Thousands of Labour leadership ballots will be reissued on Tuesday as concerns over missing voting slips triggers calls for the results to be delayed. The party has been forced into the emergency move less than three days before voting ends after a wave of complaints from supporters who have not received their ballot. Shabana Mahmood, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury and co-chair of Yvette Cooper’s campaign, is understood to have only received her ballot on Friday. Aides on Labour leadership campaigns said members of their staff and grandees backing candidates are also still waiting to get their ballots despite just days remaining to vote.
Instead of spending county-appropriated money on the required number of ballots for Hinds County residents to vote in multiple elections, the Hinds County Election Commission purchased a new absentee vote counting machine. While county officials said Tuesday the purchase of the machine was approved by both the county budget office and the board of supervisors, many residents were unable to vote Nov. 4 because of a shortage in ballots. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors asked county attorneys Monday to investigate the actions of Hinds County Election Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran after she admitted to not ordering the number of ballots required by state law for any of the past four county-wide elections. In defense, Cochran said she was “just trying to save the county money.”
Former federal police commissioner Mick Keelty is already convinced the missing votes in the West Australian Senate election materially affected the result, but says it’s unlikely their disappearance was caused by corruption. He has also revealed electoral workers in other states have also alleged that the issue of disappearing votes has been commonplace for years. Mr Keelty arrived in Perth on Monday to continue his inquiry into how electoral bosses lost 1370 votes for the September 7 federal poll from Bunbury East, Henley Brook, Mount Helena and Wundowie. The modelling of the missing votes suggest the margin of victory in the senate could have been one vote, which would have been the closest result in the history of Senate elections. Initial interviews carried out by Mr Keelty suggests the five boxes of missing ballots disappeared sometime between the day after the election and the recount beginning some weeks later. He has said while corruption was unlikely, it had not been ruled out.
Colorado: No violation: Jefferson County ‘duplicate ballot’ was a Delta County special election ballot | The Colorado Independent
The mystery “duplicate ballot” was photographed, tweeted about and then shredded. In its internet afterlife, it was held up as evidence that recent electoral reforms centered around universal mail ballots were opening the state to fraud. In fact, the mystery ballot demonstrated that the system is working as well as it ever has done, and maybe better. It took a few days and some digging, but now it’s clear that the ballot was a Delta County special election ballot. It was mailed to Republican state House candidate Jon Keyser, an attorney at major Colorado law firm Hogan Lovells and a former Air Force intelligence officer. Keyser lives in Morrison, in Jefferson County, but he owns a Delta County parcel of land. He is eligible to vote in two elections. Keyser received two ballots in the mail because that’s how it works. They’re different ballots. He is being asked to vote in Jefferson County as a resident and on a long-term financing deal for Delta County’s Grand Mesa Water Conservancy District.
A complaint filed by independent 2nd District Assembly candidate Gary Stein challenging the party placements and layout of ballots was dismissed Friday by a Superior Court judge. Stein had claimed that the straight-line party columns were unfair to independent and third-party candidates and pointed to Salem County’s ballot, in which candidates are all listed separately under each office, as a fairer system. Stein also claimed that both the Republican and Democratic parties did not meet the requirement needed to get a column on the ballot, each having not received 10 percent of the vote total of the previous state general election during the primary election.
The commission President Barack Obama is setting up to address problems with election administration plans to hold one of its first meetings in the city that appeared to be ground zero for excessive delays in the 2012 vote: Miami. The panel will convene at the federal courthouse in Miami on Friday, June 28 to hear testimony from “local, county and state election officials,” as well as “comments by interested members of the public,” according to a notice set to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register. In November, some Miami voters spent more than five hours waiting to case their ballots, according to the Miami Herald. Obama promised action on the subject in his election night victory speech.
“If elections changed anything they would have them banned”. So read a well-known piece of Sofia graffiti some years ago. Bulgaria’s parliamentary polls on 12 May 2013 seem to confirm the unknown author’s bitter cynicism. The chances are he or she was among the almost half of Bulgaria’s electorate that did not turn up at the voting booths. The low turnout is striking, given that as recently as February, economic hardship and widespread resentment of the political class propelled thousands onto the streets of Sofia, Varna and other big cities voicing demands for a complete overhaul of “the system”. Three months on, it is apathy that prevails, not the will to install fresh faces in parliament. More than one grouping claimed to represent the protesters, but none made it past the 4% threshold. As I wrote in March, Bulgaria isn’t getting its own Beppe Grillo or Alexis Tsipras (see “Bulgaria’s anger, the real source“, 14 March 2013)
Although the election canvass totals matched the votes cast for Center’s March 19 recall election, questions remain on why the canvass was conducted without checking mail-in ballot signatures against the State’s SCORE system. Town Clerk and Treasurer Christian Samora and Center Municipal Judge James Sanchez conducted the canvass, counting ballots, but not the actual results of the various races. Recalled candidates John Faron and Moe Jones requested, last week ,that during the canvass the signatures be checked with the system to verify that those who signed the ballot were those who received it in the mail. This comes after reports of rogue ballots being circulated by the recall committee in Center and several challenges made during the election process by watchers.
