In 2011, Gov. Rick Scott drew criticism for backing legislation that opponents said restricted the ability of Floridians to vote, including reducing the time that early voting would be allowed. After the 2012 presidential election — when Florida again attracted national attention for voting problems, including long lines in some major counties and the inability to finish a final vote count along with the other states — Scott backed legislation that pulled back some of those 2011 changes and implemented other reforms. On Friday, Scott went even further by signing legislation (SB 228) that would let Florida voters register online by 2017 — making Florida the 25th state that has online registration or is in the process of implementing it. Scott’s latest move — seen as a major expansion of voting rights – is drawing praise from some of his harshest critics.
Jordanians voted on Wednesday in their first parliamentary elections since the Arab Spring revolts, but a boycott by the main Islamist party will ensure no repeat of an Egypt-style revolution via the ballot box. The popular Muslim Brotherhood shunned the poll saying the electoral system had been rigged against large, populated urban areas where it is strongest in favor of rural tribal areas where conservative, pro-government forces are entrenched. Dozens of people lined up outside polling stations in several Jordanian towns before polls opened across the kingdom at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT), witnesses said.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II appointed a veteran independent politician on Wednesday as his new caretaker prime minister ahead of parliamentary elections — the last time he will make such an appointment, according to his own reform plan. The appointment of Abdullah Ensour is part of the king’s political roadmap that addresses popular pressure for a broader role in decision-making. It paves the way for elections scheduled for the end of this year or early 2013. That parliament will choose the next prime minister. The changes were decreed by Abdullah earlier this year to transfer more power to elected bodies and forestall any chance of an Arab Spring-style uprising similar to those that toppled regimes elsewhere in the region.