The recount in the state Supreme Court race will begin Wednesday and barring a court-ordered extension, must be finished by May 9. Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Government Accountability Board discussed the recount procedure Monday with local election officials from nearly all 72 counties. Given the rarity of a statewide recount, clerks on the conference call peppered board attorneys with questions about everything from what to do about challenged ballots to what to do with observers seen holding pens that could alter a vote. Challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg asked for the recount after results showed she lost to incumbent Justice David Prosser by 7,316 votes, roughly one-half of 1 percent of the 1.5 million votes cast in the April 5 election. The recount is the first in a race involving candidates since 1858. The only other one, in 1989, involved a referendum. Full Article
College students seeking to vote at their campus precinct will find it harder to do. So will women who’ve changed their name but not re-registered before an election. The time for early voting would be cut from 14 days to six. Groups like the League of Women Voters will find it tougher to register voters. And citizens attempting to amend the constitution will have to gather more than 600,000 signatures in two years instead of four. All these changes are in Republican-backed bills steaming through the Florida Legislature, despite vigorous opposition from county supervisors of elections as well as Democrats, who’ve labeled them GOP attempts at “voter suppression.” The election supervisors worry that the changes — after two relatively problem-free elections — will inconvenience and frustrate voters. “If there’s something we don’t want to happen, it’s that registered voters lose confidence in the process if they’re faced with obstacles when they try to exercise their right to vote,” said Evelyn Perez-Verdia, spokeswoman for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office. Full Article
A Marion County judge has ordered the Indiana Recount Commission and the State Republican chairman to explain why they haven’t moved quickly to resolve Democrats’ challenge to Charlie White’s eligibility to serve as secretary of state. On April 7, Marion Circuit Court Judge Louis F. Rosenberg ruled the Democrats’ challenge is valid and told the Recount Commission to move forward with it quickly. Attorneys for the Democrats filed a motion today to urge Rosenberg to resolve the matter in his court or to set a schedule the commission must follow to resolve the complaint. Read More
A funny thing happened recently to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on its way to nailing an alleged illegal voter. Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigative arm found that clerical mistakes are sometimes made and that people can be accused of trying to vote illegally when they actually didn’t. The investigators, with the aid of Hennepin County elections officials, learned that clerks at the state Department of Vehicle Services can wrongly check off boxes and that workers at voting locations can incorrectly mark a voter roster. We mention this as the “Voter ID” movement pushes ahead again Tuesday with its bill, sponsored by Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, in the Senate Finance Committee. It’s the companion of House File 210, backed by former Secretary of State and current Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake. It’s a bill that assumes that people regularly attempt to impersonate others on Election Day and that convicted felons can be halted from voting with the use of some newfangled Voter ID card. Wrong assumptions, indeed. The Voter ID effort in Minnesota is, as Gov. Mark Dayton has said, “largely a solution in search of a problem.” After sitting through testimony at an earlier hearing, I think it’s obvious any Voter ID rule would mostly help to disenfranchise a variety of subsets of voters, such as senior citizens, citizens with disabilities and students. It’s even possible these groups lean towards voting Democratic, but that’s not the issue. Is it? Read More
The Tennessee General Assembly had the right idea in 2008 with passage of the aptly named Tennessee Voter Confidence Act. Voters should be able to be completely confident in the electoral process or the government loses credibility. Requiring county election commissions to replace voting machines with optical scanners that read ballots that have been marked by hand is not something that commission members are eager to do. But it could avert a possible electoral catastrophe in the future and in the meantime give voters the comforting assurance that the ballots they cast won’t get swallowed up by a malfunctioning — or, worse yet, manipulated — machine. Read More
After tallying the vote totals three weeks ago, county clerks around the state learn the ins-and-outs of the state Supreme Court election recount that begins Wednesday. It’s only the third statewide recount in Wisconsin history. The Government Accountability Board wrapped up a three-hour conference call with county clerks just after 4 o’clock Monday afternoon. It was a chance for county clerks to ask questions about the upcoming recount in the Supreme Court race between incumbent Justice David Prosser and assistant attorney general JoAnne Kloppenburg. County canvassing put Prosser 7,316 votes ahead of Kloppenburg, who requested a statewide recount last Wednesday. Since Prosser’s lead is less than one-half of one percent — nearly 1.5 million votes were cast — the cost of the recount falls on the counties. Clerks asked a lot of questions, including how large their designated room for the recount needs to be, whether they’re required to work weekends, and possibly adjourning a recount if they have a special election coming up. The board made suggestions and asked the clerks to thoroughly review all of the recount procedures when it comes to paper ballots, absentee ballots, poll lists, and electronic voting. Read More
The people of Chad are going to the polls to vote in presidential elections with incumbent President Idriss Deby expected to win a fourth term. The main opposition figures are boycotting after their demands for electoral reform were not met. There are concerns that the boycott could affect voters turnout. Three of Chad’s more prominent opposition figures, Ngarlejy Yorongar, Saleh Kebzabo and Wadal Kamougue, pulled out of the race after a list of demands to improve the electoral process was not met. Most serious of these was a request to reprint voters cards, after Mr Kebzabo found a number of pre-dated cards on sale in N’Djamena’s main market. Read More
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