Secretary of State Jon Husted, a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, was front and center this week in a dispute over photo IDs at voting booths – and his tiff was not with Democrats. Husted drew a line in the sand against his own party by publicly objecting to Republican-backed legislation that would require voters to present a photo identification at the polls.
“I stand for what I believe in,” Husted said in a phone interview with The Dispatch yesterday. “You go out, and you campaign and talk about being fair. If you want to have any credibility, you’ve got to do what you said you would do. I said I’d be fair and even-handed.” Read More
This summer’s planned recall elections for state senators will likely cost counties and municipalities thousands of dollars. The unprecedented elections, prompted by the collective bargaining legislation and accompanying protests, are putting local clerks to work in their off-season and leading to unexpected costs. Many workers are now scrambling on a short timetable to get things ready for the elections.
Columbia County Clerk Sue Moll was testing recall primary ballots for the 14th state Senate district on Friday as part of preparations for the recall election. She said that the summer is typically a time of planned vacations and a catch-up season for elections workers.
“It’s time here, normally, I would have a staff person doing this. She’s not available. Her last day was Monday so we normally have three staff. We’re down to two,” she said. Read More
The Ohio state Senate was set to consider this week what critics are calling the most restrictive voter identification law in the country. The push for restrictive voter ID measures in the Buckeye state is part of a trend of similar legislation sweeping Republican-controlled legislatures across the country.
But Ohio’s measure is so restrictive — it requires the photo IDs to be issued by the state, so voters couldn’t identify themselves with their full Social Security numbers — that it lost the support of Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted.
“I want to be perfectly clear, when I began working with the General Assembly to improve Ohio’s elections system it was never my intent to reject valid votes,” Husted said in a short statement posted on his official website. I would rather have no bill than one with a rigid photo identification provision that does little to protect against fraud and excludes legally registered voters’ ballots from counting,” Husted said. Read More
In a statement Friday afternoon that may earn him his own profile in courage award, new Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted parted ways with many of his former GOP colleagues, who are poised to pass a bill next week that would impose a new standard to vote in Ohio. Democrats and other election experts say it is both unnecessary and a likely violation of federal election law, and that it would leapfrog Ohio over Georgia and Indiana, two states whose voter laws are currently perceived as the harshest ones in the nation.
Husted minced no words on whether he would capitulate to or oppose an attempt by a Republican-led legislature to require an otherwise registered voter to present a valid photo ID before voting. The bill in question, HB 159, raced through the Ohio House and is expected to come to the floor of the Senate next week, where the GOP enjoys a lopsided majority of 23-10.
Yesterday, at a media conference held to discuss other matters, Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich, who won the office last November with only 23.5 percent of registered voters or less than half of half of Ohio’s voting population, told reporters he anticipates signing the bill that would preempt voter fraud, a phenomena Republicans have long claimed is rampant while actual evidence for its practice is slim to none. Read More
Egypt’s ruling military council remains committed to holding parliamentary elections in September, despite mounting calls for a delay, a military source told AFP on Monday.
“The military council insists on what it has already announced regarding (holding) elections at the end of September, in accordance with the result of a referendum” held in March, the source said. The military council was responding to statements by Vice President Yehia al-Gamal, who told a satellite channel on Sunday that the army had agreed to postpone the polls to December.
In March, Egyptians voted 77 percent in favour of constitutional amendments which confirmed the army’s proposed timetable for parliamentary elections ahead of the drafting of a new constitution. Read More
Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White’s descriptions of his complicated personal life may have been more than some voters bargained for as the state’s top elections official fought for his political future before the Indiana Recount Commission last week.
But if there’s a silver lining for White, who faces voter fraud allegations that could cost him his job and his freedom, it could be that he presented himself as a family man — something that political observers say resonates with Hoosier voters.
The White case has become a rare unloading of all things deeply personal in a state where the family life of a politician — from Gov. Mitch Daniels’ divorce and remarriage to the same woman to Rep. Dan Burton’s child born out of wedlock — gets little scrutiny. Read More
Wisconsin’s political parties may be trying every trick possible, from spoiler candidates to lawsuits, to manipulate the recall elections scheduled this summer. But the people on the ground, who have little opportunity to affect the process, will be facing the consequences.
For the officials running the elections, it’s a nasty and expensive headache that comes at the height of summer when employees typically take vacation, and voters’ attention is anywhere but on elections.
“For this time of year, it’s very hectic,” Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg said. Still, candidates and campaign managers say they are proceeding as if no uncertainty exists — and believe voters will, too. Read More
The Legislature’s recent changes to Florida’s elections law were so massive and controversial, it would be ironic if the overhaul came tumbling down because of one slightly obscure overstep. Here’s hoping that’s the case.
The overstep, pointed out June 12 in a front-page article by The Ledger’s Lloyd Dunkelberger, was the Legislature’s decision to disallow early voting on the Sunday before an election that features state or federal races.
That tweak might not seem like much, against the backdrop of the numerous and damaging changes imposed by the new law — such as tougher restrictions on voter registration, a severe reduction of the early voting period, and limitations aimed at young and absentee voters. Read More
South Carolina’s much-watched first-in-the-South Republican presidential primary could become a far less important first-in-the-South caucus.
Without the help of the state, the party may not legally be able to hold a primary in early 2012, Chad Connelly, the recently elected chairman of the S.C. GOP, said Friday.
Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to veto part of a state budget proposal, now on her desk, that could partially pay for that primary. Connelly is concerned that veto would mean the State Election Commission could not help run the GOP primary, forcing the party to opt for a caucus.
