Myanmar: Carter Center frets over election credibility | Myanmar Times

As the third week of election campaigning kicks off, an international monitoring group is already raising alarm over the credibility of the elections. In a statement, the U.S.-based Carter Center questioned the legitimacy of the candidate scrutiny process that scrubbed more than 100 election hopefuls from the final list. Though the Union Election Commission reinstated 11 Muslim nominees just before the Carter Center released its findings on September 25, 75 candidates continue to be barred from the polls, largely due to the alleged citizenship status of their parents. “Although the number of disqualified candidates is relatively small, restrictive requirements, selective enforcement, and a lack of procedural safeguards call into question the credibility of the process,” the report stated.

Venezuela: 9 Opposition Candidates Barred From Venezuela’s December Ballot | The New York Times

When he handily won a primary to run for the National Assembly, Enzo Scarano hoped to be part of a wave carrying the opposition to a legislative majority that would alter the political balance in Venezuela. But when a government agency stripped him of his right to hold public office, scuttling his candidacy, he found himself caught up in a different kind of wave — of government measures that appear aimed at weakening the opposition ahead of a make-or-break legislative election in December. “It was a message to the Venezuelan people: ‘Look, we can do whatever we want,’ ” Mr. Scarano said of the move to bar him and at least eight other prominent politicians and activists from running for office. He said the goal was “to discourage people from voting and to create an internal conflict” in the opposition’s Democratic Unity coalition.

Ohio: Republicans Spent More Than Half a Million Keeping Libertarian Candidate Off Ballot | Reason

Ohio Republicans spent more than half a million dollars on a successful bid to keep Libertarian Party gubernatorial* candidate Charlie Earl off the state ballot last year. The GOP initially balked at the accusation that they had engaged in any dirty dealings to thwart Earl’s candidacy. Then, in a federal lawsuit filed by the Libertarian Party of Ohio (LPO), District Judge Michael H. Watson found that it was “obvious” that “operatives or supporters of the Ohio Republican Party” had indeed hired a “dupe” to bring about Earl’s electoral demise. Unfortunately, the dupe—Gregory Felsoci, an LPO member who filed a formal complaint with the secretary of state’s office challenging signatures the party collected—did have a point, the judge decided: Earl’s petition circulators had not disclosed that they were being paid by the LPO.

National: This kid will be running for president for the next three decades, against his will | The Washington Post

For all of the furor and sweat over the 2016 presidential field, for all of the candidates sitting back with an eye on 2020 — or maybe even 2024, in some cases — there’s one candidate who’s been willing to play the long game. As of today, we are eight years in to what will almost certainly end up being the longest presidential campaign in history — a campaign that will be four decades old by the time voters go to the polls. Meet Andrew Lessig, the first declared candidate for the 2048 election. Lessig graduated from the University of Alaska at Anchorage last year and now is in law school near Syracuse, N.Y. When we spoke by phone Wednesday, he declared, in the spirit of all great candidacies, that he didn’t plan to run. In fact, he said, “I’d totally forgotten that it had even happened until you mentioned it.”

National: How Jeb Bush’s Presidential Announcement Will Change His Money Game | National Journal

The former Florida governor and scion of the modern Republican Party’s most prominent political family revealed on Thursday that he will formally announce his long-expected presidential candidacy on June 15 in Miami. The event comes almost six months to the day after Bush said last December that he was “actively exploring” a campaign and months after it has become clear Bush would, in fact, run. His dodging of that reality had begun to wear thin in recent weeks. On Sunday, pressured about his candidacy by CBS’s Bob Schieffer on his final day hosting Face the Nation, Bush offered up a tepid: “I hope so. I hope, I hope I’m a candidate in the near future.”

Kansas: Legal questions complicate Democrat’s exit from Senate race | The Hill

Despite filing papers with the Kansas secretary of State to withdraw from the Senate race late Wednesday, Democrat Chad Taylor could be stuck on the ballot this fall. Two election law statutes have raised questions about whether Taylor gave sufficient cause to remove himself from the ballot, and, if so, whether Democrats must ultimately choose a candidate to replace him. Kansas Republican Party Executive Director Clay Barker told The Hill that Taylor is now back on the secretary of State’s list of general election candidates while a legal team analyzes the statutes. One statute declares that, except under specific circumstances, “no person who has been nominated by any means for any national, state, county or township office may” withdraw their name from the ballot after Primary Day. Those circumstances include death and if a nominee “declares that they are incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected … by a request in writing.” While Taylor did submit a request in writing to the secretary of State’s office withdrawing his nomination and asking to be withdrawn from the ballot pursuant to that same statute, the letter makes no claim that the candidate would be unable to fulfill his duties if elected.

