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Alabama: Rally: ‘Give us the ballot, not just the bottle’ | Montgomery Advertiser

The point was to protest what the 30 people assembled said was the state’s misplaced priorities in recent attempts to shut down rural driver’s license offices – major sources of photo IDs required for voting – while keeping some money-losing Alabama Beverage Control (ABC) stores open. “They would leave state-owned liquor stores open that were losing up to $75,000 a year,” said Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma. “What it did was told us over how many a year it was easier to get alcohol than it was to get the ballot. They work hard to make sure you get alcohol. They work hard to make sure you don’t get the ballot.” The crowd chanted “Give us the ballot, not just the bottle” at the end of the performance. The Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy organized the event.

Full Article: Rally: 'Give us the ballot, not just the bottle'.

Armenia: ID Debate: Issue of voting by identification cards comes up ahead of Dec. 6 referendum | Armenia Now

This week the debate in Parliament over making addenda in the Election Code and in the law on Identity Cards ahead of the December 6 constitutional referendum has given rise to new concerns among opposition parties that believe that identification cards are a loophole for multiple voting because it will not be possible to put stamps on ID cards like in passports which is done to prove that a person has already voted. With the changes in the law proposed by the government people will be allowed to vote with identification cards. A total of 500,000 people in Armenia have ID cards, of whom 176 are without passports. The National Assembly has already rejected the draft law of parliamentarian Tigran Urikhanyan, who offered not only to give those half a million people, who have ID cards, a chance to vote, but also through special devices to prevent possible multiple voting. The Republicans’ refusal is grounded by the fact that it would not be technically possible to purchase and install the appropriate equipment by the time the referendum is to be held.

Full Article: ID Debate: Issue of voting by identification cards comes up ahead of Dec. 6 referendum - Constitution |

Nigeria: Electoral commission re-registers millions of voters wrongly struck off list | SWI

Nigeria has re-registered around 10 million voters wrongly struck off the roll a year ago due to technical glitches, leaving Africa’s most populous nation with an electorate of 68.8 million, the electoral commission said on Wednesday. The opposition cried foul when millions of voters were struck out because of biodata collection failures, taking the registered number down from 70.4 million to just 58.9 million. But the commission announced the final tally of permanent voter ID cards during a press conference on Tuesday evening. “Even though their finger prints were not captured the first time, they had an opportunity to come out and re-register,” commission spokesman Kayode Idowu said by telephone. “The final list has captured everyone.”

Full Article: Nigeria re-registers millions of voters wrongly struck off list - SWI

Michigan: Homeless groups say clients struggle for IDs | Detroit Free Press

Too many homeless people in Michigan are blocked from improving their lives by unreasonable requirements to have state identification cards, according to representatives of metro Detroit agencies who met Friday at a conference in Waterford. “This has been a growing problem for years and it’s reached a crisis point,” said Elizabeth Kelly, executive director of the Hope Hospitality and Warming Center, a homeless shelter in Pontiac. Homeless people rarely possess driver’s licenses, so most depend on ID cards issued by Secretary of State offices. But to get the state ID card demands unreasonable proof of identity, said Kelly and others at the Homeless Healthcare Collaboration conference. They said rules were tightening at Social Security offices too, and that’s keeping some homeless people from accessing the services they need. “You have people going to the Secretary of State and being told they have to have a Social Security card, and so they go to a Social Security office and they’re told they have to have a state ID card — it’s a classic case of Catch-22,” University of Michigan social research professor Gregory Markus told the audience.

Full Article: Homeless groups say clients struggle for IDs | Detroit Free Press |

Iraq: Iraq begins handing out elections ID cards in Baghdad as unrest rages on across country | Associated Press

Iraqi election officials began handing out new, computerized voter identification cards Saturday across the capital as the country prepares for its first nationwide election since the withdrawal of U.S. troops. But the more than $100 million push to modernize voting comes as officials can’t distribute cards in embattled Anbar province, where al-Qaida fighters seized control of parts of two cities, and as militant attacks rage on unabated, killing at least 14 people alone Saturday and wounding nearly two dozen. The new voter cards, which include a computer chip, will allow election officials to check a voter’s identity and try to halt fraud. Several Iraqi political blocs alleged that some people voted multiple times in the last vote in 2010, although the results of the election were not widely disputed.

