Maine’s secretary of state has certified enough petition signatures to ensure a statewide people’s veto referendum in November that asks voters to support or reject a new law banning Election Day voter registration.
Charlie Summers made the announcement late Thursday afternoon, exactly 30 days after Protect Maine Votes, a coalition of progressive advocacy groups, submitted more than 80,000 signatures for consideration.
About 70,000 of those signatures were validated, well above the 57,277 required of the campaign by state law. “More than a thousand volunteers worked tirelessly to protect a system that has worked well for more than 38 years,” said Mark Gray, campaign manager for Protect Maine Votes. “There’s no reason to change it.” Read More
The Government Accountability Board, which runs state elections, unanimously adopted a policy Monday that said schools could put stickers on existing IDs to include the information needed to make the IDs compliant with the voter ID law. That could save public and private schools money by not having to completely overhaul their IDs.
However, the board discussion highlighted the difficulties students may find in using their student IDs to vote – sticker or not. For one thing, voters who present a proper student ID would still have to show proof they were currently enrolled at the school. Those using other types of IDs, such as Wisconsin driver’s licenses, would not have to prove they were enrolled at the school.
A new law that goes into effect next year will require voters to show photo IDs at the polls and allow only very limited types of student IDs from Wisconsin institutions. Few if any of those schools currently issue IDs that comply with the law, which says the IDs must expire within two years of being issued, include the expiration date and include a signature. The sticker could help meet those requirements. Nevertheless, only IDs from certain types of institutions would be accepted. IDs issued by technical colleges, for example, are not valid for voting. Read More
The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday is scheduled to consider whether to allow a Nov. 8 recall election to be held for state Senate President Russell Pearce, a Republican known nationally for championing legislation against illegal immigration.
A Pearce supporter appealed a trial judge’s Aug. 12 ruling that denied the supporter’s request to call off the election in Pearce’s legislative district in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb. Read More
The right of homeless people to vote has become a non-issue in Maine’s referendum debate over voter registration.On Nov. 8, Mainers will decide whether to repeal a new law that requires voters to register at least two business days before an election. Passage would restore a state policy allowing election-day registration.
The debate has touched on the right of homeless people to vote. But as the Kennebec Journal in Augusta Reports Monday, both sides agree that the homeless have that right. Read More
In a letter sent to Acting Principal Chief Joe Crittenden, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs warns that the Special Election for Principal Chief, scheduled for September 24th, will not be valid if the Cherokee Freedmen cannot vote.
The letter states that the U.S. Government does not recognize the 2007 Cherokee Constitutional Amendment that was upheld by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. The amendment maintains that Freedmen are not citizens of the Cherokee Nation tribe, and are not eligible to vote. Because the U.S. Government is not recognizing the amendment, the special election would not be valid if the Freedmen are not allowed to vote. Read More
Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s (D- Los Angeles) AB 547, a measure to protect senior citizens from voter fraud and abuse, has been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown and will thus take effect before the 2012 elections.
The new law makes it a misdemeanor, with stiff fines, for anyone providing care or direct supervision to a person who is at least 65 years old to coerce or deceive that senior into voting for or against a candidate or measure contrary to the senior’s intent. Read More
When Wisconsin legislators passed the most restrictive voter ID law in the country earlier this year, they enacted what legal experts and voting rights activists have correctly identified as a poll tax. Proponents of the law argued otherwise. They pointed out that eligible voters who could not afford a state ID could obtain one without charge.
With the decision of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to direct DMV employees to refrain from actively informing the public about the ability to receive a free identification card for the purposes of voting, however, the potential that the voter ID law could serve as a poll tax becomes realistic — and legally significant. Notably, the head of the DOT is a former Republican legislator with close ties to Gov. Scott Walker, and the author of the memo on denying information to prospective voters is a political appointee.
The term “poll tax” has a sordid history. With roots in the anti-democratic practice of allowing only the landed gentry to vote, poll taxes became even more notorious when they were associated with the efforts of Southern segregationists to deny the franchise to African-Americans. A critical turning point came in 1962 with the ratification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, which outlawed poll taxes in federal elections. Read More
At least 66 of Guatemala”s 333 cities are at risk for violence during Sunday”s presidential elections, the Human Rights Attorney”s Office (PDH) alerted. The PDH created a risk map to mark the regions where which problems could arise during the elections, identifying 17 of the country’s 22 departments, most of them indigenous populations.
Conflicts between communities and security forces, drug trafficking and changes to the electoral rolls were the main sourcs of conflict. Authorities presented a security plan to be implemented Friday which includes the protection of polling places and infrastructure, such as bridges and electricity towers, as well as citizen surveillance. Read More
Speaking at the London Irish Center to representatives from the Irish business, social and cultural community last week, Labour Party presidential hopeful Michael D. Higgins stressed the enduring importance of the Irish Diaspora, saying he wishes to give at least a conditional voting voice to the Irish outside of Ireland.
Voting rights for Irish citizens living both abroad and in Northern Ireland has become a hot issue of late, as Ireland prepares for its October 27 presidential election, in which Higgins is seen by many as the frontrunner. His speech comes a month after activists from Ógra Shinn Féin protested outside Leinster House, wearing GAA jerseys from the six northern counties and holding gags in their mouths to symbolize the lack of a voting voice for Irish citizens of Northern Ireland. Read More
Election authorities in Cameroon have disqualified half of the country’s 51 presidential candidates before the October 9 poll, prompting mild demonstrations this weekend outside the electoral commission.
Cameroon’s Supreme Court is reviewing the cases of presidential hopefuls whose candidacies were thrown out Friday by the electoral commission, also known as ELECAM. Election officials say they expect the Supreme Court to issue speedy judgments. Election Board Chairman Fonkam Azu’u said the exclusions stemmed from flaws in candidate applications. Read More
Technological innovations will make bogus voting difficult if not impossible in Pakistan, where the number of bogus votes has called into question the legitimacy of the present government, if the introduction of biometrics is mandated for the next elections.
Once election authorities have compiled computerised electoral rolls with voters’ pictures, they plan to introduce specially designed ballot papers inscribed with a watermark, magnetic ink and biometrics to determine voters’ identity. Voters will stamp the ballot paper with magnetic ink. Once the votes are polled, the election commission (ECP) will be able to verify them by their counterfoils. “In case of any complaints, the fake voter can be traced by biometrics,” an official involved in the electoral reforms told The Express Tribune. Read More