The Voting News Weekly: The Voting News Weekly for April 28 – May 4 2014

afghanistan260Voter ID laws dominated the news this week. After a Federal court struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law, the State Attorney General promised an appeal but lawmakers recognized that there was little chance of reviving the law in a special legislative session. Despite last week’s ruling that Arkansas’s voter ID requirement was unconstitutional, the State Supreme Court granted a stay meaning that the law would be in effect for this month’s primary election. And in Pennsylvania, a Commonwealth Court judge on Monday denied a motion to reconsider his ruling overturning the state’s two-year-old voter identification law. In spite of these victories, opponents of restrictive voter Id requirements warned of potential disenfranchisement at the polls as at least eight states are slated to have such requirements in place in November. Rick Hasen considered the impact of the recent court decisions on the question of whether in-person voter fraud is a significant threat and whether  a voter ID requirement would address that threat if it exists. In Arizona, a federal court has upheld the legislative map drawn by the State’s Independent Redistricting Commission, removing any question about which districts candidates would run in this year. The District of Columbia are now blaming a network failure for delays in reporting last month’s primary election results, and officials maintain that ensuring timely reporting would require at least $2 million in new electronic voting machines and server upgrades — and perhaps another $2 million in computers and other office improvements. One day after a Ramsey County judge ruled Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie had overstepped his bounds by establishing an online voter registration system unilaterally last fall, lawmakers passed legislation to preserve the system, which has already been used by thousands of voters. The two top vote-getters in Afghanistan’s presidential election alleged widespread fraud and other irregularities in the April 5 vote, while names missing from voter lists and malfunctioning voting machines caused frustrations in India.


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