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The Voting News for August 9 2011

The Voting News for August 9 2011

Wisconsin: Clerks ready for heavy turnout for recall elections | The Oshkosh Northwestern

Clerks across the 18th and 14th Senate districts have been gearing up for a heavy turnout in the recall elections pitting two incumbent Republican senators against their Democrat challengers.

The stage for the final recall election has been set for today in which 18th District state Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Empire, will square off against Democrat candidate Jessica King of Oshkosh while 14th District state Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, will face challenger state Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo. Hopper and Olsen are among six Republican senators facing recall in today’s election. Two more Democrats face recall elections on Aug. 16.

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Mississippi: Secretary of State Looks To Fix Election Problems | WAPT Jackson

Election officials said Tyrone Lewis avoided a runoff against Sheriff Malcolm McMillin by a slim margin. Lewis received 50.79 percent of the vote to McMillin's 45.15 percent. Lewis will become Hinds County's new sheriff, defeating the long-time incumbent in the primary. There are no Republicans running in the general election.

It wasn't until late Sunday evening that Hinds County election officials released the final numbers from last week's election. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said the Democratic and Republican parties run the primary elections, but he wants to fix some other polling problems before the November general election.

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South Carolina: Voter ID battle: Some rally against law they think is trying to change electorate | The Post and Courier

Multiple marriages have played havoc with Massachusetts transplant Andrea Tangredi's hopes of getting a South Carolina driver's license. During a Monday rally for foes of the new S.C. voter ID law, Andrea Tangredi tells of her experience at the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles when she tried to get her driver's license changed from Massachusetts to South Carolina. Tangredi still is trying to get her new South Carolina driver's license along with her voter-registration card.

By her count, Tangredi has spent at least 17 hours online and in person since July trying to get a license here, only to face hurdle after hurdle tied to her several name changes. On Monday she asked aloud that if it is this hard to get a South Carolina driver's license, how much more difficult is it to get documentation for a voter ID?

"I'm educated," she said during a forum sponsored by opponents of the state's new voter ID law. "I don't know how someone who isn't would want to ever start this process."

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New Jersey: Vote devices in New Jersey counties re-evaluated | Courier-Post

In the middle of a vast warehouse of Gloucester County voting machines last Wednesday, Gary Plummer replaced chips and resealed some of the 520 voting devices. Plummer's Medford-based Election Support & Services Inc. has been contracted by several New Jersey counties -- including Burlington and Camden -- to help them comply with a controversial Superior Court order.

In February 2010, Judge Linda Feinberg ruled New Jersey's11,000 voting machines be disconnected from the Internet and re-evaluated by a panel of experts, and that anyone who works with or on voting machines be subject to a criminal background check.

Feinberg's order is being appealed by Rutgers University's Constitutional Litigation Clinic and the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, neither of which believes the court order goes far enough.

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Mississippi: Still no vote tally in Adams County Mississippi | The Natchez Democrat

The election commission and political parties are making their lists and checking them twice before releasing the final vote totals from last week’s election. Election Commission Chairman Larry Gardner said absentee ballots for District 5 were completely counted by approximately 3 p.m. Monday, and reports had begun to be printed. Districts 1-4 had been counted by Saturday morning.

“(We print) reports for every precinct, for every party,” he said. “I don’t know how long the sheet of paper will end up being — probably several hundred feet.”

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Wisconsin: Absentee balloting big in Wisconsin recall election | TMJ4

Early voters are already casting ballots. Some cities are seeing big turnouts in the Senate showdown between Republican Alberta Darling and Democrat Sandy Pasch. "We were shocked at the turnout," said Whitefish Bay Clerk Jennifer Amerell.

That's because the absentee ballots are piling up in Whitefish Bay. Hundreds of voters have already made up their minds and wanted to vote early. "We actually had to call in two poll workers to come in and help because it was so busy," said Amerell. Friday was the last day to vote absentee in person in the 8th State Senate district .

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California: Will mail ballots be a victim of budget? |

In 1979, a year after voters adopted Proposition 13 and tightly limited property taxes, they decreed in another ballot measure that the state should reimburse schools and local governments for state-mandated costs they incur.

That seemingly straightforward decree, however, has evolved into a chronically convoluted wrangle over what is, and what is not, a reimbursable cost and how much money should flow from Sacramento into local coffers.

