Several House Democrats argued on the floor Tuesday morning that the rise of voter-identification laws across many states is a coordinated attempt by Republicans to suppress minority and elderly votes.
“These new policies are a clear attempt to prevent certain pre-determined segments of the population from exercising their right to vote,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio). “To be frank, Mr. Speaker, these efforts have an all-too familiar stench of the Jim Crow era.”
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said the voter-ID laws are a Republican response to President Obama’s election. Read More
Cherokee Nation Chief candidate Bill John Baker has asked the tribe’s Supreme Court to either set aside questionable ballots or order a new election, filings in the case show. The Supreme Court issued an order Monday afternoon requiring all motions, pleadings and briefs be turned in by noon Tuesday for the 6 p.m. hearing.
Baker’s camp has filed three motions with the court, two concerning the ballots and one requesting the justices call for a new election within 30 days.
In one of the filings, Baker and his attorneys ask that the court set aside all ballots that have been erased for one candidate and remarked for another candidate. These ballots were unable to be read by machines due to erasures, white-out markings, smudges or other alterations on the ballot and had to be hand-tallied. Read More
A key Senate Republican on Tuesday pressed the Justice Department to step up its enforcement of a 2009 law that requires states to provide absentee ballots to military service members and their families 45 days before elections.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Sen. John Cornyn said the department has provided “grossly inadequate enforcement” of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowering (MOVE) Act, citing what he called “the national disgrace” of disenfranchised military voters.
“In light of the Justice Department’s poor track record, I call on you to formulate and provide a comprehensive plan” for enforcing laws protecting the military’s right to vote “during the upcoming election cycle,” the Texas Republican said in the letter. Mr. Cornyn co-sponsored the MOVE Act. Read More
The incumbent North Las Vegas city councilman who lost his seat by a single vote officially requested a recount Tuesday. “With a one-vote margin, we have an obligation to the voters out there to eliminate any discrepancies,” Richard Cherchio said.
Clark County election officials scheduled the recount for 1 p.m. Friday. Cherchio paid $600 for the recount. Wade Wagner, a 48-year-old dentist, defeated Cherchio, 64, by a single vote in the June 7 election. But that was just the beginning of the drama in the Ward 4 race.
Officials soon discovered that an election worker had mistakenly allowed an ineligible voter to cast a ballot in one Ward 4 precinct. The City Council approved a redo of the election in that precinct, but the city was barred from holding a new election by District Judge Elizabeth Gonzales, who also ordered the city to certify the original election results. Read More
Representatives of Fair Elections Ohio, a coalition of state legislators, voting rights advocates, labor unions, progressive organizations, and concerned citizens across the State of Ohio, today turned in the first 1,000 valid signatures for a HB194 referendum to the Ohio Attorney General.
“In just five days, concerned citizens from across the state have stepped up to bring HB194 directly to the voters so they can decide if their voting rights should be diminished or curtailed. Because of the nature of the rights at stake, thoughtful, serious volunteers who believe in keeping access to voting available to all eligible Ohioans have done a great job in the gathering the signatures that will allow this process to move forward,” said former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Fair Elections Ohio had dozens of volunteers across the state collect this first round of signatures from over a dozen counties. Read More
Should voters be required to show photo identification at the polls? For years, the question has amounted to a demarcation line between Republicans and Democrats.
The 2011 legislative year was shaping up to be no different. Republicans seized on their sweeping electoral victories last November by enacting photo ID laws in Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, arguing that tougher rules are necessary to fight election fraud. Democratic governors in five other states — Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and North Carolina — vetoed similar bills that their Republican legislatures passed, calling them an unfair burden on disadvantaged voters, chiefly minorities and senior citizens, who may not have driver’s licenses or other forms of government-issued ID. Behind the policy dispute are important political calculations, since Democrats claim that their supporters would be most of the people turned aside at the polls and that whole elections could hang in the balance. Read More
Buried on page 620 of the state budget are a few small cuts that could change the way Californians vote.
