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The Voting News for August 10, 2011

The Voting News for August 10, 2011

Wisconsin: Democrats Remove Vote Tampering Allegations in Recall Election | Fox Point-Bayside, WI Patch

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has pulled a news release from its website that alleges vote tampering in Waukesha County by the county clerk. The party chairman, Mike Tate, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that they would not"not pursue questions of irregularities" that was referenced by the Democratic Party in "heat-of-the-moment statements."

Earlier: Perhaps one of the most controversial county clerks in Wisconsin, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is again under political scrutiny during the Alberta Darling recall election. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is claiming there is tampering going on in Waukesha County.

"The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate in a prepared news release. “She is once more tampering with the results of a consequential election and in the next hours we will determine our next course of action. For now, Wisconsin should know that a dark cloud hangs over these important results."

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Mississippi: Hinds Dems close vote certification meeting | The Clarion-Ledger

Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Claude McInnis is not allowing reporters in the committee’s meeting this evening on whether to certify the results from the Aug. 2 primary. McInnis turned away a Clarion-Ledger reporter at the door, saying news media would not be allowed. Asked why, he said, “because we have so desired it.”

The 18-member committee is facing criticism and scrutiny in the face of election-day snafus and a post-election ballot count fraught with problems. The committee is meeting at the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, 612 N. State St. in Jackson, to vote on certifying the results. Incumbent Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin will not address today as planned whether he’ll contest his loss to Tyrone Lewis in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary.

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Blogs: Controversial Changes to Florida Election Law Remain in Question | Project Vote Blog

Today, Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning announced that the Justice Department approved part of a controversial new election law that is being challenged by Project Vote and the ACLU. The critical portions of the bill relating to restrictions on early voting and voter registration drives remain in question.

Browning took the most controversial elements of the law to a federal court in Washington D.C. instead of the Justice Department, a move that he claims was to avoid “outside influence” at the hefty expense of taxpayers.

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Wisconsin: Ballot machine malfunction delays voters in Fond du Lac | JSOnline

A ballot machine malfunction in Fond du Lac delayed voters for a short time early this afternoon, in one of the six recall elections drawing strong turnout of electors in Wisconsin.

Ballots cast during the temporary shutdown in Fond du Lac were placed in an auxiliary bin, then scanned through a new machine when it was delivered about 12:30 p.m., said City Clerk Sue Strands. No voters were turned away, although some may have left instead of waiting in line, she said. All of the ballots were counted.

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Wisconsin: Recalls: Slow Returns in Waukesha County Upset Democrats | WUWM

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has issued a statement critical of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus for the length of time it has taken to produce election results from Tuesday's recall. The race between incumbent Republican Senator Alberta Darling and Democratic Representative Sandy Pasch is the only one not yet called.

Nickolaus came under fire earlier this year, when she was late in reporting thousands of votes in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court and bags of ballots were not secured.

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Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s Katherine Harris | Politico.com

It's down to one race for control of the state Senate in Wisconsin and Democrats are accusing a GOP county clerk of holding up the ballot count. GOP incumbent Alberta Darling is leading Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch 52 percent to 48 percent with nearly 80 percent reporting.

But before 10 of 11 precincts had reported in Senate District 8's Waukesha County, Democrats began taking aim at clerk Kathy Nickolaus. Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate took the stage at the Majestic Theater to accuse her of "sitting on ballots."

"We hope the Waukesha County clerk's office is doing the right thing tonight . . . But it is a little curious isn't it. Here we are on the cusp of victory . . . and Kathy Nickolaus is sitting on our ballots," Tate told the crowd of Democrats to a ripple of boos.

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Mississippi: Poll-worker error led to incorrect ballot style in Mississippi Primary | SunHerald.com

Complaints of voters receiving the incorrect ballot during the Aug. 2 primary election has been attributed to an error on the part of poll workers. Circuit Clerk Vickie Hariel said during the election she received a call from a candidate that a voter at the Carriere precinct did not get the proper ballot, and could not vote for the proper justice court judge.

Going to the precinct, Hariel diagnosed the problem as poll workers encoding voting cards with the wrong information. In the Gumpond precinct a similar situation occurred, with voters receiving incorrect ballots for the superintendent of education. That problem was caused by a poll worker incorrectly clearing out a voting card that was used by a previous voter.

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Maine: Rhetoric heats up in Maine people’s veto move | BostonHerald.com

Supporters of an effort to preserve election day voter registration in Maine insist it’s not a partisan issue, but their effort to let voters decide the issue is drawing sharply opposing views from Democrats and Republicans.

The rhetoric heated up as the coalition to keep same-day registration gave state election officials petitions that could force a November referendum on the issue. More than 68,000 voters’ signatures were turned in Monday, and the campaign said the total could reach about 70,000 before the filing deadline arrived Tuesday afternoon.

