Texas: Judge in Texas voter ID case agrees to allow affidavits at polls to cast ballots in San Antonio runoff | San Antonio Express-News

Texas’ strict voter ID law will be weakened to allow voters lacking required photo identification to cast ballots in a San Antonio special election by signing an affidavit, a federal judge ordered. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi has agreed to an affidavit option for voters facing a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining one of seven photo IDs accepted under state law. Ramos’ order is tailored specifically to the runoff election for the House District 120 seat vacated by former state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, but it marks the first time the state’s voter ID law will be implemented in a watered-down manner. The law has been used since 2013.

Virginia: Governor Says Fight for Felons’ Voting Rights Is Not Over | The New York Times

When Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia ordered the blanket restoration of voting rights to more than 200,000 former felons in April, Republicans who control the state legislature swiftly filed a petition in court, accusing him of exceeding his authority. And when the state’s highest court agreed on Friday, voiding the governor’s declaration in a biting ruling, that briefly seemed to put the matter to rest. But Mr. McAuliffe is not giving up so easily. And the decision may have laid the groundwork for more legal and political maneuvering in a state that both presidential campaigns regard as a major prize. After the Virginia Supreme Court said on Friday that the governor could restore voting rights only on a case-by-case basis, Mr. McAuliffe said he would forgo his blanket declaration — and, instead, individually sign about 206,000 restoration orders for ex-felons, including 13,000 who had registered after his April order. “I cannot accept that this overtly political action could succeed in suppressing the voices of many thousands of men and women,” the governor said in a statement. “The struggle for civil rights has always been a long and difficult one, but the fight goes on.”

Virginia: Supreme Court Decision Creating Trouble for Voting Registrar | WVIR

Thousands of Virginia felons who had their voting rights restored have had them stripped away again and the back and forth is creating quite a mess for state registrars. In April, Democratic Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe restored the voting rights of all of Virginia’s formerly convicted felons. On Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled the order unconstitutional. That puts thousands of felons and registrars in limbo. “There’s general confusion about how this is going to be handled,” said Anne Hemenway the president of the city of Charlottesville Board of Elections. Of the 200,000 felons of what their voting rights restored, 13,000 already registered to vote. “There’s never been a situation where this many have been challenged at the same time this close to an election too,” said Hemenway.

Wisconsin: Election Commission Working To Fix Voter Website Glitches | Green Bay Press-Gazette

Barely two weeks before the next statewide election day, the people who run Wisconsin’s new voting information website are making last-minute changes in an effort to ensure that the site does what it says it will. The month-old site, MyVote.Wi.Gov, was undergoing updates and outright fixes Friday afternoon in advance of the Aug. 9 primaries. And upgrades are likely to continue this week, State Elections Commission officials said. The biggest Friday fix repaired a glitch that made it so no one in Green Bay could look up his or her polling place via the site. Officials with the Elections Commission worked with the Green Bay City Clerk’s Office to solve the problem after being alerted by a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter that part of the site wasn’t working for anyone with a Green Bay address.

Canada: Political scientists recommend against electoral reform referendum, online voting | iPolitics

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform resumed its deliberations Monday after a two-week break, hearing from three political science professors who all opposed the option of a national referendum on electoral reform. Though Ken Carty (professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia), Brian Tanguay (professor at Wilfred Laurier University), and Nelson Wiseman (professor at the University of Toronto) expressed different views on which electoral system is the best for Canada, they were in complete agreement on the politically charged question of whether a referendum on electoral reform should be held, expressing a consensus against a national plebiscite. … All three also agreed that security concerns about online voting remain too great to try implementing it at the federal level any time soon. “The preponderance of experts are opposed to it, because…you can hack the system,” Wiseman told the committee, citing the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee as an example of a threat and e-voting “snafus” during the 2012 NDP leadership race, but adding that he could support its limited use for those with mobility issues.

