Senate Democrats have killed two more bills from the GOP-controlled House, both of which dealt with the issue of illegal immigration. A controversial proposal to reduce alleged voter fraud, House 1252 would have allowed the Secretary of State's office to cross-check the state's voter rolls with immigration databases and to send letters demanding further proof of citizenship to any registered voters whose status appeared to be in doubt. Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican voted into office last November, was pushing for the bill and worried that thousands of people may have been voting illegally in Colorado's elections. H.B. 1252, sponsored by Rep. Chris Holbert, passed the House, but ran into trouble in the Democrat-controlled Senate. After testimony from several progressive groups who argued that there's no evidence of voter fraud, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted the bill down Monday afternoon on a 2-3 party-line vote. Read More
FL: Florida Legislature cracks down on … voting? - St. Petersburg Times
Having solved all other problems, the Florida Legislature now turns to the most dangerous threat of all …Voting. No kidding. The 2011 Legislature is considering, and its committees have approved so far, bills that would:
Cut Florida's early-voting period (nearly one out of five ballots were cast early in 2010) from two weeks to one.
Bar anyone who has moved or changed a name, such as newly married women, from updating their information at the polls on Election Day and receiving a regular ballot. They would have to cast "provisional" ballots instead.
Crack down on, and expand penalties for, groups that try to register new voters — which used to be considered an all-American activity.
Make it even harder for citizens to change the Florida Constitution by setting an earlier expiration date for petition signatures.
IN: Senate OKs plan to alter election law - The Indianapolis Star
Despite howls from Democrats that Republicans were changing the rules because they fear the outcome, the Senate on Monday approved a provision that would let the governor appoint a new secretary of state if Charlie White is found ineligible to have been elected. The provision would overturn current law that says the second-highest vote-getter -- in this case, Democrat Vop Osili -- would be declared the winner. The amendment, offered by Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, would minimize the fallout for Republicans if White is found ineligible. Not only would it let the Republican governor choose White's replacement, but Republicans would keep political perks based on the number of votes a party's candidate for secretary of state wins, especially getting their candidates on ballots without going through the petition process. White has been indicted in Hamilton County on seven felony counts stemming from his having voted in the wrong precinct in the May primary. The grand jury and Democrats allege White did so deliberately in order to cover up that he had moved out of the Fishers Town Council district he represented; White insists it was an innocent mistake. Read More
KY: Voter identification becomes issue in debate by secretary of state candidates - The Courier-Journal
People would be required to show a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship before they could register to vote in Kentucky under a proposal by Hilda Legg, a
MN: Kiffmeyer optimistic voter ID bill will pass - Minnesota Public Radio News
The chief House sponsor of a bill to require a photo ID for voting in Minnesota said Monday she expects the Legislature to pass it soon -- and that supporters are likely to bring the issue directly to voters if Gov. Mark Dayton vetoes it. "That is absolutely still an option," said Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, the bill's chief sponsor and Minnesota's former secretary of state. Dayton, while not directly threatening to veto, has raised concerns about the bill, which critics have openly feared could make voting more difficult for senior citizens, college students and other young people who change addresses frequently, and new citizens. Kiffmeyer said she still hopes to find common ground with Dayton on the issue. But, citing polls that have shown large majorities of Minnesota in support of such a requirement, she said a Dayton veto could result in sponsors reintroducing the bill as a constitutional amendment and sending it to the statewide ballot in 2012. "We're going to try to make it acceptable to the governor and to work with him," Kiffmeyer said. "But there's a strong base of support for this regardless of where he ends up." The House Transportation Committee approved Kiffmeyer's bill Monday, one of numerous committee stops for the House and Senate versions of the bill. Kiffmeyer said floor votes by the full House and Senate could come as early as next week, after lawmakers return to the Capitol from a weeklong break that began Monday afternoon. Read More
WI: Prosser Campaign Vows to Block a State-Sponsored 'Recount' in WI Supreme Court Election Debacle - The BRAD BLOG
Via Eric Kleefeld at TPM... "Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser held a press conference at the state Capitol on Monday, in which he declared victory in his reelection race --- and at which his campaign advisers said they would object to any recount that might be requested by Prosser's opponent, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg."
The Prosser campaign went on the offensive at the presser in hopes of keeping a state-wide examination of ballots, meant to ensure the true winner of the 10-year term on the state's high court, from taking place at all. As Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Patrick Marley reports Prosser campaign attorney Jim Troupis said, "We will take every and any step to prevent this frivolous matter going forward." In other words, they will do everything they can to block the verification of the unverified vote tally for a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court --- despite state law which allows for such a verification if opted for by one of the candidates in such a close race. "Reporters asked multiple times what grounds the Prosser campaign would use to object to a recount, given that state law entitles a candidate losing by less than 0.5% to request one at state and local expense," writes Kleefeld. "When a reporter bluntly asked Troupis whether he would say what grounds would be listed in an objection to a recount, compared to what is in state law, Troupis simply responded: 'No.'" Read Mor
Egypt: Chief Election Commissioner of India visits Egypt, IBN Live News
Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, is visiting Egypt to apprise the top officials in the country about the electoral system in India and the usage of EVMs, as it prepares itself for democratic process after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak regime. Quraishi is accompanied by a 5-member team from the Election Commission of India which is on a five day visit to Egypt from today. The visit ends on April 23. Egypt's military rulers had last month announced an interim constitution and said presidential elections would be held by November after Mubarak was ousted in a popular revolution. During the visit, the Chief Election Commissioner of India is scheduled to have meetings with Yehiah Al Aziz El Gamal, Deputy Prime Minister, Mohamed Abdelaziz El Gendy, Minister of Justice, Nabil El Araby, Foreign Minister, Magued Osman, Minister of Communications and Information Technology. He will also interact with the Egyptian Supreme Committee for Presidential Elections and Egyptian High Election Committee for Parliamentary Elections. During his stay in Egypt, Quraishi is also scheduled to have a meeting with the members of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs. The Indian delegation will brief the Egyptian dignitaries about the system followed in India for conducting different elections and also make a presentation on the use of Electronic Voting Machines that have been in use in India for some years. The polls may be held in November. It will be the second presidential election in Egypt's history, following the 2005 election and presidential confirmation referendum in 1999, 1993, and earlier. Mubarak had been President from 1981, following the assassination of Anwar Sadat, until his resignation in February 2011. Potential candidates include Mohamed ElBaradei (the ex-Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and joint recipient, with the Agency, of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize), Amr Moussa (the current Secretary-General of the Arab League, and former Egyptian Foreign Minister) and Ahmed Zewail (Egyptian-American scientist, and the winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), among others.
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