Tuesday night debate on a bill to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) resolved nothing, and if anything made it more clear that the bill runs the risk of failing on Wednesday, as all Democratic speakers spoke out against it.
The bill, H.R. 672, is up Wednesday on the suspension calendar, which means two-thirds of all voting members to support it for passage. Republicans would likely need more than 40 Democrats to support the bill for passage, but Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), one of the three Democratic members of the House Committee on Administration, predicted that Democrats would defeat the bill Wednesday. Read More
I am very concerned about the widespread push toward Internet voting in the U.S., of which email voting is just one kind. Neither the Internet itself, nor voters’ computers, nor the email vote collection servers are secure against any of a hundred different cyber attacks that might be launched by anyone in the world from a self-aggrandizing loner to a foreign intelligence agency. Such an attack might allow automated and undetectable modification or loss of any or all of the votes transmitted.
While all Internet voting systems are vulnerable to such attacks and thus should be unacceptable to anyone, email voting is by far the worst Internet voting choice from a national security point of view since it is the easiest to attack in the largest number of different ways.
The technical points I am about to state are not my opinions alone. The computer security research community in the U.S. is essentially unanimous in its condemnation of any currently feasible form of Internet voting, but most especially of email voting. I strongly urge legislators in states considering e-mail voting to request testimony from other independent computer network security experts who are not affiliated with or paid by any voting system vendor. Email voting is extremely dangerous in ways that people without strong technical background are not likely to anticipate. Read More
House Republicans have set up a Tuesday suspension vote to repeal the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which they say is an agency in search of a mission that should be terminated to reduce federal spending. But Democrats are rejecting these arguments, making it unclear whether the bill can pass by the necessary two-thirds vote.
Republicans say the EAC can be safely terminated because it has fulfilled its primary mission, which is to offer grants to states to replace outdated voting equipment, such as punchcard and lever-based machines. The EAC was established in 2002, soon after the controversial 2000 presidential election that involved several weeks of recounting votes in Florida and related legal challenges. Read More
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to Republican efforts to terminate the Election Assistance Commission, the agency Congress created to help ensure fair elections. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“The right to vote is at the foundation of our democracy—and so it is extremely disappointing that this bill would undermine our nation’s ability to protect that right.
“I rise in strong opposition to this bill, which would cut funding for fair and accessible elections. Eliminating funding for the Election Assistance Commission would harm the integrity of our elections in 2012, and for years to come. Voters deserve assurance that their votes will count. Read More
Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White denied allegations Tuesday that he committed voter fraud even as Democrats presented legal documents signed by White suggesting he did.
For nearly seven hours, the Indiana Recount Commission took testimony concerning where White lived and voted in 2009 and 2010 to determine whether the Republican was eligible to be elected secretary of state.
Attorney Karen Celestino-Horseman, representing the Indiana Democratic Party, challenged White to explain why he claimed his ex-wife’s address as his own when he registered to vote in February 2010, even though in November 2009 White leased a condominium elsewhere in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers. Read More
Allegations before the Indiana Recount Commission on Tuesday boiled down to whether Charlie White lived with his ex-wife or in a home he purchased to be with his fiancée when he ran for office in 2010.
That issue alone could decide whether he was legally registered to vote – and therefore hold the office of secretary of state that he won later that year. The panel won’t render a decision until a June 30 hearing.
White is accused of intentionally voting in a precinct where he no longer lived, and he is fighting two battles simultaneously. On the criminal side, he faces seven felony counts including voter fraud and perjury. If convicted of a felony, he must resign and the governor would appoint a successor. Read More
The long-awaited hearing to decide the fate of the Secretary of State’s office kicked off Tuesday with testimony from Charlie White himself. White answered all questions asked at the Indiana Recount Commission hearing about confusion over his residency, despite the fact that his testimony can be used against him in criminal court.
He is accused of intentionally voting in a precinct where he no longer lived, and he is fighting two battles simultaneously. On the criminal side, he faces seven felony counts including voter fraud and perjury. If convicted of a felony, he must resign and the governor would appoint a successor. On the civil side, Democrats have forced a recount hearing in which a three-member panel controlled by Republicans will rule on whether White was ineligible to be on the ballot because he wasn’t legally registered to vote.
If they agree, Democrat Vop Osili – who came in second in the contest – would take over the office. Read More
It would be more expensive to conduct an all-mail election in Clark County for the 2nd Congressional District seat than holding a one-day election at polling places, county Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said Tuesday.
Lomax said he informed Secretary of State Ross Miller that a mail-in election on Sept. 13 to fill the seat formerly held by Dean Heller would cost $75,000, compared to $33,000 for an election at 12 polling places with three workers at each place.
