North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D) has vetoed a Voter-ID bill passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature. The proposed law was part of a wave of similar bills that have been pushed by Republican-led legislatures in the wake of the 2010 elections. Like those, it would have required voters to show certain approved forms of photo identification at their polling places, or else cast provisional ballots and then have to prove their eligibility later.
Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 672, a bill rather inappropriately named the “Election Support Consolidation and Efficiency Act.” The legislation would dismantle the Election Assistance Commission and transfer some of its most important functions to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) – an agency hardly known for its efficiency (or effectiveness). Fortunately, enough Representatives saw past the name to the damage it would have done to the administration of our elections, and the bill failed to receive the votes needed to pass.
But H.R. 672’s consideration by the House — and the gnashing of teeth over its defeat that will surely follow in the coming days– should not pass by without pausing to examine the folly of putting even more responsibility on the shoulders of the FEC at a time when it is incapable of carrying out its most basic functions. Read More
The state House signed off on a voter identification bill Thursday after nearly 10 hours of sharply partisan floor debate over three days, sending the legislation to the Senate for consideration.
House members voted 108-88 to pass the divisive bill, which would require most voters to show photo ID before casting a ballot. Sponsor Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, said the measure is necessary to cut down on “significant voter fraud plaguing Pennsylvania’s elections.”
No Democrats voted to support the bill, unsuccessfully challenging its constitutionality more than five times during floor debate. They warned that enacting the legislation would cost tens of millions of dollars on a problem that doesn’t exist and would shut out thousands of eligible voters who lack proper ID. Read More
A sweeping overhaul of Ohio’s election laws passed the Senate on a party-line vote yesterday, and a bill requiring Ohio voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot is now on track to move next week. After a day filled with heated rhetoric and shifting plans, majority Republicans pushed through House Bill 194, which moves the 2012 presidential primary from March to May.
The bill, which the House is likely to send to Gov. John Kasich next week after approving Senate changes, would let Ohioans register to vote or change their addresses online and reduce early voting from 35 days before an election to 21 days by mail and 17 in person – which eliminates the so-called “golden week” when people could register and vote on the same day. Read More
Secretary of State Charlie White could well have proven to be the worst thing that ever happened to the Indiana GOP – at least since Richard Nixon’s participation in Watergate triggered a Democratic landslide in 1974 – if not for a late-session maneuver by the GOP-controlled legislature.
If the Indiana Recount Commission rules next week that White was ineligible to run for the office he won last November, Democrats pick up a key statewide office and the Republican Party’s image is tarnished. But a White loss could have inflicted even greater damage to the party, giving it the legal status of an also-ran third party for the 2012 and 2014 statewide elections. Read More
Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards declined the request of embattled Secretary of State Charlie White to investigate allegations he directed at one of the special prosecutors handling his criminal case.
Last week, White filed a complaint with Richards’ office alleging special prosecutor Daniel Sigler Sr. committed voter fraud. White asked that Richards appoint a special prosecutor to investigate.
Sigler, a former Adams County prosecutor, is one of two special prosecutors handling the criminal case against White, who was indicted earlier this year on multiple charges, including voter fraud. Read More
The one-vote winner of a heated North Las Vegas City Council race is suing to stop a new election. An attorney for dentist Wade Wagner, who won election to the council’s Ward 4 seat by a single vote, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in District Court against the city and four council members over the decision to order a new election in one precinct after the discovery of an ineligible vote.
Wagner won the election “but is being deprived of the office due to the unlawful actions of partisan City Council members who claim the power to void lawful votes because their preferred candidate lost,” the complaint said.
It asks the court to order the city to certify the original election and to stop the city from going forward with a new one. The city has 45 days to respond. Read More
A Pennsylvania senator has introduced legislation that would allow voters to obtain an absentee ballot without justification.
Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, said Senate Bill 1171 would amend the election code to extend the absentee ballot processes to all voters, while Senate Bill 1172 would amend the state Constitution to make clear that the processes could be extended to all voters. Read More
One of the more controversial decisions of this year’s legislative session is still being debated – and may ultimately be decided at the ballot box.
Lawmakers voted to eliminate election-day voter registration in the state. The Maine Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters and some other groups are angry, and are launching a “people’s veto” campaign to overturn the new law. For 39 years, Maine has allowed people to register to vote up to and including Election Day itself. In 2008, roughly 49,000 voters registered on Election Day. In 2010, according to the Secretary of State’s office, about 18,000 registered on Election Day. But that law has now changed. Read More
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) registered 837 029 voters during 44 days of voter registration exercise, according to the commission’s chairman Alhagie Mustapha Carayol. He expressed satisfaction over the just concluded voters’ registration, saying: ‘’at the end of the 44 days of the exercise, the provisional number of registered voters is 837, 029.’’
Chairman Carayol told a press conference at the commission’s headquarters Thursday ‘’I seized the opportunity to register the electoral body’s gratitude to the Government of the Republic of the Gambia for entirely and exclusively funding the General Registration of voters exercise.” Read More
The lead up to the election in Buri Ram is becoming heated with the Election Commission receiving evidence of alleged vote buying and facing a residents’ protest.
Police had given the election watchdog a photo of a person clearly handing out money to villagers, EC Apichart Sukhagganond said on Friday. He would not say where this occurred. Investigators are looking into which party was involved and election commissioner would meet to consider the case on June 28, he said. Read More
Amidst loud cheers by supporters and well-wishers, Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), Hon. Joseph Parry last night (June 22) announced that Nevisians would go to the polls on Monday, July 11, 2011. The incumbent Premier made the announcement at a rally in Brick Kiln Village in the St. James Constituency.
Parry told the gathering that he consulted the Governor-General and advised him to dissolve the Nevis Island Assembly yesterday (June 22).
“Today, I consulted with His Excellency the Governor-General. It is with the confidence of knowing that we have done our best on the circumstances that I advised on the dissolution of Parliament here in Nevis,” Parry told his party supporters. “And with the dissolution of Parliament,” he added, “I can ring the bell.” Read More
The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) has abruptly scrapped its proposal to regulate electioneering activities on websites. The announcement came a month after public consultation began, revealing the guideline was unpopular, unrealistic and hard to execute.
The EAC on Thursday published guidelines on subsector elections of the Election Committee to be held in December and the 2012 Legislative Council (LegCo) geographical constituency elections. Read More
Ekiti State Police Command has nabbed seven staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for allegedly doctoring electoral materials used in April general elections. The workers were said to have been caught in the act at an undisclosed hotel in Omuo-Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government area of the state.
Their motive was not immediately known. Vanguard however, gathered that they were working for unnamed politicians in the area in attempt to use the doctored electoral materials as evidence in the state Election Petition Tribunal. Read More
A special court set up at the behest of President Hamid Karzai ordered on Thursday the reinstatement of 62 candidates who had lost their seats or had been disqualified from last year’s parliamentary elections, reviving the prospect of a constitutional crisis for the nation.
The decision was the latest chapter in a heated dispute over allegations of fraud in last September’s elections. Coming a day after President Obama’s announcement of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, it provided a stinging reminder of the potential for turbulence in the country’s fledgling democracy. Read More
The newly established Indian Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM) will be sharing India’s experience of conducting elections for six decades with its very first batch of students: election officials from Kenya.
The institute will be formally opened with a special five-day training programme for the Kenyan officials from June 27. Eight Kenyans, including an Election Commissioner (Kenya has eight Election Commissioners), will participate in the first training programme in New Delhi. Read More