National: How Donald Trump’s bizarre voter-watch effort could get the GOP in trouble | The Washington Post

After telling an audience in Altoona, Pa., that he would seek their help in policing the polls in November to root out voter fraud — something that even the state of Pennsylvania has noted doesn’t exist in any meaningful way — Donald Trump’s campaign nationalized the effort on Saturday morning. Now eager Trump backers can go to Trump’s website and sign up to be “a Trump Election Observer.” Do so, and you get an email thanking you for volunteering and assuring you that the campaign will “do everything we are legally allowed to do to stop crooked Hillary from rigging this election.” There are any number of problems with this, again starting with the fact that the frequency of in-person voter fraud in elections is lower than getting five numbers right in the Powerball. But there’s a potentially bigger legal problem noted by election law expert Rick Hasen of the University of California at Irvine: Trump’s unnecessary effort could be violating a prohibition against voter intimidation that applies to the Republican Party.

National: Suspected Russian DNC hackers also hit GOP, researchers say | Politico

Hackers linked to Russian intelligence services may have targeted some prominent Republican lawmakers, in addition to their well-publicized spying on Democrats, based on research into leaked emails published on a little-noticed website. The site, DC Leaks, launched in June but started getting new attention in recent days, when researchers said they had uncovered ties between the site and suspected Moscow-backed hackers. Those are the same hackers whom researchers have blamed for previous digital break-ins at the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “We believe DC Leaks is another Russian-backed influence outlet,” digital security firm ThreatConnect said in a Friday blog post.

National: Russia-linked hacker leaks House Democrats’ cell phones, emails | Politico

The alleged personal cell phone numbers and email addresses of nearly all Democrats in the House of Representatives have been released by the Russia-linked hacker that took credit for the digital break-ins of multiple Democratic organizations. The dump came as part of a large release late Friday of documents allegedly stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which acknowledged last month that it had been hacked. Other leaked documents include campaign overviews of specific House races, DCCC event memos and committee passwords. A hacker going by the name “Guccifer 2.0” — who claims to be behind the DCCC digital assault, as well as an intrusion at the Democratic National Committee — released the information.

Editorials: The Election Won’t Be Rigged. But It Could Be Hacked. | Zeynep Tufecki /The New York Times

Voting isn’t a game, of course, and we need to trust the machines that count our votes. Especially this year. Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, raised the possibility of “rigged” elections, and his former adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. has warned of a “blood bath” in such a case. A recent poll found that 34 percent of likely voters believed the general election would be rigged. It’s unclear what mechanism the Trump campaign envisions for this rigging. Voter fraud through impersonation or illegal voting is vanishingly rare in the United States, and rigging the election by tampering with voting machines would be nearly impossible. As President Obama pointed out in a news conference last week, where he called charges of electoral rigging “ridiculous,” states and cities set up voting systems, not the federal government. That’s true, and it means the voting machine landscape is a patchwork of different systems, which makes the election hard to manipulate in a coordinated way. But it’s still a bleak landscape.

Editorials: Echoes of Jim Crow for Sparta, Georgia Voters | The New York Times

The disastrous Supreme Court ruling that crippled the Voting Rights Act three years ago has emboldened aggressive new attempts at voter suppression by local officials in jurisdictions that have been freed from federal oversight. In Sparta, Ga., last year, white election officials decided to systematically question the registrations of more than 180 voters, mostly African-Americans, by dispatching sheriff’s deputies to flag them down. These voters were served with “courtesy” summonses ordering them to appear in person to prove their residence to officials or lose their voting rights. In an echo of the Jim Crow South, the black voters described how they were suddenly approached by a uniformed police officer challenging their right to vote.

Illinois: Governor vetoes automatic voter registration bill | Chicago Sun-Times

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday vetoed a bill that would have automatically registered drivers to become voters when they get a driver’s license, saying there were some “corrections” to be made to the bill before he could approve it. “Today I return the bill, however, to provide the sponsors and proponents with the opportunity to make some important corrections to protect the integrity of our election system and to comply with federal law,” Rauner said in his veto Friday. “We must also ensure that the State Board of Elections is provided with adequate time and resources to implement the bill’s provisions.”

