Wisconsin voters will choose among real and fake Democrats this week to challenge six Republican senators in recall elections that may derail the agenda of Governor Scott Walker. The primaries are the opening skirmish in a state at political war. The six districts in tomorrow’s races have Republicans running as Democrats, hoping to win the nomination and effectively render the Aug. 9 recall votes meaningless.
At a time when politics usually takes a break, voters will select candidates to run against Republicans who supported Walker’s efforts to curb collective-bargaining rights for most public employees. On July 19, there will be two primaries and a full-fledged recall aimed at Democratic senators who fled the state in February in hopes of blocking the measure, which touched off weeks of protests across the nation.
“It feels like madness abounds in our state, like Wisconsin is 65,000 square miles surrounded by sanity,” said Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonprofit that advocates openness in government. “We’re just living in a really weird time,” McCabe added in a telephone interview from Madison, the capital. Read More
Primary Day problems in Sussex County were not a matter of the votes counting, but of counting the votes. Computer experts have traced the problem with Sussex County’s election results on Primary Day to a bug in the software used to tabulate votes.
Marge McCabe, administrator for the county Board of Elections, said Friday that she received a verbal report from Elections Systems and Software that the problem had been traced to programming. “I’m relieved there was no problem with the voting machines nor our procedures,” she said. “The problem was not in voting, but in tabulating.” A full written report on what the ES&S experts found is expected soon. Read More
Florida was the joke of tech websites this week after a hacker boasted he tapped the “inside details of Florida voting systems.” Twice in a week, the anonymous Twitter user @Abhaxas posted links to lists of voting-related files.
“Who still believes voting isn’t rigged?” he wrote above one list. “If the United States government can’t even keep their ballot systems secure, why trust them at all? FAIL!”
Except he didn’t breach any voting systems, the Florida Division of Elections says. And a major Web vendor to most of the state’s elections supervisors, VR Systems, doesn’t use the same kind of servers accessed by the hacker. Read More
A series of laws and proposals popping up across the United States this year to strengthen voter identification requirements is part of an effort to discourage voting by students, who turned out in large numbers for Barack Obama in 2008, the head of a youth lobby group told a conference of young liberals on Thursday.
”Under the radar, there [is] a set of people trying to make it harder for students to vote,” said the president of Rock the Vote, Heather Smith, at the Campus Progress National Conference, just one day after Rhode Island announced a new voter identification law requiring photo IDs. Read More
The president of the election service hired by the tribe to help conduct the June 25 general election denied changing the outcome of the principal chief’s race by annotating a tally sheet.
Terry Rainey, president of Automated Election Services, testified he did not know who was winning the election in the early hours of June 26 despite being part of the counting process. During questioning by Tim Baker, Principal Chief-elect Bill John Baker’s brother and attorney, Rainey also stated no one from either Bill John Baker’s campaign or Principal Chief Chad Smith’s campaign contacted him about election results between Sunday and Monday mornings.
Rainey has taken the witness stand several times in Smith’s repeal of the principal chief’s race, which Bill John Baker was certified the winner of after a June 30 recount. Read More
Voter Photo ID is now the law in Wisconsin. Starting next year, voters will be required to show a photo ID in order to receive a ballot and vote. While it’s not in place just yet, the new law will still have an impact on this summer’s recall elections.
Ahead of Tuesday’s primary recall elections, area poll workers are undergoing intense training with the passage of the new Voter Photo ID law. Poll workers are required to ask people for photo identification, even though it’s not mandatory yet.
“If people don’t have photo identification with them then they’re required to give them information on what they can bring for photo identification for next spring. So it’s kind of like a little early run through to get people familiar with that process,” said Chief Deputy Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno. Read More
The story of how state Sens. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon; and Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac, are the subjects of a July primary and August recall election is as odd as the idea of two summer elections.
Just the same, voters will go to the polls Tuesday for a primary election to determine their opponents in an Aug. 9 recall election, a tale with a few plot twists along the way as well.
It began on Feb. 10 when Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature proposed to curtail the ability of some public employee unions to collectively bargain for wages and benefits and required employees to pay parts of their health insurance and pension contributions. Read More
The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court interrupted its third day of hearing Principal Chief Chad Smith’s challenge to the June 25 election results to do a little counting of its own.
