Bills requiring voters to present a photo ID have passed Republican-dominated legislatures in many states and several have been vetoed by Democratic Governors, including Governor Perdue’s veto this week in North Carolina. Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted challenged the Voter ID provisions included in an omnibus election bill by legislators from his own party. Indiana Secretary of White testified before the State Recount Commission regarding the status of his voter registration during the May 2010 primary – a decision on whether he can remain in office is expected next week. In a suspension vote requiring a two thirds majority, the US House defeated a bill that would have eliminated the Election Assistance Commission. An LA Times article reported on the explosion of recall elections across the country and a Washington Post editorial considered how the flurry of GOP-backed changes in state election codes will effect the 2012 election. Maine Governor LePage signed a controversial bill that would end nearly four decades of election day registration in the state, while a coalition of organization vowed to bring the measure to the ballot as a referendum in November. The Bangladesh National Party has announced it will boycott elections using electronic voting and computer scientist David Jefferson writes about the national security threat posed by email and fax delivery of voted ballots.
- Ohio SOS Husted at odds with GOP lawmakers over photo ID bill | Examiner.com
- Gov. Perdue vetoes voter ID bill pushed by Republicans | BlueRidgeNow.com
- Easing Secretary of State White’s damage | The Journal Gazette
- House rejects GOP bill to terminate Election Assistance Commission | The Hill
- Recall elections surge in state and local governments | latimes.com
- LePage signs bill banning same-day voter registration, but critics vow to fight | Bangor Daily News
- How states are rigging the 2012 election | The Washington Post
- BNP won’t join polls if e-voting introduced in Bangladesh | The Daily Star
- David Jefferson: Email Voting — A National Security Threat in Government Elections
Jun 26, 2011
Ohio SOS Husted at odds with GOP lawmakers over photo ID bill | Examiner.com
In a statement Friday afternoon that may earn him his own profile in courage award, new Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted parted ways with many of his former GOP colleagues, who are poised to pass a bill next week that would impose a new standard to vote in Ohio. Democrats and other election experts say it is both unnecessary and a likely violation of federal election law, and that it would leapfrog Ohio over Georgia and Indiana, two states whose voter laws are currently perceived as the harshest ones in the nation.
Husted minced no words on whether he would capitulate to or oppose an attempt by a Republican-led legislature to require an otherwise registered voter to present a valid photo ID before voting. The bill in question, HB 159, raced through the Ohio House and is expected to come to the floor of the Senate next week, where the GOP enjoys a lopsided majority of 23–10.
Yesterday, at a media conference held to discuss other matters, Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich, who won the office last November with only 23.5 percent of registered voters or less than half of half of Ohio’s voting population, told reporters he anticipates signing the bill that would preempt voter fraud, a phenomena Republicans have long claimed is rampant while actual evidence for its practice is slim to none.
In a short statement agency communicators said may be attributed in whole or in part to the first-term chief elections officer regarding the photo ID bill pending in the legislature, General Assembly, Husted said, “I want to be perfectly clear, when I began working with the General Assembly to improve Ohio’s elections system it was never my intent to reject valid votes. I would rather have no bill than one with a rigid photo identification provision that does little to protect against fraud and excludes legally registered voters’ ballots from counting.”
Knowing his voice on this or any other issue about elections and voting is only as strong as majority lawmakers allow it to be, Husted said, “It is in the hands of the General Assembly.”
- Voter ID provision yanked from Ohio bill | Middletown Journal
- Big voter turnouts and perceptions of fraud | NewsObserver.com
- They Want to Make Voting Harder? | NYTimes.com…
- Go Jon Husted! | Rock the Vote Blog
- Gov. Perdue vetoes voter ID bill pushed by Republicans | BlueRidgeNow.com…
Jun 25, 2011
Gov. Perdue vetoes voter ID bill pushed by Republicans | BlueRidgeNow.com
North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed a Republican-written bill Thursday that would require voters to show photo identification before casting an in-person ballot, agreeing with fellow Democrats that the mandate would discourage participation.
“North Carolinians who are eligible to vote have a constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballots, and no one should put up obstacles to citizens exercising that right,” the governor said in a statement. “We must always be vigilant in protecting the integrity of our elections. But requiring every voter to present a government-issued photo ID is not the way to do it.”
Perdue’s veto was expected. Her office said last week the photo ID requirement wasn’t something the governor could support in the way it was presented to her.
