The Voting News Daily: NIST: Internet voting not yet feasible, Americans Elect Shows Voters May Be Ready For A Third Party Candidate, But Not A Third Party

National: NIST: Internet voting not yet feasible | FierceGovernmentIT Internet voting is not yet feasible, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology have concluded. “Malware on voters’ personal computers poses a serious threat that could compromise the secrecy or integrity of voters’ ballots,” said Belinda Collins, senior advisor for voting standards within NIST’s information…

National: NIST: Internet voting not yet feasible | FierceGovernmentIT

Internet voting is not yet feasible, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology have concluded. “Malware on voters’ personal computers poses a serious threat that could compromise the secrecy or integrity of voters’ ballots,” said Belinda Collins, senior advisor for voting standards within NIST’s information technology laboratory, in an May 18 statement. “And, the United States currently lacks an infrastructure for secure electronic voter authentication,” she added. Collins released the statement in response to an inquiry from Common Cause, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit active in campaign finance and election reform.

Voting Blogs: Americans Elect Shows Voters May Be Ready For A Third Party Candidate, But Not A Third Party | TPM

“None of the above” will now be the only real option for voters frustrated with the tired choice between two parties now that Americans Elect, the well-funded nonpartisan organization that sought to nominate a legitimate third-party candidate for president in 2012, has folded. (Only Nevada has an actual “none of the above” option on the ballot.) It seems that the inability to create a movement in this vein was less about the sentiment — polls show Americans are aren’t fans of either party specifically or the political process generally — but it was lacking a key ingredient: leadership. “You can’t fill a political vacuum with a concept,” Lee Miringoff, assistant professor of political science and director the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, told TPM. “The context is there, and the climate is right, but you need someone you can look at, a person, a candidate. Politics has become much more about personal qualities of individuals.”

National: Stephen Colbert spawns army of crazy super PACs | CNN

In late March, Stephen Colbert expanded his super PAC experiment, admonishing his late-night viewers to start organizations of their own on college campuses across America. They listened, and now the Federal Election Commission’s roster of approved super PACs is filled with groups registered to addresses in college towns. Danny Ben-David, a freshman at MIT, was one of the first to get in on the craze, after winning approval for his Why Not ZoidPAC? in March. “I was just sitting in my dorm room one night and said ‘oh hell, why not?’ It was almost frustratingly easy,” Ben-David said.

National: Ricketts’ Lesson In The Cost Of Politics | Buzzfield

The revelation last week that Joe Ricketts, the founder of TDAmeritrade, was considering spending $10 million on slashing personal attacks against President Barack Obama seemed the latest evidence of the flood of new money entering politics. Within hours of the New York Times’s scoop of a proposed ad, however, the lesson that emerged was a very different one: How dangerous and embarrassing it can be for corporate figures to play in partisan politics. Ricketts found himself frantically distancing himself from a proposal from adman Fred Davis while he scrambled to insulate his business interests — the brokerage he founded, a hyperlocal New York news group he owns, the Chicago Cubs — from potential fallout from livid liberal customers. It was the highest-profile of a handful of recent squalls revealing some of the natural, political limits to direct corporate influence in electoral politics. “I shall have no further comment on this or any other election year political issue,” a chastened Ricketts said in a statement Thursday.

National: Secret Political Donors Find Ways To Stay Anonymous | NPR

The latest deadline for the presidential candidates and the major superPACs to disclose their finances was Sunday night. The public and the media can find out who has been giving to the candidates, and how that money was spent. But there’s a lot of political spending that isn’t being reported. Outside money groups are spending millions of dollars, and the donors remain anonymous. Two recent court rulings could force those groups to file public disclosures, but there already seems to be a way around that. Unlike superPACs, these big-spending groups don’t disclose their donors. They operate mostly as tax-exempt advocacy organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. It’s a status that lets them hide the sources of their money.

Alaska: Anchorage Election Recount Results Show Confusion at Polls |

An Election Recount Board has released the results of a hand recount of the votes cast in 15 precincts during the Anchorage Municipal Election. The Board spent the past couple of weeks checking paper ballots against voting machine results and voter registries. The 12-person Election Recount Board met at City Hall Monday morning to sign off on their report. They found that most precincts were only off by one or two ballots. But Precinct 840 had 205 signatures more than ballots. Municipal Attorney Dennis Wheeler was on hand to explain. “The voters apparently signed the voter register but also signed the question register and had their ballots placed in question envelopes. And we think we have them all accounted for with the exception of eight.  It may be, we have some evidence of this, but it may be that those eight persons could not wait in line any longer. And, although they had signed the register, they left without actually casting a ballot, which is why you have more people who have signed than ballots cast,” Wheeler said.

