You really can get anything on EBay, even electronic voting machines proved to be easy to corrupt for purposes of voting fraud. Brad Friedman of the Brad Blog first noticed that “more than 10” AccuVote-TS voting machines, built by Diebold, were being sold on the online auction site for the buy-it-now price of $1,200 (plus $50 shipping and handling). The machines are used and don’t come with user’s manuals, power supplies, batteries or memory cards, which may explain their discounted price. However, for those who wish to rig elections, machines like these are priceless. Friedman was contacted by the seller, who told him that he had more than 100 of the electronic voting machines that were originally used in Van Wert County, Ohio. AccuVote-TS voting machines were also used in New Jersey, when a professor at Princeton demonstrated how easy the Diebold machines were to manipulate for nefarious means. In congressional testimony in 2006 on “Electronic Voting Machines: Verification, Security and Paper Trails,” professor Edward W. Felten explained to the Committee on House Administration that the AccuVote-TS was quite easy to hack through “malicious software” to produce whatever election results a criminal would want to achieve How easy? It would only take one minute to install the software that would destroy the integrity of the voting. Full Article
In a new report, the Collins Center for Public Policy examines the state of election reform in Floridaa decade after a bipartisan task force called for substantial changes. Florida became a laughingstock in 2000 as the nation awaited the results of the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Alarmed by the spectacle, Gov. Jeb Bush asked the Collins Center to form a task force and analyze flaws in Florida’s elections proces. In March 2001, the Governor’s Select Task Force on Election Procedures, Standards and Technology produced 35 recommendations in a report “Revitalizing Democracy in Florida.” Ten years later, a majority of the recommendations have been instituted. Full Article
Legislation to require voters to show photo identification at the polls and to allow Bible study in public schools failed in legislative committees today. Also, a bill that would take authority to set lottery scholarship amounts away from the Legislature was defeated in a House committee. A separate panel heard testimony on a bill to allow guns in churches but lacked enough members present to take a vote. The House Rules Committee is to take up a bill to ban lottery vending machines during a special meeting Thursday. Committee action today came in a flurry as lawmakers work toward a Friday deadline to recess the regular session. Senate Bill 1797 by Rep. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, was voted down on a voice vote by the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee, after a poll worker spoke against the measure. Barry Haas of Little Rock said the requirement would slow things down at the polls and make voting difficult, especially among the elderly who might not have ID cards. Read More
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today praised the Connecticut General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections committee for unanimously endorsing Senate Bill 942 “An Act Concerning the Integrity of Elections.” Secretary Merrill proposed the bill in February to strengthen the integrity of Connecticut’s elections by requiring more communication and accountability between local Registrars of Voters, charged with the responsibility of running all elections, and the Secretary of the State’s office. Under the proposed legislation, every municipality in the state would be required to either purchase enough ballots to cover 100% of registered voters, or report to the Secretary of the State’s office how many ballots they purchase for upcoming elections, certifying that the number of ballots ordered has taken into account factors such as tight races that may augment voter turnout. The Secretary of the State’s office would have the authority to review and in some cases reject these purchases if an insufficient number of ballots were ordered. Every town would also be required to have an emergency plan to address issues such as power outages and ballot shortages on Election Day. The measure has received bipartisan support and now moves on the full State Senate for consideration. “I am grateful to the GAE Committee for closely examining these issues and throwing its full support behind some targeted, common-sense changes that I believe will go a long way towards ensuring the integrity of our elections,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s Chief elections Official. “No registered voter who wants to cast a ballot on Election Day should ever be turned away from the polls, and as Secretary of the State I am committed to working with local election officials to make sure that never happens again in Connecticut. All of us involved in elections need more information, training, emergency planning and oversight, and this bill addresses those needs. I appreciate the bi-partisan support we have received for these ideas thus far and I urge the Senate to approve this measure as soon as possible.” Read More
Senator Rory Respicio has introduced an election reform bill that would permit electronic voting using machine that are capable of producing “voter verified paper ballots” [VVPB]. Following the 2006 election Senator Respicio was the sponsor of a Bill banned electronic voting which eventually became Public Law 128-31. In a release, Respicio explained he drafted that Bill because of the many problems with electronic voting during the 2006 election. “Those Ivotronic machines,” says Respicio, “stored votes electronically, so they could easily be hacked or lose their data.” The old machines did not provide paper receipts that could be hand counted or audited. Read More
Read Bill 128
One advantage to having a high-profile recount in two straight elections: Minnesota’s voting systems have been scrutinized more than most. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who presided over both the 2008 Senate and 2010 governor recounts, testified Thursday about the state’s voting system at a congressional hearing on improving elections. Ritchie was one of two Secretaries of State asked to testify by the House Administration Committee. The hearing was held to examine “what went right and what went wrong” in the midterm elections, with House members most interested in ways to cut down on fraudulent voting. Calling Minnesota’s elections the “best system in the country,” Ritchie said it was important not to wait until after an election to invest in fixing problems. He cited Minnesota’s use of change of address and Social Security electronic databases as one way the state has spotted problems before people begin casting ballots. Ritchie told of a Minnesota man on parole who illegally voted in the 2008 election, saying the goal was to cut down on those types of cases. “There’s just so many advantages to doing it up front,” Ritchie said. “It takes investment to do that.” Read More
House Republicans are rolling out a new version of a bill requiring voter identification before casting a ballot in North Carolina that wouldn’t always require a photo ID. The chairman of the House Elections Committee said Wednesday the proposal would allow someone to show their voter registration card to vote. Poll workers first would decide if the person’s signature matches the signature used when the person registered to vote. Read More
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Disclaimer: Articles and commentary included in “Voting News” do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors of Voting News,or its allied organizations. Articles are selected for inclusion to inform subscribers’ability to draw their own conclusions based on noteworthy and credible news,research, legislation, and debate bearing on the integrity of elections.