Indiana: Rokita’s back on the ballot | Lafayette Journal & Courier

For the second time this election season, U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita was nominated as the GOP candidate for the 4th District. The Indiana Republican Party held a special caucus on Saturday morning to refill the spot that was left vacant last month after Rokita attempted to replace Gov. Mike Pence’s position as the Republican gubernatorial candidate. “I know we’re here, really, because I filled out a form to declare vacancy for this position after 69 percent of the people — Republicans — voted for me in the primary. And I feel I owe a little bit of an explanation,” Rokita said to the voters gathered at Faith East Community Center.

Kansas: Few affected by court rulings voted in Kansas primary | Associated Press

Few of the 17,600 Kansas voters at the center of legal fights over the state’s proof of citizenship requirements actually cast ballots in the Aug. 2 primary. Voting rights advocates won temporary court rulings in federal and state courts affirming the right to vote for people who registered at motor vehicle offices but never submitted citizenship documents. Overall, statewide turnout was 23.1 percent, with 403,532 votes cast. The unofficial count for the primary shows 9,032 provisional ballots were cast; provisional ballots are typically given out when there is a question about voter eligibility, such as someone who voted in the wrong precinct. And the Associated Press surveyed the state’s five biggest counties – Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Wyandotte and Douglas – that together accounted for 4,287 of those provisional ballots. The AP found just 37 voters in those counties who cast ballots because of the court decisions. But the Kansas Secretary of State’s office notes there won’t be a statewide number for how many of those were cast by voters affected by the rulings for another week or more because counties had until Thursday to canvass their provisional votes.

Michigan: Could we have a rigged election? Tracking the vote in Michigan | Detroit Free Press

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has raised the possibility of a “rigged” election in November, although it’s unclear how he meant the comment. The director of Homeland Security is talking about placing the country’s election infrastructure under the agency’s cybersecurity apparatus. The Internet is aflame with conspiracy theories. So how would somebody go about manipulating votes? The answer: With extraordinary difficulty. There are so many sets of eyes looking at the voting process, the machinery so locked up — literally locked up — that even the savviest hacker would have difficulty cracking the code. But the biggest barriers to election fraud may be a simple piece of paper, and humble precinct workers — who are paid barely above minimum wage, but are there out of a sense of old-fashioned patriotism and service and are hell bent on doing the job right.

North Carolina: Could North Carolina’s super-sized precincts slow voting? | Associated Press

The popularity of in-person early voting in North Carolina has allowed officials to defer action on several hundred bulging precincts that otherwise would slow Election Day voting to a snail’s pace. Forty-eight percent of the state’s 6.6 million registered voters now live in voting precincts with at least 3,000 voters — an important threshold in a previous state study — compared to 43 percent four years ago, according to an election reform group’s analysis. More than one-quarter of voters are in precincts with at least 4,000 voters, most in urban or high-growth suburban counties. “We now have super-sized precincts in North Carolina,” said Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina.

North Dakota: State preps for election after voter ID ruling | INFORUM

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said last week it’s too early to say what forms of identification will be accepted for voting in November’s election, but a plan is being developed after a federal judge recently ruled against the state’s new voter ID laws. On Aug. 1, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland issued a preliminary injunction requested by seven members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who sued Jaeger in January, arguing the voter ID laws passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2013 and 2015 were unconstitutional and disenfranchised tribal members. Jaeger, a Republican, said “the process of reverting back to the pre-2013 law is not as easy as the judge may have made it sound in his ruling.” He said he wasn’t able to say yet which IDs will be accepted at the polls come November. However, the state will comply with Hovland’s order, Jaeger said.

Puerto Rico: Puerto Ricans Flocking to Mainland Could Sway Swing States | Associated Press

Residents of Puerto Rico can’t vote in presidential elections. But with the island’s economy in shambles, many are fleeing to the U.S. mainland, potentially shifting demographic norms in some of the most closely contested states. The impact of Puerto Rican migrants on the election hinges on how successful voting advocates are in getting them to the polls, with many focused more on finding jobs, homes and schools. Together, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio — three pivotal states in the fall — absorbed more than 22,500 Puerto Rican migrants in 2013 alone. Many more Puerto Ricans already living on the mainland have relocated to these states from traditional hubs such as New York.