Editorials: Putin’s suspected meddling in a U.S. election would be a disturbing first | The Washington Post

Credit for the internecine furor that disrupted the Democratic Party on the eve of its convention should go to Vladimir Putin. As The Post has reported, cybersecurity experts say Russian intelligence operatives were likely responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, as well as for leaking to the Moscow-friendly WikiLeaks website some 20,000 emails. The trove appeared online Friday, just in time to create discord between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as they headed to Philadelphia. To no one’s surprise, the emails showed that DNC staffers opposed the attempt of the socialist Mr. Sanders to take over the party. Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to announce her resignation, and — as Russia likely intended — Ms. Clinton’s campaign took a hit. Mr. Putin’s regime has tried to intervene in the internal politics of numerous European countries, from Ukraine and Moldova to Italy and France. But the evident attempt to meddle in a U.S. presidential election is a first. That may reflect the reckless aggressiveness Mr. Putin has embraced in foreign affairs since returning to the presidency in 2012. It likely also reveals Moscow’s judgment that it stands to reap a geopolitical windfall if Donald Trump is elected president.

Thailand: Military marches to get out the vote and keep control | Financial Times

Thai army cadets march in formation west of Bangkok with one goal: to win the people’s hearts and minds ahead of next month’s referendum on a new constitution. Fresh-faced student recruits, local government officials and schoolchildren thrust leaflets into the hands of shopkeepers, restaurant owners and passers-by — and urge them to vote on August 7 as a national service. “We want everyone to do this referendum,” says Chinnapat Laohachaibun, a 16-year-old green-uniformed cadet flanked by a banner showing the monkey-god Hanuman casting his vote. “If everybody does, our country can go forward.” Propaganda blitzes like these are taking place across the nation as the generals, who have cracked down on dissent since their May 2014 coup, seek to consolidate power along with their allies in the bureaucratic elite. At the heart of the plebiscite lies a paradox: the public is being pressed to turn out yet new laws threaten them with 10 years in jail should they debate the subject on which they are voting.

Zambia: EU Calls for Voter Education | allAfrica.com

The European Union (EU) has called for voter education to enhance effective participation in next month’s elections. EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) chief observer Cecille Kyenge said this yesterday when she met some Copperbelt civil society organisations at Mukuba Hotel in Ndola to discuss their activities and contributions to the electoral process. Ms Kyenge said the voters were an important component in the electoral process and that having met Ndola-based civil society organisations, the mission was pleased with their strong dedication.

National: As Democrats Gather, a Russian Subplot Raises Intrigue | The New York Times

An unusual question is capturing the attention of cyberspecialists, Russia experts and Democratic Party leaders in Philadelphia: Is Vladimir V. Putin trying to meddle in the American presidential election? Until Friday, that charge, with its eerie suggestion of a Kremlin conspiracy to aid Donald J. Trump, has been only whispered. But the release on Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, many of them embarrassing to Democratic leaders, has intensified discussion of the role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 campaign. The emails, released first by a supposed hacker and later by WikiLeaks, exposed the degree to which the Democratic apparatus favored Hillary Clinton over her primary rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and triggered the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party chairwoman, on the eve of the convention’s first day. Proving the source of a cyberattack is notoriously difficult. But researchers have concluded that the national committee was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. And metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers. Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the thefts were ordered by Mr. Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.

National: Clinton campaign — and some cyber experts — say Russia is behind email release | The Washington Post

A top official with Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Sunday accused the Russian government of orchestrating the release of damaging Democratic Party records in order to help the campaign of Republican Donald Trump — and some cyber security experts in the U.S. and overseas agree. The extraordinary charge came as some national security officials have been growing increasingly concerned about possible efforts by Russia to meddle in the election, according to several individuals familiar with the situation. Late last week, hours before the records were released by the website Wikileaks, the White House convened a high-level security meeting to discuss reports that Russia had hacked into systems at the Democratic National Committee.