Questions continue to swirl around activists’ complaints regarding irregularities in the Boulder County election process, and while the secretary of state has largely brushed aside the concerns, a local elections official says the clerk and recorder’s office will take them seriously. Boulder Weekly reported in early September that there was evidence that ballots could be traced back to individual voters, and election concerns have snowballed ever since. But in a Dec. 31 letter accepting the county’s vote totals, Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert dismissed most of the allegations outlined in a Nov. 26 report written by the majority of the local canvass board, which declined to certify the results of the election.
When seven-term Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack conceded to her Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz on Friday, she left two other members of California’s GOP House delegation still trailing in tight, unsettled races.
As of Saturday, six of seven unresolved House races remain too close to call. In the seventh, two Louisiana Republicans will face off in a December 8 runoff for the 3rd District seat after none of the five candidates got the required 50%. Democrats hold narrow leads in all six of the too-close-to-call races. Should all win, they will have picked up a net gain of eight seats in the House after losing the majority in the chamber and suffering the largest loss of seats since 1948 in the 2010 midterm elections.
Florida: Obama, others push for an overhaul of Florida’s elections system after long waits | Bradenton Herald
The lines to vote in Florida were so long that President Barack Obama took time at the start of his re-election speech early Wednesday morning to point it out. “By the way, we need to fix that,” Obama said. It’s not as if we didn’t know that. As in 2000, Florida gained national attention on Election Day for holding up the final tally of votes in a tight presidential race. Long lines, tardy results, apologetic elections officials — this is how it’s done in the Sunshine State. “I’m hesitant to say what went wrong,” said Daniel Tokaji, a law professor and elections expert at Ohio State University. “But the president is right, we do need to fix this. In the long run, this will dampen turnout if it takes this long to vote.” When asked about Obama’s comments, Gov. Rick Scott said he was open to suggestions.
Proud voters are already posting photos of their ballots on Instagram—sometimes with the names of their chosen candidates filled in. But before you snap a shot of your vote, you might want to check your state laws. As the Citizen Media Law Project points out as part of their guide to documenting the 2012 election, showing your marked ballot to other people is actually illegal in many states. Laws against displaying your ballot are motivated by concerns about vote buying, since voters being bribed might need to be prove they voted a certain way. While laws vary from state to state, the penalties for showing your ballot can be stiff.
Mexico: Electoral authorities to destroy all ballots cast in 2006 and 2012 elections | The Washington Post
Mexico’s top electoral agency says it will destroy ballots cast in the 2006 election and this year’s vote. The Federal Electoral Institute says its general board voted unanimously Wednesday to destroy all ballots in the presidential contests and other races. It says the ballots will be destroyed before the end of the year.
National Republicans said Tuesday that they won’t spend a dime to help elect Rep. Todd Akin to the U.S. Senate. But if they can persuade him to drop out, they might have to pony up some significant cash. The deadline passed Tuesday for Akin to easily and instantly drop out of the Senate race in Missouri. Republicans still have more than a month during which they can prevail upon him to step down, but he would have to seek a court order. But if it goes on for a while, it could get expensive. Missouri state law says that, through Sept. 25, Akin can still remove himself from the ballot by court order, which “shall be freely given.” That’s not a problem, apparently, unless someone has a good reason to object.
Michigan: High number of voting machine paper jams, errors causing delay in certification of Genesee County MI election | MLive.com
The county elections supervisor says a number of jammed paper ballots inserted into counting machines during the Aug. 7 primary election resulted in errors that the Board of Canvassers is still unraveling. The board, which is responsible for certifying election results has in some cases recounted ballots in areas where the number of ballots cast didn’t initially match poll book numbers, said Doreen D. Fulcher, elections and vital records supervisor for the county Clerk’s Office. Fulcher said she believes the only area with work still to do are in limited number of precincts in the city of Flint. “There were some ballot jams (that resulted in) ballots being fed through more than once,” Fulcher said.
