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Posts tagged ‘Voting’

Despite Boko Haram, Yobe Council Polls Witness Large Turnout – PREMIUM TIMES.

Photo: Premium Times

Voters across Yobe on Saturday turned out in large numbers to cast their votes to elect chairmen and councillors of the 17 local government areas in the state.

A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited some polling booths in the capital Damaturu as well as some local government areas reports that scores of people lined up at the various polling booths as early as 7 a.m. to accredit and cast their votes.

A correspondent, who also visited Bamari, Kalalawa, Ajeri, Gaidam and Bukarti towns, also reported large turnout of voters.

There was, however, heavy security presence in all the polling booths as well as major streets in Damaturu with a combined team of soldiers, police, civil defence corps and immigration officers watching over.

Shops and other businesses were closed while restriction on movement was imposed throughout the state from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Reports from other parts of the state also spoke of security build up to forestall any unforeseen circumstances.

Only 10 parties participated in the polls while the major opposition party in the state, the PDP, boycotted the election.

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, the state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, said the conduct of the election had proved skeptics wrong on the security situation in the state.

He blamed “mischievous politicians’’ for raising false alarm of a possible breakdown of law of order in the state.

Yobe is one of the three states under emergency rule following the activities of the Boko Haram.

“We know what is going on here because we are here on the ground. We know the security situation in our state that is why we went ahead to conduct the election,” Mr. Gaidam said.

The governor said that from the reports he received, eligible voters cast their votes peacefully in all the 17 local government areas in the state.

“You can see we have gotten relative peace when I was coming here; I inspected about three areas and the elections were going on peacefully and I am sure we will conclude it safely.

“So, I think politicians should stop making noise since they are not on ground. We are the ones on the ground; anytime this kind of thing is happening, they should call us to give them the true positions of things on the ground,’’ Mr. Gaidam said.

Also speaking to journalists, a member of the House of Representatives, Goni Lawal, described the election as successful, adding that many people came out to cast their votes.

Mr. Lawal said that he went round about 10 local government areas to inspect the conduct of the polls and found that a large turnout of voters was recorded in the many areas.

Femi Bafunsho, Chairman Justice and Equity for All, an NGO, who was observing the conduct of the polls, said the turnout in most polling units was commendable.

The Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, Hannatu Binyat, said that reports received from across the state indicate a peaceful conduct of the elections.



Kick Them Out: Pew Finds Voters Want Incumbents Gone.

Image: Kick Them Out: Pew Finds Voters Want Incumbents Gone

By Elliot Jager

Nearly four in 10 voters are so disillusioned with Congress that they want their own representatives kicked out of office.

A new survey from Pew Research Center finds that 38 percent of voters don’t want their senators and representatives re-elected.

Anti-incumbent sentiment is nothing new, but voters traditionally have been more indulgent of their own elected officials. In 2010, for instance, 29 percent of voters were willing to give their representatives the boot.

Pew found Americans overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the way the fiscal battle in Washington has played out. Looking to 2014, 74 percent of Americans want to see most incumbents defeated in the midterm elections.

But dissatisfaction with incumbents may not translate into gains for the opposing party. In many states, the number of House seats in “swing districts,” that are not solidly in the hands of either party, has declined in recent years due to gerrymandering.

Pew’s survey, released Wednesday, pointed out that 90 percent of House members were re-elected in their last race and only one senator — Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown — was beaten in the General E. election and Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar lost in a primary.

Of 435 House members, 391 sought re-election in 2012 and only 40 lost, a phenomenon referred to as congressional stagnation. That, Pew said, is making red districts getting redder and blue districts bluer.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Reid Delays Crucial Test Vote on Syria.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday abruptly backed off plans to schedule a test vote on Wednesday on a White House-backed resolution to authorize military strikes against Syria.

Just hours after saying he wanted the much-anticipated vote on Wednesday, Reid returned to the Senate to nix those plans. Aides said matters were fluid, particularly with Russia now trying to help find a way to avoid U.S. military force. They said a vote was still likely later in the week.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

PHOTONEWS: How Protesters Forced Senator Akinyelure To Recant Vote On Child Marriage.

