The Voting News Daily: Saguache County, Colorado state officials at odds over access to ballots, Clerk Myers produces ES&S M650 audit logs

Colorado: Saguache County, Colorado state officials at odds over access to ballots | The Pueblo Chieftain Attorneys in a dispute between the Saguache County clerk and recorder and the secretary of state exchanged arguments Tuesday over the state’s authority to conduct an election review and the privacy of voted ballots. Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler…

National: Most Security Measures Easy to Breach, Expert Says | NBC Chicago

When things go really, really wrong, Roger Johnston has a really, really good day. After all, he’s usually the man who made them go wrong.

Johnston has a PhD, 10 patents to his name, and what every 10 year old kid would think is a dream job. As chief of the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, he has made it is his mission to crack into every security system labeled as foolproof by their creators.

… One of the most frightening examples Johnston has turned up is in one of the nation’s most treasured franchises: the right to vote. He said he’s found that most voting machines have almost no security to reveal tampering. Thus, he said, it’s a fairly simple matter to tinker with the electronics while machines are in storage or being transported by the truckload. He has even demonstrated how he can turn cheating mechanisms in voting machines on and off by remote control.

“It’s much easier to steal the election, right at the electronic voting machine,” said Johnston. “In many cases, we see security devices or electronic voting machines where we really have to wonder, ‘Did anybody spend 60 seconds figuring out the security issues?”

Colorado: Saguache County, Colorado state officials at odds over access to ballots | The Pueblo Chieftain

Attorneys in a dispute between the Saguache County clerk and recorder and the secretary of state exchanged arguments Tuesday over the state’s authority to conduct an election review and the privacy of voted ballots. Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler sued Clerk Melinda Myers in March for access to the ballots, prompting 3 1/2 hours of testimony and argument in Saguache County District Court.

Gessler called for a review of the election that would include a hand count of the ballots, although the findings would not change the election results.

The aim of the review is to calm controversy over an election in which the clerk’s office conducted a second count of the ballots with state approval that flipped the results in favor of Myers and Linda Joseph, an incumbent Democratic county commissioner.

Colorado: Saguache County Clerk Myers produces ES&S M650 audit logs | Center Post Dispatch

Assisted by two election judges, County Clerk Melinda Myers supervised the printout of 49 pages of audit logs from the M650 voting machine last Thursday, covering machine operation records from Oct. 25 to April 13.

Judge Jessica DuBoe printed out the logs while a second judge, Peggy Godfrey, stood watch. The operation took just about an hour.

“ES&S [the machine’s distributor] first said we couldn’t do it,” Myers said. “It would have been nice to know Nov. 3.”

Colorado: Judge hears Colorado Secretary of State Gessler ballot request | Center Post Dispatch

Few surprises were in evidence Tuesday at the hearing on Sec. of State Scott Gessler’s request that he be allowed to obtain the ballots for the 2010 Saguache General election to conduct a hand review with citizens present.

… Hagihara told Knaiser that the logic and accuracy pre-election test was run properly except for the fact that test ballots were used. He also said Myers asked the SOS to come to Saguache to review the November 2010 election after discovering “votes cast didn’t match votes counted.”

According to Hagihara, when the SOS came Nov. 15-16 to run the ballots back through the M650 (only the number of ballots, not the votes themselves were counted), the totals that were recorded were the correct totals, even though a commissioner’s and the clerk’s race were overturned. This determined that the Nov. 5 retabulation, not the Nov. 2 totals was the correct result.

National: Savvis lands $10M contract from Federal Election Commission | St. Louis Business Journal

Savvis Federal Systems, a subsidiary of Savvis Inc. in St. Louis, said Thursday it has been awarded a $9.8 million, five-year contract to provide information technology services for the U.S. Federal Election Commission.

Under the terms of the agreement, Savvis will provide managed hosting, security and network services to the FEC in two Savvis data centers. Savvis also will host the website.

