Monday, August 31, 2009

Smartmatic demo glitch, Was Aspen election secret ballot or not? Lamone blocks campaign finance bill

Aspen voter complaint asks if election was held by secret ballot or not. Virginia's new registration rules would allow students to list dorm as residence. Maryland Election Director Linda Lamone helps block local campaign finance bill. Asheville NC spends $60K on additional early voting sites hoping to increase turnout. Should Voter Registration Be Automatic? - the new bipartisan "Committee to Modernize Voter Registration" will study the issue. "'Citizens United v. FEC' has sparked what may be an unprecedented lobbying and public advocacy war." The "Citizens United vs FEC" case challenges campaign finance rules that limit corpporations influence on elections. A "glitch" spoils Smartmatic's public demo in the Phillipines. A special election for Senator Ted Kennedy's seat will be held on Jan 19.

CO. "Big Brother Knows How You Voted," Millard Zimet
August 30. Aspen citizen Millard Zimet filed the formal complaint with Aspen's Election Commission questioning whether Aspen conducted a secret ballot election in May 2009. His complaint and related materials are linked below...

MA. Governor sets date for special Senate election, presses for interim appointment
August 31, 2009 Governor Deval Patrick continued today to press for a change to state law to allow him to appoint an interim replacement for Senator Edward M. Kennedy as he announced that a special election for the seat will be held on Jan. 19

MD. Maryland’s Administrator for Life, Part One
Suppose a local bill (a bill affecting only one county) gets the unanimous support of its local government, the unanimous support of its county delegation in Annapolis and is passed by the House of Delegates by 135-0. You would think it would be headed for the Governor’s desk, right?
Not if it’s a campaign finance reform bill and Linda Lamone get winds of it...

NC. Early Asheville voting sites added
Officials hope to improve city's poor turnout
...The city will spend up to $60,000 for four general election early voting sites...The city will have additional sites for one week of early voting for the Nov. 3 general election. General election early voting is Oct. 15-31. Among eight large cities, including Raleigh, Wilmington and Durham, only Greensboro and Charlotte have additional sites..

VA. Virginia seeks to ease student voting
August 31, 2009 The Virginia State Board of Elections moved Saturday to remove barriers that have made it hard for college students to vote and streamline inconsistent local policies for establishing residency. The proposal, which awaits a nod from the U.S. Justice Department, won unanimous approval from the three-member board after months of deliberation by the Virginia Residency Task Force. Under the new guidelines, local registrars would be barred from refusing a student's voter registration simply because that student listed a dorm as his address

NY. Election Problems?
Posted on August 30, I got both my National and New York election ballots this weekend. Everything was fine with the National package, but my New York envelope was missing the instruction pamphlet with the candidates statements.

WA. Judge dismisses lawsuit over Pierce County charter amendments

Aug 31. A judge has dismissed a challenge to the ballot language describing three proposed amendments to the Pierce County charter.
Sherry Bockwinkel, a term-limit supporter, and Kelly Haughton, a supporter of ranked choice voting, claimed the language of the amendments was inappropriate. But Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper did not rule on their claims.
Instead, Culpepper found the pair had failed to meet a deadline for challenging the ballot language

US. Citizens United Sparks Pitched Battle
Outside Groups Are Straining The Court System In Their Attempts To Influence What Could Be A Landmark Campaign Finance
Monday, Aug. 31, 2009 As the Supreme Court gears up for its Sept. 9 oral argument of a major First Amendment challenge to campaign finance rules, the case known as Citizens United v. FEC has sparked what may be an unprecedented lobbying and public advocacy war.

US. Should Voter Registration Be Automatic?
A Washington Post editorial looks at bipartisan support for automatic voter registration:

US. "Partisan Rivals Unite to Modernize Voter Registration System"

US. Vote for This
A bipartisan chance to repair an antiquated registration system
...The Committee to Modernize Voter Registration will be formally launched Monday. Its aim is to replace the country's cumbersome, paper-based system of voter registration with one that uses new technologies and government databases to build a more lasting roster...The group rightly does not want to impose an unfunded mandate on states. Instead, it believes that Congress should outline goals, set standards and use federal funds to encourage states to modernize. Important work on how states could compile a list of eligible voters from existing databases is being done by the Pew Center on the States...

