Colorado: Enough signatures collected to recall Saguache County Clerk Myers | Valley Courier

The three-member Committee to Recall Melinda Myers announced Tuesday that volunteers have gathered 816 signatures within the time period prescribed by law, 200 more than needed to move forward and set a date for the county clerk’s recall election.

Committee members Steve Carlson, John Baker and Pat Jenkins supervised more than 10 volunteers who fanned out across rural Saguache County for two months to find signers for the petitions.

“All along I was very confident that the estimated numbers we needed were there,” former commissioner’s candidate Steve Carlson said. “It seemed like a huge task to get this accomplished in the time we had, so I’m proud, happy and thankful for all petition gatherers.” Carlson himself was able to collect signatures for a good number of petitions and several other volunteers filled out two petitions or more.

Maine: GOP leaders used same-day voting | The Morning Sentinel

A coalition that is campaigning to preserve same-day voter registration in Maine said Tuesday that many conservative leaders have done just what they support abolishing. Voting records reveal that Gov. Paul LePage, at least two state senators and eight state representatives have in the past registered to vote on election day or during the two business days preceding it. A new law that they all support would ban voter registration within two business days of an election.

The law, passed with Republican support, is now the subject of a people’s veto referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot, led by Protect Maine Votes.

Cited in a press release issued by the coalition Tuesday were Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry; Lance Dutson, chief executive officer of the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center; former Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Cianchette; and former Republican congressional candidate Dean Scontras.

New Jersey: Zirkles win Fairfield election; state can’t confirm investigation |

The county and the courts had already expressed it but the voters of Fairfield Township made it official — again. Democratic County Committee candidates Cindy and Ernie Zirkle were elected Tuesday over competitors Mark and Vivian Henry, according to unofficial online results from the county Board of Elections.

Mail-in ballots had not been recorded by 10:30 p.m. but the Zirkles took 33 percent of the vote over the Henrys’ 17 percent. “We don’t trust the system,” said Cindy Zirkle, so a substantial number of absentee ballots were distributed.

“It’s a shame,” Zirkle began late Tuesday night, that certain opposition parties “refused to accept the Board of Elections’ admission.” That admission being Board Director Lizbeth Hernandez stating she inadvertently mismatched the names on the ballots and the results declared in June were the exact opposite.

Oklahoma: New court order allows all registered voters in special election | Cherokee Phoenix

All registered Cherokee voters will be permitted to cast their vote in a special election for principal chief during five open voting dates as a result of a new federal court ruling. Those dates are Sept. 29, Oct. 1, 4, 6 and 8. Voting must be done on a walk-in basis at the Cherokee Nation Election Commission office in Tahlequah.

During a Sept. 23 telephone hearing requested by both U.S. attorneys and Freedmen attorneys to discuss a complaint filed last week by Freedmen attorneys, a compromise was reached to allow all registered Cherokee voters to vote.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ruled on the complaint made by attorneys for Cherokee Freedmen descendants last week. The complaint alleged the tribes’ election commission did not comply with certain aspects of ruling made by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Sept. 21.

Wisconsin: GOP lawmakers consider changes to recall petition process | JSOnline

Republican lawmakers signaled Tuesday that they will likely give Gov. Scott Walker authority over how recall petitions can be gathered, just as Democrats gear up to recall him next year.

The move would allow Walker to halt a policy developed by nonpartisan election officials that, at least in theory, could make it easier for groups to gather signatures to recall the governor, as well as legislators from either party. “You have given the governor control of the chicken coop, so to say,” Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) told Republicans.

But GOP lawmakers raised concerns that election officials had gone too far with their interpretation of state laws and said the governor and lawmakers should have a chance to weigh in on them. Under the changes Republicans are considering, Walker would also get to decide whether universities can put stickers on their identification cards that would allow them to be used for voting.

Wisconsin: Moves to change recall election misguided | Political Heat

There’s been a strong push as of late, by Republican legislators in the state and news media alike, to restrict the terms under which recall elections can occur. This call has come after an historic nine recall elections occurred this year alone, more than doubling the number of recalls that had previously been seen at the state legislative level.

