Embattled Secretary of State Charlie White has sought immunity before he testifies to the Indiana State Recount Commission that is investigating him for voter fraud. A Voter ID bill failed in the Maine legislature, another was vetoed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and yet another will most likely be vetoed by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue. Claiming that they are an international agent somehow exempt from the jurisdiction of the State of Colorado, ES&S failed to appear for deposition in a case stemming from the 2010 election in Saguache County. Another Canadian city has discovered the expense of internet voting. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was accused of voter fraud by one of his fellow Republican Presidential candidates, Fred Karger. India will field test voter verified paper audit printers on their electronic voting machines and Republicans running as fake candidates to force primary elections before the recall elections in Wisconsin will cost taxpayers over $400,000.
- Charlie White going to great lengths to avoid answering questions | WISHTV
- Governor Nixon vetoes Missouri voter-ID and early-voting legislation | KansasCity.com
- ES&S representatives fail to show for ordered depositions | Center Post Dispatch
- Internet voting has high cost in Alberta | Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune
- Wait — Did Mitt Romney Commit Voter Fraud? | Boston Magazine
- Indian Voting Machines With Paper Trails to Be Field-tested | PCWorld
- Expense of fake Democrats in primaries will top $400,000 | JSOnline
Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White won’t give up in his effort to win immunity before he testifies to the state Recount Commission in a proceeding meant to find out if he committed voter fraud.
White is scheduled to testify next week, but he’s worried that what he says will be used against him in a criminal case. That’s why he is now pursuing a third attempt to win immunity for what he says.
When White’s attorney asked the state Recount Commission to grant White limited immunity, what’s known as use immunity, for his testimony scheduled for next Tuesday, he got a confused response from Recount Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler: “But I have never seen anybody other than a prosecutor give use immunity.”
And then, based on advice from the attorney general’s office, that confusion turned into an outright rejection. The commission voted unanimously to reject the motion requesting immunity.
That led White’s attorney to send a letter to Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler, one of two men who led a grand jury to indict White on six felony counts. The letter was another request for immunity. And, again, it produced a rejection.
That didn’t stop White. His attorney then filed a motion with Marion County Judge Louis Rosenberg, who is overseeing the Recount Commission proceeding. Again, he asked for immunity. Rosenberg agreed to hold a hearing on Monday morning.
On this week’s Indiana Week in Review there was consensus that White’s legal maneuvers will be futile. When it was pointed out to Republican Mike McDaniel that White is trying awfully hard not to answer questions, McDaniel said: “Yeah, he is, and that’s troublesome in its own right.”
Democrat Ann DeLaney said: “The facts are there, and the facts speak for themselves. He’s going to be convicted of this.”
But even if he is, Charlie White will go down fighting.
If, in fact, Rosenberg denies Charlie White’s plea for immunity on Monday, White may do nothing more than plead the Fifth Amendment come Tuesday.
Full Article: Judge to consider White’s request for immunity for testimony.
- Recount Commission to hear complaint against Secretary of State | Evansville Courier & Press
- Court to hear White appeal on testimony | The Indianapolis Star
- Secretary of State seeks immunity for testimony | Palladium
- Indiana Secretary of State, family blast prosecution | Evansville Courier & Press
- Focus on Charlie White hearing | The Indianapolis Star
Jun 18, 2011
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday vetoed legislation that would have required voters to show photo identification at the polls and allowed some ballots to be cast before Election Day.
In his formal veto message, Nixon said the bill would disenfranchise voters who don’t have access to a photo ID or the documents necessary to obtain one, such as a birth certificate. Specifically, he said access to the ballot box could be limited for seniors and the disabled.
“Disenfranchising certain classes of persons is not acceptable,” he wrote in the veto message. Requiring voters to show a photo ID has been a bitter partisan issue in Missouri and across the country for years. Republicans say the measure is necessary to prevent voter fraud, but Democrats contend it addresses a nonexistent problem while, as Nixon suggested, blocking access to the ballot. Republicans called Nixon’s veto disappointing.
“The legislation would’ve brought greater integrity and helped keep fraud out of our election process,” said Senate Leader Rob Mayer, a Dexter Republican.
