New South Wales Electoral Commission (NSWEC) CIO Ian Brightwell has defended the state’s online iVote system for the second time in as many weeks, after concerns were raised that a ballot error could put the state’s Legislative Council results in question for some seats. In the first two days of voting for the NSW state election, which was held on March 28, an error on the electronic ballot paper used for the online iVote system saw voters unable to vote above the line for two parties. … Brightwell’s defence of the NSW iVote system comes just two weeks after he fended off claims by online security researchers that the system had been vulnerable to a range of potential attacks, including those using the FREAK vulnerability. At the time, Brightwell played down the findings of the two researchers, Michigan Computer Science professor J Alex Halderman and University of Melbourne research fellow Vanessa Teague, saying that the vulnerability claims had been “overstated”.
The San Jose City Clerk’s Office is under fire Thursday over a mistake on the ballot for a special election next month that is costing taxpayers $15,000 to fix. The one candidate at the center of the ballot mishap says it could end up costing him votes. Ten candidates are running for the hotly contested race to be a member of the San Jose City Council. The seat is vacant since Kansen Chu is heading to the State Assembly. Some 29,000 households in North San Jose should have already received the official ballot for the April 7 special election. In the ballot, all of the candidates have a diamond symbol next to their names.
A forest preserve district race has been omitted from thousands of ballots in Winnebago County, forcing election officials to spend $50,000 to fix the problem. The Winnebago County Clerk’s office didn’t include the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County race on the official certification of candidates sent to the Rockford Board of Elections before ballots were printed, the Rockford Register Star reported. A voter on Thursday noticed the missing race, which has three candidates running for two open board positions.
California: Santa Clara County: Print shop flub compounds ballot error in two school board races | San Jose Mercury News
A flub on sample ballots for two school board races that were mailed to thousands of voters in Santa Clara and Gilroy was compounded when the printing vendor sent out official ballots repeating the error. In addition, most residents in the Santa Clara Unified and Gavilan Community College districts have yet to receive the correct ballots because the vendor didn’t send them out last week with the other vote-by-mail ballots throughout the county. The initial error, which cropped up just over two weeks ago, involved a mistake at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters that resulted in sample ballots going out which omitted some candidates and their statements. “That was a programming error on our part in the election database,” said Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey.
The Baxter County Election Committee held an emergency meeting Thursday morning to discuss an error discovered after testing voting machines earlier this week. In its findings, the commission found paper ballots to be correct. However, after testing, touch screen voting machines for three precincts, 8-1, 6-2 and 6-3, left the state representative race for District 100 between Democrat Willa Mae Tilley and Republican Nelda Speaks off the ballot. The three precincts in question represent a total of 1,705 registered voters. … By state law, the election commission had to hold a public meeting concerning the ballot error, but was unable to give public notice due to time constraints, as cited by the commission. According to the law, the election commission either has to correct the error immediately or show why the correction should not be done.
Burlington has suspended early voting for the Nov. 4 election because of a ballot error and will print new ballots at a cost of about $10,000, the city announced Monday. Five of the 15 Republican nominees for justice of the peace had been left off the ballot. “I am disappointed that, for the second time in two years, the City finds itself in the position of having to correct a ballot,” Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a statement. “These avoidable and costly errors must end.” In a statement, the city Clerk/Treasurer’s Office apologized for the error, which it said was inadvertent. Sample ballots available on the city website Monday included 10 Republican nominees, 15 Democratic nominees and two Libertarian nominees. Voters may select up to 15 people to serve as justices of the peace.
Though much of the uncertainty about the U.S. Senate race stems from Democrat Chad Taylor’s last-minute decision to withdraw, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and his appointed county election commissioners must ensure there will be no doubt about the final tally in that or other contests. Confidence already is wobbly, including in Sedgwick County.
Some reasons for worry:
▪ Kobach ordered Friday that more than 500 ballots be mailed by the next day, as per federal law, to overseas civilians and military personnel. But he included a disclaimer that new ballots would be printed if the courts agreed with his position that Democrats must name a replacement for Taylor.
That scenario looked less likely Tuesday; the Kansas Supreme Court ordered that the voter’s lawsuit that could lead to such a ruling be transferred to Shawnee County District Court for what could be time-consuming fact-finding.
New ballots for Peoria’s Mesquite District Council race have been sent out with the names of all three candidates, according to a spokeswoman for the city. The ballots should arrive to all 16,000 registered voters in the district by Saturday or Monday. Election ballot errors omitting the name of a candidate in the Peoria Mesquite District not once, but twice, resulted in a lawsuit and left Peoria officials scrambling, trying to figure out how to remedy the situation. In a special meeting by the Peoria City Council Thursday, the council recommended in a 3-2 vote, a combination of two options to try and rectify the problem: 1. Mail ballots to all registered voters in the Mesquite District and, 2. Have remote voting locations. Earlier in the day, Dr. Ken Krieger, the candidate whose name was omitted from the ballots, held a news conference, along with his attorneys outside the Maricopa County Elections offices in Phoenix, who said they filed a suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to stop the election in the Mesquite District because Peoria doesn’t have the authority to do it and it must be ordered by a judge.