Canada: Voter ID, North and South of the Borders | The Thicket

In light of all the attention that American legislators have been giving voter identification, I wondered about what our North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico, do. What I learned is that American states fall somewhere in the middle, geographically and administratively.

Here is how the Voter ID page from Elections Canada reads:

To Vote, you must prove your identity and address. You have three options:

Option 1: Show one original piece of identification with your photo, name and address. It must be issued by a government agency. Example:  driver’s license.

Option 2: Show two original pieces of authorized identification. Both pieces must have your name and one must also have your address. Example:  health card and hydro bill.

Option 3: Take an oath and have an elector who knows you vouch for you. This person must have authorized identification and be from the same polling division as you. This person can only vouch for one person. Examples:  a neighbor, your roommate.

Texas: Floor Amendment to Texas SB 100 Preserves May Uniform Election Date in Limited Circumstances | The Austin Chronicle/Texas Municipal League

It’s slow going at City Hall. No City Council meeting, and a Public Health committee meeting on nonprofits has been postponed to next week. It’s worth looking outside City Hall for action – and luckily, action obliged, as a state senate bill looks to throw local elections into chaos.

S.B. 100 from San Antonio Dem Leticia Van de Putte, brings the state in line with federal law requiring federal ballots be delivered to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before the election. It preserves Texas’ current March primary date, while lengthening any primary run-off by the 45 day requirement, to the fourth Tuesday in May.

Colorado: Gov. Hickenlooper signs bill setting Colorado primary earlier to help military personnel vote | Daily Journal

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill Friday that changes some election dates in Colorado so the state complies with a federal law aimed at giving military and others living overseas enough time to vote.

The bill Hickenlooper signed into law makes Colorado’s primary elections and precinct caucuses happen earlier on even-numbered years and requires that mail-in ballots be delivered or mailed to military personnel serving overseas 45 days before an election so they have enough time to vote and have their ballots counted. It’s part of a provision of the Military and Overseas Voter Act that Congress passed in 2009.

Before the new law, Colorado mailed out ballots to military and other voters overseas 30 days before elections.

New Jersey: Norcross bill would return date for presidential primary elections in New Jersey to June |

Legislation to return the date of the February presidential primary election to June was approved Thursday by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

The bill , sponsored by Sen. Donald Norcross, D-Camden, would eliminate the separate presidential primary election held in February and require, instead, that it be held during the regular June primary election, as it was prior to 2005. The move would save approximately $11 million in fiscal year 2012, according to the Office of Legislative Services.

Florida: Miami-Dade Lobbying ban voted down, recount shows |

It’s officially a clean sweep. After a manual recount, Miami-Dade County elections officials determined Thursday that a majority of voters rejected the charter amendment prohibiting former county politicians from returning as paid lobbyists for two years after leaving office.

The result reverses what appeared to be slim voter approval of the measure following the May 24 election. Under state law, a manual recount is held if the yes and no voters are separated by one half of one percent or less.

The final tally was 87,418 voting to approve the measure, 87,602 against.

Delaware: Political leaders seek later presidential primary | The Daily Times

To appease the political national parties, leaders of the Delaware Democratic and Republican parties are seeking to push the state’s 2012 presidential primary back by nearly three months to April 24.

The primary is slated for Feb. 7, but the two major political parties are pressuring states to hold later primaries to keep the focus on the traditionally early states, said John Daniello, chairman of the Delaware Democratic Party.

The Iowa caucuses are set for Feb. 6, followed by the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 14 and the Feb. 18 Nevada caucuses.

Bangladesh: Prime Minister asks: Hartal [Strike] against Bangladesh government or court? | The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday castigated the main opposition BNP for calling a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal on Sunday on the caretaker government issue.

“Has BNP called for the hartal against the government or the court that declared the caretaker government system illegal?” she questioned when a delegation of Nitol-Niloy and IPSSL groups called on her at her office in the afternoon.