Editorials: Changing who controls ICANN jeopardizes our presidential election | Theresa Payton/The Hill

Changing who controls the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) so close to our presidential election will jeopardize the results of how you vote on Nov. 8 unless Congress stops this changeover. When the calendar hits Sept. 30, a mere 6 weeks before our election, the United States cannot be assured that if any web site is hacked, the responsible party will be held accountable. We cannot be sure if a web site is a valid. We cannot be sure if one country is being favored over another. These are all the things ICANN is responsible for and has worked perfectly since the Internet was created. Why change it now and so close to the election? Why does that matter to you as a voter? Take a look at recent cyber activity as it relates to the election. The Democratic National Convention was breached comprising the entire party’s strategy, donor base, and indeed, national convention. Everything the DNC had done to prepare for a moment four years in the making (if not longer) was undermined by a hacker who had been in their system for some time but waited for the optimal moment to spring it on the DNC – opening day of the convention. The FBI and other U.S. agencies, as the headlines blare, suspect Russia is responsible for the hack. Recently, Vladimir Putin went so far as to say, “Does it matter who broke in? Surely what’s important is the content of what was released to the public.”

Editorials: Scott Walker Is Proof That Campaign Finance Law Is Broken | Dan I. Weiner and Brent Ferguson/US News

On Wednesday, the Guardian broke an explosive story about how Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker sidestepped campaign finance laws to raise huge donations from corporations and wealthy individuals for his 2012 recall election. Of course, it’s not at all surprising to see a politician go after big money contributors. The way he did so, however, undermines key assumptions in the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United case, and is certainly the single strongest piece of evidence yet that the logic of that ruling is unsustainable and will have to be revisited by the court. The documents published by the Guardian indicate that Walker’s campaign committee worked closely with a group called Wisconsin Club for Growth, which was operated by one of his campaign consultants. Walker apparently held a series of meetings with wealthy businessmen just before his recall election, and emails show his fundraising team instructing him to ask for money – not for his campaign, but for the group. In March 2012, for example, Walker’s finance director sent him an email to prepare him for a meeting with the business mogul Carl Icahn, and noted that “[t]his meeting is for [Wisconsin Club for Growth] Funds.” And after a 2011 meeting with the owner of a home improvement chain, Walker emailed his campaign team to tell them “I got $1 [million] from John Menard today.” Menard’s corporation later sent a million dollar check to the Wisconsin Club for Growth.

Editorials: Russian hacking of the US election is the most extreme case of how the internet is changing our politics | John Naughton/The Guardian

Ever since the internet went mainstream in the 1990s people wondered about how it would affect democratic politics. In seeking an answer to the question, we made the mistake that people have traditionally made when thinking about new communications technology: we overestimated the short-term impacts while grievously underestimating the longer-term ones. The first-order effects appeared in 2004 when Howard Dean, then governor of Vermont, entered the Democratic primaries to seek the party’s nomination for president. What made his campaign distinctive was that he used the internet for fundraising. Instead of the traditional method of tapping wealthy donors, Dean and his online guru, Larry Biddle, turned to the internet and raised about $50m, mostly in the form of small individual donations from 350,000 supporters. By the standards of the time, it was an eye-opening achievement. In the event, Dean’s campaign imploded when he made an over-excited speech after coming third in the Iowa caucuses – the so-called “Dean scream” which, according to the conventional wisdom of the day, showed that he was too unstable a character to be commander-in-chief. Looked at in the light of the Trump campaign, this is truly weird, for compared with the current Republican candidate, Dean looks like a combination of Spinoza and St Francis of Assisi.

Editorials: North Carolina’s Fragile Voting Rights Victory | Scott Lemieux/The American Prospect

Of all the states that rushed to restrict voting after the Supreme Court’s disastrous 2013 ruling to strike down key Voting Rights Act protections, North Carolina moved the most aggressively. It enacted multiple voter-suppression measures, including voter-ID requirements, restrictions on early voting, and an end to same-day registration, Sunday voting, and pre-registration for teenagers. The day the law was signed, the ACLU and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed suit on the grounds that the statute discriminated against minority voters in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments. After a bumpy ride through the lower courts, the law landed in August before the Supreme Court, which upheld a three-judge federal appeals court panel’s finding that its voter ID-provisions were unconstitutional. As Judge Diana Motz wrote in the three-judge panel’s unanimous decision, the requirements “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

Editorials: A backward march on voting rights | Judith Browne Dianis/The Washington Post

