National: Hundreds of thousands of Americans cast a ballot without voting for a presidential candidate | The Washington Post

Nevada makes it simple. Voters in Nevada are given a choice for each race on the ballot: Candidate A, Candidate B or “none of the above,” a formal protest vote that is more or less popular depending on who candidates A and B are. In 2012, 5,770 Nevadans chose “none of the above” over Mitt Romney or President Obama, a total equaling 0.57 percent of all presidential votes cast. Obama won the state easily. In 2016, however, the results were more stark. More than 2.5 percent of the ballots cast for president in the state were “none of the above” — 28,863 in total in a race that Hillary Clinton won by 27,207. Enough protest votes to have swung the results of the election. There are protest votes in other states, too, of course; they just aren’t given space on the ballot. In most places these are called “undervotes,” ballots that are cast without a vote for the person at the top of the ticket.

National: Electoral Organizations Call For Nationwide Audit | Vocativ

Voting experts are pushing for a nationwide election audit stemming from citizen concerns as well as possible security risks that may have compromised the November 8 presidential election. Verified Voting, a nonprofit that promotes transparent elections, along with other like-minded groups, are leading the charge to check that this month’s election results are accurate and representative of the voting public. Verified Voting cited “unprecedented warnings” regarding the security of the election system and claims of a “rigged” election as reasons for the audit. More than 20 states’ voter registration systems, as well as a Florida voting system vendor, were targeted by foreign cyber attacks, while state election and law enforcement officials in Arizona and Illinois confirmed that voter registration systems were hacked. The Department of Homeland Security even stepped in to bolster voting system security after the attacks. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that a “significant minority” of Hillary Clinton supporters believe Trump’s victory was illegitimate. In all, 18 percent of voters reject the election results, with 33 percent of Clinton supporters and 1 percent of Trump supporters saying that Trump did not win the presidential election.

Illinois: GOP lawmakers introduce their own automatic-voter registrations bills | Illinois News Network

With the fate of an automatic voter registration bill in question, Republicans in Springfield have filed automatic voter registration legislation, saying theirs would better ensure honest elections. “This bill balances our desire to register to vote along with our need to ensure that only eligible voters are being registered to vote,” State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said. Rezin said the biggest difference between her bill and one sponsored by Democrats is that it requires the state to screen citizenship records before automatically registering an individual. “My bill allows that to be done in one step right at the DMV with a person that is signing a sheet promising that all of that information is accurate. This supports voter integrity and lessens the chance that you will have someone in the system who should not be able to vote,” she said.

Maine: More Mainers voted on referendums than on presidential race | Associated Press

Maine voters appear to be more passionate about guns, marijuana and the minimum wage than they are about the nation’s next leader. Unofficial tallies from the Nov. 8 election indicate more Maine residents voted on four of the five ballot questions than for president, underscoring voters’ keen interest in the high-profile referendums and perhaps their frustrations over the presidential nominees, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. “A lot of people looked at the presidential choices and said, ‘Yuck!’ They didn’t stay home. They came out. They just didn’t vote top of the ticket,” said Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine. An analysis by The Associated Press indicates the greatest discrepancy was in the referendum to expand background checks for gun purchases. On that question, which was defeated, there were 13,307 more votes cast than in the presidential contest in Maine.

Michigan: GOP benefits from straight-party voting it opposes | The Detroit News

Michigan Republicans are convinced they ended up benefiting immensely in Tuesday’s election from the straight-ticket voting policy that they have been determined to eliminate. They credit presidential candidate Donald Trump’s strength in Macomb County and the preservation of straight-ticket voting for helping them capture three countywide posts held by Democrats. The straight-ticket effect is a twist of irony after a prominent Macomb County Democrat waged a legal battle to keep the voting option on the ballot. A Republican-backed state law banning straight-ticket voting was suspended by a federal judge for this election because it likely would cause voter confusion, but the fight to protect it was seen as a maneuver to help Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