More than 30 states introduced voter-ID legislation in 2011 alone, according to the Advancement Project, a coalition of groups that oppose the requirements. Nixon joins Democratic governors in Montana and Minnesota in vetoing such legislation this year.
“The governor’s action today sends the message that no Missouri voter should be relegated to second-class citizenship solely because they do not have or cannot get a state ID,” said Denise Lieberman, an attorney and advocate for the Advancement Project.
- Nixon faces veto choice on Missouri voting laws | Beaumont Enterprise
- Right-Wing Attempts to Shorten Early Voting Period Are Aimed at Progressive Base | Progressive States Network
- Final voter ID mandate appears headed for veto | BlueRidgeNow
- Kobach lauds new elections law | Wichita Eagle
- Voter ID requirement passes North Carolina Senate | NewsObserver.com…
Jun 17, 2011
Election Systems and Software officials failed to appear for depositions earlier this month after Saguache District Judge Martin Gonzales ruled that the firm could be deposed for a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) suit filed in February.
Denver attorney Robert McGuire, on behalf of his client, Aspen election integrity activist Marilyn Marks, filed the suit to force Saguache County Clerk Melinda Myers to turn over voting records and related documents Marks requested beginning in November 2010. McGuire waited for officials from the Nebraska firm for nearly an hour, he said, before deciding they would not appear.
Marks later filed a motion with the court to hold them in contempt unless they could show sufficient cause for refusing to honor the deposition subpoenas. ES&S made no motion to file a protective order (if their appearance would violate trade secrets and/or force the production of proprietary information) nor did their attorneys move to quash the subpoena, court records show.
Instead the company responded last week with a requesting the court to excuse them from the depositions, claiming that they are an international agent exempt from the court’s jurisdiction to depose. This despite the fact that over 5,000 of the firm’s machines are in use throughout the state, according to the most recent voting systems inventory published by the SOS.
“ES&S is an important and necessary witness in the open records case,” McGuire said in an e-mail Tuesday. “Two of the main issues in dispute are what election records were created in the first place and who really owns those election records – the public? Or a private, out-of-state corporation?”
Judge Martin Gonzales responded to Marks’ motion to hold ES&S in contempt and require them to show cause for failure to appear at the depositions Monday by requiring the firm to discuss their reasons for not appearing in a status conference scheduled for Wednesday. ES&S then must show cause for failure to appear if the issues are not satisfactorily resolved.
In their request, ES&S claims they are protected by confidentiality and do not even have employees working in Colorado. They called the subpoena for their depositions “facially invalid and void” and criticized Marks for exceeding the scope of permissible CORA requests for the information from their records and Clerk Myers’ records.
“By virtue of what they do, ES&S has information on things that are wrong, but the don’t want to share this information,” former commissioner’s candidate Steve Carlson said Monday in a phone interview. “Their refusal to give depositions is very telling.”
- No indictments issued in Saguache election | Valley Courier
- Stagner files affidavit with Saguache court | Center Post Dispatch
- Saguache County, Colorado state officials at odds over access to ballots | The Pueblo Chieftain
- Saguache County Clerk Myers produces ES&S M650 audit logs | Center Post Dispatch
- Judge hears Colorado Secretary of State Gessler ballot request | Center Post Dispatch
Jun 17, 2011
If Grande Prairie becomes the first city in Alberta to offer Internet voting in a municipal election, it will come at a cost – and a hefty one if implemented. City council’s General Government Services learned Wednesday that, for starters, a business case requested by the province may cost as much as $30,000.
That price tag in a report from administration surprised some councillors, who along with Mayor Bill Given directed administration to study the situation further by contacting Internet service providers (ISPs).
“I believe that we can build that business case for considerably less investment than what was suggested in the report,” Given said. “Other council members agreed with me.” In April, Municipal Affairs Minister Hector Goudreau requested the business case in order to formalize a city request to pilot online voting.
Goudreau said the Local Authorities Election Act precludes the province itself from implementing any alternative forms of voting. However, the act does give power to the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe a regulation change.
“The business case would need to address the pertinent issues, such as the need for Internet voting in the city, who is the licensed provider, how is security guaranteed, how is voter validation dealt with, what are the costs, and how are results verified and recounts conducted,” Goudreau wrote.
Audrey Cerny, City Hall’s legislative services manager, told the committee it would take at least four to five weeks of staff time to develop a business case. But she said it is possible to develop one that is less costly than the estimated $30,000.