Denying voting rights to people who have served their prison sentences was an outdated, discriminatory vestige of our nation’s Jim Crow past. Yet a measure recently introduced in Virginia’s legislature would make it harder for this group to vote. A constitutional amendment proposed by Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City) would perpetuate our racist past into the commonwealth’s future. Norment’s amendment would make Virginia’s archaic voting ban more restrictive than the Jim Crow constitution Virginia adopted in 1902. While the amendment appears to call for the restoration of rights of certain people, it would create significant hurdles for some and institute an irreversible lifetime ban for others. The measure also could open the door to punishing even low-level offenses by imposing a lifetime status as a second-class citizen for thousands of Virginians. The result would be that people with past felony convictions would have no say in elections for decades after they’ve paid their debt to society.

Editorials: Voting technology should go back to the future | John Phillips/The Orange County Register

The internet and smartphones have revolutionized the way we live our lives in fundamental, and, in my opinion, fantastic ways. It’s now possible to do your banking, buy airline tickets and pick your seats at the movies all while you wait in the lobby at the dentist’s office. There’s virtually nothing you can’t do on your favorite electronic device – except vote. And it should stay that way. Give me Scantrons and hanging chads any day of the week over online, or even electronic, voting, where domestic hackers and foreign agents potentially have the ability to alter the result of a U.S. election. Think about the chaos that swept through the state of Florida after the 2000 presidential election in response to an extremely close election – and then think about what would be in store for us if the losing candidate pins their loss on foreign espionage. We’d be at each other’s throats faster than you could say “banana republic.”

Editorials: A Lesson for Trump From Scott Walker: If the Election Is Close, Cry Fraud | John Nichols/The Nation

The first great electoral challenge to Governor Scott Walker’s assault on labor rights, public education, and public services in Wisconsin came in an April 2011 state Supreme Court race. Incumbent Justice David Prosser, a former Republican legislator who had mentored Walker when both served in the legislature, faced an unexpectedly robust challenge from state Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, who argued that the state’s highest court needed to be independent from the governor. The officially nonpartisan race divided the state. Walker’s Republicans and conservative donors rushed to defend Prosser, while labor activists and many Democrats backed his challenger. However, Kloppenburg endeavored to keep above the partisanship—emphasizing that she had worked well with Republican and Democratic attorneys general, and saying, “I have not wavered in my beliefs and will not start if I am elected as a justice. My focus will be on the court without any political bias.”

Editorials: Russia’s election and the need for legitimacy | Steve Rosenberg/BBC

In Moscow there have been fewer election posters and banners on view than in previous years. Last week one Russian newspaper joked that the Duma election had been classified “Top Secret”, since voters did not know the names of the candidates. And yet, in theory, this election should have been more exciting than previous polls. A change to the law has permitted more parties to participate than in 2011 and even a handful of Kremlin critics have been allowed to run.
What’s more, this time half of the 450 Russian MPs will be elected – not by party lists – but in single-mandate districts: the return to a system in which Russians can vote for a candidate of their choice in their own constituency. However, the timing of this vote has kept public interest low. The Duma election had been scheduled for December. Instead the authorities brought it forward by three months, closer to the summer. As a result, Russians have been more concerned with holidays, harvesting fruits and vegetables on their allotments and preparing for the new school year than with electing a new Duma.

Editorials: Croatia’s election is a warning about the return of nationalism to the Balkans​ | Paul Mason/The Guardian

Amid the alleys and ancient churches of Šibenik, Croatia, the late-summer tourists look quizzical as a tough old man harangues a meeting in the public square. “In 1945, people worked for free to build factories, roads, new houses. We wanted to build a better country then,” he says. “Find me five people prepared to do that now.” The speaker is the city’s “last partisan” – a veteran of the anti-Nazi resistance movement. But such idealistic sentiments are not popular in the Croatia of today. In January, the country’s conservative coalition government appointed as culture minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic, a man described by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre as a “fascist”. He had lionised the country’s pro-Nazi Ustase movement as a student in the 90s and labelled Croatia’s anti-fascist history and culture “an empty phrase” with no constitutional relevance. (Hasanbegovic has since emphasised that his current party is anti-fascist.)

