Despite a popular petition on the Change.org website about how the nation’s 538 electors should vote on December 19, there seems to be little chance of the tactic changing the recent presidential election’s outcome. As of Monday afternoon, more than 4.3 million people signed an online petition “to make Hillary Clinton President on December 19” by calling on electors in the Electoral College to ignore their commitments to vote for Donald Trump. For now, Trump has 290 votes in the Electoral College, compared with 228 for Clinton. The vote counting continues in two states: Michigan and New Hampshire. But Trump only needed 270 votes to clinch the election, which he received early on November 9. Regardless of what happens on December 19, Republican candidate Trump will become the elected President on January 6, 2017, unless some vastly unforeseen event prevents Congress from counting the Electoral College votes during a joint meeting of Congress, or the President-elect is unable to take his oath on Friday, January 20, 2017.
National: Are Absentee Ballots Counted Last? Votes Still Being Tallied In Some States | International Business Times
More than 42 million Americans voted before Election Day, but their ballots may still be getting counted a week later. Republican Donald Trump was declared the president-elect early Wednesday morning, beating out Democrat Hillary Clinton in Electoral College votes. However, as states have continued to tally their results, she’s pulled ahead in popular votes. According to data compiled by David Wasserman, the United States House editor of the Cook Political Report, Clinton was up by nearly 963,000 votes as of Tuesday morning. That total included 129.4 million votes — and there were “still millions left to go,” Wasserman added on Twitter. The numbers keep changing because states like California and Washington are still working on their provisional and absentee ballots, which were considered valid if they were postmarked by Election Day, the Atlantic reported. Don’t freak out: These votes, mostly cast in areas that already supported Clinton, won’t reverse Trump’s victory.
National: GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham wants Congress to investigate Russian cyberattack on DNC, election | Los Angeles Times
Donald Trump may seek improved relations with Russia, but top Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham wants Vladimir Putin held responsible if the Russian government was involved in cyber-hacks to disrupt the U.S. elections. Graham, who has sparred openly with Trump, his former rival in the presidential primary, is proposing that Congress hold a series of hearings on “Russia’s misadventures throughout the world” – including whether they were involved in “hacking into the DNC.” “Were they involved in cyberattacks that had a political component to it in our elections?” Graham said. If so, Graham said, “Putin should be punished.”
The good news is that voting, as an American tradition, is alive and well. The bad news is that the disenfranchisement of people with disabilities — also a tradition in this country — is, too. I experienced it firsthand last Tuesday in Augusta, Maine, when I attempted to exercise my constitutional right to vote. I am a disability rights attorney who happens to be blind. Neither blindness nor accessible voting systems are new to me: I have been blind since childhood, and I was a driving force in the implementation of the accessible voting system component of the Help America Vote Act in Maine and New Hampshire. On Tuesday, when I went to vote, the problems were immediate: It took two people from the city clerk’s office a half hour to get the accessible voting machine working. Once it was ostensibly functioning, it would not accept my selections on the first try — or the second, third or fourth. In fact, not until my fifth attempt. Did nondisabled voters need to wrestle their paper ballots into compliance like this? Roughly 35 minutes after I had begun voting, my ballot was complete — or so I thought.
The county official who took the blame for hours-long lines that plagued this year’s presidential primary in Arizona was dumped from office amid widespread frustration among voters over the bungled election. Republican Helen Purcell conceded on Tuesday to Democrat Adrian Fontes in the Maricopa County recorder’s race. The county was still tallying ballots but she was nearly 13,000 votes behind when she acknowledged the loss. Purcell, 81, was first elected in 1988 and never before challenged for re-election while serving seven four-year terms as county recorder. Her decision to cut the number of polling places for the March election caused voters to wait more than five hours to cast their ballots. Purcell and Secretary of State Michele Reagan were blamed for the foul-up, but Purcell became the most public face for the decision.
California: Election officials across California still face as many as 4 million uncounted ballots | Los Angeles Times
California election officials continue their efforts to review and count as many as 4 million ballots from the Nov. 8 election, a daunting process that has kept a few closely watched races in limbo for almost a week. A report from the secretary of state’s office on Tuesday put the total number of unprocessed ballots at 4.1 million, down from the previous high of more than 4.5 million reported on Monday. But a closer look at the report reveals that it’s not entirely clear how to estimate the total number of uncounted ballots. Most notably, several counties have not updated their official count since the middle of last week. That could mean hundreds of thousands of ballots have, in fact, been counted — but just not reported to state officials.
It seemed like a no-brainer: Colorado’s voters were asked to eliminate an archaic and offensive reference to slavery as a punishment for a crime in the state Constitution. But a week after the vote, the poorly-written amendment is on the cusp of failing, and a lack of clarity from lawmakers may be to blame. Adopted before President Ulysses S. Grant proclaimed Colorado a state in 1876, the constitution declares: “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime.” That language mirrors the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that outlawed slavery in 1865. Both chambers of Colorado’s Legislature voted unanimously to refer Amendment T to voters. But it appeared on a state-issued voter’s guide under the title, “No Exception to Involuntary Servitude Prohibition.” The actual ballot question wasn’t much clearer. Not only that: The voter guide included arguments against the measure, even though there was no organized opposition.
