Social Democrat prime minister Stefan Lofven pledged on Sunday evening to remain prime minister of Sweden, with the general elections giving his centre-left bloc 144 seats in the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag – one more mandate than the centre-right opposition alliance’s 143 seats. The result is however so tight, with just some 30,000 votes separating the two blocs, that it may take until Wednesday (12 September) when the last votes cast by Swedes abroad have been counted and the result finally checked before the final result is known. The Social Democrats remained the biggest party with 28.4 percent of the votes, according to figures released on Monday morning. It gives the party 101 seats in the parliament, a record low result. The party had 113 seats after the 2014 elections.
A little over 24,000 overseas Indians, who are entitled to cast their ballot in India, have registered themselves as voters. Now, in a bid to attract more such Indian citizens living abroad to become voters here, the Election Commission has launched a portal which allows them to register online. The portal also has a long list of frequently asked questions to help people understand the procedure. While there are no estimates on the number of overseas Indians eligible to vote in India, only 24,348 have registered with the poll panel.
Ballot problems and delays with advance voting for Myanmar overseas voters have raised concerns among citizens over the motives of authorities in charge of managing the polling process in the run-up to the nationwide elections early next month. Advance voting, which began last week, has been marred in one case by ballots being sent to the wrong embassy, by errors and omissions on the ballots themselves, and by incomplete voter lists and long waits to cast votes. About 35,000 Myanmar citizens are eligible for advance voting in 37 countries. Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC), which is responsible for managing the voting, has acknowledged the problems with voter lists and ballots at home and abroad and has vowed to ensure successful nationwide elections on Nov. 8. Although the UEC has rescheduled advance voting past the Friday cutoff in foreign countries where problems have occurred, it has yet to rectify the situation at home.
A Canadian citizen has become a protest candidate in the riding held by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper even though he is barred from voting because he has lived outside Canada for too long. Nicolas Duchastel de Montrouge is now one of seven people taking on Harper in Calgary Heritage after spending more than a week collecting the requisite 100 signatures from riding residents. “It was hard but we made it happen,” Duchastel de Montrouge said Monday from suburban Seattle where he lives. “I am the only candidate I think that resides outside Canada.” Duchastel de Montrouge’s registration as an Independent comes as two other long-term expats prepared to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to restore their right to vote from abroad.
Colorado: Jefferson County recall ballot timeline draws concerns from Colorado Secretary of State | The Denver Post
Colorado’s secretary of state has concerns about how Jefferson County will pull off having a recall election on the regular November election ballot. After Jefferson County Clerk Faye Griffin announced Thursday that the recall of three school board members would be placed on the general election ballot Nov. 3, Secretary of State Wayne Williams sent a letter asking for more details. “Your limited window for setting the recall election date presents challenges no matter which date you choose,” Williams wrote. “Because of this timeline you will need near-optimal circumstances to place both recall and coordinated content on the same ballot and meet the ballot-mailing deadline for the coordinated election.”
A lack of funding led to UK stamps being put on postal ballot papers for overseas voters ahead of the general election in May, the Electoral Commission disclosed in a report. A flood of complaints came in from Britons living around the world that they were unable to vote, despite being registered to do so. Some did not receive their postal ballot papers before the May 7 poll, which swept the Conservatives to victory. Others received their papers too late to be able to send them back to their last-registered constituency in time for them to be counted. More than 400 people complained to the Electoral Commission.
Yakima has now spent more than $1 million defending a voting rights case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that upended the city’s elections system. Assistant City Attorney Helen Harvey said Wednesday the city has spent $1,074,062 to date — and costs will continue to rise. Yakima’s attorneys on Tuesday filed a request with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a stay of this year’s elections, and the city expects to file a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court by early August in a Texas case that could effectively reverse the outcome of the ACLU ruling.
The online voters’ registration program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Commission on Elections can now be accessed by overseas Filipino workers worldwide. The DFA-Overseas Voting Secretariat said on Thursday that it had opened iRehistro in the Foreign Service Posts in the Asia-Pacific region. Through the iRehistro program, OFWs can fill out voters’ registration forms in their homes, workplaces, and Internet cafés in their convenience. They can also set their appointment in the FSPs through iRehistro where they will sign their duly-accomplished forms and have their biometrics captured.
