North America

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

Haiti: A long-awaited presidential election finally happens – with a few minor hitches | Miami Herald

Haiti’s high-stakes, on-again, off-again rerun of the presidential election finally happened Sunday. Who will emerge the victor? With 27 presidential candidates and 179 others running for 16 Senate seats and 25 in the Lower Chamber of Deputies, the results won’t be known for days. But this Election Day, like the new fraud-deterrent purple indelible ink, was much improved over the last year’s — when the results were so marred by allegations of fraud that Haiti chose to rerun the contests — even with problems that included rising rivers that delayed voting at two centers in the Northeast and prevented it at two others in the Grand’Anse regions, plus ongoing rain and problems with voter registration lists. “It was a successful day,” said Leopold Berlanger, the president of the nine-member Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). “A day that unfolded in calm, serenity… and, in general, this day unfolded without violence.” Read More

Haiti: Still reeling from hurricane, Haiti holds long-awaited election | Reuters

Haitians began voting in a long-delayed presidential election on Sunday, hoping a new government will lift the economy after a devastating hurricane and more than a year of political instability. First held in October 2015, the election was annulled over allegations of fraud, and a rescheduled vote was postponed last month when Hurricane Matthew struck, killing up to 1,000 people and leaving 1.4 million in need of humanitarian assistance. Homes, schools and farms across southwestern Haiti all bear the scars of Matthew, which piled fresh misery onto the nation of more than 10 million on the western half of the island of Hispaniola still recovering from a major earthquake in 2010. “We are in a political crisis. We need an elected government to get out of this situation,” said 19-year-old Launes Delmazin as he voted for the first time in a school in Les Cayes, a southwestern port ravaged by Matthew last month. Read More

Haiti: The Perfect Storm before Elections | AS/COA

Five days before Haiti was set to elect a president on October 9, Hurricane Matthew made landfall, devastating a country still recuperating from a 2010 earthquake, and intensifying the spread of cholera in its wake. The storm, which hit October 4, was the first Category 4 hurricane to hit Haiti since 1954. Matthew claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Haitians and delayed presidential elections for a fourth time. With the original October 2015 election results scrapped due to irregularities, a redo is scheduled for November 20. The electoral delays have raised concerns over Haiti’s preparedness when it comes to casting ballots for a president and a third of the Senate. Voting will be more difficult with fewer poll centers. Matthew completely destroyed 25 voting centers, 16 of which were in schools. Read More

Canada: Canadian Immigration Website Crashes After US Election | VoA News

Canada’s immigration website crashed Tuesday night, leading to speculation that it was caused by Americans who were distraught by the election of Republican Donald Trump. As of Wednesday morning, there was no official comment from Canada’s citizenship and immigration officials. But are that many Americans really thinking about leaving the country under a Trump presidency? Some wonder. “It could just be an extraordinary coincidence,” Prof Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey told the BBC. There is some evidence, however that the crash could have been caused by worried Americans. Read More

Canada: P.E.I. Votes In Support Of New Provincial Electoral System | The Canadian Press

A non-binding plebiscite on electoral reform in Prince Edward Island has shown voters support a switch to a form of proportional representation. Mixed member proportional representation was the most popular option, drawing more than half of the votes after ballots were counted and redistributed five times according to the rules of preferential voting. Islanders were given five options to chose from, including an option to keep the current first-past-the-post system. Voters were asked to rank some or all of the options on a one-to-five scale. If no electoral system received more than half the votes, the option with the fewest votes was eliminated and those ballots redistributed to their second-choice option. That process was repeated until one option passed the 50 per cent threshold to achieve majority support. Read More

Canada: Trudeau government to mail every household in Canada questions on electoral reform | National Post