… To alter the conditions of recalls would also ignore the intent of what recalls were all about. Our state constitution doesn’t limit why recalls can happen — in fact, no recall election at the legislative level has ever occurred on the bases or merits that the proposed constitutional amendment would restrict them under.

Wisconsin: Election Official Violated Law, but won’t be Charged in Supreme Court Vote Tally | WUWM

The state Government Accountability Board has concluded an investigation into the behavior of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus after the April election for state Supreme Court. The board says Nickolaus violated the law by not posting all returns on election night.

However, the board says her violation was not willful, and therefore did not constitute criminal misconduct. Initial results on election night posted by Nickolaus showed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg with a narrow lead over Justice David Prosser.

Two days after the election, Nickolaus announced that she had previously failed to report 14,000 votes. With the additional votes turned in, Prosser pulled into the lead.

Wisconsin: Independent investigator: Waukesha Clerk likely violated election law | 620 WTMJ

An independent investigation for the Government Accountability Board has found probable cause to believe that Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus violated state election law on the night of the Supreme Court Election.  However, the investigator also found that the violation was not willful and therefore does not constitute criminal misconduct.

Nickolaus failed to report results from Brookfield on election night.  The failure led to an initial vote total that showed the race was too close to call.  Nickolaus caught the mistake before reporting final vote totals.

“It was pretty clear to me that there wasn’t fraud,” said, former Dane County Prosecutor Tim Verhoff who conducted the investigation.

National: Argonne researchers ‘hack’ Diebold e-voting system | Computerworld

Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory this week showed how an electronic voting machine model that’s expected to be widely used to tally votes in the 2012 elections can be easily hacked using inexpensive, widely-available electronic components.

Roger Johnston, head of the Vulnerability Assessment Team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s science and engineering reseaech lab, said the hack, which requires about $25 and very little technical expertise, would let cybercriminals “flip” votes gathered on Diebold Accuvote TS machines and change election results without raising any suspicion.

Johnston and his team have long warned about vulnerabilities in e-voting machines. And two years ago, the team demonstrated how a Sequoia touch screen e-voting machine could be similarly manipulated using cheap components. The latest research was first reported by the Salon news site.

Editorials: The Fundamental Right |

The right to vote is sometimes said to be the most fundamental in American democracy. Yet legal challenges to the federal voting rights law are increasing even as they highlight the racial injustices that make it essential. In a ruling last week, Judge John Bates of Federal District Court rightly dismissed such a challenge by Shelby County, Ala., which sought to have a central part of the law declared unconstitutional.

That provision, Section 5, requires states and local governments with histories of racial discrimination to obtain “preclearance” of any changes in local voting rules with the Justice Department or a federal court. Because it was common for jurisdictions to adopt new discriminatory practices after a court struck down old ones, the 1965 Voting Rights Act required the “covered” jurisdictions — six Southern states, and other counties and cities around the country — to show that any proposed rule change would not discriminate against minorities. Congress renewed Section 5 in 2006.

Editorials: Democracy Under Attack | Judith Browne Dianis/Huffington Post

Today, we are witnessing the greatest assault on democracy in over a century.

Through a spate of state laws that restrict the type of identification a voter may use, limit early voting, place strict requirements on voter registration, and deny voting rights to Americans with criminal records, many voters will be cast out of the democratic process before they even make it to the polls. Those who do make it will face additional challenges. To complement legislative efforts to suppress the vote, the Tea Party and its allies have vowed to place millions of challengers at polls in 2012 to dispute voters’ eligibility in ways that may intimidate eligible voters and disrupt polling place operations. This two-prong strategy will impede American voters at every step of the voting process.

Not since the days of poll taxes and literacy tests has our country seen such blatant attempts to suppress the vote. Model legislative proposals crafted and strategically disseminated by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative legislative advocacy group that receives funding from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation prompted some 34 states to introduce repressive photo identification legislation this year. While the bills vary slightly from state to state, they share one common thread. All of them require that voters must show non-expired, photo ID issued by that particular state or the federal government in order to cast a ballot. And all of them do so under the guise of preventing rampant voter fraud.

Canada: Online voting for municipal elections still years away: Ida Chong | Vancouver Sun

The provincial government wants to bring in online voting for municipal elections as early as 2014, but has to change legislation first, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong said Wednesday. Speaking to reporters at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention in Vancouver, Chong said both she and Premier Christy Clark support the concept of voting over the Internet.

