Mississippi: Secretary of State Looks To Fix Election Problems | WAPT Jackson

Election officials said Tyrone Lewis avoided a runoff against Sheriff Malcolm McMillin by a slim margin. Lewis received 50.79 percent of the vote to McMillin’s 45.15 percent. Lewis will become Hinds County’s new sheriff, defeating the long-time incumbent in the primary. There are no Republicans running in the general election.

It wasn’t until late Sunday evening that Hinds County election officials released the final numbers from last week’s election. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said the Democratic and Republican parties run the primary elections, but he wants to fix some other polling problems before the November general election.

South Carolina: Voter ID battle: Getting Married Can Make it Difficult to Vote in South Carolina | The Post and Courier

Multiple marriages have played havoc with Massachusetts transplant Andrea Tangredi’s hopes of getting a South Carolina driver’s license. During a Monday rally for foes of the new S.C. voter ID law, Andrea Tangredi tells of her experience at the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles when she tried to get her driver’s license changed from Massachusetts to South Carolina. Tangredi still is trying to get her new South Carolina driver’s license along with her voter-registration card.

By her count, Tangredi has spent at least 17 hours online and in person since July trying to get a license here, only to face hurdle after hurdle tied to her several name changes. On Monday she asked aloud that if it is this hard to get a South Carolina driver’s license, how much more difficult is it to get documentation for a voter ID?

“I’m educated,” she said during a forum sponsored by opponents of the state’s new voter ID law. “I don’t know how someone who isn’t would want to ever start this process.”

New Jersey: Vote devices in New Jersey counties re-evaluated | Courier-Post

In the middle of a vast warehouse of Gloucester County voting machines last Wednesday, Gary Plummer replaced chips and resealed some of the 520 voting devices. Plummer’s Medford-based Election Support & Services Inc. has been contracted by several New Jersey counties — including Burlington and Camden — to help them comply with a controversial Superior Court order.

In February 2010, Judge Linda Feinberg ruled New Jersey’s11,000 voting machines be disconnected from the Internet and re-evaluated by a panel of experts, and that anyone who works with or on voting machines be subject to a criminal background check.

Feinberg’s order is being appealed by Rutgers University’s Constitutional Litigation Clinic and the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, neither of which believes the court order goes far enough.

Mississippi: Still no vote tally in Adams County Mississippi | The Natchez Democrat

The election commission and political parties are making their lists and checking them twice before releasing the final vote totals from last week’s election. Election Commission Chairman Larry Gardner said absentee ballots for District 5 were completely counted by approximately 3 p.m. Monday, and reports had begun to be printed. Districts 1-4 had been counted by Saturday morning.

“(We print) reports for every precinct, for every party,” he said. “I don’t know how long the sheet of paper will end up being — probably several hundred feet.”

Wisconsin: Absentee balloting big in Wisconsin recall election | TMJ4

Early voters are already casting ballots. Some cities are seeing big turnouts in the Senate showdown between Republican Alberta Darling and Democrat Sandy Pasch. “We were shocked at the turnout,” said Whitefish Bay Clerk Jennifer Amerell.

That’s because the absentee ballots are piling up in Whitefish Bay. Hundreds of voters have already made up their minds and wanted to vote early. “We actually had to call in two poll workers to come in and help because it was so busy,” said Amerell. Friday was the last day to vote absentee in person in the 8th State Senate district .

California: Will mail ballots be a victim of budget? | PressDemocrat.com

In 1979, a year after voters adopted Proposition 13 and tightly limited property taxes, they decreed in another ballot measure that the state should reimburse schools and local governments for state-mandated costs they incur.

That seemingly straightforward decree, however, has evolved into a chronically convoluted wrangle over what is, and what is not, a reimbursable cost and how much money should flow from Sacramento into local coffers.

Thousands of school districts, cities, counties and special districts, the governor’s Department of Finance, legislative committees, lawyers, a special state bureaucracy called the Commission on State Mandates — and sometimes the courts — are enmeshed in a process that can be likened to a laboratory rat on a treadmill, running ever-faster but going nowhere.

Voting Blogs: What to expect when you’re expecting recalls: A guide to state legislative recalls | The Recall Elections Blog

While the political arguments surrounding tomorrow’s Wisconsin recall elections are well covered elsewhere, I’d like to draw attention to the many issues and history surrounding the use of the recall – both in Wisconsin and the rest of the nation. Due to the unprecedented circumstances in Wisconsin, we shouldn’t expect the usual recall phenomena like…

Arizona: Ruling in Russell Pearce recall hearing expected this week | The Arizona Republic

Russell Pearce wasn’t in court Monday, but the two-fisted lawmaker’s political career may now hang on what happened there. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hugh E. Hegyi will rule this week on a legal challenge filed on Pearce’s behalf, seeking to nullify petitions demanding that the Senate president face a Nov. 8 recall election.