Afghanistan. Many Women Stayed Away From the Polls In Afghanistan
Fear, Tradition, Apathy Reversed Hopeful Trend...With insurgents threatening to attack polling places and voters, especially in the rural south, many families kept their women home on election day, even if the men ventured out to vote.

Iran. Iran News Agency Reports Prisoner Died of Abuse (Iran Election)
August 31, 2009 CAIRO — In what may be the first admission that a prisoner died from abuse by Iranian prison authorities in the wake of post-election unrest...He was one of hundreds of people arrested as mass protests swept major Iranian cities after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed a landslide victory in June, and one of dozens who died.

Phillippines Machine glitch spoils Smartmatic's poll automation demo (video also)
08/30/2009 ...Smartmatic spokesman Miguel Avila ...assured the public that their machines and transmission are “100 percent hack-free." hackers a window of only two minutes to intercept the data," ...During the fifth trial the PCOS refused to accept the ballot...This was the second time that Smarmatic's PCOS encountered glitches during demonstrations. Last May, its demo machine short-circuited during a demonstration in front of the Commission on Elections bids committee because of faulty wiring.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

VoterGA legal surprise, "No Paper, No Problem", Ted Kennedy's contributions

"We are a better, more inclusive and democratic nation because of the contributions of Edward Moore Kennedy. Let us pay tribute to his work expanding the franchise." -Voting Matters. Aspen's former finance director says that "The road to Aspen’s May 2009 election is strewn with the wreckage of credibility-eroding acts".
Connecticut's public funding law held unconstitutional. VoterGA case reveals that the law (when Diebold machines purchased) said that new voting machines "shall have an independent audit trail of each vote cast". Petition drives reveal more cracks in PA's voter registration database. "No paper, no problem! Yet, also less integrity and no credibility!" - Luther Weeks, CTVoter. Pakistan to address flaws in its online voter rolls. Economy again: Talahassee FL changes charter mid-game to avoid a special election that might cost "from $342,000 to $680,000."

CO. GUEST OPINION *The city’s waning credibility*
...Maintaining election credibility is crucial to a free society. Once elections lose their credibility so does everything else, except for the use of force as a means for imposing political will.
The road to Aspen’s May 2009 election is strewn with the wreckage of credibility-eroding acts in the City Council’s drive to implement instant runoff voting (IRV). Early analysis to date has identified, among other discrepancies, the following:

CO. Election glitches report on the way
County clerk wrapping up investigation Augu 29.(They use Hart Intercivic Optical Scanners) BOULDER — Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall is wrapping up her investigation into the problems that slowed the counting of county voters’ ballots cast in November’s general election...Hall said this week that she has reached some preliminary conclusions about what went wrong in 2008, when Boulder County officials delayed their announcement of preliminary vote totals until nearly three nights after the Nov. 4 polls had closed.

CT. Connecticut Public Funding Law Held Unconstitutional Because it Discriminates Severely Against Minor Parties & Independent Candidates
August 27th, 2009

FL. Tallahassee City Commission retroactively disenfranchises voters at last minute
August 27. Until yesterday the city charter "called for a special election if a vacancy comes up before November in an odd-numbered, off-election year" according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
During yesterday's city commission meeting this provision of the charter was unanimously retroactively removed ...because of "economic conditions" and the fact that a special election may cost the city anywhere from $342,000 to $680,000...

GA and MA. Why Vote On Paper? Tales from Georgia and Massachusetts
August 26, 2009 In Georgia they are claiming that all electronic voting is unconstitutional...Questions will always remain about the 2002 election in Georgia when Max Cleland was defeated for the Senate and Sunny Perdue was elected Governor.
...Contrast this to Massachusetts where Recounts of ballots can occur. Mistakes happen but they don’t have to result in the voters’ intent being bypassed

GA. UPDATE on 2004 E-Voting Machine Lawsuit: Voter GA Case History and Status
August 28, 2009
Here is the most recent update on the VoterGA E-Voting Machine Lawsuit from Garland Favorito:

NY. New York’s 2010 Primary Could Arrive a Little Early
August 28, 2009 ...The possible date change is the byproduct of a little-noticed amendment sponsored by Senator Charles E. Schumer in the annual defense authorization bill, which passed the Senate on July 23 and is now in a House-Senate conference committee. The amendment’s goal was to give those serving overseas in the military more time — 45 days, to be exact — to receive their absentee ballots for the general election on Nov. 2, 2010, and to mail them back in

PA. Pennsylvania Official on Warpath Against Petition-Checking Flaws
August 28th, 2009 Wieslaw Niemoczynski, the Monroe County (Pennsylvania) Chief Public Defender, says in this news story that he will challenge the system for checking signatures in Pennsylvania.

