North America

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

Haiti: Losers in Haitian election cry foul | AFP

The losers in Haiti’s presidential election insisted Wednesday they will not recognise political neophyte Jovenel Moise as the winner, calling the officially declared result a political coup. But international organisations welcomed the conclusion of a tortuously long voting process that began in October 2015 and paralysed political life in this unstable Caribbean nation that is the poorest in the Americas. Moise was declared winner of the November 20 first round Tuesday night by the Provisional Electoral Council, with 55.6 percent of the votes. To check against fraud — the reason for the scrapping of the election the first time Haiti tried in 2015 — the council said right after the election that 12 percent of the ballots must be verified. After a week of checking, the council said there was no signficant fraud. Read More

Haiti: Court rules that electoral process unaffected by voting irregularities | Jamaica Observer

The Office of the National Electoral Litigation (BCEN) in Haiti on Monday ruled that while there had been irregularities in the tabulation of votes cast in the November 20 presidential elections last year, they did not “affect the electoral process”. One month after voters had cast ballots in the legislative and presidential elections, the BCEN had handed a lifeline to three political parties that had been challenging the victory of businessman Jovenelle Moise, when it ordered a review of the preliminary results. Read More

Mexico: Safran Identity & Security to Modernize Mexico’s Biometric Voter ID System | American Security Today

Safran Identity & Security has been awarded a five-year contract by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico (INE) for its multi-biometric identification system and related services. With this new contract, INE confirms its trust in Safran to conform and update the Mexican national voter registry that enables fair and efficient elections. As one of the world’s largest systems of its kind, the multi-biometric identification system ensures each voter has a unique identity by detecting false or double-identity cases in real time. It uses both fingerprint and facial recognition to help ensure that each Mexican citizen is registered only once in the national voter rolls. Read More

Canada: Federal government wants expat voting rights case adjourned due to proposed legislation | The Globe and Mail

Proposed legislation granting long-term Canadian expats the right to vote will render a court fight over the issue moot, the federal government argues in new filings. As a result, the government is calling for a year-long adjournment of a Supreme Court of Canada hearing – set for February – in which two expats were expected to challenge parts of the Canada Elections Act that have disenfranchised them. “If Bill C-33 is enacted in its current form, the appellants will have the right to vote in future elections,” the government says in its motion to the chief justice. “An adjournment of the appeal is warranted to allow Parliament to debate and consider the bill.” At issue in the legal battle is a ban on Canadians’ voting in federal elections if they have lived abroad more than five years. Ontario’s top court has upheld the restriction as constitutional, prompting the pending the Supreme Court challenge. Read More

Canada: Canadian Expats and Their Right to Vote | McGill International Review

The world has never been more interconnected than it is today. Not only are goods traded across borders, but people go abroad to work as well. Expatriates (or more commonly known as expats) are those who have lived and worked in another country, usually for a large, multinational corporation However, they are the ones who choose to remain citizens of their home country instead of applying for citizenship in their country of employment. Since they have been residing in another country, their voting rights have come into question. Countries like the United States allow their citizens to vote by a blank absentee ballot sent to them. Canada has yet to restore their expats’ voting rights, and with the new Liberal government, the issue has come up in court. Read More

Haiti: Businessman Moise wins Haiti election in first round: provisional results | Reuters

Haitians have chosen banana exporter Jovenel Moise as their next president, provisional results released by the election council on Monday showed, with the political novice winning a majority and avoiding a second round runoff. Moise won 55.67 percent of the vote in the Nov. 20 election, the electoral council said, a majority that means the impoverished Caribbean nation will avoid a runoff and a political void, so long as the losing candidates do not contest the result. “We want to salute the maturity of the Haitian people,” said Leopold Berlanger, president of the election council, which organized the vote weeks after a devastating hurricane hit the country. Read More

Canada: Mayrand doubts ranked ballot referendum on electoral reform options doable | Canadian Press

Canada’s chief electoral officer warns that time is running out to organize a national referendum on electoral reform if the voting system is to be changed in time for the next federal election in October 2019, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised. And that’s if a straightforward referendum question is asked, requiring a simple Yes or No answer. Marc Mayrand doubts there’d be enough time to organize a more complicated referendum that gives Canadians multiple voting systems to choose from and asks them to rank their preferences — as was done in Prince Edward Island’s recent plebiscite on electoral reform. “Administratively, I must say it would be difficult. Let’s be very clear on that,” Mayrand said in an interview marking the imminent end of his 10-year tenure at the helm of Elections Canada. Read More

Haiti: Political parties call for investigation as Haitians await election results | Carib News

Political parties in Haiti were on Friday calling on the electoral officials to investigate allegations of voter fraud in last Sunday’s presidential elections before any official announcement is made of the winners. Jude Celestin, who is one of the presidential candidates, has written to the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) alleging that members of his LAPEH party at the Voting Tabulation Center (CTV) “saw and noted that many minutes transmitted to the CTV were accepted and validated, whereas the correlative listings of ‘émargement’ do not have signatures or fingerprints of the voters, only able to guarantee the authenticity of the vote with reference to article 158.1 of the electoral decree”. Celestin is warning that “if, in the next hours and before any proclamation of partial results, such a flagrant violation is not corrected, it risks to irreparably damage the integrity and reliability of the entire process”. He is also reminding of the problems that confronted the elections of 2010 and 2015, noting “elections must not be subjected to any manipulation or any gross form of violation of the law in general and the electoral decree in particular. Read More

Haiti: Tensions mount as Haiti waits on re-run election results | Reuters

Election tensions spilled onto Haiti’s streets on Monday with shots fired outside the presidential palace as various candidates claimed victory in a re-run vote in the impoverished Caribbean country. Haitians are counting on their next president to lift the country out of political limbo and repair damage from Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the country last month, killing up to 1,000 people and leaving 1.4 million needing aid. With paper ballots counted laboriously by hand, election results typically take a week to be announced in Haiti. But less than 24 hours after polling centers had closed, some candidates and their supporters claimed they had won, leading to chaotic scenes in the capital where guards were forced to shoot into the air to clear a celebrating crowd. The provisional electoral council (CEP) released a statement urging the public to disregard any premature victory announcements. “We call on the population not to believe or transmit any pseudo-result, even partial, that has reached them,” it said. “Any result circulating on the internet or social media is not attributable to the CEP.” Read More

Canada: Bill introduced to expand voting rights to expatriates | Reuters

Canada moved on Thursday to expand the ability to vote to citizens that have lived out of the country for more than five years, making good on part of the Liberal government’s campaign promise to reform election laws. The bill, introduced by Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef, will also allow voter information cards to be used as identification at the polls and allow a voter to vouch for someone else without ID, measures Monsef said will improve voter participation. The proposed changes would roll back measures that were brought in under the previous Conservative government. With the one-year-old Liberal government controlling the majority in the House of Commons, the bill was all but guaranteed to pass, though Monsef said she looked forward to working with opposition parties on any improvements. Read More