“It is depending on how much external consultant time is needed,” she said. “If the consultant is utilized for a fewer number of days, the costs obviously could be lower. So essentially it could be $10,000.”
In order for the province to study the concept and make a decision in time for the 2013 municipal election, a business case would have to be finished by September or October, she said. That means an outside consultant would be necessary.
“There’s no guarantee (our) internal resources may be able to fully complete this without using an external consultant,” she said.
“There’s a huge time crunch to produce this immediately and staff are doing all sorts of other types of things in the IT (information technology) area.”
Coun. Kevin McLean said that in cases where Internet voting was used, like Ontario and Nova Scotia, voter participation increased, although “marginally.”
“I’m more concerned about the person’s vote, making sure it’s counted and it goes through,” he said. “So far I haven’t been convinced that it’s totally secure.”
And that wouldn’t come cheaply: In order to ensure security, the city would have to pay approximately $4 to $5 per capita to draw up a voter list, costing approximately $200,000 to $250,000 in total.
The cost of the municipal election last October was $125,000.
- Estonian Parliament Sets up E-Voting Working Group | ERR
- Vancouver voters to get online choice this fall | The Vancouver Observer
- Takoma Park, Md. tests online absentee voting | Electionline Weekly
- How Estonians became pioneering cyberdefenders | CSMonitor.com…
- Samyabadi Dal says yes, Janata League no to electronic voting in Bangladesh | The Daily Star
Jun 16, 2011
Last year, the presidential hopeful cast a ballot for Scott Brown for U.S. Senate. One problem: Romney may not have been living here at the time. Or so says Fred Karger, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate who’s filed a complaint with state election officials, a hard copy of which I have from Karger’s office. Here’s Karger’s complaint:
Romney and his wife, Ann, bought a home in La Jolla, Calif., in 2008 for $12.5 million. A year later, they sold their $3.5 million place in Belmont and, according to Karger, took up residency, well, it’s not really clear where they took it up, except it didn’t seem to be in Massachusetts. By 2009, Mitt was sort of campaigning and sort of on his book tour. Home was wherever he finished the day. Sometimes it was in California. Sometimes, Karger says, and the National Journal bears this out, it was in New Hampshire. But it probably wasn’t in Massachusetts.
Karger reaches this conclusion because the Romneys had by that point only one residence in the Bay State, an 8,000-square-foot home that they bestowed to their son, Tagg. Now, in the Romneys’ defense, they claimed that they were Massachusetts residents because they listed the basement of Tagg’s new home as their primary address. And from that address they could vote in the commonwealth. Karger, in his complaint, says, basically, C’mon. No one’s buying that Willard.
As if to prove his point, Karger asked the congregants at the Mormon temple Romney attended, and other fine people of Belmont, when was the last time they saw good old Mitt.
The local fishmonger told Karger, “They flew the coop. They moved to California. I haven’t seen Mrs. Romney in over two years, and she used to come in here all the time.” Likewise, churchgoers used to worshiping with the Romneys told Karger that they also hadn’t seen the Romneys in a couple years. Yet the Romneys continued to vote in Massachusetts, including in the January 2010 special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Karger says he even received personal confirmation from Ann Romney about the couple’s living arrangements. In April, Karger says he ran into her in Las Vegas at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, where Mitt was speaking. According to Karger, Ann told him they are living in California.
So it’s voter fraud if they were living in California but voting for Scott Brown in Massachusetts. In my (very) brief conversation with a spokesman for Bill Galvin, the Massachusetts Secretary of State, whose office oversees elections, the spokesman said Karger’s complaint was more of a letter “asking for an investigation.” No word yet on if such an investigation will happen. A spokesman for Romney wasn’t immediately available for comment.
- Charlie White going to great lengths to avoid answering questions | WISHTV
- Did Mitt Romney Commit Voter Fraud? | Mother Jones
- Voter ID will pass, but issue not voting | The Clarion-Ledger
- Voter fraud: Time to undertake complete review | Las Cruces Sun-News
- Recount Commission to hear complaint against Secretary of State | Evansville Courier & Press
Jun 15, 2011
India’s Election Commission plans to test in July new electronic voting machines (EVMs) that will offer a voter a verifiable paper trail, following criticism from political parties and activists that the machines could be tampered with. But it is unclear whether the paper records of the vote will be discarded or saved after the voter has checked if his vote has been properly recorded. Some local newspaper reports in April said that the paper records would be destroyed after the voter had checked his vote.
