Voters’ rights advocates are asking congressional liberals to stymie state voter ID requirements, which they contend are part of a political effort to disenfranchise poor and minority voters, who tend to be Democrats.
Hilary O. Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau, urged lawmakers to support a bill introduced last week that would prohibit poll workers from requiring photo identification. Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the legislation could prevent enforcement of legislation now under consideration in Pennsylvania and 26 other states. Mr. Shelton’s comments came during a hearing convened Monday by a contingent of congressional Democrats. Read More
When Mainers voted last week to overturn the Legislature’s repeal of Election Day registration, the state’s voting rights debate shifted immediately to LD 199. The bill, held over from last session, would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The measure had more than 80 Republican co-sponsors, support that would seem to suggest that Mainers should brace for a debate over voter fraud and disenfranchisement like the one that dominated the months leading up to last week’s referendum on EDR. But there are political considerations that could determine just how hard Republican lawmakers will push LD 199 when the Legislature reconvenes in January. Read More
San Joaquin Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller last month took a stand for common sense. OK, his vote against a lease agreement to store the county’s unused and unusable electronic voting machines was Quixotesque. But at least he voiced his outrage.
The county spends $12,400 a month – $148,800 a year – to rent a warehouse to store the machines. The machines aren’t good enough for the general public. They’ve been decertified because it’s feared they can be hacked. So why does the county keep the 1,625 machines around? Read More
The state’s county clerks plan to ask the Colorado Legislature when it reconvenes in January to make ballots exempt from the Colorado Open Records Act. The clerks say a Colorado Court of Appeals ruling in August that ballots are public records has turned election law on its head and could allow someone to find out how people voted, no matter how careful clerks are in guarding voter secrecy. But fixing the problem could be more problematic than most people think, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner said.
Reiner and Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, who are facing identical lawsuits demanding to make their ballots public, say doing so would identify individual voters and how they voted. As a result, they think ballots should be made exempt from open-records laws. … Some people disagree, saying a balance can be struck that maintains election transparency without violating secrecy laws. Read More
Now that Maine voters have made clear their support for same-day voter registration, the focus shifts to another hot election-related proposal that will come up during the 2012 legislative session: voter ID. The bill requiring voters to show photo identification in order to cast ballots comes up after voters rejected by a 3-2 margin Tuesday another move to tighten the state’s election laws. That vote repealed a law requiring voters to register at least two days before an election. In doing so, voters reinstated Maine’s long-standing same-day registration policy.
“Legislators should move very cautiously in erecting any new barriers given this overwhelming vote,” said Shenna Bellows, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Maine. Tuesday’s tally “absolutely indicates that voters resent barriers to our constitutional voting right,” she added. Read More
A State House bill that would combine the 2012 presidential and state primaries to one day has gained support in a number of Massachusetts communities. The bill, written by Woburn City Clerk William Campbell, has bipartisan support on Beacon Hill.
In the past few weeks, 50 communities have voted to request the Legislature approve the bill. “The principal intent of the bill is to allow Massachusetts residents residing overseas, including military personnel, the opportunity to vote and to know their vote counts,” said Campbell. “However, this bill goes further. By combining the two elections, taxpayers will save at least $8 million. Elections are streamlined and the bill reduces voter fatigue.” Read More
Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi was not urging violence when he called on supporters to “terrorise” the country’s security forces ahead of elections and free activists from jail, his party said Monday .
“The statements by (party) president Tshisekedi are far from being a call to violence. We are a non-violent organisation…. It is a cry of alarm and frustration,” Jacquemin Shabani, secretary-general of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), told journalists. Read More
The Election Commission of India Monday issued detailed guidelines for proxy voting by armed forces personnel in the elections. According to Kusumjit Singh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab said that special provisions have been made in the law for facilitating registration of armed forces personnel and casting of votes by them.
By virtue of provisions under R P Act, 1950 a member of the Armed forces and his wife, if residing with him, can be registered as service voters in the last part of the electoral of the constituency in which his native place is located. Read More
Thousands of pro-democracy activists demonstrated in Morocco’s largest city calling for a boycott of parliamentary elections less than two weeks away. The demonstrations comes as a parliamentary delegation from the Council of Europe noted there was little enthusiasm in the country just two weeks before the election and said there was worry about the level of participation.
“I’m boycotting, how about you?” said stickers carried by many of the activists as they marched through a working class district in Casablanca. Morocco’s parliamentary elections will be held early as part of a government-initiated reform process in the North African kingdom, which is a close U.S. ally. Read More
Tunisia’s final election results confirmed the victory of an Islamist party, giving it a major say in the country’s new government and future constitution, the election commission announced Monday.
The final results for the Oct. 23 contests give the once-banned Ennahda Party 89 out of 217 seats, more than triple the next biggest vote getter. In polls described by international observers as free and fair, Tunisians elected an assembly that will write the fledgling democracy’s new constitution and appoint an interim government ahead of new elections in the next year or so. Read More