“I don’t believe it is impossible. We’re very keen on it,” she said, but cautioned, “It is still two-and-a-half, three years away in terms of changing legislation. I think it is possible.”

Her comments came as UBCM delegates called on the province to enact changes that would allow them to conduct online votes, even though some delegates raised concerns about security and the potential for ballot fraud.

Voting Blogs: In which I help the news media | Paper Vote Canada

1) Delvinia releases a report
“Our latest DIG report examines the Town of Markham’s experience with Internet voting in the 2003, 2006 and 2010 municipal election” Source
This is good.

In 2010, with the support of Ryerson University, Delvinia secured an Engage Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to commission Nicole Goodman, a PhD candidate specializing in Canadian political institutions and alternative voting methods, to provide a scholarly perspective on the data collected following the 2010 election as well as a comparison to the data Delvinia collected in the 2003 and 2006 elections.

It is also excellent to see academic research in this field and a rigorous report.
2) However

The DIG report is available online at The full research report is available for purchase through Delvinia. Please refer to our order form to obtain a copy of the report. Source

So objective fact 1: Delvinia is selling the full report.

Philippines: Comelec opposes Internet ballots for absentee Filipino voters abroad | GMA News

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday opposed proposals to have ballots downloadable over the Internet for Filipinos abroad who will cast their votes as overseas absentee voters.

Comelec Commissioner Armando Velasco said ballot secrecy might be compromised if downloadable ballots are included in amendments proposed for Republic Act 9189 or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003.

“There is a violation of the sanctity of the ballot and questions on security,” he said in a joint hearing by the House committee on suffrage end electoral reforms and the House committee on foreign affairs Monday morning.

Singapore: Singapore: Non-voters’ names to be expunged from register | TODAYonline

Eligible voters who failed to cast their votes in the Presidential Election last month will have their names expunged from the Registers of Electors in accordance with Section 26 of the Presidential Elections Act. Non-voters will lose their eligibility to vote or stand as a candidate at future elections if their names are not restored to the Registers of Electors.

Checking of non-voter names that will be expunged from the Registers of Electors can be done from September 27 onwards via the eServices at, or at the Elections Department and community centres/clubs. The restoration of non-voters’ names to the Registers of Electors will close once the Writ of Election is issued for the next election.

Voting Blogs: Minnite: Propaganda and the Voter ID Campaign | Election Law Blog

Propaganda is playing a crucial role in the fast-moving campaign to enact more onerous voter identification (ID) laws in the states.  In this short blog post I want to show how the discussions of the issue of voter photo ID exhibit some of the salient features of political propaganda to obscure the real rationale for these laws: partisan political advantage.

As an example, consider the puzzling re-emergence of a sordid tale of election shenanigans from some three decades ago.  The scene is a series of Democratic primary races, and the locale is Brooklyn, New York, circa the 1970s and early 1980s.  In a 2008 Heritage Foundation legal memo on the case and countless other reports, op-eds, blog postings, and government testimony advocating for stricter voter ID laws, Hans von Spakovsky, the controversial former Georgia GOP county leader and one-time U.S. Justice Department official, has called this story “the best-documented case of widespread and continuing voter identity or impersonation fraud” in “living memory.”  It stands as a much-cited rebuttal to the critics who reject claims of an epidemic of voter fraud as unsupported by evidence.

National: Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control |

It could be one of the most disturbing e-voting machine hacks to date.

Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education, according to computer science and security experts at the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The experts say the newly developed hack could change voting results while leaving absolutely no trace of the manipulation behind.

“We believe these man-in-the-middle attacks are potentially possible on a wide variety of electronic voting machines,” said Roger Johnston, leader of the assessment team “We think we can do similar things on pretty much every electronic voting machine.”

Saudi Arabia: More countries laud voting rights for Saudi women | Saudi Gazette

Several countries and international organizations have commended King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for granting voting rights to Saudi women. They include the European Union, France, Germany and the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. The United States, Britain and Bahrain had already lauded the granting of voting rights to Saudi women describing the move as an important milestone in the history of the Kingdom.