The Trudeau government is mailing postcards to every Canadian household this month to find out how people feel about the way they elect MPs, the National Post has learned. More than 13 million full-colour postcards were being printed up this week which, when they land in mailboxes at the end of the month, will encourage Canadians to go to a website — mydemocracy.ca or mademocratie.ca — and answer questions about their democratic values. The websites are “parked” right now with Internet web hosting company GoDaddy.com but will go live no later than Dec. 1, said a senior government official. The online consultations, which will close Dec. 31, will be the last of three extensive rounds of consultations on electoral reform under way since the spring. This means the Trudeau government is expected to declare its preference for how, if it all, to change the way MPs are elected early in the new year. Read More

Nicaragua: Ortega on course for landslide reelection | Reuters

Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega powered toward his third consecutive term as president of the poor Central American country on Sunday, as voters cheered years of solid growth and overlooked criticisms he is installing a family dynasty. By fusing his militant past with a more business-friendly approach, Ortega stands in stark contrast to many once-dominant Latin American leaders, whose popularity has plummeted in recent years after failing to guarantee gains in economic prosperity. The 70-year-old former guerilla fighter, who is running with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, had 72.1 percent of votes, with 66.3 percent of polling stations counted, the electoral board said. The announcement sent hundreds of his leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) party supporters out into the streets of Managua to celebrate. Read More

Nicaragua: Wife and Running Mate: A Real-Life ‘House of Cards’ in Nicaragua | The New York Times

She started out as a teenage mother working as a newspaper secretary, then spent decades of revolution, conflict, power and public scandal at the side of one of the region’s most influential men. Now the first lady of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, has succeeded in doing something that seems more like a plotline out of the Netflix series “House of Cards”: She will be on the Nov. 6 ballot to become vice president. Her running mate? Her husband, President Daniel Ortega. The election, in which the couple’s victory and Mr. Ortega’s third consecutive term are all but certain, is a critical step in what people around Ms. Murillo describe as her decades-long climb to power. She paved the way by helping the poor and winning over the public, but also by holding political grudges and pushing aside nearly all the members of her husband’s inner circle. “Denying something to my mother is a declaration of war,” her daughter Zoilamérica Ortega said. But in many ways, the first lady’s spot on the presidential ticket is an acknowledgment of the role she already plays in the country. Read More

Nicaragua: President’s running mate: his wife | Associated Press

On bright-pink billboards across the Nicaraguan capital, President Daniel Ortega looms triumphantly over motorists ahead of next Sunday’s vote, where he’s considered a shoo-in. He’s almost never alone in those ads: Accompanying Ortega is the smiling visage of his first lady, spokeswoman and now running mate, Rosario Murillo. “That woman is the one who rules in the country. She is powerful,” said fruit vendor Roberto Mayorga. “If ‘the man’ dies, she’ll be there. She has been his shadow. There is nobody who can keep her from being next.” Murillo has taken on ever greater responsibility during the last decade that her husband has been in office. She is said to run Cabinet meetings and many Nicaraguans credit her for social programs that have helped keep the ruling Sandinista party’s popularity ratings high. Read More

Canada: ‘Not a fool-proof system,’ Elections Prince Edward Island says of online vote | CBC News

This month Elections P.E.I. sent out more than a hundred thousand voter information packages to Islanders registered to vote in the plebiscite on electoral reform. Each letter contains a unique personal identification number (PIN) which can be used to vote online or over the phone. The only other information needed to cast a ballot using that PIN is the person’s date of birth. Inevitably, some PINs have been delivered to the wrong people. All that might be needed to use that person’s PIN to cast a ballot could be a visit to their Facebook page. “This is not a fool-proof system,” said chief electoral officer Gary McLeod. “And that’s one of the risks that we have right now.” It is illegal under P.E.I.’s Plebiscite Act to vote for someone else, McLeod pointed out. Offenses can lead to fines of up to $2,000 or imprisonment for up to two years. “We can track where the vote is put on from— if somebody notices that somebody’s voted and it wasn’t them – we can actually go in and track where that vote came from” using their IP address, McLeod said. Read More