A ‘Post-Racial’ America? Not yet….On the law surrounding lines at polling places…Pay to play in New Jersey ?…Ex-first selectman has lawyer probe Middlebury CT voting, machine malfunction and some ballots photocopied…They don’t float: Clark County Indiana found out the hard way that if you store voting machines in a basement they may get water damage, we saw this happen in Gaston County NC after the 2004 election…. Meaningless recounts held in Carroll County Georgia and New Brunswick New Jersey on paperless e-voting machines, why even bother?…Post election audits in New York next week…
Did Hoffman Win NY-23? Does It Matter If He Did?…Hand counts needed in three Lancaster County Virginia precincts after multiple Diebold OS machines malfunctioned…
Oregon voters increasingly none-of-the-above…A handful of machines in Lewis, Seneca and Schuyler County New York froze due to memory problems…Pierce Council still hearts polling places, state’s last holdout for poll-site voting…Denmark Strips Away the Right to Privacy from Blind Voters…
All that and more in today’s voting news below…
CA: “Assessing California’s Hybrid Democracy”
…One lesson of this decade is that the devices of direct democracy remain too blunt and expensive as tools for anything but interstitial governance. From 2002 through 2008 voters were asked to approve 63 ballot measures – 43 voter initiatives and 20 ballot measures proposed by the legislature…Despite this flurry of activity, California’s governance appeared in shambles for much of the decade, http://electionlawblog.org/archives/014754.html
CT: Ex-first selectman has lawyer probe Middlebury voting *
MIDDLEBURY — Former First Selectman Edward B. St. John has hired an attorney to investigate ballot irregularities in the Nov. 3 election.
Dennis M. Buckley, a Waterbury-based attorney, is reviewing documents filed by poll workers and election officials for St. John.
St. John, who ran as a write-in candidate, raised concerns immediately following the election after he learned one of the voting machines had broken down Tuesday evening, forcing poll workers to switch to a separate machine to count the remaining ballots. Some of the ballots had been photocopied because election officials believed they had run out of the official ballots. It was later revealed that officials had more than 1,000 unused ballots locked in the registrar of voters’ office.
GA: Recount confirms Rick Ford’s victory (recount by memory card-not a real recount)
Election Supervisor Patti Brown-Traylor and members of the Carroll County Board of Elections held a recount Tuesday because Ford’s margin of victory was less than 1 percent. The recount consisted of again running through the votes on computer memory cards from election night, as well as the early voting memory card ballots that were cast in the Office of Elections and Registration.
MD: Cryptographic voting debuts
November 13, 2009
IN: Clark County Commissioners: More costs pour in for Clark County
Replacing voting machines and shortfall from workers’ compensation pinch thin wallet
…Voting machines stored in the basement of the Clark County Government Building received water damage and the equipment will need to be fixed or replaced before the next election in May.
“The big thing on the machines themselves is nobody can tell me whether they’re OK or they’re not OK, and it’s going to cost a lot of money to get them checked out,” said William “Bubby” Vissing, the county’s election equipment technician.
Costs to repair the voting machines is estimated to be anywhere from $2,500 per day, per repairman to $1,000 per machine — with estimates coming from two companies. The county has 150 voting machines — 80 of one model and 70 of another.
MO: Yellow voter registration cards: Coming to a mailbox near you
voter registration cards that are scheduled to be mailed tomorrow (Friday).
Nov 12, 2009…The process is all part of the biennial canvass conducted every other year in an effort to maintain accurate voter registrations. The main purpose is to verify that voters are still living at the same addresses where they are registered to vote, according to Christopher.
NJ: Pro-ward coalition plans to seek recount in New Brunswick (recount on mostly paperless machines)
Jim Vokral, administrator of the Middlesex County Election Board, said the ballots and voting machines from Nov. 3 are currently impounded, as required by state law. He said a recount involves setting up the electronic voting machines that were used in the election and reviewing the vote totals from those machines against the totals that were certified. Then, he said, the paper ballots — those mailed in or cast provisionally — are counted by hand and added to the machine totals.
NJ: Loopholes in N.J. campaign finance laws benefit biggest government contractors
November 12, 2009. TRENTON — New Jersey taxpayers don’t pay directly for the costly campaigns state politicians run, but public money regularly goes to government contractors who in turn make sure the candidates are well-funded.
NY: Did Hoffman Win NY-23? Does It Matter If He Did?
Narrowing margin in post-election canvass raises hopes for GOP/Conservatives, but recent Republican-set precedent may well dash that hope…
NY: Hoffman Still Has A Remote Shot In New York-23
November, 12, 2009. Dang it. After hearing about the voting machine glitches on election day, I remember thinking that Hoffman had conceded too early, but I didn’t want to say anything at the time…
NY: State: Use of new voting machines “very successful” *(Dominion machines froze due to memory issue, sometimes not reading ballots)
The director said Dominion machines in Lewis, Seneca and Schuyler failed – but “it wasn’t countywide. It was a handful of machines within those counties. It wasn’t seen as a catastophic failure.”
She said the primary cause of voting machine failure was a memory issue related to the way ballots were programmed to record multiple votes for one office.
“If the test votes were cast in a certain way, the machine would freeze up and it would not permit you to move forward,” she said. “So there were no votes calculated on the voting machines and those ballots were the ones that had to be hand counted. In reviewing the county board ballot styles, the vendor located the 10 counties where that change had to be made and it was made prior to Election Day. But, in that it was humans reviewing those ballots, there were a couple of those ballot styles that were missed. So, in the field on Election Day, the problem did arise. The scanner did freeze up.”
[Watch Ms. Svizzero’s full report here, starting at the 13:56 mark.
