Missouri: Court challenges likely for photo ID, campaign contribution amendments | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Perhaps fitting on a night defined by Donald Trump’s largely self-funded presidential win, Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a change to the state constitution that will reinstate campaign contribution limits. In Missouri – known for having some of the most lax campaign finance laws in the country – donors can spend millions to elect their chosen candidates, which some argue leads to those officials being beholden to their financial backers over their constituencies. But that’s about to change. Supporters of the amendment hailed their win Tuesday, saying it will help keep elections from being influenced only by the wealthy. And in Missouri elections without limits, candidates do raise significantly more money, but from fewer donors – indicating their contributors have deep pockets – and raise more money out of state. But those against the cap argue that it prohibits free speech through political expression, that donors should be able to spend what they like on candidates so long as they disclose their contributions to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

National: The first step to fixing long lines at the polls? Knowing where they happen. | The Washington Post

Horror stories about people standing in long lines to vote started even before Election Day this year, with reports of massive waits at early-voting locations. But new technology and research could help give officials the information they need to figure out how to make elections run better next time and one day help them respond to problems at polling places as they happen. There’s remarkably little detailed data about how long Americans wait to vote, according to electoral experts. They say that’s a big problem because fixing long lines at the polls is practically impossible without knowing where they actually happen. Previous research has generally shown longer waits in urban areas and for minority voters. But much of that data comes from media reports or surveys, according to John Fortier, the director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Democracy Project. “Even administrators that run large counties often don’t have a handle on what’s going on at all at their polling places,” he said. In fact, many precincts do not have systems to track long lines, let alone prevent them, Fortier and other election watchers said. But that’s starting to change.

National: This year, laws with roots to the Civil War prevented 6.1 million from voting | PBS

Donald Trump won the presidential election on Tuesday as millions of people were prevented from voting this year by rules that root back to the Civil War and were made to maintain white male political dominance. About 6.1 million people who were convicted of breaking laws could not cast ballots because of policies that keep felons off voter rolls, according to justice reform organization The Sentencing Project. And according to the most recent numbers from Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, which is still counting, Hillary Clinton lost by a margin smaller than those banned from voting — many of whom are poor or black or both, which are groups that tend to vote Democrat. At the same time, Clinton garnered at least half a million more votes than Trump, but lost the Electoral College. This system gives each state a number of votes roughly proportioned to population — 538 in total — and the candidate who wins the majority of them, which will be officially counted in January, wins the election. The last time such an anomaly happened was during the hotly-contested 2000 presidential election, when Republican George W. Bush won the Electoral College, defeating Democrat Al Gore, who won the popular vote.

Editorials: Did Russia Install Donald Trump As the Next U.S. President? | Caroline Baylon/Newsweek

From Iran to Chile, covert CIA-backed operations were responsible for installing leaders friendly to the U.S. in countries around the world in an attempt to gain supremacy over the then-Soviet Union during the Cold War. Russia seems to have taken a page from the U.S. playbook and one upped it, as it may have significantly contributed to the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. The U.S. intelligence community has publicly accused the Russian government of being behind the hacking and leaking of emails involving Hillary Clinton’s election campaign by cyber espionage groups Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear on WikiLeaks and other sites this summer. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, issued a joint statement with Department of Homeland Security on October 7 declaring that they were “confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of emails” and that “these thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has been vocal in his support of Trump, calling him the “absolute leader in the presidential race” in a December 2015 news conference. Many of Trump’s positions—including his expressions of admiration for Putin and his July 2016 comments that he “would be looking at” recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions—have curried the favor of the Russian leader.

Florida: It’s in the mail, or is it? Broward voters lament vote-by-mail shortfalls | Sun Sentinel

Fuming Broward voters — Republicans and Democrats alike — are complaining that they were shut out of the high-stakes presidential election. They say their mail-in ballots never arrived. “We’re unhappy. It’s a right given to Americans, and we’ve been shut out from that right. I’m kind of ticked off at that,” said Vito Leccese, 84, a New Jersey snowbird who spends six months a year in Pompano Beach. “This is a presidential election. This is very important. It’s so important that they’re rioting all over the place because Trump won.” Leccese said he had requested mail-in ballots by phone from the Broward supervisor’s office with no hiccups in the past. This election, after making his initial ballot requests long before the Nov. 2 deadline, Leccese said he began making follow-up calls Oct. 3 to the supervisor’s office. He said they went unanswered.