The Protect Maine Votes coalition — 18 groups that include organized labor, civil libertarians, consumer and public health advocates, disabled and homeless groups — is seeking to repeal a state law that requires registration at least two business days before an election.

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Blogs: As Minority Language Assistance Becomes More Common, A More Common Approach Makes Sense | PEEA

The Denver Post had a story this weekend about the likelihood that 16 counties in Colorado will soon be required to make ballots and other election materials available in Spanish.

These requirements will be driven by 2010 Census data and required by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 203 uses the Census data to identify jurisdictions in which the citizens voting age population in a single language group within the jurisdiction 1) is more than 10,000, OR 2) is more than five percent of all voting age citizens, OR 3) on an Indian reservation, exceeds five percent of all reservation residents AND the illiteracy rate of the group is higher than the national illiteracy rate.

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Ohio: Ohio Libertarian Party sues secretary of state, wants parts of election overhaul overturned | AP/The Republic

The Libertarian Party of Ohio is suing the state's election chief over provisions of a new law that they say will keep them off the ballot.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Columbus, the party says parts of Ohio's new election law are unconstitutional because they don't give third parties enough time to collect signatures to get on the 2012 ballot.

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Kansas: Voter ID: Defeated in Kansas Senate, Secretary of State Tries to Unilaterally Change Voting Laws | Campus Progress

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach came under fire last year for his anti-gay missionary work in Africa. This year, it appears Kobach has a new target: Kansas voters. In April, Kansas became the 10thstate to pass a voter ID bill. The legislation gives Kansas one of the most strict voting laws in the country despite the fact that even by Kobach’s own generous estimate, there have been just 221 incidents of voter fraud in the state in the last 14 years—a rate of just more than 2/100ths of 1 percent of all votes cast. (Or, in decimal form: 0.0002% of all voters.)

But that wasn’t enough for Kobach. Soon after the initial voter ID bill passed, Kobach attempted to push through a second bill that would allow the legislation to take effect before the 2012 elections. Despite overwhelming support for the initial bill, the Kansas Senate rejected Kobach’s second measure in bipartisan fashion.

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Indonesia: Watchdog Asks For Right to Cast Protest Votes | The Jakarta Globe

Should voters who favor no candidate be allowed to express this on their ballot paper? The Independent Committee for Election Monitoring (KIPP) believes so and has proposed that lawmakers accommodate the right of these voters, referred to as golput (white group) , by providing a “vote no” column on the paper ballot.

According to KIPP coordinator Girindra Sandino, the “vote no” column might help minimize the chances of corrupt candidates, or old faces who broke their promises, being elected. “The voters who feel confused and are not satisfied with the candidates will have room to express [that feeling] on the ballot paper,” Girindra said. The “vote no” could be a healthy incentive for leaders to improve the political system and for the government to improve its performance, he added.

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Nigeria: Battle for Lugard House: Can Action Congress of Nigeria tame Peoples Democratic Party? | The Moment

Just last week, the Independent National Electoral Commission {INEC] rolled out the election timetable for the conduct of the governorship election in Kogi State. The timetable which was widely publicised has heightened tensions among different camps within the same party and across party lines. The Moment gathered that pressure is being mounted on the two main camps within the Peoples Democratic Party, the ruling party in the state.

The Jibrin Isah /Clarence Olafenmi groups who have been labouring assiduously to convince the party hierarchy to ensure that the last gubernatorial primary election which produced the duo as governor and deputy governorship candidates respectively should be made to stand while on the other hand the meeting of governorship aspirants who contested are urging the party to call for a fresh primary election to enable them participate in it.

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Philippines: DFA, Comelec hold workshop on absentee voting for 2013 polls | Pinoy Abroad

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) have stepped up preparations for the registration of overseas absentee voters in the 2013 elections.

Officials of the DFA Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat and Comelec Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting held a joint planning workshop in Subic last July 29 and 30.

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Zambia: Patriotic Front opposes Movement for Multi-Party Democracy origins case submissions | The Post Newspapers Zambia

The opposition PF has asked the High Court to dismiss with costs the preliminary issues raised by the Attorney General, the MMD and the Electoral Commission of Zambia in a case relating to President Rupiah Banda's parentage issue. According to submissions in opposition to the defendants' submissions, Wynter Kabimba who sued in his capacity as PF secretary general, asked the court to dismiss the preliminary issues on grounds that they are misconceived.

In this case, Kabimba sued the Attorney General, MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe and the Electoral Commission of Zambia claiming that the ruling party cannot by law sponsor President Rupiah Banda because his parents are not Zambian citizens.

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