Editorials: Hacking The US Election: How The Worlds Of Cyberwarfare And Politics Are Colliding Spectacularly | Kalev Leetaru/Forbes

Headlines have buzzed over the past few months with a series of cyberattacks targeting the American political system leading up to the presidential election this November. While initially dismissing the attacks as simple data breaches that would have little impact on electoral integrity, the administration is increasingly voicing concern that the breaches have been part of an orchestrated campaign to sow doubt and disarray in the American political system. Of particular concern is the release of stolen material to shift the balance of public opinion towards or against the candidates, while at the same time creating a steady drumbeat of doubt around the security of the voting system such that in the case of a tight race the losing candidate could claim that voting was rigged.

Editorials: Fears of Russian cyberattacks are legitimate | Jed Babbin/Washington Times

The statement, “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything” is usually attributed to the late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Whoever said it, that thought is probably in the mind of Russian President Vladimir Putin as November 8 approaches. For months, the reported hacking into Democratic National Committee emails and the release of confidential DNC documents has been linked to possible Russian cyber attacks. Last week it was revealed that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are investigating what may be a broadly-based covert Russian cyber operation designed to discredit and possibly interfere with ballot counting in the November election. The election processes in Arizona and Illinois have reportedly been subjected to attempted or successful cyberattacks probably performed by the Russians. The FBI has reportedly alerted all state and local officials to the possibility of cyberattacks on the voting process.

Editorials: The ugliest, most appalling spectacle in American politics | Eugene Robinson/Washington Post

Every once in a while, the curtains part and we get a glimpse of the ugliest, most shameful spectacle in American politics: the Republican Party’s systematic attempt to disenfranchise African-Americans and other minorities with voter ID laws and other restrictions at the polls. If you thought this kind of discrimination died with Jim Crow, think again. Fortunately, federal courts have blocked implementation of some of the worst new laws, at least for now. But the most effective response would be for black and brown voters to send the GOP a message by turning out in record numbers, no matter what barriers Republicans try to put in our way. The ostensible reason for these laws is to solve a problem that doesn’t exist — voter fraud by impersonation. Four years ago, you may recall, a Republican Pennsylvania legislator let slip the realreason for his state’s new voter ID law: to “allow” Mitt Romney to win the state. In the end, he didn’t. But Republicans tried mightily to discourage minorities, most of whom vote Democratic, from going to the polls.

Editorials: How Russia could spark a U.S. electoral disaster | Anne Applebaum/The Washington Post

“U.S. investigates potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections.” To those unused to this kind of story, I can imagine that headline, from The Post this week, seemed strange. A secret Russian plot to throw a U.S. election through a massive hack of the electoral system? It sounds like a thriller, or a movie starring Harrison Ford. In fact, the scenario under investigation has already taken place, in whole or in part, in other countries. Quite a bit of the story is already unfolding in public; strictly speaking, it’s not “secret” or “covert” at all. But because most Americans haven’t seen this kind of game played before (most Americans, quite wisely, don’t follow political news from Central Europe or Ukraine), I think the scenario needs to be fully spelled out. And so, based on Russia’s past tactics in other countries, assuming it acts more or less the same way it acts elsewhere, here’s what could happen over the next two months:

1. Trump, who is advised by several people with Russian links, will repeat and strengthen his “the election is rigged” narrative. The “polls are lying,” the “real” people aren’t being counted, the corrupt elites/Clinton clan/mainstream media are colluding to prevent him from taking office. Trump will continue to associate himself with Brexit — a vote that pollsters really did get wrong — and with Nigel Farage, the far-right British politician who now promotes Trump (and has, incidentally, just been offered his own show on RT, the Russian state-sponsored TV channel).

Editorials: The results on voter ID laws are in — and it’s bad news for ethnic and racial minorities | Zoltan L. Hajnal/Los Angeles Times

My colleagues Nazita Lajevardi and Lindsay Nielson and I analyzed validated voting data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study in order to follow voter turnout from 2006 through 2014 among members of different groups — almost a quarter-million Americans in all — in states with and without strict ID laws. The patterns are stark. Where strict identification laws are instituted, racial and ethnic minority turnout significantly declines. One way we analyzed the data was to compare the gap in turnout among races and ethnic groups. It is well established that minorities turn out less than whites in most elections in the United States. Our research shows that the racial turnout gap doubles or triples in states that enact strict ID laws. Latinos are the biggest losers. Their turnout is 7.1 percentage points lower in general elections and 5.3 percentage points lower in primaries in strict ID states than it is in other states. Strict ID laws lower African American, Asian American and multi-racial American turnout as well. In fact, where these laws are implemented, white turnout goes up marginally, compared with non-voter ID states.

