What do voting machines, laser speed guns, and parking meters have in common?…Voter machine monopoly promotes election fraud…Is Ken Blackwell ignoring the facts about voter registration?…”In Citizens United v. F.E.C., the court could wipe out a longstanding ban on corporate spending on federal elections, which would allow big business to swamp democracy.” ~ NY Times OP…Connecticut election audits fall short… Economy v Elections: Lake County IL cuts polling places to pay for new vote-by-mail program…Delaware Co. NY cuts polling places to offset voting machine cost. EAC audit of Iowa’s HAVA costs trigger investigation….Senate right to apply ACORN standard to defense contractors. Voter Action says we need a public option for voting systems…
All of that and more in today’s Voting News below…
CA. Vote By Mail Election Underway in Santa Barbara
Process Could Save the City $50-thousand dollars
A vote by mail election has begin in Santa Barbara. The city says it will save an estimated $50-thousand dollars. Ballots began arriving today. They must be received by 8 p.m. on November 3rd…The ballots come with a prepaid envelope. Voters must sign the envelope and the signature has to match the one on file in the elections office
CT. Greenwich Registrar and Deputy Secretary Mara Discuss Today’s Audit
October 2, 2009 …We would prefer audits that were intended to do more than just check the machines, that they also were intend to verify the election results as well…Not every count has gone well in the past. As the Coalition Report of the November 2008 Audit stated:…the November post-election audits still do not inspire confidence…Among our greatest concerns are the discrepancies between machine counts and hand-counts reported to the Secretary of the State by several municipalities
HI. What do voting machines, laser speed guns, and parking meters have in common?
Oct 5. Answer: You can’t be sure they are properly calibrated.
…I can only guess, but the laser speed guns may seldom, if ever, be tested at all. If that’s the case, then the city will have learned a valuable lesson as speeding cases are thrown out…For voting machines in Hawaii there is an administrative rule covering testing, and it applies to all computers used for elections:
…Anyone wanna bet on whether every computer is tested? I’ve been told that only a sample are tested, but I don’t have the last word on this…If any poll people know the answer to the voting machine question, though, I’d be curious to have your comments. I’d ask Kevin Cronin, the Chief Elections Officer, but he has enough headaches these days without a new challenge to deal with.
IA. Feds question Culver’s voting promotion costs *
A federal audit of the Iowa secretary of state’s office has found questionable spending totaling $2.5 million of roughly $30 million that the state’s elections division received from the federal government while Gov. Chet Culver was secretary of state.
In particular, auditors questioned more than $1.2 million in spending related to a 2005 promotion to celebrate voting and milestones of voting rights.
IL. Voting site reduction expected to save $100K
Comments October 2, 2009
With early and absentee voting accounting for more than one-third of ballots cast in last year’s presidential election, the Lake County Clerk’s Office has trimmed the number of voting sites in a cost-saving measure.
Polling places for next year’s primary and general elections have been reduced from 163 to 137.
MD. Election changes top agenda
Holding vote in the fall one solution council will consider to improve turnout
October 5 The City Council in August discussed moving elections back to fall while keeping them on odd years, increasing voter districts and changing polling places.
ME. NAACP spearheads prison vote drive in Maine
Oct 5. PORTLAND, Maine — The NAACP is registering voters at prisons in Maine, one of just two states that allow all inmates to vote while behind bars, in what is apparently the nation’s first such statewide drive…”It’s about establishing strong voter patterns and becoming a fully functioning person to re-enter society,” Ross said. “It’s part of the rehabilitation and re-entry process.”
or use this tiny url http://tinyurl.com/prisonvoterdrive
MN. Opposing groups gear up for November ballot issue on IRV voting method in St. Paul
Oct 6 2009 A St. Paul group called No Bad Ballots has formed to opposed ranked voting, or Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) in city elections.
Another group called St. Paul Better Ballot Campaign — which includes many prominent local politicians — strongly supports the voting method.
The No Bad Ballots members say they are “a volunteer organization dedicated to making sure our election process is open and effective. Instant run-off voting will confuse voters, encourage more negative campaigning, and cost the city money at at time when we cannot afford it.”
or use this tiny url http://tinyurl.com/groups-clash-irv
MN. Elections complaint filed with Department of Justice
Oct 5. NEWS RELEASE St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Majority announced that it has filed a formal complaint with the United States Department of Justice requesting an investigation of irregularities in Minnesota’s 2008 general election.
In its letter to Chief Christopher Coates, the group says that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie appears to be in violation of the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA). HAVA requires the Secretary of State to perform certain voter registration maintenance and verification activities on a regular basis.
NY. New voting machines prompt polling-site changes in Delaware
Many voters in Delaware County will be adjusting to new voting machines and polling locations when they go to the polls for the general election Nov. 3.
All voters in Delaware County will cast ballots on optical scanners this year, and because the county was only able to purchase 30 machines, the number of polling places were pared from 40 to 28, according to Robin Alger, Delaware County deputy elections commissioner…With the aid of federal money, Delaware County purchased 30 machines to be used at 28 polling stations. The machines cost about $11,500 each, and the counties had to buy special $75,000 Dell computers to program their voting machines.
NY. Overseas Military: New York District 23 – Get Ready for the November 3, 2009 Special Election
If you do not have an absentee ballot request on file, you need to fill one out as soon as possible. The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) ballot application and instructions are available at www.fvap.gov. Federal Voting Assistance Program.