Shortly after Chief-elect Bill John Baker’s team completed its direct examination of Terry Rainey, president of Automated Election Services, the court ordered an examination of the absentee ballots and the corresponding mailing envelopes.
Rainey told the court that comparison would be the best way to establish a base line to determine whether Smith’s allegations of “vanishing votes” are credible. Read More
Cherokee Supreme Court justices Saturday ordered a comparison of the 15,000 voters who participated in the June 25 election for principal chief with the 300,000 registered Cherokee Nation members who are eligible to vote.
The action came during a hearing on Principal Chief Chad Smith’s appeal of the election. He had asked the court to order an electronic recount or to invalidate the election and call a new one. Bill John Baker is the chief-elect, having won by a 266-vote margin in a hand recount on June 30.
The comparison could match names of voters who should not have been able to vote, as first reported in a Tulsa World review of databases provided by the Cherokee Election Commission. Read More
Concerns that some 273 absentee ballots were not tallied in the recount to determine the next leader of the Cherokee Nation seemed to evaporate Saturday. Two witnesses testified the absentee ballots counted by hand immediately after the election because they could not be tabulated automatically were counted and tallied during the recount.
The first witness observed the recount on behalf of Principal Chief Chad Smith. The second witness, called by Chief-elect Bill John Baker, counted and tallied the ballots at issue. Valerie Giebel, a University of Tulsa law student and Smith campaign volunteer, said during direct examination she saw things that caused concern. But she said she saw counters use a calculator to tally the hand-counted absentee ballots and the “total was moved over to the tally sheet.” Read More
Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, sponsor of the nation’s most controversial anti-immigration law, has become the first legislator in his state’s history to face a recall election.
Pearce was the author of SB 1070, Arizona’s law requiring law enforcement to pull over any motorist suspected of being an illegal immigrant and demand proof of legal residency or citizenship. It was signed into law in April 2010 by Governor Jan Brewer. Read More
Malaysian authorities cracked down on protesters demanding free and fair elections Saturday, firing tear gas and arresting more than 1,6000 people. Some 1,667 people had been arrested as of early evening, according to the Royal Malaysia Police, with 16 children among them. Protest organizers said at a news conference earlier in the day that about 400 had been detained.
By Saturday night, police said the crowds had been dispersed.
The government said the protest, organized by a loose coalition of opposition groups known as Bersih 2.0, was illegal. It had already declared Bersih an illegal organization and police said anyone found with Bersih-related materials, such as yellow T-shirts, could be arrested.
“Malaysians of all walks of life overcame the oppressive acts of the police to come out peacefully and in incredibly large numbers to show their love for their country and for the principles of justice,” the coalition said on its website. Read More
Malaysia is bracing for an Arab spring-style stand-off on Saturday, when activists angry at “dirty politics” are expected to rally in Kuala Lumpur despite draconian government efforts to nip the movement in the bud.
Tensions have mounted in this normally staid state, often called “Moderate Malaysia”, after a group of 62 non-governmental organisations known locally as Bersih 2.0 proposed a peaceful protest, dubbed the “Walk for Democracy”, against alleged vote-rigging and other electoral abuses in a recent state election.
But the government last week declared Bersih – which means “clean” in Malay – illegal, and has warned that anyone wearing the yellow colours of protest will be detained. It has already arrested more than 200 supporters and organisers on charges ranging from the promotion of “illegal assembly” to “waging war against the king”. Some are being held for an indefinite period without trial. Read More
Next week, a new law will allow counties to set up centralized voting centers to replace or supplement neighborhood polling places. But Maricopa County officials say that kind of system wouldn’t work in the state’s largest county.
Voting centers would allow county residents to walk into any location and get a ballot specific to where they live. State elections officials say the system could help rural counties save money by closing underused precincts.
That’s not necessarily the case in Maricopa County. Read More
West Virginia is hosting Secretaries of State from across the country this week. The annual meeting for the National Association of Secretaries of State gets fully underway Monday morning at Glade Springs Resort in Raleigh County.
“It’s easy to be a great host in West Virginia,” Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said.
Those attending will be discussing 2012 election issues, business identity theft, the future of voting systems and new possible state laws for voting. They’ll learn about social media and business identity theft. Read More
Maine Democrats say they’re bothered by two voting bills that came up during this year’s legislative session. Senate Minority Leader Barry Hobbins of Saco says the two measures attack Mainers’ voting rights.
