The Voting News Daily: A NO vote on certifying NY’s voting machines,TX polling place burglary, UT troops internet voting guinea pigs?

Still think internet voting is a great idea? The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has set up a bi-partisan taskforce on cybersecurity to evaluate potential online threats and provide recommendations for action to the US intelligence community….Although the US is struggling to prevent online threats, there’s a 50 state whack-a-mole agenda to promote internet voting/non secret ballots to our overseas troops. Next to drink the kool-aid: A Utah govt commission recommends Internet voting for military…Yesterday was the deadline to comment to the FCC about internet voting….

No decision on Citizens United for at least a month…Romania court orders recount of 138,000 void votes, Romanian spy chief questioned over election fraud…

The new voting systems do not meet New York’s standards for voting systems, says voting machine expert/activist Bo Lipari. Bo blogs today about being the only “no” vote on a NY citizens committee that makes recommendations on voting systems: “…the findings show that as of today, while the two voting systems have managed to meet most of the New York’s requirements, they have not yet met all of them, including some which to me, as a technologist, are important.” Meanwhile, Brad Friedman writes has a guest column at the Gouverneur Times titled “Officials Were Warned”…

Congratulations to Douglas W. Jones, associate professor of computer science at University of Iowa for his appointment to the EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee…

All this and more in today’s voting news below…

CA: Longtime Vernon mayor, scion of ruling family, convicted of voter fraud *
December 4, 2009 A former mayor of Vernon and his wife were convicted today of voter fraud and conspiracy, capping a three-year legal saga that ended the family’s long grip on the tiny industrial city in southeast Los Angeles County.

Prosecutors accused Leonis and Dominica Malburg of engaging in an elaborate sham in which they pretended to reside in Vernon while they actually lived in a large home in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman.

FL: Pasco County supervisor of elections recruiting volunteer poll workers
Thursday, December 10, 2009. Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley is looking for volunteers who like to work with people and serve the community as poll workers. These volunteers help with the voting process in precincts across Pasco County on election days.

IL: State Certification Has Election Officials Up Against a Wall
Champaign County Clerk I’ve written a couple times about the MOVE Act, a recently passed federal law that mandates among other items that election officials mail ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days in advance of the election.

We’ve basically have a day to create, proof, and get the ballots out in time to meet the new federal standard. While the new law doesn’t apply to this particular election, it does highlight the practical difficulties that election officials will face in upcoming elections.

IL: Unfunded mandate protested
Dec. 10, 2009 The Iroquois County Board on Tuesday approved a resolution recommended by board member John Dowling to protest “another unfunded mandate” from the state — this one the required equipping of voting machines with computer chips to let voters know they “under-voted.”

The chips would cost the county $6,000, County Clerk Lisa Fancher reported.

IL: Illinois Green Party Candidate Defeats Challenge to His Ballot Spot
December 11th, 2009 On December 11, Dan Kairis defeated a challenge to his petition to get on the Green Party primary ballot.

MI: Lawmakers Consider Online Voter Registration (podcast available)
Rina Miller (2009-12-10) ANN ARBOR, MI (Michigan Radio) – Michigan residents could register to vote online under two measures being considered in Lansing.

NC: Election reform groups join Libertarian challenge to NC’s ballot access laws
December 8 The suit, begun in September 2005, asserts the state’s election laws deny citizens their rights to free association, free elections, equal protection of the law and the ability to vote for candidates of their choice.

Taken as a whole, the statutory regulation of political parties denies Libertarians as well as unaffiliated voters the right to association and expression of their political philosophy, Libertarians claim. The Green Party joined the suit shortly after it was filed.

NC: NC Coalition for Verified Voting comment to FCC on Internet Voting

NY: My Vote on NY Voting Machine Certification
December 11 2009 During the week of December 7, 2009, the New York State Citizen Election Modernization Advisory Committee met and reviewed certification test data results from the state’s testing program, and to vote on recommending approval of the two voting systems to the four Commissioners of the State Board of Elections. The Commissioners will vote on final certification at their December 15, 2009 meeting. On December 10, 2009, the Advisory Committee approved recommendation by a vote of 10 For and 1 Against. I was the only vote opposing the recommendation.

NY: Exclusive: Officials Were Warned
Written by Brad Friedman Friday, 11 December 2009 (Special to the Gouverneur Times)

Two months later, in June, the LWVNYS was joined by the election integrity group New Yorkers for Verified Voting (NYVV) and the public advocacy organization New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) to issue a press release [PDF] about the groups’ joint concerns about the pilot project. The release highlighted a report from NYVV’s Bo Lipari who represented the League on the state’s Citizen Election Modernization Advisory Committee.

Lipari, as quoted from his report in the press release, warned the pilot program, as then planned, “gives insufficient regard to the scale of the project, the need for independent verification of results, the potential for problems arising, or a plan for how to learn from and apply the result. ..”

NY: Exclusive: Kellner: Stop Electronic Voting (comment section says Kellner comments taken out of context. We expect to hear more about NY over the next few days or weeks)
Written by Nathan Barker Friday, 11 December 2009
NEW YORK CITY – New York State Elections Board Co-Chair Doug Kellner testifed to the NY Senate last month that the state should “Stop talking about trying to go to electronic voting.”

TX: Polling place burglary raises specter of fraud
The burglary at one of Houston’s early voting locations (“Computers stolen
at early polling location; Ballot board to check electronic voting machines
for tampering,” Page B2, Tuesday) raises the specter of election fraud. Some
computers were stolen, and as far as we know, the voting machines stored at
Hester House were untouched. But if the burglars wanted to tamper with the
election outcome, what could they have accomplished?…

UT: Governor’s Commission on Strengthening Utah’s Democracy recommendations
…Easy electronic voting for overseas military.


No U.S. Supreme Court Opinions for Another Month
December 11th, 2009 The U.S. Supreme Court clerk has revealed that the Court will not issue any full opinions until January 11, 2010.

Cybersecurity task force established
10 December 2009. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has set up a bi-partisan taskforce on cybersecurity to evaluate potential online threats and provide recommendations for action to the US intelligence community.

Expert calls for cyberspace “Monroe doctrine”
A mixture of private sector and congressional witnesses slammed the US for a lack of cohesion in its cyber security stance this week, calling for better leadership in the defense of the country’s “cyber turf”.

Groups say states violating voter registration law
December 10, 2009 States across the country are violating part of the federal “motor voter” law requiring voter registration help for low-income residents, according to a coalition of advocacy groups trying to force change through the courts.

New technical and scientific experts appointed to EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee
EAC announces the appointment of four new technical and scientific experts to its Technical Guidelines Development Committee, which is charged under the Help America Vote Act with assisting EAC in developing federal voluntary voting system guidelines that are used to test and certify voting systems

Romanian spy chief questioned over election fraud

…The opposition Social Democrats allege that Marcel Opris provided a software to the Liberal Democrats _ who support President Traian Basescu _ that enabled them access to voting figures data.

Romania court orders recount of void votes (BBC)
…The opposition Social Democrat party had challenged the result of vote, alleging widespread rigging.

The court said 138,000 void ballots would be counted – well above the narrow margin of 70,000 which gave President Traian Basescu victory.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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