Colorado: Pick a name, draw a card: How a peculiar Colorado law settled three tied elections this year | The Denver Post

With sleeves rolled up, Adams County Clerk Stan Martin turned his head to the side and reached blindly into a glass bowl to fish out the name of the person who will occupy the lone vacant seat on the Northglenn City Council. “The winner is … congratulations to Joyce Downing,” Martin declared, reading the name from the card he had plucked from the bowl. This seemingly archaic ceremony, held inside the Adams County commissioners’ hearing room Tuesday afternoon, is in keeping with the way tied elections for public office are settled in Colorado. This year, Northglenn had one of three candidate races statewide that resulted in a tie — even after a mandatory recount — and triggered the need to determine a winner “by lot,” as stipulated in state election law.

National: Donald Trump Jr back to Congress to face questioning on Russia links | The Guardian

Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, returned to Congress on Wednesday to face questions from lawmakers about alleged Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US election and possible collusion with Moscow by his father’s presidential campaign. Trump arrived shortly before 10am for what was expected to be several hours of questioning by members of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, one of three main congressional committees investigating the matter. The session was conducted behind closed doors, and Trump Jr was not seen by reporters waiting outside the meeting room, although congressional officials confirmed he had arrived.

Colorado: Former GOP Chair Who Admits Casting His Ex-Wife’s Absentee Ballot Says He Doesn’t Remember | Greeley Tribune

By his own admission on the witness stand Wednesday afternoon, October 2016 was a rough month for former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve Curtis. It was the month during which he is accused of committing voter fraud and forgery, after he filled out his ex-wife’s ballot and mailed it in. She had recently moved out of their Firestone home, and, at that time, she lived in Charleston, S.C. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison. Yet, Curtis said in court Wednesday, though he concluded he must have filled out the ballot and submitted it in an envelope with his ex-wife’s name on it, he had no memory of the incident for months. That’s because, he said, he was in the grips of a severe diabetic episode at the time. He’s lived with Type 1 diabetes for almost 30 years, he said, and it is a very debilitating condition. He has difficulty concentrating, he said, and difficulty sleeping. If he gets more than 90 minutes of sleep at one time in a night, he said, it’s a “miracle.”

Florida: New bill could help those with convictions restore voting rights | Florida Times-Union

State Rep. Cord Byrd filed a bill Wednesday that allows those who’ve served prison and probation sentences for felonies to seek to have their voting and gun rights restored by petitioning judges. Currently, those convicted of felonies have those civil rights revoked unless the governor offers clemency. This bill would allow people to file petitions in court that argue they deserve to have their rights restored; and it allows state attorney’s offices to oppose the petitions. Judges must determine if the people asking for their rights back have led law-abiding lives since release and if they’re likely to continue to obey the law, if they’re not likely to be a danger to others and if giving back the rights is not contrary to the public’s interest. Judges could not restore individual rights, like voting rights, but would be required to restore all rights, including the right to own and carry firearms.

Kansas: Disabled Americans Lost Voting Rights Under Trump Fraud Commissioner’s Law | Newsweek

The head of President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission drafted a law as a Kansas official that led to 23 disabled people not having their votes counted in a recent local election. The disenfranchisement occurred in Sedgwick County and was a direct result of a law pushed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a member of Trump’s voter fraud commission, which requires disabled voters’ signatures on their ballot envelopes. Until Kobach’s Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act passed in 2011, ballots were not tossed if a disabled person’s signature did not exactly match one on file or if someone else signed on behalf of a physically unable voter. As a result, 23 unsigned ballots from disabled people were tossed in a local election where only 24,120 votes were cast according to deputy elections commissioner Laura Bianco. Some of the races in the county were decided by far fewer than 23 votes.

Kentucky: Senator Pre-Files Bill To Bring Early Voting To Kentucky | LEX18

Senator Reginald Thomas of Lexington has pre-filed legislation that, if approved in the 2018 Regular Session, would allow in-person early voting three Saturdays preceding any primary, general, or special election. Bill Request 49 (BR 49) would allow qualified Kentucky voters in their county of residence to cast their ballot in-person any time between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., three Saturdays prior to the election date. Under this legislation, county clerks will designate a location within his or her office where the early voting ballots shall be cast privately and secretly.

Louisiana: Panel collects feedback on voter rights | WAFB

From voting rights for former felons to how election resources are spread out across the state, people sounded off on how they think elections in Louisiana could be improved. They spoke before the Louisiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which held its second meeting at the state capitol Wednesday. The panel’s goal is to collect input from across the state about barriers some people face to accessing the voting booth. That information will then be passed along to the federal commission, which will compile it with input from other states to create a national report. “If we’re going to be true to no taxation without representation, I think everybody in this country needs to be able to vote,” Norris Henderson told the panel. He’s the executive director of Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), an organization founded and run by former prisoners.

