Hampden MA may end hand counting ballots..Benton Co MI Supervisor paid from $10 to $40 + case of beer for votes..VA Gov McDonnell outpaces Dems in restoring Va. felons’ voting rights..Internet voting spreads in Canada & so do problems. Ottawa voters blocked by “captcha” bug & some registered voters told they weren’t on the list…Experts pan D.C. Internet vote plan: “Return of marked ballots over the Internet is something we simply don’t know how to do safely. Exercises such as this are counterproductive, because they will provide a false sense of security..”
All this and more in today’s voting news below…
AK: Murkowski: Uncertainty about vote-counting process
http://newsminer.com/bookmark/9654261-Murkowski-Uncertainty-about-vote-counting-process– U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who’s mounting a write-in campaign to hold onto her job, said considerable uncertainty remains over what criteria election officials will use to determine which write-in ballots would be counted.
CA: Every vote counts: Report, legislation seek more accountability for elections equipment manufacturers http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_16178656
Unlike an automobile, when a voting system fails in most jurisdictions across the country, manufacturers are not required to report the malfunction or failure to any government agency, there’s no agency that investigates alleged failures and there’s no entity that alerts election officials and the public of possible problems, a recent report from the Brennan Center for Justice found.
CO: Aspen Election Commission mulls actions if voters retain IRV
ASPEN — The Aspen Election Commission began talks Wednesday that could lead to a full hand count — a 12- to 15-hour process, said City Clerk Kathryn Koch — of ballots if instant runoff voting (IRV) is retained in the Nov. 2 election.
DC: Experts raise warning flags over D.C. Internet voting plan
A national good-government organization and a group of leading computer scientists are raising concerns about a new Internet voting initiative set to debut for District voters in the coming weeks
FL: Daytona leader faces absentee ballot probe
A city commissioner who won re-election last month by a wide margin is at the center of a criminal investigation after nearly 80 absentee ballots were requested from a computer belonging to him, Volusia County’s elections supervisor said Friday.
IL: New Illinois law now permits ‘naked voting’ in Chicago
http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-chicago/new-illinois-law-now-permits-naked-voting-chicago To encourage Illinois voters to take advantage of new absentee ballot rules, Chicago-based Equality Illinois Education Project, in partnership with Rock the Vote and Roosevelt University, has launched “Vote Naked Illinois,” …
MA: Hampden mulls voting machine
http://www.masslive.com/chicopeeholyoke/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-29/1285572058200950.xml&coll=1 Selectmen Chairman John D. Flynn said the town has had a tradition of counting the paper ballots by hand…
MD: Md. National Guard member sues elections board
http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2062412 GREENBELT, Md. (AP) – A member of the Maryland National Guard is suing the state board of elections because he says overseas voters have not been given enough time to obtain and return ballots for the upcoming November election.
MS: Benton County, MS supervisor found guilty of voter fraud * (vote buying)
The case stemmed from the August 7, 2007 primary election and the August 27, 2007 runoff elections in Benton County
According to the investigation, King paid people to vote for him on two separate elections. The defendants got involved in a scheme where they paid $40 and a case of beer to as little as $10 per vote to get people to vote for certain candidates.
NY: Ballot problem influenced results (LTE)
http://web.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp? newsdate=9/26/2010&navigation=nextprior&category=OPINION&storyID=973674 http://tinyurl.com/2brbtd4 It is untrue that the primary election results were unbiased by the spoilage of up to 8 percent of the ballots in Albany County because of awkward ballot design, as argued by county election officials.
NY: North Castle clerk takes heat for going to poll sites
http://www.lohud.com/article/20100927/NEWS02/9270318/-1/newsfront/North-Castle-clerk-takes-heat-for-going-to-poll-sites Douglas A. Colety, the Republican commissioner for the county Board of Elections, said he believes Curran violated the law by being present at the polling places and touching the machines.
RI: Anti-gay marriage group sues over RI election law
A group that opposes same-sex marriage wants to run TV ads in the Rhode Island governor’s race, but doesn’t want to comply with state campaign finance laws,
SD: Voter disenfranchisement looms on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation*
“[H]ow could elected officials plan to disenfranchise thousands of Native American voters and get away with it?” asks Semans, rhetorically. (Semans is director of Four Directions) “This is what is happening right now in Shannon County,” said Semans. “Rather than provide the same voting opportunities available to citizen in the rest of South Dakota, officials in neighboring Fall River County … have chosen to resign, leaving Shannon County with no state-sanctioned election official and jeopardizing the voting rights of its residents. Even more shocking is the fact that there is evidence that this action was premeditated.”
Noting that on election day Shannon County voters will have no polling places for casting their ballots, Semans contends that the American Indians in Shannon County “are being denied equal voting rights and “may be disenfranchised” entirely.
TN: Podcast: What’s the matter in Tennessee?