Editorials: Voter Suppression in North Carolina | The New York Times

North Carolina Republicans are at it again. Barely one month after a federal appeals court struck down the state’s anti-voter law for suppressing African-American voter turnout “with almost surgical precision,” election officials in dozens of counties are taking up new ways to make it as hard as possible for blacks, and others who tend to support Democrats, to vote. A ruling issued by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 29 invalidated most of a 2013 law. The court’s scathing opinion said that “because of race, the legislature enacted one of the largest restrictions of the franchise in modern North Carolina history.” The law, passed by a Republican-dominated legislature, imposed strict voter-ID requirements, cut back early-voting hours and eliminated same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting and preregistration for those under 18.

Editorials: The Disputed Vote in Gabon | The New York Times

For nearly 42 years, Omar Bongo ruled Gabon, presiding over a system of patronage that funneled much of the country’s oil wealth to his family, his clan and his cronies, while leaving most Gabonese short of housing, education, hospitals and hope. When Mr. Bongo died in 2009, his son, Ali Bongo Ondimba, succeeded him, winning an election marred by allegations of fraud and followed by violence. Many Gabonese hoped a new presidential election held on Aug. 27 would be different. That hope has been dashed. After election results last Wednesday gave Mr. Bongo a slim victory over his main challenger, Jean Ping, violence erupted in Libreville, the capital. Mr. Bongo responded by sending in the army and temporarily suspending the internet. At least six people died and more than 1,000 were arrested.

Editorials: Cynical partisan attack on North Carolina voters | CBS

Enough is enough. First, North Carolina citizens are gerrymandered so extensively that the politicians picked their voters. Then, there’s an election law bill that slashes voting opportunities for African-Americans and young people. So, some politicians make it more difficult for those who might oppose them to get to the polls. Playing these cynical games with voting shows a lack of respect for our most important right and makes a mockery of our elections. The state’s Republican leadership, party officials and power players in the General Assembly who are responsible, say it’s just politics as usual and an appropriate part of the process. Meanwhile the courts have said that the legislature has crafted discriminatory and unconstitutional voting laws.

Editorials: Tighten ballot security | USA Today

Fears that the Russians could hack the voting system on Nov. 8 and wreak havoc in the presidential election are running high amid suspicions that Russians hacked into computers at the Democratic National Committee and after foreign intruders managed to get into voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. While computer scientists and election experts will never say never, hacking the actual voting systems is highly implausible. But if the worst happened — hackers seeking to manipulate the outcome — you’d want a foolproof backup system. Yet voting systems in nearly a third of the states lack a key safeguard: a paper record of individual votes. Five states — Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina — use paperless electronic voting machines as their primary equipment statewide. Nine others, including swing states Pennsylvania and Virginia, use them in some counties, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice.

Editorials: Virginia Republicans’ essentially racist project | The Washington Post

In about 40 states, people convicted of serious crimes regain their voting rights upon discharge from prison or completion of parole. In a handful of others, convicts either are never disenfranchised or automatically regain their rights after a waiting period. These rules amount to an American consensus on what constitutes a reasonable and humane approach to redemption in a modern democracy. In just four states are felons permanently barred from voting absent action by the governor. And in one of them, Virginia, lawmakers are considering an even more restrictive regime that would forever foreclose the possibility of redemption for tens of thousands of citizens. For this essentially racist project, Virginians can credit the ethically challenged majority leader of Virginia’s state Senate, Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City). He filed legislation last week that would bar people convicted of violent felonies, in Virginia disproportionately African Americans, from ever having their voting rights restored.

Editorials: Voting Restrictions Won’t ‘Make America Great Again’ | Mary C. Curtis/NPR

Donald Trump plans to take his black voter “outreach” to a predominantly African-American audience with a visit to Detroit this weekend, perhaps to quell criticism that his recent speeches about African-Americans have been delivered primarily to whites. That was certainly true during his August stop in Charlotte, N.C., where he began tailoring his message to black voters, who have been roundly rejecting him at the polls. “If African-Americans give Donald Trump a chance by giving me their vote,” he said, “the result will be amazing.” The Republican presidential candidate cast Democrats and their nominee Hillary Clinton as the true bigots, who “have taken African-American votes totally for granted.” But Trump’s inclusive Charlotte takeaway — one that seemed geared to the diverse, more progressive “New South” city — has been undermined by a series of clumsy and insulting overtures, and by his and his party’s support for tactics that could remind many black voters of the old South.