VA. Virginia to Hear Public Comment on Proposed Residency Regulations
Voter registration in the Commonwealth of Virginia is changing - hopefully for the better. Despite the hard work of Election Protection and our partners last year, countless students and other voters were disenfranchised thanks to confusion about registration. Across the state students dealt with misinformation about their ability to register - at Virginia Polytechnic Institute rumors circulated that all out-of-state students who tried to vote in Virginia would put their financial aid in jeopardy, and in Montgomery County the registrar sent out a release incorrectly warning Virginia Tech students that they might be dropped from their parents' health insurance if they registered in Virginia.

WV. Non-partisan election of judges helps, speaker says
August 29, 2009 HUNTINGTON -- A North Carolina appellate judge spoke Friday about the increased voter confidence that followed that state's judicial campaign reform at a hearing Friday in Huntington...Concerns about the influence of politics and big money on the West Virginia court system have been voiced for years, but the millions spent in the 2004 and 2008 Supreme Court elections brought new calls for reform.

US. 08.28.09 Ted Kennedy: Champion of Voting Rights
Amidst all the eulogies for the “liberal lion” of the Senate — Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts — one important part of his legacy is often mentioned in passing, if it gets mentioned at all. That legacy is Senator Kennedy’s role in expanding and protecting voting rights for all Americans. Because of Ted Kennedy’s work, millions of American voters are able to participate in the most basic function of a citizen in a democracy:

US. "RNC Attorney Faces Skeptical Judges In Bid to End 'Soft Money' Restrictions" August 28, 2009

US. EAC seeks scientific and technical experts
EAC is seeking qualified individuals interested in serving as scientific and technical experts on the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC).

Pakistan. ECP initiates corrections in voting process
Sunday, August 30, 2009 ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has convened a meeting of the Electoral Rolls Council at the office of the Punjab Election Commissioner in Lahore on August 31 to discuss the computerised voting system and its working...serious discrepancies have been found between the CERS database and printed electoral rolls of 2007...the discrepancies include wrong district and Tehsil names, wrong electoral area (EA) names and placement of EAs in wrong Tehsils, etc

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Aspen Times: The city’s waning credibility

The online version of the Aspen Times had a glitch so this was seen in print version only.


The city’s waning credibility
Paul Menter

With the exception of how we choose to value ourselves, our friends, and our loved ones, virtually everything important is rooted in the results of elections. Think of their impact on our lives. The condition of schools where our children learn, how we protect the environment, our consideration of those who look, speak and believe differently than we do, and most fundamentally the people we wish to represent our interests as elected officials. All are decided by elections; our collective expressions of who we are as a community, a state, a nation. Maintaining election credibility is crucial to a free society. Once elections lose their credibility so does everything else, except for the use of force as a means for imposing political will. The road to Aspen’s May 2009 election is strewn with the wreckage of credibility-eroding acts in the City Council’s drive to implement instant runoff voting (IRV). Early analysis to date has identified, among other discrepancies, the following:

• The City Council, and not the voters, determined the vote counting method and interpretation rules — a method to which all seeking reelection would be subject. • Exacerbating this glaring conflict of interest, two Council members, both May election candidates, appointed themselves voting members of the IRV Task Force.
• On Election Day, TrueBallot used a different tabulation program than the one they tested. As a result, the vote tally in the mayor’s race was incorrectly counted. This fact was discovered by TrueBallot two weeks later.
• TrueBallot informed the city of this error on May 19. The city then withheld this information from the community, the Election Commission and the candidates until May 28 after the period for challenging the election had expired on May 22, stating that the error had no impact on election results.
• A mathematical anomaly inherent in IRV referred to cryptically as “non-monotonicity” created an illogical result. It appears that council candidate Michael Behrendt would have won a council seat if 75 of his supporters had ranked him second behind Jack Johnson instead of first. Council was warned of such unfair and arguably illegal IRV effects prior to the election but chose to ignore them.
• There never was a true audit of the election results, as claimed incessantly by the city. The 10 percent post-election review of ballots simply tested the ballot scanner, matching up ballot images to their comparative data strings. It did not test the accuracy of the TrueBallot vote tabulation program. Contrary to its claim, the city has to date produced no evidence of a “manual verification” of every ranking made on the ballots.

