Colombians have failed to elect a president outright, setting the stage for a bitter runoff between two frontrunners from opposite ends of the political spectrum, while a peace process with leftist rebels hangs in the balance. Iván Duque, a hardline conservative who viscerally opposes the peace accord, took the largest share of the vote on Sunday with 39%, though fell short of the 50% required to win at the first round. Instead, he will face Gustavo Petro – a leftwinger and former mayor of Bogotá, who came second with 25% – in the second round on 17 June. Petro, himself once a guerrilla, was Colombia’s first progressive candidate in generations and had been expected to gain a larger share. But a third candidate, the more moderate Sergio Fajardo, appeared to siphon off Petro’s support, receiving 23%. It remains to be seen if Fajardo, a reformer and former mayor of Medellín, will back Petro in the second round.Full Article: Colombia elections: rightwinger and former guerrilla head for presidential runoff | World news | The Guardian.
The national Chairman of the governing Unity Party (UP), Mr. Wilmot J.M. Paye, has expressed dismay over the credibility of the head of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Chairman Jerome George Korkoya, to conduct a free, fair and transparent runoff election on December 26. He made the statement over the weekend in an interview with a team of reporters at his Unity Party headquarters in Congo Town during a one-day mini youth retreat organized by the UP National Youth Congress. Chairman Paye said even though UP does not have the appointing and dismissal power to remove the NEC Chairman, but as a political party, it is deeply concerned over the poor performance and inability of Cllr. Korkoya to lead the affairs of the Presidential runoff election.Full Article: Liberia: Unity Party Scrutinizes NEC Boss Credibility to Handle Runoff Election - allAfrica.com.
Mauricio Macri’s surprisingly strong showing against Daniel Scioli in the Oct. 25 presidential election shook up Argentina’s political landscape. The main question before the election was whether Scioli, the candidate of president Cristina Fernández’s Front for Victory (FPV) alliance, could gain enough votes to avoid a runoff election. Since Scioli led many of the polls by more than 10 points over Macri, the front-runner and mayor of Buenos Aires, the concern was whether he could get either 45 percent of the vote or 40 percent and a 10-point advantage over the second place candidate — the conditions necessary to win in the first round without a runoff. Indeed, many pundits speculated that Macri would go the way of Mexico’s Andres Manuel López Obrador, claiming the election was stolen from him. None of this happened.
A banned singer whose government bashing lyrics have became part of the political discourse is among Haiti’s newest senators, while an indicted former coup leader is headed into a runoff, according to preliminary election results issued Sunday by the Provisional Electoral Council. Antonio Cheramy, known as “Don Kato,” was elected with 297,260 votes in the Oct. 25 legislative runoff elections to represent the country’s most populous region, the West Department that includes metropolitan Port-au-Prince. The vote total, posted on the council’s website after midnight Sunday, is more than what 52 of the 54 presidential candidates received during balloting held on the same day, according to preliminary presidential results issued Thursday. “The battle I was carrying out reached the population,” said Cheramy, 40. “These results are incontestable and show that the population voted me.”
A runoff next month will decide who will become Guatemala’s next president, with comedian-turned-politician Jimmy Morales as the race’s front-runner in the Central American nation battling a political crisis. Guatemala, a country of 15 million, is reeling from a corruption scandal that has prompted the resignation of its president, vice president and more than a dozen Cabinet members, ministers and government officials. No candidate came close to the 50% plus one needed to lock up the vote in Sunday’s election. Morales, 46, had 1.14 million votes, or more than 24%. Businessman Manuel Baldizón, 45, was running neck and neck with former first lady Sandra Torres, 59, with 19.41% and 19.25% of the vote, respectively, according to Guatemala’s electoral tribunal. Most votes have been counted and final results of the first round are expected soon.Full Article: Guatemala elections head to runoff next month - The Yucatan Times.
Alaska: Anchorage Assembly votes to recertify runoff election after ballots found | Alaska Dispatch News
The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday recertified the mayoral runoff election, taking into account 58 ballots not previously tallied that altered the result by 0.01 percent but did not change the outcome. Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones, who oversees municipal elections, said the bulk of the uncounted ballots were found inside a silver ballot box in a conference room in City Hall. Absentee ballots sent by mail are moved between three rooms — including the conference room — and two floors during the counting process. The day after the Assembly certified the runoff election on May 19, staffers discovered the silver box with the ballots still in their envelopes, she said.Full Article: Anchorage Assembly votes to recertify runoff election after ballots found | Alaska Dispatch News.
Poland’s presidential election was supposed to be a cakewalk for popular incumbent Bronisław Komorowski. But instead of coasting to an easy victory, the president finds himself in danger of a stunning defeat in Sunday’s runoff election. Surprising pollsters and his own campaign team, Komorowski lost in the May 10 first round to Andrzej Duda, the candidate of the nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), who took 33.8 percent of the vote, a percentage point ahead of the incumbent.Full Article: Down to the wire in Polish election – POLITICO.