National: Under pressure from Bernie Sanders, Democrats poised to change how they pick nominees | Los Angeles Times

Democrats reached an agreement on Saturday that could sharply reduce the influence of superdelegates in the next presidential election, resolving an emotionally charged issue that threatened to boil over this week. The deal represents another way Bernie Sanders has left his mark on the Democratic Party despite being defeated by Hillary Clinton in the primary. The party’s policy platform has already been modified to reflect some of the Vermont senator’s goals, including a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage and free tuition for many college students. Superdelegates, who are elected officials and party leaders who can throw their support to a presidential candidate independent of state primary results, have been a fault line this year. They overwhelmingly backed Clinton, sometimes even pledging their support before the first primary vote was cast. Although superdelegates didn’t deliver Clinton her victory — she also won the popular vote and a greater number of pledged delegates — Sanders has argued that they play an undemocratic role in the nominating process. The final deal approved by the rules committee on Saturday will create a commission that will draft changes to the superdelegate system. Only elected officials would be allowed to be superdelegates, reducing their numbers by two-thirds.

California: Some say it’s time California had statewide rules for provisional ballots | Los Angeles Times

Once reserved for emergency situations, provisional ballots were freely handed out across California on June 7 as a Times analysis finds they were used by more than one of every five primary voters who showed up at a polling place. But the wide use of provisional ballots has not been matched by any broad statewide oversight, with rules changing from one county to the next dictating when they are used and how elections officials decide whether to count them as valid votes. “You think it would be clean and simple,” said Donna Tarr, a resident of Rolling Hills Estates who volunteered to observe provisional ballot counting in Los Angeles County last month. … Tarr, 64, was one of several supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who descended on county elections offices after the June election to observe how provisional ballots were processed and how many were actually counted. When she and others complained that some provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated “no party preference” voters were not being correctly counted in the Democratic presidential race, Los Angeles County elections officials quickly stepped in to fix the problem.

Illinois: State Supreme Court to consider remap ballot measure | Associated Press

The Illinois Supreme Court agreed Friday to quickly take up a case challenging the constitutionality of a ballot measure that could alter the way Illinois draws its political maps. Just 2 days after a Cook County judge ruled the redistricting question was unconstitutional for November’s ballot, the state’s high court granted an emergency motion for direct appeal and set a briefing schedule, bypassing the appellate court. A group called the Independent Map Amendment cited an Aug. 26 State Board of Elections deadline to get on the ballot in their request to the court. They’ve proposed an 11-member commission be in charge of drawing the state’s legislative boundaries, instead of party leaders. It’s the second time since 2014 supporters of redistricting reform have tried to get the high stakes issue before voters.

Kentucky: Special elections prove costly for Kentucky counties | Daily Independent

Boyd County will spend $80,000 for a one-question “wet” election on packaged alcohol sales — three months before it spends another $90,000 on the presidential election. Kentucky law bars counties across the state from holding local-option elections on the same day as primary and general elections, if the special election is county wide. “That’s so archaic,” said Boyd County Judge-Executive Steve Towler. “It’s utterly ridiculous to have a special election for one question.” County clerks across the state have lobbied Kentucky legislature to amend KRS 242.030 to help alleviate the cost of county-wide, local-option elections. A previous bill, for instance, would’ve helped by requiring the petitioners calling for a vote on county-wide alcohol sales to cover part of the cost. House Bill 621, the most recent attempt to alter the statute, was halted last March.

Tennessee: NAACP says Tennessee’s voter ID law makes it harder for poor, minorities to vote | Times Free Press

Local NAACP officials say it’s getting harder for poor people and people of color to vote, and they point to Tennessee’s 2011 voter ID law as part of the problem. “This year, we determine if America is a place for everyone or a place for a few,” said City Councilman Yusuf Hakeem, who spoke at the NAACP’s State of the Vote 2016 meeting this month. “Some of the obvious things that should tell us how important voting is, is the effort to keep people from voting, like the new voting ID Laws,” Hakeem said. “We don’t want to give people looking to the past a free ride by not even going to the polls.” The website WalletHub says Tennessee’s black voters are among the least politically engaged in the nation. The website said its research showed Tennessee ranked 43rd among 48 states for black turnout.

