California: Before Bush v Gore there was the Diamond Bar Recount | Diamond Bar, CA Patch

The early years of Diamond Bar cityhood were contentious as those favoring strict limitation of development clashed with those favoring granting city council with more flexibility in planning land use. In 1992 and again in 1993, the City Council revised and adopted two General Plans presented by citizen advisory committees. Both rescinded by referendum, Diamond Bar’s early distinction included holding the state record for being incorporated without an accepted General Plan.

“The City of Diamond Bar is almost 6 years old now…That doesn’t mean the City Council has to Act that way” was the headline on a Diamond Bar Caucus 1995 campaign flyer endorsing Bob Huff and Carol Herrera. With conflicting visions of how the city should mature, the 1995 election cycle brought out 11 candidates vying for two city council seats, including one held by Phyllis Papen, who would not be re-elected.

Planning Commissioner Bob Huff surpassed the other candidates at the polls. The vote spread for the second seat between Carol Herrera and Don Schad was close, fluctuated, and involved litigation that did not end until May of the following year. Herrera remembers on election night, she was down by six votes. The absentee ballots added in, she was ahead by 12.  Schad requested a recount.  Herrera could have chosen a hand recount, but she was concerned with the additional cost and believed the recount by machine would provide equitable results.

Colorado: Clerks prepared to fight effort to make voted ballots available to public | The Denver Post

Colorado’s county clerks say voted ballots should remain private even if there is no way to associate a ballot with the individual who cast it, and they will fight any effort by the public to inspect them — even if it means going to court or asking legislators for help.

The clerks’ position follows the unprecedented citizen review of ballots in Saguache County orchestrated by Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s office. Gessler and many open-government advocates believe that making ballots available for public review is a way to maintain voter confidence; voters literally can see for themselves that a race or races were counted accurately.

The clerks believe the opposite is true. The disagreement is doing more than adding tension to an already strained relationship between Gessler and the clerks.

Editorials: Colorado’s besieged clerks | Vincent Carroll/The Denver Post

Wherever you go in Colorado, the most public-be-damned civil servant is likely to be the county clerk.

I’ve reached this conclusion with regret, since my experience with clerks over many years, without fail, has been pleasant and fruitful. But the clerks this year have dug themselves into a stance that endangers the integrity of elections. Moreover, to protect their monopoly on access to voted ballots — a monopoly to which they clearly have no right under the Colorado Open Records Act — they are trying to scare the public with lurid tales of how voter anonymity is at risk.

Back in March, you may recall, the clerks association denounced a bid by Secretary of State Scott Gessler to conduct an official, public recount of a contested election in Saguache County, claiming his “proposal sets a dangerous precedent.” The clerks’ real fear, however, was not that Gessler might look over their shoulder but that he would let the public do so, too. And he did — once a district judge ruled in August that “voted ballots are election records” under the open records law, permitting the recount to proceed.

Connecticut: Bridgeport absentee ballots becoming focus of election complaints | Connecticut Post

More than 1,000 absentee ballot forms have been requested for the Democratic mayoral primary between Mary Jane Foster and Mayor Bill Finch and some have become the focus of elections complaints. The Mary Jane Foster for Mayor campaign has unleashed a pack of charges against the supporters of Mayor Bill Finch, charging that there is fraud and other illegal activities regarding absentee ballots.

Jason Bartlett, Foster’s campaign manager, said that Councilwoman Lydia N. Martinez, D-137, illegally assisted several elderly residents of Harborview Towers in filling out their absentee ballots. Martinez could not be reached for comment.

Oklahoma: Cherokees hold election; results won’t be known until next month | Tulsa World

The Cherokee Nation on Saturday held a second election for principal tribal chief, but voters will not know who the winner is until next month. With the ballots not being counted until Oct. 8, official voter turnout figures were not available Saturday. However, outside some polling places, volunteers from both campaigns kept a running total of voters.

“We’ve counted about 400 so far,” said Tribal Council member Jodie Fishinghawk at noon Saturday, who stumped for Tribal Councilor Bill John Baker outside the Wilma P. Mankiller clinic in Stilwell. “That’s about on pace with what we saw here in the June election.”

About 15,000 people voted in the June election, including almost 900 at Stilwell. In accordance with a federal district court order, the Cherokee Nation Election Commission will not count any ballots in the race between former principal chief Chad Smith and Baker until Oct. 8.