In his address to the Shoura Council Sunday, King Abdullah gave Saudi women the right to vote and run in municipal elections as well as the right to be appointed as full members of the Shoura Council.

Catherine Ashton, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said the decision is an important step forward. In a press statement Monday, Michael Mann, a spokesman for Ashton, stressed the importance of all countries in the world supporting women’s participation in parliamentary life.

Arizona: Vote Centers: Is less more? | KYMA News 11

In the up coming Presidential election, voting may be a little different in Yuma County. The number of polling sites needed is much smaller because early voting is the popular way to go. So, Yuma County wants to simplify by consolidating from 42 polling locations to about 10 to 15 locations.

Yuma County Recorder Robyn Stallworth Pouquette, said every election it’s the same story, “We receive hundreds and hundreds of calls every election from frustrated voters that have gone to the wrong place.”

So Yuma County plans to do something about it. Pouquette said new legislation allows them to have Vote Centers, locations open to all registered voters. Yuma would be the first county in Arizona to adopt the Vote Center.

Arizona: Recall bid vs. Pearce a fraud, 2nd claim says |

Chaos erupted Friday in the recall election of Senate President Russell Pearce. A Legislative District 18 voter filed a lawsuit alleging that Olivia Cortes is a sham candidate running with the intention of pulling votes away from candidate Jerry Lewis to help Pearce. The Secretary of State’s Office declined to investigate the same complaint another district voter filed.

Cortes, who has for weeks evaded questions about her candidacy and political positions, on Friday sent out an e-mail announcing a campaign website and seeking voter support. Chandler attorney Tom Ryan filed the lawsuit on behalf of Mary Lou Boettcher. Ryan also represented Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that collected signatures to get the recall on the ballot. Boettcher, a Republican, was involved in that group.

The lawsuit alleges that Cortes is a “well-known supporter” of Pearce and “has no campaign committee, no volunteers for her campaign and her campaign is being financed and operated entirely by those who wish to dilute the vote in favor of recalled Senator Russell Pearce.” It states that Cortes is a fraudulent and diversionary candidate, in violation of state law.

Voting Blogs: Arizona Needs to Change its Recall Election Laws to Stop Gaming of the System | Election Law Blog

Controversy remains over the Russell Pearce recall election in Arizona.  The claim is that the embattled Senate leader’s campaign has recruited a sham candidate with an Hispanic surname—Olivia Cortes—to run in a way to help Pearce stay in office.  To understand how a sham candidate can help, consider this description of the election:

Pearce didn’t choose the option of resigning from office to avoid facing a recall election, so his name automatically goes on the ballot. He can submit a statement that also would appear on the ballot. He and any other candidates appear on the ballot without a listing of partisan affiliation. Any challenger or challengers must submit petition signatures from at least 621 voters registered in the legislative district. There is no primary, and the candidate winning the most votes wins. Charter-school executive Jerry Lewis has said he’s been encouraged to run and that he’ll make an announcement soon. The election is canceled if there’s no opponent on the ballot to face Pearce.

Indiana: Decisions – Bad news for those who still answer their landlines and cells | Indiana Law Blog

Federal Judge William T. Lawrence has issued a permanent injunction this afternoon against the enforcement of Indiana’s Automated Dialing Machine Statute (“IADMS”), Ind. Code 24-5-14 with regard tointerstate calls made to express political messages.

The case is Patriotic Veterans v. State of Indiana, ex rel. Greg Zoeller. From the opinion:

Plaintiff Patriotic Veterans, Inc., is an Illinois non-profit corporation that exists for the purpose of informing voters of the positions taken by candidates and office holders on issues of interest to veterans. In furtherance of its mission, the Plaintiff wishes to place automated interstate telephone calls to Indiana residents to communicate political messages relating to particular candidates or issues.

Voting Blogs: Irresistible Force Meets ImMOVEable Object: DOJ vs. New York on Military and Overseas Voting | Doug Chapin/PEEA

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked a federal judge to order New York State to change the date of its 2012 primary election. The government argues that current September date gives military and overseas voters too little time to return their ballots and thus fails to comply with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act enacted by Congress in 2009.

