In spite of pressure to abandon proportional allocation of delegates, the Republican National Committee rejected proposed changes for their 2016 nomination process. State voter ID requirements were discussed in a House Judiciary Committee hearing. In a case that is likely to be appealed to the US Supreme Court, the 9th District Court of Appeals upheld Arizona’s voter ID law but struck down the State’s requirement that residents show proof of citizenship, at least on federal registration forms. The controversy surrounding municipal elections in Anchorage AK stretched into its third week and a razor-thin State House race in Oklahoma headed to the State Supreme Court for resolution. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board ruled that six Republican “protest” candidates can run as Democrats forcing primaries in all the upcoming recall elections. The Estonian Parliament is exploring measures to address security challenges presented by internet voting and Egypt’s election commission has disqualified 10 Presidential candidates, including three considered to be front-runners.
- National: R.N.C. Rejects Changes to Nominating Contests for 2016 | NYTimes.com
- Alaska: Anchorage Assembly Doesn’t Certify Election; Ballots Still to be Counted | KTVA CBS
- National: Voter ID Laws Take Center Stage at House Judiciary Hearing | Main Justice
- Arizona: Ruling on voter requirement mixed – will be appealed to Supreme Court | azcentral.com
- Oklahoma: Errors reported in vote count | Tulsa World
- Wisconsin: Government Accountability Board says six fake Democrats can run in recall elections | The Oshkosh Northwestern
- Estonia: Parliament Seeks to Make Internet Voting More Transparent | ERR
- Egypt: Panel definitively bars top 3 presidential candidates from elections | The Washington Post
Members of the Republican National Committee considered — and rejected — changes to their presidential nominating process for 2016 after a contest this year that some members say was too long and drawn out. At a meeting here of the R.N.C.’s rules committee, members debated whether to abandon the proportional voting that gave Mitt Romney’s rivals the ability to try and accumulate delegates even as they failed to win the nominating contests. Sue Everhart, a committee member from Georgia, proposed the change, citing concerns about the length of the competition. She suggested changes that would have allowed states to hold winner-take-all contests in 2016, potentially bringing the contest to a close more quickly.
But several members spoke in opposition to her proposal, saying the current process gives more voters an opportunity to participate in the nomination by creating a lengthier process. “The thought has been for 20 years to try to create a process which keeps us from having a one-day primary in which you have the man on the white horse winning and then you wake up with buyer’s remorse,” said John Ryder, a committee member from Tennessee.
- Push is on to make Texas GOP primary a winner-take-all battle | Star Telegram
- 2012: Year Of The Caucus Meltdown | TPM
- Santorum camp accuses Michigan GOP of ‘political thuggery’ in awarding delegates to Romney | The Washington Post
- Long, damaging primary has GOP considering changes to its rules | The Hill
- St. Charles County Republicans embarrassed by caucus shutdown | St. Louis Today
It’s been two weeks since one of the city’s most chaotic elections. With ballots still being counted and the election still not certified, the question remains if there will be an independent investigation. The Anchorage Assembly did not take up that topic in a short meeting Tuesday night, but that didn’t stop Anchorage residents from voicing their concerns over the controversy. As the close to 14,000 questioned and absentee ballots begin to be counted, it’s what happened two weeks ago that’s leaving people frustrated. With precincts running out of ballots and voters being turned away, the assembly got an earful from a variety of people who said what happened on election day needs to be investigated. “Never has there been so many glaring levels of incompetence,” said Anchorage resident Colleen Murphy.
“This election was a little bit different than the other ones that I had worked,” said Barbara Gazaway, who worked as a poll worker. There’s a bunch of you that I support on this assembly but I will actively be involved in revoking all of you, because my voice is being taken away if you decide to not investigate this,” said Anchorage resident Laura Herman.
Karli Kay says she was one of those disenfranchised voters. “I received my card telling me I needed to go to Baxter Elementary.” Registered since 2008, she came to talk to the Election Commission to find out why. She got a letter saying her vote didn’t count. After finally being told it would count, she explained why she still has her doubts. “I’m little hesitant to be assured of that, what proof do I have, how do I know and if its happened to me how many other voters did it happen too,” said Kay.
