The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments approved a resolution Monday asking for the state to audit how its voting machines are working. The proper functioning of South Carolina’s machines has drawn increased skepticism following human errors made during last year’s elections.
The council’s resolution noted, “a concern frequently expressed about voting machines is they do not incorporate a ‘paper trail’ that could facilitate unequivocal confirmation of election results.”
The action Monday did not come as a surprise. Council members, who represent most local governments in the tri-county area, agreed in April to draft such a resolution. Read More
Secretary of State Charlie White’s criminal trial has been postponed again. It will now begin Jan. 30, White’s attorney, Carl Brizzi, confirmed this morning after a telephone conference with a Hamilton County judge and prosecutors.
White faces seven felony charges, including voter fraud and theft, because of confusion over where he lived during his campaign for statewide office. His trial had been scheduled for Aug. 8 but was pushed back to Sept. 12.
The latest delay comes days after Brizzi, the former Marion County prosecutor, took over the case. “I think the most compelling reason (for the continuance) is that I’m brand new to the case, so the judge thought it was a good idea to get me up to speed,” Brizzi said this morning. Read More
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has won his lawsuit over the manner in which Saguache County conducted its 2010 election. We’re happy he prevailed.
Mr. Gessler sued County Clerk and Recorder Melinda Meyers after she refused to turn over ballots from the election and argued that a public review would violate the secrecy of the ballot. Reflexively, many of the state’s county clerks backed her argument.
But District Judge Martin Gonzales ruled that Ms. Meyers had not established that ballots contained information which would identify a voter. He further ruled that requesting the ballots for review was within the powers of the secretary of state — the state’s top elections official. Read More
The arrest warrants for nine people in Wake County charged with felonies for voting twice in the 2008 election were barely dry when the state Republican Party came to its fanciful conclusion that its stymied campaign for requiring photo identification of all voters would have thwarted these people. The problem is, it wouldn’t have.
Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby (yes, a Democrat) says voter IDs would have made no difference in these cases. This was about people voting twice, perhaps by absentee and then at the polls. And it should be noted that nine people were charged, and that’s out of a huge 2008 turnout. There were more voter fraud cases statewide than usual in that year, more than 200, out of over 4 million votes cast.
Which is to say, nine is not many, and there probably would have been nine with or without voter ID. Read More
Afghan lawmakers and thousands of their supporters took to the streets of Kabul on Tuesday to protest at the latest twist in a row over fraud in elections last year, officials said. Afghanistan is currently gripped by what experts say is a constitutional crisis over the results of the fraud-tainted parliamentary elections in September last year and how many lawmakers should be disqualified as a result.
President Hamid Karzai last week ordered the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to resolve the long-standing dispute and it is expected to announce within days its decision on how many members of parliament will be kicked out.
“There are about 3,000 people, members of parliament and their supporters demonstrating around the parliament building,” Hashmat Stanikzai, a Kabul police spokesman, told reporters. Read More
The person who recently hurled a padlock out the window of a passing vehicle at a Republican candidate for the State Senate, who was jogging along the side of the road, may have had no political motive at all. But as the police investigate, some here already consider the incident one more example of the politics in this state veering toward the extreme.
… In wake of the incident, a bipartisan group has stepped forward with a remedy for what members describe as the lack of moderation in the state’s politics. Voter registration records indicate disaffection with both parties, as independent voters increase in numbers and both registered Republicans and Democrats decline. By doing away with partisan primaries, the newly formed Open Government Coalition says, more independent voters will participate in choosing candidates and more moderate voices will emerge. Read More
A board chaired by the governor voted unanimously Monday to ask the Legislature to cover the $539,137 cost of the special election on Sept. 13 to fill a vacancy in Congress.
Instead of requiring counties to cover election costs, the state Board of Examiners wants the Legislature to reimburse counties out of its $12 million interim contingency fund. The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee will consider the proposal on Aug. 31. Read More
The world looks to California for 21st century innovation, especially for the application of technology that makes life less costly and more efficient.
Californians are well into the 21st century, working in the cloud, using smart phones and tablet computers, and getting their entertainment on demand by satellite. But when it comes to voter registration, California seems to be stuck in the 18th century. State law won’t allow eligible citizens in our state to register online until at least 2015 — and maybe much later.