Switching to a caucus would end the state’s three-decade tradition of holding the first-in-the-South primary. That primary’s importance has been bolstered by state Republican voters’ record of picking the eventual GOP nominee in every race since Ronald Reagan in 1980. The state also would lose national exposure, prestige and millions of dollars that campaigns, media and others spend during the event. Read More
South Carolina’s primary — and its state pride — is on the line. Faced with a state GOP that’s low on cash and a governor who’s cut off taxpayer funds, officials are scrambling to put together the $1.5 million necessary to run operations for the 2012 GOP presidential primary.
Primaries used to be the parties’ burden. But in 2008, Republicans and Democrats won state funding for their presidential primaries, which now allow crossover voting, putting their management in the hands of the State Election Commission for the first time. With tough economic times in the Palmetto State, the expected funding has now gotten tangled in a budget fight, and Republican Gov. Nikki Haleyshows no signs of giving in to the state GOP’s new request for funding.
The State Election Commission on Friday won some relief when the state budget office advised that the agency would be able to use leftover cash from last year’s elections, up to $680,000, for next year’s state primaries and elections — even if Haley vetoes the measure in the budget bill. But that still leaves them almost $1 million short. Read More
Amish voters in Pennsylvania would be included in a requirement to show government-issued identification in each election under legislation approved by the state House last week, but they could get an exemption from the requirement for a photo on the ID card.
Lawmakers tell the (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era that Plain sect voters would be able to get a religious exemption from the provision requiring a photograph on ID cards. But to do so, they will have to clear more regulatory hurdles than the average voter, since getting such a card involves providing PennDOT with a statement of their beliefs signed by their church district’s bishop.
Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester, who wrote the bill’s exemption provisions, said “They have to show a state-issued ID just like other voters. They’re not getting a pass.” Read More
According to a Friday news release from Fayetteville mayoral candidate Thomas Feazell, he will demand a recount of the election. The initial result of the election put incumbent Jim Akers ahead by just five votes. Initially refusing to concede the election, Feazell did not pick up enough votes from challenged voters to win the race, but did narrow the gap to only three votes.
“Each and every voter in Fayetteville deserves to be certain that their vote counted and was counted correctly,” Feazell said in a statement. “That’s what I hope this recount ensures.” Read More
Afghan lawmakers Sunday urged the United Nations to support their resistance to moves by a special election tribunal to throw over 60 of them out of parliament over alleged vote fraud.
The members of parliament (MPs) met the United Nations representative in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, amid a spiralling crisis gripping the country’s political system weeks before foreign troops start to withdraw.
Some analysts accuse Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who ordered the establishment of the special tribunal, of using it to try and boost the number of his supporters in Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament, the Wolesi Jirga. Read More
Muzaffarabad High Court (MHC) has postponed elections on three constitutional assembly seats in LA-30, 36 and 41 constituencies of Azad Kashmir, our sources reported.
According to sources, citizens of LA-41 constituency appealed in the MHC that their names have been removed from the voters’ list. They demanded that their names should be added back in the list. As a consequence, MHC has deferred voting in the constituency that was to take place on Sunday. Elections in LA-30 Karachi Jammu 1 and LA-36 Karachi Kashmir Valley 1 have also been called off. Read More
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has boycotted the Azad Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly elections. The boycott comes after the Azad Kashmir Election Commission had announced the postponement of elections for three constituencies, including two in Karachi, citing security reasons and a High Court order to include names of voters who had been removed from the list.
Speaking to the media in Karachi, MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar alleged that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had been pressuring the MQM to give up a Kashmir seat from one Karachi constituency. He said the government had set up polling stations in sensitive area of Karachi where MQM workers and voters could not go and vote freely. Read More
Balloting has ended for Azad Jammu Kashmir elections across the country amid violence and rigging allegations. The vote count is currently ongoing.
The elections sparked widespread violence with reports of two people being killed in Mirpur and Muzzafarabad. Also in Lahore, voting for LA-37 was cancelled by the Election Commission after workers of the PPP and PML-N clashed with each other.
More than 2.9 million voters were expected to take part in the elections. In Lahore, 13 polling stations were set up and at least 600 police officials were deployed to provide security to up to 6,000 voters in the city. Read More
Election Commission (EC) secretary-general Suthipol Thaweechaikarn on Monday admitted that there were some technical glitches in the advance election on Sunday as slightly over 50 per cent of eligible voters who had registered for advance voting exercised their rights.
Mr Suthipol said the advance election nationwide was run smoothly in general, with some 1.49 million voters or 55.6 per cent of some 2.6 million voters who had registered for advance voting outside their constituencies casting their ballots. Meanwhile, some 90 per cent of voters who registered to vote in advance at their constituencies exercised their rights. Read More
Over 2.6 million Thais are today set to cast their votes in advance ahead of the July 3 election, representing more than 5 per cent of the total eligible voters. Their returns will not be counted until July 3, when all returns are collected by the Election Commission.
Out of the country’s 47 million eligible voters, about 2.6 million have registered to exercise their right in advance as they will not be in their constituencies on election day. Another 210,000 Thais also have registered for advance voting in their constituency. But if they do not exercise their right today these people can still cast their votes on July 3 at their respective constituencies. Read More
Thailand’s Election Commission chairman Apichart Sukhagganond said that he is satisfied with the advance voting which largely went on smoothly throughout the country Sunday.
Apichart said this at a venue for the advance voting in Bangkok while he was witnessing the closing of the ballot box at 03:00 p.m. local time. In Bangkok, the ballot boxes would be kept at district offices and watched by guards around the clock with the help from closed- circuit cameras. Read More