DOJ and New York are well-acquainted with the courtroom and one another; DOJ sued in 2006 for failure to implement the Help America Vote Act and the state has been operating under a consent decree virtually ever since. Indeed, it is fair to say that no state has been as reliably consistent in the last decade as the Empire State in the implementation of new federal election laws.

North Dakota: Smaller Counties Mean Larger Election Costs | Election Data Dispatches

In North Dakota, research indicates that elections cost significantly more per voter in smaller counties than larger ones.

Less populous counties spent up to $22 per voter to run elections in 2010, while several larger counties spent approximately $3 per voter, according to calculations by the Secretary of State’s office. This parallels a 2001 Voting Technology Project report, which found that one of the least populous counties in North Dakota spent more than $14 per voter, while the largest spent less than $2 per voter in the 2000 election.

Ohio: Obama campaign helps get signatures for bid to block state early-voting limit |

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is helping activists in the battleground state of Ohio challenge an election law that would shorten the time for early voting, which helped Obama in his first run for the White House.

Opponents must gather roughly 231,000 valid signatures before the law’s effective date Friday in order to block it from being in place until after the presidential election next year. That election would be the earliest chance voters would have to weigh in on whether the overhaul should be tossed out. Democrats, including the president’s campaign, are trying to protect a method of voting they see as a boon for their party.

Oklahoma: Judge says Cherokees violate voting rights, extends election | Reuters

A federal judge ruled that the Cherokees violated the voting rights of African-American members of the nation’s second-largest Indian tribe, and he ordered an extension to the voting for chief. Five extra voting days were added by Washington-based District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr for all tribe members, not just the group known as the “freedmen,” who are the African-American descendants of Cherokee-held slaves during the pre-Civil War era.

The ruling followed a Cherokee tribal decision to revoke the membership rights of the African-Americans, saying they were not Cherokee by blood. The freedmen say they were granted tribal membership by a 19th century treaty with the government, and filed suit against the Cherokees in federal court.

Allowing both black and Indian Cherokees to take advantage of the extended voting days is designed to “start the healing process,” said Jon Velie, a freedmen attorney. “We want this racial schism to end,” he told Reuters.

Oklahoma: Carter Center statement on Cherokee Nation special election | Tahlequah Daily Press

The Carter Center Tuesday issued a lengthy statement about the recent Cherokee Nation special election, as well as recommendations to the tribe’s election commission moving forward. The entire statement can be found here.

The Carter Center congratulates the election commission, candidates, and voters of the Cherokee Nation on a successful election day. Sept. 24 was the only day for voters to cast ballots at 38 precincts in the Nation, but there will be additional opportunities for citizens to cast a ballot at the election commission and for Freedmen to vote by absentee ballot to determine who will be the next principal chief.

… … Overall, Carter Center observation teams commended the competent administration of the election by the election commission and precinct polling staff.  The disciplined conduct of this election was notable given the shifting legal parameters and the additional administrative burden placed on the election commission in the days before the election by the federal court order.

Wisconsin: No action on voter ID in state legislature | The Oshkosh Northwestern

Republican leaders are considering a move that could make it easier for Gov. Scott Walker to fight off a potential recall election in January.

The Legislature’s rules committee ended its meeting Tuesday without voting on two new Government Accountability Board (GAB) policies dealing with changes in technology and vagaries in the state’s new photo voter ID law. But the committee’s co-chairwoman said she heard enough testimony to warrant further investigation and possible action in the near future.

Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, said nothing she heard during the three-hour meeting allayed her fears about the new policies by the state’s election watchdog agency. Republican leaders say the rules endanger “clean, fair elections across the board in Wisconsin.”

Wisconsin: Student ID stickers to vote under voter ID law criticized | The Daily Cardinal

The Fitzgerald brothers requested Monday that a legislative committee review the legality of a statewide policy that allows universities and colleges to put stickers on student identification cards for students to vote under Wisconsin’s new voter ID law.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board decided earlier this month to allow stickers on student IDs with the information now required to vote—an issuance date, a student signature and an expiration date—under the Republican-backed law.

This move came after critics of the law argued it would marginalize student voters originally from outside the state, because no Wisconsin college currently has IDs with the necessary details and the process to change IDs would be costly.