Republicans have argued the mandate would discourage voter fraud in an era when everyone must show proof of identity to write a check, enter a government building or get on an airplane. Still, Republicans in charge of the Legislature fell short of passing the bill in the House by a margin that would overturn a veto.
The bill got legs after the GOP took charge of the Legislature for the first time in more than 140 years and its leaders are setting its sights on defeating Perdue and President Obama, who won the state’s electoral votes by about 14,000 votes in 2008. The victory ended a 32-year winning streak for Republican nominees in North Carolina.
- Ohio SOS Husted at odds with GOP lawmakers over photo ID bill |Examiner.com…
- Perdue vows to veto North Carolina voter ID legislation | Statesville Record
- How states are rigging the 2012 election | The Washington Post
- New legislation makes it easier for military overseas to vote |NewsObserver.com…
- Governor Nixon vetoes Missouri voter-ID and early-voting legislation |KansasCity.com…
Secretary of State Charlie White could well have proven to be the worst thing that ever happened to the Indiana GOP – at least since Richard Nixon’s participation in Watergate triggered a Democratic landslide in 1974 – if not for a late-session maneuver by the GOP-controlled legislature.
If the Indiana Recount Commission rules next week that White was ineligible to run for the office he won last November, Democrats pick up a key statewide office and the Republican Party’s image is tarnished. But a White loss could have inflicted even greater damage to the party, giving it the legal status of an also-ran third party for the 2012 and 2014 statewide elections.
Many Indiana election laws are based on how each party’s candidate performs in the secretary of state’s race every four years. The parties of candidates who gain a certain percentage of the vote in that race – 2 percent for some aspects under the law, 10 percent for others – have many advantages, not the least of which is that their candidates automatically appear on ballots. Democratic and Republican candidates always exceed the margin; more recently, so do Libertarians.
But if the commission determines White did not legally run, he arguably didn’t legally receive any votes. Under long-standing law, that would have meant Republicans received zero percent in that race. But late amendments to a wide-ranging elections bill provided that a Recount Commission ruling would not affect statutes pertaining to the percentage of votes cast for a candidate in an election.
The provision went into effect upon passage of the law instead of July 1, when most new laws take effect. If it had not, an adverse ruling for the GOP in White’s case possibly would have meant the party would be legally regarded as a minor party, eliminating its primary and requiring petitions for each candidate.
Because an earlier effort to retroactively give the governor authority to fill the office if White were declared ineligible was widely criticized, the new law changes the ballot vacancy process but exempts elections before Jan. 1 of this year.
Full Article: Easing White’s damage | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN.
- Charlie White going to great lengths to avoid answering questions | WISHTV
- Secretary of State’s request for investigation of voter fraud prosecutor gets rejected | The Republic
- Prosecutor won’t investigate Charlie White’s allegations | The Journal Gazette
- Testimony on White’s residency does little to settle basic issue | The Indianapolis Star
- Prosecutor in White case cleared of voter fraud | wane.com…
Members of the House on Wednesday rejected a bill to end the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which Republicans said would save $33 million over five years by eliminating a commission who’s primary purpose has been achieved.
Members voted 235–187 in favor of the bill, which was not enough to ensure passage under a suspension of House rules. Suspension votes require the support of two-thirds of all voting members. Every voting Republican supported it, and every voting Democrat opposed it.
The House debated the bill, H.R. 672, Tuesday night. Republicans said the vote would test the willingness of Democrats to support cuts to federal spending, while Democrats argued that the EAC still serves a useful purpose in helping states establish voting standards and test voting equipment.
Republicans had proposed moving those functions the EAC still performs to the Federal Election Commission, but said the EAC has mostly served its primary purpose in distributing grants to states to upgrade voting machines.
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) said the decision by Democrats to oppose the bill is an “insult” to struggling taxpayers.
“Instead of cutting wasteful spending here in Washington, House Democrats have voted to sustain an obsolete agency that pays its employees an average of over $100,000 a year yet serves no purpose,” he said. “This is exactly what’s wrong with Washington and exactly what we need to fix.”
