A recently-passed state law requiring voters to present photo IDs could be delayed. Passed in May, the new law directly affects 178,000 registered voters in South Carolina who are without, or with expired, state-issued photo identification cards.
The problem with the new law is the length of time it could take that high number of residents to receive new IDs. As a result, it can’t be enforced in elections this year, the U.S. Dept. of Justice said on Tuesday. Robert Cook, deputy attorney general with DOJ, declared “such short time period is beyond the voter’s control.” Read More
A recent court ruling that paves the way for a public examination of the ballots in a controversial Saguache County election is the right legal call and appropriate public policy.
At the heart of the matter is a messy election in which the Saguache county clerk, in charge of tallying votes in the November contest, was losing her own race on election night but then prevailed the next day after she retabulated the votes. The outcome of another race changed as well.
The dramatic turn of events drew attention, as you might imagine, and accusations of “stolen” elections. Inquiries ultimately found that procedural problems did not affect the outcome of the election. Nevertheless, acrimony remained. This was the backdrop for a proposal earlier this year by Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, who planned to hold a public review of the ballots in an effort to rebuild confidence in the system. Read More
The final round of state Senate recalls in Wisconsin, brought on in response to anti-union legislation by Gov. Scott Walker and state Republicans, have completed today. AP is reporting tonight that the two Democrats up for recall in the state’s 12th and 22nd have each retained their seats. TPM has thenumbers by district here.
By way of reminder, in Wisconsin most votes are cast by hand-marked paper ballot though tallied secretly by optical-scanners made by Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S. The state does not examine any optically-scanned ballots to assure the machines have tallied accurately after they’ve already been scanned, other than in the even of a recount if permission is granted by the courts to hand-count ballots. I’m told, but haven’t been able to confirm today, that some of the municipalities in the two districts where elections were held today, may have been hand-counting ballots, though centrally, after they’ve been transported, rather than at the precincts. Read More
The estimated 178,000 South Carolina voters who don’t have state-issued photo identification will be able to cast ballots in upcoming local elections despite a new ID law, according to an attorney general’s opinion released Tuesday.
Since the U.S. Justice Department has not approved the law yet, the opinion agreed with state Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino that there isn’t enough time to educate voters about the new law before the next round of municipal elections around the state set for late August and early September.
“Such short time period is beyond the voter’s control,” deputy attorney general Robert Cook wrote in his opinion. The law, passed in May and signed by Gov. Nikki Haley, requires a driver’s license or one of several other forms of photo ID to vote. Read More
Cherokee Nation citizens will head to the polls in a little over a month to determine who will lead the tribe for the next four years. Following the June 25 general election, the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation ruled the election for principal chief invalid, due to the inability to determine the results between former Principal Chief Chad Smith and challenger Bill John Baker, a two-term tribal councilor. A new election for principal chief has been called for Saturday, Sept. 24.
Acting Principal Chief Joe Crittenden, who will resume his duties as deputy chief once the Sept. 24 election concludes, wants all citizens to participate in the process. Read More
The Arizona Supreme Court is sidestepping an appeal of a judge’s ruling to keep a scheduled recall election for state Sen. Russell Pearce on track, but it may be only a temporary move.
A brief order by a Supreme Court justice orders that a Pearce supporter’s appeal of the Superior Court judge’s ruling be transferred to the mid-level Court of Appeals. Read More
In a blog post Monday, my colleague Adam Brown analyzed the publicly available Utah voter file with the catchy headline, “Are children and dead people voting in Utah?” Later in the day he posted a follow up with this headline: “Which counties have more registration errors?” Voting by dead people and children is not a problem in Utah. These so-called “registration errors” are better termed anomalies.
The blog posts, the brief summary on the Tribune’s Political Cornflakes blog, and the hype on KSL radio missed a lot of nuance. For example, KSL had a story during its 8-9 am drive-time show on Tuesday morning that reported on the posts. They introduced the story with this (at 31:09 in this mp3 file): “Our top local story this hour. This is something like you’d expect from Chicago. Dead people staying on the voter registration rolls.” Later on in the hour (at 46:33 in the mp3 file), KSL introduced Adam for a brief interview with this: “Well, there are either a whole bunch of long-living residents in Utah or some dead people are registered to vote…So, is this like Chicago?” Adam’s actual interview wasn’t quite as dramatic, but he referred to “incomplete record keeping,” his surprise at finding “several thousand people born in the 1800s registered to vote,” and how “carelessness” creates “opportunities for abuse.” Read More
The Seattle Times recently covered the release of a report examining the impact of King County’s 2006 switch to voting by mail. The Times’ takeaway? Vote by mail doesn’t increase turnout, even though that was supposedly a goal when the County Council supported the switch 5 years ago.
