”Election Day has come and gone, but for elections officials across California who must provide complete and accurate results, the election truly does not end until Nov. 30,”~ SoS Debra Bowen..Coloradoans need binoculars to observe processing of mail ballots..CT lawmaker drafts bill requiring 1 ballot per reg. voter..Ga. wants new voters to prove citizenship…100,000 Maryland ‘Relax’ Election Day Robocalls Violated Law..Missouri election robo calls used fake caller IDs..Montana eyes vote by mail…Several NC contests to be recounted…Key New York Races Undecided…
All this and more in today’s voting news below…
AK: Alaska’s Miller sees hope in military vote
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/articles/2010/11/15/ alaskas_miller_sees_hope_in_military_vote/ http://tinyurl.com/2blmp9j The state has so far recorded more than 98,500 write-in ballots cast.
AK: Alaska elections director thrust into spotlight
She presses a ballot close to her red glasses, pauses to scrutinize the botched spelling and declares in a singsong voice: “Murkowski.”
“Challenge,” comes the reflexive retort from an observer.
AK: Alaska Division of Elections Posts Write-in Totals for All Declared Write-in Candidates for U.S. Senate http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/11/14/alaska-division-of-elections-posts-write-in-totals-for-all-declared-write-in-candidates-for-u-s-senate/
The Alaska Division of Elections has posted a tentative tally of the number of write-in votes for all declared write-in candidates. Other than Lisa Murkowski, no declared write-in candidate for U.S. Senate received more than eleven votes.
AK: Absentee Senate ballot count slated to start Monday
AR: Changes Ahead For Early Voting
CA: Voting Group Demands Grand Jury Look (Fresno County)
Sabina Gonzalez of Communities for a New California told reporters at a news conference that county clerk Victor Salazar’s decision to cut the number of polling places in half because of budget cuts may have discouraged as many as 20,000 voters.
CA: Registrar tried, not hard enough; balloting system needs to change
http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101114/COLUMNS26/11130361/Registrar-tried-not-hard-enough-balloting-system-needs-to-change …She is the victim of very unequal voting laws plus a computer system that cannot handle the upsurge in absentee ballot voting. It continues to increase as voters find it much easier to vote from home and let the Postal Service do the legwork.
It is state law that the ballot must be in the registrar’s office by the close of Election Day. This is a horrible penalty for the citizens of the Coachella Valley, because we do not have direct mail access to the Riverside post office…
CA: ‘Grinding on’: Elections office continues to sort through ballots; final results likely more than a week away http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_16603456
In Humboldt, Crnich said elections staff is still working through the process of auditing materials returned from the polls and updating voter histories, which she said need to be completed before the county can even begin to sort through the almost 13,000 ballots that remain to be counted. Crnich said she’s hopeful those processes will be completed by the end of next week, at which point staff will be able to begin verifying signatures on the outstanding vote-by-mail ballots, sorting them and counting them…
CA: Jumping the gun
Harmer wise not to concede to McNerney just yet in 11th District race
Harmer still refused to concede. That’s probably wise, because there are still about 11,000 provisional ballots uncounted, more than half of them in San Joaquin County, where Harmer actually beat McNerney by more than 4 percentage points.
CA: Kamala Harris Adds to Lead in State Attorney General’s Race
CA: Attorney General campaigns exchange charges of improprieties
(still counting or challenging provisional & vote by mail ballots)
CA: After Election, Ranked-Choice Voting Gets Mixed Reviews
For candidate Don Macleay, who was also eliminated early on, the problem with ranked-choice has more to do with a common misunderstanding among his supporters on the best way to navigate the system. “It didn’t work well for us — a lot of people did not understand that you should put the candidate that stands the least chance first,” Macleay says…
CA: Election reform, local style: changes coming to the way you vote in L.A
CO: State intervenes in Marks’ campaign reform battle (observing process)
Marks said she isn’t challenging the 6-foot rule at polling places. It is clear that poll watchers must stay 6 feet away from voters so there is no chance of intimidation, she said. But she doesn’t believe state law applies the 6-foot rule to poll watchers’ observation of the processing of ballots by election judges.
