National: Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer | The New York Times

American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence. The conversations focused on Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman at the time, and Michael T. Flynn, a retired general who was advising Mr. Trump, the officials said. Both men had indirect ties to Russian officials, who appeared confident that each could be used to help shape Mr. Trump’s opinions on Russia. Some Russians boasted about how well they knew Mr. Flynn. Others discussed leveraging their ties to Viktor F. Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine living in exile in Russia, who at one time had worked closely with Mr. Manafort.

Alabama: New law clears up voting confusion for Alabamians with a felony | WSFA

Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law Wednesday that clears up confusion for some 250,000 Alabamians who currently can’t vote due to a felony conviction. There’s now a list that clearly defines which felonies prohibit someone from the ballot box for life. For others, this bill could restore their voting rights, but just how many remains unclear. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, the Southern Poverty Law Center breaks it down like this: your voting rights fall into one of three categories.

Connecticut: House takes step on long road to early voting in Connecticut | CT Mirror

If early voting comes to Connecticut, it will be late — following at 37 other states and the District of Columbia. A sharply divided House of Representatives took a small step Tuesday toward putting the issue to a referendum vote, though not before 2020. The House voted 78 to 70, with two Republicans joining 76 Democrats, for a resolution authorizing a referendum on a constitutional amendment allowing early voting. Connecticut is a rarity: The terms for casting ballots early or by absentee ballot is dictated by the constitution. If passed by the Senate, the road to change still is long and uncertain. The General Assembly elected in 2018 would have to vote in 2019 for the same resolution if voters get to have their say in 2020. Even if approved at referendum, the constitutional amendment only would allow legislators to consider a bill permitting early voting in the 2021 session.

Connecticut: Perillo proposes voter ID requirement | Shelton Herald

During an early evening session of the State House of Representatives, debating legislation aimed at advancing an amendment to the state’s constitution that permits early voting, Representative Jason Perillo (R-113) offered an amendment that would require those who cast votes in municipal, state and federal elections to present a valid photo ID to election officials that contains their name and address before casting their vote.

Editorials: Maine SoS Dunlap badly mistaken in agreeing to serve on Trump voter fraud panel | Richard Hasen/Portland Press Herald

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is making a serious mistake by agreeing to participate in a sham “voter integrity” commission established by President Trump to validate his ludicrous claims about voter fraud. But it is not too late for Dunlap to withdraw, and it’s the right thing to do. Arguments about the extent of voter fraud and voter suppression are not new, with Republicans tending to claim that voter fraud is a major problem that requires laws making it harder to register and vote, such as strict voter identification laws. Democrats see these laws as aimed at suppressing the votes of those likely to vote for Democratic candidates.

Montana: Special election comes with unusual schedule, polling place changes | KTVH

With less than a day remaining until polls open in Montana’s special congressional election, county officials are busy getting ready. “Sometimes I think of planning the election kind of like planning a wedding, where there’s months and months of preparation,” said Audrey McCue, Lewis and Clark County’s elections supervisor. “The day before the election we’re wrapping up all of those preparations, getting everything ready to go, and then on Election Day, it’s the big event, the main event.”

Nevada: Voting rights for felons part of Legislature’s criminal justice reform push | Las Vegas Sun

A national push toward criminal justice reform has made its way to Nevada, where lawmakers are eyeing changes including the right to vote for felons. Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, is sponsoring the disenfranchisement bill and says the state is certainly new to criminal justice reform. “We have discussed it over the years, but I think this is the first time that in a bipartisan way folks are recognizing that we could actually save taxpayer dollars and protect the public better by being more responsible with how we use our money in the criminal justice system,” Frierson said.

Utah: Hughes says no lawsuit over special election flap likely, but legislature will make changes in 2018 | UtahPolicy

House Speaker Greg Hughes says he doesn’t expect lawmakers to sue Governor Gary Herbert over the special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, but he does think the governor overstepped his bounds. Lawmakers had talked about a lawsuit after Gov. Herbert refused to call the legislature into session to set the procedure to fill Chaffetz’s seat. Instead, Herbert set up the process to choose a replacement once he steps down on June 30. I warned my colleagues that during our conversations with the governor that if we could not work this out in a reasonable way, this is a battle we could not win,” said Hughes. “I warned my colleagues that this is one of the problems with not being able to call ourselves into a special session like 35 other states.”

India: Row over India’s electronic voting machines leaves electors dazed | Al Arabiya

The brouhaha over use of smart electronic voting machines (EVMs) in India’s legislative elections has reached an ear-splitting pitch, leaving the 850 million constituents confused and confounded. All set for the five-year general polls scheduled for 2019, India’s Election Commission has time and again asseverated that the voter-friendly devices are tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated, but opposition parties have been demanding a ban on the high-tech gizmos and want the poll panel to return to the good old paper ballot system. Browned off by the belligerent mood of seven national and 35 recognized state parties bent on blowing the whistle, the exasperated commission has now thrown a gauntlet before them and invited politicos of all hues to examine the EVMs from June 3 onwards and show how the indigenously-manufactured machines can be hacked.

Malta: Russian red herring for breakfast – Why would Putin want to elect Simon Busuttil? | The Malta Independent

Yesterday will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the more bizarre days in Maltese electoral history. But before delving into the somewhat murky waters of the Prime Minister’s cloak and dagger, and diplomatically dangerous, assertions about Russia’s nefarious interests in Maltese political affairs one central question needs to be asked: why, exactly would Vladimir Putin want to see Simon Busuttil elected? The fact of the matter is that if asked to choose a preferred leader of Malta, Putin would no doubt prefer a Socialist Prime Minister who has over his tenure consistently looked east and courted and sold state assets to countries such as Azerbaijan and China over a Christian Democrat who believes so wholeheartedly in the European project.

United Kingdom: Election campaign resumes after Manchester attack | Reuters

Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) will unveil its policy pledges on Thursday, restarting an election campaign which was suspended after a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens more in the northern city of Manchester. Britons are due to vote on June 8, with the latest polls, published before Monday’s attack, showing Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives comfortably ahead of the main opposition Labour Party, albeit with a narrowing lead. The two main parties will restart their national campaigns on Friday but UKIP, which was key to securing Britain’s exit from the European Union, said the best response to the attack was to begin as soon as possible.