South Carolina: Spartanburg County SC Council rejects paying for presidential primaries |

Spartanburg County voters’ ability to vote in next year’s Republican presidential primary is in question. The county will not stage presidential primaries next year unless the county’s costs to run the contests are fully covered or the county is forced by the state to pay certain expenses, County Council Chairman Jeff Horton said Friday morning.

Horton’s pledge came after County Council, a body of six Republicans and one Democrat, voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against the state Election Commission if needed to keep the county from bearing any of the costs of a presidential primary.

Council members — along with the county’s top election official, the county election commission and voter registration board — believe counties should be reimbursed for all costs associated with a presidential primary. Horton has repeatedly called presidential primaries a “beauty pageant” because their results do not carry the weight of an actual election.

Wisconsin: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comes out in favor of recall revision bill | JSOnline

Setting a higher threshold for recall elections in Wisconsin is a good idea. And while the devil will be in the details, and this has to be done right, a proposal from Reps. Robin Vos, Gary Tauchen and Paul Farrow at least offers a starting point.

Wisconsin was host to a record number of recall elections this summer, all stemming from the controversy surrounding Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair and budget bills earlier this year. Six Republicans and three Democrats were the subjects of recalls – the Republicans generally because they had favored Walker’s proposals, the Democrats generally because they had left the state to delay action on the proposals.

The recalls were unwarranted. A vote or stance on one issue is not sufficient in our view to justify the expense of a recall election. And they were expensive: The elections cost the state and local governments $2.1 million; the opposing sides in those campaigns spent a record $44 million, with Democrats and their allies outspending Republicans by just under $3 million, or about 14%.

Argentina: Soria leads by wide margin in Río Negro gubernatorial elections |

With only a 22.16 percent of the votes tallied, the preliminary recount in the Río Negro gubernatorial elections showed that Victory Front candidate Carlos Soria was beating his opponent César Barbeito by a wide margin, suggesting that he will become the province’s next governor.

With only a 22.16 percent of the votes recounted, Soria had obtained a 54.68 percent of the votes, while his main opponent had only obtained a 32.40 percent. Earlier, polls in the Río Negro province closed with no major incidents reported as the population cast their ballots in order to pick their next governor. The main contenders in the race are César Barbeito, a “Kirchnerite-Radical,” and FPV Carlos Soria.

Bahrain: Protesters and Police Clash During Election |

As the government of Bahrain held parliamentary elections Saturday, hundreds of protesters clashed with security forces while trying to make their way to Pearl Square, the site in the capital where the kingdom’s pro-democracy movement got started early this year and was heavily suppressed. In the village of Sanabis, where the protest began, the police used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets against hundreds, perhaps thousands, of protesters, witnesses and human-rights advocates said.

The protest was a main part of the Shiite majority’s response to the election in the Sunni-ruled monarchy, which was boycotted by the mostly Shiite opposition. The aim of the protest was to march to Pearl Square, in Manama, where the government destroyed a 300-foot sculpture topped by a giant pearl in March after forcibly removing the protesters’ tent city.

“Security forces closed all access to Pearl Square today,” Mohammed al-Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, said by telephone. “The square is now like an army base. Thousands of protesters turned out in Sanabis and got attacked badly by the security forces.”

Pakistan: Kashmiris will retain dual vote right: AJK official |

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has agreed in principle with the AJK authorities to retain the right of dual vote for Kashmiris settled in the four provinces and Islamabad. “Yes, they have approved retention while accepting our arguments for the dual votes of AJK people who are living in Pakistan,” confirmed AJK election commission Secretary Muhammad Younas.

Talking to The News on Sunday, he said the ECP with its chief election commissioner (CEC) would give a formal nod to reject the pending proposals and continue the recognition of AJK people in exercising their right to vote. The CEC, Justice (Retd) Hamid Ali Mirza, and ECP members, full commission, would meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to dispose of the applications. They would discuss different aspects i.e. legalities, input from AJK authorities and Right of Citizenship Act. “The ECP secretary conveyed me the willingness of the ECP that the Kashmiris’ right of dual vote, one in AJK and second in Pakistan, would be maintained in accordance with previous arrangements,” Younas said. To a question, he described it an achievement under which the Kashmiris’ right of two votes would not be snatched.

Pakistan: Election Commission of Pakistan excludes 37.1 million suspected votes from electoral rolls | South Asian News Agency

Election Commission of Pakistan excluded 37.1 million suspected voters from the electoral rolls and the new electoral roll is composed of more than 87.2 million voters. The Secretary ECP Ishtiak Ahmad Khan issued details from headquarter of Election Commission of Pakistan on Saturday.

Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said the ECP handed over its database of Electoral Rolls-2007 to NADRA on 11th February 2011 for verification of voters against their database. NADRA reported back on 05/03/2011 that out of 81 Million voters registered in Final Electoral Rolls 2007, 44 Million voters were verified against CNIC database whereas approximately 37 Million voters were not verified which was made public by the ECP through a press release dated 8th March 2011.

After deletion of these 37 million unverified voters from the Draft Electoral Rolls, 2011, NADRA added 36 million who had obtained CNIC after preparation of Electoral Rolls-2007. NADRA can provide evidence from its database with regard to 37 Million unverified voters as well as 36 Million voters who have been added into the Draft Electoral Rolls, 2011.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi women to be given voting rights | ABC News

Saudi King Abdullah has announced women will be given the right to vote and run in municipal elections, the only public polls in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom. He also announced women would have the right to join the all-appointed Shura (consultative) Council, in an address opening a new term of the council.

“Starting with the next term, women will have the right to run in municipal elections and to choose candidates, according to Islamic principles,” he said.

This means that women will be able to take part in the elections that will be held in four years, as the next vote is due to take place on Thursday, and nominations for those polls are already in.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi society to change forever | Arab News

Chairman of the Municipal Election Commission Abdul Rahman Al-Dahmash said the participation of women in the next election as voters and candidates would strengthen the Kingdom’s electoral experience. He hoped the spirit of the National Day would encourage all Saudis to participate actively in the Sept. 29 elections.

Jedaie Al-Qahtani, spokesman of the commission, described the king’s announcement as historic. “It allows women to participate in municipal elections on an equal footing with men,” he pointed out. He said the decision came in line with the king’s desire to involve all members of the society in nation-building efforts.

Speaking about the coming elections, Al-Qahtani urged all voters to show their IDs or other identification documents when entering polling booths. Voters will be presented a list of candidates and each one is allowed to vote once. If they mark more than one candidate the vote will be invalid.

UAE: UAE holds second-ever advisory body elections, women elected | Philippine Star

About 130,000 voters of the United Arab Emirates elected Saturday half of the 40-member Federal National Council (FNC), the second such election in the Emirates’ 40-year history. Around 450 candidates, including more than 80 women, ran for the 20 seats in the FNC, which mainly acts as an advisory body. The other half will be appointed by the Federal Supreme Council, the country’s highest governing body.

One woman, Sheikha Isa Ghanem Al Ari from the Emirate of Umm Al Qaiwain, was elected to the FNC, said the state news agency WAM.

An encouraging number of voters from an electoral population of about 130,000 turned out to vote at 13 polling centers across the Emirates. The number of voters increased significantly compared with that of about 6,700 voters in 2006, when the first-ever election was held since the FNC was formed in 1972, a year after the federation’s independence.

The Voting News Weekly: TVN Weekly September 19-25 2011

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Princeton computer scientist Andrew Appel details concluded his series of posts on New Jersey’s voting equipment with a discussion ballot programming errors and discrepancies between the printed ballot and the electronic ballot definition files in a primary election earlier this year. Pennsylvania Republicans proposed legislation that would change the way the state’s electoral votes are awarded. A shift to all vote-by-mail has created a controversy about whether ballots should be mailed to “inactive” voters. A Federal District Court upheld the Voting Rights Act in a case brought by Shelby County Alabama. An agreement allowed thousands of descendants of slaves once owned by the Cherokee Nation to vote in this week’s re-election for principal chief. A taxpayer-funded review by the Secretary of State found that none of students accused of voter fraud by Maine GOP chairman Charlie Webster had voted twice or broken any laws. In an election marred by violence, Zambia elected Michael Tata president and OSCE observers applauded the administration of Latvia’s election.

The Voting News Daily: Officials warn of fraudulent voter registration website, 17,687 Pueblo County CO ballots in limbo

National: Officials warn of fraudulent voter registration website | The News Star A fraudulent registration website,, offers a false voter registration form which claims to register citizens to vote in any state. Secretary of State Tom Schedler and the staff of the Elections Compliance Unit are warning citizens who want to register to vote…

National: Officials warn of fraudulent voter registration website | The News Star

A fraudulent registration website,, offers a false voter registration form which claims to register citizens to vote in any state.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler and the staff of the Elections Compliance Unit are warning citizens who want to register to vote to do so by visiting

The Louisiana voter registration form provided on the website is not the approved Louisiana registration form and requests information from the citizen that the official form does not such as height, weight and employment information. The official online registration system at is secure and protects the personal information for all citizens who register to vote.