Editorials: Why this GOP-controlled court couldn’t stomach Texas’ voter-ID law | Scott Lemieux/The Week

The Republican Party fares much better in state and midterm national elections than in presidential election years. There’s an obvious reason: Fewer people vote in state and off-year elections, and these electorates tend to be whiter and more affluent. So it’s really no surprise that at the state level, Republicans have been passing laws that attempt to suppress the vote in all elections, so that every electorate looks like the whiter, richer off-year electorate. On Wednesday, however, a major Fifth Circuit decision dealt a serious blow to these efforts. Much of Texas’ particularly draconian voter-ID law was struck down, and the decision will almost certainly remain in effect in November. Even more important, the court identified the core problem with these laws: Their vote suppression is racially discriminatory.

Virginia: Felons Lose Voting Rights as Virginia Supreme Court Rules Against Governor | The New York Times

A divided Virginia Supreme Court on Friday overturned a series of executive orders issued by Gov. Terry McAuliffe that had restored the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons. The court, in a 4-to-3 decision, disputed the governor’s assertion that his clemency power was absolute under the state’s Constitution. “We respectfully disagree,” the majority justices wrote. “The clemency power may be broad, but it is not absolute.” The court ordered that the state’s Elections Department and its commissioner delete from voter rolls all felons who may have registered as a result of the executive orders, which were issued on April 22, May 31 and June 24. More than 11,000 felons registered to vote under the orders, The Associated Press reported. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons, noted that none of the 71 preceding governors had issued a clemency order of any kind — including pardons, reprieves, commutations and restoration orders — to a group of unnamed felons without considering the nature of their crimes.

Virginia: Virginia Supreme Court Blocks Voting Rights for Felons | Wall Street Journal

The Virginia Supreme Court on Friday voided Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s effort to restore voting rights to 206,000 people with felony records. Mr. McAuliffe issued an order in April to restore voting rights to convicted felons who have served their sentences while also completing parole and probation, and followed with similar orders in May and June. He cast felon-disenfranchisement laws as a troubling tool that whites had wielded to suppress votes among blacks. The state’s high court in a 4-3 ruling struck down all the orders, ruling they violated Virginia’s constitution. The court’s majority said the “unprecedented scope, magnitude, and categorical nature” of the governor’s actions violated the legal limits on his clemency powers. Mr. McAuliffe can use those clemency powers on a case-by-case basis to restore a felon’s civil rights, but “that does not mean he can effectively rewrite the general rule of law” in Virginia that says convicted felons are disqualified from voting, the court said.

Wisconsin: State seeks fast-track appeal of voter ID ruling | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

With the presidential election only four months away, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is seeking to fast-track his appeal of a federal-court decision that scaled back the state’s voter ID law. On Friday, Schimel, a Republican, asked a federal judge to stay his decision made earlier this week, saying the court had acted improperly and that its ruling threatened to confuse voters in the run-up to an election. The state says it will appeal the ruling to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

China: New Hong Kong election declaration could backfire, former think tank head warns | South China Morning Post

The tightened government measure apparently aimed at barring pro-independence candidates from running in the Legislative Council elections could backfire, a former head of the Hong Kong government think tank has warned. The warning by Professor Lau Siu-kai on Sunday came as police were sent to “observe” a press conference hosted by the Hong Kong National Party, which advocates Hong Kong breaking away from China. ‘Accept Hong Kong is part of China or you can’t run in Legco elections’ Party convenor Chan Ho-tin however claimed initial victory as the pro-independence group was able to force the government to resort to such unusual moves. The police said the officer was from the Police Public Engagement Office, part of whose role is to build up contacts with various civic groups. The force said his presence at the press conference had nothing to do with “surveillance” or “spying”.

Gabon: Police charge at protesters, beat AFP cameraman in lead-up to election | AFP

Security forces in Gabon violently charged at demonstrators gathering in Libreville in the lead-up to presidential elections and beat an AFP cameraman covering the protest, a colleague said. Defying a heavy police presence, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in opposition to President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s candidacy for re-election on August 26, the AFP correspondent said. Some 15 opposition leaders also attended the protest, forming a human chain at the front of the crowd. Among them was presidential candidate Guy Nzouba Ndama, the former parliamentary speaker. The young protesters broke into song, chanting the national anthem as the security forces began firing tear gas at the crowd. Police then moved to break up the protest and several shots were heard, according to the AFP journalist who saw 70-year-old Nzouba Ndama running for cover with other demonstrators. Armed, masked members of the security forces grabbed the AFP journalist’s cameraman colleague and threw him onto a pick-up truck, even though his camera was clearly marked.

