In a press conference held this afternoon in Juneau, Alaska’s GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, Joe Miller, finally conceded the election to write-in candidate and incumbent Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. He has decided not to appeal his federal case as dismissed by a U.S. circuit court judge on Tuesday. See AP’s coverage for more on today’s announcement. Read More
Voters from low-income neighborhoods had a tougher time with the complexities of the ranked-choice voting system in November’s election.That’s the bottom line of a California Watch analysis of voting data from the electoral district that arguably faced the most complicated ballot in California: San Francisco’s Supervisorial District 10. Read More
A coalition of about 20 activist groups asked Gov.-elect Terry Branstad on Monday not to follow through on a pledge to rescind an executive order that automatically restores voting rights to ex-convicts. The groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, sent a letter to Branstad expressing support for a statewide policy adopted in 2005. That’s when Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack issued a blanket order restoring voting rights to about 50,000 Iowa felons who had completed their criminal sentences. Read More
Bob Delaney said today he acted with diligence when he mailed 1,207 military ballots on Oct. 4, 16 days after a federal election law deadline and 31 days late by Illinois election standards. Testifying before an Illinois House Elections and Campaign Reform committee, Delaney said he was trying to avoid reprinting costs, in case pending litigation threw candidates off the ballot. Read More
Montana lawmakers will be asked to approve a bill with bipartisan support that would set up vote-by-mail elections for all federal, state and local elections in Montana in 2012, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch said Wednesday. “Vote-by-mail elections increase voter participation, enhance voter protection and save taxpayer money,” said McCulloch, a Democrat and the state’s chief election officer. House Bill 130 is the product of a working group commissioned by McCulloch that represented a variety of organizations and county governments. Rep. Pat Ingraham, R-Thompson Falls, a former county clerk and election administrator, is sponsoring the bill. Read More
An acting state Supreme Court justice has dismissed questions raised about the status of a Rensselaer County grand jury investigating ballot fraud and a judge overseeing it. Attorneys for City Councilman Michael LoPorto and county Democratic Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough attempted in December “to intervene regarding the proceedings” of the grand jury probing allegations of absentee ballot fraud in the 2009 Working Families Party primary in Troy, according to a court document. Read More
The administrator of the Sumner County Election office says a snafu that caused some Ward 6 residents to cast votes in Hendersonville’s Ward 5 in November did not affect the outcome of the tight three-person race. In that race, Matt Stamper received 829 votes, Jim Waters received 747 votes and incumbent Darlene Stringfellow received 639 votes. Election office administrator Darlean McDougal estimates 42 residents voted early in the Ward 6 race and could have voted in the wrong ward. The 42 votes are fewer than Stamper’s 82-vote margin of victory. “As soon as I found out the (voting assignments) were wrong, I got them corrected,” she said. “It was corrected by Election Day.” Read More
For the second year in a row, legislators are hoping to make it easier for Virginians to vote early by mail and in person. Del. Rosalyn Dance (D-Dist. 63) has introduced several bills that allow voters to mail in an absentee ballot without declaring a reason, which is known as no-fault voting. Her proposals also would allow voters to cast ballots prior to Election Day in person without needing to state a reason. Currently, voters must fill out an application stating they are serving in the military overseas, working out of town or are ill or disabled to receive a ballot in the mail. Read More
Special elections in February will cost public school districts in Clallam County between $52,000 and $60,000. Both the Port Angeles School District and the Quillayute Valley School District in Forks have placed replacement maintenance and operations property tax levies on the Feb. 8 ballot. The Port Angeles district will pay between $45,000 and $50,000 to run the special election, but the final amount won’t be known until after the election is over, said Clallam County Auditor Patty Rosand. The Quillayute Valley School District will pay between $7,000 and $10,000, she said. Both districts are asking for a small increase over the property tax levies now in place, which will expire at the end of 2011. If approved, the levies would appear on 2012 property tax bills. Read More
The West Virginia Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in the lawsuit over a possible gubernatorial special election for next week. The West Virginia Education Association and West Virginia AFL-CIO are among those urging the Court to order a special election. Both groups filed amicus briefs last month on behalf of the West Virginia Citizens Group. The group filed a petition in November asking for a prompt election to replace Gov. Joe Manchin, who was elected to fill the late Robert C. Byrd’s U.S. Senate seat. Acting Governor and state Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin has said current laws “clearly provide” that the election to replace Manchin as governor should be in 2012. But Tomblin, D-Logan, has acknowledged that he knows many people want an election before that. Read More
In response to an invitation from the ambassador of the United States to the OSCE, and based on the recommendation of a needs assessment mission that was carried out on 23-27 May, ODIHR deployed an election assessment mission on 11 October for the mid-term congressional elections on 2 November. The mission, led by Miklos Haraszti of Hungary, included 12 experts from 12 OSCE participating States. According to the mission’s final report: “The mid-term congressional elections were administered in a professional manner and generally enjoyed the confidence of election stakeholders, despite some reoccurring deficiencies in the electoral framework. Many of these shortcomings are consequences of a highly decentralized and complex system of conducting federal elections.” Read the OSCE Report (PDF)
One of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House is to take away the floor voting rights of six delegates representing areas such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa. Five of those delegates are Democrats, while one, from the Northern Marianas Islands, is an independent.
The GOP decision to rescind the ability of delegates to vote on amendments on the House floor was the predictable outcome of a longtime party divide. Democrats extended the voting rights in 1993 when they controlled the House, Republicans disenfranchised the delegates when they became the majority in 1995 and Democrats restored delegate rights when they regained control of the House in 2007. “This is a very undemocratic way to start the 112th Congress,” said Virgin Islands Del. Donna Christensen. With the new GOP rule, she said, “there are over 4.5 million Americans who don’t get input into shaping the final bill.” Read More
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will be installed Thursday as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in Washington, D.C. Ritchie, who presided over the U.S. Senate recount in 2008, became a lighting rod for GOP critics who thought he favored Democrat Al Franken over incumbent Republican Norm Coleman. But the recount survived court challenges, which didn’t hurt Ritchie’s national profile. Read More
The Ministry of Interior has launched a new electronic voting (E-voting) system for the upcoming Majlis Al Shura elections to avoid double voting, yesterday. The election will be held in October. The new system was launched under the patronage of Ahmed bin Abdul Nabi Macki, minister of national economy and deputy chairman of Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council. The automated system will avoid double voting practice. The system, which is going to be used for the first time, will monitor the number of votes cast by a voter. A voter will not be able to vote more than once at the same centre or in any other stations. Mohammed bin Sultan Al Busaidi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior, said the project will check any kind of malpractices during the voting. Read More
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