One to require a photo ID every time you vote has been held over until next January’s session. Hobbins says Democrats will fight “tooth and nail” against it.
The other bill, which has since been signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage, eliminates election-day voter registration. A people’s veto campaign has been launched to repeal it. Read More
Gone are the days when voting was as simple as voting for the best person you most want to see serve. When voters head to the polls on Nov. 8, they will be asked to vote for not only who they want to win the most to serve as San Francisco’s mayor, but also their second and third choices.
For a chart detailing how ranked-choice voting played a role in Jean Quan’s surprise Oakland mayoral election victory, click on the photo to the right.
This way of voting for San Francisco’s mayor has yet to be tested in a citywide race — this is the first time what is known as ranked-choice voting will come into play in the race for The City’s top post. Read More
Central election and Referendum Commission adopted regulation on territorial election commission. Deputy Head of Organization Department Myrzabek Argymbaev reported that the KR will establish 59 territorial election commissions for the presidential election period.
“We must keep the areas principle because these commissions will be working the next 2 years, during which district and village elections will be held. Candidates reserve for membership will be valid for five years,” he said. Read More
The electoral rolls, including more than 129,000 Emiratis eligible to vote in and run for the Federal National Council (FNC) elections, scheduled for September 24 was posted on the internet at uaenec.ae.
The rolls comprise 47,444 voters and possible candidates from Abu Dhabi, 37,514 from Dubai, 13,937 from Sharjah, 3,920 from Ajman, 3,285 from Umm Al Quwain, 16,850 from Ras Al Khaimah, and 6,324 from Fujairah.
The right to elect members of the Federal National Council (FNC) was extended to almost 20 times those enfranchised in 2006 elections, it was announced on Monday. Read More
Even as tenders have been invited for creating the online portal and supporting data systems to enable e-voting in the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections in February next year, the process will be finalised only after citizens give their go-ahead.
The State Election Commission’s (SEC) plan to introduce e-voting met with some reservations because of which the mega experiment will be first carried out on a demo basis before seeking public opinion on taking it forward. Read More
A decision by the Electoral Commission to refer a parliamentary-funded postcard from Labour to the police is expected to raise questions again about the extent of election advertising that will be funded by taxpayers in the run-up to the election. The postcard in question opposed asset sales and was funded by Labour’s parliamentary budget.
The Electoral Commission believes that because the postcard was election advertising as defined by the Electoral Act it needed a promoter statement on it, saying who authorised it. Labour’s statements on the issue suggests it thinks that simply because it was funded by Parliament, means it cannot be election advertising.
“Labour had taken the view that the flyer was not an election advertisement under the Act, in part because it had received prior authorisation from the Parliamentary Service for its publication,” campaign spokesman Grant Robertson said. Read More
The Election Office is working to implement electronic voter registration in time for the 2014 general elections.
A Government statement said the office was exploring ways to facilitate it. “The work plan for the establishment of a system of electronic voter registration will be sent to overseas missions and multilateral organisations in Fiji for their assistance in implementing the work plan,” the statement said. Read More
Democrat Party spokesman Buranaj Smutharaks says he opposes an Election Commission investigation into allegations that Yingluck Shinawatra, likely the next prime minister, broke the election law by giving food to voters.
Mr Buranaj yesterday said he disagreed with the EC’s move to investigate an allegation that Ms Yingluck violated election law when she fried noodles and distributed them to voters during a May 31 campaign stop in Nakhon Ratchasima province. Mr Buranaj said cooking in front of voters was a common campaign activity and the leaders of other parties had also done this during their campaigns.
The EC has already received the findings of the investigation into the matter by the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial election commission. The EC is set to consider the case on Tuesday. Read More
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will start the recount of the ballots cast in the contested precincts in Compostela, Cebu this month unless the Supreme Court (SC) issues an order to stop it.
Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said their target date for the recount is on July 14. He said they are just waiting for the clarification from Comelec in Manila on what rules they are going to use and the composition of the Board of Canvassers.
“We have to follow the order of the Comelec en banc. We have to re-canvass the ballots so the issue will be put to an end,” Castillano said. Read More