undervote

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National: Hundreds of thousands of Americans cast a ballot without voting for a presidential candidate | The Washington Post

Nevada makes it simple. Voters in Nevada are given a choice for each race on the ballot: Candidate A, Candidate B or “none of the above,” a formal protest vote that is more or less popular depending on who candidates A and B are. In 2012, 5,770 Nevadans chose “none of the above” over Mitt Romney or President Obama, a total equaling 0.57 percent of all presidential votes cast. Obama won the state easily. In 2016, however, the results were more stark. More than 2.5 percent of the ballots cast for president in the state were “none of the above” — 28,863 in total in a race that Hillary Clinton won by 27,207. Enough protest votes to have swung the results of the election. There are protest votes in other states, too, of course; they just aren’t given space on the ballot. In most places these are called “undervotes,” ballots that are cast without a vote for the person at the top of the ticket.

Full Article: Hundreds of thousands of Americans cast a ballot without voting for a presidential candidate - The Washington Post.

Australia: Young voters driving rise in intentional informal ballots, research shows | ABC

A rise in the number of people deliberately voting informally is likely being driven by the young, many of whom feel disaffected with the mainstream political process, new research suggests. A paper by University of Adelaide researchers, soon to be published in the Australian Journal of Political Science, charted the rise of informal voting at recent elections and cross-referenced those trends with other data. Lead author, politics professor Lisa Hill, said the focus was on the proportion of voters who deliberately handed in blank or defaced ballots, as opposed to those that had made mistakes filling the papers out.

Full Article: Young voters driving rise in intentional informal ballots, research shows - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Philippines: Marcos questions high number of ‘undervotes’ | The Manila Times

Lawyers for Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. have questioned the unusually high number of “undervotes” in the vice presidential race as shown in Certificates of Canvass (COCs) opened on Wednesday, the first day of the official tally by Congress. “We have accounted ‘undervotes’ Your Honor, that’s totaling the votes cast for the Vice President vis-à-vis the votes cast by the voters, it would appear that such number was discovered from the COC Your Honor that totals 623,174,” one of the lawyers, George Garcia, said on Thursday. The discovery confirmed Marcos’ earlier complaint that 3.3 million “undervotes” were discovered in their own quick count, Garcia added. Because of questions involving the “undervotes,” only 45 of the 48 opened COC were officially included in the canvass.

Full Article: Marcos questions high number of ‘undervotes’ | The Manila Times Online.

Florida: Rick Scott, Charlie Crist ready to lawyer up if Florida recount needed | Tampa Bay Times

It’s the nightmare scenario nobody wants to discuss: an election night result for Florida governor that’s so close it demands a recount. “Oh, no, the R-word,” said Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley. “It’s going to be a close one. We’re ready.” It’s Florida. Anything can happen. With polls showing Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist in a virtual deadlock, both sides are making plans in case of a stalemate next week. Republicans and Democrats would mobilize armies of lawyers in a frantic search for ballots, triggering memories of the agonizing and chaotic five-week Florida recount that followed the 2000 presidential election. “Expect the unexpected,” said Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent.

Full Article: Rick Scott, Charlie Crist ready to lawyer up if Florida recount needed (w/video) | Tampa Bay Times.

Florida: Undervotes in GOP governor race lead to concerns | News-Press

More details and statistics about turnout in the August primary are emerging and stirring up some chatter about the possibility of including “none of the above” in all races. First, the new, party turnout numbers: 54,409 Republicans cast primary ballots, or 18.6 percent of the total turnout; 21,485 Democrats voted, or 31.9 percent, and 12,111 “others” also voted, 10.3 percent. Since Republicans have more and more hotly contested races to vote in, their higher turnout is usual for Lee, even though it’s not even half the almost 170,000 registered Republicans. But in the GOP primary for governor, where Gov. Rick Scott faced virtually nonexistent and unknown competition and all Republicans could vote, he collected 48,284 votes, meaning 5,125 Republicans went to the polls and did not vote for Scott. His two opponents collected about 4,200 votes, but given their lack of campaign activity or name ID, it leads to questions about whether those votes were really for them, or “anybody but” Scott. And there’s still 1,000 or so GOP votes “missing” in that race.