Pennsylvania: York County plans changes to election process after confusion at the polls | WITF

A month after Election Day, it’s still not completely clear why York County incorrectly programmed more than 600 voting machines – risking the integrity of nearly 60,000 ballots. But a post-mortem report demanded by the Pennsylvania Department of State shed some light on how the mistake occurred and what might prevent it going forward. The Department of State isn’t going to respond to the county’s report and self-assessment, nor comment on it, according to a spokeswoman, beyond its emailed. But it did release the post-mortem report submitted last week by York County. One challenge averted, but do others await?

Virginia: Democrats seek special election for Fredericksburg-area House race | The Free-Lance Star

Virginia Democrats formally requested a court-ordered special election for the 28th District House of Delegates seat after revelations that more than 100 voters in the Fredericksburg region cast ballots in the wrong House race. Attorneys for the House Democratic Caucus filed court papers late Wednesday afternoon asking a federal judge to require a special election between Democrat Joshua Cole and Republican Del.-elect Bob Thomas, who won by just 82 votes on Nov. 7. They also requested federal court orders preventing Thomas from being seated in January and requiring the State Board of Elections to withdraw its certification of the results.

Honduras: Opposition proposes election recount or run-off | Reuters

The Honduran opposition battling President Juan Orlando Hernandez over a disputed presidential election proposed on Tuesday that a run-off be held if authorities would not recount the entire vote. TV star Salvador Nasralla, who claimed victory in the Nov. 26 election after early results put him ahead of Hernandez, has been locked in a bitter row over the vote count since the process broke down and suddenly swung in the president’s favor. The dispute has sparked deadly protests and a night-time curfew in the poor, violent Central American country. On Tuesday, Nasralla said the electoral tribunal should review virtually all the voting cards.

Kenya: Swearing in unofficial president is ‘treason’, Kenya attorney general says | Reuters

Swearing in an alternative president of Kenya would be an act of treason, the country’s attorney general said on Thursday, days before an opposition leader expects to be inaugurated by an unofficial people’s assembly. Such an inauguration would worsen the rifts opened by an acrimonious election season, when more than 70 people died in political violence. The extended campaigns eventually led to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election. Attorney General Githu Muigai did not name anyone, but opposition leader Raila Odinga said last month that he would be inaugurated by a people’s assembly on Dec. 12 – Kenya’s Independence Day. Unless a candidate was declared the victor in an election by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the swearing-in was conducted by the Kenyan chief justice, Muigai told a news conference, such a inauguration is “a process wholly unanticipated by the constitution and is null and void”.

Liberia: Runoff or Rerun, Supreme Court Decides Today |

Public concern on whether the Supreme Court will allow either a runoff or rerun of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections, is expected to be settled today in a judgment by the Full Bench of the Supreme Court. If the justices’ decision goes the way of a runoff, it means President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will have the opportunity to transfer power to either her Vice President, Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP), or Senator George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) by January 2018. If the decision goes to the contrary, that is a rerun, it will mean that President Sirleaf will find it difficult to transition, and maybe the Supreme Court will come up with an alternative.

Nepal: Lack of disabled-friendly polling centers disappoint voters with disabilities | Republica

In the recently concluded local level elections, Laxman Subedi, chairperson of the Kaski Association of the Blind could not exercise his voting right the way he wanted.   He had reached the polling center along with his reliable friend but the election officers didn’t allow his friend to accompany him to the booth. As the election officers said that only family members could accompany him to the polling booth, Subedi had to cast his ballot with the help of one of the election officer. Though he took part in the elections, he is still doubtful whether his vote went to his favored candidate. “Maybe the election officer cast my vote to the candidate of his choice? I am still not confident,” he said.

Russia: Vladimir Putin makes it official – he’s running for re-election in 2018 | The Guardian

Vladimir Putin has made the long-expected announcement that he will seek a new six-year presidential term at elections in March. If he wins, which he almost certainly will, Putin will have spent 24 years as Russian leader by the end of his term in 2024, including four years when he was prime minister but still called the shots. “I will put forward my candidacy for the post of president of the Russian Federation,” said Putin during a meeting with factory workers in the city of Nizhny Novgorod on Wednesday afternoon. “Russia will continue moving forwards, and nobody will ever be able to stop this forward movement,” he said, in what may be an early sign that the campaign would invoke nationalist rhetoric of a Russia facing off against a hostile west.