Senator Akinyelure wept and recanted during the protest

A crowd of protesters yesterday stormed a town hall meeting in Akure, the capital city of Ondo State, where Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central Senatorial District) spoke. Armed with placards with abusive inscriptions, the protesters demanded the senator’s removal following his vote for a widely condemned measure that approved early child marriage.

jThe protests drove Mr. Akinyelure to tears as he explained that his vote was misunderstood and also apologized to his constituents.

Among the protesters were elderly women, widows and clergymen. Many of the demonstrators were teenagers who chanted angry slogans and urged voters in the state to register displeasure with what they termed the “barbaric attitude” of Nigerian senators who endorsed the idea of marrying off teenage girls.

Policemen in Akure battled it out with the protesters when some thugs reportedly hijacked the protest by barricading the Adegbemile Cultural Center, the venue of the town hall meeting. A visibly angry leader of the thugs threatened to deal with Senator Akinyelure. “We will smash his vehicle and give him the beating of his life for voting and supporting the bill,” he said.

Several sources stated that the thugs rough-handled some government officials and members of the Ondo State legislature. However, the police stepped in to restore calm.

After a strenuous effort by the police to quell the chaos at the venue, Mr. Akinyelure managed to enter the hall. Popularly called “All Over,” the senator appeared rattled by the demonstrations against him. In a quivering voice, he stated that his stance on the issue of child marriage was widely misunderstood. Denying that he ever supported under-age marriage, the senator explained that he voted out of error.

“My voting ‘No’ was in clear error of misinterpretation and I had no opportunity to correct what is deemed to be my error now, because voting was done electronically. If voting were to be done by show of hands, I would have been able to correct my error before the voting was concluded by the Senate,” said the embattled senator.

Mr. Akinyelure clarified that the vote was specifically on the process for renunciation of citizenship and not child marriage, emphasizing that as a true Yoruba man he would not have intentionally voted in support of child marriage.

He said the question before the Senate for which he voted in favor was whether a married woman could be deemed to be of full age to renounce her Nigerian citizenship and not whether a female can enter into marriage before attaining the age of 18 years.

“This is quite different from voting in favor of under-age marriage as widely reported in the media. And [in order] to avoid possible religious crises and security challenges that may likely result from deleting this clause in question from the constitution, I voted for the clause to remain,” he explained.

The tearful senator denied ever collecting a bribe from any of his colleagues to vote as he did. The allegation had been widely reported on social media.

Fielding questions, Mr. Akinyelure said his constituents had been mounting pressure on him over reports of his purported involvement in a scheme to legalize child marriage. He assured the people of his effective representation at all times.

“I can never in my life support under-age marriage bill. I will do what is humanly possible at my disposal to ensure that it is removed from the constitution,” he added.

Last weekend, protesters staged massive protests in different parts of Nigeria to condemn the Senate’s passage of a resolution to retain Section 29 (4) (b) of the 1999 Constitution. Under the section, a married underage girl is deemed to be an adult for the purposes of renouncing her Nigerian citizenship.


Poll: Voters Give Obama Worst Grade Ever on Foreign Policy.

Image: Poll: Voters Give Obama Worst Grade Ever on Foreign Policy

By Melanie Batley

American voters have handed President Obama his worst grade ever on foreign policy, giving him a 52 percent rating disapproval rating in the latest Quinnipiac University poll data released Thursday morning.

According to the survey of 2,104 registered voters taken June 28 to July 8, only 40 percent of respondents approved of his approach to foreign affairs compared to 52 percent who said they disapproved. The poll also found that 48 percent disapprove of his handling of the Syrian crisis.

His job approval ratings on domestic and foreign policy issues wasn’t quite as bad, however, with 48 percent giving him a negative mark compared to 44 percent who still view his job performance positively.

President Barack Obama is in a slump, under water for the last two surveys,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Still, 50 percent of voters say the president is honest and trustworthy, compared to 40 percent who don’t, and 52 percent believe he has strong leadership qualities and that he cares about their needs.

