re highlighted by California’s uneven method of awarding its delegates. Most delegates in Tuesday’s primaries will be awarded to the candidates who win the most votes in each of California’s 53 congressional districts. While that system is designed to ensure that a candidate has widespread support and that delegates come from across the state, it produces bizarre results in districts dominated by one party or the other. The Republican Party will award three delegates per district. The Democratic Party gives districts between four and nine delegates, based on total population, plus extra delegates to districts with more Democratic voters. The 13th District in San Francisco has about 260,000 registered Democrats and gets eight delegates, or one delegate per 32,500 voters. But there are just 86,000 registered Democrats in the 42nd and 50th districts, and they each will award five delegates, or one delegate per 17,200 voters. It doesn’t take a math degree to recognize that Democrats in San Francisco will have less power than Democrats elsewhere in the state.

Louisiana: Foreign-born citizens in Louisiana have had to take extra steps to register to vote — until now | PRI

Until this week, naturalized citizens in Louisiana were required to go an extra mile to register to vote: After filing a standard registration form, potential voters born outside the US were required to submit proof of citizenship, in person, at their local registrar’s office. “It felt like we were targeted,” says Tu Hoang, an attorney in Louisiana. Hoang, 28, emigrated from Vietnam with his parents when he was five. He became a US citizen when he was 19 and registered to vote soon after. He was able to navigate the system without any hiccups, providing proof of citizenship with his voter registration form, but noticed an unsettling shift years later when he was organizing voter registration drives in the Vietnamese community of New Orleans. Around 2012 the procedure became more cumbersome — a shift other advocates also noticed. The proof of citizenship requirement became more strictly enforced and applicants were required to make an extra trip, several weeks after filing the registration form, rather than submitting both together.

Mississippi: Analysis: Early voting could make you a liar in Mississippi | Associated Press

Mississippi lawmakers this year rejected a proposal to stop making liars of their fellow citizens, at least when it comes to early voting. Current state law allows any registered voter who is disabled or at least 65 years old to cast an absentee ballot before election day. Anyone else needs an excuse, such as being out of town on election day, to vote early by absentee. A bipartisan study group led by Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann met in 2015 and recommended several election law revisions for legislators to consider this year. The group unanimously backed the concept of allowing voters to cast ballots in circuit clerks’ offices starting 21 days before any election, without having to give a reason. During a news conference at the beginning of the legislative session in January, Hosemann said about 9,000 people cast absentee ballots in Mississippi statewide elections. He said about one-third request mail-in ballots, while two-thirds go to a circuit clerk’s office to vote absentee. Almost half of the people going to clerks’ offices say they’re planning to be out of the county on election day.

New York: Audit: New York City Elections Board Lost Track Of Voting Machines | Associated Press

City Board of Elections officials have lost track of more than 1,450 pieces of equipment, including some voting machines, according to an audit released Monday. “If you can’t count inventory, how can New Yorkers trust you to count their votes?” said Comptroller Scott Stringer, who led an army of auditors carrying out the task. Election officials examined Board of Elections inventories over nearly three years, ending last February. Tracing more than 5,000 items out of about 11,000 inventoried, they scoured five board warehouses and other facilities to match the entries.

Ohio: State remains voting-rights battleground | The Columbus Dispatch

Doug Chapin knows it’s a cliche, but he can’t help himself when asked to explain why our state sees so many bitter battles over voting. “I think Ohio just ends up being the epicenter of the perfect storm,” says the elections-law expert with the University of Minnesota. He cites three reasons: No state is a more reliable barometer of presidential elections; few, if any, states have a more powerful secretary of state; and “the level of mutual partisan distrust in Ohio is as high as anyplace.” In case you’re skeptical of the latter point, you should listen to the litany Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper throws at GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted. Pepper, who teaches election law as an adjunct at the University of Cincinnati, points to how Husted and other state officials have been shot down “over and over and over and over” in various courts for trying to restrict Ohioans’ voting rights in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Puerto Rico: Vote count stalls in Puerto Rico as officials take day off | Associated Press

It will be a little while longer before final vote totals are known in Puerto Rico’s Democratic presidential primary, because the U.S. territory’s election commission workers took the day off on Monday. Officials will resume manually counting votes on Tuesday and expect to issue a final certification later that day, Roberto Prats, the island’s Democratic Party chairman, told The Associated Press. He said officials worked until nearly dawn counting results of both the presidential primary and a local primary in which voters narrowed their choice for the island’s next governor, legislators and mayors. “We will resume tomorrow morning and try to close the local and presidential primaries at 100 percent,” Prats said, adding that election workers received compensation time on Monday. Griselle Lopez, the elections commission spokeswoman, did not return messages for comment.

Virginia: State at Center of Racially Charged Fight Over the Right of Felons to Vote | The New York Times

On the night Barack Obama became the nation’s first black president, Leah Taylor, a fast-food worker and African-American mother of six, stayed up until 2 a.m. watching the election returns. “I knew that was history, and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. But she did not vote. Ms. Taylor, 45, has never voted. In 1991, when she was 20, she was stripped of her voting rights after being convicted of selling crack cocaine and sent to jail for a year. So she was stunned when an organizer from a progressive group, New Virginia Majority, showed up one recent afternoon at the church soup kitchen where she eats lunch and said he could register her. “Your rights have been restored!” the organizer, Assadique Abdul-Rahman, declared with a theatrical flourish, waving an executive order signed in April by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Ms. Taylor, so moved she nearly cried, promptly signed up. Thus did Ms. Taylor join a wave of newly eligible voters, all with criminal pasts, signing up in Virginia. But what Mr. McAuliffe granted, the Virginia Supreme Court may now take away. Top Republicans in the state legislature are seeking to block Mr. McAuliffe’s sweeping order, which re-enfranchised 206,000 Virginians who have completed sentences, probation or parole. Last week, the Supreme Court announced a special session to hear arguments in July — in time to rule before the November election.

