National: Democrats Sue Trump for Voter Intimidation in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Ohio, and Arizona | The Atlantic

The lawsuits are piling up. Over the last two weeks, the Democratic and Republican parties have filed half a dozen warring complaints about poll monitoring. Democrats allege Republicans are coordinating widespread voter-intimidation efforts. Republicans in at least one state have argued that poll watching should be expanded, not limited. All sides are seeking emergency relief, calling on judges to consider their cases in the next seven days before the election. While both parties fight for their lives life in states like New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, they’re now having to battle each other in court as well. On their face, these cases may seem like a form of legal subterfuge—attempts to distract the other party and float damaging allegations days before the election. The cases focus on just a few hundred volunteers in a handful of states: The Arizona Democratic Party said 93 people are signed up to conduct “exit polling” with Stop the Steal, a voter-fraud-related super PAC, and the Ohio Democratic Party said “dozens” have volunteered for the same effort in their state.

National: RNC’s Lawyers Try To Distance Themselves From Trump’s “Rigged Election” Claims | BuzzFeed

At the end of 2017, the Republican National Committee is slated to be freed from decades-old federal court oversight that limits the party’s activities when it comes to “ballot security.” In other words, after nine presidential elections, the national Republican Party is set to have more freedom to engage in poll monitoring activities without an automatic court bar on any voter fraud-related efforts at polling places. But Democrats are now arguing in federal court that Donald Trump’s “rigged election” claims and his efforts to send “watchers” to polling places mean the Republican National Committee can’t be trusted with that power. The Republican Party’s lawyers responded on Monday by attempting to distance the party from Trump’s campaign. On Friday, a federal judge in New Jersey will hold a hearing on the request by the Democratic National Committee to hold the RNC in contempt and extend the order that restrict’s the party’s activities — for the next two presidential elections.

National: Clinton, Trump Prepare for Possibility of Election Overtime | Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are arming up for a possible post-Election Day battle. Clinton is assembling a voter protection program that has drawn thousands of lawyers agreeing to lend their time and expertise in battleground states, though the campaign isn’t saying exactly how many or where. It is readying election observers in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and Arizona to assess any concerns — including the potential for voter intimidation — and to verify normal procedures. The Republican National Lawyers Association, which trains attorneys in battleground states and in local jurisdictions where races are expected to be close, aims to assemble 1,000 lawyers ready to monitor polls and possibly challenge election results across the country. Hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, one of Trump’s biggest backers, has sunk $500,000 into the group, its biggest donation in at least four presidential elections, Internal Revenue Service filings show. “We are fighting for open, fair and honest elections,” the association’s executive director, Michael Thielen, said in an e-mail.

National: US election: Where you can ‘write in’ a name on ballot | BBC

Imagine an election when you could vote for anyone you wanted. In parts of America, you can – simply by writing a name on the ballot paper. But if millions of disillusioned people voted for someone like Donald Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, could he actually become president? It’s a quirk of the American election system. Voters are allowed to “write in” candidates who aren’t officially running for the top job when they go to the polls. They simply write the name on the ballot. Mickey Mouse is a US favourite. Donald Duck often pops up in Scandinavia. God and Me are other perennial picks. Every year there are more serious protest votes. The name of a vice-presidential nominee, or an independent, for example. But it’s rare for senators or congressmen to shun their party’s presidential nominee and write in a totally different candidate. The 1932 New York mayoral race was perhaps the first election where Mickey Mouse appeared This year, at least three Republicans have said they will write in the name of Mr Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, after a 2005 video tape in which the Republican candidate made obscene remarks about women emerged.

Editorials: How to restore faith in American elections | Justin Talbot-Zorn/The Hill

There’s good news: most Americans still have at least some confidence in our elections. But there’s also troubling news: Americans’ faith appears to be falling, and only four in ten now have “strong confidence” that their votes will be counted as cast. Among Republicans, the proportion has fallen to around a third. While Donald Trump has been working hard to propagate perceptions of voter fraud, there’s still scant evidence of such threats. A recent academic study found just 31 credible allegations of in-person voter fraud out of more than a one billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014. According to polling, more Americans are concerned about the susceptibility of our voting system to hacking than to other kinds of manipulation. Regardless of where you stand on questions of election integrity, we all need to reckon with a simple fact: Even just perceptions of rigging are corrosive to our democracy. We have a serious obligation to restore faith in our electoral system. The question is how to do so. … For now, there’s one option that’s both cheap and effective: returning to paper ballots.