It’s not surprising that the City Council loathes release of additional information. It is, however, disappointing that the elected leaders of this self-actualized community reject the assistance of noted bipartisan election integrity experts Harvie Branscomb and Al Kolwicz, who could assist in improving the city’s election process for the future, whether the city continues to use IRV or not. The harsh political light on their flawed process would be uncomfortable, but the improvements would benefit Aspen, and possibly many other communities seeking to change voting methods, for generations to come.

Why the City Council’s unwillingness to accept an independent election process review at this juncture? Could it be the now notorious “secret” ballot images?

Logic requires one consider that, if the ballot images and their data strings contain identical information and if the ballot images must be protected from public scrutiny, shouldn’t the data strings be so protected? Since the data strings, reported in the likely order of votes cast are already public, has the City Council already violated its Constitutional duty? Is the argument over ballot images a mere side show designed to deflect scrutiny? Might this be the reason that instead of seeking the higher ground, they choose the path of confrontation, an example of which was the city’s Aug. 27 letter to The Aspen Times naming and criticizing me personally for exercising my free speech rights on this issue?

Left with no other defense, their credibility waning, is the city now using the thinly veiled threat of force as an instrument of their political will against those who seek to inform the community of Aspen’s election system flaws?

To me the implied message of the city’s personalized letter to the Times was crystal clear. Dare dissent and risk punishment. This is Aspen’s elected leadership: compromised by the flaws in the election system they created, unwilling to admit error, and therefore unable to find the higher ground that benefits the citizens they serve. Paul W. Menter is a Basalt resident and former finance director for the city of Aspen.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

AZ ballot case goes to court, Sequoia sells voter reg source code, Aspen ballot battle cont'd, TX paper ballot movement

Sequoia sells voter reg. source code. In Iowa, 50 counties will begin using electronic poll books. Pima county Arizona Ballot Case Back in Court Friday Aug. 28. The push for voter ID continues in Mississippi. An Aspen official says the city can't turn ballots over for independent audit because ballots are only anonymous when locked up. (Huh?). Paper ballot movement in Texas? A Gregg County TX commissioner and local leaders of the 2 major pol. parties want a paper backup to the voting machines.
The Democracy Restoration act would restore voting rights to Americans who have served prison sentences but now live and work in the community. Would no excuse absentee voting increase turnout in Michigan? Benton County WA reported very low turnout even with all mail in voting. A WVa paper says keep state's touchscreens but try to make them more secure. New Registration cards tell Frederick MD voters wrong place to go. Women got the right to vote 89 years ago. Roadblocks to the Ballot Box by Sen Edward Kennedy R.I.P.

AK. Arkansas Green Party Files Lawsuit to Be Restored to the Ballot
August 27th, 2009

AZ. Pima county RTA Ballot Case Back in Court Friday, Aug. 28, 2:30pm

CO. City responds to ballot issue (Aspen official says ballots aren't secret if seen)
...State laws that prohibit the release of ballots seek to guarantee that no one can discern anyone else's ballot after they have been cast. This preserves the anonymity of the ballots. The city clerk is legally bound to keep all election materials securely locked until they are destroyed or a court orders otherwise.

CO. Take this poll: Release the Ballots? Non Aspen voters and Aspen voters please (link fixed)

HI. Hawaii elections office to pay bills first, leave 4 key positions unfilled
HONOLULU — Caught in a financial squeeze by the state's budget shortfall, the Hawaii Office of Elections has decided to pay its utility and other overhead costs for the rest of the fiscal year instead of filling four key positions as the 2010 elections approach. The positions, which include a supervisor to oversee the preparation and transportation of ballots, will go vacant until at least early next year, when the Legislature reconvenes

IA. Iowa Secretary of State: New Precinct Management Software to be Utilized in Upcoming September 8 School Board Election
8/26/2009. Secretary of State Michael A. Mauro announced today that a new software program will be used in some polling places to assist precinct election officials during the Sept. 8 school board election. The program, called “The Precinct Atlas,” is an electronic poll book which will help precinct election officials effectively and consistently process voters on election day. ..More than 50 counties plan to use the program in either the Sept. 8 school election or the city elections in November.