North Carolina: McCrory alleges voter fraud in bid to hang on | Politico

North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed a 2013 voter-ID law which a federal court rolled back this year for illegally suppressing African-American votes, is now claiming that massive voter fraud in his state swung the 2016 election against him, as McCrory’s campaign continues to challenge Democrat Roy Cooper’s thin lead two weeks after Election Day. The contentious, bitter race between McCrory and Cooper, the state attorney general, is the closest governor’s race in the country in a dozen years — and it’s not officially over. Cooper, the state attorney general, has extended his lead to 7,902 votes during an ongoing canvass of absentee and provisional ballots, his campaign says. (The State Board of Elections, which updates less frequently, shows Cooper leading by 6,703 votes.) And on Monday, Cooper announced a transition team to prepare to take the reins of state government despite McCrory’s intense push to dispute the results. But McCrory still hasn’t conceded, alleging voter fraud in 50 of North Carolina’s 100 counties and contesting individual votes before dozens of local election boards, claiming that dead people, felons and people who voted in other states cast ballots in the race. On Sunday, the McCrory campaign emailed supporters, saying the “election is still in overtime,” and soliciting contributions for its legal fund.

North Carolina: McCrory campaign request on election complaint review rejected – for now | News & Observer

The State Board of Elections on Sunday rejected a request from Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign to take over election protest reviews, instead setting a 10 a.m. Tuesday meeting to set guidelines for counties to address the complaints. The McCrory campaign has been involved in filing dozens of elections protests regarding dead voters, felon voters, people voting twice and absentee ballot concerns – some of which were rejected by Republican-led county election boards on Friday. Campaign manager Russell Peck asked the state board to rule on all complaints. County elections boards must rule on the complaints first before their decision can be appealed to the State Board of Elections. In a rare “emergency” meeting on Sunday, the state board didn’t rule out the possibility of reviewing election complaints – but it left the initial responsibility with county boards.

Ohio: Redistricting reform could reduce blowouts in Ohio elections | The Columbus Dispatch

Nearly every legislative and congressional election in Ohio this month had one thing in common: They were blowouts. It didn’t matter whether the winner was a Democrat or Republican, the story was the same. “I was certainly surprised by the margins,” said Rep. Scott Ryan, R-Newark, vice chairman of the Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee. “In many districts where the typical mix would be more 50-50, the races still weren’t close. That was very surprising to me.” But Secretary of State Jon Husted couldn’t muster any surprise. The partisan gerrymandering process that allowed Republicans to draw legislative and congressional seats in their favor continues to provide most general-election voters with no real option at the ballot, he said.

Texas: DOJ: Texas voter ID law intentionally discriminates | USA Today

Election Day has come and gone but the court battle over Texas’ controversial voter-identification law rages on. In documents filed in federal court late last week, the U.S. Justice Department argued that not only does the 2011 law violate the voting rights of minority Texans, but that the elected leaders who pushed the measure known as Senate Bill 14 through the Legislature intended to disenfranchise those voters. “This discriminatory impact was not merely an unintended consequence of SB 14,” the Justice Department said in its filing. “It was, in part, SB 14’s purpose. Compelling evidence establishes that Texas enacted SB 14 at least in part because of its detrimental effects on African-American and Hispanic voters.”

Wisconsin: Court rules GOP gerrymandering violates Democrats’ rights | The Guardian

District judges have struck a blow against the practice of gerrymandering – the deliberate manipulation of voting boundaries to favour one party over another – in a ruling that could reverberate across the US. A court in Wisconsin said on Monday that state assembly voting districts drawn up by Republicans five years ago are unconstitutional and violate the rights of Democrats. The ruling has no bearing on the 2016 presidential election, in which Donald Trump scored a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin, taking its 10 electoral college votes, but could lead to a precedent that will affect future US House races. “I feel enormous excitement about what this potentially might mean for American democracy,” said Nicholas Stephanopoulos, a professor at the University of Chicago law school, who argued the case in court. “One of the worst aspects of our democracy has been the presence of partisan gerrymandering.” This is the first time in 30 years that a court has taken a stand against it, Stephanopoulos added. “If the supreme court upholds this decision, there could be very positive and dramatic consequences in states all over the country where gerrymandering has happened.”

