Voting Blogs: Certification Provides Critical Resources for Election Officials | Matt Masterson/EAC Blog

Last week I attended the Midwestern Election Officials Conference (MEOC) in Kansas City. It was a fantastic gathering of engaged election officials from across the Midwest focused on practical boots on the ground info to prepare for the 2016 election season. Prior to the start of the conference I had the pleasure of meeting with the leadership and staff at the Kansas City Board of Elections. Meetings like this are the best part of my job. I get to share what the EAC is doing while seeing local election offices and hearing from those who deal with the day to day work to prepare for the election. At the MEOC conference Brian Newby of Johnson County Kansas moderated a panel with all three EAC Commissioners. During that conversation Brian asked, “What does certification do for us?” After I answered the question and had a chance to reflect on my conversation with the KC staff I realized that many election officials must be wondering the same thing.

Arizona: Barber’s bid to delay vote canvass rejected | Arizona Republic

Lawyers for U.S. Rep. Ron Barber asked Pima County on Tuesday to delay finalizing the canvass of the Nov. 4 election, with the campaign saying it had sworn statements from 132 voters that they were disenfranchised by poll-worker errors. Pima County rejected the request and finalized the canvass of votes at midday Tuesday. Barber, a Democrat, is locked in one of the closest elections in Arizona history with Republican challenger Martha McSally, whose lead in the race is a minuscule 161 votes out of more than 219,000 cast. If nothing changes, the race will head to Arizona’s first-ever general-election recount for Congress. A recount will not start before Dec. 1.

US Virgin Islands: Elections Board violates code, fails to certify results of primary on Sunday | Virgin Islands Daily News

The St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections failed to meet the legal deadline for certifying its primary election Sunday, putting it in violation of the V.I. Code. Unofficially, the certification has been put off until Monday, despite the potential consequences. Any person deemed responsible for the delay of the election returns is subject to a $500 maximum fine or a year of imprisonment, or both. Additionally, the “casting of lots” is not supposed to take place within a district unless the district has certified its election. Elections officials said that the casting of lots, which was scheduled for today at 5:30 p.m. in both districts, likely will be moved until late August, though they also said that the decision ultimately is up to V.I. Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes.

Alaska: Anchorage Assembly Certifies Election Recount, Denies Public Testimony |

The Anchorage Assembly certified the recount of the April 3rd Municipal Election Tuesday evening. Several Assembly members pushed for public comment on the certification, but the chair denied it. KSKA’s Daysha Eaton was there and filed this report. The Chair of the Election Recount Board, Denise Stephens presented a report of their work to the Assembly. She explained that 13 of the 15 precincts the Board reviewed closely matched with a few of the precincts off by 1 or 2. At Precinct 840, Service High School, the Board could not find 8 ballots for voters that had signed the register. One possible explanation is that these 8 voters left the precinct without voting after having signed the precinct register. Precinct 660 had a similar result with 6 signatures more than corresponding ballots. The recount resulted in no change in the outcome of the election. Stephens noted that the Election Board did investigate the voting machines.The April 3rd Municipal Election was fraught with problems. An Election Commission report blamed the Clerk’s Office for not distributing enough ballots. More than half of the precincts ran out of ballots.  Assembly members Harriet Drummond requested public comment on the certification.

Florida: Despite state oversight, vote-counting errors abound in Florida | Palm Beach Post

Harri Hursti may be the best-known hacker you’ve never heard of. Largely unknown to the voting public, the Finnish computer programmer gained national notoriety among elections officials in 2005 when he broke into voting equipment in Leon County – at the supervisor of elections’ invitation – just to show it could be done. Hursti has since gone on to examine voting systems for other states. His conclusion: “Some systems are better than others, but none is nearly good enough.” In fact, a decade’s worth of Florida vote counting has been tripped up by technology of all makes and models, despite a state certification process designed to guard against such problems. Nationally, studies of the secret code underpinning election software have uncovered an array of troubles.

Alaska: Assembly postpones certifying election |

The ACLU asked for one last week. Then it was the NAACP. And if a young voter named Laura Herman doesn’t get one, she says, oh, there will be trouble. The Anchorage Assembly better launch an investigation into the city’s trouble-plagued April 3 election, the 23-year-old told Assembly members Tuesday night, or she’s going after their jobs. “There’s a bunch of you that I support on this Assembly, but I will actively be involved in revoking all of you because my voice is being taken away when you decide not to investigate,” she said. It’s not that the Assembly isn’t going to trigger an inquiry into the election, during which ballots temporarily ran dry at about one of every three precincts. Several Assembly members say they’ve made up their minds to do just that. Just not yet.

Voting Blogs: Monopoly or Broken Market? Either Way, St. Charles, MO Can’t Buy New Voting Machines | Election Academy

The St. Charles, MO County Executive recently vetoed a $1.2 million contract for new voting machines requested by the elections director and approved by the county council. Unlike his counterparts in some other county governments, he isn’t unhappy with the performance of the election director. Nor does he appear to have any issue with the new voting machines being sought or the company providing them under the contract. Rather, he is concerned that the County only got one bid for the new machines, saying “[a]nytime we have $1.2 million in expenditures and only one bid, I’m going to be very suspicious.” Normally that would make sense, but here’s the problem: only one vendor (the one who got the contract – the contract that got vetoed) is certified to do business in the State of Missouri.

Iowa: Did Romney win Iowa’s caucuses? Definitive answer may never come | The Des Moines Register

The waiting game continues for Iowans — and Republican presidential candidates — who want to know if Mitt Romney really won the Iowa caucuses two weeks ago today. Counties have until the close of business Wednesday to get their official paperwork with caucus results to the Republican Party of Iowa, and certification should be wrapped up by the end of this week, party officials said Monday. Even then, it’s possible there will always be a question mark hanging over the race.

Iowa: Final count could show Romney lost Iowa | Washington Examiner

It’s conventional wisdom in Republican circles here in South Carolina that if Mitt Romney wins the state’s primary this Saturday — having already won in Iowa and New Hampshire — he’ll be the GOP presidential nominee. But what if Romney did not actually win Iowa? That could change the calculation considerably. And there is a very real chance that the Republican Party of Iowa will announce this week that Rick Santorum, and not Romney, won the Iowa caucuses. Results released on caucus night — actually, at 2 the next morning — showed Romney won by eight votes, 30,015 to Santorum’s 30,007. Many observers assumed that those results were final, especially when party officials said there would be no recount. But the results were not final.

Liberia: Citizens Group Sues to Nullify Liberian Candidates Certification | VoA News

The Liberian Supreme Court is expected to hear a lawsuit challenging the decision of the National Elections Commission to certify 16 presidential candidates, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for next month’s election.

Article 52 (c) of the Liberian Constitution states that “no person shall be eligible to hold the office of president or vice president unless that person is resident in the Republic ten years prior to his election.”  Last month’s referendum to change the requirement to five years failed. Sayma Syrenius Cephus, lawyer for the Concerned Citizens of Liberia, said the election commission violated the constitution when it certified the 16 candidates.

Thailand: Thai Panel Certifies Yingluck Election | VoA News

Thailand’s election commission endorsed the election to parliament of Pheu Thai leader Yingluck Shinawatra, Tuesday, clearing the way for her to become the nation’s first female prime minister.

The commission said it had voted unanimously to dismiss complaints that Yingluck violated election laws by involving banned politicians – including her elder brother – in her campaign. The decision eases fears of instability raised by the commission’s failure to endorse her with the majority of the July 3 election winners last week.

The commission also announced the endorsement of outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, whose endorsement also was delayed last week. A total of 370 lawmakers have now been approved.