MA. Massachusetts Legislature May Expedite Bill on Senate Vacancies
August 27th, 2009 ...In January 2009, Massachusetts State House member Robert Koczera introduced HB 656, to permit the Governor to fill the vacancy immediately, although the state would still hold a special election approximately five months later.

MD. Location, location, location (new reg cards give voters wrong polling place)
August 24, 2009

City of Frederick voters recently received notification cards telling them where to vote. Because, once again, where they voted last is not where they'll vote this time around. Unfortunately, the cards' first polling place listed is for the 2010 state and county elections, which is not the same place where you'll pull the levers come Sept. 15.

MI. Editorial. Let soldiers vote: State should allow military members overseas to receive absentee ballots by e-mail and fax
State lawmakers can help members of the U.S. military from Michigan who are serving abroad exercise their right to vote more easily with a relatively simple fix to state election laws. Clerks Carmella Sabaugh of Macomb County, Ruth Johnson of Oakland County and Cathy Garrett of Wayne County are urging legislators to allow servicemen and women to receive their absentee ballots by e-mail or fax, which could be returned by secure surface mail to their local clerk.

MI. As Others See It: Restore voting rights to former prisoners
August 24, 2009 State laws have stripped nearly 4 million former prisoners in America of one of democracy's defining rights: the power to vote. Repressive laws in 35 states, some imposing lifetime bans on voting, have hit African Americans especially hard. Nearly 2 million of them, including more than one in eight black men, are disenfranchised by these vestiges of Jim Crow.
U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and U.S. Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., have introduced bills to restore voting rights to Americans who have served prison sentences but now live and work in the community. It's an overdue change.

MI. Reiser: Absentee ballot rules can boost turnout
August 23, 2009 ...people who vote absentee were much more likely to have voted in the Lansing primary than people who vote in-person...In its bi-annual Current Population Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau asks registered citizens about reasons for not voting. The number one reason is, "too busy, conflicting schedule."

MS. OpEd. Voter ID step toward worthy election goal
Following years of unsuccessful efforts in the Mississippi Legislature, supporters of voter identification are taking their cause straight to state citizens in hopes of getting the measure on the ballot.
Mississippi needs photo voter ID - plain and simple

OH. Franklin County takes a byte out of its budget (for voter registration system)
The Franklin County Board of Elections will spend $50,000 to acquire software rights. But in keeping with the mood of the current economy, it's buying pre-owned.
After Sequoia Voting Systems of California informed the board in late 2008 that it would no longer support or license Franklin County's workhorse system, elections officials priced out a replacement.

OH. Voter registration problems plagued charter petitions

TX. Officials disagree on need for county voting paper trail Backup needed, say commissioner and political party leaders
August 26, 2009 A Gregg County commissioner and local leaders of the two major political parties want a paper backup to the e-Slate voting machines now in use.
Other county officials say the system functions fine as it is.

VT. Vermont Governor Won’t Run for Re-Election; Good News for IRV Supporters August 27th, 2009 On August 27, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, a Republican, said he won’t run for re-election in 2010.

WA. Low primary turnout disappointing, confusing
Voter turnout was low in this week's primary election ... lower than in years past. We have to wonder why? ...It costs Benton County between $75,000 and $100,000 each election and it costs Franklin County between $50,000 and $70,000 depending on how many races are on each ballot. That's pretty spendy to let the ballot sit on the counter or toss it into the trash

WA. LTE. Primary elections: Should Seattle be ashamed?
Low voter turnout the true disappointment of primaries
According to the most-recent election data, only 24 percent of registered Seattle voters bothered to vote in the primary election. How pathetic is that?

WA. WA Women 'Vote' to Celebrate Equality Dayby Chris Thomas
SEATTLE - Today is Women's Equality Day, commemorating the date that women got the right to vote in America, 89 years ago - and Washington was ahead of the crowd, even back then. in the 1800s, the liquor industry didn't want women to vote, afraid they would use the ballot box to restrict alcohol sales.

WV. Block Voting Machine Fraud
August 26, 2009
...We recognize that throwing the baby out with the bath water simply isn't a good idea. A better one is to continue investigating vulnerabilities involving the ES&S machines - and find safeguards to block "hackers."

US. Experts sought for voting machine standards
Aug 25, 2009 The Election Assistance Commission, which oversees guidelines for certifying voting equipment, is looking for technical experts to serve on the committee that is rewriting these guidelines.
The Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) is an advisory panel that provides technical assistance and advice in revising the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) used by states to certify voting equipment.