NY. Overseas Vote Foundation Tweet (retweet) Twitter / milvoteoverseas
milvoteoverseas: Voters from NY-23: ballot time line will be tight. Story today Syracuse.com: http://ow.ly/sBEc – Use Fed Write-in Ballot http://ow.ly/sBED
NY. Senate Bill Would Eliminate Primary Runoff
Oct 5. Around 7 percent of registered Democrats voted in the New York City primary runoff last week, in which Councilman John C. Liu of Queens won the party’s nomination for city comptroller and Councilman Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn won the nomination for public advocate.
OH. Convicted elections chairman is asked to resign
Secretary of state sets deadline, cites ethics violations in letter to Republican board member Oct 06.
VA. Elections Board, Justice Dept. Discuss Ballot Flap *
Oct 6. RICHMOND, Va. (AP) ― The State Board of Elections and the U.S. Justice Department have failed to reach agreement on an absentee-ballot issue that resulted in about 4,700 overseas servicemembers’ votes not being counted last year.
A judge ruled in December that the board violated federal law by mailing absentee ballots too late for overseas military personnel to return them before the election. The ruling followed a lawsuit by Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin….U.S. District Judge Richard Williams urged the board and the Justice Department to find a remedy to prevent such missteps in the future.
WA. ELECTION: County can’t make RCV decision
LORI AUGINO; Elections manager Pierce County Auditor’s Office Tacoma
10/04/09 Re: “Auditor trying to discredit ranked choice”
…Haughton questioned why the Elections Division didn’t decide to use ranked choice voting (RCV) for the port commissioner race. The answer is simple: No one in Pierce County has the authority to make that decision. That decision lies in the hands of the Legislature and the governor…The fact is we are the only county in Washington state using two voting methods, and that increases our costs.
Ignoring the Facts
Oct 6. Champaign County Clerk
Ken Blackwell has an oped in the Washington Times supporting the efforts to “modernize” our voter registration system. I was struck by this line. The Internal Revenue Service and state tax boards seem to know where to find us every year, yet the current voter registration system requires each of us to file a new registration form when we move or risk losing our vote.
Which was immediately contradicted by the results of this simple google search.
Lines at Polling Places
Oct 6. Champaign County Clerk
Just how long is too long to vote? How many people don’t vote because of long lines? How big is the problem of long lines? Why do these lines occur? What can be done about it?
…While Gerken likes polling place observation, I’d prefer something that relies less on observers. In Champaign County we are going to try to create a voluntary method for voters to report on the length of time that it took them to vote. Hopefully, after the primary, we’ll have better data to provide our voters about this issue…. In no particular order these are the reasons I have seen for long lines: too few judges, not enough polling booths, untrained judges, slow judges, and disorganized polling places.
Reformers as a Barrier to Reform
Oct 2. Champaign County Clerk
Senate right to apply ACORN standard to defense contractors
These three companies, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman, have engaged in 109 instances of misconduct just since 1995, and have paid fees and settlements for this misconduct totaling $2.9 billion,” said Sanders.
Then he added “the kicker: Despite violating the law time after time after time; despite being fined time after time after time, guess what? In 2007, their punishment was – $77 billion in government contracts.”..The Sanders amendment would also require Pentagon officials to recommend penalties for contractors that repeatedly cheat the government out of hundreds of millions – perhaps billions – of dollars.
ACORN: A Case of Selective Prosecution
…ACORN deserves to be scrutinized, but not treated unfairly. The Senate recently passed a measure to deny all federal funding to ACORN, the nation’s leading community organizing organization…This is clearly a case of selective prosecution. ..ACORN’s errors don’t even register on the scale of mistakes our government has tolerated on Wall Street.
Building a Base: Electoral Fusion
..the practice of allowing multiple political parties to support the same candidate for a single office. Currently, two forms exist….Seven states – SC, CT, DE, ID, MS, VT, and NY – currently use electoral fusion…
Citizens United v FEC
Editorial The Supreme Court Returns
Oct 4. NY Times. The most important business case, however, is one the court heard last month. In Citizens United v. F.E.C., the court could wipe out a longstanding ban on corporate spending on federal elections, which would allow big business to swamp democracy. We hope the court will avoid such recklessness, and rule narrowly.
The Citizens United argument marked Justice Sotomayor’s debut and she asked several questions that cut to the heart of the matter. A new justice always changes the dynamic of the court, but in ideologically charged cases, Justice Sotomayor’s positions are likely to be similar to those of Justice David Souter, whom she replaced.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s Free-Speech Tests
Oct 5. …Sotomayor will be tested in one of the areas of greatest concern to liberals — free speech — at the very start of her tenure on the court. Sotomayor was opposed by some free-speech advocates, in part because of her vote in Doninger vs. Niehoff, in which the appeals court upheld the right of school officials to punish students for out-of-school speech — in what some considered a major blow to both the 1st Amendment and student rights
Supreme Court back in session
October 5 The Supreme Court begins a new term today, and WORLD Washington Bureau reporter Emily Belz notes that the high court will address several key First and Second Amendment rights cases:
ES&S Diebold Monopoly.
Voter machine monopoly promotes election fraud
(Video with John Bonifaz interview)
Voter machine monopoly promotes election fraud Diebold Inc. has sold its voting machine business to leading voting machine manufacturer Elections Systems & Software (ES&S). This this has raised concern among voter advocacy organizations who fear that the transaction could create a monopoly and allow election fraud to go unchecked. rt’s Dina Gusovsky speaks to John Bonifaz from Voter Action.
Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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