- Republicans vote to end Election Assistance Commission, set up after Bush v. Gore – TheHill.com…
- Congressman Gregg Harper seeks to eliminate Election Assitance Commission | The Daily Caller
- House committee aims to step up election oversight | The Hill’s Ballot Box
- Election Assistance Commission May Be Closing | Roll Call Politics
- Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) Introduces Bill to Terminate EAC | Yall Politics
The new president of Arizona’s state Senate, Russell Pearce, had only 21 days to enjoy that position before opponents began circulating petitions in January to recall the freshly reelected conservative.
That’s more time than Jim Suttle had. The night the Democrat was elected mayor of Omaha in 2009, backers of his rivals began to talk online about trying to remove him from office. Suttle barely survived a recall election in January. Once a political rarity, recall elections are surging in local and state governments.
The number of mayors who faced recalls doubled in 2010 from the previous year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors said. Anti-tax activists even tried to recall two Democratic U.S. senators last year, only to be shot down by courts, which noted that there are no provisions for recalls in federal law.
Joshua Spivak, who studies recalls and blogs about them atrecallelections.blogspot.com…, said there had been only 20 attempted recalls of state legislators in U.S. history. This year, 10 are already on the ballot. Much of that is because of an unprecedented outbreak of recalls in Wisconsin, where the newly elected Republican governor’s proposal to limit the power of unions led to recalls against six Republican state senators who voted for the bill, and three Democrats who left the state to try to stop its passage.
Spivak said he thought recall attempts could increase along the lines of their electoral sibling, ballot initiatives, which once were rare but since the 1970s have been a fixture on election day. Recalls may end up the same way, he said.
“It is growing and it is something that people are seeing as a valuable tool against elected officials,” he said, noting that more states are permitting recalls and that even Australia and England might follow suit. “People want more checks on their elected officials.”
That worries some who contend that the constant threat of recalls makes it impossible to govern.
“It’s just not good government to have an election every month,” said Tom Cochran, executive director of the mayors conference.
Voter disgust with politics, which often peaks during times of economic turmoil, is fueling some of the increase, analysts say.
- County validates more than enough signatures for AZ Senate President Pearce recall election | Arizona Capitol Times
- Expense of fake Democrats in primaries will top $400,000 | JSOnline
- Democrats may join GOP in fielding ‘fake’ candidates in recalls | JSOnline
- Voter patience, participation necessary in Wisconsin recall process | Green Bay Press Gazette
- Russell Pearce recall may be pushed to 2012 due to error | The Arizona Republic
Gov. Paul LePage has signed a controversial bill that bans voters from registering on an election day, but critics who say the law disenfranchises voters have vowed to challenge that change through the citizens’ referendum process.
The governor signed LD 1376 on Tuesday, along with several other bills that have come across his desk in recent weeks, but did not offer any comments, LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said.
The bill, an Act To Preserve the Integrity of the Voter Registration and Election Process, was sponsored by House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland, and endorsed by Secretary of State Charlie Summers, In addition to eliminating same-day voter registration, the legislation bans absentee voting two days before Election Day.
Supporters said the changes would cut down on Election Day mistakes and relieve stress on municipal election officials. Many Democratic lawmakers, who were less concerned with the absentee voting portion of the bill, criticized the bill as a whole for making it harder for Mainers to vote.
Republicans have said eliminating same-day registration simply cuts down on voter fraud, but Democrats accused their counterparts of trying to solve a problem that does not exist.
Although the legislation passed through the House and Senate earlier this month, both votes were narrow and along party lines.
On the same day the governor signed LD 1376, a coalition of advocacy groups led by the Maine League of Women Voters and the Maine Civil Liberties Union started the process for initiating a people’s veto.
“The right to vote is under attack in Maine,” said Barbara McDade, president of the League of Women Voters of Maine. “Same-day voter registration has been part of Maine elections for 38 years. But this long-standing practice, which helped almost 70,000 people participate during the last two general elections, is under assault. We have filed this petition to protect voting rights and to assure that every resident of Maine has the opportunity to participate.”
The people’s veto applies only to the portion of the law that eliminates same-day or Election Day registration. It does not apply to the other technical amendments to the law included in LD 1376.
- Bill signed ending same-day voter sign-up | The Kennebec Journal
- Maine Voices: Legislature should not revoke Mainers’ voting rights | The Portland Press Herald
- Coalition to wage people’s veto campaign to revive Election Day voter registration law | Bangor Daily News
- Push to repeal new voting law in Maine | wlbz2.com…
- Voter ID bill returning to legislative panel | Morning Sentinel
An attack on the right to vote is underway across the country through laws designed to make it more difficult to cast a ballot. If this were happening in an emerging democracy, we’d condemn it as election-rigging. But it’s happening here, so there’s barely a whimper.
