California: Alameda County settles suit with blind voters | San Francisco Chronicle

Blind voters in Alameda County may soon have an easier time voting in privacy after settling a lawsuit requiring better testing and upkeep of audio equipment that allows them to cast push-button secret ballots. The settlement follows a 2013 federal court ruling that applies disability law to the ballot box. The legal advocacy group Disability Rights Advocates announced the three-year settlement Wednesday after approval by county supervisors earlier this month. Prompted by blind voters’ complaints about equipment breakdowns in the 2012 elections, the agreement includes requirements for pre-election testing of each machine, hands-on training of poll workers, and an election day hotline to quickly repair or replace nonfunctioning equipment.

Massachusetts: Spider spins web, crashes voting machine in Rehoboth |

When a voting machine in the town of Rehoboth mysteriously stopped working on Election Day, officials found a web of mischief spun not by a human, but by a saboteur with eight legs. During the morning rush Tuesday, one of the town’s machines malfunctioned and failed to recognize ballots because a spider web had blocked a sensor, said Town Clerk Kathleen Conti. “It was something as simple as that,” she said. “We were cursing that spider. He’s still at large and we’re still looking for him.”