NY: Over-votes in Nassau election districts questioned
November 13, 2009 “We are ascertaining whether the number of votes on the machines reflect the number of people who actually signed in to vote,” attorney Steven Schlesinger said. “We know there are instances
NY: New Elbridge assessor asks residents to be proactive
11/13/09 New voting system ‘disappointing’
Councilor George Betts entered a resolution Wednesday expressing disappointment in the new voting machines that had been in use for the previous day’s elections, and his concerns were echoed by several in the audience.
NY: Election Board To Hand Count Ballots (post election audit)
MAYVILLE – As required by New York state’s election law, the Chautauqua County Board of Elections will hand count a percentage of the paper machine ballots cast in the Nov. 3 election to ensure the accuracy of the new voting system.
At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, the Board of Elections will randomly select 3 percent of all voting machines used in the election and hand count those machines’ ballots
OR: Oregon voters increasingly none-of-the-above
…All told, there 35,284 fewer Republicans and Democrats in September (the latest month for which we have figures) than there were last November.
In other words, the number of “other” voters actually grew just a bit.
or use this url http://twi.cc/VT4w
PA: Lackawanna County Election Board meets on recount
November 12, 2009 …Five candidates and county Republican leaders have asked for recounts based on a computer coding error that cost city Councilwoman Janet Evans and tax collector candidate Bill Courtright, a city councilman, up to 2,452 straight-party votes.
The request for the widest recount is by Republican leaders, who want all ballots for all county and municipal offices manually recounted, including a manual recount of all straight-party voting. County Commissioner A.J. Munchak, an election board member and a Republican, has called for such a recount.
That would require tallying by hand more than 51,000 ballots that contain more than a dozen races each and thousands of candidates for what election officials say was a mistake limited to the two Scranton races
PA: Pennsylvania 2010 Statewide Petition Requirement to be Lowest Since 1970
November 13th, 2009 Pennsylvania’s statewide minor party and independent candidate petition will be 19,056 signatures.
VA: Poll glitch sparks corruption claims from challenger*(Diebold Accuvote OS & TSX)
Votes cast in three Lancaster County precincts had to be counted by hand last week after multiple machines malfunctioned, sparking claims of “cronyism” and “corruption” from one candidate.
All the ballots cast were correct, but the optical reader did not process many of them, said Gilbert Dorman, electoral board vice-chairman for Lancaster County. “They wouldn’t print tape with a number on it.”
Precincts 1, 4 and 301 had problems with the optical readers, said Barbara Breeden, electoral board chairwoman.
More than 230 missing votes in the first precinct led Richard Pleasants, candidate for District 1 supervisor, to call for a recount.
WA: Pierce Council still hearts polling places
November 13th, 2009. Although 99 percent of this year’s voters cast ballots by mail, Pierce County apparently will remain the state’s last holdout for poll-site voting.
The County Council has ordered newly elected County Auditor Julie Anderson to continue operating polling places,
ACORN Sues Federal Government Over Congress’ “Unconstitutional” Move to Defund Group
13 November 2009… “It may be that ACORN is guilty of various infractions, and, if so, it ought to be vetted, or maybe sanctioned, by the appropriate administrative agency or by the judiciary. Congress must not be in the business of punishing individual organizations or people without trial.” ~ Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York)
“‘Post-Racial’ America? – A Voting Rights Report”
The NAACP LDF has issued this press release about this new report. From the press release:
First, “Post-Racial” America? Not Yet examines the “post-racial” argument made in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder (MUD), a recent unsuccessful constitutional challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a core provision that guards against voting discrimination where it has been most severe.
Election Law Journal 8:4 Now Available: Preview of ELJ 9:1
Look for ELJ 9:1 in January, featuring Douglas Spencer and Zachary Markovits on an emprical study of lines at polling places, Justin Levitt on the law surrounding lines at polling places, Seth Hill, Michael Herron and Jeffrey Lewis on factors explaining Obama’s victory in 2008, and book reviews by Ray La Raja and Mark Rush.
A Letter to “Spirit of America”
November 13th, 2009 NEW YORK, NY – I was digging up 2009 voter turnout statistics and came across a user comment on CNN’s Political Ticker. This comment makes all of us at Why Tuesday? really gratified despite our nation’s increasingly low voter turnout. The comment is in in response to an article about low voter turnout.
Bipartisan Beltway Committee Seeks to “Modernize” U.S. Election System (pro v cons)
Voter registration can sometimes be a highly charged and partisan issue, so it is worth noting that advisers from recent Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns have recently aligned themselves to propose a new system.
Securing the vote for all
Our service members deserve an equal voice
Denmark Strips Away the Right to Privacy from Blind Voters
On Wednesday I read that one of my blind friend’s in Utah just experience voting by himself for the first time thanks to his voting machine having built in text to speech. On that same day, I also read that the blind in Denmark not only don’t get to vote by themselves, they have to have a council member present when they’re voting. This rule was supposedly implemented to make sure that the sighted helper wasn’t pressuring the blind voter to vote in a particular way, but what it really does is just strip that voter of their right to privacy.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Solving the voting issue for those with visual impairments is not difficult. I’ve voted three times now using a simple solution called an electronic ballot. The html based ballot is emailed to me. I then fill it out on my computer on my own time, print it out, and send it through the mail. The solution probably costs very little and it serves anyone with an email address and a computer.
Grenade thrown at building with Honduran ballots
Nov 13, 2009. TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Assailants hurled a grenade at the building housing ballots for the upcoming Honduran presidential elections, which are taking place under the shadow of a four-month crisis caused by a coup.
or use this url http://twi.cc/rgtK
“Postal voting on demand is lethal to the democratic process. Wholesale electoral fraud is both easy and profitable.” That statement sounds like a description of Afghan electoral practices, but it was delivered by Richard Mawrey QC after an inquest into UK postal voting.
Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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