South Carolina: Audit of 2010 South Carolina Elections Shows Widespread Problems | Free Times

The State Election Commission is auditing voting data from the 2010 statewide elections, and as it does, critics of the state’s iVotronic touch screen voting machines say the government audit is proving there are problems with the system — problems the agency doesn’t dispute.

“They’re admitting that there’s holes in the data,” says Frank Heindel of Mount Pleasant, who runs the watchdog website SCvotinginfo. He adds that the elections agency also admits that there are counties where auditors haven’t been able to obtain proper election data. Emails and comments from agency officials back that up.

“We never received complete data from Charleston … No data is available for Lancaster and Orangeburg,” wrote Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire in one email to Heindel about the ongoing audit. The reason no information was available for Orangeburg was because a computer with the audit data on it there crashed, Whitmire said.

Voting Blogs: Elections Canada and Social Media – How Tweet it Is | Edmonton Journal

If you still have any vague memories of this spring’s federal election campaign, you may be recall that Elections Canada attempted to enforce a ban on the “tweeting” and “Facebooking” of any regional election results before the polls had closed in British Columbia. It also banned mainstream media outlets from reporting such results on their commercial websites.

It was an antediluvian notion, which completely failed to grasp the way that social media and the Web have changed the way Canadians report upon and discuss the news. It was, in fact, a noxious attempt to censor political speech in the name of regional equity – as though western Canadians had a constitutional right or duty to be kept in ignorance of what was happening in the rest of their country.

It wasn’t wholly Elections Canada’s fault, of course. It was the Harper government which failed to amend the offending, and offensive legislation, despite the fact that Stephen Harper himself had railed against it back when he ran the National Citizens’ Coalition.

Voting Blogs: Still Clueless About Touch-Screens in South Carolina | The Brad Blog

Yesterday, The Post & Courier of Charleston, South Carolina reported that a local “Council of Governments [COG] approved a resolution…asking for the state to audit how its voting machines are working.” The “machines” are the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems.

The Post & Courier not only mentions the fact that state election officials insist that the “iVotronic machines reliably tally votes,” but buys into the canard that “increased skepticism” is based upon [emphasis added] “human errors made during last year’s elections.” It adds that the COG resolution expressed “a concern [that the] voting machines…do not incorporate a ‘paper trail’ that could facilitate unequivocal confirmation of election results.”

If there is any state in the nation that should realize that casting a vote on the ES&S iVotronic amounts to an exercise in blind-faith, with or without a so-called “Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail” (VVPAT), it would be South Carolina.

North Carolina: Raleigh man arrested in voter fraud sweep would not have been prevented from voting twice if photo ID was required | NewsObserver

Another person has been arrested in the Wake County voter fraud sweep – an 89-year-old Raleigh man who said he tried to alert elections officials to a fault in their system. Leland Duane Lewis said he had voted only one side of the ballot at an early-voting station at Optimist Park in West Raleigh on Oct. 29. When he later realized what he had done, he went to his regular precinct on Election Day and requested another ballot, which poll workers gave him.

Lewis said he filled out the other side of the ballot and on the way out told poll workers what he had done, assuming they would report it. Lewis said he called the county elections office several times in weeks that followed and left messages to report it himself, but never heard back until Gary Sims, the deputy director of the Board of Elections, called him to say officials had discovered he had voted twice. “I voted with two ballots, but only once, really,” Lewis said. “Half and half is one.”

Colorado: Colorado congressman wants ballots printed only in English | The Denver Post

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman announced plans Wednesday to introduce legislation that would repeal a section of the 1973 Voting Rights Act that requires jurisdictions with large populations of nonproficient English speakers to print ballots in more than one language.

Coffman, R-Colo., asserts that Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act is an unnecessary and unfunded federal mandate that can be a financial hardship for some jurisdictions because of the increased cost of translating and printing election materials and mailing larger ballots.

Iowa: Butter Cow, Obama, “Parry” & “Paylin” all got Straw Poll votes | Radio Iowa

The State Fair’s most iconic figure and even President Obama were among the write-in votes at this past weekend’s Iowa Republican Party Straw Poll in Ames.

“There were votes for the Butter Cow. It happens in every election, just random votes that didn’t equate with a person,” says Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a Republican who oversaw the Straw Poll balloting. ”Most of them were fictitious characters.”

Schultz and his fellow counters used existing state rules for primaries and the General Election to sift through the votes cast in Saturday’s Straw Poll. That means anyone who spelled Texas Governor Rick Perry’s name with an A instead of an E had their vote counted as a vote for Perry.