California: Voter registration deadline looms; official worries of confusion with new primary system | Times-Standard

With television advertisements and lawn signs around every turn, campaign season is in full gear, but time is running out to register to cast a vote in the June election. Prospective voters have until the close of business Monday to drop off their registration forms at the Humboldt County Elections Office or get them postmarked if they wish to participate in the June primary election. The June 5 ballot will feature a number of local races — including those for 1st, 2nd and 3rd District supervisor — and candidates vying to represent the area in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the California State Assembly. The election will also be a historic one. It’s the first time the state will roll out its new “Top Two” primary system, which will see voters choose from a single list of candidates — regardless of political affiliations — for state and national offices other than that of president. The new system will then see the top two vote getters move on to a runoff in the general election in November. The new system does not apply to local races, in which candidates can still win outright and avoid a runoff election by winning 50 percent plus one vote in June.

Editorials: Not this fix: Hickenlooper should not sign Colorado ballot bill | Boulder Daily Camera

A little-known measure — we first editorialized against it in January — sailed through the legislative process in this statehouse session with little fanfare and less debate. It was designed, with the best intentions, to clear up a significant problem with Colorado’s ballots. The Colorado Constitution states: “All elections by the people shall be by ballot, and in case paper ballots are required to be used, no ballots shall be marked in any way whereby the ballot can be identified as the ballot of the person casting it.” The problem is that because of overlapping municipal districts — a fire district here, a local business improvement district there, a town board election and schools — it is conceivable that some ballots could be traced back to specific voters. Not likely, but certainly possible, and that flies in the face of the state constitution.

Florida: Election chiefs stung by state moves | Palm Beach Post

With August primaries and November elections looming, state and local elections officials last week appeared to be trying to repair their strained relationship. Recent actions by Florida’s secretary of state and his Division of Elections staff have left county elections supervisors smarting. Last month, Secretary of State Ken Detzner released, then backed away from, the results of a self-survey that graded the 67 supervisors based on items ranging from how quickly they submitted January presidential primary results to how fast they turned in the survey questionnaires. A few weeks later, Detzner’s office released a list of 2,600 names it wanted scrubbed from the voting rolls, contending the voters in question were not citizens. But supervisors have found the list included the names of some U.S.-born voters and naturalized citizens.

Voting Blogs: Florida Should Avoid Misdeeds of the Past | Brennan Center for Justice

Florida does not have a good track record with voter purges. In 2000, Florida’s efforts to purge persons with criminal convictions from the rolls led to, by conservative estimates, close to 12,000 eligible voters being removed because the state’s process was so imprecise that an eligible voter named John Michaels could be confused with an ineligible person named John Michaelson. In 2004, Florida’s purge had a blatant racial disparity. Now, in 2012, Florida’s Secretary of State recently announced new efforts to purge Florida’s voter rolls. The initiative purports to be targeting non-citizens and deceased persons for removal from the voter rolls, but because Florida’s past efforts purged eligible voters from the rolls, careful scrutiny is warranted to ensure eligible Americans will not be blocked from voting. Clean voter rolls are very important. We all benefit when states undertake responsible list maintenance procedures. Because the fundamental right to vote is at stake when voter list cleansing efforts are undertaken, the process must be transparent, accurate, and under reasonable time frames, especially when the list maintenance effort is of the scale Florida is proposing.

Montana: Attorney General urges U.S. Supreme Court to keep corporate spending ban | Missoulian

Attorney General Steve Bullock has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Montana’s century-old ban on corporate spending in political races and reject an attempt to dismantle it. In a brief filed Friday for the state, Bullock and two associates asked the court to deny the attempt by American Tradition Partnership and others to review and overturn the Montana Supreme Court’s decision in December that upheld the state Corrupt Practices Act. “No precedent of this court supports summary invalidation of a long-established state law so critical to its republican form of government,” wrote Bullock and attorneys Anthony Johnstone and James Molloy for the state.