Thousands of school districts, cities, counties and special districts, the governor's Department of Finance, legislative committees, lawyers, a special state bureaucracy called the Commission on State Mandates — and sometimes the courts — are enmeshed in a process that can be likened to a laboratory rat on a treadmill, running ever-faster but going nowhere.

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Blogs: What to expect when you’re expecting recalls: A guide to state legislative recalls | The Recall Elections Blog

While the political arguments surrounding tomorrow’s Wisconsin recall elections are well covered elsewhere, I’d like to draw attention to the many issues and history surrounding the use of the recall – both in Wisconsin and the rest of the nation. Due to the unprecedented circumstances in Wisconsin, we shouldn’t expect the usual recall phenomena like low voter turnout and blow victories. Yet such recall norms are worth considering even in…

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Arizona: Ruling in Russell Pearce recall hearing expected this week | The Arizona Republic

Russell Pearce wasn’t in court Monday, but the two-fisted lawmaker’s political career may now hang on what happened there. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hugh E. Hegyi will rule this week on a legal challenge filed on Pearce’s behalf, seeking to nullify petitions demanding that the Senate president face a Nov. 8 recall election.

The judge listened as lawyers argued for about two hours on recall-election petitions that county and state election officials determined had enough valid signatures to force the November vote. Arguments ranged from what happened in Arizona’s 1910 constitutional convention to whether homeless people should have a say in ousting Pearce.

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Maine: Mainers likely to have say in Election Day voter registration | Bangor Daily News

A broad coalition of advocacy groups and volunteers has gathered more than 68,000 signatures in an effort to allow Maine voters to affirm or overturn a recently passed law that bans Election Day voter registration. Those signatures, well above the 57,277 needed to ensure a people’s veto, were delivered to the Secretary of State’s Office on Monday afternoon, one day before the deadline and exactly one month after the effort began.

As long as enough of the gathered signatures are certified by the Secretary of State, Mainers will get to weigh in this November on the following question: “Do you want to reject the section of Chapter 399 of the Public Laws of 2011 that requires new voters to register to vote at least two business days prior to an election?”

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California: Suspected Ballot Thief Refuses To Take Mental Competency Test | KTVU

A man accused of stealing ballots from a San Francisco polling station will remain in jail indefinitely after refusing to talk to doctors who were appointed to determine his mental competency, a judge ruled Monday. Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, could likely have been out of jail more than a month ago, but a series of bizarre court appearances have kept him in custody beyond the sentence he had agreed to as part of a plea deal.

Nicholas is accused of taking about 75 ballots, a voter roster, and a memory box and access key to a ballot-counting machine on Knott Court in the city's Crocker Amazon neighborhood where he was working as a voting station inspector on Nov. 2, 2010. Nicholas was arrested the next day, and the ballots were later found in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts. He has been in custody ever since. The memory box and access key have yet to be found.

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Pakistan: Quest of Indiscriminate Justice | PakTribune

It is alarming to read the recent development in Pakistan where The Election Commission (ECP) & the Govt of Pakistan is considering imposition of new tighter regime on overseas Pakistanis whereby their right to vote, stand election, take public office and or governmental and judicial position may be curtailed forever.

The background of anxiety is the July media reports talking about a ban announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan on the 4th of July 2011 on Overseas Pakistanis to be in the voter lists, hence disqualified to participate in any electioneering process.

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Malaysia: Biometric voting: ‘No way Election Commission is ready’ | Free Malaysia Today

The Election Commission (EC) is unlikely to be ready to introduce the biometric voter system if the general election is held in November this year.
This is the view of Port Dickson assemblyman M Ravi. Speaking to FMT, he said: “I can say the biometric system won’t come into effect if Parliament dissolved in November.

“Yesterday, it was reported that EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the EC will explain biometric system to all parties concerned before implementing it. The EC expects to do this by year-end. “But I believe by the time the EC completes the explanation, the 13th general election will be over.”

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Bulgaria: 84 Parties Bid in Bulgaria’s 2011 Local Elections, 10 in Presidential Vote |

A total of 84 political formations have submitted registration papers for Bulgaria's 2011 local elections scheduled to take place on October 23, 2011, together with the presidential vote. The deadline for applications for registrations with Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission (CEC) expired Monday at 5 pm.

Ralitsa Negentsova, spokesperson of the CEC, reminded that a total of 88 parties and coalitions registered for the local elections in 2007. While Bulgaria has 6 major parties that are represented in Parliament, and a couple that failed to make it to it, the local elections traditionally feature a wide array of marginal and local parties.

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