The judge listened as lawyers argued for about two hours on recall-election petitions that county and state election officials determined had enough valid signatures to force the November vote. Arguments ranged from what happened in Arizona’s 1910 constitutional convention to whether homeless people should have a say in ousting Pearce.

Maine: Mainers likely to have say in Election Day voter registration | Bangor Daily News

A broad coalition of advocacy groups and volunteers has gathered more than 68,000 signatures in an effort to allow Maine voters to affirm or overturn a recently passed law that bans Election Day voter registration. Those signatures, well above the 57,277 needed to ensure a people’s veto, were delivered to the Secretary of State’s Office on Monday afternoon, one day before the deadline and exactly one month after the effort began.

As long as enough of the gathered signatures are certified by the Secretary of State, Mainers will get to weigh in this November on the following question: “Do you want to reject the section of Chapter 399 of the Public Laws of 2011 that requires new voters to register to vote at least two business days prior to an election?”

California: Suspected Ballot Thief Refuses To Take Mental Competency Test | KTVU

A man accused of stealing ballots from a San Francisco polling station will remain in jail indefinitely after refusing to talk to doctors who were appointed to determine his mental competency, a judge ruled Monday. Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, could likely have been out of jail more than a month ago, but a series of bizarre court appearances have kept him in custody beyond the sentence he had agreed to as part of a plea deal.

Nicholas is accused of taking about 75 ballots, a voter roster, and a memory box and access key to a ballot-counting machine on Knott Court in the city’s Crocker Amazon neighborhood where he was working as a voting station inspector on Nov. 2, 2010. Nicholas was arrested the next day, and the ballots were later found in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts. He has been in custody ever since. The memory box and access key have yet to be found.

Pakistan: Quest of Indiscriminate Justice | PakTribune

It is alarming to read the recent development in Pakistan where The Election Commission (ECP) & the Govt of Pakistan is considering imposition of new tighter regime on overseas Pakistanis whereby their right to vote, stand election, take public office and or governmental and judicial position may be curtailed forever.

The background of anxiety is the July media reports talking about a ban announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan on the 4th of July 2011 on Overseas Pakistanis to be in the voter lists, hence disqualified to participate in any electioneering process.

Malaysia: Biometric voting: ‘No way Election Commission is ready’ | Free Malaysia Today

The Election Commission (EC) is unlikely to be ready to introduce the biometric voter system if the general election is held in November this year.
This is the view of Port Dickson assemblyman M Ravi. Speaking to FMT, he said: “I can say the biometric system won’t come into effect if Parliament dissolved in November.

“Yesterday, it was reported that EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the EC will explain biometric system to all parties concerned before implementing it. The EC expects to do this by year-end. “But I believe by the time the EC completes the explanation, the 13th general election will be over.”

Bulgaria: 84 Parties Bid in Bulgaria’s 2011 Local Elections, 10 in Presidential Vote | Novinite.com

A total of 84 political formations have submitted registration papers for Bulgaria’s 2011 local elections scheduled to take place on October 23, 2011, together with the presidential vote. The deadline for applications for registrations with Bulgaria’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) expired Monday at 5 pm.

Ralitsa Negentsova, spokesperson of the CEC, reminded that a total of 88 parties and coalitions registered for the local elections in 2007. While Bulgaria has 6 major parties that are represented in Parliament, and a couple that failed to make it to it, the local elections traditionally feature a wide array of marginal and local parties.

The Voting News Daily: Hinds County Election Results Could Be Headed To Court, Let the MOVE Act have a chance to work before considering electronic return of ballots

Mississippi: Hinds County Election Results Could Be Headed To Court | WAPT Jackson The contentious Hinds County election could be certified by the Democratic party as official this Tuesday. But, the fight will not end there. This appears to be headed to a courtroom. Campaign workers from several camps were keeping close watch over the ballot…

Mississippi: Hinds County Election Results Could Be Headed To Court | WAPT Jackson

The contentious Hinds County election could be certified by the Democratic party as official this Tuesday. But, the fight will not end there. This appears to be headed to a courtroom. Campaign workers from several camps were keeping close watch over the ballot review process Saturday in the basement of the Hinds County Courthouse.

The most bitter debate is between Tyrone Lewis who currently leads incumbent Malcolm McMillin for county sheriff. McMillin’s camp said the election is wrought with too many questions at polling places throughout the city. The sheriff’s son isn’t the only one saying the election appears to be headed for a challenge.

Mississippi: Lewis likely new Hinds sheriff | The Clarion-Ledger

Tyrone Lewis is expected to be certified this week as the winner in the Hinds County sheriff’s race, but questions remain about the election’s validity, and many suspect the results will be challenged.

