The statewide debut of an election results website was marked by growing pains, including the deletion of tallies from Tuesday’s watershed presidential contest that forced the system to be temporarily shut down. This was the first time all 169 Connecticut municipalities were required to use the system, which cost the state between $350,000 and $450,000 as part of a broader technology upgrade. Participation had been voluntary for the presidential primary in April, and for the August primaries. From Bridgeport to Danbury to Greenwich, local registrars of voters reported multiple kinks in the system, from lost data to network crashes, and then being unable to log back in to complete their work. The registrars say that having a centralized website is more efficient than the past practice of faxing in the results to the state and waiting up to two days for the information to be posted. But the execution, they say, was a mess.
The secretary of state has dumped the vendor responsible for publishing Arizona’s election results online after persistent problems on Election Day in 2012 and 2014. The state’s election website was slow, difficult to load and produced error messages during the 2012 primary and general elections. In 2014, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett and the election vendor SOE Software promised improvements, but the problems persisted with outages and errors that frustrated voters and candidates. Matt Roberts, spokesman for the secretary of state, said the contract was not renewed in March, because of SOE Software’s poor election-night performances, “communication issues,” and the system’s limited customization features.
Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren expressed on Twitter his satisfaction with the municipal and legislative elections carried out on Sunday, and congratulated the people for exerting their right to vote, while the head of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Julio Oliva, said technical failures had caused a delay in voting results. Sanchez Ceren praised the peaceful elections by the Salvadoran people, who he said, believe in democracy. He also called on the citizenship to confide in the preliminary results that the electoral authorities will make public within the next few hours. Olivo called on the citizenship to be “tolerant and understanding,” explaining that reporting on results will depend on “how fast the vote-counting process takes in the 10,621 offices that receive the votes throughout the country.” He explained that computer specialists had been brought in to look into the technical difficulties experienced late Sunday night when preliminary results were expected to begin to flow.
California: Santa Clara County: First steps suggested to start fixing beleaguered election system | San Jose Mercury News
With an upgrade to its outdated equipment years away, Santa Clara County officials suggested Wednesday taking steps now to remedy the beleaguered election system from malfunctions encountered in past elections. At a special committee meeting on Wednesday, supervisors Joe Simitian and Ken Yeager said the Registrar of Voter’s Office should look into providing staff 24-hours around the clock during the election period to speed up notoriously slow ballot counting and improve communications with the public — a situation that left voters confused and wary about the status of recounts. They also suggested developing a system that would require an automatic recount when races come down to the wire. “We’re all of the same mind that we’ve got to see some real progress,” said Simitian. “We can’t be having this same conversation every two years.”
New Zealand’s electoral commission is confident no one can hack into its servers and access election results, but there’s still a possibility cyber criminals could target its website. Amid an election campaign that has been dominated by emails of controversial blogger Cameron Slater leaked by a hacker known as Rawshark, it seems no system is impenetrable to rogues with the right skills and network. Hackers in the United States have also previously shown how they can circumvent the security measures on electronic voting machines to change votes. Despite the risk of manipulation, there’s been no reported instances of votes in the US being compromised. New Zealand’s Electoral Commission doesn’t want to disclose how it fights cyber attacks, but says it has a robust system in place for the September 20 election. “The Electoral Commission takes information security and privacy very seriously,” said chief electoral officer Robert Peden.
North Dakota: Election results: now you see them, now you don’t as glitch hits website | Daily Journal
North Dakota political junkies scrambling to get primary election results Tuesday night suffered a case of now you see them, now you don’t as a computer glitch confused the numbers. A snafu in the state’s election website had supporters at a party for Fargo’s mayor and deputy mayor refreshing their smartphones and laptops for most of the evening, with only limited results. At one point Tuesday evening, the numbers went backward.
A Mississippi tea party official with close ties to U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel apparently ended up inside a locked and empty county courthouse late Tuesday night after primary election results had come in. Hinds County Republican executive chairman Pete Perry told TPM that he received a phone call around 2:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday from Janis Lane, president of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, who said she was locked inside the Hinds County courthouse. That would be where the circuit clerk and election commission offices, and the primary election ballots, are located. The incident seemed to mystify Perry, a supporter of Sen. Thad Cochran, whom McDaniel is challenging for the GOP nomination. The ballots had been secured prior to the intrusion, according to local authorities.