The St. Louis County Election Board has declined to certify the results of the Democratic primary for the 87th State Representative District—which was apparently won by one vote on Aug. 7—because 102 voters were given incorrect ballots, the board announced today. The contest was between two incumbents thrown into the same district by redistricting, state reps. Stacey Newman and Susan Carlson. According to the unofficial results from election night, Newman beat Carlson 1,823 votes to 1,822. However, that outcome now will have to be determined by a circuit court, since the county election board won’t certify the results.
The Election Commission will hold the final public canvass session to count ballots from the troubled municipal election in Anchorage Thursday. The ballots were found uncounted in a closet in city hall in July. The room where the 141 missing ballots were stored after they were found in July. After nearly four months, Anchorage officials say they hope the canvass will begin to shut the door on a messy chapter in the city’s election history. The canvass will be followed by final certification of the election, later this month. Anchorage Assembly Chair Ernie Hall says it’s important to make sure voters have access to the canvass. “What happens at the canvass is if you voted in the election and for some reason your vote was disqualified, you’re notified in writing that your ballot is not going to be counted, you have the opportunity to come to come to that canvass and protest your ballot not being counted,” Hall said. “Maybe it’s misunderstanding, you were not in the wrong district, for whatever reason but it gives you a chance to come in personally and say, no you’re wrong. I am an eligible voter and my ballot should count.”
Challenges to the conduct of the Aug. 2 election may have reached a peak Tuesday, July 24. The Shelby County Election Commission admitted a “limited number” of voters in some precincts got early voting ballots that included the wrong district races. Their work on their voter database to include the new boundaries for state legislative and congressional districts approved in Nashville in February began just four days before the end of the early voting period in advance of the Aug. 2 election day. And sometime during the day Tuesday, City Attorney Herman Morris filed a lawsuit in Nashville Federal Court challenging state election officials on their decision not to honor photo library cards as a legal form of photo identification required by state law to vote. The lawsuit alleges violations of the U.S. Constitution including the equal protection clause.
The much-beleaguered Shelby County Election Commission is about to get another big shock, which will also further shake the already weakened confidence of Shelby County voters in the accuracy of the August 2 election process. If the calculations of Steve Ross are correct, no fewer than 1,019 Shelby County voters have been presented with erroneous ballots so far in the early-voting process. Ross, the Democratic nominee for a District 1 County Commission seat, has been a determined all-purpose political activist for years (somewhere between a gadfly and an ombudsman), and being a candidate for office hasn’t halted his efforts. If anything it’s whetted them.
President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney must face down a dubious and slippery opponent in Nevada this November. The mystery foe cannot be tamed with television ads and never breaks a campaign pledge. Its name is “none of these candidates.” Nevada is the only state in the nation to offer voters the quirky ballot choice, and for more than three decades, statewide candidates here have had to contend with it. But this year, nervous Republicans have filed a federal lawsuit to try to oust “none” from the ballot. They worry that “none” could siphon away a sufficient number of anti-Obama voters from Romney to throw the state to the president. And because the Silver State’s six electoral votes are some of the most hotly contested in the nation, Republicans don’t want to leave anything to chance.
The city of Aspen is asking the Colorado Supreme Court to reconsider last week’s order that granted public review of voted ballots in the 2009 election, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to the plaintiff who brought the case. The court, which in April said it would hear the case of Mark v. Koch, issued a one-page order on June 28 announcing that it had reversed itself and would not review the case, meaning a Colorado Court of Appeals decision in Aspenite Marilyn Marks’ favor from September 2011 will stand. The city had appealed that ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court in November 2011. The city is asking the court for a rehearing, arguing that it shouldn’t have to release the ballots from the May 2009 municipal election because a state law, passed in May by the Colorado Legislature that grants access to ballots as long as they cannot be traced back voters, was not yet on the books. “This legislation in fact emphasizes the assertion of the city that prior to such legislation [the Colorado Open Records Act] did not allow examination of ballots,” Aspen City Attorney Jim True wrote in his nine-page petition to the state Supreme Court.