The paper records should be saved and used in a recount or if any other dispute arises, said Hari Prasad, the security researcher who along with other researchers released a video last year that they said demonstrated vulnerabilities in the EVMs.
Prasad said that a Commission official had promised that the paper records would be stored for a specific period.
Election Commission officials were not immediately available for comment.
The Commission said in April that a technical expert committee on EVMs met with representatives of the two government-run companies that make the EVMs, to discuss the issues related to the introduction of a paper trail for the voting machines.
The machines with “voter-verifiable paper audit trail” will now be tested in election-like conditions, it said on Tuesday. The simulated elections will be held in five states of the country.
- Electronic Voting Machine scan to clear doubts | The Telegraph
- India will try out the Brazilian model of voting in future | DNA
- Brazil makeover for Indian polls | Hindustan Times
- Bill wipes out voter safeguards in Tennessee | The Tennessean
- India Election Commission seeks roadmap for Electronic Voting Machines with printers | Hindustan Times
Jun 14, 2011
A plan by Republicans to run fake Democratic candidates in this summer’s recall elections would cost taxpayers upward of $428,000, according to election clerks. In one Senate district alone, the cost would top $100,000, interviews with county and municipal clerks show.
Even if Republicans back off their plans in some of the districts, taxpayers are all but guaranteed to have to pay the costs of the primary, because Democrats now plan to run multiple candidates in order to guarantee all the recall elections are held on the same day. Tuesday is the filing deadline.
Recall elections for six Republican senators are scheduled for July 12. But if there are multiple candidates from the same party in any of those elections, the July 12 election becomes a primary, with a general recall election to follow on Aug. 9.
Republicans have embraced a plan to run fake Democratic candidates to trigger Democratic primaries and buy time for the Republicans to campaign.
Election clerks estimate the cost of a Democratic primary in the districts of the recalled GOP lawmakers as follows: Sen. Rob Cowles of Allouez, $86,000; Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills, $69,700; Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, $27,000; Sen. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac, $84,200; Sen. Dan Kapanke of LaCrosse, $101,000; and Sen. Luther Olsen of Ripon, $60,200.
Those are only partial figures. Two counties in Harsdorf’s district, two counties in Olsen’s district and one county in Kapanke’s district did not provide estimates. The figures also do not include the costs for some of the municipalities within those counties.
The campaigns for the Republican senators tried to distance themselves Monday from the plan to run fake Democrats, saying it was orchestrated by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and the state Republican Party. Fitzgerald has said all the Republicans facing recalls were informed of the plan in advance.
Republicans have said they got the idea for running fake Democrats after a fake Republican last year ran against Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer of Manitowoc. Ziegelbauer for years was a Democrat who often voted with Republicans. He quit the Democratic Party last year to run for re-election as an independent.
Andrew Wisniewski then ran as a Republican to drain votes away from Ziegelbauer, but the ploy didn’t work and Ziegelbauer was re-elected. Democratic Party officials have said they did not have a role in the effort.
“I’m glad I’m an independent so I don’t have to apologize for either party,” Ziegelbauer said Monday. “I think they’re both equally foolish or worse. It’s certainly cynical.
“There are no rules anymore…It’s too bad, and it’s insulting to the people who vote.”
He said the Democratic move last year “opened the door” for what Republicans are doing now. But the Republican plan adds another element because it forces taxpayers to bankroll an entire new set of elections.
“The cost adds insult to the injury,” he said. “It makes it worse.”
- Wisconsin Senators Fight Sweeping Recalls | Courthouse News Service
- Democrats Withdraw ‘Placeholder’ Candidates in Recall Election – Whitefish Bay, WI Patch
- Recall in 10th Senate District will push election budgets into red | WQOW TV
- Voter ID Law In Effect for Recall Election — Sort Of | Fox Point-Bayside, WI Patch
- Who is the ‘Fake Democrat’ in Wisconsin 8th Senate District Recall Race? | Menomonee Falls, WI Patch