Verified Voting Blog: Election, Tech Experts to Obama: Yes, “We Need to Fix That,” But E-Voting Not the Answer

Groups Warn Against Hasty Action on Internet Voting in Response to Long Lines, Technical Glitches in November

In a letter delivered to President Obama and congressional leaders this week, a broad coalition of experts, including congressional representatives, elections officers and cyber-security experts, is urging the president and Congress to reject any calls for Internet voting. They are warning officials that Internet voting remains a highly insecure option that leaves our systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks and technical failures. After voters across the country waited as long as seven hours to cast their ballots and Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on East Coast election systems last November, lawmakers in Congress are introducing legislation to facilitate the voting process in federal elections, and some parties have expressed Interest in online voting. The text of the letter can be found here.

Verified Voting in the News: You’ve Got Mail, Mr. President: Two New Letters Weigh In on Voting Technology Issues | Election Academy

For the past month, the election community has been focused to different degrees on President Obama’s Election Night observation that “we need to fix” problems that caused long lines at the polls on Election Day. Recently, the President received two separate letters from computer scientists and advocates concerned about the role of technology in elections. The first, from California Voter Foundation founder and President Kim Alexander and 28 co-signers, focuses heavily on the concept of verifiable voting systems and urges the Administration to put a federal stamp on the problem. The second letter, signed by computer scientist Barbara Simons and 49 co-signers (many of whom appear on the first letter but also including some election officials), covers much of the same territory but contains stronger language on the perceived danger of Internet voting.

Florida: Top elections officials tackle voting issues | Fox29

Scrutiny and potential change could soon be coming to the elections process in the state of Florida. The Secretary of State will tour several counties in the coming days where voting problems were present. This, as top elections officials met in Orange County Wednesday to figure out what may have gone wrong and how to improve the election process going forward. Long early voting lines and long election ballots for voters are to of the top challenges that elections supervisors from across the state were discussing in Orlando. “We’ve brought suggestions to the legislature that have been ignored,” said Susan Bucher, Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County.

New Jersey: Everyone Counts Secures 10-Year, Multimillion-Dollar Contract | San Diego Business Journal

Everyone Counts, a locally based provider of software as a service voting systems, recently received a 10-year contract from New Jersey to design the state’s voter registration system. The company’s eLect Registrator technology is based on its eLect Platform, which provides multiple layers of security, military-grade encryption of ballots and the ability to audit the system at any time, according to the company website.

New York: Election Postmortem Focuses on Poll Workers | Epoch Times

For the sixth time since 2010, the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) was called before the New York City Council to hear recommendations for improving on elections logistics with an aim to boosting voting rates. The marathon hearing—over six hours—was much more subdued than past hearings, due in large part to a format change: groups that promote good government testified first, the BOE last. Plenty of suggestions were made to improve all aspects of the election process, including the human element—the election poll workers. Improvements in the selection of workers, the training process, and working methods were discussed as a fundamental way to shorten long lines, which was the chief complaint from the 2012 presidential election.

South Carolina: Many blamed; no one disciplined yet in Richland County |

Richland County’s election meltdown was a system failure by top election officials, including director Lillian McBride and the board that oversees the office, according to a preliminary report released Thursday. “A series of unfortunate assumptions … led us astray on Nov. 6,” is how attorney Steve Hamm summed up his assessment 30 days after the electoral fiasco widely considered among the state’s worst. Members of the Richland County Board of Elections and Voter Registration received an interim report on the Election Day debacle from attorney Steve Hamm. Hamm presents evidence he believes caused part of the problem on Election Day. A list, drawn up by a part-time staffer, that mistakenly reduced the number of machines to be delivered to the polls and then was not double checked for accuracy. Who, if anyone, will be disciplined and how?

US Virgin Islands: St. Thomas Elections Board to take up complaints today | Virgin Islands Daily News

On the eve of the first Joint Board of Elections meeting since the territory’s controversial General Election, board members in the St. Thomas-St. John District were still grappling with how to respond to a laundry list of complaints from unsuccessful candidates who are seeking a recount or a new election. The St. Thomas-St. John Board intended to hold an emergency meeting Wednesday morning to address complaints from senatorial candidate Lawrence Olive, Senate At-large candidate Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, Delegate to Congress candidate Norma Pickard-Samuel and Board of Elections candidates Harriet Mercer and Diane Magras. Taken together the complaints allege almost 50 violations of local and federal elections laws.

Wisconsin: Citizens unite to defend same day voter registration | Milwaukee Courier Weekly Newspaper

In response to Governor Walker’s recent plans to again attack voting rights, members of the African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable, joined by Mayor Tom Barrett, Neil Albrecht (Executive Director of the city of Milwaukee’s Election Commission), State Representative Sandy Pasch, State Representative Jon Richards, and other community partners held a press conference on Wednesday morning to speak out against public comments made by Walker that support the elimination of same day registration in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin: Scott Walker On Eliminating Same-Day Voter Registration: ‘This Is A Ridiculous Issue’ | Huffington Post

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is backing away from his support for eliminating same-day voter registration, saying it is a distraction while he is trying to focus on job creation. “This is a ridiculous issue. My priority is about jobs, creating jobs,” he told reporters on Wednesday after a ceremony to promote a Wisconsin National Guard officer. But on a speech on Nov. 16 at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, Walker expressed significantly more support for eliminating same-day registration, citing the burden it places on poll workers on election day.

Iran: President opposes election changes | The Seattle Times

A news agency reports Iran’s president is urging parliament to abandon possible revisions in laws governing presidential elections. The call appears part of widening political battles before June’s election to pick Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s successor. Ahmadinejad has faced attacks from powerful rivals since defying Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last year over a key Cabinet post.

Nigeria: NSE ready to partner INEC on e-voting | Business Day

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) says it is ready to collaborate with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in perfecting electronic voting for future elections. The NSE President, Mr Mustafa Shehu, said this on Friday while briefing journalists on the communiqué issued at the end of the group’s delegates conference. Shehu said the group successfully deployed the use of e-voting designed by Nigerian engineers to elect officers to run its affairs in 2013. According to him, NSE was able to use the e-voting through the collaboration of NigComSat Ltd, a Federal Government owned company.