With less than two weeks to go until Zimbabweans head to the polls, a further analysis of the voter’s roll has shown that as many as 900 000 records may have been tampered with, to influence the results, according to a report by TeamPachedu. This includes duplicating voters with a different date of birth, assigning and creating new identity numbers for some voters and introducing minor changes to the identity numbers that cannot be ascribed to human error. The Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) compiled the roll using its much-vaunted biometric identification system to authenticate the records, presumably ensuring only one voter can be assigned to each record.
Liberia’s Supreme Court told the electoral commission to proceed with organizing the final round of presidential elections that was initially scheduled Nov. 7 but put on hold to probe allegations of fraud during the first round. The runoff should go ahead, Justice Philip Banks said in the ruling Thursday in the capital, Monrovia. The ruling ends weeks of uncertainty over the electoral process in a country that emerged from a protracted civil war in 2003. The runoff will be contested by former soccer star George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change and Vice President Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party. Weah got 38 percent of votes in the first round on Oct. 10, while Boakai came second with 29 percent of ballots cast. The Supreme Court on Nov. 1 halted preparations for the second round to hear complaints lodged by presidential candidate Charles Brumskine, who came third as leader of the Liberty Party. Brumskine was joined by the Unity Party in his call for a rerun of the election, saying it was marred by fraud and irregularities. Brumskine also questioned the professionalism of Liberia’s electoral commission, demanding its commissioners be fired.
On Capitol Hill Wednesday, lawmakers held a hearing to evaluate how states maintain accurate and up-to-date voter registration rolls.
Chairman of the House Administration Committee Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., said it is paramount for elections to be conducted in a fair and open manner. “Ensuring the accuracy of voter registration lists is the foundation to a successful election. Having accurate lists increases voter confidence, it eases the administration of elections, reduces wait times, and certainly helps prevent voter fraud and irregularity,” Harper said. The hearing also questioned crosscheck programs and automatic voter registration practices. … Hearing witness and Director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union Dale Ho claimed that the interstate crosscheck program struggles with accuracy.
A lawsuit over Utah’s voter rolls is still up in the air — and so might President Trump’s voter fraud commission that requested the data in the first place. President Trump created the Election Integrity Commission at the beginning of his term to investigate unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud during the election — costing him the popular vote, so he claimed. That led to a blanket request to all 50 states for their voting rolls, including more sensitive data such as birth dates and voting history.
A year out from New Caledonia’s independence referendum, it is still unclear who will be allowed to vote. A similar referendum was held during the tumultuous 1980s but the indigenous people boycotted it, which exacerbated tensions between the Kanaks and French loyalists. Since then two major accords between the rival camps have stabilised the political scene, with the 1998 Noumea Accord providing the decolonisation roadmap to next year’s vote. Challenges to finalise the electoral roll remain, which legal scholar Mathias Chauchat is watching closely.
Even as Florida attracts hundreds of new residents every day, the state’s pool of active voters is actually shrinking. This paradox is easily explained. All 67 counties must periodically scrub the voter roll to make it more accurate and to be sure voters live where they say. Counties can’t do that close to an election, so they do it in non-election years. Turns out, that’s good news for Republicans and bad news for Democrats. In Florida, a revolving-door state where people are constantly coming and going, the roster of active voters keeps changing. The voter roll expands in a presidential election year, when political parties are aggressively signing up voters, and it shrinks the following year, only to grow again, then shrink, like an accordion.
Zimbabwe’s High Court, ruling in favour of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has ordered the government to allow people to vote in any constituency in a presidential election in March, the Daily News said on Saturday. “High Court Judge Rita Makarau ordered Tobaiwa Mudede, the registrar-general, to allow people to vote anywhere in the country and not necessarily in their constituencies as decreed by the government,” the privately owned newspaper said. Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), poses the biggest challenge to President Robert Mugabe’s 22 years in power in the March ballot.