At In These Times, author and journalist Rick Perlstein covers reports from some Chicago voters claiming that they received paper ballots today that were pre-marked for Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) in his runoff election against the more progressive Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D). … Perlstein details a few other similar reported incidents of pre-marked ballots from around the city in the election which the local CBS affiliate is now calling for Emanuel. The Chicago Board of Elections website currently shows Emanuel leading Garcia 56% to 44% with over 79% of precincts reporting at this moment.Full Article: Pre-Marked Ballots Reported in Chicago Mayoral Runoff | The BRAD BLOG.
The D.C. Council will consider changing the way the District of Columbia conducts its elections. Independent Councilmember David Grosso introduced a bill on Tuesday calling for instant-runoff voting in elections for mayor, the council and attorney general.Full Article: DC to consider instant-runoff voting in local elections - The Washington Post.
Election Day was a month ago, but the winners of many races are still being decided, and not just by recounts or runoff elections such as Saturday’s Senate runoff in Louisiana. There are a handful of elections across the country that ended in a tie, in which the winner has been decided by drawing lots, flipping coins or other games of chance. With hundreds of seats in Congress, thousands of seats in state legislatures, and tens of thousands of mayor, city council, county judge and local dog catcher elections being regularly held, it’s almost certain that each year some will end up tied. But because tied elections are so rare for any given office, most state and local election boards do not lay out guidelines for resolving them. In many states, the law indicates that ties should be broken by a “game of chance,” but details are rarely specified. This can create interesting tiebreakers.Full Article: The 2014 Elections That Ended In A Tie | FiveThirtyEight.
Tabare Vazquez won back his old job as president of Uruguay in a runoff election on Sunday, extending the decade-long rule of a leftist coalition and allowing it to roll out a groundbreaking law that legalizes the production and sale of marijuana. Vazquez won comfortably with 52.8 percent support while his center-right challenger, Luis Lacalle Pou, trailed on 40.5 percent, official results showed late on Sunday night. Lacalle Pou earlier conceded defeat after quick counts showed an easy victory for Vazquez, and thousands of ruling Broad Front supporters streamed through the rain-soaked streets of Montevideo, waving party banners in celebration.Full Article: Uruguay's Vazquez wins presidential vote, extends leftist rule | Daily Mail Online.
California: Los Angeles voters won’t be offered cash prizes in March city election | Los Angeles Times
A controversial proposal to offer cash prizes to Los Angeles voters is dead — at least for next year’s city elections. Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said this week that he wanted more time to consider the idea of using money or other gifts to lure voters to the polls. For now, he is looking to persuade voters on March 3 to move city elections from odd- to even-numbered years — when state and federal contests are held — beginning in 2020. “I don’t want to overload the public,” Wesson said. “So I think we’re just going to focus on” the change in election dates. Wesson and his colleagues have spent much of this year looking at different proposals for improving L.A.’s dismal voter turnout, which fell to 23% in last year’s mayoral runoff election. Three months ago, the Ethics Commission caused a small uproar by recommending that Wesson’s Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee look at a lottery — one with prizes of $25,000 or $50,000 — as a tool for enticing Angelenos to cast ballots.Full Article: L.A. voters won't be offered cash prizes in March city election - LA Times.
Instead of spending county-appropriated money on the required number of ballots for Hinds County residents to vote in multiple elections, the Hinds County Election Commission purchased a new absentee vote counting machine. While county officials said Tuesday the purchase of the machine was approved by both the county budget office and the board of supervisors, many residents were unable to vote Nov. 4 because of a shortage in ballots. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors asked county attorneys Monday to investigate the actions of Hinds County Election Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran after she admitted to not ordering the number of ballots required by state law for any of the past four county-wide elections. In defense, Cochran said she was “just trying to save the county money.”Full Article: Unused Hinds ballot money paid for counting machine.
With the certification of the 2014 General Election accomplished in both districts on Saturday, the V.I. Elections System received the final numbers in each of last week’s races, which will require a runoff election in the gubernatorial race that has been scheduled for Tuesday. Voters across the territory went to the polls Nov. 4 and cast votes for senators, delegate to Congress and members of their district boards of elections, and they also were tasked with selecting from among five candidate teams who they wanted as the next governor and lieutenant governor of the territory. By the end of the tabulations Saturday, the ticket of Kenneth Mapp and Osbert Potter had garnered more of the popular votes. However, they still had not received the 50 percent of the votes plus one that would make them an outright winner under local law.Full Article: Counting comes to an end in time for runoff - News - Virgin Islands Daily News.
Mississippi garnered unexpected national attention this summer as its system of open primary voting became a contributor to the wider debate of how best to fairly and legitimately select candidates and representatives. If you haven’t been paying attention, Mississippi’s long running Republican Senator, Thad Cochran, came very close to losing his seat to Tea Party Conservative Chris McDaniel in a rather ugly, tight primary race. In an effort to overcome his challenger in a runoff election, Cochran strategically capitalized on Mississippi’s use of open primary voting by asking traditionally Democratic voters to support him in the primary runoff against his far more conservative opponent. In a state where Democrats’ primary voters turned out in less than half the number of participants as the Republican primary, Cochran’s gambit to garner those as-yet uncast primary votes could be considered borderline tactical genius. McDaniel and his supporters are pretty sure, however, that it should be considered less than legal.Full Article: Mississippi’s Newfound Frustration With Open Primaries : State of Elections.