Wisconsin: Judge blocks portion of voter ID | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

A federal judge late Thursday blocked a portion of his own ruling on the state’s voter ID law, suspending for now a requirement that the state reform the way it deals with people who have the most difficulty getting photo identification. The ruling by Judge James Peterson in Madison is modest and leaves in place the rest of his ruling, which struck down limits on early voting, a requirement that municipalities allow early voting in only one location and other election laws. It’s the second ruling this week affecting the state’s voter ID law leading up to the Nov. 8 presidential election. On Wednesday, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals halted a ruling by a different judge, Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee, that would have allowed people to vote without an ID if they signed a statement at the polls saying they could not easily get one. Both decisions remain under appeal, and further changes to such laws could occur between now and the election.

Cambodia: Computer System to Register Voters | Khmer Times

Cambodia’s new voter registration system will use a computer program to register eligible citizens who have a national identity card and are over the age of 18 before election day, according to a National Election Committee (NEC) technical officer at a media training event on Friday. Tob Rethy, head of the department of voter database management and NEC voter lists, explained the registration process and addressed reporters’ security concerns. “The names of villages, communes, districts, provinces, capitals and other important details are already included in the program, meaning program users are not allowed to write or add more villages or communes,” he said. “We will use a 3G service to send the data to the server at the NEC head office in Phnom Penh. In case data cannot be sent through the Internet, the user can store it on a flash card or SD card, then send the data file to the NEC commune office for forwarding to the capital,” he said.

Malaysia: Early polls for Malaysia? | The Star Online

The word in Putrajaya these days is that the next general election will be held as early as next year although the term of the present administration will only end in May 2018. All indications point to the possibility of an early poll and the order has been given to heads of the Barisan Nasional component parties to activate their campaign machinery soon. One component party has already notified its chosen candidates to enable them to get down to work in the respective parliamentary constituencies and to work with the respective division heads to get operations started. Last week, former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam predicted that the Barisan will hold the next general election “very soon,” saying this had to be done before Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, gained a foothold.

United Kingdom: Labour NEC wins bid against allowing new members a leadership vote | The Guardian

Labour’s ruling body has won its bid to overturn a high court decision allowing new party members to vote in the forthcoming leadership election, a ruling that could bar tens of thousands of supporters of Jeremy Corbyn from voting in the ballot. The ruling by three court of appeal judges, Lord Justice Beatson, Lady Justice Macur and Lord Justice Sales, will mean 130,000 new members who joined less than six months ago will not be able to vote in the forthcoming poll between Corbyn and Owen Smith for the Labour leadership. Corbyn’s campaign condemned the decision as wrong “both legally and democratically”, warning that it threatened to disenfranchise members who were explicitly told upon joining the party that they would have a vote in any leadership election. “Crucial to the outcome today was the introduction of a new argument by the Labour party HQ’s lawyers, who invoked an obscure clause in the Labour party rules (chapter 4, clause II, 1A), which could be read as giving the NEC the right to ignore all of the rules laid out for leadership elections,” a campaign spokesman said. “In other words, this is a ‘make it up as you go along’ rule. We do not think that making it up as you go along is a reasonable way to conduct democracy in our party.”

Zambia: Lungu Leading as Opposition Demands Partial Recount | Bloomberg

Zambian president Edgar Lungu led his main election challenger Hakainde Hichilema as the vote count drew to a close amid complaints of irregularities by the main opposition and demands for a recount in the province with the most registered voters. Verified results from 132 of the 156 constituencies showed Lungu with 50.1 percent of the 2.9 million valid votes cast on Aug. 11 and Hichilema with 47.7 percent, the Electoral Commission of Zambia said Sunday. A candidate must win a majority to avoid a runoff. A high voter turnout and delays in transmitting results from regional centers has held up the release of tallies, commission Chairman Esau Chulu said Saturday. “We have formally requested a recount in Lusaka urban constituencies due to the high number of irregularities identified in the counting and transmission process,” Stephen Katuka, secretary general at Hichilema’s United Party for National Development, said in an e-mail. “The evidence clearly shows that without this recount the election would be severely compromised and could result in a stolen election.”
The law provides that the party can raise a petition within seven days “if they feel that something is not right,” Electoral Commission of Zambia spokesman Crispin Akufuna said in an interview.