Virginia: Supreme Court takes case claiming racial gerrymandering in Virginia | Politico

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Virginia case that could clarify how much consideration of race is permissible when legislatures or other bodies redraw district lines. The justices announced Monday that they will wade into a legal challenge to Virginia’s 2011 redistricting for the state House of Delegates. Civil rights groups and Democrats criticized the GOP-led process for packing too many African-American voters into so-called majority-minority districts. “This case gives the Supreme Court the opportunity to further clarify how exactly to determine whether race has been taken into account too much in the drawing of district lines,” said Rick Hasen, a professor of election law at University of California at Irvine. “It’s kind of a Goldilocks problem. You must take race into account somewhat to comply with the Voting Rights Act, but if you take into account too much the racial considerations you can get in trouble as well. The question is how do you know when you’ve gotten it just right.”

Australia: NSW Electoral Commission investigates allegations of Labor vote-rigging | Sydney Morning Herald

Allegations that Labor party officials misused electoral roll details to rig a community preselection are being investigated by the NSW Electoral Commission. Possible misuse of electoral roll information is proving to be a headache for the party during the run up the July Federal election with former party boss Jamie Clements last month charged by the NSW Electoral Commission for disclosing protected information to his factional ally, the disgraced union boss Derrick Belan. The new investigation was prompted by Fairfax Media revelations that Labor’s community preselection for the state seat of Ballina might have involved vote rigging. A senior figure from Labor’s head office in Sussex Street recently informed Fairfax Media that a party official had used a database called “Campaign Central”, which contains detailed information on voters including electoral roll details, to influence the outcome of a preselection ballot.

Kenya: Kenya’s Collective ‘Uh-Oh’: Another Election Is Coming | The New York Times

By 9 a.m. on Monday, clouds of black smoke blotted out the sky. A mountain of tires burned. Roads were blocked. Young men poured into the streets of a slum in Nairobi, gleefully carrying huge, jagged pieces of concrete. In Kisumu, a city on Lake Victoria, witnesses said police officers had fired on a crowd. A 5-year-old boy was in critical condition after being shot in the back. A demonstrator was killed. For the past several weeks, Kenya’s opposition leaders have turned Mondays into protest days. Now they are threatening to hold demonstrations twice, and soon four times, a week. Many Kenyans are shaking their heads with a sense of fatigue and dread, saying, Here we go again. Kenya is a relatively prosperous, developed and politically tolerant African nation. But elections have not been its strong suit. In the past 25 years, almost every presidential race has been marred by violence; the worst one was in 2007-8, when ethnic rivalries cracked open and more than 1,000 people were killed, many in deadly protests.

Kenya: Opposition Says Five Killed as Election Protests Resume | Bloomberg

Kenya’s main opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy accused the police of shooting dead five people in the western city of Kisumu during protests to demand electoral reforms. “At least five have been shot dead as of now, it could be higher,” party spokesman Dennis Onyango said by phone from the capital, Nairobi. The demonstration in Kenya’s third-biggest city will continue as it has been declared “legal and legitimate,” he said. Calls to police spokesman Charles Owino didn’t connect when Bloomberg sought comment. The party’s supporters marched on all but one Monday in the past month to demand the resignation of officials at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission over alleged corruption. At least three people were killed during one of the demonstrations when police fired at protesters, according to media including Nairobi-based broadcaster Citizen TV.

Mexico: Ruling party headed for stinging defeat in state elections | The Guardian

Mexican voters have punished the country’s deeply unpopular ruling party in regional elections, with early results suggesting that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has lost governorships in six states – including four where it had never lost power for more than 80 years. Dogged by allegations of rampant corruption and political thuggery, the PRI lost the Gulf Coast states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas, where kidnapping and extortion have reached alarming levels and drug cartels appear to operate with impunity. The results dealt a heavy blow to Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, putting the opposition National Action Party (PAN) – either alone or in coalition – ahead in seven of the 12 states which held elections on Sunday. “We’ve broken the authoritarian monopoly the PRI has held for more than 86 years,” a buoyant PAN leader Ricardo Anaya told cheering supporters after polls closed on Sunday.

Peru: Election comes down to last few votes | Financial Times

Peru’s presidential election hung in the balance late on Monday, with the economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski holding a narrow lead over Keiko Fujimori, daughter of a disgraced former president. With 95.36 per cent of votes counted, Mr Kuczynski was marginally ahead with 50.2 per cent, while Ms Fujimori was on 49.8 per cent. In an election where 17m Peruvians cast ballots, Mr Kuczynski’s lead was a little over 59,000 votes. But given the remoteness of some parts of Peru, as well as votes coming from overseas, the final result could be delayed until later this week. Ms Fujimori has lost a lead over the past week that had been as high as 8 percentage points after Mr Kuczynski ran a campaign focused on her father Alberto Fujimori. The once autocratic president is now serving time in prison for crimes against humanity.