Editorials: Yes, the U.S. presidential election could be manipulated | William R. Sweeney Jr., Chad Vickery and Katherine Ellena/The Washington Post

Is the U.S. presidential election vulnerable to manipulation by a losing candidate? Could the integrity of our electoral process be successfully challenged? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is yes. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has supported the integrity of political and electoral processes in more than 145 countries for nearly 30 years. We have developed a rigorous methodology to analyze vulnerabilities throughout the electoral process, drawing on international standards and commitments that stem from fundamental rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other international accords. We have applied this in multiple countries to fortify elections against malpractice, fraud and systemic manipulation. From this global perspective and experience, we have increasingly seen the credibility of elections — and, in some cases, the stability of the election environment — hinge on the ability of electoral institutions, and in particular the election dispute resolution process, to withstand increasingly sophisticated political manipulation.

Editorials: Ballot Measures: American Direct Democracy at Work | Josh Altic & Geoff Palay/The New York Times

Throughout our nation’s history, citizens and legislators alike have used ballot measures to shape public policy and public opinion in the states. This process of direct democracy has often proved more effective than the customary actions of a party, politician, interest group or deep-pocketed donor at addressing some of the most divisive topics in our history: including suffrage, prohibition, gay rights, the death penalty and marijuana. Despite their significant and lasting impact, ballot measures and the varied laws governing how they work can be daunting and complex. Which states allow the ballot initiative process? Not all do. Why are initiatives so popular in California, yet unavailable in New York? How do voters get measures placed on the ballot? None of this is simple or straightforward; in fact, many people now find the language used in these measures so confusing that they abstain from voting on them entirely. The origins of direct democracy in the United States date from the 1600s, when New England colonists debated and voted on ordinances and other issues during town hall meetings. This set the stage for legislative referrals, which, as their name implies, are measures referred to the ballot by a state legislature.

Editorials: A vote for low-tech elections | Washington Times

Someone has been hacking into voter registration databases and the FBI is on it. After James Comey’s blowing off the evidence collected by his agents of Hillary Clinton’s email crimes, however, there’s considerable cause to be afraid, very afraid, for the legitimacy of the November elections. With the push to make elections more convenient at the price of security, penetration by outside actors has become nearly inevitable. That means one key part of the election process, the actual casting of votes, should be kept offline. If marked electronic ballots can be hacked, Americans can’t help wondering whether an election can be stolen. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Editorials: A path to justice for ex-convicts in Virginia | The Washington Post

The Virginia Supreme Court’s impressionistic reading of the state constitution, by which it conjured a provision absent from the actual text, has sent Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) back to the drawing board in his effort to restore voting rights to tens of thousands of former convicts, who are disproportionately African American. The governor’s determination is commendable, both to reverse an essentially racist legacy of the commonwealth’s history and to ensure that future elections in the state are as broadly democratic as possible. Mr. McAuliffe is following in the footsteps of recent predecessors from both parties, who have regarded the permanent disenfranchisement of former convicts as an injustice. (Virginia is one of just a handful of states with such an onerous ban.) Those governors expanded the restoration of voting rights, taking advantage of explicit constitutional language that enables them to do so — a power that the document’s principal draftsman, University of Virginia law professor A.E. Dick Howard, said was virtually unlimited. Mr. McAuliffe is moving aggressively to further right a wrong that has deprived more than 200,000 Virginians from voting, in some cases for a half-century or longer after they paid their debt to society.

Editorials: When Poll-Watching Crosses the Line | Jocelyn Benson/Politico

As we near another historic presidential election, the fog of anxiety about the election is returning on a scale we haven’t seen in decades. Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested that the general election may be “rigged” nationwide. He has called on his supporters to monitor the polls on Election Day, and said that voting locations should “have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching.” Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, doubled down on Trump’s suggestions, telling a New Hampshire audience that “the integrity of ‘one person, one vote’ is at the core of democracy, and that happens one precinct at a time.” Trump and Pence are partly correct: There is great value in having elections monitored. Poll watching helps to preserve an open, transparent democratic process by ensuring that elections are administered in a manner that protects access while inviting scrutiny. Poll observers can ensure the law is followed, provide support for voters and poll workers in navigating often confusing and ever-evolving election regulations. But in nearly a decade of organizing vote-monitoring efforts around the country, I have seen firsthand how volunteer monitors—often positioned as “challengers” at the polls—can intimidate and harass even the most seasoned poll workers and voters, interfere with the process, delay voting, and potentially alter the election’s outcome.