Full Article: Undervotes in GOP governor race leads to concerns.

Illinois: Democratic ballots being recounted over ‘undervotes’ | News-Gazette.com

Every Democratic ballot cast in Champaign County in last week’s primary is being recounted after irregularities were discovered in the results of several races. Election authorities began a machine recount Tuesday afternoon. The errors occurred in the vote tabulations for 13th and 15th Congressional District committeeman; the 13th and 15th Congressional District committeewoman; and all precinct committeeman races. All were at the bottom of the ballot — but only the Democratic ballot. In every case, the candidates were unopposed. In one instance — the race for 15th Congressional District committeewoman — Jayne Mazzotti of Taylorville was credited with only 450 votes in Champaign County, while there were 7,325 “undervotes” (ballots where no vote was cast). But a Tuesday morning handcount of Mazzotti’s votes in the city of Champaign’s Precinct 19 found she got 40 votes — despite being credited with none a week ago. County Clerk Gordy Hulten acknowledged the mistake, which Democratic Party chairman Al Klein highlighted as a reason Hulten — who for now is unopposed in November’s general election — should face competition.

Full Article: Democratic ballots being recounted over 'undervotes' | News-Gazette.com.

Virginia: Attorney General race recount starts Monday | Associated Press

The most extensive recount in modern Virginia political history will involve tens of thousands of people statewide to determine the state’s next attorney general. The recount begins Monday in Fairfax County and the cities of Alexandria and Chesapeake before moving to every jurisdiction in the state on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those three localities get a head start because of the extensive hand counting of ballots entailed in their recount or simply the sheer number of ballots and machines to be checked, which is the case in Fairfax County. A three-judge recount court will convene on Thursday in Richmond to rule on challenged ballots that emerge from the re-tabulation. Democrat Mark Herring should know by Friday if his 165-vote edge holds or if Republican Mark Obenshain has picked up enough votes to surpass his fellow state senator —or closed it sufficiently to take it one step further. Obenshain’s camp has signaled the recount might not be the candidate’s last gasp. They could play a rare, little-used card, taking the race to the General Assembly as a contested election and letting the Republican-majority body decide the race or call for a new election.

Full Article: Va. attorney general race recount starts Monday | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com.

Virginia: Attorney General Recount Rules Established | WVTF

A three-judge panel has set the rules for next week’s statewide recount of the Attorney General’s election between Democrat Mark Herring and Republican Mark Obenshain.  With a historically narrow 165-vote margin separating the two men, the details were strategically important to the candidates’ lawyers-who spent hours on Monday arguing their positions at a Richmond hearing.  The recount will include examination of thousands of undervoted ballots-to determine if no votes were cast for that office or if the machines did not read them the first time. The judges ordered Alexandria and Chesapeake to begin one day early since they must hand-count thousands of paper ballots. They also gave the campaigns broad access to pollbooks, as requested by Obenshain attorney William Hurd. “There’re some other materials, too, that the court said we could obtain involving absentee ballots, provisional ballots, incidents that occurred on Election Day that are recorded.  It’s a big victory.  It means we don’t have to sit there and go through the documents in the office of the clerk, but the copies will be made and made available to us.”

Full Article: AG Recount Rules Established | WVTF.

Virginia: Chesapeake must recount 61,000 ballots by hand | Virginian Pilot

In the upcoming recount of Virginia’s attorney general election results, Chesapeake’s 61,000 paper ballots must be tallied manually, the state Board of Elections has told city officials. The reason, according to Chesapeake General Registar William “Al” Spradlin, is that the city’s optical scanning equipment cannot segregate ballots that were undervoted – didn’t vote in all races – or overvoted – voted for too many candidates. Instructions from a three-judge panel overseeing the recount indicated those ballots must be singled out for examination, Spradlin said. Democrat Mark Herring was certified with a victory of 165 votes out of 2.2 million cast in the Nov. 5 election, close enough for his opponent, Republican Mark Obenshain, to request the recount.

Full Article: Chesapeake must recount 61,000 ballots by hand | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com.