Full Article: Iraq begins handing out elections ID cards in Baghdad as unrest rages on across country.

Myanmar: National ID Scheme Met With Confusion, Indifference, Fear | Karen News

Burma’s National ID Cards grant relative freedom of travel, allow voting in national elections, access to official schools. Denied for decades basic government services, villagers in Karen State view Burma’s National ID Card scheme with a mix of confusion, indifference, and even fear. Some of the Karen interviewed for this story, referred to the government issued cards as ‘Burma ID cards’, indicative of how they distrust the central government after over six decades of civil war. “I got an ID card many years ago, because I couldn’t travel without one. Authorities would ask for money if they stopped you and you didn’t have one, and if you didn’t pay you would be in trouble.” Naw Thae Nay, a villager, said. “We lived in a mountainous area on the border, but needed the ID cards whenever we decided to travel to town. When I had the ID card, I felt like there is more freedom for me to travel and more freedom to get into a job. Also, if we don’t have ID card our kids will not be allowed to study in government schools.” But applying for an ID card raises it’s own concerns.

Full Article: National ID Scheme Met With Confusion, Indifference, Fear « Karen News.

Nepal: Election Commission begins printing voter ID cards | Republica

The Election Commission (EC) has begun printing voter ID cards for the forthcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election from Sunday night. The commission has been printing the voter ID cards at its central office located at Kantipath, Kathmandu. EC officials said five printers are being used to print the voter ID cards. The EC plans to complete printing of the ID cards in seven days. Asked about when the commission would distribute the voter ID cards, Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety said, “The voter ID cards may be distributed to voters a day before the poll day.” According to EC officials, voters will be asked to collect their ID cards from their respective polling centers. The commission on Wednesday had decided to allow A-Roll Printing Company to supply necessary papers for printing voter ID.

Full Article: EC begins printing voter ID cards - News in Nepal: Fast, Full & Factual, POLITICAL AFFAIRS, BUSINESS & ECONOMY, SOCIAL AFFAIRS, LIFESTYLE, SPORTS, OPINION, INTERVIEW, INTERNATIONAL, THE WEEK news in English in Nepal.

Nepal: Election Commission decides to print voters’ ID cards on its own | The Himalayan Times

Almost a week after the Election Commission scrapped its plan to get voters’ identity cards printed by the private sector, it is now mulling doing the herculean job on its own. Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety told THT that talks to engage printing machines to print voters’ identity cards were in the preliminary stage. “If we can print the voters identity cards on our own, we can them pack them in plastic pouches. Such cards, containing the photos of voters, can be used in one or two elections. We believe the government will distribute biometric identity cards based on the data collected by the EC, later,” Uprety said. Another EC official said the EC felt the need to print voters’ identity cards on its own to keep its word. “We have assured voters that we will distribute voters ID cards so we want to fulfill the promise,” the official added.

Full Article: The Himalayan Times : EC decides to print voters' ID cards on its own - Detail News : Nepal News Portal.

Texas: Voter ID law a headache for officials | San Antonio Express-News

Chances are the name on your voter registration card doesn’t match that on your driver’s license, and that could create some headaches come Election Day. A preliminary comparison of the 13.8 million names on the state’s voter registration rolls against Texas Department of Public Safety records resulted in a match of only 7 million of those names. The variation between the two documents could be as simple as the addition or dropping of a middle name or initial, but according to the state voter ID law that comes into play for the Nov. 5 election, the name on the voter card has to match exactly with that on the ID card. If a voting official deems the names “substantially similar” a voter is off the hook, sort of. He or she will still be required to sign an affidavit stating he/she is the person named in the two documents. However, if the voting official cannot readily make a connection between names, the voter will have to cast a provisional ballot, which takes longer to fill out and process. The state had recommended local election administrators send out letters to voters advising them their voter cards and IDs need to match, but the postage cost has made that prohibitive. With about 890,000 registered voters in Bexar County, that mailout would have cost more than $400,000.

Full Article: Voter ID law a headache for officials - San Antonio Express-News.