North Carolina: Gov. Pat McCrory claims voter irregularities in election | News & Observer

Gov. Pat McCrory, trailing in a close race for re-election behind Attorney General Roy Cooper, claims there was “malfeasance” in tabulating votes in Durham County and “irregularities” reported around the state. Cooper’s campaign said nothing improper happened in Durham, and accused McCrory of trying to undermine the election. A formal protest filed Saturday with the Durham County Board of Elections calls for a recount of disputed votes there. About 90,000 votes weren’t counted until late on Election Day. Durham officials said it was due to malfunctioning equipment that led to a backlog, and that it had no impact on the votes cast. The protest was filed by Thomas Stark, who is the general counsel for the N.C. GOP, and announced by McCrory’s campaign. McCrory’s campaign staff said on Saturday that those ballots came from at least five early voting sites and one general election site in Durham County and appear to have been tabulated from corrupted memory cards. The cards could not be properly read by the system and the computers “experienced a critical error,” according to the campaign.

Washington: Voters reject voucher system for political contributions | Associated Press

Washington voters have rejected a measure that creates a publicly funded voucher system for political contributions. Initiative 1464’s voucher system would have given voters three $50 “democracy credits” that they could use in state races every two years. To pay for the statewide system, the measure would have repealed the non-resident sales tax exemption for residents of sales-tax-free states like Oregon and Montana who shop in Washington. To be eligible to redeem the vouchers, participating political candidates would have to have pledged to limit self-financing, as well as the size of donations they accept. About 53 percent of voters rejected the measure. Seattle voters passed a similar citywide measure last year. Voters there agreed to raise taxes by $3 million a year in order to get four $25 vouchers they can sign over to candidates, starting with the 2017 council and city attorney elections.

Wisconsin: Why did Wisconsin see its lowest presidential election voter turnout in 20 years? | The Cap Times

Wisconsin lost a feather in its cap on Tuesday when its election voter turnout fell to a two-decade low. The state that boasted the second-highest turnout in the nation in 2008 and 2012 still ranks highly compared to others, but is on track to fall behind Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and New Hampshire this year. The decline — down nearly four points from 2012 and three points from what state elections officials projected — was all the more stunning as it followed record-high early voting numbers and the highest presidential primary turnout since 1972. “The state is no longer in the stratosphere of the highest turnouts in the country,” said University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor Barry Burden. Republican Donald Trump received about 27,000 more votes than Democrat Hillary Clinton. While his performance didn’t stray far from Mitt Romney’s in 2012, Clinton’s fell significantly short of President Barack Obama’s.

Australia: E-voting risks in Australia after Russian hacking in US election | Financial Review

The Turnbull government’s new Cyber Ambassador, Tobias Feakin, has warned of the risks of e-voting after allegations Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s emails may have influenced the US election outcome. The comments may further slow moves towards a change, after Labor turned on the idea in its submissions to a joint parliamentary inquiry into the federal election, saying the online census outage was cause to proceed with caution. In the days after the Australian federal election, both Malcolm Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten called for the introduction of electronic voting, saying in 2016 it should not take more than eight days to find out a result. … E-voting expert University of Melbourne’s Vanessa Teague has previously said instead of at-home e-voting via personal devices, which could be unsafe, she would instead advocate a change to e-voting via computers at polling places.

Bulgaria: Russia-friendly political novice wins Bulgaria presidential election | Reuters

Bulgarian Socialist ally Rumen Radev, a Russia-friendly newcomer to politics, won Sunday’s presidential election by a wide margin, exit polls showed, prompting centre-right Prime Minister Boiko Borisov to pledge to resign. Radev, 53, entered Bulgarian politics on a wave of discontent with the ruling centre-right’s progress in combating corruption, disappointment with the European Union and concerns among voters over alienating an increasingly assertive Russia. A former air force commander, Radev has argued Bulgaria needs to be pragmatic in balancing the requirements of its European Union and NATO memberships while seeking ways to benefit from a relationship with Moscow. Bulgarian Socialist ally Rumen Radev, a Russia-friendly newcomer to politics, won Sunday’s presidential election by a wide margin, exit polls showed, prompting centre-right Prime Minister Boiko Borisov to pledge to resign.