The reason is the U.S. Postal Service would require that all ballots be sent out and returned by first-class mail. There also would be printing costs for the ballots. “It would definitely be more expensive to do mail,” he said. “Until the Postal Service lets us use third-class mail, it is always going to be more expensive to do mail elections.” Read More
This weekend’s Republican Central Committee meeting in Sparks had all the excitement of watching your favorite movie for the 113th time: Sure it’s fun, but you know exactly how it ends.
The selection of former state Sen. Mark Amodei as the nominee for the special election in the 2nd Congressional District was assured the moment Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Amodei’s only real competitor, announced he would not seek the office.
The only question was by how much Amodei — who stepped down recently as chairman of the state party — would beat two other contenders, appointed state Sen. Greg Brower and former USS Cole skipper Kirk Lippold. As Amodei himself said, if he’d failed to win the nomination (or if he’d won it by a less-than-impressive margin) it would have sent a very strong message. But Amodei did win, and convincingly (221 votes to just 56 for Brower, his closest competitor). Read More
A Republican proposal to make Pennsylvania voters produce government-issued photo identification at the polls moved a step from a final vote Tuesday in the state House with the defeat of a succession of proposed Democratic amendments.
Majority Republicans used sheer numbers and parliamentary maneuvers to turn aside proposed exemptions for victims of domestic violence or people with mental and physical disabilities, to have voting information printed in Spanish, or to provide additional information to voters about the change in law.
It was the second straight day the House’s floor action was dominated by the voter ID bill, promoted by its supporters as a way to help ensure the integrity of the voting process in the state. Democrats have argued there is no evidence the state has a significant problem with voting fraud, and warned the bill would needlessly impose a new barrier to voters. Read More
With a controversial voter identification bill set for approval by the Pennsylvania House, Democrats and advocacy groups from Philadelphia and around the state voiced concern that the move could end up hurting voter turnout.
House Democrats and Republicans debated the legislation for more than seven hours Monday and Tuesday. With a Republican majority in the House, the bill passed a key hurdle Tuesday night and is expected to win final approval as early as Wednesday and be sent to the Senate. The action reflects a national trend – spurred by conservatives who won office in the 2010 midterm election – toward stricter election laws. Read More
In a surprise move, Republican lawmakers added provisions that would require Ohio voters to present photo identification at the polls to an elections bill that could be approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.
The bill puts them at odds with Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose office released a statement condemning the action. And if the bill becomes law, Ohio Democrats will seek legal action to have it ruled unconstitutional.
The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee is taking up the photo ID provision as a part of a larger elections bill that would move Ohio’s presidential primary from March to May and would reduce the number of days allowed for in-person early voting. Read More
Senate Republicans today added a provision requiring a photo ID at the polls to a comprehensive election reform package that lawmakers are expected to approve within days. Democrats, blind-sided by the addition, said the requirement would disenfranchise voters, particularly in urban areas.
“They’re trying to suppress the vote in these areas,” Sen. Shirley Smith, a Cleveland Democrat said. “I think this is a really tough game they’re playing.”
The GOP-controlled House of Representatives approved a bill requiring photo ID at the polls in March — over the objections of House Democrats, the League of Women Voters and AARP Ohio. Read More
A recount of the vote in Clarksville’s Democratic Primary for Clerk-Treasurer Tuesday trimmed Bob Leuthart’s victory over incumbent Gary Hall by one vote, to 24, with 1,730 votes cast. But Hall’s lawyer, Jack Vissing, who had asked Clark County Circuit Court to order the recount of the May 3 primary, said his client will continue with his challenge of the election results.
A hearing is scheduled July 22 in circuit court on Hall’s claim that special election machines for voters with disabilities weren’t programmed properly and didn’t work on primary day, preventing an undetermined number of voters from casting ballots. Read More
South Carolina will not fund the state GOP’s first-in-the-South presidential primary in February, leaving officials scrambling to sort out who will pay for it. The Republican Party insists the primary will go on, even if the GOP must come up with as much as $1.5 million to run it.
“In no way is this primary in jeopardy,” said Matt Moore, the state GOP’s executive director.
The party could go back to running the primary with paper ballots and volunteers, which is how it was done until 2008. That year, Republicans and Democrats pushed for and won state funding for the wide-open White House primaries and the state election commission started running them.
But Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, a conservative who has been making a name for herself nationally, insists that taxpayer funds be used only for what she calls core functions. She told lawmakers earlier this year that those functions don’t include primaries. Read More
With the General Election looming, millions of people around the globe will once again be robbed of their right to have a say in Ireland’s political destiny. Under Irish law if you are living abroad you cannot be entered into the register of electors. There are some exceptions for Irish diplomats, members of the defense and police forces who can apply for a postal vote if they are abroad in Election Day.
So for countless Irish abroad they are caught in diplomatic limbo. Not able to cast a vote in their homeland, and an immigrant in their new home, the act of voting becomes a thing of the past with your power to exercise your constitutional right stripped. More than 110 countries allow passport holders who live abroad the right to vote, however Ireland is not one of them. If you are not present in Ireland on polling day, then your vote is lost. Read More
Voters must have an Emirates Identity card to take part in the upcoming Federal National Council (FNC) elections. The card, which is equipped with a chip will be used for the first time to ensure the identity of the holder.
E-voting is considered to be one of the most efficient in ensuring a safe, effective and convenient election process, said Dr Ali Al Khouri, director-general of the Emirates Identity Authority and member of the National Election Committee (NEC). The election is scheduled to be held on September 24, officials said Tuesday.
The electronic voting system, he said, has been adopted in many countries across the world and the UAE was the first Arab country in the region to implement such an advanced system in 2006. Read More
Politicians have been told they can tweet at will during the election campaign provided it is only their personal views they are expressing.
The Electoral Commission yesterday sent MPs a handbook of guidance on new election rules, which include a much broader definition of election advertising than previously.
It includes advice for the increasing number of MPs who use Twitter and Facebook. In its guidance, it says MPs using personal Twitter or Facebook accounts can continue to do so provided they only express personal political views. However, they should not post messages on election day itself, because of strict rules against any form of campaigning on the day. Read More
Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov has officially signed a decree scheduling presidential and municipal elections in the country for October 23.
October 23 was the date favored by ruling center-right GERB party and voted as recommended by Parliament last week. Nevertheless the Bulgarian Constitution has it that it is the President who has the power to schedule elections.
Monday President Parvanov chose to agree with the date suggested by Parliament. In the initial consultations, main opposition party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, had argued October 23 is too early after summer holiday season for a serious campaign to take place, and requested November 13 as an alternative. Read More
Turkey’s well-managed, democratic elections demonstrated pluralism but also showed a need for improvements on fundamental freedoms, according to international election observers from the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and Council of Europe.
“To fully live up to its democratic commitments, Turkey must do more than run efficient professional elections on the day of the vote,” said Pia Christmas-Moeller (Denmark), head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation.
“The ten per cent threshold, by far the highest in Europe, remains a central issue in these elections,” said Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden), head of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe delegation. Read More
Ukraine will forward the new draft law on elections to the Venice Commission, President Viktor Yanukovych said at a meeting with Director, Secretary of the European Commission for Democracy through Law Gianni Buquicchio, according to the Press office of President Viktor Yanukovych.
“Last year we adopted the Budget Code, Tax Code, and as I had promised, started working on the election law. To prepare it promptly, in advance, a large number of NGOs, political parties and international consultants are involved in this work,” Viktor Yanukovych said.
“A commission headed by Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych worked out a draft electoral law and we are ready to forward it to the Venice Commission,” he said. Read More
Supervisor of Elections Leroy Benjamin Sr. said the Electoral Commission does not have the authority to instruct him in regard to the reinstating of names on the Voters List.
On June 7, Mr. Benjamin responded to the Electoral Commission’s May 26 letter stating that names which Registration Officer Bernadette Lawrence had removed from the Voters List in Nevis were to remain. According to the Supervisor of Elections, the Commission could only supervise his work, not tell him how to carry out his duties.
“I am fully aware that the Commission shall supervise the Supervisor of Elections in the performance of his functions. But the operative word or duty is supervise and not the giving of directions,” Benjamin’s letter said. Read More
President of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) Ivica Dacic said Saturday that he expects new elections in Serbia to be held in March the following year. He expects the SPS to do well at the elections, and possibly better than others.
At a meeting of the SPS Belgrade about new elections, held in the Serbian capital on Saturday, Dacic said the SPS would certainly not run in the elections to come third. He added that the latest attacks on the SPS in which the party had once again been associated with the family Slobodan Milosevic would not reduce the party’s rating. Read More
In an effort to ensure more transparent electronic voting, the Election Commission is planning to introduce EVM and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), whose first field trials would be conducted in simulated elections at selected polling stations.
The Burmese Election Commission has threatened the politician-activist Bauk Ja that her political party could be dissolved because of her advocacy for 19 Kachin students living in Rangoon who were ordered by the authorities to return home, according to the National Democratic Force (NDF). Read More