Vanuatu: Electoral commission chair spells out need for new roll | Radio New Zealand

The chairman of Vanuatu’s Electoral Commission says he’s told political leaders that the country critically needs a new electoral roll for the next general election. The Commission’s official number of registered voters in the recent general election – over 192,000 – is believed to be a huge inflation of the real number of eligible voters. The chairman John Taleo says the blowout is partly explained by that fact that changes to the voter circumstances, such as people moving to different islands or overseas, or people dying, are often not recorded properly.

National: National tribal group focuses on voter ID laws, encourages registration in Indian Country | The Washington Post

New voter identification laws in a dozen states could negatively affect voter participation in Native American and Alaska Native communities, a tribal advocacy group says. The National Congress of American Indians released a report Monday that highlights the states, including some where photo identification will be required at the polls on Election Day. Two of the states — Alaska and Florida — do not list tribal ID cards as acceptable forms of identification at the polls. Problems with other new voter ID laws include requirements that voters provide their home addresses, since some tribal communities have no street addresses, and the “barriers of cost, logistics and distance to obtaining required IDs,” the study says.

Full Article: National tribal group focuses on voter ID laws, encourages registration in Indian Country - The Washington Post.

National: Voter ID Laws, Registration Challenges Create Hurdles For College Students Ahead Of Election

College students who want to vote in the state where they go to school have some hurdles to jump. In Minnesota, for example, a proposed Voter Restriction Constitutional Amendment on the state’s November ballot would require a valid state photo ID to vote. Under the law, students in the University of Minnesota system would be able to vote with their U-Cards, issued by the school at voting booths on campus, according to the Twin Cities Daily Planet. However, the same is not true for students at private colleges in the state; they would be required to seek an ID from the Department of Vehicle Services stations. At Minnesota private schools like the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University or Concordia University, the 17 to 28 percent of students who come from out of state would find it harder to vote in local and federal elections in Minnesota. At the Minneapolis College of Art and Design the 42 percent out-of-state students would also need a Minnesota ID to vote.

Full Article: Voter ID Laws, Registration Challenges Create Hurdles For College Students Ahead Of Election.

Illinois: Voter fraud not a big problem in Illinois |

A new report is raising questions about Republican efforts to enact tougher voter identification laws in Illinois. According to News21, a national investigative reporting project funded by the Carnegie Corp. and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, of the 23 voter fraud cases logged in Illinois over the past 12 years, none has been related to someone impersonating someone else at the polls. “The ‘rampant’ voter fraud alarm has been exposed as a myth and a deliberate falsehood,” said Michael Del Galdo, a Berwyn attorney who specializes in legislative efforts to address election fraud. “Having no cases of voter impersonation fraud here in Illinois in 12 years speaks for itself regarding the scope of the ‘problem.’”

Full Article: Report: Voter fraud not a big problem in Illinois.

Nigeria: Nigeria Electoral Commission to Issue ‘Permanent’ Voter Cards | VoA News

Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) will soon issue millions of permanent voter cards in time for the next general election, according to Nick Dazang, the INEC deputy director public affairs. “INEC has given out a contract for the production of the first batch of 40 million permanent voter cards to be distributed before the 2015 general elections,” said Dazang. The electoral commission, which registered over 73 million new voters for the 2011 general elections, at the time, issued temporary cards to voters. But, Dazang said INEC has signed contracts for the production of permanent cards with special electronic security features.

Full Article: Nigeria Electoral Commission to Issue ‘Permanent’ Voter Cards.

Ghana: Police And Electoral Commission Cover Up Illegal Biometric Registration |

Acting on credible information received from a source in ododiodio that an NDC ward executive is using his tailoring shop for illegal Biometric registration, the Young Patriots made contact with the police service and some media houses to catch the culprits in the act adjacent the Barclays Bank at UTC in ododiodio. The culprit Mr Bernard Allotey with his accomplices, were arrested with biometric registration forms, scanning machines and equipments being used for registration. They also had in their possession, over 500 completed forms and biometric ID cards yet to be distributed. However in the regular mysterious fashion in which the Police handle cases related to the ‘no go area’ of Nii Lantey Vandapouye, the Police have since released the culprits who have vanished and are threatening Mr Akwasi Sarpong of Happy FM.