Read just a little further, though, and the answer isn’t as clear as the headline and lede would suggest. Comparing off-year elections in 2005 and 2009, the report found that turnout was about the same – just over 56 percent. Read More
According to a recent report by The Florida Parole Commission, “the overall three-year recidivism rate based on all released inmates” was 33..1, while the recidivism rate for released prisoners who were given their civil rights back and were allowed to vote stood at 11 percent.
These findings were not generated by a progressive organization such as The Sentencing Project, the ACLU, or the NAACP, but by a state governmental body utilizing exacting scientific methodologies. The inescapable conclusion has to be that allowing formerly incarcerated persons to more fully participate in society will result in a reduction of crime and recidivism. Read More
It is estimated that 38 people have died so far in the run-up to the Guatemalan 2011 general elections, an even higher number than was recorded during 2007 contest. The head of Guatemalan Civil Rights Office (Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos) has described the current level of violence as “alarming,” and likely to worsen over the coming month, prior to the September 11 vote. An advisor to the presidential candidate Otto Perez Molina, who is currently tipped as the favourite to win, was also gunned down recently, along with his son.
According to Guatemalan NGO, Mirador Electoral, the pre-election period presents “high levels of danger” in at least 24 of the country’s 333 municipalities, due to the presence of criminal groups. As reported by Insight Crime, Mexican criminal gangs such as the Zetas have been stepping up their presence in Guatemala, which could explain the higher level of pre-election violence this year. Read More
While some quarters have hailed the setting up of the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform announced Monday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, others are awaiting for more details on the panel.
The MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Transparency International Malaysia are among the organisations which have welcomed the proposed panel. Opposition political party PAS wants to know about the composition of the panel and its terms of reference while a DAP MP has demanded government sincerity in the matter. Najib had made the announcement when addressing a ‘buka puasa’ (breaking-of-the-fast) gathering with the media hosted by Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, at Wisma Bernama here Monday night. Read More
Election officials in Kyrgyzstan must whittle down a field of more than 80 presidential hopefuls before a contest that analysts say could expose divisions between the north and south of the volatile Central Asian state. The Central Election Commission said on Tuesday that 83 people, including 67 independent candidates, had applied to run in the Oct 30 presidential election, the culmination of constitutional reforms introduced after last year’s revolution.
After nearly two decades of authoritarian rule that ended with the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April 2010, Kyrgyzstan is attempting to entrench the first parliamentary democracy in a region otherwise run by presidential strongmen. The new model of government makes parliament the main decision-making body and gives the prime minister more power than the president in the impoverished nation of 5.4 million, which hosts both Russian and US military air bases. Read More
Armenia’s next parliamentary and presidential elections will be “unprecedented” in terms of their transparency, Garegin Azarian, the chairman of the Central Election Commission, said on Tuesday. Azarian said the integrity of the electoral process in the country will improve markedly already during the parliamentary race scheduled for next spring.
“The openness of these elections will be unprecedented compared with previous elections,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service in an interview. Azarian based his stated optimism on fresh amendments to the Electoral Code that were enacted by the Armenian authorities in May. He singled out a new provision that requires the CEC to publicize every hour data on voter turnout from all of Armenia’s 2,000 or so polling stations. Read More
Members of the team constituted to monitor the printing of ballot papers for the 20 September general elections have started arriving in South Africa.
Electoral commission of Zambia (ECZ) public relations manager Cris Akufuna has told QFM in a telephone interview from South Africa that members of the team started arriving in Durban on Sunday and by press time others were expected to arrive yesterday. Read More
The Australian Electoral Commission has refused to register Queensland Independent MP Bob Katter’s political party. In a major blow to Mr Katter’s dream of creating a new force in Australian politics, the commission ruled the Australia Party name could create confusion with other parties.
“The Australian Electoral Commission accepts the view that the proposed abbreviation is likely to be mistaken with or confused for an already registered name or abbreviation,” it said. The commission made the ruling following a complaint from a Mr David Doe. Read More
The minister of Territory Administration, Bornito de Sousa, said Tuesday in Luanda that the National Electoral Commission (CNE), as designed in the draft resolution approved by the National Assembly (Angolan Parliament), has an “absolutely immaculate independence”.
“It is an independent commission, not only from the Executive, but also from the president of the Republic, from the parties themselves and from the judicial power,” said the politician. Bornito de Sousa was reacting to utterances by some opposition MPs, about the polemic article 107 of the Constitution which states that the elections shall be organised by independent organs. Read More
A three-day central annual review workshop organised by the Election Commission (EC) concluded here Tuesday, laying emphasis on the effective implementation of the tasks envisaged by its five year strategy.
The workshop was held to review the works the EC carried out towards voters’ enrollment with photo during the year and formulate future strategy. The workshop was attended by the Acting Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioners, EC Secretary and district election officers of 75 districts. Read More