Editorials: Better hope the election’s not close | Michael McDonald/USA Today

The revival of Hillary Clinton’s email woes and a trend toward tightening polls are giving Donald Trump new hope of winning the White House. Could this election go into overtime? If the race is exceptionally close, we can’t rule out an overtime period that, in this environment, could rip the country apart. It is absolutely fair for any candidate to exercise his rights to ask for a recount if the election is particularly close. We should have all confidence that the election results are accurate. When the Supreme Court halted the Florida recount he had requested in 2000, Al Gore graciously accepted the results. “For the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession,” he said. However, Gore’s conciliatory tone is not Trump’s rhetoric of “rigged” elections, which he regularly uses to whip up his supporters. He talks of people casting fraudulent votes and stationing observers to “watch” the election. Trump questions the process itself, describing how election officials count ballots: “Oh here’s a ballot. Here’s another ballot, throw it away. Oh, here’s one I like. We’ll keep that one.” This is where a real nightmare for America’s democracy could unfold. What if the initial tally on election night favors Trump but as more votes are counted in the following days, the results shift in Clinton’s favor? It does not take too much imagination to predict Trump would be outraged, with an emphasis on rage.

Florida: Seminole elections office receives five stolen, forged absentee ballots | Orlando Sentinel

By mid-October, Susan Halperin became concerned that she and her husband hadn’t received their absentee ballots in the mail. So Lawrence Halperin called the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office to find out what was going on. He was stunned to learn their ballots had already been cast. Someone had stolen the Halperins’ ballots, faked their signatures and voted. “He was just floored,” said Susan Halperin, a registered Democrat. “To think that someone would actually steal my ballot and fill it out is creepy.” The Halperins, who live in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Altamonte Springs just south of State Road 436, weren’t the only victims. Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel said they were among five voters in three homes in Spring Valley whose absentee ballots were stolen and then fraudulently submitted with votes cast by someone else.

Nevada: Democratic Party sues GOP, Trump over alleged voter intimidation | Las Vegas Sun

The Nevada State Democratic Party is suing the state Republican Party, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and others over alleged voter intimidation in Nevada and across the nation. The complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court on Sunday, alleges the Trump campaign, the Nevada Republican Party and one of Trump’s close associates, Roger Stone, and his Stop the Steal super PAC, have violated the Ku Klux Klan and Voting Rights acts through a coordinated voter intimidation campaign. Details of the lawsuit were first reported by Election Law Blog this morning. The Ku Klux Klan Act was passed by Congress in 1871, banning conspiracies to intimidate or threaten voters and stop threats and harassment of former slaves and their white supporters by the KKK. The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to stop any threats or intimidation against voters.

Ohio: Federal judge orders Ohio Republicans, Trump’s campaign to respond to voter-intimidation lawsuit | Cleveland Plain Dealer

A federal judge has given the Ohio Republican Party, Donald Trump’s campaign and a longtime adviser until the end of Wednesday to respond to a lawsuit state Democrats filed that said the Republicans are engaging in voter intimidation. The order entered Tuesday by U.S. District Judge James Gwin in Cleveland says the defendants’ response must include any objections to an order “limiting voter intimidation” or “limiting people at polling locations who are not authorized poll watchers or outside the polling stations.” The speed in which Gwin ordered the response, while not necessarily signaling how he feels about the case, shows that the judge is taking the accusations of voter intimidation seriously before Nov. 8 Election Day.

New Jersey: Judge in Trump voter intimidation suit wants to know if campaign coordinated with GOP |

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump’s campaign to provide any written agreements concerning “voter fraud, ballot security, ballot integrity, poll watching, or poll monitoring,” or affidavits of people involved if there are oral agreements. The RNC is under a court-sanctioned agreement to avoid taking any steps that could be seen as intimidating minority voters, and a Democratic National Committee lawsuit said the prohibition also should apply to the Trump campaign since it is working with the party. Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark also asked for more details about statements made by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, at a Denver town hall meeting in August when he said “the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are working very very closely” with states to “ensure ballot integrity.”

Texas: Lawmakers mull paper backups for electronic voting machines | KGBT

Following repeated allegations by Republican Donald Trump that the election may be rigged to ensure a win for Democrat Hillary Clinton, Texas lawmakers are actively considering ways to boost confidence in the state’s elections during next year’s legislative session. Among the ideas drawing interest: adding paper trail backups to thousands of electronic voting machines. The idea was brought up in a tweet Saturday by Gov. Greg Abbott. “That’s a great idea & we are considering it as an election reform measure. Election integrity is essential,” Abbott tweeted in response to a voter who tweeted that he wanted printed proof of how he cast his ballot. Over the last decade, several Texas lawmakers have filed bills to require paper trails on electronic voting machine. The proposals often include adding a printer in a sealed case to the state’s electronic voting machines so voters could check their votes against the receipt. The paper trail could be consulted in the event of a recount.

