North America

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

Canada: Online voting causes headaches in 51 Ontario cities and towns | The Toronto Star

Glitches with a private online voting company impacted local elections in 51 cities and towns across the province on election day, causing at least six to extend voting hours until Tuesday in an example one expert says highlights the wild west of internet voting. Dominion Voting blamed the “slow traffic” that voters experienced just after 6 p.m. Monday on a third-party Toronto-based data centre placing an “unauthorized limit on incoming voting traffic,” in a press release sent to affected municipalities. … Aleksander Essexan assistant professor of software engineering at Western University, in London, Ont., said Dominion Voting is essentially “blaming it on their subcontractor,” adding it’s not clear why the entire website appeared to shut down temporarily. But the incident highlights bigger concerns with online voting, the use of which has been steadily growing in Ontario.  “Wild west is exactly the term I’ve been using,” he said. “It absolutely is dangerous for democracy.”

Full Article: Online voting causes headaches in 51 Ontario cities and towns | The Star.

Canada: Voting times extended in several Ontario municipalities due to online voting glitches | Global News

Several municipalities in Ontario are extending online and in-person voting times after problems with their online voting systems. The glitch affected several municipalities that use the Dominion Voting System, which struggled to process the traffic on its website, according to Kingston city officials. “The City of Kingston is one of a number of municipalities that have been affected by online voting issues. Internet voting became inaccessible at approximately 5:45 p.m. this evening,” read a public notice from the City of Kingston, which added that in-person voting times would be extended by an hour and 15 minutes to 9:15 p.m.

Full Article: Voting times extended in several Ontario municipalities due to online voting glitches | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: Liberals strike deal with Conservatives to raise pre-election spending limits | The Globe and Mail

The federal Liberal government will raise the maximum amounts political parties can spend in the run-up to an election after striking a deal with the Opposition Conservatives to allow the government’s election bill to move ahead. The bill’s proposed spending limits during what will be called the “pre-election” period were a major concern of the Conservatives, who generally lead the way when it comes to fundraising and would be in a position to outspend their competitors in the weeks before an election campaign. The Conservatives had attacked the pre-election spending limit as a blatant attempt by the Liberals to tilt the electoral rules in their favour, by limiting the ability of opposition parties to advertise during a period when the governing party continues to have access to government-funded travel and other avenues for self-promotion.

Full Article: Liberals strike deal with Conservatives to raise pre-election spending limits - The Globe and Mail.

Canada: Trudeau government beefs up legislation to fight federal election interference | Associated Press

The Trudeau government is beefing up legislation aimed at making it easier for Canadians to vote and harder for foreign entities to interfere in federal elections. It has sponsored a number of amendments to Bill C-76, including one that would ban advocacy groups from ever using money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns. When the bill was introduced last spring, the government proposed only to prohibit the use of foreign money by so-called third parties during the weeks immediately prior to an election being called and during the actual campaign, known as the pre-writ and writ periods.

Full Article: Trudeau government beefs up legislation to fight federal election interference - National | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: New cybersecurity centre to look at election interference threats | Associated Press

A fresh look at Canada’s ability to defend against possible online threats to the next national election will be one of a new federal cybersecurity centre’s first tasks. An updated version of a groundbreaking report on lurking dangers to electoral integrity will be issued in the new year, said Scott Jones, head of the fledgling Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. The new federal body aims to be a clearinghouse of information, advice and guidance on threats for the public, Canadian businesses, and owners and operators of critical infrastructure, such as power grids and banking systems. “We want to be that trusted source of information for Canadians,” Jones said in an interview.

Full Article: New Canadian cybersecurity centre to look at election interference threats - National | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: Elections Canada preps for spring vote as MPs set deadline for new law | iPolitics

Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer has revealed that the federal elections agency intends to be ready for an election by next April, five months before the fixed election date for 2019. Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault outlined the timetable as he informed a Commons committee this week that a sweeping bill to overhaul the Canada Elections Act and upgrade cybersecurity would have to clear Parliament by December to give his office time to prepare. “For the next election, given the environment, I very much look forward to having this legislation passed,” Perrault told the Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which began reviewing Bill C-76 last May.

Full Article: Elections Canada preps for spring vote as MPs set deadline for new law - iPolitics.

Canada: Trudeau says Canada does redistricting better than we do. Is he right? | The Washington Post

Speaking Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took an offhand swipe at the United States’ notoriously gerrymandered congressional districts. “Our electoral district boundaries are determined every year — every 10 years by fully independent commissions,” Trudeau said, referring to Canada’s 338 House of Commons districts. “So you get actual, you know, reasonable-looking electoral districts, and not some of the zigzags that you guys have.” Ouch. Here’s the thing, though: Trudeau has a point.

Full Article: Trudeau says Canada does redistricting better than we do. Is he right? - The Washington Post.