Allegations of massive election fraud, voter suppression, intimidation, and election manipulation in Shelby County, Tennessee. 10 candidates have filed a lawsuit
TN: “True recounts cannot be done.”
Rikki Hall of Metro Pulse writes about the pitfalls of electronic voting
VA: McDonnell outpacing Democrats in restoring Va. felons’ voting rights
…McDonnell announced a revamped process…shaving the time nonviolent felons must wait to apply after serving their sentences from three years to two years.
WV: W.Va. court denies GOP appeal to have separate ballot for Senate seat
WY: Wyoming voting rights case legal bills exceed $880K
http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_00df4d66-45a3-50d3-9953-9baa513ac94a.html Lawyers representing American Indians who won a voting rights lawsuit against Fremont County are seeking more than $880,000 from the county.
Members of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes sued Fremont County in 2005 charging that at-large voting for county commissioners violated federal law by diluting the American Indian vote. U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson ruled for the Indians this spring.
Internet Voting Watch
DC: Experts raise warning flags over D.C. Internet voting plan
a pair of letters questioning the legality and the security of the process were sent last week to council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), the legislator who oversees city elections and who has also been the leading proponent of numerous voting reforms.
Common Cause, the nonpartisan good-government lobbying group, sponsored both letters. The first missive [PDF] questions whether the digital vote by mail system is “voter-verifiable,” as required under the city’s new election laws. The voter has no way of confirming that the ballot he or she sent is the same one that is counted by elections officials, the letter argues.
The second letter [PDF] raises sharp concerns over the vulnerability to infiltration by hackers, calling the new system a “poorly conceived experiment” that “imperils the overall accuracy of every election on the ballot.”
Where We Stand – Update on the D.C. Overseas Distance Balloting Project
http://www.trustthevote.org/where-we-stand-%E2%80%93-update-on-the-d-c-overseas-distance-balloting-project …the sliver of good news is there will be a public review before the DoJ stipulated ballot availability deadline. One thing that should be of value is their CTO’s 40 page white paper — at least to the extent of answering questions about the what, why, etc.
Canada: E-ballots get Ontario’s vote
Burlington is among a record number of Ontario communities using Internet balloting for the October municipal election, a trend that technology providers say is booming for political, union, business and other types of votes.
But security concerns remain top of mind for officials everywhere, triggered by incidents such as one this summer in the United States.
Election 2010 Notebook – City working to fix voter-list glitches * (captcha bug)
Ottawa’s election officer this week pulled the online voters’ list off the city website in order to fix an unfortunate glitch: the program was telling people who are registered to vote that they were not on the list.”We are working through these issues,” said Catherine Bergeron, the city’s election officer. She added that the “captcha” security feature — where users have to type certain hard-to-read numbers and letters to prove they aren’t computers trying to break into the system — was “not working properly with all browsers
2010 early voting calendar
JUST DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER
Express Ballot Delivery: Overseas Vote Foundation, Federal Express Announce Partnership http://blog.verifiedvoting.org/2010/09/27/867
Campaign cash: Who’s spending where in 2010
Hidden Under Tax-Exempt Cloak, Political Dollars Flow
How to Tilt an Election Through Redistricting
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/weekinreview/26cooper.html So what are the tricks of the trade? Why do so many districts end up as misshapen Rorschach inkblots with nicknames like “the Earmuff,” “the Flying Giraffe,” or, in the case of a State Senate district in upstate New York, “Abraham Lincoln Riding on a Vacuum Cleaner”?
How the EAC Could Help Bring Voter Registration Into the Digital Age
GILDED AGE CORRUPTION
http://electionupdates.caltech.edu/?p=3308 First, Reynolds concludes that the big problem was the fact that a host of new election reforms were being implemented by old guard election officials. What ensued was often not fraud, but just sloppiness as they tried to cope with a lot of changes at once. (Sound familiar?)
Afghan polling day more violent than last election, figures show
As counting continues, claims of irregularities have grown. Observers have noted fake voter cards, proxy voting, ballot stuffing, underage voting, voter intimidation, washable ink that allowed for multiple voting, irregular voting patterns and higher than 100 percent turnout in some provinces
Venezuela Secures Electoral System as Venezuelans to Vote on Course of Bolivarian Revolution http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/5661 …Gabriela Ramirez, the head of the Public Defenders Office, urged the opposition to recognize that “no political party can abrogate the legitimacy” of the election, since the National Electoral Council (CNE) is “the only entity authorized to determine legitimacy.”
On Friday afternoon, the CNE announced that 100% of the 36,553 voting centers were installed, complete with electronic voting machines that underwent a comprehensive audit in recent weeks.
Paraguayan Senator Fernando Silva, also an observer, praised Venezuela’s electronic voting machines, which print a paper record of each vote that the voter can view. “This system is very enviable because it guarantees the transparency of the process,” he said.
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