- Assembly Appoints New Leaders Amid Ballot Scandal | alaskapublic.org…
- Anchorage Assembly Votes Against Independent Council To Investigate Election | alaskapublic.org…
- Assembly postpones certifying election | adn.com…
- Anchorage Election Officials Hold Brief Canvassing Meeting | ktuu.com…
- Anchorage Election Precinct Chair Gathers Signatures for Investigation | Alaska Dispatch
The controversial video showing a man almost fraudulently accepting a ballotas Attorney General Eric Holder got more airtime Wednesday at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the Justice Department’s voting rights enforcement track record. The video, made by conservative activist James O’Keefe, prompted some committee members to question the attorney general’s handling of voting cases. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he is “shocked the attorney general hasn’t offered a meaningful response to this.” On hand for the Republican-led House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution hearing was former Voting Section lawyerJ. Christian Adams, who has been a vocal critic of Holder since his dramatic departure from theJustice Department in 2010. Adams was critical of Holder’s decision to partially dismiss a voter intimidation civil lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party and members — a racially charged case Adams helped initiate. But many veterans of the Civil Rights Division said the George W. Bush administration’s Voting Section took on a highly politicized agenda in choosing cases.
… Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), ranking member of subcommittee, said the witnesses were stacked for the Republicans and questioned the fairness of allowing the minority only one witness. Nadler also told the subcommittee to remember the politicization of the Bush-era DOJ and Voting Rights Section when hearing from the Republican lawyer witnesses. Also called were Republican National Lawyers Association President Cleta Mitchell, Military Voter Protection Project Executive Director Eric Eversole and New York University professor Wendy Weiser.
Much of the discussion focused on the battle being waged between several states and the Justice Department. Weiser, who is the Director of the Democracy Program at NYU’s non-partisan but liberal-leaning think tank The Brennan Center for Justice, said the wave of new voter identification laws is the largest setback to voting accessibility in her memory. She pointed to long-documented evidence that minorities, the poor, those with disabilities and students, among other demographic groups, are more likely not to have photo identification. “The justification for these laws is actually nonexistent,” she said, adding the in-person impersonation fraud, which many of the voter ID laws aim to curb, is hugely overstated. She said a person is more likely to be hit by lightning than to commit in-person voter fraud.
- Attorney General to speak on voting rights in South Carolina – chicagotribune.com…
- Impact of South Carolina voter ID law rejection limited | USAToday.com…
- D.C. elections officials condemn O’Keefe voting ploy | The Washington Post
- Ending Discriminatory Voter ID: Let’s Affirm The Right To Vote | AlterNet
- Minnesota’s War on Voting | The Nation
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has struck down Arizona’s 2004 voter-approved requirement that residents show proof of citizenship when they register to vote — at least on federal registration forms. The state can still require proof from voters submitting a state registration form, which is typically the form voters get from their county recorder’s offices and through the Motor Vehicle Division’s website. The 11-judge “en banc” appeals-court panel on Tuesday upheld the portion of the law requiring voters to show identification at the polls. Attorney General Tom Horne said he would appeal the portion of the law the panel overturned to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sandra S. Ikuta, who wrote in the majority opinion, said the Constitution requires the court to “safeguard” certain federal powers, including regulating federal elections. Among its provisions, the National Voter Registration Act creates a standard federal registration form that all states must accept. It requires applicants to sign a statement that they are citizens, but it does not require them to show proof.
Proposition 200 required applicants, regardless of whether they are submitting a federal voter-registration form or a state one, to provide a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, tribal identification or naturalization-certification number. Horne, who defended Prop. 200 in court, said he wasn’t surprised by the decision. ”We always expected the U.S. Supreme Court to have to decide this one,” Horne said, adding that he expects the high court to uphold the entire law. He said Arizonans have a right to a valid election process: “If people think their vote is diluted by illegal aliens voting, that suppresses the turnout.”