Legislators are shifting strategies to finish work on a bill to unify how county election boards are set up. Sen. Chip Campsen said proponents are looking ahead to Wednesday for a House vote on a bill giving state election officials authority to perform county functions in some cases. Campsen was one of six legislators on a conference committee that, he said, has informally agreed on new wording on a bill addressing the patchwork of boards that manage elections across 46 S.C. counties. But instead of working through the conference committee, Campsen said, legislators will consider amendments to a similar bill now awaiting action in the House.
Opposition candidate Narendra Modi will be the next prime minister of India, with early election results on Friday showing the pro-business Hindu nationalist and his party headed for the biggest victory the country has seen in 30 years. India’s ruling Congress party conceded defeat Friday. Congress party spokesmen told reporters the party had accepted that the country decided to vote against them. The alliance led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was winning the vote count in 325 parliamentary seats, far more than the majority of 272 required to rule. Even on its own, the BJP was ahead in 273 seats. The United Progressive Alliance led by the Gandhi family’s Congress party, which has ruled India for the last decade, was leading in just 67 seats – its worst-ever showing.
In this rugged country where ballots are counted by hand and election results are viewed with suspicion, impatient presidential candidates are not willing to wait for official numbers and have started counting votes themselves. After Saturday’s presidential election, tens of thousands of volunteers for the candidates are visiting polling stations across the country to call in results that have been taped on the walls of mosques and schools. The team of former finance minister Ashraf Ghani has created a website with pie charts and bar graphs that show partial returns as they come in, three weeks ahead of the expected announcement of the winner. Perhaps unsurprisingly, his website is projecting that he will be the victor (by a margin of 57 percent, with a quarter of the ballots counted). The days after the vote have transformed campaign offices into command centers where candidates’ staffs are calling around the country collecting photos and videos and complaints about alleged fraud, calculating vote totals and positioning themselves for a possible runoff election if no candidate passes the 50 percent threshold. The early and partial results, which have been bandied about on social media and are showing a tight race between Ghani and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, have galled the candidates who appear to be losing.
As he took to the stage Tuesday night to concede defeat in the District’s Democratic primary, Mayor Vincent C. Gray felt the need to mention the night’s delay in reporting election results. “We’ve got some work to do there,” he said of the D.C. Board of Elections. “We probably have known that for a while.” Indeed. So woeful was the performance of election officials that it competed with Muriel Bowser’s upset of Mr. Gray for the morning’s headlines. Even more distressing is that this was not the first time the District has been embarrassed or its residents inconvenienced by the amateurish operation of its elections office.
The Russian Lower House has approved an amendment allowing the annulment of election results if voters complain of irregularities. The bill changing the federal law on the basic guarantees of voters’ rights has been presented following last year’s ruling of the Constitutional Court confirming that ordinary citizens can contest election results, though only in the constituencies in which they cast their votes. Previously, the processes of investigating violations at elections could only be started after complaints from candidates or participating parties.
Protesters seeking to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra disrupted Thailand’s general election on Sunday in what appeared to be a prelude to more political upheaval. The opposition forces, who represent a minority of Thais and are seeking to replace the country’s elected government with an appointed council of technocrats, said they would challenge the election results in court while continuing to hold street demonstrations in Bangkok, the capital. Protesters stopped the distribution of ballot boxes on Sunday and pressed election officials to call off voting in a number of districts in Bangkok and in most of southern Thailand, the stronghold of the protest movement. Although no violence was reported during voting hours, a battle in the capital on Saturday between would-be voters and gunmen allied with the protesters left at least seven people wounded and might have deterred voters the next day.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a series of legal challenges to the narrow election victory of President Nicolás Maduro, closing a chapter in what has been a bitter aftermath of the vote to replace the country’s popular longtime leader, Hugo Chávez. The court also ordered the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles, who lost to Mr. Maduro by one and a half percentage points, to pay a fine of $1,698 for insulting government authority by challenging the election results and accusing the judicial system of bias in favor of the government. It said that was the maximum fine allowed. The court also asked the national prosecutor to open a criminal investigation of Mr. Capriles on charges of offending the authority of government institutions.
In a landmark ruling Monday, a Hiroshima court ruled the results of the December lower-house election invalid in two districts due to the disproportionate weighting of votes in those districts. It was the first time a Japanese court ruled election results invalid on such grounds. It is seen as a victory for constitutional rights activists, who have long argued disparities in the weighting of votes in different districts violates the constitution. The ruling ups the ante on lawmakers to fix the system. A string of past court rulings has found that the current electoral system doesn’t uphold the principle of “one person, one vote,” as prescribed in the constitution. Still, the rulings acknowledged the validity of the results — until now. Yet neither of the winning candidates in the two districts — including Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida — will need to immediately worry about their jobs.
