California: ‘Still Sanders’ activists cling to hope of ‘flipping’ California | The Washington Post

It was billed as a “Still Sanders” rally, a way to shame CNN and the rest of the media for covering up the success of Bernie Sanders’s campaign for president. It took over a street in Hollywood area of Los Angeles yesterday — coincidentally, a day that Sanders was appearing on CNN to discuss his future plans. And to the faithful, it shared new information about how Sanders, counted out in California, was gaining ground. “It is absolutely true that San Francisco has flipped for Bernie,” said organizer and emcee Cary Harrison. This was not true. The consolidated city-county of San Francisco gave a victory to Hillary Clinton, of 116,359 votes to 99,594 for Sanders. As of June 24, there were no mail-in or provisional ballots left to count. Yet for a small group of Sanders diehards, California’s ridiculously slow count of mail-in and provisional ballots is a source of hope, and evidence of media’s failure. Since election day, three of the 58 California counties that at first seemed to vote for Clinton flipped to Sanders. A 12-point Clinton victory margin has shrunk to nine points. The relative lack of coverage here fuels events like the Still Sanders march, a look at a world in which the Vermont senator remains in the hunt for the presidency.

National: American south braces for election three years after attack on voting rights | The Guardian

The attack on voting rights unleashed by Republican lawmakers over the past three years has made casting a ballot in parts of the deep south as fraught as it was in 1965 before the Voting Rights Act banned racial discrimination in elections, electoral monitors say. Marion Warren, the registrar of voters for the small town of Sparta, Georgia, said that officials in local Hancock County have been so ruthless in impeding voting by the black community that the clock has been set back 50 years. “It’s harder for a minority to vote now than it was in the state of Georgia in 1965 – it’s causing voter apathy all across the county and that’s the best form of voter suppression you can find,” he said. Warren was making his bleak assessment on the third anniversary of Shelby County v Holder, the controversial ruling by the US supreme court that punched a gaping hole in the Voting Rights Act that for half a century had assured minority groups of untrammeled access to the polls. Decided precisely three years ago, on 25 June 2013, the ruling put an end to safeguards that had obliged the worst offenders – mainly states or parts of states in the deep south – to apply for federal approval before they tampered with any aspect of their voting procedures.

National: Trump foes try to create a ballot spot for a challenger-to-be-named | USA Today

The so-called #NeverTrump movement has not come up with a candidate to stop Donald Trump’s run for the White House, but a new group is trying to make sure that if they do, that candidate will have a place on ballots nationwide. John Kingston, a longtime Republican donor and ally of Mitt Romney, has put up seed money for a new group called Better for America to get a spot on ballots for a presidential candidate to be named later. “You have this moment this year that if you keep the option open, I believe there will be a time when the right American steps forward and says ‘this is country in crisis,’” Kingston told USA TODAY. “I’m basically keeping the option open for these folks.” The group, which launched in mid-June, has begun petitioning for ballot access using Better for America as a party name, planning to add a candidate name later. “You can get on a lot of state ballots with a party line, not a candidate line,” Kingston said.

Editorials: The Secret Power Behind Local Elections | Chisun Lee and Lawrence Norden/The New York Times

When the history of elections in 2016 is written, one of the central points is likely to be how little voters knew about the donors who influenced the contests. At the federal level, “dark money” groups — chiefly social welfare nonprofits and trade associations that aren’t required to disclose their donors and, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, can spend unlimited amounts on political advertising — have spent three times more in this election than they did at a comparable point in 2012. Yet the rise of dark money may matter less in the race for president or Congress than for, say, the utilities commission in Arizona. Voters probably know much less about the candidates in contests like that, which get little news coverage but whose winner will have enormous power to affect energy company profits and what homeowners pay for electricity. For a relative pittance — less than $100,000 — corporations and others can use dark money to shape the outcome of a low-level race in which they have a direct stake. Over the last year, the Brennan Center analyzed outside spending from before and after the 2010 Citizens United decision in six states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine and Massachusetts — with almost 20 percent of the nation’s population. We also examined dozens of state and local elections where dark money could be linked to a particular interest.