Full Article: Ruling on Arizona voter requirement mixed.
- Court Upholds Voter ID Law, Strikes Down Proof of Citizenship Requirement | Fox News
- Appeals court upholds Arizona’s requirement that people show identification before they can vote | AP/The Republic
- Voter ID laws spark heated debate before U.S. election | Reuters
- Texas voter ID law unnecessary but state AG must defend it nonetheless | Fort Worth Star Telegram
- Maine Republicans Want to Get There (Vote Suppression) From Here (Vote Turnout) | NYTimes.com…
Two voters in the disputed House District 71 election appear to have had their preferences counted twice because of human errors at separate precincts, state and local election officials said. Meanwhile, two other ballots that apparently were counted by election machines – but somehow were never transferred to the Tulsa County Election Board for safekeeping – are part of a growing legal controversy that could decide the ultimate winner in the April 3 contest between Republican Katie Henke and Democrat Dan Arthrell. On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court stopped any further action on the election by the Tulsa County Election Board, the state Election Board or Tulsa County District Court. The high court scheduled the dispute for oral arguments before a referee next Wednesday. On election night, Arthrell won by three votes, but Henke asked for a recount. When sealed boxes of ballots from the vote were opened last week for the recount, election officials found four fewer ballots than the machines reported.
The recount resulted in a one-vote margin for Henke, who was certified the winner by the county Election Board. But county officials subsequently found two ballots for Arthrell in election equipment, enough to swing the margin back to him. It appears that human error by election volunteers resulted in single votes in two precincts accidentally being counted twice, state Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax confirmed Tuesday. The vote was one of the first times a new generation of state election machines was used. It appears that on two occasions, voters had their ballots rejected by the election machines, probably because of a paper jam, Ziriax said. Although the machines apparently counted the ballots and their votes, they didn’t retain them, he said.
Full Article: Errors reported in vote count | Tulsa World.
- Supreme Court referee hears HD 71 election dispute | Tulsa World
- Tulsa County Judge Could Decide Who Wins Oklahoma House Seat | KOTV.com…
- Candidates in Tulsa House election recount ask Oklahoma Supreme Court to take jurisdiction | The Republic
- Unscanned ballots tallied as problems investigated in Anchorage | Anchorage Daily News
- No ruling yet in recount in Tulsa House race | NewsOK.com…
The state elections board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow six Republicans to run as Democrats to appear on the ballot in Wisconsin’s upcoming recall elections against Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans. The decision of the retired judges who sit on the state Government Accountability Board means that all six of the races will have a May 8 primary election and a general recall election on June 5. The GAB agreed with the recommendation of its staff, which was released in a Monday memo, that elections officials did not have the legal authority to keep the six fake Democrats, or “protest candidates,” from the ballot because state law doesn’t require people to prove they belong to any political party before running for office. And GAB staff counsel Mike Haas told the board that Wisconsin elections officials can’t investigate the motives of candidates or their political affiliation. ”It’s a bad precedent for us to question the motivations of candidates on the ballot,” said Kevin Kennedy, the GAB director and general counsel.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin recruited six candidates — Gladys Huber, Isaac Weix, Gary Ellerman, Tamra Lyn Varebrook, James Engel and James Buckley — to run as Democrats in the recall elections. Republicans said the strategy would help avoid confusing voters by ensuring all six races would have primaries on May 8 and the general elections June 5.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin objected, saying that the candidates filed false information on official documents submitted to the GAB and should be blocked from getting on the ballots. The Democrats’ attorney, Jeremy Levinson, accused the GOP of manufacturing a false primary. ”We need to take them at their word that this was the scheme to manipulate the elections that they told us it was,” he told the board Tuesday.Levinson added that “these kind of shenanigans and swindles cannot be allowed to continue.”