Editorials: Guam residents should have right to vote for president | Pacific Daily News

A legal battle once again highlighted the struggle of Guam residents to have equal voting rights. A federal court recently ruled that Congress can deny the right to vote for president for state residents who move to certain U.S. territories. The lead plaintiff is U.S. citizen Luis Segovia, a former Illinois resident who lives in Guam. As things stand now, the veteran can’t vote for president in November. Neil Weare, co-counsel of the plaintiffs, said in an email to the Pacific Daily News that despite this legal setback, the stories of Segovia and the other plaintiffs will continue to help push a national conversation about voting rights in territories.

Editorials: Yes, It’s Possible to Hack the Election | Richard Clarke/ABC News

After reports of alleged Russian hacking into Democratic Party computer networks, some commentators have suggested that the Russians could hack the results of the U.S. elections. Other analysts have, well before this year’s campaign, suggested that election results in the U.S. could be electronically manipulated, including by our fellow Americans. So could an American election’s outcome be altered by a malicious actor on a computer keyboard? I have had three jobs that, together, taught me at least one thing: If it’s a computer, it can be hacked. For Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, I served as the White House senior cybersecurity policy adviser. For President Barack Obama, I served on his five-person post–Edward Snowden investigative group on the National Security Agency, intelligence and technology. And for over a decade I have advised American corporations on cybersecurity. Those experiences confirm my belief that if sophisticated hackers want to get into any computer or electronic device, even one that is not connected to the internet, they can do so. The U.S., according to media reports, hacked in to the Iranian nuclear centrifuge control system even though the entire system was air-gapped from the internet. The Russians, according to authoritative accounts, hacked into the Pentagon’s SIPRNet, a secret-level system separate from the internet. North Koreans, computer forensics experts have told me, penetrated SWIFT, the international banking exchange system. Iranians allegedly wiped clean all software on over 30,000 devices in the Aramco oil company. The White House, the State Department and your local fast food joint have all been hacked. Need I go on?

Editorials: Trudeau government should let Canadian expats vote | Toronto Star

Give Justin Trudeau and the Liberals high marks for creative fundraising. On the prime minister’s Facebook page he has reached out to Canadians living abroad, inviting them to donate to his party and support “Canada’s most open and progressive movement.” But give them a failing grade for consistency. Even as the Liberals woo expatriates for money, they have failed to deliver on promises to restore voting rights to Canadians who have been out of the country for more than five years. More than a million Canadians living abroad were denied the right to vote in the last federal election. Rules prohibiting those who have been away for more than five years were adopted back in 1993, but they were only enforced by the Harper government starting in 2011. The rule needlessly excludes Canadians from remaining engaged with their country’s politics and is patently unfair. In the 21st century it’s easier than ever for people living abroad to keep up with events here, and many have a long-term commitment to the country even if they have been away for years.

Editorials: Early-voting ruling eliminating Ohio’s ‘Golden Week’ is plain wrong | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tuesday’s 2-1 ruling by a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to uphold Ohio’s abolition of a “Golden Week” for voting, was ideological, narrow – and wrong. A federal appellate panel on Tuesday reversed a lower court’s decision and reinstated an Ohio law that shortened early voting in the state and eliminated the so-called “Golden Week” that allowed people to register and vote early at the same time. The decision, if it stands, lets Ohio cut what had been a 35-day early-voting period to 29 days. And reducing it to 29 days eliminates what had been a six-day Golden Week period during which Ohioans could both register to vote, then immediately vote early, in person or by returning an absentee ballot to their county’s Board of Elections. The Ohio Democratic Party has said it will appeal the ruling, and well it should.

Editorials: Why Donald Trump’s Election Observers Are a Bad Idea | Jon Grinspan/The New York Times

When Donald J. Trump’s campaign recently began to enroll “election observers” to monitor the vote this November, the news media reacted with shocked surprise. Politico called the move “unprecedented in a presidential election,” and others predicted that it could lead to voter intimidation, or worse, at the polls. But we don’t have to guess at what partisan election observers might look like. There’s a long history of such behavior at American elections, much of it quite ugly. At an 1859 election in Baltimore, “challengers” snatched ballots from voters, sparking citywide riots that left two dozen beaten, four stabbed and eight shot. The Baltimore Sun complained that many citizens considered such violence “ordinary incidents of a popular election.” They were right: Intimidation and violence were a regular part of the electoral process. We’ve come a long way, for sure — but with angry partisanship and even political violence on the rise, it’s worth asking what happened, and how we can avoid the same thing today.