Russia: How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President | Defense One

Close your eyes and imagine that a hacking group backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin broke into the email system of a major U.S. political party. The group stole thousands of sensitive messages and then published them through an obliging third party in a way that was strategically timed to influence the United States presidential election. Now open your eyes because that’s what just happened. On Friday, Wikileaks published 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. They reveal, among other things, thuggish infighting, a push by a top DNC official to use Bernie Sanders’ religious convictions against him in the South, and attempts to strong-arm media outlets. In other words, they reveal the Washington campaign monster for what it is. But leave aside the purported content of the Wikileaks data dump (to which numerous other outlets have devoted considerable attention) and consider the source. Considerable evidence shows that the Wikileaks dump was an orchestrated act by the Russian government, working through proxies, to undermine Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign. “This has all the hallmarks of tradecraft. The only rationale to release such data from the Russian bulletproof host was to empower one candidate against another. The Cold War is alive and well,” Tom Kellermann, the CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures told Defense One.

Thailand: Monkeys go ape over voter list, rip papers to shreds in polling station | Asian Correspondent

A troop of 100 monkeys kicked up a storm in Thailand on Sunday, ravaging a voter list for the upcoming constitution referendum at a temple in the northern province of Phichit. Local media reported that about 100 pig-tailed macaques stormed the open hall of Wat Hat Mun Krabue temple, a designated voting station for the upcoming referendum on Aug 7. According to the Bangkok Post, investigators were dispatched to the scene upon receiving a report on the incident. After reaching the temple, Pol Lt Col Banchob Uthayo, one of the investigators sent from the Tambon Yanyao police station, found five out of 15 voter list pages ripped apart. The macaques also tore up seven pages of guidelines on voting which were also pinned on a notice board.

The Voting News Weekly: The Voting News Weekly for July 18-24 2016

ids_260Federal courts have reined in strict voter ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin, while a legal battle continues to rage over North Carolina’s rules mandating showing identification at the polls — even after lawmakers there took pre-emptive steps to soften them. PCWorld reports that this November, 15 states will still be using outdated direct recording electronic voting machines that don’t support paper printouts used to audit their internal vote counts. Mark Buchanan wrote about the potential impact of internet bots on the presidential election. An Illinois judge tossed from the fall ballot a constitutional amendment to take away the General Assembly’s power to draw legislative district boundaries, dealing a loss to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and a win to Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to block a Kansas election rule that could throw out thousands of votes in state and local races by people who registered at motor vehicle offices or used a federal form without providing documents proving U.S. citizenship. In a 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Court of Virginia on Friday struck down Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s executive order restoring voting rights to 206,000 felons, dealing a severe blow to what the governor has touted as one of his proudest achievements in office. Joshua Wong, the teenage leader who is the face of the youthful pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, was convicted of participating in an unlawful assembly that snowballed into a massive sit-in known as the Umbrella Movement and a Japanese court has found an election law provision denying prisoners the right to vote in a national poll is constitutional.

National: Rulings May Make Voter ID Laws Presidential Race Nonfactors | Associated Press

Federal courts have reined in strict voter ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin, while a legal battle continues to rage over North Carolina’s rules mandating showing identification at the polls — even after lawmakers there took pre-emptive steps to soften them. The court ruling almost certainly won’t be enough for Democrat Hillary Clinton to win fiercely conservative Texas in November, and Wisconsin has been reliably blue enough in recent presidential cycles that the legal setback for its voter ID law may not prove decisive, either. North Carolina could be enough of a swing state that the fate of its election rules may have an impact — but exactly where its voter ID requirements will stand by Election Day on Nov. 8 remains to be seen. What is coming into clearer focus is just how hard it could be for Republican-controlled states to enforce tougher ballot box restrictions that energized conservative activists when they were approved in statehouses around the country in recent years. That means an issue that looked to be a slam dunk for the right following the rise of the tea party in 2010 may actually be little more than an afterthought during this year’s make-or-break presidential election.