Full Article: Police And Electoral Commission Cover Up Illegal Biometric Registration | Politics 2012-04-25.

Ghana: Ghanaian Man with 15 voter ID cards fined GHC6,000 | MyJoyOnline

Emmanuel Archibald Laryea, the 47-year-old labourer arrested with 15 biometric voter identity cards, was on Tuesday sentenced to a fine of GHc6,000 or in default would serve a two-year-jail term for engaging in multiple registrations. In addition, the Accra District Magistrate’s Court sentenced Laryea to GHc600 fine or in default would serve nine months imprisonment for causing bodily harm. It said the sentences were to run consecutively to serve as a deterrent to others. The court presided over by Mr Ali Baba Bature ordered that all the biometric voter identity cards should be destroyed in the presence of officials of the Electoral Commission and personnel of the Ghana Police Service. Soon after the court had handed down the sentence, Laryea’s brother produced a card purportedly to show that his brother was a psychiatric patient, but the court did not accept it.

Full Article: Man with 15 voter ID cards fined GHC6,000 | Local News.

Mexico: Mexican-American vote in Mexico election hampered by apathy, hurdles | San Jose Mercury News

Juan Castro is voting for two presidents this year: one for the United States and another for Mexico. “I’m not sure who I’m going to vote for,” said the San Jose resident. “To tell you the truth, the three main candidates who are running are worthless, more of the same.” He’s talking about the Mexican election. The three-month campaign for Mexico’s July 1 presidential and congressional election officially began Friday. “They’re all career politicians. As far as parties, they’re all the same.” Still, four decades after he moved to the United States, the municipal accountant at Sunnyvale City Hall is one of more than 12,000 Mexican-Americans in California who have registered to vote in the election, a fraction of the nearly 4 million eligible.

Full Article: Mexican-American vote in Mexico election hampered by apathy, hurdles - San Jose Mercury News.

Ghana: Electoral Commission ready for Biometric Voter Registration Tomorrow | GBC News

Tomorrow marks the start of the Biometric registration. The exercise is to replace the existing voters register and by implication nullify previous ID cards. The Electoral Commission says it is adequately prepared to start the biometric registration. The Head of the Public Affairs of the Commission, Christian Owusu Parry told Radio Ghana that, all registration officers have been trained and materials needed for the exercise, have also been dispatched to all districts across the country. Mr. Parry said the commission has met with all political parties to deliberate on major issues ahead of the start of the exercise.

Full Article: GBC News, , Electoral Commission ready for Biometric Voter Registration Tomorrow.

El Salvador: FMLN Suffers Minor Setback at the Polls | Upside Down World

By 1 p.m. in the afternoon on Sunday, the sun was beating down hard on the polling center in Metapán, a mid-sized town in El Salvador just 15 kilometers south of the Guatemalan border. While there was nothing strange about the scorching sun, these national assembly and municipal elections were the first of their kind. To the surprise of the FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front), the former rebel group turned political party whose candidate Mauricio Funes won the Presidency in 2009, the right-wing ARENA (National Republican Alliance) gained seats in the national assembly following electoral reforms that the right-wing had pushed through.

Full Article: El Salvador: FMLN Suffers Minor Setback at the Polls.

Tennessee: Election officials ready for voters without photo ID | Marshall County Tribune

Nearly 180 election officials from Middle Tennessee counties attended training seminars Thursday at Henry Horton State Park and learned what to do if someone wants to vote without a government identification card showing their photograph. Even though Tennessee has a recently enacted law requiring voters to identify themselves with a photo ID card, Marshall County Election Commission Chairman Don Wright says, “Some people just walk up and say they want to vote. Well, we don’t do that anymore.

“We’re not trying to keep people from voting,” Wright said. “We just don’t want them voting in Marshall County and Pulaski or Columbia.” Thursday’s seminars were presented by the Tennessee Association of County Election Officers. TACEO spokesmen provided tips on how to serve the public and help people comply with the law.

Full Article: Marshall County Tribune: Local News: Election officials ready for voters without photo ID (11/22/11).