Wisconsin: Many in Milwaukee Neighborhood Didn’t Vote — and Don’t Regret It | The New York Times

Four barbers and a firefighter were pondering their future under a Trump presidency at the Upper Cutz barbershop last week. “We got to figure this out,” said Cedric Fleming, one of the barbers. “We got a gangster in the chair now,” he said, referring to President-elect Donald J. Trump. They admitted that they could not complain too much: Only two of them had voted. But there were no regrets. “I don’t feel bad,” Mr. Fleming said, trimming a mustache. “Milwaukee is tired. Both of them were terrible. They never do anything for us anyway.” As Democrats pick through the wreckage of the campaign, one lesson is clear: The election was notable as much for the people who did not show up, as for those who did. Nationally, about half of registered voters did not cast ballots. Wisconsin, a state that Hillary Clinton had assumed she would win, historically boasts one of the nation’s highest rates of voter participation; this year’s 68.3 percent turnout was the fifth best among the 50 states. But by local standards, it was a disappointment, the lowest turnout in 16 years. And those no-shows were important. Mr. Trump won the state by just 27,000 voters.

Canada: Waterloo rejects online voting, ranked ballot | The Record

Waterloo council will stick with tradition and use paper ballots and the first-past-the-post system for the 2018 municipal election. Politicians voted Monday not to pursue online voting or use ranked ballots. “Voting shouldn’t necessarily be that simple,” Coun. Brian Bourke said. “It shouldn’t just be the click of a button.” Region of Waterloo Coun. Jane Mitchell appealed against Internet voting, citing concerns about confidentiality. “The secret ballot will always be a problem,” she said. She said polling locations are the most reliable way to keep ballots secret, the “old school” way. Resident Dave Shuffling said he has about eight years of experience in the computer security industry. He outlined a long list of possible threats to the integrity of online voting and asked council not to proceed with online voting. “Security is really difficult to get right,” Shuffling said. A previous council voted against using online voting to conduct the last municipal election but staff told council in January they wanted to have another look at the idea.

Haiti: Presidential redo goes well; long vote count begins | Associated Press

Haiti’s repeatedly derailed presidential election finally went off relatively smoothly Sunday as the troubled nation tries to get its shaky democracy on a firmer foundation after nearly a year of being led by a provisional government. Polls closed late in the afternoon, and election workers set to work on an archaic and time-consuming process of counting paper ballots in front of political party monitors. The schools serving as voting centers where they gathered were lit by lanterns, candles and flashlights. No official results were expected to be issued for eight days, and Provisional Electoral Council executive director Uder Antoine has said it might take longer than that. Voter turnout appeared paltry in much of southwestern Haiti, which was ravaged by Hurricane Matthew last month and was drenched by rain Sunday. But in the crowded capital of Port-au-Prince and other areas, voters formed orderly lines and patiently waited to cast ballots even as some polling centers opened after the 6 a.m. scheduled start.

Kuwait: Citizens abroad express desire to vote in elections | Kuwait Times

In spite of the long and leading march of democracy of Kuwait, the parliamentary election law does not give citizens abroad the opportunity to vote as is the case in most democratic countries. It has been the practice in democratic countries where citizens living abroad are allowed to vote in the elections, even if they are resident outside the country, making it easier for the voters to exercise their right and increase the rate of participation in the electoral process.
Participation of Kuwaitis living or studying abroad is of a great significance especially with the rise in their numbers in recent years, which is difficult for many of them to return to the country on time for the parliamentary elections.