Based on that analysis, Vos Caudill enforced the rule. Marks and another poll watcher, Harvie Branscomb, reported to duty as poll watchers on Oct. 25 armed with binoculars. They stood on chairs outside the 6-foot limit and tried to focus on the work of the election judges.
CT: Clemons drafts bill requiring one ballot per registered voter
http://www.poten.com/NewsDetails.aspx?id=10783825 The bill, one of the first filed in advance of the session that starts Jan. 5, would pay for the ballots from the fund that supports Connecticut’s voluntary campaign finance program.
Election ballots for the state’s optical scan equipment cost about 35 cents each.
DC: Can the D.C. special election be done on the cheap?
GA: Ella Mae Wade Brayboy, 92: the Godmother of voter registration (RIP)
GA: Ga. wants new voters to prove citizenship
Georgia’s top elections official is seeking the Justice Department’s approval to enforce a law that requires new voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before they can cast a ballot.
IN: Republican Mary Key wins Gibson County, Ind., treasurer race
Gibson County election officials suspended vote counting on election night because of a technical problem with a paper ballot-reader.
Georgia Straw, the second deputy in the Gibson County Clerk’s office, said all ballots cast in the treasurer’s race had to be recounted. The process was completed over the weekend.
IN: What went wrong in Gibson County on Election night? (ES&S Optech Eagles)
After 14 hours of hand counting ballots, the Gibson County Clerk’s Office declared Mary Key the winner in the Treasurer’s Race.
Wright says one eagle was placed at each precinct, prior to the election. The machine, she adds, counts paper ballots. On Election Day, a handful of them would respond with error messages that raised a red flag with election officials.
The Gibson County Election Office has been in touch with the Election System Software company. Wright tells 14 News the company is unable to uncover what went wrong, and until they visit her office later this month, she says that’s unacceptable.
IN: Judge grants GOP request for hand recount (St Joseph County)
But Democrats object to time-consuming task
MD: Maryland AG: ‘Relax’ Election Day Robocalls Violated Law
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/md_ag_relax_election_day _ robocalls_violated_law.php?ref=fpa http://tinyurl.com/38g9xw9 Maryland’s Attorney General filed a complaint in federal court this week alleging that the company and two individuals behind election day robocalls that told mostly Democratic voters to “relax” and not bother voting violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The court filing by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler also revealed that the phone calls, which began two hours before polls closed, went out to more than 100,000 Maryland residents, more than double the number originally reported.
MN: Voter fraud, in context
Alleged illegal vouching is both reprehensible and overblown.
MN: Pawlenty Getting an Extended Term?
Thanks to a very close gubernatorial election in Minnesota that triggered an automatic recount, there’s a slight chance that Gov. Tim Pawlenty may remain in office briefly past his planned term end on January 3.
MO: Fake caller IDs used in Missouri elections (deceptive robo calls)
The calls targeting Democrat Judy Wright in northwest Missouri typically displayed some branch of St. Luke’s Health System.
The U.S. House and Senate earlier this year each passed different versions of the “Truth in Caller ID Act,” which would have outlawed the use of misleading caller identifications with the intent to deceive, defraud or harm people. But the bills have yet to make it President Barack Obama.
MT: Montana Eyes Voting By Mail
NC: Etheridge gets recount in race with newcomer (NC 2nd Congressional District)
Etheridge reaffirmed his request in a statement yesterday, with his campaign’s pointing out that the margin has fallen by 2,100 votes since election night. He gained about 450 when Sampson County officials said they forgot to add results from three early-voting sites.
NC: Ellmers lead slightly less in NC Congress race (also recounts in 3 Gen Assembly)
…three General Assembly races appeared headed for recounts next week
(45th & 77th State House Districts, 50th State Senate District)
NC: Board closes book on elections (Richmond County)
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/view/full_story/10301987/article-Board-closes-book-on-elections The only race hanging in the balance with Richmond County repercussions is the Instant Runoff Voting race between 13 Court of Appeals candidates, in which the state is expected to certify a winner before the end of the month.
