The U.S. Supreme Court will let stand a lower court ruling upholding Delaware’s election law that requires advocacy groups to disclose the donors behind their political advertisements. The justices refused to hear a challenge to the law Tuesday. Delaware’s Elections Disclosure Act was cheered as the first major overhaul of the state’s campaign finance laws in more than 20 years when it passed in 2012 and was enacted in 2013. The law requires third-party groups and individuals to disclose their donors to the state elections commissioner if they publish advertisements or other communications, including internet postings, that refer to a candidate in the 60 days before an election. Previously, only groups that directly advocated for or against a candidate were required to disclose their donors.
The Indiana Supreme Court suspended former Secretary of State Charlie White’s law license Tuesday for a period of at least two years, according to court documents. White was convicted in February 2012 of six Class D felony charges, including voter fraud, perjury and theft. Prosecutors say he voted in a district other than his district of residency. White was sentenced in Hamilton Superior Court to one year of home detention and spent the following year appealing his sentence, claiming his defense attorney was incompetent.
Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union are asking a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to act quickly on their motion to block the use of amended federal voter registration forms that require Kansans to show proof of U.S. citizenship. In a letter to Judge Richard J. Leon, the ACLU said leaving the issue unresolved threatens to complicate upcoming state and federal elections in Kansas and the two other states involved in the case. “The federal primary elections will take place in Kansas on August (2), 2016, just over a month from now,” the letter stated. “The general federal elections will occur in November, a mere four months from now, and voter registration requirements in Kansas, Alabama and Georgia require resolution well before then.”
A Crow Wing County resident Tuesday raised concerns about whether a barcode on his ballot could contain identifying information. Charlie Makidon of Gail Lake Township told the county board during open forum he believes the primary election ballot he received by mail is “marked” by a QR code printed at the bottom. “To 99 percent of the people, this is a marked ballot,” Makidon said. “What does the code say? Does it say, ‘Republican, throw it away?’ Does it say, ‘Democrat, count twice?'” Makidon said he called the county Monday for more information on the code, which is a type of machine-readable barcode that can store website URLs, phone numbers, email addresses and other alphanumeric data. The codes have proliferated in recent years, along with smartphone apps allowing users to acquire the information they contain. An employee in the administrative services office first directed Makidon to call the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, who then redirected Makidon back to Crow Wing County. Administrative Services Director Deborah Erickson, whose office is in charge of elections in the county, called Makidon to discuss the matter. Erickson told Makidon the employee had erred in directing him to the secretary of state’s office.
Nevada: 6 losing GOP candidates file challenge, allege possible voting machine malfunctions | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Six Republican candidates for the Nevada Assembly who lost in the June 14 primary filed legal action Tuesday in Clark County District Court alleging “possible” malfunction of voting machines. The “statements of contest” seeks a judicial order requiring that the electronic vote tallies in their races be compared with the backup paper records. Those requesting the rare procedure are Diana Orrock, Steve Sanson, Connie Foust, Tina Trenner, Mary Rooney and Blain Jones. In a statement, Jones, who lost by 10 percentage points in Assembly District 21 to incumbent Assemblyman Derek Armstrong, R-Henderson, said the move is being sought to “ensure we know the full truth for each race.”
The U.S. Supreme Court will review an appeal by North Carolina to maintain the remapping of its districts this fall – a plan previously described as a “blatant, unapologetic, partisan, gerrymander” that could disfranchise the state’s minority population. The court added the appeal to its calendar Monday. Its decision to address the redistricting plan comes just five months after a three-judge panel rejected a legal challenge filed by attorneys for David Harris of Durham and Christine Bowser of Mecklenburg County. Attorneys argue that remapping of state’s 1st and 12th congressional districts limits the state’s minority representation. Those districts are held by Democrat Reps. G.K. Butterfield and Alma Adams, the state’s only two African-American congressional representatives.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections will not choose a company to provide electronic poll books until after the November election. The board was expected to award a contract to either Tenex Software Solutions or KNOWiNK this month. Director Pat McDonald notified both firms in writing Monday that the board “would like to see how both Tenex and KNOWiNK preform during the November Presidential Election, not only in Ohio, but throughout other states.” The board plans to test 200 e-poll books from each vendor at voting locations across the county on Election Day, McDonald told the firms.
Residents of a remote county in eastern Oregon where an armed group seized a federal wildlife refuge have voted overwhelmingly to keep in office a top local official who had denied the occupiers access to a county building. “I feel so good about the outcome,” Harney County Judge Steve Grasty told The Associated Press over the phone from the county courthouse in Burns. “The voters have spoken. What’s important is to move ahead, see where is the common ground … People won’t always agree but we can find what we can work on together.” Grasty had faced the special recall election Tuesday because he refused to let the activists, who said they were protesting federal land-use policies, use a county building to host a meeting. Supporters of the recall say Grasty violated rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.
The 2016 triennial House of Councillors or upper house election is set to test Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy and popularity. Although the House of Councillors is less powerful than the House of Representatives, past prime ministers have been forced to resign after poor electoral results in the upper house. Prime Minister Abe does not face that prospect. His party is likely to suffer losses, though not big enough to lose majority. Japan’s upper house consists of 242 members of which half is up for elections every three years. There are two types of electoral systems and each voter casts two ballots: one to choose 48 members from a national party-list and the other to choose the rest of 73 members from prefectural districts consisting of between one and six seats, depending on the size of the population. For example, Tokyo has 6 seats while there are 32 single-member districts, after readjustments made for this year’s elections.
It took Mongolian nomad Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar seven days to get to his polling station to vote in Wednesday’s general election — accompanied by more than 2,000 sheep, goats and horses. His family spends the year travelling around the Gobi Desert in search of pasture for their animals, maintaining a way of life largely unchanged for centuries. As the vote approached they were hundreds of kilometers from their polling station in Mandalgovi, the capital of Dundgovi province. So began the slow process of herding their animals north for the summer, following one of Mongolia’s few paved roads. The journey is a difficult one, said Shatarbaatar’s wife Otgontsetseg, but they feel a responsibility to make their voices heard.
Six months after an historic election that fractured Spain’s traditional two-party system but failed to produce a government, Spanish voters returned to the polls Sunday and, in an unexpected move, turned away from the two upstart parties that had burst onto the national scene in the December polls. Just days after the seismic shock of Brexit, Spain turned back to the safety of the known. The big beneficiary of the return to tradition was acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose center-right Partido Popular (PP) won 33% of the vote for 147 seats in the 350 deputy parliament, recovering 14 of the 63 seats it had lost in December and making it the only party that gained both seats and votes (almost 700,000) in the election.
United Kingdom: Second referendum petition: Inquiry removes at least 77,000 fake signatures, as hackers claim responsibility for ‘prank’ | Telegraph
Parliamentary authorities have removed around 77,000 allegedly fake signatures from an online petition which calls for a re-run of the Brexit referendum – with hackers taking responsibility for adding thousands of counterfeit names. It follows a formal inquiry launched less than three hours earlier, amid claims some of the more than three and a half million signatures it has gained since Friday may be fraudulent. A statement posted on the House of Commons’ petitions committee Twitter account on Sunday afternoon said: “We are investigating allegations of fraudulent use of the petitions site. Signatures found to be fraudulent will be removed”.