New Caledonia’s pro-independence FLNKS movement says for next year’s independence referendum to be fair, the electoral roll needs to be sincere. Under the Noumea Accord, voting rights are restricted to long-term residents, but for years there have been disputes over the make-up of the roll. There are claims that some settlers are on the roll although they fail the residency requirements.
Tonga’s Electoral Commission is trying to fast-track the updating of the roll in light of the royal dissolution of parliament. The king has ordered elections by 16 November, a year out from when they were originally scheduled. The supervisor of elections Pita Vuki acknowledges this has created challenges for his office. “We were working on updating our electoral roll, thinking that the election would be next year. Our staff have just completed a visiting programme to all the villages of this main island Tongatapu. We just completed that last month and we were planning to go out to the outer islands to continue the same works.”
How Ohio maintains its voter registration rolls has been under legal attack for well over a year. The war of interpretation is approaching its end before the U.S. Supreme Court. For decades Ohio has maintained its voter rolls the same way, under both Democrat and Republican leadership. When someone uses the US postal service for a change of address, is convicted of a felony or files a death certificate, appropriate action is taken to adjust the voter’s registration to prevent fraud.
In the wake of the Trump Administration requesting partial social security numbers, dates of birth and other information about registered voters across the U.S., one Idaho state lawmaker is trying to keep that information private – at least partially. Right now, anyone can ask for a copy of Idaho’s voter roll, which gives out a person’s name, address, age and voter history and more. The measure from state Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) would allow anyone to opt out of revealing most of that data – making only their name and voting precinct visible to the public.
A federal judge could soon make a national example out of Broward County’s elections office. Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has been on trial, defending her office against claims it isn’t doing enough to remove ineligible voters from the county’s voter rolls, a practice that could lead to voter fraud. Snipes asserts that she’s making a reasonable effort to keep the lists up to date and is doing everything the law requires. The county’s elections office is one of more than 140 nationwide that have been accused of having more registered voters than eligible voting-age residents. Several organizations have threatened lawsuits if the counties don’t get more aggressive at removing ineligible voters from their lists. The Broward case is the first to go to trial, and it’s seen as a possible precedent for others.
Broward County is not doing enough to remove ineligible voters from its lists, it was claimed at a federal trial that wrapped Wednesday. The argument came from the conservative American Civil Rights Union, which has been pursuing similar claims nationwide. … The defense said the data provided was misleading. Some voters, such as boat dwellers and homeless people, don’t have residential addresses. The dead people who were found on the rolls in 2012 were removed after the elections office verified the information it was given.
Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes may be fighting a federal lawsuit, but she testified Tuesday that it has already pushed her to do more to uncover people who should be removed from the county’s voting rolls. Snipes is in court defending her office against accusations brought by the conservative American Civil Rights Union that the county has thousands of ineligible voters on its lists. The ACRU, a Virginia-based nonprofit, is asking U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom to order the county to take additional steps in purging names that don’t belong on the rolls. The ACRU claims the county in recent years has had more voters on its rolls than eligible voting-age residents, or at the very least, that it has close to a 100 percent voter registration that it says is “improbable.” The trial in federal court in Miami could set a national precedent for how aggressive election officials need to be in removing non-voters from their rolls. The ACRU and other conservative groups have been challenging voter roll information in states and counties across the country.
A court petition by the American Civil Liberties Union and two state lawmakers seeking to block the secretary of state from sending voter data to President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission cites a 2006 state law that restricts how such voter information can be disseminated. But the sponsor of that bill 11 years ago, former House Speaker William O’Brien, said Monday the legislation was not intended to keep voter information that is already available publicly from the federal government. The ACLU’s reinstated petition to block Secretary of State William Gardner from sending publicly available voter data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on which Gardner serves, says that in 2006, Gardner’s office supported the O’Brien-sponsored bill that restricted the use of the data.