Guam: Small change, big impact: Some 17-year-olds can vote | Pacific Daily News

If you’re a teenager looking to be involved in politics, this is your lucky year. The Guam Legislature recently passed Substitute Bill No. 279-33, which grants individuals who are 17 on the date of a primary election the ability to vote in that primary, as long as the individual will be 18 on the date of the general election that immediately follows. “I think this bill is a great idea,” says Shania Spindel, a Guam Youth Congress representative. “It will be our generation that will be experiencing what the next representatives have to offer.” The new bill will be applied to Guam’s upcoming primary on Aug. 27.

Ohio: Conflicting court rulings put Ohio’s voting rules in limbo | Associated Press

Ohio voter Keith Dehmann failed to list his birthdate when casting his absentee ballot in the 2014 general election and later tried to remedy the mistake. That same year, Linda and Gunther Lahm mixed up the envelopes for their absentee ballots and then overlooked birthdate errors when fixing the problem. All three eligible voters in the key swing state had their ballots tossed under laws one federal judge has ruled unconstitutional, and another found otherwise. The conflicting decisions for absentee and provisional ballots have put the state’s rules — and its voters — in legal limbo ahead of the presidential election as the issue is appealed.

Virginia: Records reveal little advance word to officials on voting-rights move | Richmond Times–Dispatch

When Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that he was restoring the political rights of about 206,000 felons, it came as no surprise to New Virginia Majority, which had fliers already printed encouraging would-be voters to register immediately. The progressive activist group got an official invite days ahead of the April 22 news conference and Tram Nguyen, the group’s co-executive director, had more than three weeks’ notice that the order was coming. “Now that I’m home and have let the news sink in, I’m literally sitting here crying,” Nguyen wrote in a March 30 email to Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson, then a deputy in the office, after the two met earlier in the day. “We’ve been asking for this since the Kaine administration. What this administration is doing is a game changer in so many ways—in particular, for the lives that you’re touching. THANK YOU!”

Virginia: GOP delegate sues for right not to vote for Trump at convention | The Daily Progress

Carroll Correll Jr., a Winchester attorney and Republican delegate to the party’s national convention next month, has filed a federal lawsuit asking for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction allowing him to avoid casting a vote for Donald Trump. “Correll believes that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president of the United States and that voting for Donald Trump would therefore violate Correll’s conscience,” according to the lawsuit filed Friday. “Accordingly, Correll will not vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot, or any other ballot, at the national convention. He will cast his vote on the first ballot, and on any additional ballots, for a candidate whom he believes is fit to serve as president.”

Australia: Young voters driving rise in intentional informal ballots, research shows | ABC

A rise in the number of people deliberately voting informally is likely being driven by the young, many of whom feel disaffected with the mainstream political process, new research suggests. A paper by University of Adelaide researchers, soon to be published in the Australian Journal of Political Science, charted the rise of informal voting at recent elections and cross-referenced those trends with other data. Lead author, politics professor Lisa Hill, said the focus was on the proportion of voters who deliberately handed in blank or defaced ballots, as opposed to those that had made mistakes filling the papers out.

Iceland: University historian elected president | Financial Times

Iceland has elected a university historian as its president, amid public dissatisfaction with political elites that was first sparked by the country’s banking collapse six years ago. Gudni Johannesson, who had been the frontrunner in the lead-up to the vote, was confirmed on Sunday as the winner of the presidential elections. He secured 39.1 per cent of the vote, ahead of Halla Tomasdottir, a private equity executive, on 27.9 per cent. Iceland’s banking collapse in 2008 led to a plunge in trust in politicians — a mood that further deepened this spring, when the country’s prime minister resigned following revelations that he and his wife had owned an offshore company, according to the so-called Panama Papers. Mr Johannesson, who is not affiliated to any of Iceland’s political parties, on Sunday promised to bring stability and a new leadership style to the small Nordic island. He said he would be a less political president than his predecessor Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who had ruled for 20 years and caused several controversies by vetoing parliament, especially over the Icesave legal dispute with the UK and Netherlands.

India: Electronic Voting Machines successfully tracked using mobile technology | Hindustan Times

Meghalaya has successfully conducted an exercise to ensure that mobile technology is implemented during elections across the state to track EVMs as per the instruction of the Election Commission. A pilot exercise was initiated successfully for 330 numbers of balloting units and for 288 numbers of control units in West Jaintia Hills district as per instructions of the EC,” Meghalaya chief electoral officer Frederick R Kharkongor told PTI on Friday. During the exercise the EVMs were tagged with bar codes and subsequently mobile phones were used to upload information and unique IDs of each and every EVM, he said, adding the same was immediately uploaded to a mobile application linked to a server located at Election Commission.

