Speaker Nancy Pelosi was correct when she recently said that the best way to avoid a disputed election is for the result to be a blowout. But that is a hope, and we need a plan. If the midterm elections are any indication, the number of states with razor thin majorities is increasing. With partisan distrust on the rise, the result could be a constitutional standoff, a loss of democratic legitimacy for the outcome, and even violence stemming from anger. We need to agree in advance on procedures for resolving electoral disputes that determine the winner of the presidential election next year.Full Article: What if 2020 election is disputed? | TheHill.
Turkey: Erdogan’s party challenges election results after apparent defeat in Turkey’s cities | The Washington Post
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party said Tuesday that it had submitted challenges to election results that showed its candidates had been defeated in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey’s largest cities, in local elections two days earlier that dealt a rare setback to Erdogan at the ballot box. The Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has repeatedly prevailed in elections since 2002 and was the leading vote-getter on Sunday. But its losses in major cities — including Istanbul, Turkey’s financial capital — were a significant symbolic defeat for Erdogan and threatened to weaken his powerful party machine, analysts said. The election came in the midst of an economic downturn that had focused voter anger on Erdogan’s handling of the crisis, analysts said. Urban voters may have also bristled at his caustic campaign rhetoric, they added, and his frequent attempts to link his political opponents to terrorism. The AKP challenged vote tallies in all of Istanbul’s 39 districts, where Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayoral candidate from the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, was leading by about 25,000 votes.Full Article: Erdogan’s party challenges election results after apparent defeat in Turkey’s cities - The Washington Post.
The Hawaii Supreme Court this afternoon invalidated Trevor Ozawa’s 22-vote victory over Tommy Waters for the City Council District 4 seat. “Because the correct results of the November, 6, 2018 special election for the city councilmember seat for District IV cannot be determined, the special election must be invalidated” the court said in a 55-page opinion signed by all five justices. “The second special election for councilmember for District IV, City and County of Honolulu, is invalidated.” City Clerk Glen Takahashi, in an email to Council members, said “while we are still reviewing, we will be required to re-run the election for Council district IV.” The re-vote will likely need to occur within 120 days.Full Article: Hawaii Supreme Court invalidates Trevor Ozawa’s 22-vote victory over Tommy Waters.
Congo: The African Union called on Congo to suspend its election’s results. That’s unprecedented. | The Washington Post
After a contentious race, on Jan. 10, Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission pronounced Felix Tshisekedi the winner of the country’s Dec. 30 presidential elections. But polling data and parallel vote tabulations suggest it was“highly implausible” that Tshisekedi actually won, and the true winner was Martin Fayulu, who appealed the result. In an unprecedented response, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), headed by Zambian President Edgar Lungu, called for a recount last week and proposed that the DRC consider forming a national unity government. SADC is known for not publicly intervening in member state electoral affairs.Full Article: The African Union called on Congo to suspend its election’s results. That’s unprecedented. - The Washington Post.
Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Martin Fayulu on Saturday asked the country’s constitutional court to order a recount of the Dec. 30 presidential vote to find a successor to President Joseph Kabila. The Central African nation is still reeling from the surprise announcement Wednesday that another opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, had won the election. Mr. Kabila’s handpicked candidate came in third. Police and members of Mr. Kabila’s presidential guard on Saturday blocked many supporters of Mr. Fayulu from reaching the constitutional court, where his lawyers entered a petition for a manual recount of the presidential election. “I will take this to the very end. I won’t accept that my victory is stolen,” Mr. Fayulu said.Full Article: Congo Opposition Candidate Fayulu Appeals Election Results - WSJ.
A Cobb County judge will hold a hearing Thursday in a lawsuit challenging the election of Lt. Gov.-elect Geoff Duncan. The case alleges that a drop-off in votes for lieutenant governor indicates the election between Duncan, a Republican, and Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico was flawed and should be redone. Duncan won by more than 123,000 votes. While it’s not unusual for voters to skip down-ballot races, the lawsuit raises suspicions about potential irregularities in the lieutenant governor’s election. The suit, filed Nov. 23 by an election integrity advocacy group and three voters, blames the state’s 16-year-old direct-recording electronic voting system. About 80,000 fewer votes were counted in the lieutenant governor’s race than the average of ballots recorded in 10 statewide contests in the Nov. 6 election.Full Article: Hearing set in challenge to Georgia lieutenant gov's election.
Congo: Election Officials Say Felix Tshisekedi Won Election, Rebuffing Independent Review | The New York Times
Congolese election officials, rejecting independent assessments that a prominent opposition figure was the runaway winner of the recent presidential election, on Thursday bestowed victory on a candidate considered more acceptable to the departing President Joseph Kabila.