Texas: Flouting Federal Courts On Voter ID Isn’t Helping Texas’ Legal Defense | TPM

There is, perhaps, never a good time for local elections administrators to be undermining federal court orders, ignoring state officials and providing voters with false information about what is required to cast a ballot. But for poll workers in Texas who have been caught spreading inaccurate information about the state’s voter ID law, the timing is particularly unfortunate, given the legal scrutiny the law already is under and is continuing to the attract. The same civil rights groups and voting advocates who have been engaged in a lengthy legal battle over the law — which has been deemed discriminatory by multiple courts — are now reporting that some county officials are failing to educate voters about the alternatives available to those without the required ID. At least one county faces a lawsuit for posting inaccurate information about the law, while the Texas secretary of state has been alerted to numerous other polling places misinforming votes. The on-the-ground confusion comes as Texas is seeking to have the major ruling against the law — a 5th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals decision that deemed it discriminatory in its effect — overturned by the Supreme Court.

Bulgaria: Prime Minister will not resign if party losses presidential run-off | Reuters

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has added a new twist to his pledge to step down if his center-right party loses the first round of next month’s presidential election, saying this would not apply to the expected run-off vote. Borisov said late on Sunday that he would still quit if his GERB party’s candidate Tsetska Tsacheva does not top the list in the first round of voting on Nov. 6. But he would stay in office even if she lost the decisive run-off contest a week later. Bulgaria’s presidency is largely ceremonial post and opinion polls show Tsacheva leads her main rival, Socialist candidate Rumen Radev. But she faces a tight run-off race and one pollster indicates Radev might win it.

Nicaragua: President’s running mate: his wife | Associated Press

On bright-pink billboards across the Nicaraguan capital, President Daniel Ortega looms triumphantly over motorists ahead of next Sunday’s vote, where he’s considered a shoo-in. He’s almost never alone in those ads: Accompanying Ortega is the smiling visage of his first lady, spokeswoman and now running mate, Rosario Murillo. “That woman is the one who rules in the country. She is powerful,” said fruit vendor Roberto Mayorga. “If ‘the man’ dies, she’ll be there. She has been his shadow. There is nobody who can keep her from being next.” Murillo has taken on ever greater responsibility during the last decade that her husband has been in office. She is said to run Cabinet meetings and many Nicaraguans credit her for social programs that have helped keep the ruling Sandinista party’s popularity ratings high.

Montana: Federal judge upholds Montana campaign disclosure law | Associated Press

Montana’s new campaign disclosure law has survived its first test, with a federal judge rejecting arguments that it unconstitutionally interferes with the free speech of groups that want to influence elections without revealing where they get their money or how they spend it. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, in ruling for the state Monday, cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 that allowed unlimited corporate spending in elections. In that case, the justices ruled that although disclosure requirements burden the ability to speak, they are constitutional because they don’t prevent anyone from speaking. A dramatic rise in election spending has left Montana voters inundated with political television ads and mailers that seek to inform — or misinform — the voters and sway their opinions, Christensen wrote in the decision.

Palau: Brothers-in-law vying for presidency | The Independent

The Pacific island nation of Palau goes to the polls Tuesday with two brothers-in-law vying to become president – and they admit it’s made for some awkward conversations at the family dinner table. The election pits incumbent Tommy Remengesau against Surangel Whipps Jr. after they emerged as the leading contenders in a run-off vote in September. Whipps is married to Remengesau’s sister but has not let family ties constrain his campaign as he seeks to end his rival’s 12 years in office. The challenger has campaigned on a platform of change, pointing to social problems in the nation of 22,000, which lies about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) east of the Philippines.

National: Will a major cyberattack strike the internet on US election day? | International Business Times

As the US presidential election approaches, and in the wake of numerous leaks and hacks this year, many people are openly talking about the likelihood of the process being disrupted by a major cyberattack that could influence the results – Silicon Valley included. Adam D’Angelo, former chief technology officer at Facebook and founder of Quora, took to social media to voice his concerns. “Good chance of major internet attack 8 Nov,” he tweeted. “Many groups have the ability and incentive. [Google] Maps outage alone could easily skew the election.” Referencing the massive US internet outages caused by the internet of things (IoT) enhanced Mirai botnet that recently took down a slew of websites via a DNS cyberattack, D’Angelo added: “Last Friday’s attack should be enough evidence.” In response to the tweet, which was circulated hundreds of times, Dustin Moskovitz, the co-founder of Facebook who has donated millions of dollars to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, said: “Is there anything to be done about it?”