Virginia: Attorney general vote recount, some by hand, to get started Dec. 16 | Washington Times

A recount of the votes in the Virginia attorney general’s race will begin Dec. 16, but a number of jurisdictions, including Alexandria, are facing hand recounts thanks to voting machines considered outdated by the state’s electoral board. Only 165 votes of more than 2.2 million cast separate Democrat Mark R. Herring and Republican Mark D. Obenshain — a 0.007 percent difference that amounts to the closest finish to a race in Virginia history. A three-judge recount court in Richmond on Wednesday announced the process would begin Dec. 17 and 18 for a majority of the state’s voting districts, though Fairfax County, the state’s largest district, was given the go-ahead to begin its recount a day earlier, on Dec. 16. Donald Palmer, secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, said officials would prefer the ballots be tabulated by optical scanners. In some cases, though, jurisdictions use machines that can’t isolate just one of the races that appeared on the ballot — in this case, the attorney general’s race.

Full Article: Va. attorney general vote recount, some by hand, to get started Dec. 16 - Washington Times.

Virginia: Some voting equipment doesn’t meet requirements | The Washington Post

Virginia elections officials say some voting equipment used in the November election doesn’t meet state requirements. State Board of Elections chairman Charles E. Judd said that there should be uniformity in the election process. “This vast diversity of equipment in the state is problematic,” Judd said. “We should have two kinds of equipment and not 10 or 12 kinds around the state. We should have some uniformity so it applies to the code and it makes it more efficient.” Judd and other board members discussed the issue Monday during a meeting, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. 

Full Article: Some Va voting equipment doesn’t meet requirements - The Washington Post.

Virginia: Elections officials say some voting equipment is outdated | Richmond Times-Dispatch

State elections officials expressed concern Monday that some of the voting equipment used in November balloting is outdated and does not meet requirements under state law. Don Palmer, secretary of the State Board of Elections, said at a board meeting that some of the voting machines are not able to flag overvotes or undervotes, which would allow those ballots to be inspected manually. Republican Mark D. Obenshain hopes that the proper count of such ballots in the upcoming recount will sway the election result of the attorney general’s race, in which Democrat Mark R. Herring was certified the winner by 165 votes. An undervote would be one in which a selection would be made in at least one race, but not others. Overvotes include ballots in which two candidates were originally marked for a race, but one was crossed out. “The code requires in a recount situation that undervotes, overvotes and write-ins be rejected so they can be analyzed personally by the recount teams and observers of each party,” Palmer said. If there is a dispute over a particular ballot — meaning if the voter’s intention isn’t immediately clear — it would go to the recount court in Richmond, a panel of three judges headed by Richmond Circuit Court Judge Beverly W. Snukals.

Full Article: Elections officials say some voting equipment is outdated - Richmond Times-Dispatch: Government And Politics.

Virginia: Alexandria to Hand Count All Paper Ballots in Recount For Attorney General | Connection Newspapers

Alexandria election officials will be going back to the future in the next few weeks, pouring over thousands of paper ballots by hand as part of a recount effort in the hotly contested race for attorney general. Although other jurisdictions with paper ballots will be reprogramming their scanners for the recount, election officials say the Hart InterCivic machines currently in use in Alexandria and Charlottesville have some key limitations that prevent them from being reprogrammed. “It’s not like that would happen in a split second by feeding them through the machine,” said Deputy Registrar Anna Lieder. “So we are prepared to do a hand count if that’s what’s required.” Election officials say the Hart InterCivic machines have two problems that would lead to a hand recount of all paper ballots. One is that the scanners must be able to conduct a recount for the race in question without also doing a recount for all the other races on the ballot, one of the limitations of the brand purchased by city officials. Another problem is that the scanners must be able to separate ballots where the voter has written in a name and under vote ballots, where no vote was registered for the attorney general race. Election officials say the stack of undervote ballots are likely to include a number of ballots where a voter may have written the name of a candidate or marked it in a way that was not picked up by the electronic scanner. “All these scanning devices have benefits and drawbacks,” said Lieder. “These are much more precise and easier to mark in the initial voting process.”

Full Article: Alexandria to Hand Count All Paper Ballots in Recount For Attorney General.