For the past two months, the Arizona Capitol Times and the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting have sifted through the more than 2.3 million votes cast in the 2012 election, with the goal of offering readers a deeper understanding of how Arizona voted. From close races, like the fight over Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, to strange voting patterns in Colorado City, our “Mapping the Vote” project showed why some races turned out as they did, what factors led to victories or defeats and how some of the details in the election results can say a lot more about groups of voters than simply who they elected. But something else became clear during the project. While this type of analysis takes a lot of time and resources, it shouldn’t be made more difficult because of inconsistencies in the way the data is organized and structured — or because of how state and county election officials make data available.
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.
Election results will be electronically transmitted countrywide to undo claims of vote tampering, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said. Acting ZEC chairperson Mrs Joyce Kazembe said the commission was installing software linking the national command centre with all district offices nationwide to enable ZEC to electronically transmit election results without fear of people tampering with the outcome.
Russian regional elections have tightened Vladimir Putin’s grip on power and underlined opposition failure to build street protest into an effective challenge at the start of the president’s six-year term. Ten months ago, suspicions that fraud propelled Putin’s ruling United Russia party to victory in a parliamentary election brought tens of thousands of people into the streets of Moscow for the biggest protests of his 12 years in power. As United Russia celebrated victory on Monday in local and regional elections that its foes alleged were just as dirty as the December vote, one opposition leader tweeted that nationwide protests were imminent. “The authorities leave the people no choice!” opposition lawmaker and protest leader Dmitry Gudkov wrote on Twitter. The tweet sounded more like a plea than a prediction.
President Vladimir Putin’s ruling party decisively swept regional elections, according to results tabulated Monday, paradoxically confronting his top-down authoritarian system with a serious challenge. Since December’s parliamentary vote, when large numbers of demonstrators unexpectedly began protesting rigged elections, Putin and his allies have been trying to regain what had been an undisputed grip on power. Sunday’s election would appear to confirm they had done so. The United Russia party won all five governorships at stake and dominated all six regional legislatures up for election, along with a host of municipal councils and mayoralties. Yet political observers called it an illusory victory because serious challengers were kept off the ballot, either through the inventive use of election laws or by secret deals. That meant Putin opponents found no outlet at the polls for their anger. “If the party of power continues playing games with imitation elections,” said Boris Makarenko, an independent political analyst, “the opposition will have to challenge them on the streets instead of at the polls.” Makarenko, chairman of the board of the Center for Political Technologies, said it was in United Russia’s interest to work for political pluralism, to determine the country’s direction through elections. But he was unsure, he said, whether authorities understood that.
Despite some opening-night hiccups, the Secretary of the State’s office is hoping municipal election officials will embrace an instantaneous, public, digital returns reporting system in time for November. The new program, which is intended to replace a laborious and outdated system of paperwork and faxes, is entirely web-based and would allow for immediate public access to real-time election results. The Secretary of the State’s office did a trial run of the new system on primary night with a handful of towns including Wilton, New Britain, Manchester, Stamford, Simsbury, and Danbury. The new system allows moderators at individual polling locations — or anywhere with Internet access — to log in and post results as soon as they have them. Townwide moderators will have more administrative privileges within the system, but it is designed to make results available to the public as soon as individual moderators post them, according to Av Harris, spokesman for the Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.
Harris County and political leaders Tuesday called for an audit and reforms to improve public confidence in local elections in the wake of problems in last week’s primary runoffs that included contests run on the wrong boundaries, delayed results and inaccurate tallies posted online. Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said he will ask the Texas Secretary of State’s Office to examine his office’s election processes after a “human error” in his office caused erroneous primary runoff election results to be posted online for hours last Tuesday. The error made the Democratic runoff for Precinct 2 constable appear to be a blowout for one candidate when, in fact, the correct count had his opponent ahead.
Candidates in this year’s Primary Election were left waiting for results from 1,500 mail-in absentee ballots, well in to the early morning hours on Wednesday. Election officials blame a computer communication error for the delay. Absentee by mail ballots come from all over the county from folks who knew ahead of time they could not vote in person in the 2012 primary. To count them, they must be imported in to a computer using an optimal scan unit. That computer is supposed to “talk” to another computer that then totals the results. When it became clear the machines weren’t communicating with each other, officials were forced to re-scan all 1,500 ballots.