To save $33 million, the bill suspended several state mandates requiring counties to provide voting services that many Californians take for granted. The state no longer requires counties to process all voter registration applications they receive by mail or to send out vote-by-mail ballots to anyone who wants one. Counties still could provide these services, and many probably will, but they won’t be reimbursed by the state. Read More
Without committing themselves to a November vote, a May vote, or any vote at all on the issue of a change in form of government, the Ketchum City Council nonetheless expressed its desire for a special election on the issue.
Ketchum has a “strong mayor” form of government, in which the citizen-elected mayor is the city’s chief administrative officer. Under consideration is a council-manager form of government, in which the administrative head is a hired city manager.
Also being debated is when a vote on changing the form of government should occur. That question has become as controversial as the form-of-government issue itself. Read More
Thailand’s election commission endorsed the election to parliament of Pheu Thai leader Yingluck Shinawatra, Tuesday, clearing the way for her to become the nation’s first female prime minister.
The commission said it had voted unanimously to dismiss complaints that Yingluck violated election laws by involving banned politicians – including her elder brother – in her campaign. The decision eases fears of instability raised by the commission’s failure to endorse her with the majority of the July 3 election winners last week.
The commission also announced the endorsement of outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, whose endorsement also was delayed last week. A total of 370 lawmakers have now been approved. Read More
Latvian party politics is going through a major upheaval in the lead up to this month’s general referendum on the dissolution of parliament. The political maneuvering of the past few days has resulted in party mergers, liquidations and foundations.
The scramble was launched by the announcement on Saturday by former Latvian President Valdis Zatlers that he would create his own political party to run in the next elections. It will be called the “Reform Party” and will be right-leaning, but specifics of who might join the party are still not clear. Read More
Further election-related tensions surfaced in Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government this week as hardliners in President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF called for the removal of the country’s electoral commission chief, who they accused of overstepping his authority and sympathizing with the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Critics of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairman Simpson Mutambanengwe, a retired judge, charged that he made a statement recently at an elections symposium in Spain accusing war veterans with close ties to ZANU-PF of terrorizing rural dwellers.
ZANU-PF sources said the hardliners also took exception to Mutambanengwe’s publicly expressed position that elections cannot be held this year due to a lack of funds for the ballot, saying he has no mandate to make statements on election funding or timing. Read More
The Election Commission wants the cabinet division and three ministries concerned to do the administrative job ahead of the parliamentary polls in consultation with it.
Talking to reporters yesterday, Election Commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain said the EC has already suggested incorporating a provision in the Representation of People Order to that end. “We have proposed that the cabinet division and home, LGRD and public administration ministries consult the commission while discharging administrative duties,” Sakhawat added. Read More
Candidates aspiring to contest the forthcoming Presidential Election can expect the Writ of Election to be issued anytime from August 3. This is going by the fact that the Elections Department has set August 3 as the cut-off date to complete two matters:
Firstly, to remove from any Register of Electors the name of any person where the Registration Officer believes that the address of that person as shown in the register has ceased to exist. Read More
The Federal National Council (FNC) elections this year would use the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as part of a series of reforms introduced in the election process.
“The voting would be done using EVMs for the first time in the region. The system is fast, efficient and reliable and hence it is being introduced as we want to keep pace with modern facilities to improve the level of accuracy,” said Dr Saeed Mohammed Al Ghafli, Assistant Undersecretary for the Federal National Council Affairs in the Ministry of State for Federal National Council, as he spoke to the electoral college during an awareness lecture at Dubai World Trade Centre on Tuesday.
He said the voting system would be unique and progressive, in a way connecting with the youth who are a major part of this election. Read More
Several political parties welcomed Tuesday the measures announced by the Supreme Electoral Commission concerning the next parliamentary polls, but demanded more steps. On Monday, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) formed the Commission led by the head of the Cairo Appeals Court Abdel-Mo’ez Ibrahim.
A few hours later, Ibrahim said in a telephone interview with ON TV’s Baladna Bil Masry talk show that the polls will be held in the second part of November but that the electoral process as a whole will start on Sept. 18. Earlier in March, SCAF had announced that parliamentary elections will be held in September but later in July, the polls were delayed to November. Read More