National: Is there any practical way for Republicans to replace Trump at this point? Not really | Los Angeles Times

Donald Trump’s lascivious boasts about groping women, a common refrain emerged Saturday: The GOP nominee should withdraw from the ticket. The pleas to step aside came from many corners of the GOP universe, including Hugh Hewitt, the conservative radio host, and South Dakota Sen. John Thune, a member of the Republican congressional leadership. Trump has so far defiantly rejected calls to withdraw. But even if Republicans managed to persuade him to bow out, their political headache would not suddenly vanish. An attempt to replace Trump on the ticket would pose staggering logistical hurdles. For one thing, Trump’s name will undoubtedly remain on the ballot. Across the country, election officials have already prepped and printed voting materials. Overseas and military voters must receive their ballots 45 days prior to the election, a deadline that passed last month.

Editorials: New state laws discourage registering immigrants. How will that affect the Latino vote? | Heath Brown/The Washington Post

On Oct. 3, Latino Decisions released results of a poll of Latino voters, with fairly predictable results. Most respondents – 67 percent – rate Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton favorably, while 77 percent hold a dim view of Republican nominee Donald Trump. But here’s a surprising statistic: Only 38 percent said that any organization has encouraged them to register or vote. That’s more than the 31 percent who said they were asked during the last presidential election, but below the typical rates for whites, which was 43 percent (based on post-2012 election survey data). Other minority and immigrant groups have similar experiences. This year, only 30 percent of Asian Americans said that any group or party had gotten in touch to urge them to register or vote. Why? Most of the nonprofit groups that work with recent immigrants offer such services as language classes, job training, housing placement and public health support. They stay away from anything election-related, even voter registration. In my new book “Immigrants and Electoral Politics,” I show that’s partly because they fear that doing anything political could jeopardize their nonprofit tax status. I took up this research in part because very little scholarship had investigated these groups’ political activities.

Editorials: Troubling claims of ‘rigged’ election | The Japan Times

Of the many troubling things that Republican candidate Donald Trump has said during this U.S. presidential election campaign, the most worrisome may be his claim that the November vote will be “rigged” and that he might not accept the results when polls close. At the first presidential debate last month, the moderator had to twice ask Trump before he said that he would accept the outcome if defeated by Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton. Four days after the debate, he reversed himself, saying instead, “We’re going to have to see what happens.” It is hard to imagine a statement more corrosive for U.S. democracy. The authority of the president ultimately rests on his (or her) legitimacy as the winner accepted by all electors, even those that did not vote for him (or her). A loser, and especially one who has decried a political system that systematically disenfranchises significant parts of the public, who refuses to accept that verdict undermines the very foundation of the American political system and the individuals who exercise power through it. This disrespect for the democratic process is the most dangerous element of the Trump candidacy.

Voting Blogs: 2016: The Belt and Suspenders Election | Election Academy

It’s Columbus Day – and a holiday for many election offices – so this will be a short post before we dive back in tomorrow to the last four weeks of the 2016 election. I wanted to write today about something I’ve noticed so far about this election year. While I don’t do politics here, it’s fair to say that this year’s presidential campaign has been extremely unusual, and has generated very strong emotions in voters in just about every region of the country and around the world. Some of the reactions we’re seeing as a result are typical for a presidential year; heightened focus on election procedures (with “hacking” and “rigging” as this year’s theme) plus the regular rush on litigation as campaigns seek to clarify election rules – ideally to their own benefit – before Election Day. But this year I’ve also noticed something new; many voters are casting ballots and engaging with the election process earlier and in greater numbers than I can remember. Moreover, there seems to be an intensity and urgency that is unusual in my experience. In just the last few weeks, I’ve seen colleagues in the field report overseas voters returning Federal Write-in Ballots (FWABs) as soon as voting opened rather than wait for regular ballots to reach them and multiple registration forms and/or online registration transactions from the same voters – sometimes AFTER they had been sent a vote-by-mail ballot.