Canada: ‘No regrets’: world’s biggest election loser runs for 96th time in Canada | The Guardian

The first time John Turmel ran in an election, it was 1979 and his primary aim was to legalise gambling. While his door-knocking efforts earned him just 193 votes, the race marked the start of an obsession that would eventually launch the Canadian into the record books for having contested, and lost, the highest number of elections in the world.  Some four decades on, Turmel has contested 95 elections, throwing his hat into the ring for jobs ranging from city councillor to MP. Often running as an independent, the number of votes he receives fluctuates wildly, from 11 to 4,500. Long-winded and prone to campaign ideas that fly in the face of science – such as describing climate change as a hoax – the perennial fringe candidate has racked up a string of bruising headlines over the years. “Super loser fails again,” read one article, while a recent radio appearance dubbed him “politics’ biggest loser”.

Full Article: 'No regrets': world's biggest election loser runs for 96th time in Canada | World news | The Guardian.

Canada: Elections Canada wants to buy social media ‘listening’ tool to track threats ahead of 2019 election | Globalnews.ca

Twitter, Reddit, Facebook. All three have been accused over the last two years of letting themselves be used by Russian attempts to influence the 2016 American election and as a new procurement posting suggests, they are just a few of the social media sites Elections Canada wants to keep an even closer eye on as it tracks risks and trends ahead of the 2019 Canadian election. To do that, the elections agency plans to buy what it calls a “social media and open source data listening and analytics tool.” In a notice of proposed procurement posted on Tuesday morning, the elections agency writes that it needs the new tool to be able to “listen, in near real time, to key influencers to identify potential issues that may affect the election early on,” as well as to “detect, through timely and accurate notifications, potential incidents and trends affecting the integrity of Canadian electoral events in near real time.”

Full Article: Elections Canada wants to buy social media ‘listening’ tool to track threats ahead of 2019 election - National | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: Federal government to go on retreat to beef up bill to prevent foreign interference in elections | Calgary Herald

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his newly shuffled cabinet will focus squarely on next year’s election at a two-day retreat this week — including a hard look at the very laws governing elections. Last spring the government introduced Bill C-76, aimed at preventing foreign interference in elections and regulating third-party advocacy groups, as well as undoing a number of controversial measures passed by the previous Conservative government. But insiders say the Liberals now want to beef up the bill, which was being studied by the procedure and House affairs committee when Parliament broke for the summer. Among other things, the government wants to do more to ensure foreign actors or money aren’t involved in elections, require more transparency for political messaging on social media and prevent political parties from setting up ostensible advocacy groups to support them and help skirt spending limits.

Full Article: Federal govt. to go on retreat to beef up bill to prevent foreign interference in elections | Calgary Herald.

Nicaragua: Ortega nixes early election as crisis solution | Associated Press

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is rejecting calls for early elections as a solution to a political crisis in which more than 250 people have been killed amid a heavy-handed crackdown on protests. Ortega said late Saturday that the Central American country’s constitution sets the rules and they “cannot be changed overnight.” He said protesters who are demanding he leave office are “coup mongers” and said they should “seek the vote of the people” if they want to govern.

Mexico: Authorities mulling $10 million fine for election victors | Reuters

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s party could face a $10 million fine for violations of campaign finance rules, the national electoral institute said on Wednesday following the group’s wide-reaching election victory. Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who has vowed to root out corruption and make government contracts transparent, on Sunday won by a landslide while his leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) took an outright majority in Congress. The possible fine of more than 197 million pesos, slated to be put to a vote by the National Electoral Institute (INE) on July 18, would be the largest related to campaign financing for the recently concluded election season.

Full Article: Mexico authorities mulling $10 million fine for election victors | Reuters.

Mexico: Puebla suffers rash of ballot burglaries, one dead | The Mast

Only hours before the polls closed in Mexico’s highly contentious general elections, the city of Puebla suffered a rash of ballot robberies at polling stations, leaving one person killed and voters unable to make their selection for president, the state governor, and congressional representatives. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) confirmed that one of their local chairpeople in the state of Puebla, Fernando Herrera Silva, was also assassinated on Sunday. In a statement, the PRI said, “We demand the state and judicial authorities to clarify this attack, which also recorded three other people injured. This process is marred again by acts of violence and it is the duty of the state government to guarantee the safety of citizens, in the free exercise of their rights.”

Full Article: Mexico’s Puebla suffers rash of ballot burglaries, one dead – The Mast Online.

Mexico: Historic landslide victory for leftist Amlo | The Guardian

A baseball-loving left-wing nationalist who has vowed to crack down on corruption, rein in Mexico’s war on drugs and rule for the poor has been elected president of Latin America’s second-largest economy. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a silver-haired 64-year-old who is best known as Amlo and counts Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among his friends, was elected with at least 53% of the vote, according to a quick count by Mexico’s electoral commission. López Obrador’s closest rival, Ricardo Anaya from the National Action party (PAN), received around 22% while José Antonio Meade, a career civil servant running for the Institutional Revolutionary party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico for most of last century, came in third with around 16%.

Full Article: Mexico election: historic landslide victory for leftist Amlo | World news | The Guardian.