The decision dashed hopes that the Democratic Republic of Congo might experience its first undisputed transfer of power by the ballot box since independence six decades ago. And it was unclear how it would sit with the population.
Still, however malleable the declared winner, Felix Tshisekedi, may seem to Mr. Kabila, he was not his first choice. Mr. Kabila had backed a top aide to succeed him.
The election commission’s early-morning announcement amounted to a startling official admission that Mr. Kabila’s candidate had suffered a defeat so big that his government — in power for 18 years — could not simply hand him the presidency without risking widespread violence and international condemnation.
But Mr. Tshisekedi had not been seen as the top vote-getter; he was declared the victor on Thursday amid speculation that his campaign had reached some kind of a power-sharing agreement with the Kabila government.Congo Says Felix Tshisekedi Won Election, Rebuffing Independent Review - The New York Times.
Madagascar’s High Constitutional Court has declared former leader Andry Rajoelina as the winner of the country’s bitterly contested presidential election. Rejecting all complaints filed over the results, the court on Tuesday said Rajoelina won with more than 55 percent of the vote in the Indian Ocean island nation’s runoff election last month. Rajoelina’s main challenger, former President Marc Ravalomanana, received more than 44 percent, the court said. Just over 48 percent of the country’s 10 million registered voters cast their ballots in the vote.Full Article: Madagascar court declares Rajoelina as election winner | Elections 2018 News | Al Jazeera.
Madagascan security forces have fired tear gas to break up a protest by supporters of losing presidential candidate Marc Ravalomanana, who claims he was denied victory in last month’s election because of fraud. In the runoff vote on December 19, Ravalomanana won 44 percent against Andry Rajoelina’s 55 percent, according to official results. Thousands of Ravalomanana’s supporters gathered in the centre of the capital Antananarivo on Wednesday but were quickly dispersed by police using tear gas, according to an AFP reporter at the scene. “We came to erect a giant screen projecting anomalies in the second-round election but we were fired at with tear gas,” Hanitra Razafimanantsoa, a lawmaker from Ravalomanana’s party, told the media.Full Article: Thousands protest 'election fraud' in Madagascar | Madagascar News | Al Jazeera.
Allies of Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who narrowly lost the Georgia governor’s race, filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday calling for sweeping changes to the state’s election procedures, and accusing Brian Kemp, the Republican victor, of systematically disenfranchising poor and minority voters when he was secretary of state. The litigation is a postscript to a bitter and close-fought election that many Democrats felt Mr. Kemp had rigged for his own benefit, while many Republicans considered Ms. Abrams — who did not acknowledge Mr. Kemp’s victory until 10 days after the election — a sore loser. Lauren Groh-Wargo, Ms. Abrams’s campaign manager, said the lawsuit would “describe, and then prove in court, how the constitutional rights of Georgians were trampled in the 2018 general election.”Full Article: ‘Large-Scale Reforms’ of Georgia Elections Sought in Federal Lawsuit - The New York Times.
Editorials: Stacey Abrams’ New Lawsuit Against Georgia’s Broken Voting System Is Incredibly Smart | Richard Hasen/Slate
Defeated Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her allies are taking on Georgia’s shoddy election system in the right way: through a big and bold lawsuit. At the very least, the lawsuit will shine the light of day on how Georgia makes it much harder than many other states to register and successfully cast a ballot. If the lawsuit achieves its more ambitious aims, a court could put Georgia’s voting system back under federal supervision for up to 10 years. Rather than how a typical voting lawsuit works with a singular focus on a problematic aspect of Georgia’s electoral process—like overexuberant voter purges or its shoddy voting machinery—the lawsuit makes an argument that the cumulative effect of Georgia’s system is to deny voters, especially voters of color, the opportunity to easily cast a ballot which will be fairly and accurately counted.Full Article: The Stacey Abrams lawsuit against Georgia’s broken voting system is so smart..
Cameroon’s Constitutional Council on Friday rejected the last of 18 petitions calling for a re-run of an Oct. 7 election that the opposition said was marred by fraud, paving the way for results expected to extend President Paul Biya’s 36-year rule. The rejections clear all legal objections to the polls. Nearly two weeks after the vote, no results have been announced but under national law authorities have until Monday to do so. Biya is seeking a seventh term that would see him keep his place as one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. The only current African president to have ruled longer is Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.Full Article: Cameroon court rejects all petitions calling for re-run of elections | Reuters.
Following statements by the winning parties of the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections welcoming the final results, trailing parties on Sunday rejected the outcome of the vote. At midnight on Saturday, the electoral commission announced the official results of the regional parliamentary election. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) lead the polls by a large margin, securing 45 seats out of a total 111 seats available, followed by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) with 21 seats. The parties who rejected the results are the Change Movement (Gorran), winner of 12 seats, New Generation, which won eight seats, and the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), which belonged to the Toward Reform Coalition that won five.Full Article: Parties contest final results of Kurdistan election following winners’ approval.