Missouri: House passes special elections bill | Stltoday

With an eye toward preventing the governor from appointing a new lieutenant governor, the Missouri House passed a bill Wednesday that aims to clarify how some elected officials would be replaced if they leave office early. The chamber approved the bill, which would require that openings in most statewide offices be filled through special elections, in a 115-45 vote, making it the first major piece of legislation to successfully pass a chamber this session. In order to become law, the bill must also be approved by the Senate and signed by the governor. Though the legislation isn’t directly tied to Missouri’s 8th District Congressional vacancy and would not change how former U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson is replaced, the special election has motivated lawmakers to move quickly on the bill.

South Carolina: State Senate passes election law fix | Aiken Standard

A bill meant to prevent another ballot-tossing election mess is heading to the South Carolina House. The Senate had a third reading Wednesday for legislation syncing the candidate filing process for incumbents and those seeking to be officeholders. It also allows those who don’t file properly to pay a fine and remain on the ballot, as long as they fix it before primaries. “We fixed it!” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin, R-Pickens, noting that the bill is designed to address only last year’s election debacle. “I tried to keep from wading into the weeds. We needed to respond and address what happened last year.”

Tennessee: State Democratic Party disavows Senate nominee | The Tennessean

The party of Cordell Hull, Estes Kefauver and Al Gore Sr. and Jr. won’t have a standard-bearer — or at least not one it can stomach — in Tennessee’s next U.S. Senate race. Less than 24 hours after a man espousing conservative and libertarian views surprised the state’s political scene by winning the Democratic nomination, the Tennessee Democratic Party disavowed him, saying he’s part of an anti-gay hate group. The party said Friday that it would do nothing to help Mark Clayton, 35, who received nearly twice as many votes as his closest challenger in Thursday’s seven-candidate primary, winning the right to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in November.

Nepal: Election Commission to restrict candidates to one constituency each | Review Nepal

The Election Commission (EC) has proposed to make a provision for ‘one candidate one constituency’ in the next elections. A draft proposal prepared by the Commission to carry out an amendment to the CA Member Elections Act- 2064 BS has proposed this provision.The draft has been already submitted to the government, said the Commission. According to information provided by Commission’s Joint Secretary Madhu Regmi, prior to this, one candidate could file the candidacy from more than one constituency. Similarly, as per the amendment proposal, the political party should garner three percent of the total votes to attain a seat under the proportional system.

Mississippi: Hinds County Election Commission candidates may not be on ballot | The Clarion-Ledger

Three candidates for Hinds County Election Commission, including one incumbent, failed to meet the legal requirements to run in November. All three, including District 2 Election Commissioner Bobbie Graves, said they were unaware of those requirements and are asking Hinds County supervisors to let them stay on the ballot. But if supervisors do so, it could be illegal. After an hour-plus discussion Monday, a majority of supervisors failed to approve the candidacy of all vying for the five election commissioner slots, leaving their places on the ballot in limbo. “It’s the candidate’s responsibility to know” the procedure, District 4 Supervisor Phil Fisher said. “And if the election commissioners themselves don’t know when to hand something in, what does that say about their ability to do the job?”

Connecticut: Goof sinks primary in 116th Legislatuve District | The New Haven Register

A mistake could cost a state representative hopeful his chance to get on the ballot, as the Democratic registrar of voters reportedly gave him the wrong paperwork to petition for a primary. The registrar, Michelle Hufcut, meanwhile, has withdrawn her candidacy in a primary for the Democratic registrar job, citing health reasons. David C. Forsyth, who is hoping to be the Democratic candidate for state representative in the 116th District, officially learned Thursday that he should have used petition forms from the secretary of the state’s office. Forsyth needed to collect signatures to bring an August primary against state Rep. Lou Esposito of West Haven, the party-endorsed candidate. Forsyth is vowing to sue Hufcut and the secretary of the state’s office to get his name on the primary ballot.