Russia: Is Moscow trying to influence Trump-Clinton race? | The Hill

The unknown identity of a mysterious hacker claiming to be the sole architect behind the infiltration of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has raised fears that Russia may be trying to influence the U.S. election. The idea sounds like the work of conspiracy theorists — but both security and foreign policy experts say it fits with a historical pattern of Russian intelligence operations. “I think it would naive of us to rule that out,” said Jason Healey, a director at the Atlantic Council who has worked on cyber defenses at the White House. The hack comes as the Senate is weighing its annual intelligence policy bill, which would establish a committee specifically to counter “active measures by Russia to exert covert influence.” The firm that investigated the breach for the DNC attributed the attack to the Russian government and most onlookers originally interpreted it as traditional espionage — a straightforward way of gathering intelligence about the American political landscape, something the U.S. itself does.

Spain: New election fails to clarify Spain’s political future | The Washington Post

Spain’s repeat election Sunday failed to clarify the political future of the European Union’s fifth-largest economy, as another inconclusive ballot compelled political leaders to resume six months of negotiations on who should form a government. The conservative Popular Party, which has ruled for the past four years, again collected the most votes in the election but still fell shy of the majority of 176 seats it needs in the 350-seat Parliament to form a government on its own. With 99.9 percent of the votes counted late Sunday, incumbent prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s party had picked up 137 seats in Parliament. That is better than the 123 it won in December but still means it will need allies if it wants to govern. Its earlier efforts to find support from rival parties after December proved fruitless. Even so, Rajoy declared he would make a push for power, telling a victory rally in Madrid, “We won the election, we demand the right to govern.”

United Kingdom: Scotland Starts Toward Independence Vote to Keep EU Ties | Bloomberg

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her government started work on legislation for a new referendum on independence after the U.K. as a whole decided to quit the European Union while Scotland voted to remain. Speaking after an emergency meeting of her cabinet in Edinburgh on Saturday, Sturgeon said she will also be seeking talks with European leaders and the institutions of the EU about ways of continuing Scotland’s relationship with the bloc. The semi-autonomous government will appoint a panel of advisers in coming weeks and convene a meeting of consuls from EU member states. “A second independence referendum is clearly an option that requires to be on the table, and it is very much on the table; to ensure that option is a deliverable one in the required timetable, steps will be taken now to ensure the necessary legislation is in place,” Sturgeon said in a televised statement outside her official Bute House residence. “We are determined to act decisively, but in a way that builds unity across Scotland about the way forward.”

United Kingdom: Young people on the EU referendum: ‘It is the end of one world, of the world as we know it’ | The Guardian

The vote to leave the EU felt personal for Amalie Rust O’Neill, a graphic design student born and brought up in Brighton but with family from Sweden, Poland and Ireland. “My family are the Polish builders. I am the person they are voting to keep out,” said the 22-year-old. “I felt sick, scared and sad.” After years of work for a degree, her hopes for the next decade were crushed on the same day as she got her results. And she feels they were torn up by an older generation with no concern for either the future of their country or the dreams of its young people. “As a creative, living and working abroad has always been a dream. The fact that it has been stripped away is horrible. The fact that people chose to strip it away is worse,” she says. That anger and despair was echoed by young people around the country, who chose overwhelmingly to stay inside Europe and now feel betrayed by the older voters who secured victory for Brexit. About three-quarters of 18- to 24-year-olds who voted cast ballots for Remain, while three in five over-60s opted to Leave, surveys show.

Editorials: Brexit, “Regrexit,” and the impact of political ignorance | Ilya Somin/The Washington Post

Since last week’s Brexit vote, new evidence has emerged suggesting that the result many have been influenced by widespread political ignorance. In the immediate aftermath of the vote, there was a massive spike in internet searches in Britain asking questions like “What is the EU?” and “What does it mean to leave the EU?” Obviously, reasonably well-informed voters should have known the answers to these questions before they went to the polls instead of after. The aftermath of Brexit has also spawned the so-called “Regrexit” phenomenon: Britons who voted for Brexit, but now regret doing so because they feel they were misinformed about the likely consequences, or did not consider them carefully enough. A petition on the British Parliament website calling for a revote has collected over 3.4 million signatures (Parliament is required to consider any petition that gets over 100,000 signatures, though it does not have to grant it).