Florida: Federal judge extends voter registration deadline, rebukes state for ‘irrational’ decision | Miami Herald

A judge on Monday extended Florida’s voter registration deadline by one more day, through Wednesday, because of Hurricane Matthew, calling it “irrational” for the state to reject the idea. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker granted the Florida Democratic Party’s request for a temporary restraining order, which included a rebuke of the state for refusing to extend the deadline past its scheduled time of 5 p.m. Tuesday. “Quite simply, it is wholly irrational in this instance for Florida to refuse to extend the voter registration deadline when the state already allows the governor to suspend or move the election date due to an unforeseen emergency,” Walker wrote in a 16-page order. “If aspiring eligible Florida voters are barred from registering to vote, then those voters are stripped of one of our most precious freedoms.”

Indiana: An experiment in voter fraud | Dave Bangert/Indianapolis Star

The text came late one night last week, just about the time Indiana State Police expanded an investigation into potential voter registration fraud from nine to 56 of the state’s 92 counties. The question, boiled down, was haunting: Want to see how easy it would be to get into someone’s voter registration and make changes to it? The offer from Steve Klink – a Lafayette-based public consultant who works mainly with Indiana public school districts – was to use my voter registration record as a case study. Only with my permission, of course. “I will not require any information from you,” he texted. “Which is the problem.” Turns out he didn’t need anything from me. He sent screenshots of every step along the way, as he navigated from the “Update My Voter Registration” tab at the Indiana Statewide Voter Registration System maintained since 2010 at to the blank screen that cleared the way for changes to my name, address, age and more. The only magic involved was my driver’s license number, one of two log-in options to make changes online. And that was contained in a copy of every county’s voter database, a public record already in the hands of political parties, campaigns, media and, according to Indiana open access laws, just about anyone who wants the beefy spreadsheet. As promised, Klink made no changes, but he made his point. Let’s just say it was unsettling at best.

Mississippi: Legislature less inclined to restore felons’ voting rights | Daily Journal

Mississippi has an estimated 182,814 convicted felons ineligible to vote, according to a 2012 study by the Sentencing Project, a national nonprofit organization that works on criminal justice issues. Only Florida with 1.54 million felons or 10.42 percent of its voter-age population ineligible to vote had a higher percentage than Mississippi where 8.27 percent of the adult population was ineligible to vote, according to the study. While the Sentencing Project study might be a bit dated, more than likely the statistics have not changed much in Mississippi. Since 2012, which encompasses the time the current leadership has controlled the House and Senate, eight felons have had their voting rights restored by the Mississippi Legislature.

North Carolina: Governor and legislators argue against allegations early voting plans in 5 counties violate court order | News & Observer

Attorneys for Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. legislators contended in a document filed in federal court on Friday that early voting plans in five counties do not run afoul of a federal appeals court ruling. The response came six days after a group of voters represented by Hillary Clinton’s campaign counsel sought emergency intervention. The voters are represented by Marc Elias, a Washington-based attorney who, in addition to working on Clinton’s campaign, has been involved with a number of high-profile cases challenging voting rights restrictions in recent years. They asked a judge to require the state Board of Elections to modify early voting plans in Mecklenburg, Guilford, Forsyth, Nash and New Hanover counties. But attorneys for the state argued that the counties – four of which leaned Democratic in the 2012 elections – were within the bounds of a ruling this summer by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that invalidated much of a 2013 elections law overhaul.

Pennsylvania: No sign yet of Trump’s Pennsylvania ‘poll watchers,’ and why it’s unlikely anyway | BillyPenn

Donald Trump wants legions of his supporters to leave their hometowns on Election Day and set up shop in Pennsylvania’s cities. He wants to them to watch the polls closely and challenge voter registration. The unspoken directive is to wreak havoc. Make sure Democrats aren’t stacking the voting machines in favor of Hillary Clinton or allowing liberal voters to cast their ballots twice. “I hope you people can… not just vote on the 8th, [but] go around and look and watch other polling places and make sure that it’s 100-percent fine,” Trump said at an August rally in Altoona. “We’re going to watch Pennsylvania — go down to certain areas and watch… The only way we can lose, in my opinion — and I really mean this, Pennsylvania — is if cheating goes on.” When Trump talks about poll watching in “certain areas,” his supporters know where he’s referring to. He’s talking about Philadelphia and, to some degree, Pittsburgh — the state’s Democratic strongholds, and places where conservative media (“Call Sean Hannity!” etc.) say voter fraud has happened.