New Hampshire: House ups ante with voter ID bill |

If a voter ID bill fails to emerge from the state Legislature this year, supporters won’t have much trouble figuring out who to blame: their Republican “friends” in the House of Representatives. For perhaps lost in last week’s chaos of a Nazi salute and an insincere apology was the Republican-controlled chamber’s action on a bill to require voters to show a photo ID before getting a ballot. Specifically, it turned aside a Senate-approved bill that had earned the backing of Secretary of State William Gardner and the New Hampshire City & Town Clerks Association in favor of its own version that did not. And since Gov. John Lynch has made it clear he has no intention of permitting such a bill to pass without a veto fight – he already has won four veto showdowns over GOP-sponsored voter ID bills – every vote will count.

South Carolina: Chaotic primary season nears conclusion | The Times and Democrat

The 2012 South Carolina election cycle already promises to be memorable even before candidates hit the starting gate.
A S.C. Supreme Court decision that chopped about 200 candidates from the June 12 primary ballots started an avalanche of actions that threatened to postpone the primaries. State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said the election will proceed as planned. “All county election commissions should proceed with the printing of absentee ballots, preparation of voting machines, mailing of absentee ballots and the opening of the in-office absentee machines,” Whitmire said. “The SEC and (county election commissions) are under no court order directing us to delay any election activities. We cannot delay these activities to see what a court may do. “Some counties were asking whether they should ‘wait and see’ on the outcomes of the various lawsuits before printing and/or issuing ballots. The answer is that we can’t do that.”

Wisconsin: Absentee voting begins for recall election | JSOnline

Absentee voters came to the polls in strong numbers Monday as the first day of early voting started ahead of Wisconsin’s June 5 recall. By 8 a.m., voters were already waiting for the Wausau city clerk’s office to open. In Madison, a line stretched out the door at lunchtime. In Brookfield, the city clerk’s office saw steady traffic throughout the day. “We’re extremely, extremely busy,” Wausau City Clerk Toni Rayala said. “We had much more than we expected, and much faster.” Clerks statewide reported much higher absentee turnout Monday than in the spring presidential primary as well as the May 8 recall primary. Most said the turnout for absentee voters appeared to be on par with that for a typical November general election.

Greece: Caretaker cabinet named ahead of new elections | BBC

A cabinet of professors and diplomats has been sworn in in Greece to steer the debt-ridden eurozone state into repeat elections on 17 June. Panagiotis Pikrammenos, the senior judge who has taken over as prime minister, said the cabinet’s sole task was to lead the country into the polls. The 300 MPs elected on 6 May are taking their seats for a single day. Voters punished the two mainstream parties which agreed the cuts required under international bailouts. A 130bn euro (£104bn; $165bn) bailout was agreed earlier this year, following a 2010 package of 110bn euros.

Iran: MP accuses Revolutionary Guards of interfering in election | Al-Arabiya

Iranian veteran conservative MP Ali Motahari accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) of interfering in the results of the latest parliamentary elections amid retaliation threats by IRGC senior officials. IRGC General Ramadan Sharif, was quoted in a statement posted on the IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency as saying the military body is, and will always be, committed to the teachings of the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khomeini and will therefore never interfere in legislative elections. The IRGC, the statement added, did not influence in any way the results of the March 2 elections, which witnessed a major victory for the supporters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, some of whom are IRGC members. IRGC members were infuriated by the accusations Motahari, one of Iran’s most daring and independent MPs, hurled at them in the parliament session held Sunday and threatened to take the MP to court if he does not withdraw his “allegations.”

Voting Blogs: E-Counting the London Mayoral and Assembly Elections | Campaign Legal Center

Over the past few years, there has been some concern about the transparency of the counting process in American elections, especially where votes are cast and counted electronically. For instance, last spring in Waukesha County during the Wisconsin Supreme Court run-off, a last minute correction to a clerical error changed the results of the election. In March of this year, an electronic voting system mistakenly recorded two losing city council candidates in Palm Beach County, Florida as receiving the most votes. On May 3rd the people of Greater London went to the polls to elect a new mayor and local assembly. Voters marked their votes on paper ballots. At 8 am the next morning, poll workers began counting the votes electronically at three different locations across Greater London. The process used to count ballots allowed for a high degree of transparency in the count.