China: China also is going to the polls. But you’d barely know it. | The Washington Post

All around Liu Huizhen’s makeshift house, clusters of men lurked and smoked on a recent day, suspiciously eyeing passersby. Dozens of uniformed police waited in reserve, ready in case of trouble, while a thuggish man stood in the middle of the road with arms defiantly folded, preventing cars from passing. Liu, a 45-year-old farmer’s wife, appears to have the Communist Party worried, here in the village of Gaodiansan on the outskirts of Beijing. She wants to exercise her constitutional right to stand in local elections due to be held in the capital on Nov. 15, and about a dozen supporters had arrived to help her begin her campaign. They were to be blocked by a decisive show of force. “Some people think I am a troublemaker,” she said. “They think this is the government’s decision and I won’t win in the end. But I am not afraid. I have the right to participate in this election. I didn’t do anything illegal.”

France: After US election, Russia feared influencing French vote, corroding Western values | Sydney Morning Herald

Marine Le Pen, the far-right French leader hopeful of a strong showing in next year’s presidential election, has defended borrowing from a Russian bank to fund her party – and promised closer ties between the Elysee Palace and the Kremlin if she wins next May. There are growing fears of Russian interference in the vote, after Donald Trump’s relationship with the Kremlin and Russia’s alleged role in hacking the Democratic party’s email server were hot topics in the US election. Foreign policy experts told Fairfax that Russia would benefit from “chaos” in Europe and a weakened NATO and EU, and it was not clear how far it would go to exploit the opportunities offered by next year’s presidential elections in France. Ms Le Pen admitted in 2014 that her party borrowed 9 million euros ($12.9 million) from a Russian-owned bank. Russia has also reportedly lent money to Greece’s Golden Dawn, Italy’s Northern League, Hungary’s Jobbik and the Freedom Party of Austria.

Germany: Donald Trump’s Election Leaves Angela Merkel as the Liberal West’s Last Defender | The New York Times

And then there was one. Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has emerged as the last powerful defender of Europe and the trans-Atlantic alliance after the election of Donald J. Trump. But after 11 years in power, she is tired, her associates say, and under siege seemingly from all directions. She is under pressure from the same forces that elevated Mr. Trump in America, fueled Britain’s vote to exit the European Union and are now propelling the populist Marine Le Pen in France. At home, the hard-right Alternative for Germany party has scored a string of victories in state elections. Ms. Merkel needs to fend off a resurgent Russia that is promoting its brand of illiberal democracy by backing right-wing parties throughout the Continent and fanning the flames of populism. But with Mr. Trump openly admiring Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, even maintaining economic sanctions imposed on Moscow over conflicts in Crimea and Ukraine will be a challenge. “Never before has so much ridden on the Germans,” said Simon Tilford, the deputy director of the Center for European Reform in London. “We’re very fortunate that Germany is led now by Merkel, because there is a chance she will step up and do what Europe needs her to do.”

Moldova: Pro-Russian Candidate Claims Presidency in Runoff Poll | VoA News

Moldova’s pro-Russian presidential candidate Igor Dodon has declared victory in Sunday’s presidential runoff vote, holding a commanding lead in the former Soviet republic with nearly all votes counted. With 97 percent of all ballots tallied late Sunday, Dodon, who campaigned on promises to restore closer ties with Russia, held a commanding 55.3 to 44.7 percent lead over pro-Europe rival Maia Sandu. “We have won, everyone knows it,” Dodon said at a late night news conference. Final results are expected early Monday in the impoverished country of 3.5 million. Dodon, who came close to winning the presidency outright in the first round of voting two weeks ago, also has pledged to foster good relations with Moldova’s neighbors, Romania and Ukraine. However, such appeasement gestures may face stiff resistance in Kyiv by many who object to Dodon’s support for Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Rwanda: National Electoral Commission begins update of voters’ register | The New Times

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has called on all citizens eligible to vote to verify their particulars on the electoral roll in their respective cells and villages to ensure they are ready to participate in the forthcoming presidential election, slated for August next year.In a statement, the commission’s executive secretary, Charles Munyaneza, said voters should check with their local government offices to ensure information about their identification is accurate while those that have recently attained voting age can be registered to ensure no one is left out of the exercise. The two-week exercise starts today and will end on November 30, according to the statement. It will be carried out at the village and cell levels. The eligibility age for voting in Rwanda is 18 years.