Elections in San Diego County could be conducted entirely by mail under legislation introduced Monday by state Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego. All-mail balloting would save local governments millions of dollars and increase voter participation, according to the senator. The legislation, SB 304, would create a five-year pilot program. At the conclusion of the program, the county would be required to issue a report to the Legislature and the Secretary of State’s Office on costs and voter turnout. The law, if approved, would apply to local, state and federal races on San Diego County ballots. Individual jurisdictions, such as cities, would have the option of using the system. Read More
A public hearing is scheduled near the end of Monday’s Aspen City Council meeting on an ordinance that amends the city’s Municipal Election Code, including the official repeal of instant runoff voting, also known as IRV. The meeting at City Hall starts at 5 p.m., and it is expected to be the last regular meeting for Councilman Dwayne Romero, who is stepping down to become Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s director of economic development. In November, city voters repealed IRV, a system that generated controversy following the May 2009 city council and mayoral elections. The ordinance before councilmen today will finalize its repeal, officially striking the system from the election code. Read More
Consideration of a proposed resolution urging replacement of the computerized voting machines now used statewide was put off for at least two weeks after a debate among James Island Public Service commissioners. Commissioner Eugene Platt asked the commission to become the first elected panel in the state to go on record expressing what he said is a lack of voter confidence in the “electronic touch type” machines. His guest at the Monday night commission meeting was Charleston County Councilman Victor Rawl, who last June very surprisingly lost a two-candidate Democratic Party primary contest for a U.S. Senate seat nomination. Read More
South Dakota lawmakers are taking aim at voter bribery. A bill in Pierre would make it illegal to feed voters and then take them to vote absentee at a local polling place. It’s an issue that came up during last year’s hotly-contested U.S. House race when there was a lot of confusion over how far campaigns were pushing the law. “Sometimes in campaigns, candidates and campaigns and their staff they get so focused on trying to get one more vote, or ten more votes, or 100 more votes that sometimes they’ll push the law a little too far and so that’s what we’re really trying to get accomplished with Senate Bill 88,” South Dakota Senator Bob Gray of Pierre said. Republicans criticized then Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for holding early voting rallies on South Dakota reservations during her last campaign. Food was offered at the rallies and then volunteers drove voters to their polling places to vote absentee. The Attorney General and the South Dakota U.S. Attorney both ruled nothing illegal happened. Read More
Tennesseans would have to produce photo identification to vote under a bill passed Monday night by the state Senate. Murfreesboro Senator Bill Ketron swatted down a half-dozen amendments that would have made it easier for old people or poor people without photo identification to vote. Ketron says a few people will encounter slight inconvenience, but that is necessary to maintain the value of the vote cast by legitimate citizens. Read More
The little-noticed election for a King Conservation District board seat kicked off Feb. 15 and, for the first time, district voters in Sammamish and elsewhere can cast ballots online. The monthlong election is for a supervisor seat on the board of the conservation district — the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and providing information and technical assistance to landowners. The electorate must choose among Kent farmer Bruce Elliott, Redmond real estate agent Teri Herrera, Duvall farmer Eric Nelson, Duvall environmental consultant Steven Neugebauer and Sammamish retiree Preston Prudente for the open seat. Read More
The BJP today set up a high-level committee on Election Reforms to study comprehensively the election related issues to help the party effectively formulate its stand on all subjects, including the effect of black money on the elections, criminalisation of politics, efficacy of electronic voting machines and reservation for women. The Committee constituted by BJP President Nitin Gadkari will work under the guidance of top party leaders, including BJP Parliamentary Party Chairman L K Advani, and will have party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi as its Convenor. The panel will also deliberate on issues like the delimitation of constituencies in terms of socio-economic factors and geography so that the party could take a practically feasible and politically correct stand on contentious issues confronting the biggest democracy of the world. Read More
The verification of electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the forthcoming assembly elections in Tamil Nadu will be over by the month-end, said chief electoral officer Praveen Kumar on Monday. “The checking of EVMs is completed in ten districts including Madurai, Dharmapuri and Tuticorin. Currently, the verification of EVMs is in progress in other districts. The whole process will be completed by this month-end.” he said. According to sources from the CEO at least one lakh EVMs were verified and moved to the strong room so far. “Out of the total verification, about 2% defective EVMs were sent back to the BHEL,” it said, adding that the verification of EVMs in Chennai would begin on February 19. Read More
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Tuesday filed an electoral sabotage case against their former South Cotabato Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) Lilian Radam, the first in the country’s election history. “This morning we filed… the Comelec instituted 11 criminal actions against Ms. Lilian Radam for electoral sabotage, the first in the electoral history of the Comelec. The first charge that is being made imposes a penalty of life imprisonment,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said in an interview. The case against Radam, who went on absence without official leave (AWOL) a long time ago, had something to do with allegations of her role in the “dagdag-bawas” (vote-shaving/padding) in the province during the 2007 senatorial elections. Read More
Prisoners are, by definition, among the most governed people in the country. Every waking and sleeping moment is regulated and directed by the authorities, the judiciary, and ultimately the government. Yet they are not allowed to vote in national and European elections. Quite right, too, says Middle England. They have broken the law, so they have no right to help make the law. Wrong, says the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ruled years ago that the blanket ban on prisoners voting, imposed in 1870, was an infringement of their rights. Now the House of Commons has voted overwhelmingly against the court, and in favour of retaining the ban. Or has it? The vote was certainly emphatic: 234 to 22. But more than half of MPs abstained, or couldn’t be bothered. And the motion came from the backbenches, which means it is not binding on the government, which has until August to comply with the court (and thus uphold our treaty obligations) by lifting the ban. Defying the Strasbourg judges could be costly: there are more than 2,500 outstanding claims for compensation for the lack of voting rights, and the potential bill could run to £70m ($112m). Read More
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