Indiana: New ballot has no place for one-person race | Journal and Courier

Voters who turn out this fall for municipal elections in Lafayette and West Lafayette will find some notable names missing from the ballot. Among them: Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and City Clerk Cindy Murray, and West Lafayette Clerk-Treasurer Judy Rhodes.

They’re not dropping out of the races. Those candidates simply don’t have any opposition, so thanks to a new Indiana law, their names and offices will be removed from the ballot. They’re not too happy about it. And neither are local election officials, who are already making plans to deal with voters they expect will be confused by the blank spaces where names have traditionally been on ballots. The new state law says “an election may not be held for a municipal office if there is only one nominee for the office.”

Afghanistan: Some lawmakers to lose seats after IEC election review | AlertNet/Reuters

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Thursday said it will remove some, but not all of the 62 parliamentarians whose victories were thrown out by a special court set up by a decree from President Hamid Karzai.

The special poll court’s June ruling rejected results for 62 lawmaker seats, or about a quarter of the 249-member assembly elected in a fraud-riddled poll in September of 2010, raising the prospect of a standoff between Karzai and the parliament. The tribunal carried out recounts and dismissed the 62 on grounds of alleged voting irregularities. The IEC, which ran the foreign-funded election, at first opposed the tribunal’s decision, but last month said it would review it.

India: Goans increasingly vying for Portuguese nationality | Financial Express

The number of Goans opting for the Portuguese nationality has risen steadily over the last three years, according to the Election Commission statistics.
As per the records available with the state office of the Election Commission of India, as many as 1855 Goans have become Portuguese nationals in the last three years and more are catching up.

According to the statistics, the trend is fast becoming a rage as 312 people chose to be Portuguese nationals in year 2008 followed by 432 in 2009 and 807 in 2010.

Singapore: Singaporeans will vote for Tan, but which one? |

Singapore’s presidential candidates may all share the same name — the common Chinese surname of Tan — but with four candidates now officially in the race, this presidential election is the most contested in Singapore’s history.
Singapore is a nation that’s been ruled by one party since its independence in 1965. But the recent general election showed a growing interest by Singaporeans in politics and some point to a growing willingness of Singaporeans to speak out.

According to presidential candidate Tan Jee Say, “People are more open now in expressing their views against the government. In the past they were a bit apprehensive about being open. But now I think the election showed they are prepared to share their anger” he said, over the government’s economic policies. He said the Internet, and movements in other countries like the “Arab spring” has had an effect on Singaporeans too.

Philippines: Two panels to probe 2004, 2007 poll fraud in the Philippines | ABS-CBN

Not one but two panels from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Commission on Elections (Comelec) will work in tandem to investigate alleged massive cheating in the 2004 presidential and 2007 senatorial elections.

In a 5-page joint order dated August 15, 2011 signed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, the DOJ and the Comelec created a joint Preliminary Investigation Committee and a joint Fact-finding Team.

The Voting News Daily: Department of Justice says South Carolina Voter ID law can’t be enforced this year, Court made the right call on Saguache ballot battle

South Carolina: Department of Justice says Voter ID law can’t be enforced this year | A recently-passed state law requiring voters to present photo IDs could be delayed. Passed in May, the new law directly affects 178,000 registered voters in South Carolina who are without, or with expired, state-issued photo identification cards. The problem with…

South Carolina: Department of Justice says South Carolina Voter ID law can’t be enforced this year |

A recently-passed state law requiring voters to present photo IDs could be delayed. Passed in May, the new law directly affects 178,000 registered voters in South Carolina who are without, or with expired, state-issued photo identification cards.

The problem with the new law is the length of time it could take that high number of residents to receive new IDs.  As a result, it can’t be enforced in elections this year, the U.S. Dept. of Justice said on Tuesday. Robert Cook, deputy attorney general with DOJ, declared “such short time period is beyond the voter’s control.”

Editorials: Court made the right call on Saguache ballot battle | The Denver Post

A recent court ruling that paves the way for a public examination of the ballots in a controversial Saguache County election is the right legal call and appropriate public policy.

At the heart of the matter is a messy election in which the Saguache county clerk, in charge of tallying votes in the November contest, was losing her own race on election night but then prevailed the next day after she retabulated the votes. The outcome of another race changed as well.

The dramatic turn of events drew attention, as you might imagine, and accusations of “stolen” elections. Inquiries ultimately found that procedural problems did not affect the outcome of the election. Nevertheless, acrimony remained. This was the backdrop for a proposal earlier this year by Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, who planned to hold a public review of the ballots in an effort to rebuild confidence in the system.

