The Voting News Daily: Oklahoma to replace its optical scanners, new SoSs take office, speedy results emphasized in latest India coverage

Happy New Year! The first few days of 2011 have been busy news days (despite apparent quiet regarding Internet voting). Tonight’s edition covers articles published since our December 31 edition, unless otherwise noted. Among the news highlights: Oklahoma election officials are looking to replace their 18-year-old optical scanners with new precinct scanners for the 2012…

The Voting News Daily: Challenge ends in Alaska US Senate race, Georgia panel to study expansion of vote centers

Alaska’s US Senate race appears to have ended as 2010 winds down. Georgia’s Secretary of State says that a new appointed election reform advisory panel will look at vote centers and ways to achieve cost savings, and New York’s new voting system, and its implementation receive ongoing scrutiny. All this and more in today’s Voting…

The Voting News Daily: Swiss government expresses caution on Internet voting, India looking to modify EVMs, MI county acts to improve chain of custody

The Swiss federal government expresses caution about Internet voting and limits its scope, while some local officials push for expanded Internet voting. India’s political parties reportedly agree to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) going forward and the Election Commission has appointed a technical committee to study voter-verifiable paper records. On a more local but important…

The Voting News Daily: Stuxnet variants may reach voting systems, Albany paper calls for automatic recounts in NYS, books to close on IA HAVA audit

Iowa election officials reach an agreement to close the books on the EAC audit of Iowa’s HAVA funds, the Albany Times-Union calls for an automatic recount law for New York State, and security experts predict Stuxnet-like viruses to infect electronic voting systems in the near future. [Editor’s Note: If you have suggestions for articles to…

The Voting News Daily: Alaska US Senate challenge loses in Federal court, state legislative races in Missouri, Texas still contentious

A lighter news day for electronic voting issues. Close state legislative elections in Texas and Missouri remain contentious, a Federal Court rules on the challenge to the U.S. Senate election in Alaska. All this and more in today’s voting news below. AK: ‘Election Integrity is Vital’: Joe Miller Makes a Federal Case Out of it…

The Voting News Daily: MD report shows paper ballots cost less than DREs, IA Justices deny separate ballot for judge retention

We’re back from a short holiday break! Tonight’s edition covers news published since our last full edition on Monday December 20. State news is organized by state and then by date. State news is followed by sections for national, Internet voting, and international news. Internationally, online voting in Ahmedabad, India is provoking discussion. At home…

Verified Voting Blog: Paper Ballots – New York Courts Don’t Get It

New York State’s highest Court has upheld lower Court decisions to stop any further counting of ballots and declare a winner in the 7th Senate District race. The decision is unfortunate on many levels, not the least of which is that it sets legal precedent in the State for how we verify election results by auditing and recounting paper ballots. New York’s Courts have now ruled, in essence, “We do not use paper ballots to verify elections.” The Court, displaying a lever-machine mindset, believed it’s okay to trust the machine. It never was of course, but New York has never had a way to verify election results before. The Court didn’t understand why we need to compare machine reported results with a manual inspection of ballots in the audit, failing to grasp that the way we get to the real result is counting the paper, not avoiding it at all costs.

The Voting News Daily: Recount denied by court in NY Senate race, top vote-getter gains in NC’s recount, Russia looks at India’s voting system

New York’s highest court rejects petition for manual recount in the close State Senate District 7 race; top candidate gains votes in North Carolina’s instant-runoff judicial race; Russian officials take a close look at India’s electronic voting system… All this and more in today’s voting news below. CA: Cheaper, popular mail-in ballots worry criticshttp://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/cheaper-popular-mail-ballots-worry-critics-7479 CO:…

Verified Voting Blog: New York SD 7: Count the Paper

In the first test case of how we verify election results using New York’s new paper ballots, the State Judiciary is in the process of setting an egregious precedent – Judges are free to nullify audits and recounts in the interests of having a quick decision. In Nassau County’s contested 7th Senate District (SD7) race, two State Courts that have heard the case to date have made very bad decisions. Ruling that even if New York’s audit laws require a further hand count of paper ballots, accepting the machine results and declaring a winner outweigh the public’s right to know who really won the election. [ See news reports here and here.]

The Johnson and Martins dispute demonstrates the typical dynamic in close political contests when paper ballots are available to inspect – regardless of party affiliation, the candidate in the lead wants to stop further ballot counting, the candidate behind wants to continue. And the Courts almost always become involved in one way or another. In the SD7 case, Johnson asks the Court to order a full manual recount, since several machines failed the initial 3% audit. Martin’s legal team on the other hand argues that “At the end of the day we must balance accuracy with finality”. The meaning here is hardly disguised – stop counting ballots, we’re more interested in winning than getting an accurate result.