National: A hackable election: 5 things you need to know about e-voting machines | PCWorld

As the U.S. heads toward an especially contentious national election in November, 15 states are still clinging to outdated electronic voting machines that don’t support paper printouts used to audit their internal vote counts. E-voting machines without attached printers are still being used in a handful of presidential swing states, leading some voting security advocates to worry about the potential of a hacked election. Some makers of e-voting machines, often called direct-recording electronic machines or DREs, are now focusing on other sorts of voting technology, including optical scanners. They seem reluctant to talk about DREs; three major DRE vendors didn’t respond to questions about security. … While a hacked election may be unlikely, it’s not impossible, said Joe Kiniry, a long-time election security researcher. Researchers have found many security holes in DREs, and many states don’t conduct comprehensive election audits, said Kiniry, now CEO and chief scientist at Free and Fair, an open-source election technology vendor. “I would say that a determined adversary, with the standard skill that people like me have, would be able to hack an election nationally,” he said. “With enough money and resources, I don’t think that’s actually a technical challenge.” Voting results are “ripe for manipulation,” Kiniry added. Hacking an election would be more of a social and political challenge than a technical one, he said. “You’d have a medium-sized conspiracy in order to achieve such a goal.”

Editorials: Beware of Robots Telling You How to Vote | Mark Buchanan/Bloomberg

Voting is partially a social endeavor, in which people consider the opinions of others when making up their own minds. Increasingly, though, they’re being influenced by an inhuman force: software robots specifically designed to deceive them. Lest democracy be undermined, humans need help in distinguishing their brethren from the bots. Two years ago, in a report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the social networking site Twitter estimated that more than 23 million of its active user accounts were being run by “bots” — software agents or bits of code that act on their own to respond to news and world events. They interact with real users, never revealing their true nature.

Illinois: Judge knocks redistricting off Illinois ballot in loss for Rauner | Chicago Tribune

A Cook County judge on Wednesday tossed from the fall ballot a constitutional amendment to take away the General Assembly’s power to draw legislative district boundaries, dealing a loss to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and a win to Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. The ruling marked the second time in three years that the Independent Maps group suffered a major legal setback in attempting to ask voters whether the state should remove much of the politics from redistricting. The stumbling block was the same as last time, with a judge finding the proposal did not fit a narrow legal window for a petition-driven initiative to change the Illinois Constitution. Independent Maps chairman Dennis FitzSimons vowed to appeal the case to the Illinois Supreme Court, in hopes the question could still appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. Both FitzSimons’ coalition and the People’s Map group that filed the lawsuit anticipated that’s where the case would end up anyway.

Kansas: ACLU sues Kansas over voting rule for state, local races | Associated Press

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block a Kansas election rule that could throw out thousands of votes in state and local races by people who registered at motor vehicle offices or used a federal form without providing documents proving U.S. citizenship. The temporary rule, sought by Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach and approved last week by the State Rules and Regulation Board, will count votes only for federal races by that segment of new Kansas voters through Nov. 8, the date of the general election. It comes in response to a federal judge’s recent decision that voters do not need to show citizenship papers to register for federal elections as required by a 2013 Kansas law. If allowed to stand, thousands of Kansas voters will be denied their right to vote in state and local elections in a year when all 165 seats of the Kansas Legislature are up for election, the ACLU argued in its lawsuit.

Texas: Appeals court calls Texas voter ID law discriminatory, orders changes | Dallas Morning News

Texas’ voter identification law violates federal laws prohibiting electoral discrimination and must be amended before the November election, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the heart of the 2011 state law, widely viewed as one of the nation’s strictest requirements, ruling that it violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling does not nullify the entirety of the law, so voters will still need to show identification at the polls in November. But a lower court will need to create some form of interim relief until it can develop a more comprehensive solution for those who face obstacles to obtaining an ID. “The record shows that drafters and proponents of SB 14 were aware of the likely disproportionate effect of the law on minorities, and that they nonetheless passed the bill without adopting a number of proposed ameliorative measures that might have lessened this impact,” Judge Catharina Haynes wrote in the ruling.