Wisconsin: Legislative attempts to make it easier for felons to vote almost always fail | News21

Republican and Democratic politicians across the country are deeply divided over restoring the right to vote to felons, a political fracture that affects millions of convicted criminals. In Iowa and Kentucky, Democratic governors issued executive orders to restore voting rights to many felons — only to have them rescinded by Republican governors who succeeded them. Democratic legislators in 29 states proposed more than 270 bills over the past six years that would have made it easier for some felons to vote but very few passed, especially in legislatures controlled by Republicans, News21 found in an analysis of state legislative measures nationwide. Debate and decisions about restoring voting rights to felons often follow partisan lines because felons, particularly African-Americans, are viewed as more likely to vote Democratic than Republican, voting rights experts told News21. Nationwide, 1 in 13 black voters is disenfranchised because of a felony conviction as opposed to 1 in 56 non-black voters, according to The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on criminal justice sentencing policies and racial disparities.

Lithuania: Premier’s Party Set to Lose Power After Election | Bloomberg

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius’s Social Democrats were pushed into third place in parliamentary elections as voters voiced disquiet over pay and opportunities in the tiny Baltic nation that seven years ago became a trailblazer for European Union austerity. Sunday’s national vote left the Peasants & Green Union and the Homeland Union-Christian Democrats neck and neck on 21.6 percent with almost all ballots counted. The Social Democrats had 14.4 percent, with support for the ruling coalition they lead sinking on persistent emigration, sluggish salary growth and a procurement scandal that worsened already frosty ties with President Dalia Grybauskaite. “The dominant scenario is that the Peasants and Homeland will form the basis of a new center-right coalition,” Ramunas Vilpisauskas, director of the Institute for International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, said Monday by e-mail. With a second round of voting in single-mandate constituencies to come on Oct. 23, the “big intrigue” is which party will have a better bargaining position to nominate the next premier, he said.

Montenegro: NATO membership at stake as Montenegro heads to the polls | New Europe

Montenegro is entering the final week of its most significant electoral encounter for over a decade. The result could affect the process of NATO and EU enlargement in the Balkans. On Sunday October 16 Montenegro goes to the polls for the fourth time since it declared its independence in 2006. 18 electoral lists will compete for 81-seats in the parliament. The election campaign is deeply divided among those who favor and those who oppose European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Morocco: Observers: Moroccan election overall fair, but turnout low | Associated Press

Voting in Morocco last week was largely free and fair, the country’s election observer body said Sunday, but it is investigating some cases of vote-buying and expressed concern about low turnout. The moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development won Friday’s legislative election, beating out a party with close ties to the royal palace after an unusually hostile campaign. The PJD, which has led a coalition government since it first won elections in 2011 on a wave of Arab Spring protests, is now working on building a new coalition with rival parties. The Interior Ministry said the PJD won 125 of the 395 seats in the Chamber of Representatives, while the Party of Authenticity and Modernity, founded by an adviser to the king, came second with 102 seats.

National: Hacking the election: questions and answers |

The US government’s accusation that Russian government-directed hacking aimed to disrupt the November election comes amid fears about the security of the voting process. The attacks have included breaches of emails of political organizations—blamed on Russia—as well as probes of state voter databases, for which US officials have said they cannot determine the source.
Here are some questions and answers: Can hackers affect the November election results? This is unlikely, voting experts say. There is no single, centralized hub to be hacked, and the system is comprised of over 100,000 precincts and polling places. “While no system is 100 percent hack-proof, elections in this country are secure, perhaps as secure as they’ve ever been,” David Becker of the Center for Election Innovation & Research told a recent congressional hearing. “There isn’t a single or concentrated point of entry for a hacker.” … Dan Wallach, a computer science professor at Rice University who studies voting systems, told lawmakers the biggest vulnerability is voter registration databases. Wallach testified at a House of Representatives hearing on election security that such an effort “can selectively disenfranchise voters by deleting them from the database or otherwise introducing errors.”