The Voting News Daily: More news from India, Indiana to review voter registration complaints, North Carolina’s IRV recount continues

More news from India, Indiana to review voter registration complaints, North Carolina recount of IRV race continues… Editor’s Note: Verified Voting extends the deepest thanks to Joyce McCloy for her amazing work on the Voting News. We hope to maintain the Voting News at the high standard she has maintained. AK: Murkowski Camp Expects Vote…

The Voting News Daily: Officials say e-voting researchers issued visas by mistake, recounts wind down, California turnout exceeds projections

India reportedly issues visas to e-voting researchers by mistake; recounts wind down in Maine, Oregon, and New Jersey; California turnout exceeds projections. All this and more in today’s Voting News below. CA: Capitol Alert: 2010 election produced high voter turnouthttp://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2010/12/2010-election-produced-high-vo.htmlThe turnout was about five percentage points, or 800,000 voters, higher than the pre-election estimate made…

The Voting News Daily: Wikileaks, Estonia’s internet election and ‘Lessons Learned’. Editor’s Note

Maryland Report – Scanners Cost Less than DREs..EAC has $2,000,000 in grants for voting system pre-election logic & accuracy testing & post-election audits…Wikileak describes actual attacks on a Estonia’s first internet election in “SUBJECT: ESTONIA’S CYBER ATTACKS: LESSONS LEARNED”…Yesterday we ran a news article saying that US voting machine expert Alec Halderman was deported upon…

Verified Voting Blog: Maryland Report – Scanners Cost Less than DREs

A new study commissioned by the state of Maryland has just taken a close look at the relative cost of optical-scan paper-ballot voting systems compared with electronic touch-screen systems, and found that optical-scan paper-ballot systems are less expensive . These findings are timely and important not only for Maryland, but for other states as well. With Maryland’s direct-recording electronic voting machines (DREs) approaching the end of their useful lifespan, the report by the Department of Legislative Services notes that using the systems becomes increasingly risky as the machines age. The report recommends that the State should move to implement optical scan systems for “long-term cost-effectiveness and cost control.” and that “Maryland would spend $9.5 million less on an optical scan system than it would on a DRE system. Both [Operations and Maintenance]and capital costs are expected to be lower over the long term under an optical scan system.”

Using current costs of service contracts and cost proposals submitted to the State, the study concludes that “Overall, the cost of continuing to use the state’s current voting system will be higher than transitioning to an optical scanning system.” The study compared price quotes submitted to Maryland with five other states and ascertained that the proposed purchase of the optical scan devices and related equipment appears to be in line with what other jurisdictions have paid for identical equipment. In all cases where direct comparisons can be made of ES&S pricing on software and hardware from past contracts, the price quotes in the Maryland response are comparable or better.”

The Voting News Daily: India deports US voting machine expert. Bridgeport recount finds errors. Editor Note!

10 yrs after Bush V Gore: “HAVA has been misinterpreted and misused from the moment of its passage.”~ Joe Richey, Colorado SOS Elect. Best Pract.Commission..CT Post: Recount shows widespread miscalculations. “If you cast a photocopied ballot in last month’s gubernatorial election in Bridgeport, there’s a 1 in 4 chance your vote was miscounted.”..India: US prof…

The Voting News Daily: Creating elections we can trust – Columbia Co New York, Humboldt & Yolo CA

Kudos to Humboldt County CA Registrar Carolyn Crnich, Yolo County. CA Registrar Freddy Oakley, for adopting innovative methods to increase transparency & public involvement in elections..Big applause to Columbia Co New York Election Commish Virginia Martin for hand counting the votes, leaving no doubt about the results….Credibility of Minnesota’s election process vindicated.. Nassau SD 07…

The Voting News Daily: Michigan recount uncovers ballot probs. Internet voting in age of Cyber War

Michigan recount mess: 1000s of ballots in Huron & Tuscola Cnty weren’t secured properly so cant be recounted…NC Statewide IRV contest faces recount..MY City, How Do You Lose Nearly 200,000 Votes? “This calls into question the whole validity of the process.” — Sam Roberts..India missing 4,000 electronic voting machines..Dr. Barbara Simons on internet voting…All out…

The Voting News Daily: Travis Texas recount ‘shines light on election problems’. Minn recount slammed

