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Mulcair plans to ask Tory MPs to vote against Harper govt's Fair Elections Act

TORONTO - The New Democrats are targeting Conservative MPs in their latest attempt to stop the Harper government's controversial proposed overhaul of election laws. The opposition party announced a plan Tuesday to publicly approach certain Tories over the coming days to convince them to vote against the Fair Elections Act — which NDP Leader Tom Mulcair described as an attempt by the prime minister to "roll the dice in his favour for the next campaign."

Federal lawyers argued vouching a 'failsafe' before Bill C-23 eliminated it

OTTAWA - A constitutional challenge to voter-identification rules brought in by the Harper government in 2007 may be on its way to the Supreme Court of Canada — where the latest Conservative electoral reforms would create an awkward legal backdrop. That's because the government of Canada has successfully argued in B.C. courts that its previous round of ID requirements were protected, in part, by the "failsafe" of voter vouching. Now the Conservatives have introduced sweeping new changes under Bill C-23, dubbed the Fair Elections Act, that would eliminate vouching altogether.

Obama lashes out at Republican efforts to restrict voting

By Jeff Mason NEW YORK (Reuters) - Closing out a week of commemorating progress from the Civil Rights Movement, President Barack Obama on Friday sharply criticized Republicans for leading efforts in some parts of the country to prevent citizens from voting. Obama's administration has challenged states that have implemented voter ID laws and other restrictions in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that struck down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, designed to prevent discrimination at the polls.

Experts offer simple fixes to deal with voter fraud, investigative independence

OTTAWA - Parliamentarians have been offered some simple solutions to deal with the potential for voter fraud —without disenfranchising tens of thousands of Canadians that experts fear will result from the Harper government's proposed overhaul of election rules. They've also been offered simple remedies for ensuring the independence of the chief investigator of electoral malfeasance — without the upheaval the government proposes by severing his operations entirely from Elections Canada.

In India, show the finger after voting, get cheaper gas and food

By Sruthi Gottipati NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Showing the finger can get you a punch in the face in many parts of the world. In India, during this general election at least, it can earn discounts at gas stations, restaurants, spas, stores and hospitals after voting. India's polling stations mark each voter's left forefinger with an indelible dot of a silver nitrate solution after casting the ballot to guard against voter fraud.

Seniors groups tell MPs new election reforms don't make sense, will curb voting

OTTAWA - A trio of seniors group representatives say they are baffled by Conservative changes that will make it more difficult for many politically engaged seniors to vote in the next federal election. And student representatives are scratching their heads over the proposed elimination of Elections Canada outreach programs that target low youth turnout.

Donkeys, dollars, ink: the Afghan poll in numbers

Afghan elections are a mammoth undertaking that have to overcome the country's rugged terrain, poor infrastructure, Taliban attacks, lack of proper voter lists and the threat of fraud. Official statistics reflect the scale of Saturday's presidential and provincial council vote. -- 3,473 donkeys to transport election material to remote areas -- 100,000 bottles of indelible and ultra-violet ink to mark voters' fingers -- 8 presidential candidates, 0 female -- 2,595 provincial council candidates, 299 female

New elections law missing measures to crack down on phoney robocalls: critics

OTTAWA - If the Conservative party could determine within days that Dimitri Soudas used its closely guarded voter database, why is Elections Canada still in the dark about the data source for fraudulent robocalls almost four years after the 2011 election? Soudas, the party's executive director, resigned Sunday after improperly aiding his fiancee's nomination bid in Oakville, Ont. — busted, in part, when the party checked who pulled Oakville voter records from the Constituent Information Management System, or CIMS.

Ontario electoral watchdog joins chorus opposing federal election changes

OTTAWA - The chief electoral watchdog in the country's largest province has added his voice to the mounting criticism over the Harper government's proposed overhaul of national election laws. Greg Essensa, Ontario's chief electoral officer, fears thousands of voters will be disenfranchised by a double whammy contained in Bill C-23: eliminating both vouching and the use of voter information cards to prove residency. In 2003, Ontario itself did away with the practice of allowing individuals to vouch for voters who don't have proper identification.

North Carolina ordered to release documents in voter law challenge

By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - North Carolina legislators who shaped sweeping voting changes, including requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, must provide some emails and other documents to groups challenging the law, a federal judge has ruled. Lawmakers are immune from being sued individually for their legislative acts but cannot withhold all communications related to the law's passage, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake ruled on Thursday.
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