National: Russia Hack of U.S. Politics Bigger Than Disclosed, Includes GOP | NBC

The Russian government’s cyber-espionage campaign against the American political system began more than a year ago and has been far more extensive than publicly disclosed, targeting hundreds of key people — Republicans and Democrats alike — whose work is considered strategically important to the Putin regime, official sources told NBC News. The targets over the past two years have included a Who’s Who of Hillary Clinton associates from her State Department tenure, the Clinton Foundation and her presidential campaign, as well as top Republicans and staffers for Republican candidates for president. Starting in earnest in 2015, Russian hackers used sophisticated “spearphishing” techniques to steal emails and other data from Capitol Hill staffers, operatives of political campaigns and party organizations, and other people involved in the election and foreign policy. That’s according to NBC News interviews with more than two dozen current and former U.S. officials, private sector cybersecurity experts and others familiar with the FBI-led investigation into the hacks.

National: Trump suggests illegal immigrants will vote as parties clash over voter access | The Washington Post

Donald Trump suggested without evidence Friday that the Obama administration was letting illegal immigrants into the country to vote — part of a series of unsubstantiated complaints by the GOP nominee that the election is “rigged” against him and that his backers should monitor polling locations in “certain areas.” Trump’s allegations were a dramatic escalation of the usual partisan warfare over ballot access issues and came as Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) denied a request by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to extend voter registration because of Hurricane Matthew. The storm caused the extension of voter registration deadlines in South Carolina, while officials in Georgia have urged residents in storm-affected areas to register online instead of going to registration centers.

National: Multiple threats to voting systems could influence outcomes | The Philadelphia Tribune

With the most volatile election in nearly 50 years about to take place in now less than 30 days, federal officials, voting modernization experts and civil rights activist are expressing enormous worry about the integrity of election systems on Nov. 8. Threats to voting systems and processes are not a new occurrence. Just less than 20 years ago, the Supreme Court ended up selecting the first American president of the 21st century after a hanging chad mishap in battleground state Florida put the nation in electoral suspense for months after the election. But there is considerable conversation among government officials on all levels, as well as cybersecurity experts and voting rights advocates that voting systems are facing multiple tracks of threats that could possibly shape outcomes on Election Day. The extent of those threats could also negatively impact Black and Latino voters in a number of key battleground states, including places like Arizona, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These are states where voters of color hold the key to determining who ends up in the White House. … U.S. voting infrastructure, according to the Brennan Center’s Christopher Famighetti, is woefully underfunded and dangerously outdated. “In November, 42 states will be using voting machines that are over 10 years old,” Famighetti warned in a conversation with the Tribune. “Thirteen states will be using machines 15 years or older. That’s close to the end of most voting systems life span. We wouldn’t expect our desktop or laptop to last for 10 years.”

National: Nine states shorten deadline for voter registration | The Washington Post

Nine states have shortened the time still allowed for voters to register for the November election, in some cases designating as the last day to register the Columbus Day federal holiday when government offices are closed. Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.) said that the states — Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah and Washington — could be in violation of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires states to accept registration forms if they were postmarked 30 days before Election Day, because their deadline is on a weekend day without postal service or on a holiday. In a Sept. 30 letter to the federal Election Assistance Commission, the senators urged the EAC to take action to ensure that the states change ­voter-registration deadlines that fall before Oct. 11 to comply with federal law. The EAC was established in 2002 to help states run elections and to disseminate the federal online voting form. “We know that every day of voter registration in the month before the election is an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country to get registered to vote or update their voter registration information,” the senators wrote.

Editorials: From Voting Rights to Voting Wrongs | Jacques Leslie/The New York Times

In August, when a divided Supreme Court let stand an appeals court decision striking down North Carolina’s photo ID requirement for voters, the matter might have seemed settled. The provision, which requires voters to present government-issued photo identification, strikes directly at people who don’t have driver’s licenses — the state’s poor and disabled, young adults and the elderly, and particularly minorities. The Fourth Circuit Court pointed out that the law deliberately targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision,” and deemed it unconstitutional. Yet more than a month after the appellate court ruling and days after the Supreme Court decision, election officials in North Carolina’s Alamance County sent packets to newly registered voters advising them on one page that photo ID was still required and on another page that it wasn’t.