“Generally, voters don’t seem happy with some of the president’s policies, but they still give him majority support on his personal characteristics such as honesty and leadership,” Brown said.

“They also trust Obama more than Republicans 44-38 percent, to fix the economy. This compares to a 43-43 percent split on this measure May 30,” he added.

The poll also found that a significant majority of Americans believe it is not in the national interest to send troops into Syria and also oppose arming rebel groups in the conflict. By a margin of 61 percent to 27 percent, respondents said they were opposed to American involvement in Syria. Fifty-nine percent also said they were against arming Syrian rebels, compared to 27 percent who favor it.

But despite that seemingly overwhelming desire to remain apart from the Syrian conflict, the voters still voiced support for using U.S. drone aircraft or cruise missiles to attack Syrian government targets by a margin of 49 percent to 38 percent.

The survey also indicated that Republicans and Democrats seem to be united in their views on Syria.

The survey also found that voters feel strongly — by a margin of 63 percent to 33 percent — that the United States should not negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan, although 53 percent said they would favor talks “if such negotiations could end the war in Afghanistan.”

At the same time, however, 57 percent of respondents said they disagree with the claim that negotiations with the Taliban will actually get American troops home more quickly.
Concerning terrorism overall, 60 percent of respondents also said the United States should not negotiate with terrorists because it only encourages them.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

GOP Senator Accidentally Votes for Immigration Reform.

One GOP senator drew laughter when he accidentally voted “yea” before catching himself and voting “nay” on the passage of an immigration reform bill on Thursday.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., later tweeted a clarification: “To clear up any confusion, I voted against the Senate immigration bill. Here’s why.”

The link goes to Moran’s official Senate website, where he provides a lengthy explanation.

“Americans want Congress to fix our flawed immigration system the right way – and fix it for good,” he says on his site. “Unfortunately, this bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would only reduce the number of illegal immigrants by 25 percent does not meet that standard.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


By Greg Richter

Alveda King: MLK Would Be Troubled by Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Ruling.

Having lost her iconic uncle to the civil rights struggle, Dr. Alveda King tells Newsmax that Martin Luther King Jr. would probably be troubled by Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision gutting the landmark Voting Rights Act.

“I can’t necessarily speak for my uncle, but I don’t believe he would say, ‘Abandon everything because there’s no need; everything is fine,'” said King in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. “Everything is not fine.”

While she herself considers the 1965 law to be “imperfect,” King said she fears that some states will seize upon the court ruling to limit voter rights in the future.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that Congress had used obsolete reasoning when it continued to force nine states, mainly in the South, to get federal approval for voting rule changes affecting blacks and other minorities.

The court ruled in favor of officials from Shelby County, Ala., by declaring invalid a section of the law that set a formula that determines which states need federal approval to change voting laws.

“We should always be watchful when we remove something,” said King, a Newsmax contributor. “Remember the past because it could repeat itself.”

Although she agrees with President Barack Obama in principle that Congress should step in to ensure equal access to voting polls for all Americans, King said that she is not convinced he will come up with the right solution.

“It sounds good, but what’s the plan?” she asked of the president. “Are you now again playing on people’s emotions, or is the intent to make things better for everyone? That’s the question.”

She noted there was a time in the not-too-distant past when African Americans were often denied their right to vote.

The Voting Rights Act brought important legal protections for minority voters that were a key achievement of the civil rights movement of the 1960s led by her uncle.

“I believe the law has helped — especially in the rural states and the southern states — where there still remain some inequities in the voting process,” said King, whose family home was firebombed during the civil rights struggle.

“All Americans can vote pretty much, unless you’re in jail, or [with] some exceptions,” King said, recalling something her slain uncle once said.

“He always said that the law perhaps cannot keep people from feeling something in their heart, but it can cause them to do what’s good or what’s right,” she said.

Reuters contributed to this article.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Paul Scicchitano

Rasmussen: Americans Think Government Will Overreact on Economy.

Most voters are worried that the government will do too much in trying to solve the nation’s economic woes, and agree that while spending should be cut, it will likely rise under President Barack Obama, a new Rasmussen Reports poll shows.