- Fake Democrats acceptable in recall election, Wisconsin officials say | Herald Times Reporter
- Government Accountability Board head backs recall election for 4 GOP senators | WiscNews
- Government Accountability Board seeks more time to review Walker recall petitions | Journal Sentinel
- Officials Must Verify 1.9 Million Recall Signatures | Bloomberg
- Signature review in recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to take longer than original plan of 60 days – Board to use software to analyze signatures | Appleton Post Crescent
Parliament is looking to amend the electronic voting procedure in such a way as to make it possible for voters to check whether their votes have been registered correctly. Starting from 2005, e-voting has been used in five elections in Estonia. In order to make the system more reliable and trustworthy, legislators are now looking for a way to make it possible for voters to check whether their votes have been registered correctly. This solution was proposed in response to the concerns that arose during the last elections regarding the possibility of voters’ computers being tampered with, reported ETV. ”In the case of a virus that blocks voting, a person may think that he has voted, when in fact the vote has not reached the system. This is why we came up with the idea of giving voters an opportunity to check their votes,” said Reform Party MP and member of Parliament’s Constitutional Committee Andrei Korobeinik. According to him, the voter’s computer is the weakest link in the chain and vote checking is one of the most complicated issues being tackled at the moment. “The initial idea is that the voter will be shown an image that he can photograph off the screen using his mobile phone, and then the system will tell him whether his vote has been registered correctly or not,” he explained.
As an example, Korobeinik noted that voters can check their votes in Norwegian elections, but added that the Norwegian system is too complicated for ordinary voters. The system currently being developed for Estonia might not be ready by the next elections.
… The draft legislation being discussed by the committee will also align the rules for e-voting with those of early voting, for instance, by requiring that both be held at the same time. Following the last parliamentary elections, members of the Centre Party questioned the integrity of electronic voting, but at this point, there are no differences between the parties according to the members of the committee.
Full Article: E-Voting to Become More Transparent | Politics | News | ERR.
- Internet Voting Is Years Away, And Maybe Always Will Be | TechPinions
- Online Voting ‘Premature’ Warns Government Cybersecurity Expert | WBUR
- NDP internet vote disruption worries experts | The Chronicle Herald
- The Details On How To Elect Futurama’s Bender To Whatever Election Is Using Online Voting | Techdirt
- Internet voting carries risk as show by NDP experience | thestar.com…
Egypt’s election commission rejected the appeals of three main contenders for president Tuesday, definitively removing the most polarizing candidates from the race to become the country’s first elected leader since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The disqualification of the three diminishes the chances that an Islamist candidate will win the presidency, but there are worries over the fallout from the decision, particularly from the supporters of one of the barred candidates, ultraconservative Islamist Hazem Abu Ismail. Around 2,000 Abu Ismail supporters had camped outside the commission’s headquarters since the previous day, demanding he be allowed to run. When the rejection was announced Tuesday evening, some of them threw stones at security and briefly scuffled with military police.
The commission’s decision removes the top contenders in the race — Mubarak-era strongman Omar Suleiman, Muslim Brotherhood chief strategist Khairat el-Shater and Abu Ismail, a lawyer turned hard-line preacher. The panel had announced their disqualification over the weekend, shocking many in the country. Each appealed the decision but on Tuesday the panel rejected the appeals.
Suleiman was disqualified because he fell short of the required number of public endorsements; el-Shater because of a previous conviction; Abu Ismail because his mother held American citizenship briefly before her death in 2010. According to a new law passed after the uprising, candidates won’t qualify if their spouses or parents hold a foreign nationality. With the three out, the top contenders in the race are seen to be former foreign minister Amr Moussa, moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh and the Brotherhood’s backup candidate, Mohammed Morsi. Voting begins May 23-24.
- Candidate bans may ease rancor of Egypt vote | Reuters
- In a confused political process, Egypt’s military steps back into role in new constitution | Daily Reporter
- Ten Candidates Barred From Egyptian Election | NYTimes.com…
- Muslim Brotherhood refuses to accept candidate ban | USAToday.com…
- Electoral commission says 23 registered to run for presidency | Al-Arabiya