Sudan: Rebels seize election material days before vote | Manorama

Rebels in Sudan’s South Kordofan said they had captured a lorry carrying ballot boxes to polling stations for nationwide elections due next week, vowing to disrupt voting in the conflict-hit region. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North “ambushed and captured a vehicle loaded fully with ballot boxes” on Saturday on the road linking the state capital Kadugli with the town of Dilling, spokesman Arnu Lodi said Sunday. The SPLA-N will press its “military campaign plan” to stop elections in South Kordofan, Lodi said in the statement, warning civilians to avoid military sites “because they are legitimate targets”. But army spokesman Colonel Al-Sawarmy Khaled Saad said he had no information on the ambush.

New Hampshire: More people posting ballot selfies online in protest of law; legislators say they will move to repeal | Concord Monitor

Jonathan Spear barely made it to the polls in Hampton before they closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. He filled out his ballot and voted for all Republicans, with one exception: He just couldn’t bring himself to vote for Scott Brown. Instead, he wrote in the name of Revolutionary War Gen. John Stark. When he was done, he snapped a photo of himself inside the voting booth holding his completed ballot, a quick ballot selfie. Then, he decided to commit a crime – he posted the photo on Twitter. And Spear knew exactly what he was doing. “It’s a stupid law, and I don’t agree with it,” he said. “I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, and nothing beats a little civil disobedience to get your point across.” State law says it’s illegal to show another person your ballot, including through social media.

China: Parliament refuses to give Hong Kong right to choose leaders; protesters vow vengeance | The Washington Post

China’s parliament decided Sunday against letting Hong Kong voters nominate candidates for the 2017 election, despite growing agitation for democratic reform. The move is likely to spark long-promised protests in Hong Kong’s business district, as activists began planning and mobilizing within hours of the announcement. The decision by China’s National People’s Congress essentially allows Communist leaders to weed out any candidates not loyal to Beijing. “It’s not unexpected, but it is still infuriating,” said legislator Emily Lau, chairwoman of the Democratic Party. “This is not what Beijing promised. They’ve lied to the people of Hong Kong. And it’s clear we are dealing with an authoritarian regime.” Defending China’s ruling, Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said allowing public nominations in the election for Hong Kong’s leader would be too “chaotic.”

China: Protests in Macau: Chipping in | The Economist

Known for its casinos and conservative society, the city-state of Macau is a magnet for the rich in search of decadent fun. It is rarely the site of political protest. But on August 25th around 1,000 of Macau’s dealers and servers took to the streets to demand pay hikes and better working conditions. They are among those who support an unofficial referendum on Macau’s political future, which began on August 24th at polling stations and online. Jason Chao, a 29-year-old software developer and the president of the Open Macau Society, a local pro-democracy group which helped sponsor the poll, hoped it would “help people draw connections between things like inflation and high cost of housing and the political system.” The poll asked residents if they support universal suffrage by 2019; and whether they have confidence in Macau’s current chief executive, Fernando Chui, who is running unopposed for re-election later this week, on August 31st—the same day the poll results are due to be released.

Editorials: Equal voting rights still a dream in North Carolina? | Al Jazeera America

For Noah Read, Mondays have become a day set aside for civil disobedience. For months, the 42-year-old from Burlington, N.C., has rearranged his work schedule as a restoration contractor so he can participate in weekly protests. The Moral Monday rallies, launched by the North Carolina NAACP outside the state’s general assembly in late April, continue to attract thousands to Raleigh to voice opposition to a spate of Republican-led legislation that critics pan as socially regressive. The issues range from an education budget devoid of teacher raises to the state’s decision to end federal unemployment benefits. “There’s one issue that affects all of the constituents that are gathering at Moral Mondays, and that is voting rights and voting access,” Read said. Now, 50 years after Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington, the state that was the site of the Greensboro sit-ins protesting segregation in 1960 is again a flash point in the debate over voting rights — proving for many that the struggle for racial equality is not over.

Pennsylvania: Hostile Witness: Could poll worker resistance put brakes on voter-ID law? | Philadelphia City Paper

“To ask me to enforce something that violates civil rights is ludicrous and absolutely something I am not willing to do,” Colwyn’s Democratic inspector of elections, Christopher L. Broach, told the Inquirer last week. Broach was explaining his decision not to enforce the state’s controversial new law requiring voters to present one of a few forms of identification at the polls starting this November. The law could disenfranchise many voters in Colwyn, a small, 80-percent-black borough in Delaware County. (Statewide, 20 percent of voters may not have valid PennDOT-issued ID, according to data obtained by CP. In Philly, 43 percent of voters may not possess valid PennDOT ID.)  It would be a simple but vexing act of civil disobedience: When voters go to the polls this November, the neighborhood people who staff polling places throughout Pennsylvania could just plain not ask voters for the identification the law requires.