Editorials: Who watches the poll watchers? | Baltimore Sun

The election is four weeks from Tuesday , and easily lost in the seasonal outpouring of candidate speeches and debates, polls and fact-checking is this sad reality: The U.S. has witnessed the greatest rollback in voting rights since the Jim Crow era in recent years, yet federal authorities will have fewer resources to deal with polling place disputes than at any time over the last half-century. To suggest that is a troubling circumstance is a serious understatement. For a half-decade or more, Republican-controlled states from Georgia to Alaska have been piling up rules that effectively make it more difficult for minorities and the poor to cast a ballot, chiefly through strict voter ID laws and registration requirements. This year, there are 14 states using more restrictive voting laws for the first time (and there would be more if federal courts hadn’t recently tossed out several of these discriminatory laws as unconstitutional).

Editorials: Trump and the Truth: The “Rigged” Election | Jonathan Blitzer/The New Yorker

“The election is going to be rigged—I’m going to be honest,” Donald Trump said to a rowdy crowd in August, at a rally in Columbus, Ohio. “People are going to walk in and they’re going to vote ten times, maybe,” Trump told an interviewer later. A few days afterward, in Pennsylvania, where Trump was then lagging by nine points in the polls, he warned supporters that “the only way we can lose . . . is if cheating goes on.” That week, a new page appeared on his campaign Web site, inviting concerned citizens to volunteer to be “Trump Election Observers” so that they could “help me stop Crooked Hillary from rigging this election!” At the first Presidential debate, Trump and Hillary Clinton were asked whether they would accept the ultimate outcome of the election. Trump evaded the question at first, before winkingly conceding that he would. But after the debate he went right back to his routine—more talk of rigging. Those polls that said Clinton had won the debate? They were skewed against him, he said, just like Google was, with its suspiciously pro-Clinton search results. At campaign stops this week, Trump reiterated his claims that Clinton was out to steal the vote. He even told the Times that he was reconsidering whether he’d accept a Clinton victory at all.

Voting Blogs: A Republican Electoral College Hail Mary, and the Current State of the Campaign | Election Law Blog

By all accounts, Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign is imploding, with the latest revelations from a leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” taping revealing not only Trump’s disrespect for women but a bragging about what amounts to a sexual assault. (Why anyone should be surprisedby this given Trump’s previous statements and actions is something hard to fathom; take the latest expressions of shock with a huge grain of salt). Hillary Clinton, who was already leading in the polls and seemed likely to continue her lead despitenew leaked revelations that she supports free trade and is cozier with banks and big business than she’s admitted (again, no surprise there for anyone paying attention), seems now likely to prevail. Donald Trump has run the worst presidential campaign in modern history, judged only by the week after his poor debate performance featuring comments taking on a former beauty contestant as too fat, complaining about his microphone, supporting the convictions of the exonerated Central Park 5, and making new irresponsible claims about vote rigging and Mexicans coming across the border to vote). And all of that came before the “grab them by the pussy” comments came out. Now, as the many members of the Republican establishment issue condemnations of him but still say they will vote for him and support his choice for the Supreme Court, a few are starting to break ranks, calling on him to withdraw. 

Florida: Democrats sue Gov. Scott over voter registration deadline | Miami Herald

Florida Democrats filed a lawsuit Sunday against Gov. Rick Scott asking that the voter registration deadline be extended by a week because of disruptions caused by Hurricane Matthew. Democrats went to U.S. District Court in Tallahassee and cited Scott’s demand on Thursday that coastal residents flee the approaching storm and his refusal that day to extend the registration deadline beyond Tuesday. The suit seeks a new deadline of Oct. 18. “Defendant Scott refused to extend the voter registration deadline for the very citizens heeding his orders to evacuate — forcing voters to choose between their safety and the safety of their families, on one hand, and their fundamental right to vote, on the other hand,” the lawsuit states. “Many Floridians who would have registered to vote prior to the Oct. 11 registration deadline have been displaced or otherwise prevented from registering.” Scott’s office said it was reviewing the lawsuit. On Thursday, Scott flatly rejected calls by Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager to extend the voter registration deadline.