South Carolina: Federal judges could decide to delay South Carolina primaries | Anderson Independent Mail

A three-judge panel will meet next week to consider delaying South Carolina’s June 12 primaries in the wake of a state Supreme Court decision that removed nearly 200 candidates from ballots. U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie heard arguments Thursday from an attorney for Amanda Somers, who says her candidacy was thrown into question after justices ruled financial- and candidate-intent paperwork must be filed at the same time. Since Somers was ultimately allowed on the ballot, Currie questioned her ability to sue. The judge allowed a state Senate candidate from Edgefield who was tossed off, Republican John Pettigrew, to join the suit.

South Carolina: Supreme Court nixes request for rehearing of election case | Aiken Standard

South Carolina’s Democrats and Republicans received some clarity on Thursday from the state Supreme Court on a ruling that both parties fear could mean most candidates challenging incumbents would be kept off ballots for the June primary elections – thereby possibly enhancing the re-election chances of most incumbents. Both parties and the State Election Commission asked the court to rehear a case over the filing of financial paperwork, writing that candidates filed those papers according to the Commission’s interpretation of the law and need more clarity on how the filings should be made. The court said it wouldn’t hold another hearing. Justices did clarify their previous ruling, explaining that candidates who file paper copies of their financial paperwork at the same time they file their candidacy can remain on ballots across the state.

Voting Blogs: Hans Von Spakovsky’s False Conclusions About Georgia’s Voter ID Impacts | Colorlines

In my last blog I said that Georgia has a unique situation in terms of its voter ID law, which was put into effect in 2007. As is often cited by photo voter ID law proponents, voter turnout did in fact increase between the 2004 presidential elections, which did not feature a photo voter ID mandate, and the 2008 presidential elections, which did. The numbers on this can not be refuted, and Heritage Foundation’s Hans Von Spakovsky often excitedly refers to the Georgia case when making his pro-voter ID arguments and did so in a recent blog. Citing recent voter turnout data released by Georgia Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp in a presentation he made before the Conservative Leadership Conference of the Civitas Institute on March 2 to rally North Carolina up for passing a voter ID bill:

Egypt: Hundreds prepare candidacies as Egypt’s presidential election campaign kicks off | The Washington Post

At least 500 Egyptians have taken the first step to run for president, a sign of the excitement generated by the country’s first presidential elections in which the outcome is in doubt, election officials said on Wednesday. They said the 500 have obtained applications to officially declare their candidacy for the vote, which follows last year’s ouster of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak. Beside known presidential hopefuls who have been seriously campaigning, the applicants included a wide range of obscure Egyptians in different professions like journalists, judges, lawyers and school teachers, they said. The election is scheduled for May 23-24. Independent applicants must secure the endorsement of 30 lawmakers or 30,000 people in at least 15 of Egypt’s 18 provinces in order to run. Applicants from political parties with at least one member in parliament are exempt from these endorsements. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media

Syria: Higher Elections Committee Discusses Local Council Candidacy Process | SANA, Syria

The Higher Elections Committee discussed on Sunday the candidacy process set to start on December 12, and the measures taken to guarantee honest, democratic elections according to the elections law issued by legislative decree No. 101 for 2011. The committee decided to direct the sub-committees in the Syrian provinces to fully supervise candidacy applications, stressing the implementation of article No. 20 of the elections law which grants the right to run for the People’s Assembly and the local councils according to the standards provided by the new elections law.

The committee requested that the sub-committees should cooperate and coordinate with demonstrative apparatuses according to law to offer all facilitations for supervision to guarantee democratic and honest elections. The Higher Committee also requested that authorities set up electronic screens in the squares of all provinces to display the counting of votes to preserve the transparency and honesty of elections.

Zambia: 2011 headed for a record number of presidential candidates for Zambia | Lusaka Times

The high success rate of filling in of nominations by different political parties point to a record number of presidential candidates in this year’s elections. The last highest number of presidential candidates was in 2001 which saw eleven candidates fight it out for plot one.

9 presidential candidates have successfully filed in for the race to plot one ahead of the 20th September elections. Only with the failure by Dr Cosmo Mumba’s NRP to participate in the presidential elections, and the withdraw by the ZDDM, the expected number of presidential candidates now stands at 15, from the total of seventeen who had shown interest to vie for the highest office in the country.