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United States: Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Photo ID Voting Requirement

(Apr. 2, 2008) On April 28, the Supreme Court ruled that an Indiana election law requiring voters to present a government issued photo identification card is not unconstitutional on its face. Indiana enacted a law known as "SEA 483" requiring voters to present a government issued photo identification card. The law allows voters without such […]

Zimbabwe: Presidential Decree on Police at the Polls Challenged in Court

(Apr. 2, 2008) An opposition party in Zimbabwe is challenging a presidential decree that allows police presence in polling stations. The decree was issued two months after an electoral reform that bans police from coming closer than a 100-meter distance from a polling station was made in consultation with the opposition to ensure the privacy […]

Cuba: Raúl Castro Elected New President

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 24, 2008, the National Assembly of People's Power elected Raúl Castro, Fidel Castro's younger brother, as President of Cuba. In his inaugural speech, Raúl Castro indicated that he intends to confer with his brother on matters of special relevance for Cuba, especially those pertaining to defense, foreign policy, and the […]

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Members Arrested

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 17, 2008, the Egyptian security forces conducted a wave of arrests against officials of the Muslim Brotherhood group. The round of arrests, the second in three days, included 51 persons from four provinces, to bring the total number of arrestees to 91. Sources within the group expected more arrests to […]

Finland: Pilot E-Voting System

(Mar. 2, 2008) In October 2008, Finland will pilot a new electronic voting system, based on the "Direct Recording Electronic" system of TietoEnator Finland, an information technology services company, and Scytl, a Spanish back-end provider. In February, in response to an inquiry about the system from the digital rights organization Electronic Frontier Finland (Effi), the […]

Mexico: New Electoral Code

(Mar. 2, 2008) The Mexican Government officially published a new federal electoral law on January 14, 2008. The Federal Code of Electoral Institutions and Procedures (COFIPE) supersedes the Code that had been in force since August 1990. Among the innovations in the new Code are a separate chapter on transparency; regulation of the use of […]

Bangladesh: Ordinance to Create an Independent Election Commission

(Feb. 2, 2008) The Advisory Council of Bangladesh Government has approved the Election Commission Secretariat Ordinance 2008. The ordinance is designed to ensure the independence of the Election Commission Secretariat from the control of the Prime Minister's Office. It provides that the Election Commission Secretariat will have its own budget and will be responsible for […]

Polynesia (French): Reform to End Political Instability

(Feb. 2, 2008) Since the election of its local assembly in May 2004, French Polynesia has been in a state of chronic political instability. Five presidents have come and gone within three years and four motions of no confidence have been adopted. To end this state, the French Parliament adopted Organic Law 2007-1719 and Law […]

Montenegro: Presidential Elections Act Approved

(Feb. 2, 2008) On December 27, 2007, the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro approved a new law on presidential elections. The law provides for direct popular elections of presidents for five-year terms. The law gives the right to nominate the candidates to political parties or groups of supporters, if these groups can collect the […]

China: Decision Postpones Universal Suffrage in Hong Kong Again

(Jan. 2, 2008) While some news sources contend that Beijing's "nod to universal suffrage in 2017" is "a significant attempt to end the decades-long row over the pace of democratization" in Hong Kong as well as historic because "it is the first time Beijing has acknowledged the democratic process in electing a chief executive," others […]