Colorado: 17,687 Pueblo County CO ballots in limbo | The Pueblo Chieftain

Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz intends to send out 17,687 mail ballots to inactive local voters if given the go-ahead by the state courts, he said Thursday. Secretary of State Scott Gessler filed suit this week against Denver County over its plan to send ballots this year to roughly 38,000 inactive voters. Pueblo County is the only other county in the state where local officials have indicated they also intend to send ballots to inactive voters.

Gessler told Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson this week that state law no longer permits ballots to be sent to inactive voters — meaning those voters who failed to vote in the last general election and have not responded to prompts by local county clerks to confirm their registration.

The crux of the issue is a state law that “sunset” this year, which formerly required clerks to send ballots to active and inactive voters alike. Johnson and Ortiz both took the position this year that the requirement is still in effect.

Ohio: Cuyahoga County Elections Board starts vote-by-mail campaign |

The Cuyahoga County Elections Board kicked off an absentee voting campaign Thursday by asking more than 400 local organizations to place an application link on their websites. The vote-by-mail campaign is in response to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s directive Aug. 22 forbidding county boards of elections from mailing unsolicited ballot applications. This is a way to broaden the outlets through which voters can access applications.

County election officials said in a news release that they expect to reach thousands of voters by having organizations post application links. Voters who don’t have computer access can call the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at 216-443-3298 to request a ballot application. Applications are also available at libraries and online.

Jane Platten, executive director of the county Board of Elections, said staff members sent the web link to every mayor, city council member and library in the county, hoping they will post an icon on their home pages. The board is also targeting major employers, such as MetroHealth Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic.

Ohio: Democrats in ‘Make-or-Break’ Fight Over Early Voting | ABC News

As President Obama visits Ohio, his army of campaign volunteers there is engaged in a “make-or-break” fight to roll back Republican-imposed voting restrictions they say will limit critical support for the president ahead of Election Day 2012.

A new law, signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich in July, would shorten by two weeks the window for early voting by mail and in-person, eliminate early voting the three days before the election, and cease automatic mailing of absentee ballots to all registered voters in the state’s largest counties, among other measures.

Democrats and Obama relied heavily on the extended early voting period to turn out support in 2008 and 2010. They are now fighting to save the system with a statewide petition campaign, driven largely by Obama’s grassroots volunteers.

Oklahoma: Challenge to Oklahoma voter-ID law advances | Tulsa World

A legal challenge to Oklahoma’s new voter-identification law survived a venue hurdle Thursday. A lawsuit filed in June in Tulsa County against the state Election Board asserts that the impact of that law, approved by state voters in November, creates “serious interference” with the unrestricted right to vote for voters who “do not have appropriate identifying credentials or who are unwilling to accept any level of this statewide infringement on the right to vote.”

On behalf of the Election Board, the state Attorney General’s Office has maintained that Tulsa County was an improper venue to file suit against the Election Board.

Editorials: Pennsylvania Voter ID bill costly, not needed | York Daily Record

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill known as the “Voter Identification Bill” to change the current Election Code. Before it actually becomes law, this bill must be approved by the state Senate, then signed by the governor.

Legislators must consider that this bill could potentially interfere with the voting rights of minorities, students, poor and the elderly. This Voter ID Bill is not a solution to any problem. It does not protect against, nor prevent, any actual cases of fraud. Fraud surrounding voting includes: voter harassment or intimidation, throwing out proper votes, giving out false information about when or how to vote, stuffing ballot boxes, and tampering with election forms.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was enacted by the federal government in 2002 to make elections run smoother and to prevent cases of fraud by election officials and campaign workers. The voter does not normally commit fraud. The problems identified with elections are already resolved by Pennsylvania’s current Election Code and by HAVA. Enforce those laws and protect the constitutional rights of registered voters.

Texas: Justice Department: Texas Congressional Map Discriminates Against Hispanics | Roll Call

The Justice Department today accused Texas officials of enacting a new Congressional map that purposefully dilutes minority voting power.

“Based on our preliminary investigation, it appears that the proposed plan may have a prohibited purpose in that it was adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to Congress,” the Justice Department wrote in its brief.

