Pakistan: Giving voting right to expats not feasible: Minister | The Nation

Election experts, government officials and lawmakers yesterday concluded that giving voting right to overseas Pakistanis was practically impossible though lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stuck to politics of idealism insisting on giving rights to voters abroad. The sub-committee of Electoral Reforms Committee was informed by officials of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the mock voting exercise in Pakistani missions abroad went unsuccessful and proposed that participation of Pakistanis living abroad in election will be a futile exercise without any success. The meeting was told that it took two weeks to receive the results of votes polled by 67 voters in seven Pakistani missions during the mock exercise. Voters had cast votes through postal ballots and email. Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid who is also convener of the committee told reporters that Tuesday’s briefing by ECP and Nadra officials was evidence that the project of giving voting rights to overseas Pakistanis was not feasible at all.

Turkey: Votes from abroad and the coming election | Today’s Zaman

This weekend marks the end of the chance to cast votes in the Turkish election from abroad. And so this gives us another opportunity to analyze what — if any — influence these votes have on the election as a whole. In the meantime, this election will be yet again another test for the Supreme Election Board (YSK). In the first election in which Turks could cast votes from abroad, the appointment system, which requires Turkish nationals to apply for an appointment and determine the day they will vote through an online procedure on the YSK website, was alleged to have had a negative effect on voter turnout. Even in cities like Berlin, where the population of Turks is particularly high, there were turnout rates as low as around 8 percent, which many pointed to as being one result of the appointment system for voting. This has subsequently been eliminated, but it likely not the only factor influencing low turnout. In the meantime, a great deal of curiosity surrounds the question of who exactly Turks abroad will be voting for.

Philippines: Congress pressed for law on online voting for overseas Pinoys | GMA News

The Commission of Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday urged lawmakers to pass a law allowing Filipino voters abroad to cast their ballots online in order to encourage them to participate in the 2016 local and national elections. Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the poll body will need Congress’ approval to implement an online voting system since Republic Act No. 10590 or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2013 only allows Filipino voters abroad to cast their votes either through mail or at the Philippine embassy or consulate. “We’re proposing [voting through] e-mail or the Internet… but this will require the approval of Congress. The system now is you have to go to the consulate or the embassy kaya kakakunti ang bumoboto,” he said.

Turkey: In a First, Germany’s Turks Get to Help Decide Turkish Election | Wall Street Journal

Far from Istanbul, voters at cardboard polling booths set up in a Berlin sporting arena are helping to decide whether Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s becomes Turkey’s next president. The large Turkish diaspora in Germany and other countries around the world is for the first time getting its say in a Turkish election, with presidential voting kicking off in a change that offers new clout to the community here. The recent change in Turkish law allowing Turks abroad to vote has been heralded as a sign of political empowerment. It is a move that comes as Turks in Germany are also being courted by German politicians after years of being ignored—amid new laws that make it easier for Germany-born Turks to gain dual citizenship and the appointment of the country’s first minister of Turkish descent. The community may not be large enough to make much difference for Mr. Erdogan, who is widely expected to win Turkey’s first direct presidential elections handily. But the prime minister has made visits to Germany this year, packing stadiums in Cologne and Berlin.

Costa Rica: Electronic Voting Comes to Thousands of Voters Abroad | The Costa Rica News

Over 82% of the 12,654 Costa Ricans registered to vote abroad in the elections on February 2 may use a new electronic voting system, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) announced today. Electronic voting, which will be implemented for the first time in Costa Rica presidential elections, is a pilot plan that can be used at the consulates of 31 countries with more than 50 people registered in each. TSE President, Luis Antonio Sobrado, said at a press conference that the voting and the use of electronic voting is “the most important of the major innovations for the elections.” Each voter will have the opportunity to choose the electronic ballot, which includes the option to vote on a touch screen computer.

Philippines: Overseas votes cost P1,310 each | Inquirer

They spent so much but showed very little for it. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are being asked to explain where the P148.4 million they allegedly spent for the overseas absentee voting went with only 15 percent of voters abroad actually casting their ballots in the May 13 elections. Sen. Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, on Thursday said he would file the appropriate resolution for a review of the Overseas Absentee Voting Act (OAV) when the 16th Congress convenes in July. Drilon said in the weekly Senate news forum the turnout among the 737,759 registered Filipino voters abroad was “dismal to say the least.”

Pakistan: Nadra develops $1.5m software for voters abroad |

In compliance with an order of the Supreme Court, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has devised a software to help 4.5 million overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes in the coming general elections. The $1.5 million software will help overseas Pakistanis in 15 countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia, UAE, France and Australia, to vote at 150 polling stations. However, approval of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be required to prepare required legislation. Nadra chairman Tariq Malik said at a news conference that a detailed briefing would be given to ECP on the software on Monday and if the ECP approved it, a briefing would be arranged for the Supreme Court.

Ghana: Electoral Commission caught pants down over 241,000 foreign votes | GhanaWeb

Without any shred of doubt, the Afari Djan led Electoral Commission has failed to prove the existence of 241,524 voters abroad and returning peacekeepers whose inclusion according to the EC bloated the provisional 13,917,366 to 14,158,890. The Electoral Commission in response to the plaintiffs, Nana Akufo-Addo and Co’s ongoing Supreme Court case challenging the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the Presidential elections that produced John Dramani Mahama as President. Responding to the plaintiff’s questioning the integrity of the voters who register in paragraph 6 of its response, the Electoral Commission stated “In answer to paragraph 12 of the Petition, the 2nd Respondent says that the initial provisional figure it announced of registered voters was 13,917,366. After the conduct of registration of Foreign Service officials, students abroad on government scholarship, other Ghanaians working abroad in International organizations and the late registration of service personnel returning from international peacekeeping duties, it announced a figure of 14, 158,890 representing the raw entries in the Registration Database”.

Ghana: Petitioners submit particulars as Electoral Commission provides number of voters abroad | Ghana Business News

The petitioners contesting the declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the December 2012 polls have submitted the names and codes of 4,709 polling stations where alleged irregularities took place. They have also filed the names and codes of the polling stations where voting took place without biometric verification. President John Dramani Mahama and the Electoral Commission (EC), who are the first and second respondents in the petition are expected to be served with the filed documents before the end of the week.

India: Advani favours voting rights to Indians settled abroad | ibnlive

Senior BJP leader LK Advani on Tuesday said he is in favour of granting voting rights to Indians and people of Indian-origin settled abroad. Advani, who is leading a group of visiting Indian Parliamentarians here to attend sessions of the UN General Assembly, addressed a large gathering of Indian-Americans and community leaders at an event organised over the weekend by the Overseas Friend of BJP in Edison, New Jersey. He said Indians living abroad have been making efforts to get voting rights and wish to participate in the electoral process of their country. “I want that all Indians and people of Indian origin living abroad should get voting rights. It will be a very good step,” Advani said, adding that this can be made possible only when there are changes in India and the country’s laws.