The laws are being passed in the name of preventing “voter fraud.” But study after study has shown that fraud by voters is not a major problem — and is less of a problem than how hard many states make it for people to vote in the first place. Some of the new laws, notably those limiting the number of days for early voting, have little plausible connection to battling fraud.
These statutes are not neutral. Their greatest impact will be to reduce turnout among African Americans, Latinos and the young. It is no accident that these groups were key to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 — or that the laws in question are being enacted in states where Republicans control state governments.
Again, think of what this would look like to a dispassionate observer. A party wins an election, as the GOP did in 2010. Then it changes the election laws in ways that benefit itself. In a democracy, the electorate is supposed to pick the politicians. With these laws, politicians are shaping their electorates.
Paradoxically, the rank partisanship of these measures is discouraging the media from reporting plainly on what’s going on. Voter suppression so clearly benefits the Republicans that the media typically report this through a partisan lens, knowing that accounts making clear whom these laws disenfranchise would be labeled as biased by the right. But the media should not fear telling the truth or standing up for the rights of the poor or the young.
- Governor Nixon vetoes Missouri voter-ID and early-voting legislation |KansasCity.com…
- Maine Senate Rejects Bill Requiring Photo ID to Vote | MPBN
- They Want to Make Voting Harder? | NYTimes.com…
- Election Bills give 2012 edge to GOP in North Carolina | NewsObserver.com…
- Senate passes Wisconsin voter ID bill, sends to Walker | Wisconsin Law Journal
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed yesterday said his party wont take part in elections if the Election Commission will introduce Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the polls.
“E-voting is not an acceptable system as neutral voting is not possible using this system and that is why BNP does not support it,” he said while addressing a discussion meeting at Jatiya Press Club.
Jagroto Janata, a pro-BNP organisation, organised the discussion tilted “Electronic Voting Machine: neutrality, acceptability and people’s thinking.”
“Existing system of the caretaker government must be continued in the constitution and then talks can be held to find out an acceptable person who will lead that government,” he said, adding that the government is hatching conspiracy to stop caretaker government system, as it knows it wont be able to win the elections if it is held under a caretaker government.
Meanwhile, party’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday asked the prime minister to seek apology to the people admitting her “mistake” over caretaker government system.
Full Article: BNP won’t join polls if e-voting introduced.
- Moudud Ahmed says BNP to boycott e-voting in Bangladesh | bdnews24.com…
- Indian Voting Machines With Paper Trails to Be Field-tested | PCWorld
- Editors tell Bangladesh Election Commission: Don’t do E-Voting alone |bdnews24.com…
- Samyabadi Dal says yes, Janata League no to electronic voting in Bangladesh | The Daily Star
- Election Commission set to introduce electronic polling in Bangladesh over BNP opposition | Gulf Times
I am very concerned about the widespread push toward Internet voting in the U.S., of which email voting is just one kind. Neither the Internet itself, nor voters’ computers, nor the email vote collection servers are secure against any of a hundred different cyber attacks that might be launched by anyone in the world from a self-aggrandizing loner to a foreign intelligence agency. Such an attack might allow automated and undetectablemodification or loss of any or all of the votes transmitted.
While all Internet voting systems are vulnerable to such attacks and thus should be unacceptable to anyone, email voting is by far the worst Internet voting choice from a national security point of view since it is the easiest to attack in the largest number of different ways.
The technical points I am about to state are not my opinions alone. The computer security research community in the U.S. is essentially unanimous in its condemnation of any currently feasible form of Internet voting, but most especially of email voting. I strongly urge legislators in states considering e-mail voting to request testimony from other independent computer network security experts who are not affiliated with or paid by any voting system vendor. Email voting is extremely dangerous in ways that people without strong technical background are not likely to anticipate.
- House passes bill creating new voting options for Alabama military, other overseas voters – allows electronic submission of voted ballots | The Republic
- Secretary of State Chapman praises state lawmakers for passage of Alabama military voting bill | Shelby County Reporter
- Internet voting has high cost in Alberta | Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune
- Estonian Parliament Sets up E-Voting Working Group | ERR
- Why Return of Voted Ballots Should Not be Permitted via Email | Voting Matters Blog