The Denver clerk and recorder said today she plans to send ballots to inactive voters for the Nov. 1 election despite a threat from the secretary of state to take her to court. The flap pits the state’s most powerful Democratic county against Colorado’s new Republican secretary of state, Scott Gessler.
“The City and County of Denver has consistently provided all eligible voters with ease of access to the voting franchise and we plan to continue to do so,” clerk Debra Johnson said today in a statement.
Gessler’s office said the law limits the mailings to active voters only. “It’s clear under state law that counties can only mail to active registered voters,” spokesman Rich Coolidge said. Coolidge cited the law’s language that says, “the designated election official shall mail to each active registered elector” to support Gessler’s threat. Read More
Perhaps the right to vote is priceless. But should taxpayers really have to shell out more than $1,500 for the right to cast purely symbolic ballots in an election devoid of races, drama and any tangible value?
Turns out the answer to that seemingly outlandish question is yes – at least if you live in New Haven. When members of the Allen County Election Board last week unanimously agreed to place the names of unopposed candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot despite a new state law to the contrary, they may have thought they were upholding a higher principle: that even the lack of an opponent shouldn’t disenfranchise people whose right to vote was bought with blood, not money. In most cases it would be a nice – if meaningless – gesture.
But not in New Haven, where two polling places that were to have been closed in November because of the total lack of contested races must now be opened, fully staffed and equipped – just so anybody who bothers to show up can futilely vote in elections that were decided long ago. Read More
Voters here will again head to the polls and select their township representatives for county Democratic Committee. A second election one week from Tuesday comes per the request of Superior Court Judge David Krell. The results from the June election were first disputed by candidates and later ruled on by Krell earlier this month.
He also ordered the case be turned over to the Division of Criminal Justice, which is under the state Attorney General’s office, for consideration of a full investigation. It is still unclear where that investigation stands. A response from the Division of Criminal Justice was not received as of press time.
Attorney Samuel Serata, who represents candidates Ernie and Cindy Zirkle, said Monday he believed Krell signed his court order last week and the criminal justice division would have likely just received it. “It will be at least a month before any report comes out,” said Serata. Read More
State stats say it takes 53 minutes on average for someone to get a driver’s license from one of Tennessee’s 48 driver service centers. But those suffering through the process say the ordeal actually can last hours and even require multiple trips.
The difference? Official stats only take into account the time that elapses between a customer entering the building and getting served. They don’t include time customers often must spend in line before they actually get inside the service center, let alone the occasional need for coming more than once.
“This is from the time someone pulls a number to be served [meaning they are inside the building],” said Jennifer Donnals, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “It does not include the wait time before then as there is no accurate way to determine that time.” Read More
The U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing Monday that Texas’ new voting maps for Congress and for the Texas House do not meet federal anti-discrimination requirements, setting up a legal battle that will decide the landscape of future elections in the state. The case, which involves the election districts drawn by the Republican-led Texas Legislature, will likely be decided by a federal court in Washington, D.C.
District boundaries are redrawn every 10 years to reflect changes in census data. Any changes to Texas’ voting practices must be cleared by a federal court or the Justice Department to ensure changes do not discriminate based on race or color.
The Justice Department took issue with the maps for Congress and the Texas House, but it agreed with the state attorney general that maps for the Texas Senate and State Board of Education met requirements under the federal Voting Rights Act. But the Justice Department reiterated that the court would have to make its own determination on the education board and Senate maps. Read More
The new political maps for the Texas House and the state’s congressional delegation don’t protect the electoral power of the state’s minority populations as required by the federal Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Department of Justice said in legal briefs filed in federal court Monday.
The map for the state Senate does comply with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, DOJ’s lawyers said. The Justice Department didn’t offer an opinion on the legality of the new State Board of Education map, saying instead that “the court will have to make its own determination” about that plan.
“It’s consistent with what we’ve been saying,” said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, who heads the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. His and other groups have argued that the state didn’t account for the growth in minority populations over the last 10 years — minorities made up 89 percent of the state’s overall growth — and that in some cases, the Legislature actually diluted the representation that was already in place. Read More
Wisconsin republicans support new legislation that would change how long you would have to vote absentee in person. The proposal cuts the time frame from three weeks to two. One election specialist talked about the impact she expects.
“We’re expecting more through the mail, and we’re expecting to have more employees on staff to handle absentee voting the last two weeks because we anticipate the numbers being up,” says Eau Claire Election Specialist Cheryl Brunner. One local republican says it’s important to approve this bill alongside the voter ID changes to protect against fraud. Read More
State Rep. Stacey Abrams serves as the Georgia House Minority Leader.
Across the state, legislative maps are drawn to split voters along artificial lines to isolate them by race. Legislators see their districts disappear, themselves the target of racial gerrymandering. Citizens rise up in protest and demand the right to elect the candidate of their choice, but the ruling party ignores them. Racial groups are identified and segregated; their leadership eliminated. It is the way of the South. Only this isn’t 1964, the year before the signing of the Voting Rights Act. This is Georgia in 2011.
But this time, the legislators at risk are white men and women who have had the temerity to represent majority African-American districts, and Latino legislators who spoke up for their growing Hispanic population. In crossover districts, where whites and blacks have worked together for decades to build multi-racial voting coalitions, the new district maps devised by the Republicanmajority have slashed through those ties with speed and precision. If the maps proposed by the GOP in Georgia stand, nearly half of the white Democratic state representatives could be removed from office in one election cycle. Call it the “race card”—in reverse. Read More
Opposition parties in Guinea, which is due to hold a parliamentary vote in December, may hold “peaceful protests” if the country’s electoral commission isn’t dismissed, said Mamadou Mouctar Diallo, the head of one of the groups.
The members of 19 parties, including former prime ministers and 2010 presidential candidates Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Toure, plan to start demonstrations on Sept. 27, Diallo, who heads the Nouvelles Forces Democratiques party, said by phone today from Conakry, the capital.
The groups allege the government is making “one-sided” decisions with the commission, said Diallo, who was farming minister during a military-led transitional administration that held power following the 2008 death of President Lansana Conte. Read More
Using a combination of phishing and hijacking handphone numbers, a syndicate siphoned out about a quarter million ringgit from some online banking accounts over the past nine months. Police learnt just how elaborate the syndicate’s modus operandi was only after crippling the gang of cyber crooks with the arrest of six people in a raid on Friday.
The suspects aged between 20 and 27 comprised a Sierra Leone national said to be the mastermind, a male Jordanian and a male Pakistani, and four Malaysians, two of whom were women.
They were nabbed when a federal commercial crimes investigations department CCID team led by cyber crimes and multimedia head ACP Kamaruddin Md Din raided the apartment at the Millenium Square at Section 14, Petaling Jaya where police also seized computers, fake MyKad and bank cards. Read More
Police say angry crowds threw stones and burned vehicles in violence that marred voting in Zambia.
Police spokeswoman Ndandula Siamana said that in one Lusaka neighborhood Tuesday, voters claimed they saw a man with pre-marked ballot papers. Siamana said a crowd burned the papers, as well as a truck and a small bar. A spokesman for the Electoral Commission of Zambia said the report of pre-marked ballot papers was not confirmed.
In a second incident in Lusaka, Siamana said voters angered because a polling station opened late threw rocks and set fire to five vehicles, among them a police car. No injuries or arrests were reported in either incident. Read More