The IRV method was new to most voters in the county, and one election board member said there was evidence of voter confusion in the tally.
“There were more over-votes than I would have expected,” Board member Phillip Huber said. “I think it was the way the instructions were written. If you read them closely it was clear, but I believe some voters apparently didn’t read them that carefully.”
NY: Key New York Races Remain Undecided
NY: Three Long Island Races Still Undecided
New York’s 1st Congressional District is getting the most attention, with Republican challenger Randy Altschuler holding a slim lead over incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop.
The other undecided races include the 1st District seat in the New York State Assembly seat (incumbent Democrat Marc Alessi vs. Republican challenger Dan Losquadro) and 7th District seat in the New York State Senate (incumbant Democrat Craig Johnson vs. Republican challenger Jack Martins)
NY: Time for a Recount
http://www.easthamptonstar.com/dnn/tabid/12704/newsid24273/414/Time-for-a-Recount/Default.aspx New York’s new voting system had a strange debut with a dramatic swing for Randy Altschuler from loser to winner in the First Congressional District race. When the polls closed on Nov. 2, Tim Bishop was ahead by 3,461 votes and roughly 9,000 absentee ballots still to be counted. Two days later, Mr. Altschuler was ahead by 383 votes after poll workers allegedly were discovered to have misread the numbers on the new tabulating machines.
It is in Mr. Altschuler’s as well as Mr. Bishop’s interest to support the request for a complete tally. Without an outcome that is fully verified, neither Mr. Altschuler nor Mr. Bishop will be able to make the claim that he is the district’s proper representative.
NY: Ballots under suspicion Although the election outcome is official, allegations still linger
A total of 96 out of 442 vote-by-mail ballots have been rejected thus far for simple issues such as signature problems.
NY: New ballots create potential for long, suspenseful count in 25th Congressional district election http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/11/new_ballots_create_potential_f.html
… a refuge from the paper war under way in the next room between the campaigns for U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, and Republican challenger Ann Marie Buerkle.
Now, Onondaga County commissioners say they will throw out any ballot with extraneous marks. That means a coffee stain, a doodle outside the box — any mark outside the oval bubble for a candidate. The commissioners said they will, however, allow an X or a checkmark as long as it is in the oval.
OR: Letters: Vote-by-mail works fine, thanks
TN: Senate race called into question
http://www.herald-citizen.com/view/full_story/10292830/article-Senate-race-called-into-question?instance=most_recommended PUTNAM COUNTY — Putnam County election officials say Sen. Charlotte Burks violated election law in November by entering polling places illegally on election day, and evidence of that allegation, plus other infractions that have been reported, will be turned over to the district attorney.
TX: Some who cast ballots in local option elections in Denton County weren’t local*
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/city/denton/stories/DN-localopt_14met.ART.East.Edition1.4b83a49.html Fifty-one people were registered to vote in Hebron’s local-option election Nov. 2, but 219 ballots were cast.
Similarly, the Denton County precinct of Haslet’s local-option election picked up 132 extra ballots, even though the precinct had no registered voters.
In both cases, Phillips said, it appeared that election workers made a judgment on what the coding specified about the precinct divisions, and ended up giving the wrong ballots to large numbers of voters
WA: Wandering ballots trickle in to Clark County
Some of the ballots cast by military or overseas voters also need to be duplicated when they are faxed or e-mailed into the elections office.
“We have to duplicate them so we can run them through our tabulating system,” Likness said.
Internet Voting Watch
India: Maharashtra plans to introduce e-voting in local civic bodies
Opinion: 4 Lessons About Voting from the 2010 Elections
http://www.aolnews.com/opinion/article/opinion-4-lessons-about-voting-from-the-2010-elections/19714963 Election Night is now just “the end of the beginning.”
Each state redistricts differently .
UK: Voting reform referendum will go ahead in May 2011
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/voting-reform-referendum-will-go-ahead-in-may-2011-2134996.html A referendum on whether to ditch the first-past-the-post voting system will go ahead next May after Labour peers failed narrowly in an attempt to derail the Government’s timetable.
Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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