Voting Blogs: Wisconsin Recalls Come to a Close…For Now | The Brad Blog

The final round of state Senate recalls in Wisconsin, brought on in response to anti-union legislation by Gov. Scott Walker and state Republicans, have completed today. AP is reporting tonight that the two Democrats up for recall in the state’s 12th and 22nd have each retained their seats. TPM has thenumbers by district here.

By way of reminder, in Wisconsin most votes are cast by hand-marked paper ballot though tallied secretly by optical-scanners made by Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S. The state does not examine any optically-scanned ballots to assure the machines have tallied accurately after they’ve already been scanned, other than in the even of a recount if permission is granted by the courts to hand-count ballots. I’m told, but haven’t been able to confirm today, that some of the municipalities in the two districts where elections were held today, may have been hand-counting ballots, though centrally, after they’ve been transported, rather than at the precincts.

South Carolina: State Attorney General says voter ID can be delayed | AP

The estimated 178,000 South Carolina voters who don’t have state-issued photo identification will be able to cast ballots in upcoming local elections despite a new ID law, according to an attorney general’s opinion released Tuesday.

Since the U.S. Justice Department has not approved the law yet, the opinion agreed with state Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino that there isn’t enough time to educate voters about the new law before the next round of municipal elections around the state set for late August and early September.

“Such short time period is beyond the voter’s control,” deputy attorney general Robert Cook wrote in his opinion. The law, passed in May and signed by Gov. Nikki Haley, requires a driver’s license or one of several other forms of photo ID to vote.

Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation voters prepare for principal chief election |

Cherokee Nation citizens will head to the polls in a little over a month to determine who will lead the tribe for the next four years. Following the June 25 general election, the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation ruled the election for principal chief invalid, due to the inability to determine the results between former Principal Chief Chad Smith and challenger Bill John Baker, a two-term tribal councilor. A new election for principal chief has been called for Saturday, Sept. 24.

Acting Principal Chief Joe Crittenden, who will resume his duties as deputy chief once the Sept. 24 election concludes, wants all citizens to participate in the process.

Voting Blogs: Children and Dead People Are NOT Voting in Utah | Utah Data Points

In a blog post Monday, my colleague Adam Brown analyzed the publicly available Utah voter file with the catchy headline, “Are children and dead people voting in Utah?”  Later in the day he posted a follow up with this headline: “Which counties have more registration errors?” Voting by dead people and children is not a problem in Utah.  These so-called “registration errors” are better termed anomalies.

The blog posts, the brief summary on the Tribune’s Political Cornflakes blog, and the hype on KSL radio missed a lot of nuance. For example, KSL had a story during its 8-9 am drive-time show on Tuesday morning that reported on the posts.  They introduced the story with this (at 31:09 in this mp3 file): “Our top local story this hour. This is something like you’d expect from Chicago.  Dead people staying on the voter registration rolls.”  Later on in the hour (at 46:33 in the mp3 file), KSL introduced Adam for a brief interview with this: “Well, there are either a whole bunch of long-living residents in Utah or some dead people are registered to vote…So, is this like Chicago?” Adam’s actual interview wasn’t quite as dramatic, but he referred to “incomplete record keeping,” his surprise at finding “several thousand people born in the 1800s registered to vote,” and how “carelessness” creates “opportunities for abuse.”

Voting Blogs: The Seattle Times Says “Voting by Mail Doesn’t Increase Turnout” in King County. Is That True? Does It Matter? | PEEA

The Seattle Times recently covered the release of a report examining the impact of King County’s 2006 switch to voting by mail. The Times’ takeaway? Vote by mail doesn’t increase turnout, even though that was supposedly a goal when the County Council supported the switch 5 years ago.

Read just a little further, though, and the answer isn’t as clear as the headline and lede would suggest. Comparing off-year elections in 2005 and 2009, the report found that turnout was about the same – just over 56 percent.

Editorials: A Solution to Recidivism: Let Ex-Offenders Vote | The Crime Report

According to a recent report by The Florida Parole Commission, “the overall three-year recidivism rate based on all released inmates” was 33..1, while the recidivism rate for released prisoners who were given their civil rights back and were allowed to vote stood at 11 percent.

These findings were not generated by a progressive organization such as The Sentencing Project, the ACLU, or the NAACP, but by a state governmental body utilizing exacting scientific methodologies. The inescapable conclusion has to be that allowing formerly incarcerated persons to more fully participate in society will result in a reduction of crime and recidivism.

Malaysia: Electoral reform panel gets mixed reactions | BorneoPost

While some quarters have hailed the setting up of the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform announced Monday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, others are awaiting for more details on the panel.

The MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Transparency International Malaysia are among the organisations which have welcomed the proposed panel. Opposition political party PAS wants to know about the composition of the panel and its terms of reference while a DAP MP has demanded government sincerity in the matter. Najib had made the announcement when addressing a ‘buka puasa’ (breaking-of-the-fast) gathering with the media hosted by Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, at Wisma Bernama here Monday night.

Kyrgyzstan: Dozens line up to run for Kyrgyz presidency | Daily Times Pakistan

Election officials in Kyrgyzstan must whittle down a field of more than 80 presidential hopefuls before a contest that analysts say could expose divisions between the north and south of the volatile Central Asian state. The Central Election Commission said on Tuesday that 83 people, including 67 independent candidates, had applied to run in the Oct 30 presidential election, the culmination of constitutional reforms introduced after last year’s revolution.

After nearly two decades of authoritarian rule that ended with the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April 2010, Kyrgyzstan is attempting to entrench the first parliamentary democracy in a region otherwise run by presidential strongmen. The new model of government makes parliament the main decision-making body and gives the prime minister more power than the president in the impoverished nation of 5.4 million, which hosts both Russian and US military air bases.

Armenia: Election Official Vows Transparency in Upcoming Polls | Asbarez Armenian News

Armenia’s next parliamentary and presidential elections will be “unprecedented” in terms of their transparency, Garegin Azarian, the chairman of the Central Election Commission, said on Tuesday. Azarian said the integrity of the electoral process in the country will improve markedly already during the parliamentary race scheduled for next spring.

“The openness of these elections will be unprecedented compared with previous elections,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service in an interview. Azarian based his stated optimism on fresh amendments to the Electoral Code that were enacted by the Armenian authorities in May. He singled out a new provision that requires the CEC to publicize every hour data on voter turnout from all of Armenia’s 2,000 or so polling stations.

Zambia: Team to monitor printing of ballot papers arrive in South Africa |

Members of the team constituted to monitor the printing of ballot papers for the 20 September general elections have started arriving in South Africa.

Electoral commission of Zambia (ECZ) public relations manager Cris Akufuna has told QFM in a telephone interview from South Africa that members of the team started arriving in Durban on Sunday and by press time others were expected to arrive yesterday.

Australia: Electoral Commission won’t register Bob Katter’s Australia Party | Courier Mail

The Australian Electoral Commission has refused to register Queensland Independent MP Bob Katter’s political party. In a major blow to Mr Katter’s dream of creating a new force in Australian politics, the commission ruled the Australia Party name could create confusion with other parties.

“The Australian Electoral Commission accepts the view that the proposed abbreviation is likely to be mistaken with or confused for an already registered name or abbreviation,” it said. The commission made the ruling following a complaint from a Mr David Doe.

Angola: Electoral Commission independence reaffirmed | Angola Press

The minister of Territory Administration, Bornito de Sousa, said Tuesday in Luanda that the National Electoral Commission (CNE), as designed in the draft resolution approved by the National Assembly (Angolan Parliament), has an “absolutely immaculate independence”.

“It is an independent commission, not only from the Executive, but also from the president of the Republic, from the parties themselves and from the judicial power,” said the politician. Bornito de Sousa was reacting to utterances by some opposition MPs, about the polemic article 107 of the Constitution which states that the elections shall be organised by independent organs.

Nepal: Election Commission to make its five year strategy effective | The Himalayan Times

A three-day central annual review workshop organised by the Election Commission (EC) concluded here Tuesday, laying emphasis on the effective implementation of the tasks envisaged by its five year strategy.

The workshop was held to review the works the EC carried out towards voters’ enrollment with photo during the year and formulate future strategy. The workshop was attended by the Acting Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioners, EC Secretary and district election officers of 75 districts.

The Voting News Daily: South Carolina local governments wants an audit of state’s ES&S iVotronics, Indiana Secretary of State White’s trial on voter fraud delayed again

South Carolina: Local Governments wants an audit of State’s ES&S iVotronics | The Post and Courier The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments approved a resolution Monday asking for the state to audit how its voting machines are working. The proper functioning of South Carolina’s machines has drawn increased skepticism following human errors made during last year’s elections.…

South Carolina: Local Governments wants an audit of State’s ES&S iVotronics | The Post and Courier

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments approved a resolution Monday asking for the state to audit how its voting machines are working. The proper functioning of South Carolina’s machines has drawn increased skepticism following human errors made during last year’s elections.

The council’s resolution noted, “a concern frequently expressed about voting machines is they do not incorporate a ‘paper trail’ that could facilitate unequivocal confirmation of election results.”

The action Monday did not come as a surprise. Council members, who represent most local governments in the tri-county area, agreed in April to draft such a resolution.