Tag Archives: elections

NM: Senate endorses popular vote system for US presidency

Source: US News & World Report

"New Mexico would join a movement to elect U.S. presidents by popular vote under a bill approved by the state Senate. The Senate voted Monday in favor joining an inter-state compact that requires Electoral College voters to cast ballots for the national popular vote winner. Democrats backed the bill in a 26-16 vote along party lines. The bill now moves to the House." (02/20/17)


Was Hillary Clinton's progressive [sic] presidential bid doomed from the start?

Source: Independent Institute
by Sam Staley

"One person who pays keen attention to political fundamentals is Grover Norquist, head of the anti-tax advocacy organization Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). After the election, ATR compiled revealing data about politics on the state level with profound implications for interpreting the national election results and thinking about the future of politics in America. Most Americans, it turns out, live in states where Republicans have a virtual lock on state policymaking. More than half of the U.S. population, 162.3 million, lives in 25 'Red' states where the GOP controls the governor's office and the state legislature (both houses). This is not a trivial accomplishment. Securing and maintaining this kind of partisan control is very, very difficult. A reasonable interpretation of this result is that a majority of Americans live in states where the Republican Party political platform resonates more deeply and directly than the Democratic Party platform." (02/18/17)


Florida's shenanigans make a great case for (re-)separation of ballot and state

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

"Some histories of the Civil War era mention that Abraham Lincoln was 'not even on the ballot' in several southern states. That's true. None of the other presidential candidates were 'on the ballot' either, nor was Lincoln 'on the ballot' in the northern states. There was no such thing as 'on the ballot.' American ballot access laws only date back to the 1880s. Before that, voters cast ballots in one of three ways: They received ballots from and printed by their political parties of choice, they wrote out their own ballots by hand, or, if they couldn't write, they verbally dictated their choices to election officials who wrote down those choices for them in the presence of witnesses."


Indonesia: Polls open in heated vote for Indonesian governor

Source: ABC News

"Voting was underway in the election for governor of the Indonesian capital after a months-long campaign in which the monumental problems facing Jakarta took a backseat to religious intolerance and racial bigotry. More than 13,000 polling places opened to accommodate the 7.1 million people eligible to vote. The election is one of dozens taking place Wednesday across Muslim-majority Indonesia. Incumbent Gov. Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, a minority Christian and ethnic Chinese, is vying against Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, who is the son of a former president, and Anies Rasyid Baswedan, a moderate now courting the votes of conservative and hard-line Muslims. Religion and race, rather than the slew of problems that face a car-clogged and sinking Jakarta, have dominated the campaign." (02/14/17)


NC: Supreme Court blocks law stripping governor of election oversight powers

Source: Winston-Salem Journal

"The state Supreme Court intervened Monday concerning the constitutionality of a law that would transfer some election oversight powers from the governor's office to the legislature. The court reinserted a temporary injunction of Senate Bill 4, which addresses the function of the State Board of Elections and the appointment composition of the state board and county elections boards. The justices did not explain the reasoning behind their order." (02/14/17)


Germany: Special assembly elects Frank-Walter Steinmeier as president

Source: Deutsche Welle

"A special 1,260-member assembly on Sunday confirmed general expectations and elected Steinmeier as the new ceremonial head of state of the German Federal Republic. He will succeed current President Joachim Gauck, who decided to step down after a single five-year term in office, citing his advanced age of 77." (02/12/17)


Switzerland: Voters ease citizenship for foreigners, reject tax reform

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"Swiss voters decided Sunday that they want to make it easier for 'third-generation foreigners' to get Swiss citizenship. They rejected a complex tax reform initiative aimed at getting Switzerland in line with international standards. The 'simplified naturalization of third-generation immigrants' measure passed in a national referendum with 60.4 percent of the votes, Swiss broadcaster SRF reported. It simplifies applications for anyone under 25 whose parents and grandparents have lived in Switzerland for years. The measure gives young people who qualify the same fast-track, simplified access to Swiss citizenship that foreign spouses of Swiss nationals often enjoy. SRF reported that 59.1 percent of voters rejected the tax reform referendum, which would have scrapped a two-track tax system that offers lower rates to foreign firms to lure investment." (02/12/17)


Somalia: Former prime minister, a US citizen, is new president

Source: Billings Gazette

"[Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a] former prime minister who holds dual Somali-U.S. citizenship was elected Somalia's new president on Wednesday, declaring a new 'era of unity' as he took on the daunting task of bringing the long-chaotic country its first fully functioning central government in a quarter-century. Fears of attacks by the Islamic extremist al-Shabab dogged the historic vote, which was limited to lawmakers instead of the population at large, with members of the upper and lower houses of parliament casting ballots at a heavily guarded former air force base in the capital, Mogadishu, while a security lockdown closed the international airport."


US House committee votes to scrap Election Assistance Commission, presidential campaign welfare

Source: Los Angeles Times

"A House committee voted Tuesday to eliminate an independent election commission charged with helping states improve their voting systems. The party-line vote came less than two days after Trump vowed to set up a White House commission helmed by Vice President Mike Pence to pursue Trump's erroneous claims of election fraud. The GOP majority on the House Administration Committee voted to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, which was created by Congress after the 2000 Florida recount to upgrade voting technology and provide election-related information to federal entities, state officials and election administrators. Republicans, who led the effort to terminate the agency, say it's a prime example of government waste. They've been introducing legislation to end the commission for years with little success. … The committee also voted to terminate the public financing system, which provides major party presidential nominees a lump sum grant of about $94.14 million in the general election." (02/08/17)


Russia: Opposition leader barred from presidential run by … convenient … embezzlement conviction

Source: ABC News

"A Russian court has found the country's most prominent opposition leader guilty of embezzlement in what critics say is a political trial intended to prevent him from running against President Vladimir Putin next year. Aleksei Navalny, 40, who made his name as an anti-corruption blogger chronicling the alleged ill-gotten gains of top officials, has become one of the leading figures in Russia's beleaguered anti-Putin opposition. In December, he had declared his intention to run against Putin in the country's 2018 presidential election, saying that although he has no chance of winning it would be good for the country. But on Wednesday, a court in the provincial city of Kirov found Navalny guilty of embezzling about $500,000 from local timber company Kirovles. The conviction now means Navalny is barred from running in the presidential election." (02/08/17)