Illinois: Automatic voter registration veto could be overturned | Gazette Chicago

Overturning Governor Bruce Rauner’s August veto of an automatic voter registration (AVR) bill passed by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly is not a sure outcome, despite bipartisan support of the bill (SB250) by both Republican and Democratic legislators. “Governor Rauner makes it clear he will attack those not in agreement; some Republicans will ‘peel off’ over a veto” and not vote to override it, said Cook County Clerk David Orr, an AVR bill proponent. “This is good legislation,” Orr noted. “It cleans the rolls and protects people. But it’s tough to fight a veto.” Senate Bill 250, sponsored in the state Senate by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Decatur) and in the House by State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), passed the legislature in May with broad bipartisan support: 86-30 in the House, 50-7 in the Senate. Rauner vetoed the bill Aug. 12. Legislators are scheduled to reconvene and consider an override in mid-November.

Minnesota: Secretary of State wants Minnsota to reclaim top spot in voter turnout | Minneapolis Star Tribune

Secretary of State Steve Simon wants to make Minnesota No. 1 again — in voter turnout, that is. Simon, the state’s top elections official, has been barnstorming the state in recent months, promoting his voting effort so that Minnesota can reclaim its top spot nationally for civic engagement. For nearly 10 elections in a row, Minnesota had bragging rights, ranking first among all states for its voter turnout rate. That was until 2014. About half of eligible voters cast ballots that year, making Minnesota No. 6, falling behind states like Wisconsin, Maine and Oregon. In 2012 — during President Obama’s re-election — more than 75 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

Nevada: US judge sides with Nevada tribes in voting rights case | Associated Press

Two Native American tribes in Nevada have won an emergency court order in a federal lawsuit accusing the Republican secretary of state and two counties of discriminating against them under the Voting Rights Act. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du issued a temporary injunction in Reno late Friday requiring the establishment of satellite polling places on two northern Nevada reservations ahead of next month’s election in the Western battleground state. The Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiute (PY’-ewt) tribes say their members are being denied equal access to the polls as a result of the long distances some must travel to vote early or cast ballots on Election Day.

Texas: Election security: Officials say Texas voter databases haven’t been hacked | The Star-Telegram

Texas election systems are safe from hackers — so far. As more than 20 other states grapple with hackers targeting their voter registration systems, Texas election officials say this state’s electoral system has not been breached. “We haven’t found anything,” Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos told the Star-Telegram. “We don’t have any information … that we have been threatened or that there has been an attempted threat to hack into our systems. “We’ve got protocols in place, safety valves in place, to alert us to something like that.” Federal officials are offering few details or specifics about why voting systems across the country are being hacked. They do, however, say that the target has been voter databases, not actual voting systems. FBI Director James Comey said, “There’s no doubt that some bad actors have been poking around.” And he stressed that the FBI is trying to determine “what mischief is Russia up to in connection with our election.”

Wisconsin: Troopers perform voter ID checks | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In response to reports of the Division of Motor Vehicles giving wrong voter ID information, the state retrained its workers and overhauled how it handles cases when people don’t have birth certificates, state lawyers told a judge Friday. The attorneys acknowledged workers sometimes gave inaccurate information but downplayed the significance of those incidents. They wrote that undercover…

Czech Republic: Ruling coalition wins big in regional ballot | Associated Press

The three parties in the Czech Republic’s ruling center-left coalition dominated the election for the country’s regions and are ahead in the first round of voting for Parliament’s upper house, according to results released Saturday by the Czech Statistics Office. With votes from almost 100 percent of ballot stations counted, the ANO (YES) movement led by Finance Minister Andrej Babis was a clear winner, claiming nine of the 13 regions contested in the two-day vote Friday and Saturday. Of the other two members of the ruling coalition, the leftist Social Democrats of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who used to dominate the regions, won only two, while the Christian Democrats took one. The final region saw a victory by a group of local mayors.

Georgia (Sakartvelo): Ruling party in Georgia decisively wins parliament vote | Reuters

The ruling party in Georgia decisively won parliamentary elections, firming its grip on power in the former Soviet nation, near-complete results showed on Sunday. With 99.41 percent of the votes in, data from the Central Election Commission gave the ruling Georgian Dream party 48.61 percent of the vote and the opposition United National Movement (UNM) 27.04 percent. A U.S. ally traditionally buffeted between Russia and the West, Georgia hopes to join the European Union and NATO one day even though that is something that Russia, its former colonial master, strongly opposes. With political stability still fragile — the first peaceful transfer of power since the 1991 Soviet collapse only took place four years ago – the authorities were keen the election be widely seen as free and fair to avoid a return to the days when politicians tried to seize power by force.