The NAACP is joining with minority and labor groups for a series of protests around the country meant to move discussion of voter identification laws out of policy circles and onto street corners, the organization’s president said Tuesday.
Benjamin Todd Jealous appeared on the steps of New York City Hall with the Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel and community and labor leaders to announce plans for nationwide protests on Dec. 10 and across the South in the following weeks, decrying what they described as a nationwide voter suppression effort. Read More
Today millions of people will go to the polls to vote in state and local elections. As they cast their ballot, they cast a vote for the most treasured aspect of our democracy. The voting booth is the one place where we are all equal — all Americans are able to have an equal voice in determining the shape of our government. That sacred right is now under the largest assault we have witnessed in more than a century.
Through a spate of restrictive laws passed in Republican-led state legislatures, a disproportionate number of African-Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, the elderly and the young will find voting difficult and in many cases impossible. These laws require a state photo ID to vote, limit early voting, place strict requirements on voter registration and deny voting rights to Americans with criminal records who have paid their debt to society. Read More
A law requiring voters to enroll at least two days before an election was repealed Tuesday, restoring a four-decade policy of allowing registrations up to and including Election Day. Unofficial results showed the proposal to repeal the newly enacted requirement passed with 60 percent of the vote.
“This is a big day for the voters of Maine,” said David Farmer, spokesman for the Yes on One campaign. “They stood up for their rights to be heard. This tells us that Maine people won’t stand for people messing with their elections.”
The referendum was put on the ballot through a people’s veto initiative after the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a law in June requiring voters to register at least two business days before an election is held. That set aside a state law passed in 1973 that allows Election Day, or same-day, registrations. Read More
Two states on Tuesday will consider how to balance voter rights against voter fraud in ballot initiatives that could provide momentum for other states to take up the issue in 2012 and beyond. The split, which generally follows partisan lines, is also playing out in the Maine and Mississippi ballot votes.
Democrats allege that Republicans are setting stricter voting regulations in order to make it harder for traditionally Democratic constituencies – such as the poor and immigrants – to vote. In line with this, Maine is considering allowing voters to register on the same day as an election – something GOP legislators in Maine had banned.
Meanwhile, Republicans suggest that Democrats benefit disproportionately from voter fraud and that states must take more steps to ensure that voters are who they say they are. Accordingly, Mississippi is considering whether to require photo ID at the polling locations. Read More
A volunteer for 13th District city council write-in candidate Shannon Sneed says problems with voting machines – and the unwillingness of staff to help voters – caused eight to 10 people who came to a polling place in East Baltimore to leave without voting this morning. “There was some technician they needed to get to fix the problem, but they couldn’t find him,” said Renold B. Smith, a retired U.S. Postal Service manager who was volunteering for Sneed.
Smith, who said he had been at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School since before the polls opened, said he tried helping one woman who was particularly concerned about the problem. He said she told him the machine “just wouldn’t let her do a write-in.” Read More
Richard Rumfield was the first person to cast his vote at 6 o’clock this morning at the town municipal building in Phillipsburg. But as he was about to submit his choices, he realized an error with the machine. Rather than choosing the names he checked on his straight ticket, the machine had compiled the names listed below his preferred candidates.
Rumfield alerted a poll worker, who noted the error and said they’d report the malfunctioning machine. By going back through each question, and answering opposite of what he had the first time, Rumfield was able to manually choose the candidates for whom he actually wanted to vote, but he said he still left the polling place unsatisfied. Read More
A second Phillipsburg polling machine has been taken out of service after malfunctioning, according to Warren County Board of Elections officials.
The machine was located in the Heckman House at 530 Heckman St.
“That one froze and was not responding to the voter,” Warren County Election Administrator William Duffy said, adding the machine had five votes on it when it froze. “The technician and poll worker could not get it working so it was replaced.” Read More
Oregon was first in the nation to have all residents vote by mail. Now it’s pioneering another idea: vote by iPad. Voters in five counties are filling out and returning their mail-in ballots for a Tuesday special primary election to replace former U.S. Rep. David Wu, who resigned following a sex scandal. A handful will mark their ballots not with a pen but with the tip of their finger.
It’s the latest attempt at using new technology to help voters with disabilities cast ballots privately.
Armed with iPads and portable printers, county election workers are going to parks, nursing homes, community centers and anywhere else they might find groups of voters who have trouble filling out traditional paper ballots. Using the iPad, disabled voters can call up the right ballot and tap the screen to pick a candidate, with or without the help of election workers. The voters then print the completed ballot and stuff it in an envelope to sign, take with them and drop in the mail or an official ballot box. Read More
Fairfax County elections officials are bracing for confusion at the polls on Election Day, in part because glitches in Virginia’s voter database could lead some voters to the wrong polling place. County officials said Monday that they discovered about 2,200 cases in which a state-run computer program assigned voters to incorrect precincts.
Voters were sent new voter ID cards as soon as the errors were discovered, for the most part in September. But at least one error was discovered as recently as last week. New cards were sent by two-day or overnight mail in some cases to make sure they arrived in time. Read More
The People’s National Party (PNP) says it is yet to receive a response from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ), regarding the concerns it has raised about the readiness of Jamaica’s electoral systems for an election. On November 1, Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller wrote to chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, Professor Errol Miller, expressing concern about the readiness of the ECJ for an early election.
The Opposition leader said she was concerned because of reports she received from the party’s representatives on the ECJ regarding the Commission’s preparedness. She said she was particularly concerned as Prime Minister Andrew Holness appears to have put the country on the ready for an election. Read More
The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan (CEC) had received 127 claims and complaints about violations committed during presidential elections. This was reported by the member of the CEC Gulnara Dzhurabaeva at the CEC’s session. According to her, 92 complaints were received from citizens, 24 – from presidential candidates and their representatives. The latter had 30 statements and 24 applications of citizens. Read More
Liberians are voting in the presidential run-off despite at least one death during opposition protests and a boycott over fraud claims. Opposition candidate Winston Tubman said he was pulling out of the vote, but the election commission urged Liberians to cast their ballots. Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, is now the only candidate.
A BBC reporter says turnout seems much lower than in the first round. The BBC’s Jonathan Paye-Layleh in central Monrovia says at the polling station where he was when voting began, just eight people were waiting to cast their ballots, compared to hundreds last month. Read More