Levers, Vote Centers, Voter Registration and Internet Voting in the news today. Voters Unite has a new report on the costs of replacing lever machines with optical scanners. The report finds that the HAVA funds will not cover the first year costs of switching to the Sequoia/Dominion ImageCast. The New York Times has an article about better ways to register voters. Collin County, Texas looks at eliminating 50% of neighborhood polling places — replacing them with “Vote Centers” . Meanwhile, an Arizona judge said there is a legitimate question of whether voting machines there are accurately counting votes. Internet voting pilot for Canada may happen.
AZ. Legitimacy of touch-screen voting gets new legal airing
Judge Philip Hall, writing for the court, said it is proper for courts to consider the issue of whether the machines comply with Arizona law.
Potentially more significant, Hall said there is a legitimate question of whether the machines are accurately counting votes.
ME. (correction, we first listed the state as Oregon, our apologies) Commissioners eye voting rights for non-citizens
PORTLAND — Several members of the city’s Charter Commission want to grant non-U.S. citizens the right to vote in city elections.
MN. State supreme court tosses out voting lawsuit
The Minnesota Supreme Court has thrown out a lawsuit filed in late May by the Minnesota Majority, a coalition of conservative legislators and others who claimed that the state’s voter registration system has not been updated adequately.
NY. Report: Lever Replacement Costs: Case Study of a Small New York County (County X) http://www.votersunite.org/info/LeverToOpScanCost_CountyX_NY.pdf
The NY City report was first posted in May. With a recently revised cover sheet, the report is here: http://www.votersunite.org/info/LeverToOpScanCost_NYC.pdf
TX. Public hearing scheduled for Countywide Vote Center plan in Collin County
…The site selection committee will have less than a month to write a plan that will potentially eliminate 50% of neighborhood polling places — replacing them with “Vote Centers” where any voter in the county can vote. Detailed plans must be submitted to the Secretary of State before August 15.
US. The Right Way to Register Voters
…Many of the countries and provinces in the study with the highest registration rates sign people up by using data borrowed from other government agencies….In the American system, state and local officials, who have the primary responsibility in this area, have overwhelmingly failed to put in place the sort of system needed to bring eligible voters into the electorate.
US. Absentee voter reform approved by Senate
A long-sought overhaul of the absentee voting process for service members was approved Thursday by the Senate and appears well on its way to becoming law.
The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, or MOVE Act, would require states that accept federal funds to support elections to set up a streamlined process for service members to register to vote and to request, receive and return absentee ballots.
CA. Elections Canada pushes online votingStudy shows change would increase voter turnout, but observers question security
If everything goes according to Elections Canada’s plans, voters will soon be able to cast their ballots online — even from the comfort of their own beds.With Parliament’s approval, the federal body is aiming to test online voting before 2013 in a byelection.
University of British Columbia computer privacy expert Richard Rosenberg ….”The system can be compromised by clever hackers, disgruntled government employees or even employees of the voting machine companies,” said Rosenberg. “Hacking can be done without leaving a trace. So test runs must be done on a regular basis before the machines are to be used.”