Supporters of State Senator Adriano Espaillat are calling for a federal monitor to step in and oversee the counting of votes in his congressional race against longtime Congressman Charlie Rangel after reports of uncounted votes emerged yesterday. Mr. Rangel was initially declared the victor by the Associated Press and in unofficial totals from the Board of Elections after the election on Tuesday, but the AP subsequently published a report claiming results from 33 of the 506 precincts in the Upper Manhattan district remained uncounted. Mr. Espaillat’s supporters announced their push for a federal monitor at a press conference in front of Mr. Rangel’s office in Harlem where some of the attendees also made allegations of voter fraud at the polls Tuesday. “I’m here today to call for a federal monitor on the Board of Elections. It is unacceptable that 48 hours after the elections took place….we don’t have the outcome of this election,” said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a close ally of Mr. Espaillat’s. “We also have a lot of concerns that still the Board of Elections has not received [results from] a number of election districts. We don’t know where they are, they don’t know where they are.” Though Mr. Rodriguez did not provide specific numbers or locations of the precincts where votes remain uncounted, he said most of these precincts are in areas favorable to Mr. Espaillat inside his State Senate district.
A state senator from Utah County spent much of Election Day trying to sort out a problem with early-voting ballots. It seems the Utah County Clerk’s Office mistakenly mailed duplicate ballots to a number of registered voters, raising questions about how the early-voting process was being managed and how to prevent multiple votes from one person. Sen. Curt Bramble on Tuesday evening told the Daily Herald that duplicate ballots had been mailed through a private fulfillment company using mailing lists provided by the county. Each ballot had a unique serial number, which means that each was legal tender for voting purposes. That raises the question of control. Were any safeguards in place to prevent someone from voting twice?
Wake County commissioners made it clear Monday night in a 4-3 vote that a sales tax increase to pay for transportation projects is not likely to be in the hands of voters this November. They declined to schedule a public hearing that would lead the way for putting a half cent sales tax on the November ballot. If commissioners happen to change their minds, what would it take for that item to wind up on your ballot? Board of Elections Director Cheri Poucher said it’s not as simple as adding an item. At the very latest, commissioners would have to decide to add it to the ballot by the end of July, but all the special paper for ballots needs to be ordered by the end of this month.
South Dakota: Conflict questions arise during Davison County recount | The Daily Republic | Mitchell, South Dakota
Ethical questions arose Thursday at the Davison County Courthouse in Mitchell when two men with ties to Tuesday’s election participated on recount-related boards. Billy Lurken, news director for KMIT radio in Mitchell, was covering the recount process Thursday morning for the radio station when the need arose for a resolution board. A resolution board examines ballots that a vote-counting machine can’t process, possibly because of marks that are difficult for the machine to read. The members of the resolution board examine the machine-rejected ballots and decide to reject or accept them, and also determine the voter’s intent if the ballot is accepted.
A date has been set for a recount of votes in a Glasgow City Council ward after it emerged hundreds of ballots had not been included in the official count. Local authority elections took place on May 3 but it emerged last week that some votes in the Langside ward were not added to the final tally of votes in Glasgow. A recount of the whole ward is set to take place at around 4pm on Tuesday which could change the overall results. Returning officer George Black and senior officers involved in the count have agreed to forgo their fee from the election to pay for the recount.
After a late night of vote counting, the Iowa GOP announced Mitt Romney as the caucuses’ tentative winner, having staved off Rick Santorum by a mere eight votes. “The good news is we were able to verify the vote reports tonight,” then-chairman Matt Strawn said at a news conference, noting that Iowa’s 1,774 precincts would have two weeks to certify their vote tallies. Two weeks later, the Iowa GOP announced that Santorum had won by 34 votes. Eight precincts, meanwhile, could not be certified, and a party official made it clear that the votes would never be counted. A week and a half later, Strawn resigned as party chairman. The Iowa GOP has now set itself to the task of figuring out what happened and how to fix it next time, having formed an Iowa Caucus Review Committee comprised of 17 party members including county chairs, former state-party officials, party activists, volunteers and supporters of multiple presidential campaigns. Next Thursday, the committee will convene its first meeting, where it will hear the first round of reports from subcommittees on vote tabulation, public information and volunteer training.
Some Franklin County voters left their polling places without voting this morning after confusion over which ballot to give them led to delays. The confusion has been cleared up, said Ben Piscitelli, spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections. “We’re urging them to come back and vote,” he said of those who left before they were given a ballot. Poll workers took contact information from voters who had signed in, but who said they had to leave before the confusion was cleared up. Workers were contacting those voters and telling them to return, said Dana Walch, deputy director of the Board of Elections. “We believe it was a small number of people who left without voting,” Walch said. In many cases, poll workers called the board’s hotline and had the situation resolved in a few minutes, he said.
King County Elections officials attributed the cause for late ballots to more than 11,000 Eastside voters — including more than 900 in Issaquah and Sammamish — to a computer “hiccup” in the days before the office sent out ballots.
The elections office sent ballots to the impacted voters in late October, about a week after other voters received ballots in the mail. Officials traced the delay to the glitch from late September.