North America

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


Haiti: Haiti Rattled by Pre-Election Violence | teleSUR

A spate of violence is characterizing the lead-up to Haiti’s general election, with several people injured despite increased security just two weeks ahead of the much-anticipated vote. The campaign officially closes on Oct 7., two days before the presidential and legislative elections. In Miragoane, province of Nippes, protestors threw stones at the political platform Pitit Dessalines, injuring three people, reported local media. The party’s leader and presidential candidate Jean-Charles Moise said he and his supporters were attacked by three different parties over the weekend, including one attack that broke his car’s window. Moise called the government to guarantee the protection of the candidates during the campaign. Read More

Canada: Citizenship only requirement to vote, say two expatriates denied ballots | National Post

Citizenship – and nothing more – guarantees the right to vote, say two disenfranchised Canadian expatriates whose legal struggle to reclaim their votes is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada in a case affecting more than one million non-resident Canadians. Gillian Frank, a Toronto native, and Jamie Duong, a Montreal native, wanted to vote in the 2011 general election but, since both work at U.S. universities, were refused online ballots under a 1993 Canada Elections Act rule that bars citizens from voting if they’ve lived outside Canada for more than five years. The rule was loosely enforced until 2007, when the then-Conservative government said expats’ short-term visits back home no longer reset the five-year clock, as had been the practice. Read More

Canada: Elections P.E.I. working on electoral reform education campaign | The Guardian Charlottetown

The plebiscite countdown is on. Prince Edward Islanders will be going to the polls in just three months to vote on whether they would like to change P.E.I.’s voting system, and Elections P.E.I. has been touring the province to educate Islanders about the upcoming plebiscite on electoral reform. After all, there will be many new elements in this vote that many Islanders may never have experienced, including online and telephone voting as well as a ranked ballot. Paul Allen, director of communications for Elections P.E.I., says some Islanders have told him they had no idea a vote on electoral reform was scheduled for this fall. That’s why Elections P.E.I. was tasked with mounting an education campaign – to try to help Islanders understand the five different options they will be asked to choose from on the plebiscite ballot. Read More

Canada: Studies show few differences among voting systems | iPolitics

Though the special committee on electoral reform will make recommendations on a number of subjects — online and mandatory voting among them — it’s the decision on whether to switch to a proportional voting system that’s paramount, Université de Montréal political science professor André Blais told the committee Wednesday. “I will argue that the most important decision you have to make is whether to adopt some form of PR or not,” Blais told members. Reluctant to state his personal preference, Blais instead used his committee appearance to present the results of his extensive empirical research comparing outcomes under proportional and majoritarian systems, such as single member plurality or first-past-the-post system currently used in Canada. More specifically, he described the results of four studies he did with other researchers and gave the committee five conclusions they could apply in their deliberations. The studies controlled for a number of factors, but Blais stressed there’s no causal certainty and that that they didn’t look at specific systems. Read More

Canada: Political scientists recommend against electoral reform referendum, online voting | iPolitics

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform resumed its deliberations Monday after a two-week break, hearing from three political science professors who all opposed the option of a national referendum on electoral reform. Though Ken Carty (professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia), Brian Tanguay (professor at Wilfred Laurier University), and Nelson Wiseman (professor at the University of Toronto) expressed different views on which electoral system is the best for Canada, they were in complete agreement on the politically charged question of whether a referendum on electoral reform should be held, expressing a consensus against a national plebiscite. …  All three also agreed that security concerns about online voting remain too great to try implementing it at the federal level any time soon. “The preponderance of experts are opposed to it, because…you can hack the system,” Wiseman told the committee, citing the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee as an example of a threat and e-voting “snafus” during the 2012 NDP leadership race, but adding that he could support its limited use for those with mobility issues. Read More

Canada: Why Canada’s top court should weigh in on electoral reform | The Globe and Mail

The House of Commons special committee on electoral reform has started hearings into alternatives to the first-past-the-post system that has been at the core of Canadian democracy since Confederation. No matter which model it ends up proposing, significant changes to how MPs are selected and, accordingly, how our federal government is formed must be referred to the Supreme Court of Canada and a referendum should be held. Any major electoral reform proposal should first be referred to the top court to guarantee that it is within the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament to adopt. Only this will ensure the legality of proposed changes. Read More

Canada: Opposition parties offered control of electoral reform committee | CBC

The Liberal government has offered to give two opposition parties control over a legislative committee that will study overhauling the province’s electoral system. The Liberals say they’re willing to give up their majority on the committee to persuade the opposition Progressive Conservatives to join the consultations on new voting systems, a lower voting age, online voting, and other possible changes. Premier Brian Gallant said in question period “We’re not even seeking a majority of the composition” of the eight-member committee, the first time the Liberals have made that concession. Read More

Canada: Dates and rules set for electoral reform vote in P.E.I. | The Charlottetown Guardian

For the first time ever, Prince Edward Islanders will have the option to vote online, by telephone or by traditional paper ballot in the upcoming plebiscite on electoral reform. The dates and rules for the plebiscite have been set and approved by executive council. Voting will be held over a 10-day period, from noon on Saturday, Oct. 29 until 7 p.m. Monday Nov. 7. Those who choose to vote online or by telephone can do so within this voting period. Every eligible voter will be issued a PIN (personal identification number) to use for Internet or telephone ballots. Read More

Haiti: Bickering lawmakers avoid vote on interim leader | Associated Press

Haiti’s fragmented Parliament failed again Wednesday to decide what to do about the caretaker president whose term has expired but remains in office in the absence of a vote resolving the latest leadership disorder. A joint National Assembly session adjourned after grandstanding speeches, arguments over agenda items and breaks for closed-door negotiations went on for hours. No vote was taken. For two weeks, Haiti’s bickering senators and deputies have avoided a vote on whether to extend the mandate of acting President Jocelerme Privert or pave the way for another provisional leader. Privert’s 120-day mandate expired two weeks ago under the terms of a February accord that helped bring him to power. Read More

Haiti: US recognizes interim leader but prods legislators | Associated Press

The U.S. State Department’s special coordinator for Haiti said Thursday that he recognizes Jocelerme Privert as the troubled country’s interim president for now as the divided Parliament is avoiding a vote on potentially extending his expired mandate. In a phone call with reporters, Kenneth Merten was asked by The Associated Press if the U.S. still recognized Privert as Haiti’s provisional leader even though his 120-day mandate ended midnight Tuesday under the terms of a negotiated accord that brought him to power. While emphasizing that Privert’s fate was up to Haiti’s National Assembly to decide, Merten responded: “I would have to say I would recognize him as the interim president of Haiti” at this time. He stressed that Haitian electoral authorities should “act soon to clarify” who the country’s provisional leader is. “We really want the National Assembly to take the action they need to take to clear the subject up,” Merten said. Read More