Rasmussen’s national telephone survey, conducted on June 18-19, shows that a plurality, 47 percent, of voters surveyed gave Obama a poor rating about how he handles government spending, with 34 percent favoring him.

The poll’s results showed that 43 percent of likely voters are more worried that the government will do too much, up from 39 percent in March and marking the highest number of since September.

Nearly two-thirds of the voters agreed that the government should cut spending rather than increase it, while 22 percent believe spending should increase and 13 percent think it should stay the same.

The poll was divided along party lines for the most part, with 69 percent of Republicans and a plurality of 49 percent of unaffiliated voters worried that the government will take too many steps toward fixing the economy. However, 77 percent of Democrats think the government won’t do enough.

In addition, Republicans and unaffiliated voters favor spending cuts while Democrats are evenly divided over whether the government should cut spending or increase it to help boost the economy.

Meanwhile, women worry more than men about whether the government will help the economy, but both sexes agree spending should be cut.

The polling was also divided along racial lines. Fifty percent of white voters said they’re concerned the government will do too much while 80 percent of blacks and 59 percent of minorities think it will not do enough.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

John Fund: Conservative Vote Suppressed by IRS Targeting.

Image: John Fund: Conservative Vote Suppressed by IRS Targeting

By Melanie Batley

The IRS could be directly to blame for lower voter turnout during the 2012 election after conservative groups were left sidelined by the IRS decision to target them, according to John Fund, national-affairs columnist for National Review Online.

In his Thursday column, Fund said there is little evidence to substantiate claims that turnout was lower because voters, particularly minorities, were thwarted from casting their ballots due to tighter state laws requiring photo-ID at polling stations.

“All of this proved to be twaddle,” wrote Fund, pointing to an August 2012 Washington Post poll that showed nearly two-thirds of African Americans and Hispanics backed photo ID. Moreover, the Census Bureau, he said, has since reported the voter turnout rate for blacks exceeded that of whites for the first time.

“But it now turns out there may have [been] suppression of the vote after all,” he wrote, pointing to a conversation he had with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who said, “It looks like a lot of tea-party groups were less active or never got off the ground because of the IRS actions. Sure seems like people were discouraged by it.”

Fund said he had also spoken to several conservative groups that were directly impacted by having their nonprofit status delayed by “either IRS inaction or burdensome and intrusive questioning.

“At least two donors told me they didn’t contribute to True the Vote, a group formed to combat voter fraud, because after three years of waiting, the group still didn’t have its status granted at the time of the 2012 election,” Fund wrote.

“The IRS claims that all the delays and information demands were rooted in mere mismanagement and misjudgment, a stance that began to look even shakier [Wednesday] when Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS’ exempt-organization division, took the Fifth Amendment before a House committee,” wrote Fund.

He concluded, “It won’t be easy to discover whether the ‘voter suppression’ engaged in by the IRS was malicious and political. But we have to make every effort to find out before the American people start losing confidence in the integrity of our elections.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Quinnipiac: Jersey Voters Reject Christie for President, Like as Governor.

Most voters in New Jersey believe their popular governor would not be a good fit in the White House, a poll released Tuesday shows.

Though Republican Chris Christie enjoys huge support as governor of the Garden State, just 41 percent of those surveyed say he would make a good president, the Quinnipiac University poll shows.

“New Jersey voters rate Gov. Christopher Christie’s performance in Trenton at his now-routine astronomical level. And they think he deserves re-election in November,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Hamden, Conn., university’s polling institute.

Urgent: Obama or GOP: Who’s to Blame for Budget Crisis? Vote Now!

“Would he shine as brightly in Washington? New Jerseyans’ views are mixed,” added Carroll. “Ditto on whether he should run for president in 2016.”

The poll showed 70 percent view Christie favorably as governor with just 23 percent viewing him unfavorably. But when asked whether he would make a good president, 41 percent said yes and 44 percent said no. Less than half — 46 percent — said he should run for the White House.

The Quinnipiac poll of 1,129 registered New Jersey voters was conducted between March 19-24.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Melanie Batley

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