The Maldives’ top court on Sunday ended weeks of uncertainty by rejecting strongman President Abdulla Yameen’s controversial bid to annul last month’s election results, upholding his landslide defeat to an opposition candidate. The five-judge Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled that Yameen had failed to prove his claim that the election was rigged and a fresh poll was necessary in the Indian Ocean archipelago. Under international pressure, Yameen initially conceded defeat in the September 23 poll. But he then filed an appeal this month, throwing the island nation into turmoil and attracting warnings from the United States and regional superpower India to respect the outcome.Full Article: Maldives’ top court rejects bid by strongman Abdulla Yameen to annul election defeat | South China Morning Post.
Hundreds of Maldivians protested on Sunday demanding the arrest of defeated President Abdulla Yameen as its top court began to hear a petition challenging the outcome of last’s month election in the island nation. The tourist archipelago has been in political turmoil since February, when a state of emergency was imposed by Yameen, whose critics have accused him of running Maldives with an iron fist, jailing political opponents and Supreme Court judges. “This is our right. They can’t change it. They can’t play around with the votes,” Abidha Afeef, a 55-year old protester told Reuters. “Yameen has to go.”Full Article: Maldives opposition supporters protest as court reviews election challenge | Reuters.
Several thousand Bosnian Croat nationalist supporters on Thursday protested the election of a moderate politician to the Croat seat in Bosnia’s three-person presidency. The crowd marched through the ethnically divided southern town of Mostar holding banners reading “Not my president” and “RIP democracy” to protest Zeljko Komsic’s victory. Bosnia’s presidency also has a Muslim and a Serb member. A peace deal that ended Bosnia’s 1992-95 ethnic war created a Muslim-Croat region and a Serb region held together in a central government. Komsic advocates strengthening Bosnia’s unity. Nationalist are disputing his win in an election Sunday, saying he was backed by Muslim voters and does not represent Croats.Full Article: Bosnian Croat nationalists protest election of moderate - The Washington Post.
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has filed a court challenge against his election loss, citing a “lot of complaints from supporters”, according to a lawyer. The complaint was filed at the island nation’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, said the president’s lawyer, Mohamed Saleem. Yameen lost the September 23 election by a 16 percent margin to opposition leader, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in an outcome hailed as a win for democracy in the crisis-hit Indian Ocean archipelago. The result was widely accepted, including by the United States, China, India, and the European Union.Full Article: Maldives president challenges election defeat | News | Al Jazeera.
When Gov. Jim Justice recently appointed two of the most prominent Republicans in the state to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court of Appeals, he might not have expected such a heavy legal fight. But the temporary appointments, and the men hoping to win the seats in the November general election, are facing a legal battle that will kick off Monday morning — in the state’s Supreme Court. Currently, only two elected justices are actively serving on the Supreme Court. Those two are Justices Margaret Workman and Beth Walker, both of whom were impeached by delegates earlier this year. They are currently awaiting the Senate to try their impeachments, which will decide if they should be removed from office.Full Article: West Virginia Supreme Court to hear arguments on election challenge | WV News | wvnews.com.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader said Saturday he respectfully rejects the court ruling upholding the president’s narrow election win and called the inauguration set for Sunday “false,” while U.S.-based election observers said the country does not yet have a “tolerant, democratic” voting culture. Nelson Chamisa spoke a day after the Constitutional Court unanimously rejected the opposition’s claims of vote-rigging in favor of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying it did not bring “sufficient and credible evidence.” Chamisa said “we have the right to peaceful protest” and that other routes will be pursued. “Change is coming,” he said. “Political doors are going to be opened very soon.” He gave no details. Last month’s peaceful election was seen as a chance for Zimbabwe to move on from Robert Mugabe’s repressive 37-year-rule. Now Chamisa alleges “a new persecution” after a deadly crackdown on the opposition.Full Article: Zimbabwe opposition rejects ruling and ‘false’ inauguration - The Washington Post.
Zimbabwe’s top court will on Friday decide whether President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s disputed July 30 election victory should stand against complaints by his main rival that it was rigged. The election, in which Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa were the main contenders, was touted as a crucial step toward economic recovery and shedding Zimbabwe’s pariah reputation, but instead has left the nation deeply polarized. An army crackdown in response to post-election violence by opposition supporters left six people dead on Aug. 1, recalling the heavyhanded security tactics that marked the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe, who was removed in a coup last November.Full Article: Zimbabwe court set to rule on presidential election petition | Reuters.