The county’s Democratic Executive Committee completed its review of ballots Saturday, and it appears incumbent Sheriff Malcolm McMillin did not get enough votes to push the race into a runoff.

But with questions over voting machine numbers, found ballots and other alleged inconsistencies, McMillin’s team isn’t ready to give up the fight.

“Nobody here knows what the numbers are,” McMillin’s son, Andrew McMillin, said Saturday at the Hinds County Courthouse. “Nobody in here knows what the outcome of this election is today.”

Florida: Debate Rages Over Florida’s Election Law Review | wmfe

Florida’s new election law is stirring up more controversy, as state officials defend their decision to take the most contentious parts of the law to a federal court instead of to the U.S. Justice Department. The law is already in effect in most of Florida, but it needs federal approval before it’s implemented statewide. The Florida Department of State says a court review will remove the possibility of “outside influence,” but opponents say there may be other motives at work.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires any changes in Florida’s election laws to get “pre-clearance” from the federal government. That’s because parts of the state have a history of suppressing minority voting.

Kentucky: Grimes, Johnson Spar Over Homeless Voters | WFPL News

Speaking at this year’s Fancy Farm picnic, the candidates for secretary of state continued their debate about registering homeless people to vote in Kentucky.
Declaring that people without an address should not be allowed to vote, Republican nominee Bill Johnson said allowing them to register opens the door to possible voter fraud.

Last month, he filed an ethics complaint over a 2-page memorandum sent to county clerks by the secretary of state’s office telling local officials to approve voter applications that have “homeless” or “place to place” listed as an address.

Editorials: Bill Gardner: The Ballot Steward | The Boston Globe

IN 2003, a University of New Hampshire poll asked respondents if they thought their vote was counted accurately. Compared to other states, New Hampshire polled exceptionally high. Elections are complex; there is no simple formula for capturing integrity in balloting rules. But if the recipe for the Granite State’s success were boiled down to two words, they would be “Bill Gardner.”

For someone who has held elected office for 35 years, New Hampshire’s Secretary of State is remarkably uninterested in publicity. A Democrat, he was first elected in 1976 when the state House handed him a surprise victory over an old-guard Republican. Every two years since, however, legislatures led by both Republicans and Democrats have found at least one thing they agree on: Gardner’s unparalleled stewardship of the office.

So when Gardner voiced concerns about a voter identification law moving through the New Hampshire legislature, both sides of the aisle took note. Governor Lynch vetoed the bill, but with 27 states now requiring voters to show ID at the polls, this is an issue whose time has come. On its face, voter ID adds a level of integrity to the system. If ID is required to board a plane or cash a check, why not to verify one’s status on election day?

New Hampshire: Voter ID veto gets priority in Legislature | NashuaTelegraph.com

House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, has yet to decide when the House of Representatives will take up the right-to-work veto of Gov. John Lynch. That’s looking more and more like it will happen later this fall, if not just before the 2012 session begins in January.

But O’Brien does want one veto override to come up much quicker than that: Lynch’s bid to strike down legislation requiring voters to show an ID at the polls. Senate President Peter Bragdon accommodated that Friday, setting Sept. 7 as the date the Senate will take up six vetoes, including the voter ID bill.

South Carolina: Municipalities may stop running elections | GoUpstate.com

Spartanburg County municipalities are considering a move to give their election operations to the county. Last year, the state Legislature amended the law to require all election commissioners and staffers in every municipality to become certified through the State Election Commission.

Certification requires completion of seven courses costing $20 each per person. Municipalities also would have to pay for the trips to Columbia to take most of the courses. In addition to cost considerations, completing the certification courses and an annual continuing education course also require a tremendous time commitment, said Henry Laye, director of the Spartanburg County Office of Registrations and Elections.

Voting Blogs: Dirty Tricks in Wisconsin: Deceptive Absentee Ballot Mailers Appear to be Coordinated Hoaxes | The Brad Blog

No doubt by now you’ve heard of the deceptive absentee ballot applications mailed to Democrats in Wisconsin by David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, WI, as reported earlier this week by David Catanese at Politico.

As seen below, the mailer instructed recipients to return the application to the “Absentee Ballot Processing Center” by August 11th, even though the recall elections for 6 Republicans is next Tuesday, August 9th…

Editorials: Their View: Proving the unprovable: Voter fraud in New Mexico | Las Cruces Sun-News

One of the most thoroughly documented histories of voter fraud was recently presented by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican. Over a span of 13 years (1997 – 2010), there were 221 instances of alleged voter fraud reported in Kansas. Of these, 30 individuals were prosecuted and seven were convicted. One was convicted of electioneering (advocating someone’s election too near a polling place) while the other six were convicted of double voting. Comparing the conviction number with the number of eligible voters in Kansas, we arrive at a “fraud index” of ~ 0.00033 percent. Keep in mind that this is over a span of 13 years so the yearly index would be ~ 0.000025 percent. As one can readily see, this number is vanishingly small. The data used for his report was provided to the public by Kobach’s office.

