National: Administration won’t release redacted intelligence report on Russian election meddling | Politico

The Trump administration is refusing to release a redacted version of a key report President Barack Obama received in January on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, court filings show. Then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made public an unclassified version of that report, but the Electronic Privacy Information Center brought a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit demanding a copy of the classified report given to Obama at the same time. EPIC said the unclassified version omitted “critical technical evidence” that could help the public assess U.S. intelligence agencies’ claims that Russia did make efforts to affect the outcome of the 2016 race.

Editorials: It’s time to restore full power to the Voting Rights Act | Leah Aden/The Hill

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, a devastating ruling that immobilized a part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) that was one of the most effective tools for protecting voters and strengthening our political process. As a result, far too many state and local jurisdictions have unabashedly considered and passed racially discriminatory voting laws; wasted millions of dollars defending them; and cost millions of disproportionately black and Latino Americans their most basic right in our democracy: The right to vote.

Iowa: Statewide election changes coming July 1 | Daily Reporter

Some minor changes to Iowa election laws will go into effect July 1, while major changes to the election laws will be occurring in the next two years. Among the minor changes, voters not registered to vote in the precinct where they live will need to provide proof of residence, as well as identification, when they vote at the polling place. “This will be the last year that people vote for their school board in September. They vote for school board every two years in the odd years. In 2019, when voters vote for city council they will also be electing their school board. Which means everyone in the county in November 2019 whether rural or city will be able to cast a ballot,” Clay County Auditor Marjorie Pitts said. “If you live in a city you will have both city council and school board members on your ballot. To me this is a pretty significant change.”

Louisiana: Civil rights groups fight to restore ex-felon voting rights | The Louisiana Weekly

Two civil rights groups have joined forces to battle a 2017 trial court ruling that allows the State of Louisiana to deny voting rights to more than 70,000 of its residents. On June 13, The Advancement Project, a civil rights and racial justice program based in Washington D.C., announced their intention to file an appeal in the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the First Circuit on behalf of the New Orleans-based non-profit organization Voice of the Experienced (VOTE). The appeal challenges a March 2017 decision by 19th Judicial District Judge Tim Kelley in which he, apparently somewhat reluctantly, upheld current laws that prohibit ex-felons on probation or parole from voting.

North Carolina: Redistricting skews North Carolina maps for Congress, General Assembly | News & Observer

North Carolina’s congressional and state House districts are among the most Republican-skewed in the country despite voter preferences that are relatively evenly split, according to an Associated Press analysis. The AP calculated the partisan advantage for North Carolina Republicans in the 2016 state and federal House races through a new statistical tool that’s designed to detect cases in which a political party maintained or increased its grip on power through how it drew voting districts. The measurement, known as the “efficiency gap,” has separately gained attention as a key argument in a pending Supreme Court case from Wisconsin that alleges partisan gerrymandering. It’s also cited by groups challenging the design of North Carolina’s congressional map, though the Republican defendants argue the measure shouldn’t be used as a legal standard. In the nationwide AP analysis, North Carolina had the highest efficiency gap – or greatest Republican advantage – among the roughly two-dozen largest states that determine the vast majority of Congress.

North Carolina: GOP wants new election maps for judges and prosecutors | News & Observer

A plan to redraw North Carolina’s court districts has emerged in the final days of the General Assembly’s session, and is on a fast track to clear the state House. Three election maps – for superior and district court judges and district attorneys – would be changed through a bill whose proponents say it would realign districts to better reflect population growth, geography and workloads. In some cases the maps create new, smaller districts and in other cases they add judges to existing districts.

Ohio: Rep. Pelanda backs legislation to streamline in-person absentee voting process | Marion Online

The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that updates various laws pertaining to voter registration, as well as procedures for casting, processing and reviewing in-person absentee ballots. The goal of House Bill 41, sponsored by Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), is to ensure that in-person absentee voters are afforded the same streamlined process as Election Day voters experience. “House Bill 41 enacts common-sense and much-needed reforms to our absentee voter and registration laws,” Pelanda said. “The bill eases the ability of the public in Ohio to participate in our voting process and has received the full support of the Ohio Association of Election Officials.”

Texas: State joins majority in ending straight-ticket voting | CNHI

Gov. Greg Abbott recently resolved the future of straight-ticket voting in Texas when he signed a bill to eliminate the option, but the impact of the new law on future elections is far from certain. “It’s a fairly audacious move by Republicans,” said Rice University political scientist Mark Jones. “They may or may not benefit. They really don’t know.” Green Party and Libertarian Party members testified during a House hearing in favor of doing away with straight-ticket voting, while Texas Democrats strongly favor continuing the practice.

Wisconsin: Voter ID Case Continues Without Ruthelle Frank | Wisconsin Public Radio

The Wisconsin voter ID case Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker will continue without Frank. The Village of Brokaw woman died June 4 at the age of 89, without seeing the resolution of the civil rights case that bears her name. In 2011, Frank became the lead plaintiff in the case, which was filed by the ACLU. Frank was a village alderwoman who couldn’t vote in her own election because she didn’t have an ID or the birth certificate she needed to obtain one. “Well, that was just a slap in the face,” Frank said at the time. “They wouldn’t even look at my other papers. I had everything. I had my social security card. I had my marriage license. I had proof where I lived, and I had all the other requirements. The only thing I didn’t have was a birth certificate. I don’t feel that I should have to have a birth certificate to be able to vote.”

Albania: Pro-EU prime minister set to win parliamentary majority | The Guardian

Albania’s prime minister, the artist turned politician Edi Rama, is poised to be returned to power following parliamentary elections seen as key to the country’s future prospects of EU membership. As ballots continued to be counted on Monday, an exit poll showed Rama and his Socialist party on course to win between 45% and 49% of the vote. If correct, the result would secure the Socialists control of more than half the 140-seat house. The opposition centre-right Democratic party, led by Lulzim Basha, was trailing with 34%. The poll, conducted by Italy’s IPR Marketing, had a margin of error of two percentage points.

Mongolia: Candidate cries foul as Mongolia heads toward runoff vote | AFP

The third-place finisher in Mongolia’s presidential vote cried foul and demanded a recount on Tuesday after electoral authorities declared he was narrowly beaten for a spot in next month’s runoff election. The drama capped a campaign marked by corruption scandals plaguing all three candidates that overshadowed voter concerns over unemployment in the debt-laden country wedged between Russia and China. The result of Monday’s vote was put off by several hours until Tuesday morning, angering supporters of Sainkhuu Ganbaatar of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP). “We should recount it, otherwise we lose our democracy,” Ganbaatar told AFP. “They are violating people’s votes.”

Netherlands: Voters with disabilities not properly assisted at the ballot box: Report | NL Times

Some 40 percent of Dutch voters with visual impairment or with mental disabilities had trouble in the polling station during the parliamentary election in March, according to a study by the College of Human Rights. The Netherlands must do more to help these vulnerable groups cast their vote, the college said, according to RTL Nieuws. Most of the trouble arose in reading and filling out the ballot paper, and reading practical information, according to the study.

Papua New Guinea: Voting postponed with officials on strike due to pay issues | Associated Press

Papua New Guinea voters are going to the polls in elections dominated by corruption allegations hanging over their prime minister and the South Pacific island nation’s deepening economic woes. Voting started Saturday and will continue until July 8 through a complex exercise safeguarded by police and soldiers in a rugged country where few roads penetrate a mountainous jungle interior, and where allegations of corruption and violence often mar elections. Vote counting will likely take another two weeks after the polls close, and which party the newly elected lawmakers will support to form a government will not be known for certain until they take office and arrive in the capital, Port Moresby.