Hawaii voters went to the polls in large numbers between June 1959 and November 1960, first to determine whether they wanted the islands to become the 50th state, then to elect the entire slate of state officials, including governor, lieutenant governor and Legislature, and finally to participate in the islands’ first presidential election. This flurry of political activity came just five years after the balance of political power tipped in favor of a surging Democratic Party. Public support appeared evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, and there were contested races at all levels as the new state took shape. This was heady stuff, and voter turnout was stunningly high. A record 93.6 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the statehood referendum held in June 1959, and turnout in 1960’s General Election was just a fraction of a percent lower at 93.1 percent, according to statistics compiled by the Hawaii Office of Elections. But times and politics have definitely changed. Across the country, voter turnout has been on the decline since the 1960s, but Hawaii started higher than most and has fallen farther over the years. Simply put, it appears fewer people in Hawaii bother to vote than in almost any other place. The reasons are not at all clear, but the data appears to be.
Sometime after final testing of Waukesha County’s election software – but before the April election – County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus mysteriously changed something in her office’s computer programming, according to a consulting firm’s report released Tuesday. Only Nickolaus knows what she did. The consultants can’t figure it out, and she’s not talking. But whatever she did, it caused a breakdown in reporting election results that will cost county taxpayers $256,300 to fix, the report says. And that’s not the only money that Waukesha County will have to spend to get its election systems operating properly, County Executive Dan Vrakas said Tuesday. Aging hardware is out of compliance with federal standards and nearing the end of its useful life, the report says. That equipment was supposed to be replaced in 2009, but Nickolaus killed the project because county purchasing officials wouldn’t let her award a no-bid contract, said Norm Cummings, county director of administration. Now Vrakas and the County Board will need to spend unknown amounts of money in the 2013 and 2014 budgets to replace that equipment before the 2014 gubernatorial election, Cummings said.
Wisconsin: Investigating, fixing Nickolaus election errors to cost Wisconsin county $256,300 | JSOnline
A consultant’s report traces problems in reporting Waukesha County election results directly to mistakes by outgoing County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus – mistakes that will cost county taxpayers more than a quarter of a million dollars to fix. Nickolaus had promised to post timely results online and update them periodically for the April 3 election. But the public didn’t learn the results of contested local races for hours, while reporters and election reporting service representatives were forced to tabulate the vote totals themselves from long paper tapes hanging on the walls of a meeting room. The embattled county clerk already was under scrutiny because of her role in the 2011 state Supreme Court race, when she left the entire city of Brookfield out of countywide vote totals. When those 14,000 votes were added in, two days after the election, Justice David Prosser had won by 7,000 votes, instead of narrowly losing to Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, as the original count showed. But the uncertainty over the Waukesha County vote led to a statewide recount that confirmed Prosser’s victory.
According to Wissam Sghaier, a member of the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC), the final results of Libya’s General National Congress (GNC) elections in will begin to trickle in today. Given that the elections took place in 13 constituent districts across Libya, today’s results will be partial, and will not include all regions of the country.
After a glitch in reporting the June 26 primary election results, the Oklahoma State Election Board has decided to no longer use a subcontractor to report election results on its website, board Secretary Paul Ziriax said Tuesday. The June 26 primary election results initially were incorrectly reported on the agency’s website, causing about a two-hour delay in getting the right numbers posted. The software initially was indicating that some precincts had fully reported, when in fact they had not been fully reported, Ziriax said. He called the errors an “isolated vendor software glitch at the website.” The actual vote totals reported were correct, Ziriax said. “I am 100 percent confident the tabulation occurred correctly,” he said.
State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said he is embarrassed by a software glitch that delayed posting results of Tuesday’s elections on the agency’s website for about two hours. The numbers were correct, but a problem occurred in the software when the early and absentee voting numbers were transferred to the website, he said Wednesday “We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” Ziriax said. “I’m unhappy, and I’m embarrassed by it.” It’s at least the second glitch in four elections for the software for the new $16.7 million system, which went online earlier this year with election officials promising faster election results and more data. Ziriax said election officials noticed the problem almost immediately and decided to postpone adding updated election figures until the software problem was found. Although the numbers were correct, the software problem erroneously reported in some races that all the precincts had been reported. “This is the displaying of results on a website,” he said. “It is not the tabulation of results. It is not the counting of ballots.”
The Federal Court is hearing preliminary motions today in the Council of Canadians’ bid to have the federal election results overturned in a handful of tightly contested ridings. The council has asked the court to review the May 2011 election results in seven ridings where Conservative MPs narrowly won their seats. The council alleges misleading or harassing phone calls in those ridings kept some people from voting and may have affected the outcomes. But the Conservative party claims the group is more concerned with attacking them and raising money than getting to the bottom of the so-called robocalls affair.