Texas: Justice Department seeks more details on Texas’ voter ID law |

Texas’ new voter identification law remains in limbo as the U.S. Department of Justice asked on Friday for more details on how the state will implement the stricter voting requirements.

“The information sent is insufficient to enable us to determine that the proposed changes have neither the purpose nor will have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group,” wrote T. Christian Herren Jr. , chief of the Justice Department’s voting section.

Under the federal Voting Rights Act, Texas and some other states with a history of past discrimination are required to get federal government approval, called pre-clearance, before changes to election law can go into effect.

West Virginia: Absentee ballot confusion persists | Lincoln Journal

With the 2011 special gubernatorial special election approaching, employees of The Lincoln Journal were somewhat surprised recently when a mailing was received from a group called West Virginia Advocates. The mailing from the organization, based in Charleston and claiming to represent people with disabilities, included, among other things, a duplicated absentee ballot application.

Since absentee ballots and, specifically, absentee ballot applications had become the focal point of a 2010 election controversy in Lincoln County, newspaper reporters were intrigued that the application was reproduced in the mailing. In addition, in sections detailing the process used to cast absentee ballots, the mailing purported to answer questions voters might have about using the applications. The major outcome of last year’s Lincoln County case was a decision by the special circuit judge in the matter that all portions of absentee ballot applications must be completed by the voter who casts an absentee ballot.

Bahrain: Tensions Rise Ahead of Bahrain Elections | VoA News

Tensions are mounting in Bahrain ahead of planned parliamentary elections next week, with opposition supporters vowing to hold a mass demonstration in the capital, Manama. Next Saturday’s poll will fill 18 seats abandoned by the main opposition al-Wefaq party, who quit in February over the government’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Mattar Mattar, one of the legislators who resigned, says the decision to replace all of the opposition parliamentarians is proof that the nation’s leaders are neglecting the grievances of the people. “They are trying to ignore us, but this plan will not succeed. They are going on the wrong track. Without opening a real dialogue and without going for real political reform it’s difficult to reach stability here,” he said.

Editorials: The case against internet voting in Canada | Troy Media

Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer recently mused about experimenting with internet voting in a by-election, which many believe would result in a higher voter turnout (especially by those in remote locations, or with disabilities).

Besides ameliorating voter turnout, which has sagged badly in recent elections, it is believed that internet voting might reduce costs and provide quicker reporting of results.

But is e-voting a good idea? I’m not so sure. Meaningful observation of the voting process would be difficult. If the system has no paper trail, there’s no external evidence it has operated correctly.

New Jersey: What happens when the printed ballot face doesn’t match the electronic ballot definition? | Freedom to Tinker

The Sequoia AVC Advantage is an old-technology direct-recording electronic voting machine. It doesn’t have a video display; the candidate names are printed on a large sheet of paper, and voters indicate their choices by pressing buttons that are underneath the paper. A “ballot definition” file in an electronic cartridge associates candidate names with the button positions.

Clearly, it had better be the case that the candidate names on the printed paper match the candidate names in the ballot-definition file in the cartridge! Otherwise, voters will press the button for (e.g.,) Cynthia Zirkle, but the computer will record a vote for Vivian Henry,as happened in a recent election in New Jersey.

How do we know that this is what happened? As I reported to the Court in Zirkle v. Henry, the AVC Advantage prints the names of candidates, and how many votes each received, on a Results Report printout on a roll of cash-register tape.

The Voting News Daily: What happens when the printed ballot face doesn’t match the electronic ballot definition?, Protecting the voting rights of senior citizens

New Jersey: What happens when the printed ballot face doesn’t match the electronic ballot definition? | Freedom to Tinker The Sequoia AVC Advantage is an old-technology direct-recording electronic voting machine. It doesn’t have a video display; the candidate names are printed on a large sheet of paper, and voters indicate their choices by pressing buttons…

Pennsylvania: Winner Wouldn’t Take All as Pennsylvania Republicans Eye Electoral Votes | Bloomberg

Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to eliminate the winner-take-all system for electoral votes, a move that might boost their presidential candidate’s chances in a state that picked the Democrat in the past five races.

With the backing of Republican Governor Tom Corbett, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi has proposed a plan, similar to ones under consideration in four other states, that would apportion 18 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes according to victory in congressional districts.

This would assure the Republican of some votes because of boundaries drawn to preserve party dominance, said Chris Borick, a political-science professor and director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown. The move comes as Republicans across the country are fighting to tighten voting rules.