Fortunately, Californians may not need to wait much longer. SB 397, a bill that would allow for online voter registration as soon as 2012, has now been approved by the state Senate and passed through the Assembly Policy Committee. Since the bill’s introduction by Sen. Leland Yee in February of 2011, SB 397 has continued to garner legislative support by adding a number of coauthors. Read More
If there was reason to believe that Kansas has a serious problem with noncitizens voting in its elections, it might make sense to rush into a voter registration system designed to stem such abuse.
However, because there is little evidence that such a problem exists, it only makes sense for the state to take a little time to implement the requirement that Kansas residents show proof of citizenship when they register to vote.
The county clerks who actually have to run the elections are saying they have enough changes to deal with in the coming year without adding the proof-of-citizenship requirement. Secretary of State Kris Kobach should respect their opinion. Read More
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday told the Presidential Election Tribunal headed by President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ayo Salami that allowing the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) access to the biometrics data base of registered voters used for the April presidential election will jeopardise national security.
This is just as the Tribunal adjourned to August 29 for the interpretation its earlier order granting CPC access to INEC sensitive materials and also entertain CPC’s motion seeking to declare its presidential candidate in April general elections General Muhammadu Buhari as President would be heard.
The CPC had filed a motion praying the Tribunal to give the party judgment, alleging that the INEC disobeyed the tribunal’s order by denying the party access to the sensitive material used during the April 2011 President. Read More
A road map needs to be instituted to enable Malaysians reaching the age of 21 to be automatically registered as voters, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. He said that he was not only in favour of this but also reducing the voting age to 18.
“Though these are not possible for the next general election, nevertheless, a road map needs to be in place to realise these matters.
“To have a great decracy, we need as many people as possible to come out and vote. To achieve this, we must make it easier for the people to do so (vote),” he said at the Electoral Reform and Purification of Democracy Forum organised by the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) and the Abim Lawyers Group (GPA) at Kolej Dar Al-Hikmah here today. Read More
With preparations for the upcoming general elections in full swing,Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the people of Liberia to do everything possible to ensure the polls are free, fair and peaceful.
The presidential and legislative polls, scheduled for 11 October, will be second round of democratic elections since the end of the decade-long conflict in Liberia that killed nearly 150,000 people, mostly civilians, and sent 850,000 others fleeing to neighbouring countries.
“The success of these elections, and the peaceful inauguration of a new administration, will be critical to the consolidation of the tremendous progress the country has made over the past eight years,” Mr. Ban writes in his latest report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Read More
A Filipino migrant rights watchdog on Thursday Thursday urged the government to bare its plan and timetable of activities on information dissemination and campaign for the upcoming overseas absentee voters (OAV) registration.
“It is barely more than a month from now, the OAV registration will soon commence. But there is no information dissemination drive yet conducted by various posts abroad,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, noting the importance of having the Filipino communities and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) organizations abroad to be informed of the upcoming OAV registration. Read More
It was quaintly ironic how President Sarkozy’s decision to reach out to his thousands of expatriate French citizens by giving them proper representation in the French Senate, by way of their own Senators to represent their interests, boomeranged spectacularly when he attempted to impose a tax on second home owners.
As his ministers quite rightly pointed out to him, the hundreds of thousands of French citizens resident and working in countries like the UK, many of whom now owned what had become a “second home” in France, were more than likely due to this legislation to vote against him. And bingo, he performed an incredible U-turn and dropped the tax.
Does this give British citizens now resident in France and elsewhere who after 15 years have lost their right to vote in the UK pause for thought? I do hope so. It shows the power of democracy, and the ability of voting citizens to change legislation. Read More
Slovenia’s prime minister urged all political sides in the tiny EU state Friday to reach an agreement on early elections, after his coalition suffered a new blow this week.
“The political sphere has to reach an agreement on how to appoint a new government through early elections,” Borut Pahor wrote in a commentary published in the daily Vecer. “In the current complicated circumstances, a political crisis is a luxury we cannot afford and we have to take quick and energetic steps.” Read More
The Montenegrin parliament must pass a new election law in order to continue on the path towards EU membership. The EU has been very clear in it’s message — without a revised election law there will be no EU membership.
Nonetheless, the Montenegrin parliament has failed to pass the needed law — after seven attempts. Unfortunately, there is little reason to hope that this attempt will fare better.
Serbian nationalist parties within the Montenegrin parliament are refusing to allow the EU membership to move forward unless Montenegro agrees to change it’s national language to Serbian and returns to teaching Serbian in Montenegrin schools. Read More