Washington state’s voter rolls are “accurate,” and the state follows federal election laws. That’s the message Washington Director of Elections, Lori Augino, is sending to the U.S. Department of Justice. President Donald Trump has alleged widespread voter fraud in last year’s election. He’s formed a Commission on Election Integrity to investigate. Trump’s Department of Justice has also sent letters to secretaries of state asking for information on how they purge their voter rolls of “ineligible voters.” Augino has now sent a four-page response to DOJ. It says the state routinely compares its voter registration database to lists of deaths and felony convictions. And the state looks for duplicates every night.
At least hundreds of Senegalese voters were prevented from casting their ballots in parliamentary elections on Sunday because of delays in issuing identity cards, voters and officials said. In an embarrassing turn for one of West Africa’s most stable democracies, voters were left off voting lists at polling stations or told they did not have the right documents to vote. Opposition leaders have criticized President Macky Sall for trying to stamp out political opposition in a contentious campaign.
Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes will testify in federal court in Miami on Monday about allegations the county has a bloated voter list because her office isn’t doing enough to purge ineligible voters. Snipes will be defending her office against a suit brought by the American Civil Rights Union, a conservative Virginia-based group that has been challenging voter registration lists nationwide. The nonprofit organization says it wants to make sure voter lists accurately reflect only eligible voters to reduce the potential for voter fraud.
Hackers successfully penetrated state-run online voter registration systems in 2016, triggering confusion and heated exchanges between voters, poll workers and poll watchers during California’s June 7 primary, Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said Friday. “I think that pretty quickly, as is sort of the case around our politics, partisanship got into it,” Hestrin told The California Report. “And frankly the victims of these changes were both Republicans and Democrats.” Hestrin’s investigation would ultimately show that hackers accessed voter registration information, indiscriminate of party, through the California Secretary of State’s election website, and changed some voters’ party affiliations. But because the state did not collect the IP addresses of the visits, there’s no way to know where the hacker — or hackers — were based.
International election observers have said problems with the electoral roll in Papua New Guinea that prevented thousands of people from voting are “widespread”. In its interim statement, the Commonwealth Observer Group called for an urgent review after the election to improve the accuracy of the roll. Elections are in their third week and while polling continues in a small number of areas, the counting of ballots has started in others. Thousands of people were prevented from voting because their names were not on the electoral roll, despite saying they had registered. The Commonwealth Observer Group sent teams to 12 provinces to monitor the polling. The group’s chairman, Sir Anand Satyanand, said his observers found the problem was “widespread”.
The Arizona Republican Party sent out an email Wednesday — and a similar tweet last week — that is raising some eyebrows about both the method and the timing. The blast email was titled, in screaming all-caps, “IMPORTANT INFO MISSING” and tells the reader that their “voter profile status has been marked incomplete.” It then directs the reader to fill out a form “in the next 24 hours to remain active in our system.” The email is clearly marked with the state GOP logo and is signed by the Arizona Republican Party. It was sent to the party’s general subscriber list. Communications Director Torunn Sinclair declined to say how many people received it.
A Melanesian Spearhead Group observer team says all polling stations it visited in Papua New Guinea’s election had too many incidences of names missing from the common roll. The MSG observers have issued an interim statement, as the vote counting stage of PNG’s lengthy election is underway across the country. It said “the 2017 PNG National Elections were fully embraced by PNG citizens, even though it presented many challenges”. In all the polling stations that were visited by the seven MSG observers, the voters were described as “excited to participate in the election” but many found their names had dropped off the roll, or not been added.
By the end of the week, most Delawareans will no longer be able to ask for a copy of the state’s voter registration database. That news comes in the wake of an effort by the Trump Administration to root out what they view as widespread voter fraud across the country. “I don’t feel like we should give that information,” said state Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove, referring to a panel led by Vice President Mike Pence (R). Last week, her office said it wouldn’t comply with a request from the group, which would’ve involved handing over voters’ dates of birth, the last four digits of their social security numbers and more.