Peoria City Council candidate Ken Krieger’s name was not on ballots sent out last week to more than 8,500 residents. County officials scrambled to fix their error by mailing out replacement ballots this week, but his name once again was left off. “All I wanted to be was on the ballot,” Krieger said. “I understand that mistakes can be made but when it happens twice, it’s just trampling on a person’s constitutional rights.” The repeated omission has forced Peoria officials to call an emergency City Council meeting today so council members can decide what to do next, Deputy City Clerk Linda Blas said. What that decision could be is unclear. “They’re still discussing (options),” Blas said. “The council will make the decision on what instructions they would like to give to (the) county.” Maricopa County Elections Department Director Karen Osborne said the city has various options, including a third attempt to send out the correct ballot or canceling this month’s primary election for the council district and holding it with the general election Nov. 4.
A Maricopa County Board of Elections’ error where a candidate’s name was left off the ballot is likely to cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. Karen Osbourne, the Maricopa County elections director, estimates it will cost taxpayers about $15,000 to mail out corrected ballots to nearly 8,500 residents. “We had 41 challenges this year, 10 days to hold and decide, and I failed to put him back on the ballot,” said Osbourne. She said she regrets the error.
A federal judge has ordered the city of Ann Arbor not to count any votes for 3rd Ward City Council candidates Julie Grand and Sam McMullen on defective ballots that left off Bob Dascola’s name. Dascola, a candidate in the three-way race for the open seat, was left off a batch of absentee ballots that went out to voters this past month due to what the Washtenaw County clerk’s office has described as a series of unfortunate events, including an error by a third-party ballot programmer. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff ruled on Tuesday that should any absentee voters turn in the defective ballots without following up and turning in replacement ballots, then any votes in the 3rd Ward race on those defective ballots should not be counted.
The latest example of “there is no small stuff” in elections comes to us from Pulaski County (Little Rock) Arkansas – where a small but crucial error in preparing ballots for an upcoming millage election ended up costing the county thousands of dollars when they had to be reprinted. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has more:
One number put in the wrong place resulted in a decision Saturday to reprint more than 53,600 ballots before the March 11 Pulaski County special millage election. The Pulaski County Election Commission — which now holds meetings during each poll-worker training session — voted unanimously Saturday to reprint the ballots after realizing the misprinted forms could not be counted by the voting machines at the precincts.
Tennessee: Sevier County’s voting machines to stay in place for liquor measure | Knoxville News Sentinel
Same issue. Same voting machines. For the second time, the Sevier County Election Commission has effectively decided to retain the current voting machines for a March 14 re-vote on the question of offering liquor by the drink in Pigeon Forge. Commissioner John Huff said Thursday he favors keeping the machines for two reasons. “The people who vote are already familiar with them, and our poll workers are familiar with them,” he said. The March 14 vote was set after a judge voided a Nov. 6 due to ballot errors. Huff said those errors were because of human error, not because of a problem with the machines.
Ohio: Elections chief Jon Husted restricts methods to notify voters of absentee ballot errors | cleveland.com
For the presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has placed new restrictions on how local boards of elections can notify voters if their absentee ballot contains an error. Husted, a Republican, issued a directive Oct. 4 that limits the method of communication to first-class mail when a voter’s absentee ballot identification envelope contains errors, such as a missing name or signature, or if the information on the envelope does not match voter registration records. Election officials cannot notify voters by email or phone, even though voters may provide that information when applying for an absentee ballot, the directive said. Husted’s office says the directive was issued to ensure uniformity across the state. But Democrats say the directive is another example of Husted making it more difficult to vote. Earlier this week, Husted appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court an appellate court decision that allows in-person early voting the weekend before the Nov. 6 election.
Tennessee: Davidson County Election Commission reconsiders use of electronic poll books | The Tennessean
The group that first complained about improperly programmed technology that led to ballot errors in the August elections now worries that the panel is about to bring the electronic poll books back in November. The Davidson County Election Commission will reconsider the use of electronic poll books during its meeting Thursday afternoon, said Election Administrator Albert Tieche. Tieche has acknowledged that the poll books were improperly programmed, causing an undetermined number of voters to be steered toward the Republican primary by default even when they didn’t express their preference.
An error discovered in the Fremont County Commission District 2 primary election could change the outcome of the race that unofficially put the winner on top by a slim 20-vote margin. Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese anticipated meeting with the canvassing board at 1 p.m. Thursday in Lander to discuss the 30 voters who should not have cast ballots in the District 2 race. “They got ballots that had the commissioners’ race on it, and they should not have gotten those ballots.” Freese said. “They shouldn’t have voted on commissioners, in other words.” Freese said the error happened only in the 18-1 Big Bend precinct and with the District 2 race. “It’s fine everywhere else,” she said. “Every other race has not been affected. This is the only one.”