Some of the votes for Tuesday’s primary may not be counted until June because of a lawsuit filed Monday by the Kentucky State Board of Elections. A Jefferson Circuit Court judge has agreed to enter a restraining order directing nine county clerks to certify votes from a dozen military and overseas voters who failed to receive their absentee ballots on time. The Kentucky State Board of Elections and Secretary of State Allison Lundergran Grimes filed a lawsuit Monday against the software company that sends out absentee ballots and the clerks in nine counties, including Jefferson, alleging 12 qualified military and overseas voters were not sent ballots on time.
Missouri: Expanded voting rights, registration for military voters sent to governor | Associated Press
Military voters returning from service would have a longer window to register to vote in Missouri elections under a measure headed to the governor’s desk. The Missouri Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would allow military and overseas voters to participate in elections for statewide offices, the state Legislature and statewide ballot initiatives. Currently those voters are allowed to vote only in federal elections.
The Legislature could be on the verge of approving sweeping changes to the way most municipalities conduct elections in the state, but not until a lawmaker intends to introduce last-minute changes before the final Senate vote on the legislation. As it’s written, the bill, HB 1130, would allow military and overseas voters in Colorado municipal elections the same opportunity to return ballots using so-called electronic transmission — via fax machines and email — as the same voters have been able to do for years in county, state and federal elections, among other changes to municipal elections law. But a flurry of protests that have reached a fever pitch this week claim that the bill’s language would open the door to all manner of online voting, including posting ballots to Twitter or texting votes to election clerks. What’s more, the bill’s critics charge, clerks in small towns aren’t equipped to verify emailed ballots, which they contend can easily be hacked, spoofed or diverted.
A new state law that would extend to cities the absentee voter system currently in place for military overseas who want to vote in state and federal elections, passed committee on Wednesday. State Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, said the bill passed through the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously and will go to the Senate floor next. There’s no fiscal impact to the state and Garcia said he isn’t sure when the Senate will take up the bill. Garcia said the bill will help extend some deadlines for municipal elections so ballots can be mailed to military personnel and state department employees overseas who want to participate in local elections.
Without the satisfying pull of a lever or the little sticker that says “I voted,” mailing in an absentee ballot can leave a voter a little uncertain this his choice will actually count—and Councilman Ben Kallos is looking to change that. Mr. Kallos is introducing legislation today that would require the Board of Elections to provide a secure website through which New Yorkers could track their absentee ballot—from the moment the city receives the request for a ballot until the moment the vote is counted. “The tracking system we’re asking for is something the Board of Elections should have in place for their own internal tracking purposes, and we’re asking them to have it in place not only for themselves but for the general public,” Mr. Kallos told the Observer.
The Electoral Commission has launched an ambitious drive to persuade 100,000 British expats to join the UK voting register ahead of the general election on May 7. However, pro-democracy campaigners say Britons abroad are annoyed with politicians at home over topics such as frozen pensions and winter fuel payments being cut – so they may not heed the call. Only 15,849 of the estimated 5.5 million Britons overseas were signed up to vote in UK elections as of March 2014, according to the commission. The last recruitment drive – aimed at adding 25,000 expats to the voters’ roll in the weeks before the European and local elections last May – fell flat. Only 7,079 signed up.
India: Expats To Be Allowed To Vote Through Absentee Ballot, Court Rules | International Business Times
India’s Supreme Court, the country’s highest court, on Monday asked the government to allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), or Indian citizens living abroad, to vote remotely. This would mean that Indians living in foreign countries would be allowed to vote from their country of residence. Until now, Indian citizens living abroad have had to travel back home in order to exercise their franchise, something not many people do. India had given voting rights to NRIs in 2010. Under the new system — e-voting — a blank postal ballot paper is emailed to the voter, who has to then fill it and send it to their constituency via post, according to a report by NDTV, a local news network. India already allows on-duty defense personnel and certain categories of government officers and exiled Kashmiri Hindus to cast their vote remotely. The apex court has reportedly said that the proposed e-voting mechanism, which could require a constitutional amendment, should be implemented within eight weeks.