Seriously? Politico piece slams Minnesota recounts, says they should be harder to get…Meanwhile judge rules against Dems quest for Nassau recount in Johnson-Martins NY 7th Senate race. Johnson to appeal..Value of recounts learned in Texas House Dist 48: “That recount has become like turning over a big rock to see all the unpleasant things that…

The Voting News Daily: Election hangover,Bush V Gore legacy. N.Carolina still counting IRV contest

Champaign Ill Cnty Clerk compares return rate of emailed vs snail-mailed blank overseas military ballots….MN GOP candidate Emmer to withdraw some ballot challenges..MN counties await payment for election docs political parties demanded..Steven Schlesinger,atty for Johnson(D) count..said New York’s new optical scanning machines “suck,” and estimated 40 percent failed a required audit..Report: Barriers to Voting Access…

The Voting News Daily: New York City BoE finds 200,000 more votes. Bridgeport CT recount chugs on

Kudos to Connecticut Citizen Election Audit Coalition & CT Post for cosponsoring Bridgeport recount..Losing KY mayor sues,says voting machines set with wrong time…NYC finds 200K machine votes..EAC’s Dec 2 mtg is on webcast..Internet voting a good idea? See UK article: “China is waging cyber warfare on Britain..they’re carrying out most cyber attacks remotely, mining information…

The Voting News Daily: New York 7th SD – give up or count the votes? Internet vote co hiring on Craigslist

Palm Beach County Commissioners dodge touchscreen question..NY Sen DEM spokesman says Craig Jackson won’t concede 7th SD yet:”anything less than the counting of every vote is a slap in the face to every voter.”…Lucas Co. recount continues after flub.. Audit shows Vt. ballot machines accurate..EAC Commish Gracia Hillman has resigned..Internet Vote company “EveryoneCounts” hiring off…

The Voting News Daily: Minnesota recount a long feisty process. Just How Bad Was Bush v. Gore?

Saguache County CO election problems the result of computer errors…Recount of Bridgeport CT ballots under way..Indiana’s newly elected SoS is accused of “Voter Fraud” because his voter registration has incorrect address…Minnesota ‘Happy Recount Day’: First day is the start of a long and sometimes feisty process..NYC Election board stuck in time warp – voters get…

The Voting News Daily: NYC war against the machines. Bridgeport CT recount ‘will take as long as necessary’

Is challenge to Alaska write-ins a ‘literacy test’?..Bridgeport recount: Luther Weeks, executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Election Audit Coalition, said the recount beginning Monday will take as long as necessary, but will probably end this week…..W&M School of Law writes on “Optical Scanners, Punch Cards, and Levers: New York City’s Continuing War Against the…

The Voting News Daily: A ‘toxic’ idea for Florida elections. CT Post, advocates to recount Bridgeport election

Palm Beach CO Commish Karen Marcus wants to lobby for return to touchscreen voting. FL Voters Coalition Pres Dan McCrea:”We all understand the pretty picture that is painted of a clean electronic push-button election that’s over and gives everybody an early night and reliable results..It remains fantasy with today’s technology.”..Illegal 6-foot barrier blocks CO poll…

The Voting News Daily: New York, Colorado vote tabulator troubles. Internet Vote hacked – for Palin?

Alaska GOP repudiates all of Joe Miller vote count allegations…Open Records request for Georgia election data denied…Minnesota starts recount of gubernatorial election Monday..Was internet vote for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ rigged?. In real internet elections Canadian citizens in Township of Huron-Kinloss council worried more about system crashes or not getting to vote rather than tampering…John…

The Voting News Daily: NY Count the ballots – ‘best way to settle disputes.’ Bridgeport Conn to have recount

Indiana voter describes “Voting as a deaf blind person” ..Bridgeport Conn to allow recount…Colorado Sunshine law partly cloudy after Election Day..Palm Beach Election sup changes mind,will consider new modems instead of whole new voting system. Modems are $1,500 each??.Minn. canvas board launches recount, battle over rules…Nevada SoS says time to replace old voting machines…New York:…

The Voting News Daily: Osceola CO Florida voting machines shaken too hard? E-voting ‘vulnerable’

Osceola County candidate sues over election loss, cites irregularities. “While absentee ballots were being scanned, election workers shook the machines vigorously and often, at times even banging the wall with them.”..Tues night Brad Friedman radio interview outgoing Ohio Sec of State Jennifer Brunner…NYT: What the Secret Donors Want..No internet voting for Singapore: “The internet platform…