ballots

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United Kingdom: Thousands of Labour leadership ballots to be reissued | Telegraph

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.

Full Article: Thousands of Labour leadership ballots to be reissued - Telegraph.

Mississippi: Unused Hinds ballot money paid for counting machine | Clarion-Ledger

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.” 

Full Article: Unused Hinds ballot money paid for counting machine.

Australia: Investigation into missing votes | Sky News Australia

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.

Full Article: Investigation into missing SA votes | Sky News Australia.

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.

Full Article: No violation: JeffCo ‘duplicate ballot’ was a Delta County special election ballot | The Colorado Independent.

New Jersey: Judge dismisses independent candidate’s ballot complaint | press of Atlantic City

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.

Full Article: Judge dismisses independent candidate's ballot complaint - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Breaking News.

National: Obama election administration commission to hold Miami hearing | POLITICO.com

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.

Voting Blogs: Bulgaria’s elections: change we disbelieve in | openDemocracy

“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)

Full Article: Bulgaria’s elections: change we disbelieve in | openDemocracy.

Colorado: Questions linger following election canvass | Center Post Dispatch

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.

Full Article: Center Post Dispatch Questions linger following election canvass.

Colorado: Doubts still plague Boulder’s election results despite Colorado ruling | Boulder Weekly

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.

Full Article: Doubts still plague Boulder's election results despite Colorado ruling.

National: Votes in six House races still being counted, seventh will see runoff | CNN.com

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.

Full Article: Votes in six House races still being counted, seventh will see runoff - CNN.com.

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.

Full Article: Obama, others push for an overhaul of Florida's elections system after long waits | Elections | Bradenton Herald.

National: Why It May Be Illegal to Instagram Your Ballot | ProPublica

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.

Full Article: Why It May Be Illegal to Instagram Your Ballot - ProPublica.

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.

Missouri: An Akin exit could cost GOP significant $$$ | The Washington Post

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.

Full Article: An Akin exit could cost GOP significant $$$.

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.

Full Article: High number of voting machine paper jams, errors causing delay in certification of Genesee County election | MLive.com.

Missouri: Ballot snafu puts one-vote-margin Missouri state House race in question | Stltoday

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.

Full Article: Ballot snafu puts one-vote-margin state House race in question : Stltoday.

Alaska: Anchorage Still Cleaning Up Election Mess | alaskapublic.org

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.”

Full Article: Anchorage Still Cleaning Up Election Mess | alaskapublic.org.

Tennessee: Shelby County Election Commission Admits Ballot Problems | Memphis Daily News

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.

Full Article: Election Commission Admits Ballot Problems - Memphis Daily News.

Tennessee: Shelby County Candidate Says 1,019 Wrong Ballots Given Out So Far | Memphis Flyer

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. 

Full Article: Candidate Ross Says 1,019 Wrong Ballots Given Out So Far | Politics Beat Blog.

Nevada: In Nevada, 'None' a Fearsome Foe for the GOP | NationalJournal.com

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.

Full Article: In Nevada, 'None' a Fearsome Foe for the GOP - Shane Goldmacher - NationalJournal.com.