The Supreme Court’s Constitutional Review Chamber ruled on March 21 that the petition by student Paavo Pihelgas to invalidate the electronic voting results in the March 6 parliamentary elections lacks substance. Pihelgas sought nullification of the election result on the grounds that the software used in the electronic voting was flawed and could make it possible for a virus to block a vote without the voter knowing that any interference had occurred. To prove his case, Pihelgas conducted a series of experiments with the participation of several voters who had been informed by him of the nature of the test and had given express consent to participate. According to the law, the Supreme Court can nullify election results in case a violation of voter rights has been established that had or may have had a significant effect on the election outcome. Therefore the Chamber set out to determine whether a violation of Pihelgas’s rights had occurred. Full Article
A southern Indiana county’s plans to move from electronic voting to paper ballots is being hampered by possible technical problems with the ballot-counting machines officials had hoped to have in place for the May primary. Those technical concerns, including whether the machines might misread ballots that are longer than standard sizes have forced Monroe County to alter its plans for the primary as a state weighs whether to certify the machines from Omaha, Neb.-based Election System and Software. The county had finalized the nearly $1 million purchase of the new equipment in December, but county clerk Linda Robbins said the county has not taken delivery of the equipment because of the technical issues. “We decided we would not accept delivery of any of the equipment until we can be assured we can have a really good election for the Monroe County voters,” she told The Herald-Times. Full Article
Voters would be asked to show a photo ID before casting a ballot in Arkansas under a bill endorsed Friday by a House committee. House Bill 1797 by Rep. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, cleared the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee in a voice vote. The vote was not unanimous. King told the committee the bill seeks to prevent voter fraud. He said the need to show a photo ID will not be anything new to people. “We have to use a photo ID to rent movies, board an airplane – even students, and my daughter, have to present a photo ID of who they are when they have to take some of the college entrance exams,” he said. Under the bill, election officials at polling places would ask each voter for a photo ID issued by the state of Arkansas or the U.S. government. The ID must have an expiration date and must not be more than four years past that expiration date. A voter unable to provide an ID meeting those criteria would cast a provisional ballot. Read More
The outcome of several important Arizona ballot measures and elections came down to just a few thousand votes in 2010 – or in one case – a few hundred votes. The ABC15 Investigators discovered elections officials also rejected thousands of ballots. Did your vote count? The November 2010 general election in Arizona produced some very tight races. In some cases, elections officials spent days counting ballots before determining the outcome. While every vote was essential, the ABC15 Investigators discovered more than 14,000 ballots were rejected for a variety of reasons. Read More
One day before early voting starts in most municipal elections in Southern Nevada, a Mesquite assemblyman has introduced a bill to halt the popular practice. Assemblyman Cresent Hardy said he was asked by a Las Vegas group, which he declined to name, to introduce Assembly Bill 311. Members of the group will testify on why the change is needed when a hearing is conducted on the bill, he said. “I think early voting takes away from the institution (Election Day voting), like we used to have,” said Hardy, R-Mesquite. “It is popular with some people. But the concern is it leads to a lot of voting violations. Some will say (his bill) will make it harder to get people to vote, but if you are dedicated you still will vote.” Read More
Should I ever find that I have died and then returned to stalk the earth as a zombie, I’m pretty sure I’d have something better to do than vote. Finding out whether brains go better with eastern or western barbecue sauce would probably be at the top of my list, but others of the walking dead may be more civic minded. However, if you’ve been listening to much of the rhetoric around the Voter ID bill, you might think that zombies are not only voting on a fairly frequent basis but that they may be running the elections as well. Read More
Rutherford County Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to reject Republican sponsored bills before the state’s General Assembly proposed by the Secretary of State regarding county election commissions. The last minute addition to the agenda by Commissioner Robert Stevens comes in response to two bills that force county’s to pay the legal bills for mistakes made by state appointed county election commissioners. “They pick them,” Commissioner Stevens said of the state’s selection of county election commissioners. “So if they make boneheaded choices the state should pay for their mistakes, not us. That, or let the local people choose who is on the commission.” The last minute addition didn’t sit well with Commissioner Robert Peay, Jr. who felt like the matter ought to come through a committee before being thrust on the commission. “I’m not saying any of this stuff is something I oppose, but I don’t like something being put in front of me before I have to vote on it,” Commissioner Peay said. Peay was the lone vote against adding the item to the agenda but later voted for the resolution. “The Secretary of State is pushing this through very quickly, and we need to let our legislative delegation know that we oppose this,” County Mayor Ernest Burgess told commissioners. Read More
Today, the full Texas House is expected to consider legislation that would require voters to show photo identification. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports the controversial measure has already passed the Senate and is likely to become state law. Voter identification is among the most partisan legislative issues in Austin. Republicans claim that showing a valid photo when voting will prevent fraud. Democrats say there’s no proof of fraud now and the requirement will keep likely democratic voters, especially those who are elderly or minority, from casting ballots. Read More
As promised in response to public outcry over a perceived need for election reform, the St. Croix Board of Elections will be hosting two public outreach town hall meetings next week, according to a statement released Friday. The town hall meetings will be held Wednesday and Thursday and will be open to the public at large, the statement said. The forums will be the first of what is expected to be a series of such public meetings. Elections Board Chairman Rupert Ross Jr., who also is the chairman of the V.I. Joint Board of Elections, has said that the board is determined to bring the public in on the debate on election reform and to provide as open an environment as possible. The meetings held on St. Croix this year have drawn up to 30 people, some of whom participated in the meetings almost as much as some less vocal board members. Read More
The Shiv Sena today said it would oppose the use of electronic voting machines (EVM) in the civic elections in Mumbai and Thane — the party’s biggest test to retain its traditional Maharashtrian vote bank since Raj Thackeray left the party nearly five years ago. Sena leader Sanjay Raut, also the executive editor of party mouthpiece Saamna, said the party wanted a return to the old system of ballot paper and it would take up the issue strongly. The civic elections are barely a year away. “There have been several complaints regarding the credibility of EVMs. The Shiv Sena has always had its reservations since voting went electronic. Our ally, the BJP, has already held demonstrations about how EVMs can be tampered with. So we want the civic elections to be held in the old style of stamping ballot papers,” he said.
In view of an earlier announcement that the forthcoming municipal election, due next month in Gujarat’s capital city of Gandhinagar, would be held online, the State Election Commissioner, Government of Gujarat has announced that over 1600 voters have signed up for this facility. This is the first time in the country that all wards (11 in this case) of a municipal corporation would be up for polls through an Internet-based voting system. This online voting system, however, will be an add-on facility and will not replace the traditional Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). “This facility has been extended so that educated people, who generally refrain from voting due to inconveniences of standing in long queues, come forward and engage in the polling process,” said K.C. Kapoor, State Election Commissioner, Gujarat. In order to avail this facility, all a voter requires is an Internet connection and a separate registration as an online voter. Those without direct access to an internet connection can avail of this facility through the e-polling booths that will be set up across the various sectors of the municipality. Moreover, an individual registered as an online voter will be taken off the list of regular voters at the polling booth in order to avoid multiple voting. Read More
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