North America

Articles about voting issues in North America outside the United States.

Canada: P.E.I. Opposition calls for calls for electronic voting, despite security concerns | The Guardian

Opposition Leader James Aylward is calling on government to adopt electronic voting in P.E.I. for the next provincial election, in spite of concerns raised by a panel of independent auditors about the potential for serious security breaches. Aylward issued the call earlier this week via press release, saying electronic voting could be a way to revolutionize democratic accessibility and increase voter engagement. “It’s the way of the future,” he told The Guardian Thursday. … P.E.I.’s 2016 plebiscite on electoral reform was the first province-wide electronic vote ever held in Canada. Because this introduced possible new risks, an independent audit of the results was required by the province’s Plebiscites Act. Read More

El Salvador: EU Mission: El Salvador Election Campaign Unfolding Peacefully | Latin American Herald Tribune

Campaigning for the March 4 legislative and municipal elections in El Salvador is taking place peacefully and all signs indicate the balloting and its aftermath also will unfold smoothly, the head of the European Union’s Election Observation Mission to that country told EFE on Thursday. Spain’s Carlos Iturgaiz, a member of the European Parliament, said his delegation had not registered any confrontations and that the anomalies that had been detected were negligible or very small. “The campaign is being carried out amid a great deal of tranquility … the EU’s mission has been here for a month and so far no confrontations have been observed,” he added. Read More

Mexico: Presidential campaign takes shape, with 3 candidates formally accepting party nominations | Associated Press

Three presidential candidates formally accepted the nominations of Mexico’s main political parties on Sunday, entering what is shaping up to be a crowded, six-person race to the July 1 election. In dueling rallies in the capital, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Ricardo Anaya and Jose Antonio Meade addressed key domestic issues such as violence, corruption and the economy, and also relations with the United States. Lopez Obrador of the leftist Morena party, the early front-runner in what is his third bid for the presidency, proposed to tackle insecurity by creating a federal public security department and a national guard incorporating both police and military forces. “Those who violate human rights will be rigorously punished,” he said, in allusion to abuses by Mexican security forces. “There will be no torture in our country.” Read More

Mexico: Independents Wrap Up Signature Collections | teleSUR

The National Indigenous Congress’ anti-capitalist, feminist and Indigenous candidate will most likely not make it to the ballots. Feb. 18 marks the deadline for gathering enough signatures to be registered as an independent candidate in Mexico. As of now, just a few of them will appear on the ballots. This is the first time Mexico is allowing independent candidates for the presidential elections, and the registering process proved to be discriminatory in more than one way. Of a total of six women and 34 men registered as aspiring independent candidates for the 2018 presidential elections, only three of them –Jaime Rodriguez “El Bronco,” Margarita Zavala and Armando Rios Piter – will be eligible. Read More

Costa Rica: Election result: two rounds and two realities | The Tico Times

Fabricio Alvarado and Carlos Alvarado are now competing to win Costa Rica’s presidency in the second round of voting. This past Sunday’s election showed a profound change in Costa Rica’s political map and the popular response to the country’s marginalized areas. The election also confirmed the huge impact of religion-driven voters, who represented half a million votes (24,9%) in representation of the growing and dynamic evangelic sector combined with the indispensable support of conservative forces within traditional Catholicism, the majority in Costa Rica. The former journalist, Pentecostal preacher and legislator Fabricio Alvarado now symbolizes something much bigger than just his small party, National Restoration, which was founded by the pastor Carlos Avendaño after political disagreements with former legislator Justo Orozco. He also represents the evangelical churches that work tirelessly through prayers and social work to promote a “pro-life and pro-family” political agenda, which the Catholic Church has boosted less and less with each election. Read More

Mexico: Tillerson and Democrats agree that Russia will try to influence Mexico’s elections with fake news | Miami Herald

Trump administration officials and Democrats in Congress cannot agree on almost anything, but they are increasingly voicing the same concern when it comes to Latin America: Russia will try to influence the upcoming elections in Mexico, Colombia and other countries in the region. After returning from a five-country Latin American tour, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday: “We see some of Russia’s fingerprints around elections that have occurred in Europe. … We are seeing similar activity in this hemisphere.” He added, “There are a number of important elections in this hemisphere this year.” Tillerson did not cite any specific Latin American country, but Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland — a leading member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — told me in an interview Wednesday that he has no doubt Russian President Vladimir Putin will try to interfere in this year’s elections in Mexico and Colombia. Read More

Costa Rica: Evangelical, ruling party candidate eye runoff in Costa Rica | Associated Press

Two candidates with the same last name and opposing stances on gay marriage, an issue that came to dominate Costa Rica’s presidential campaign, led election returns and appear headed to a runoff to decide who will be the Central American nation’s next leader. With nearly 87 percent of the ballots counted late Sunday, Fabricio Alvarado, an evangelical whose political stock soared after he came out strongly against same-sex marriage, had 24.8 percent of the vote. Carlos Alvarado — no relation — had 21.7 percent and was the only major candidate among 13 to support gay marriage. Read More

Costa Rica: Women dress in “Handmaid’s Tale” costumes for election-day protest | Salon

In the U.S.Poland and Australia, protestors have dressed in the bright crimson robes and white bonnets made famous by the book and Hulu television series the “Handmaid’s Tale” as a way to demonstrate against policies and politicians they feel are are oppressive to women. Sunday, the protest traveled to Costa Rica, where a group of women donned such costumes to the polls to demonstrate against the statements and proposed policies of presidential front-runner Fabricio Alvarado, an evangelical Christian singer and legislator whose popularity in the current campaign is tied to a platform that appears regressive in relation to women’s rights and is stridently against gay marriage. According to Global News, there were eight women in total who wore the recognizable garb from the series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel from 1985, when they showed up at a voting center in Heredia, outside San Jose.

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Costa Rica: Gay-Marriage Foe Takes First Round | The New York Times

A debate over same-sex marriage propelled an evangelical Christian singer from a long-shot candidate to the top vote-getter in the first round of Costa Rica’s presidential election Sunday. Fabricio Alvarado, a former television journalist who became an influential Pentecostal singer, will face Carlos Alvarado Quesada, a former labor minister, in the April 1 runoff. The two men are not related. Mr. Alvarado had won almost 25 percent of the vote to nearly 22 percent for Mr. Alvarado Quesada, with about 90 percent of the polling places counted, the nation’s electoral board said. Read More

Costa Rica: Gay-Marriage Clash Throws Costa Rica Presidential Race Wide Open | Bloomberg

Costa Rica’s debt and deficit have risen to the highest on record, and its credit rating has been cut repeatedly in recent years. But, forget all that: It is the prospect of legalizing gay marriage that dominated the debate and threatens to turn the Feb. 4 presidential election on its head. Many religious Costa Ricans were incensed by a Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling this month in favor of gay marriage, which the government said it would implement. Support for Fabricio Alvarado, an little-known evangelical candidate opposed to the notion, leaped sixfold, propelling him into first place in some polls and spooking investors. Alvarado’s “aggressive stance” on the issue “seems to have resonated with voters,”’ Eurasia Group analyst Risa Grais-Targow said. Read More