North America

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

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 — or — and answer questions about their democratic values. The websites are “parked” right now with Internet web hosting company 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

Canada: Meet ‘the tabulator’: Able to count 300 paper ballots a minute | CBC

When the official vote count begins for the P.E.I. plebiscite, it will be a computer that tallies up the votes and declares the winner. This is P.E.I.’s first foray into electronic voting and the first time those votes will be counted and processed by a computer, instead of by people. “If we had to count all those ballots manually I think we’d be there for months,” said Harry Neufeld, who’s co-ordinating the audit team for the plebiscite. He’s the former chief electoral officer of British Columbia and has been involved in several electoral reviews in other provinces. When voting ends on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 8 pm, the ballot boxes will be collected from across the Island and taken to Elections P.E.I. office where they’ll be secured overnight. Read More

Canada: Trudeau taking heat for walking back electoral reform | iPolitics

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have opened the door to maintaining Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system, despite having promised the 2015 federal election would be the last to use it. In an interview with Le Devoir Ottawa correspondent Marie Vastel to mark the end of his government’s first year, Trudeau said he no longer sees the same appetite for electoral reform he did when the Conservatives were in power. “Under Stephen Harper, there were so many people unhappy with the government and their approach that people were saying, ‘It will take electoral reform to no longer have a government we don’t like’. But under the current system, they now have a government they’re more satisfied with and the motivation to change the electoral system is less compelling,” he said.  Read More

Trinidad and Tobago: Appeals court rejects opposition election challenge | Caribbean News Now

The Court of Appeal in Port of Spain, Trinidad, took just two hours on Monday to reject an appeal by the opposition United National Congress (UNC) challenging the dismissal of its election petitions over the results of last year’s general election. Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Appellate Judges Allan Mendonca and Peter Jamadar dashed the UNC’s hopes of having a by-election in five marginal constituencies as they ruled that the polls had been conducted “in a free and fair manner consistent with the constitutional requirements for democracy,” the Trinidad Guardian reported. However, the appeal panel, comprised of the country’s most senior judges, ruled that the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) overstepped its remit when it decided to extend the polls by one hour in Trinidad due to heavy rainfall. Read More