Counting is under way in Papua New Guinea’s sprawling elections, officials said Thursday, but voting has been marred by claims of rigging, electoral roll flaws and ballot paper shortages. The last polling stations are due to close Saturday after two weeks of voting for the 111-seat parliament across the vast and remote country where previous elections have been tarnished by violence. The Pacific nation’s leader, Peter O’Neill of the People’s National Congress (PNC), has hailed this year’s poll as “calm and peaceful”, even as some voters complained their names had vanished from the electoral roll.
Arizona: State settles lawsuit making voter-registration data more affordable | The Arizona Republic
Arizona has settled a lawsuit with a national voting-rights group, resulting in an agreement that allows the public to access voter information at a much lower cost. The settlement between Project Vote and the state was finalized late last week. Electronic access to the voter rolls will be available to the public at a cost of a few hundred dollars rather than thousands. For example, the price of obtaining the state’s database of about 3.6 million voters will drop from about $30,000 to around $500. Project Vote, a national nonpartisan voting-rights advocacy organization, sued the state, Maricopa County and Pima County to challenge the cost of acquiring voter-registration data after receiving bills for tens of thousands of dollars. Political parties get the same information for free, as is required by state law.
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica Saturday, Mr. Ngafuan, now a supporter of Vice President Joseph Boakai said, NEC handling of the process is giving him jitters. “Quite frankly, I am afraid. From what I’ve heard from Chairman Jerome Korkoya, I think we all, political actors and journalists need to sound the alarm and call a state of emergency around this issue because elections are won or lost based on the credibility of the voter roll.” NEC commenced the Exhibition of the Provisional Voter Roll on June 12, 2017 and ended on June 17 at all 2080 Exhibition Centers (formerly Voter Registration Centers) across the country. The exercise is a cardinal electoral date as per Article 9.2 of the Voter Registration Regulations and in keeping with section 3.6 of the New Elections Law of Liberia.
District of Columbia: D.C. to spend $3 million to get names of dead people, other errors off voter rolls | The Washington Post
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) plans to spend $3 million to overhaul the city’s voter registration database, a file that is riddled with errors, including the names of deceased residents and thousands of voters whose births erroneously date to the 1800s, according to a recent audit. The move comes as President Trump launches a commission on “election integrity” to cut down on voter fraud, but city officials say that is a coincidence. “There is no connection. This decision was made well before President Trump’s election integrity commission,” Bowser spokesman Kevin Harris said Tuesday.
Washington County is “NOT in violation” of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, County Clerk Nancy Heseman told the SE Illinois News in an email recently. Heseman was responding to allegations by a Washington-based conservative group known as Judicial Watch, which sent a letter to Illinois accusing 24 counties of being in violation off election laws. The Illinois State Board of Elections has since filed a response to Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, saying the group was wrong. “Since the advent of the statewide voter database in Illinois, the SBE has continuously monitored voter registration levels in various jurisdictions,” the letter said. “You are either working from bad data, or are misunderstanding the data you have.”
Montgomery election officials said Monday they will review registration procedures in response to allegations from a conservative watchdog group that the county’s rolls are packed with ineligible voters. Judicial Watch said in a letter earlier this month there was “strong circumstantial evidence” that Montgomery’s lists are filled with names of voters who have died, moved out of state or are non-citizens. It said the charge is supported by data showing more registered voters in the county than there are citizens of voting age (18 and over). … The state board, which oversees county panels, said last week that it will also review practices in response to Judicial Watch. But county election staff and voting rights groups raised questions Monday about the legitimacy of Judicial Watch’s claim.
Rectifying one of the greatest sources of outrage and discontent surrounding previous elections, the voter list compiled for upcoming commune elections has passed an audit with flying colors, though commentators remain skeptical as to whether the country will actually witness free and fair elections on June 4. The Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) on Tuesday published its full report on the completely remade voter list, following the NGO coalition’s release of a summary at a news conference last week. “This audit found that there are significant improvements on the quality of the 2016 voter list in its completeness, currency, and accuracy compared with the previous voter list,” Comfrel’s report says.