Employees of an Indiana voter mobilization group with deep ties to the Democratic Party submitted several hundred voter registrations that included false, incomplete or fraudulent information, according to a search warrant unsealed Monday. The contents of the warrant, which allowed Indiana State Police to raid the offices of Patriot Majority USA in October, were revealed at the request of the group, which is at the center of an ongoing voter fraud investigation. It indicates state police contacted a handful of workers who admitted to falsifying registrations. Several said they were under pressure and faced the possibility of losing their temporary job if they did not register at least 10 new voters a day. Indiana law requires voter registration groups to submit all registrations they collect, even if they know they contain inaccurate information. Patriot Majority, which registered thousands of predominantly black voters before last week’s election, flagged many of the registrations that they believed contained incorrect or incomplete information to elections officials, the warrant states.
North Carolina: Could legislators decide governor race? ‘Last resort,’ House speaker says | News & Observer
House Speaker Tim Moore said in a podcast interview posted Tuesday it would be unlikely that the General Assembly would attempt to determine the outcome of the close contest between Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper. “It is an absolute last resort for the General Assembly to be involved,” Moore, a Kings Mountain Republican, said in the interview on “What Matters in North Carolina,” a podcast on the Freedom Action Network website. There has been speculation that the computer problems that delayed counting some of the votes in Durham County on Election Day could set the stage for legislative intervention. State law allows the General Assembly to decide contested elections for the 10 Council of State offices, which includes the governor, and also for legislators. The provision has only been used once before in modern history, when lawmakers named June Atkinson state superintendent of public instruction over Bill Fletcher in 2005, in a process that took nine months to resolve. At the time, the legislature was controlled by Democrats; Atkinson was a Democrat and Fletcher was a Republican.
A top official with the Vermont Senate says lawmakers won’t need to pick Vermont’s next lieutenant governor. A tally by the Secretary of State’s Office showed Progressive-Democrat David Zuckerman beat Republican Randy Brock but had less than 50 percent, sending the election to the Legislature.
Wisconsin: At least 590 provisional ballots cast last week because voters lacked valid ID | Wisconsin State Journal
At least 590 people in Wisconsin cast provisional ballots in last week’s election because they didn’t present a valid photo ID, the Wisconsin Elections Commission said Monday. So far municipal clerks have reported issuing 717 provisional ballots in last week’s presidential election, the biggest election so far that the photo ID requirement was in place. Most went to people who didn’t have a valid ID at the polling place. It’s the first indication of how many people showed up at the polls and couldn’t meet the state’s hotly disputed photo ID requirement. The number could increase as more clerks report their provisional ballot numbers to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. In 2012, when the photo ID requirement was on hold by court order, there were 132 provisional ballots cast — largely because a voter lacked the correct proof of residency. In the April presidential primary, when the photo ID was in effect, there were 434 provisional ballots cast, of which 343 were for people without a valid ID.
The National Election Committee (NEC) says it will consider prolonging voter registration in some areas only if it’s needed as compiling this year’s voter list ends in two weeks. Voter registration is changing from a manual to a computer system. Registration started on September 1 for next year’s commune elections and the national election in 2018. The process ends on November 29. Hang Puthea, a spokesman for the NEC, said yesterday that the organization’s top officials are going to the 25 provincial capitals to discover the challenges which have cut the rate of registrations from 70,000 in a day to below 30,000.
The United States Embassy in Ghana, has urged the leadership of political parties to call their members to order following recent eruption of partisan clashes. In a statement, the US warned that persons found culpable of inciting political violence ahead of the polls, would face some form of sanctions as violence has no place in the conduct of elections. This warning follows a clash over the weekend between some supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), in front of the Nima residence the NPP Flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, during a health walk organised by the NDC. Supporters of the Parliamentary candidates of NDC and the NPP in the Wulensi constituency in the Northern Region, also clashed over the weekend, at a village called Garikpe in the constituency. This was after a similar clash in the Odododiodio constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
Five days before Haiti was set to elect a president on October 9, Hurricane Matthew made landfall, devastating a country still recuperating from a 2010 earthquake, and intensifying the spread of cholera in its wake. The storm, which hit October 4, was the first Category 4 hurricane to hit Haiti since 1954. Matthew claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Haitians and delayed presidential elections for a fourth time. With the original October 2015 election results scrapped due to irregularities, a redo is scheduled for November 20. The electoral delays have raised concerns over Haiti’s preparedness when it comes to casting ballots for a president and a third of the Senate. Voting will be more difficult with fewer poll centers. Matthew completely destroyed 25 voting centers, 16 of which were in schools.