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Wisconsin: Missing ballots in Verona Wisconsin cause glitch in Supreme Court race recount | The Capital Times

On Thursday afternoon official “tabulators” were busily counting ballots from the city of Verona when the votes came up more than 90 short of what the electronic readout from the voting machines said they should. That sent Verona officials on a hunt, and a rubber-banded stack of 97 ballots turned up in the office of Verona City Clerk Judy Masarik.

“There’s a table in the clerk’s office, and there was a binder and some other papers on top of the ballots,” said City Administrator Bill Burns, who found the stack. The statewide recount, requested by challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg after her narrow loss to incumbent David Prosser, has the potential to change the outcome, so the Verona situation caused much consternation. On election night, all the ballots were supposed to be secured in sealed bags, which were then supposed to be signed by local elections officials. The seals were supposed to remain intact. Burns found the bundle unbagged. They were bagged and he drove them to Madison. The bag had no signatures or initials. Read More

Wisconsin: Kloppenburg Campaign Calls in Attorney to Monitor Recount | TMJ4 – Milwaukee

On Friday, day three of the statewide recount of the Supreme Court race, the Kloppenburg recall effort called in their attorney, Michael Maistelman, to monitor the recount in Waukesha County.

Earlier Friday a clerk discovered that one of the bags full of ballots from the Town of Delafield was not properly sealed.  The Kloppenburg campaign said that means there was the possibility that people could have had access to the bag of ballots.  On Thursday, a different bag containing hundreds of ballots wasn’t recorded on the poll inspector’s log.  That bag was also from the Town of Delafield. Read More

Zambia: UK to pump K48.5b into Electoral Commission of Zambia | LusakaTimes.com

http://www.lusakatimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ecz.jpegThe British government will spend 48.5 Billion Kwacha to help the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) deliver free and fair elections during this year’s polls.

British High Commissioner to Zambia Tom Carter says part of the money will also go towards enhancing democracy in the country. Mr Carter says the assistance which will be done through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will involve training of police officers to enable them handle elections in an effective manner. Read More

Editorials: Thomas Bates: Why Photo ID Laws Are Not the Answer | Huffington Post

We hear it all the time: How can you be against making voters show a photo ID when they vote? You need an ID to do almost anything in today’s society — buying beer, driving a car, getting on an airplane, going to an R-rated movie — so why shouldn’t you have to show a government-issued photo ID to vote?

It sure sounds like common sense, and it is a sentiment, coupled with the specter of voter fraud, that has driven more than 30 state legislatures this year to consider requiring limited forms of government-issued photo ID at the polls, prompting the Washington Post and New York Times to question why the country is fighting what is essentially a war on voting.

The rub: Strict photo ID laws result in disenfranchisement, unnecessary costs, and unequal treatment of voters and simply are not a proportionate response to any legitimate concerns about potential voter fraud. What may seem like common sense is actually a real barrier for those who want to participate, and a significant expense to all of us. Read More

Verified Voting Blog: Online voting is risky and expensive

Online voting is an appealing option to speed voting for military and overseas voters. Yet it is actually “Democracy Theater”, providing an expensive, risky illusion of supporting our troops. Technologists warn of the unsolved technical challenges, while experience shows that the risks are tangible and pervasive. There are safer, less expensive solutions available. This year, the Government Administration and Elections Committee held hearings on a bill for online voting for military voters. Later they approved a “technical bill”, S.B. 939. Tucked at the end was a paragraph requiring that the Secretary of the State “shall, within available appropriations, establish a method to allow for on-line voting by military personnel stationed out of state.”

In 2008, over thirty computer scientists, security experts and technicians signed the “Computer Technologists’ Statement on Internet Voting,” listing five unsolved technical challenges and concluding: “[W]e believe it is necessary to warn policymakers and the public that secure internet voting is a very hard technical problem, and that we should proceed with internet voting schemes only after thorough consideration of the technical and non-technical issues in doing so.” The prevailing attitude seems to be, if voters and election officials like it and see no obvious problems then it must be safe.

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Wisconsin: JoAnne Kloppenburg says anomalies were widespread during the state Supreme Court race | PolitiFact Wisconsin

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg declared victory on election night when preliminary, unofficial returns put her 204 votes ahead of Justice David Prosser. Fifteen days later, she sought a statewide recount after the official county-by-county returns showed her trailing by more than 7,300 votes out of 1.5 million cast.

In explaining her decision, Kloppenburg told reporters that a recount may not get her over the top, but would shine a light on “an election that right now seems to so many people to be suspect.” She also went on the offensive, raising questions about the legitimacy of the vote count around the state. “There are legitimate and widespread anomalies,” said Kloppenburg, a state Justice Department attorney, “and widespread questions about the conduct of this election, most visibly in Waukesha County, but also in counties around the state.” Read More

Editorials: Tennessee needs reliable paper ballots | The Tennessean

Now The Tennessean reports that this session of the state legislature may repeal the never-implemented Tennessee Voter Confidence Act (April 25). It was the fine work of an earlier session to give us this law. It is a reliable system of voting that requires the use of paper ballots for a possible real check on the accuracy of the electronic vote if and when it becomes necessary.

This is quite impossible with the system that Tennessee has been using, which relies totally on electronic voting machines without paper ballots. These machines have been shown in many different places to be subject to large errors or even deliberate manipulation. There is no way to verify an election with these delicate machines.

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Pennsylvania: Westmoreland buys more voting machines – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Westmoreland County Election Bureau officials are trying to avoid a repeat of the long lines of voters who waited to cast ballots in the last presidential election. So the county has purchased 21 additional touch-screen computer voting machines to ease the crush of voters in the largest precincts.

“In the larger elections, such as a presidential race, I feel we need more machines in some of our larger precincts,” said bureau Director Jim Montini. Read More

Minnesota: Voter photo ID bill unlikely to become law | St. Cloud Times

Minnesota voters would be required to show photo identification at the polls under a Republican bill the Senate passed Thursday on a party-line vote. But the photo ID bill — the subject of fierce partisan debates for the past five years — is unlikely to become law.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton last week said he, like Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Independence Party Gov. Jesse Ventura before him, would not sign any election-reform bill that doesn’t have bipartisan support. Democrats don’t support the photo ID legislation. Read More

Minnesota: Senate Republicans advance elections ID bill | StarTribune.com

Hoping to boost what they view as flagging confidence in the state’s election system, Senate Republicans approved a bill on Thursday that would require Minnesotans to present photo ID at the polls. The measure passed on a 37-26 party-line vote after two hours of debate. It would impose new identification requirements, eliminate vouching for most Election Day registrants and create new provisional ballots for voters whose eligibility is challenged.

DFL senators said the new provisions would create significant obstacles for seniors, blacks and college students — groups less likely to have an authorized ID. “I believe [the bill] sets the state back,” said Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Newport. “Sets the state back to the days of poll taxes and denying the right to vote to certain Minnesotans.” Read More