The Voting News Daily: Groups warn ES&S merger is security threat, Future of CA Voting comments posted, VA officials sued over voter files

The news is fairly light today so be sure to read the public comments on the Future of Voting in California now posted at the CA SOS website. The comments come from experts, advocates, interested citizens and also voting vendors including internet voting vendors…
ES&S Diebold Purchase: Groups Endorse Remedies for Unlawful Concentration of Market Power… In NM, the house has voted to contributions from lobbyist, the bill now heads to the senate…. Voting to become easier for Alabama service members….

All this and more in today’s news below….

AL: New bill would expand absentee voting options (next to state senate)
http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20100217/NEWS02/2170352/1009
The bill would allow service members to file requests for ab­sentee ballots by e-mail or fax. Currently, the requests must be made by U.S. Postal Service. It also would allow for the ballots to be sent to the service mem­bers by e-mail or fax, as well as U.S. Postal Service.

CA: ACLU of Northern California Opposes “Top-Two Open Primary”
http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/02/17/aclu-of-northern-california-opposes-top-two-open-primary/
CA: Breaking News: Federal District Court Issues Important Split Decision in San Diego Campaign Finance Case
http://electionlawblog.org/archives/015297.html

CA: Battle lines form over electronic signatures to qualify ballot initiatives
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14415504?nclick_check=1
…But hours after Chief Elections Officer Warren Slocum announced Tuesday that he would reject any electronic signature scribbled on an iPhone’s touch screen, the founders of a Silicon Valley start-up company said they would file a lawsuit this week challenging the rejection.

“I think that until it’s clear that this kind of technology can’t be tampered with, hard copy signatures should be the way to go,” Smith added. “I don’t think we’re clear on that point.” (Pam Smith, President of Verified Voting)

CT: ES&S Diebold Purchase: Groups Endorse Remedies for Unlawful Concentration of Market Power
http://www.ctvoterscount.org/?p=2888

NC: City feeling pressure to change its election system
http://bit.ly/a0pNeA
Settlemyer and City Manager Sally Sandy drove home the point when they said Morganton’s alone-in-the-state status running its own municipal election could cost $25,000 to $30,000 or more for new hardware

Today, no N.C. city has its own board of elections — except Morganton. An increasing number of people are asking why.

NM: House votes to ban contributions from lobbyists, contractors
Bill bans contributions to candidates and political parties
http://newmexicoindependent.com/47804/house-votes-to-ban-contributions-from-lobbyists-contractors

VA: Virginia Election Officials Sued for Unlawfully Denying Access to Voter Files
http://bit.ly/9Md1Pb

VA: Election Law Society Symposium! March 18, 2010
http://electls.blogs.wm.edu/2010/02/17/election-law-society-symposium/
(William & Mary) The Election Law Society is proud to announce its fourth annual Election Law Symposium, “Back to the Drawing Board: The 2010 Census and the Politics of Redistricting.”

National

Groups and Election Officials Warn Department of Justice that Voting Machine Vendor Merger will Inflate Costs to Taxpayers, Threaten Election Accuracy and National Security
http://blog.verifiedvoting.org/2010/02/17/401
The letter strongly warns of profound risks to national security when one vendor controls the programming and maintenance of the election equipment in a 70% majority of election jurisdictions or entire states. Centralization of voting system programming and maintenance increases the possibility of widespread election failure, the experts warn, which could have the potential to de-stabilize the Nation and could present a threat to U.S. national security.

“Poll: Large majority opposes Supreme Court’s decision on campaign financing”
http://electionlawblog.org/archives/015295.html

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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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.

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