Mexico: 133 politicians murdered ahead of Mexico elections | AFP

A total of 133 politicians have been murdered in the run-up to Mexico’s elections on Sunday (Jul 1), the consulting firm Etellekt said, as the violence gripping the country exploded into politics on a record scale. The murders – mostly of local-level politicians, the most frequent targets for Mexico’s powerful drug cartels – were recorded between September, when candidate registration opened, and the close of campaigning on Wednesday, when an interim mayor was killed in the western state of Michoacan. The victims included 48 candidates running for office – 28 who were killed during the primary campaigns and 20 during the general election campaign, Etellekt, which carried out a study of election-related violence, told AFP Thursday.

Full Article: 133 politicians murdered ahead of Mexico elections: Study - Channel NewsAsia.

Mexico: Cyberattacks in Mexico Raise Alarm Bells Ahead of Sunday’s Election | Bloomberg

Cyber attacks against Mexican financial institutions and reports of alleged election interference around the world are fueling concerns among analysts that the nation’s presidential vote on Sunday may become a target for hackers. While Mexicans will cast their vote July 1 by paper ballot, electronic systems will be used to tally and transmit the results, which the electoral authorities will then release to trusted media outlets. The slightest disruption to the voting process can sow doubt and distrust, said Ron Bushar, vice president of government solutions for cybersecurity services company Mandiant. Tensions are already high in the country given that polls show Mexicans are likely to elect a leftist for the first time in almost five decades. That candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has accused his rivals of fraud and collusion to keep him from winning in the past two presidential elections, while his opponents say that his presidency would be a disaster for Mexico’s economy. Such polarization is fertile ground for cyber criminals.

Full Article: Cyberattacks in Mexico Raise Alarm Bells Ahead of Sunday’s Election - Bloomberg.

Mexico: Court Disqualifies 15 Election Candidates Who Pretended to be Trans to Meet Gender Quota | teleSUR

Mexico’s electoral court has decided to disqualify 15 local government candidates, who were pretending to traditional Muxes in Oaxaca, after ruling their attempted to use gender fluid characters to qualify under a gender quota rule amounted to fraud. “In order to avoid a fraud against the principle of gender parity, the court has decided to annul 15 of the 17 candidacies to the council in several municipalities of Oaxaca,” the court announced through an official statement. The ruling was issued after Muxe, Mexico’s third gender, organizations in Oaxaca reported that 17 male candidates from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), Citizen Movement, New Alliance, and the Democratic Revolutionary parties were pretending to be Muxes to meet a gender quota.

Full Article: Mexico: Court Disqualifies 15 Election Candidates Who Pretended to be Trans to Meet Gender Quota | News | teleSUR English.

Mexico: More Mayoral Candidates Murdered Days Before Elections | teleSUR

Yet another Mexican candidate was murdered on early Thursday morning, just days ahead of the July 1 general elections, bringing the total number of politicians killed since September 2017 to 121. Fernando Angeles Juarez, the mayoral candidate for the Democratic Revolution Party in Ocampo, was gunned down leaving his hotel Posada del Bosque in the state of Michoacan. Angeles died at the scene and no suspects have yet been identified. His death brings the number of politicians murdered since September 2017 to 121, making this the most violent electoral season in Mexico’s history. Hours before, Omar Gomez Lucatero, an independent candidate for mayor of Aguililla in Michoacan, was murdered Wednesday night next to the local cemetery, close to a military barracks.

Full Article: Mexico: More Mayoral Candidates Murdered Days Before Elections | News | teleSUR English.

Mexico: Russian bots are accused of meddling in Mexico’s election | Business Insider

Shortly after Mexican presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya held up a placard announcing his campaign’s newest website, Debate2018.mx, during a debate on June 12, the site was overwhelmed by an influx of traffic. Anaya’s campaign said the site — which was to offer evidence of wrongdoing by campaign frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador — likely experienced a distributed denial of service attack and that most of the traffic had come from Russia and China. But experts have cast doubt on that version of events and said homegrown cyber activity will likely play a bigger role in Mexico’s election.

Full Article: Russian bots are accused of meddling in Mexico's election - Business Insider Deutschland.

Mexico: A New Revolution in Mexico | The New Yorker

The first time that Andrés Manuel López Obrador ran for President of Mexico, in 2006, he inspired such devotion among his partisans that they sometimes stuck notes in his pockets, inscribed with their hopes for their families. In an age defined by globalism, he was an advocate of the working class—and also a critic of the pri, the party that has ruthlessly dominated national politics for much of the past century. In the election, his voters’ fervor was evidently not enough; he lost, by a tiny margin. The second time he ran, in 2012, the enthusiasm was the same, and so was the outcome. Now, though, Mexico is in crisis—beset from inside by corruption and drug violence, and from outside by the antagonism of the Trump Administration. There are new Presidential elections on July 1st, and López Obrador is running on a promise to remake Mexico in the spirit of its founding revolutionaries. If the polls can be believed, he is almost certain to win.

Full Article: A New Revolution in Mexico | The New Yorker.