Uruguay, a country whose name has often been synonymous with obscurity, will host its runoff presidential election on November 30, with incumbent President José Mujica vacating his seat to one of two candidates: Tabaré Vázquez or Luis Lacalle Pou. Voting in one of its closest elections since the establishment of its current regime, Uruguay is facing a fork in the road: the Broad Front Party’s Vázquez and the continuation of a state-guided economy, or the National Party’s Lacalle Pou and the adoption of a more conservative, smaller government that will further open the country up to international free trade. Preliminary polling data has the two rivals locked in a dead heat for the runoff election. Lacalle Pou is expected to gain the support of the right-wing Colorado Party, which had backed Pedro Bordaberry in the first round of presidential voting. To further complicate political predictions, this election includes approximately 250,000 new, highly unpredictable young voters who do not depend on print media or the radio, the dominant news mediums in Uruguay, instead relying on the Internet as their main source of news. As a result, gauging their political preferences is proving difficult in the weeks leading up to the runoff.Full Article: Decision Time: Uruguay’s Presidential Elections » Harvard Political Review.
Extending an expensive and largely negative campaign for one more month, voters in Louisiana sent Mary Landrieu, a Democrat and three-term United States senator, and her Republican challenger, United States Representative Bill Cassidy, into a runoff election set for Dec. 6. Given Louisiana’s nonpartisan primary system — in which all candidates run in a primary and, if no one wins a majority, the top two vote-getters compete in an election a few weeks later — runoffs are fairly routine here and one had long been expected in this race. While the state Republican Party formally backed Mr. Cassidy this summer, another Republican, Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel with a strong Tea Party following, stayed in the race and drew about 14 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Mr, Cassidy received 42 percent of the vote and Ms. Landreau 41 percent. Numerous polls suggest that much of Mr. Maness’s support will move to Mr. Cassidy in the runoff, putting him in a strong position to win.Full Article: Mary Landrieu of Louisiana Is Pushed to Runoff in Senate Race - NYTimes.com.
Ahead of this Sunday’s General Election, the latest public opinion polls in Uruguay indicate that the election race is likely to go to a runoff at the end of November. As millions of Uruguayan prepare to hit the polls, Broad Front leader and former president Tabare Vasquez has a strong lead, but not enough to reach the 50 percent mark to win in the first round. According to pollster Factum, the Broad Front coalition will garner 44 percent of ballots this October 26, with the National Party candidate Luis Lacalle taking 32 percent. The right-wing Colorado party is currently polling at 15 percent.Full Article: Uruguay Headed for Runoff Election | News | teleSUR.
For about five short minutes in June, everyone sitting around my lunch table in Kabul thought the Afghan government had shut down Facebook. Attempts to load news feeds were met with an abrupt, uninformative “network error” message, so, naturally, two of us jumped on Twitter to break the news. The others, also expatriates, but less swept up in the politics of the moment, continued eating, though no doubt they were somewhat dismayed at the prospect of their window to life back home being shuttered. It was less than a week after millions of Afghans had commuted to polls around the country to vote in a runoff election, the second round in 2014’s historic, if protracted, presidential race. Heralded as the country’s first democratic transition of power, the election process had taken an ugly turn. And social media followed suit. When former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah accused election officials and then-President Hamid Karzai of coordinating ballot stuffing in favor of his opponent, former economic minister Ashraf Ghani, Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with progressively violent and inciteful rhetoric from both sides. Unsurprisingly, the factions largely split along ethnic lines — Pashtuns versus Tajiks — the same antagonists of Afghanistan’s four-year civil war in the 1990s.Full Article: A Double-Edged Sword: Social Media and the Afghan Election.
ust over a fifth of registered voters cast their ballots in the Los Angeles primary and runoff elections that ushered in Mayor Eric Garcetti last year. The elections continued a persistent downward trend in voter participation that’s not limited to Los Angeles. In New York, Bill de Blasio won a landslide election that similarly saw the lowest voter turnout since at least the 1950s. More recently, just over a quarter of voters showed up for the District of Columbia’s hotly-contested mayoral primary – the lowest turnout in more than 30 years. Voter turnout for local elections, typically held in off-cycle years, has historically lagged behind state and federal races set to take place in November, but recent results suggest it’s slowly becoming even worse. University of Wisconsin researchers provided Governing with elections data covering 144 larger U.S. cities, depicting a decline in voter turnout in odd-numbered years over the previous decade. In 2001, an average of 26.6 percent of cities’ voting-age population cast ballots, while less than 21 percent did so in 2011. Turnout for primary and general local elections fluctuate from year to year, but long-term trends in many larger cities suggest voter interest has waned.Full Article: Voter Turnout Plummeting in Local Elections.