In response to this small-time epidemic, Kobach and the Republican-controlled legislature, passed a very restrictive voter-ID measure which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. Incidentally, Kobach also drafted Arizona’s SB 1070 immigrant identification law.

While the Kansas fraud index is quite small, it mirrors data from other states. According to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, the accumulated rate of voter fraud in the states with documented cases is minuscule, with overall rates of 0.0003 percent in Missouri, 0.0002 percent in New Jersey and 0.000009 percent in New York.

Oklahoma: Cherokee Councilors boycott special meeting | Native Times

Failing to make quorum, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council did not take action on potential amendments to the tribe’s election code at a special meeting Friday afternoon.

Twenty minutes before the meeting’s scheduled 3 p.m. start time, principal chief candidate and Tribal Council member Bill John Baker, along with councilors Tina Glory-Jordan of Hulbert, Okla., Chuck Hoskin Jr., of Vinita, Okla., Jodie Fishinghawk from Stilwell, Okla., and Curtis Snell from Rose, Okla., issued a statement through Baker’s campaign that they would not be attending the special council. The five called the meeting illegal due to the presence of proposed election law amendments on the agenda that had not been vetted by the council’s rules committee.

“The Tribal Council rules are crystal clear that an issue cannot be addressed by the council unless it has first been considered and passed out of a council committee, “ Baker said in the statement.

California: Mental status of San Francisco’s ballot thief to be determined | San Francisco Examiner

Doctors are set to cast their votes today on whether a former San Francisco poll worker who stole dozens of ballots on Election Day is crazy. On the eve of his possible release from jail last month, 51-year-old Karl Bradfield Nicholas was thrown back into a cell after giving the judge the silent treatment.

The Gandhi-esque snub was the latest in a string of bizarre behavior that caused Superior Court Judge Anne Bouliane to order a psychiatric evaluation.

Canada: Tabulated voting machines for British Columbia election | Coast Reporter

As the November municipal election comes closer, the Town of Gibsons has finalized its voting procedure, although the process has turned out to be different than originally thought.

… Mayor Barry Janyk has been opposed to Town staff tasked with running this year’s election, citing the mishap in ballot counting in the 2008 vote, resulting in a changed election result as well as a court challenge. At previous meetings, Janyk said he “does not want to see the last election mistakes happen again.”

United Kingdom: Logica tests Scottish e-voting technology | ZDNet UK

Along with technology supplier Logica it held a dummy run to count 160,000 ballot papers in Perth on Friday. This was the latest stage in testing the system, which uses off-the-shelf software from Opt2Vote.

Aileen Campbell, the Scottish government minister for local government planning, said: “Compared to a manual count which would take at least two to three days, e-counting will be much faster and more transparent. This test is a crucial milestone in the project to make e-counting a reality in 2012.”

Logica is providing the programme management, training services, printing services and more than 40 project and count centre managers for the election under a contract awarded in October 2010.

Verified Voting Blog: Let the MOVE Act have a chance to work before considering electronic return of ballots

Military and overseas voters saw improvements in their ability to vote in 2010, thanks to the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) passed in late 2009, according to a report to Congress last month by the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA). The report indicates that MOVE will improve things further as its provisions become better known and implemented.

The MOVE Act required states to send ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before election-day in federal elections so they have time to return their voted ballot. MPSA must pick up ballots for return to election offices no later than 7 days before election day. MOVE also sped up the process by requiring states to offer electronic transmission (website, email, fax) of blank ballots and registration materials. The law stopped short of establishing electronic return of voted ballots because ballots cannot be secured against undetected interception and manipulation over the internet. New procedures were implemented for 2010, coordinating MPSA with USPS, including the use of Express Military Mail Service (EMMS) for uniformed overseas service members and their families.

The Voting News Weekly: TVN Weekly August 1-7 2011

Tuesday’s primary election in Mississippi was plagued with voting machine malfunctions – candidates’ or entire contests missing from screens and machines that failed to boot up – highlighting national concern about the accuracy and reliability of electronic voting heading into next year’s Presidential election. The 46th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act was marked by an editorial in Politico and efforts by the Secretary of State of Florida to avoid Department of Justice pre-clearance of the most controversial sections of that state’s new election law. Several groups have also asked the DoJ to review South Carolina’s voter ID law. Wisconsin is reconsidering its plans to close 16 DMV offices just as new voter ID requirements go into affect. Meanwhile many voters in the state are receiving absentee ballot applications and other campaign material with incorrect filing deadlines and election dates. A Portland Press Herald editorial recommends that Maine voters reinstate same-day registration and massive cyber attacks against the IOC, UN and several governments underscored concerns about plans for the transmittal of voted ballots over the Internet.