US. Roadblocks to the Ballot Box
By Edward M. Kennedy (RIP)
Editor's note: This letter was first published in The Post on Jan. 29, 1973.
...registration is not merely a gossamer barrier against voting.
For millions of citizens, it's an impenetrable solid wall that blocks the path to the ballot box on election day. The time has come for Congress to knock it down, and end this serious blight on our political process.

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Pima county RTA Ballot Case Back in Court Friday, Aug. 28, 2:30pm

RTA Ballot Case back in court tomorrow Friday August 28th
Bill Risner Will Ask Judge Harrington for Stay to Preserve Ballots During Appeal.

Attend Hearing Friday August 28th2:30pm
Pima County Superior Court
110 West Congress, Judge Charles Harrington’s Court room- 4th floor, room 472.

The Hearing topic is the Pima County Republican Party's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The lawsuit is Beth Ford v. Democratic Party of Pima County that also includes the Libertarian and Republican Parties and the RTA. It is a Declaratory Judgment action where Beth Ford, Pima County Treasurer and custodian of the RTA ballots, has asked the court for "direction" as to whether she is required to destroy the RTA ballots.

The Democratic Party through their attorney Bill Risner, and the Libertarian Party, will ask the judge to "stay" his order until we appeal his earlier decision where he claimed that Arizona courts did not have subject matter jurisdiction to consider allegations of fraud in any election. Basically, the only issue that will be of interest is the decision on the stay question. The legal issue is extremely important but would be moot if the ballots were destroyed.

What’s At Stake

The real issue is whether our courts have any role in guaranteeing honest elections. Judge Harrington ruled that he is unable to consider that an election was rigged. The procedural ruling said that the court did not have jurisdiction of the very subject. It was assumed for the decision that the election was fraudulent and the result "rigged" to give a false result. Nonetheless, the Judge said Arizona's courts could not hear or consider such a case. He said that a voter has five days only to challenge an election after the election canvass is approved. It is impossible to challenge an election within five days because a challenge must allege specifics that prove the outcome was actually different. Such evidence can never be obtained.

If proof is obtained, like for instance a sworn statement that the computer operator had been ordered to rig the election and did so, the court is nonetheless powerless to consider it. That is an unacceptable situation in a democracy, whether in Arizona or anywhere in the world. We want to appeal. An appellate court needs to rule on this issue. We think it is clearly wrong. If correct, we want it in writing from an appellate court that our courts are powerless to consider fraudulent elections. That is the issue. If the ballots are burned then a court of appeals could not consider the case.

We are seeking “prospective relief” so they cannot cheat in the future. However, history tells us there are many ways to cheat and if more ways are found we need to have the courthouse doors open to right the wrong. This case is as fundamental as it gets.

Add to this all the other problems previously exposed, documented and yet not answered leaves the public questioning whether our votes are being secured and accurately counted in Pima County. The previous case in Judge Miller’s court room proved that Pima Count’s voting system is “Fatally Flawed”. When counting and processing of the ballots is concealed from the public, the only solution is transparency, transparency and more transparency at all times, not election theater.

Yes, voting is a secret process; however counting and verifying our vote must be a public process. That’s why the solution we are working towards is graphic scanning of ballots as done in Humboldt County in California. Link:

If you’re confused about what going on please be with us at the Loft Theater on Grant Road September 16th at 7pm. A documentary about this case and you’ll be able to see with your on eyes that we are voting on a “Fatally Flawed” voting system. For more information go here:


John R Brakey

Co-founder of AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections, Arizona) & Co-Coordinator Investigations for Election Defense Alliance 5947 S Placita Picacho El Diablo Tucson, AZ 85706 520-578-5678New Cell 520 339 2696John’s

AUDIT-AZ and EDA is a nonpartisan organization whose mission is to restore public ownership and oversight of elections, work to ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote, and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process.

Additional Background and links:

Another reason for a stay of an order to destroy ballots is to resolve a previously filed public records case requesting copies of the election poll tapes (precinct election results on a paper tape) and the pollworkers end of day certified report, both generated election night at the precincts and signed by the pollworkers. These documents are public records boxed with RTA ballots subject to an destruction order. This critical evidence was ignored in the Attorney General’s hand count of RTA ballots conducted by Maricopa Elections Department. Reconciling ballots with the signed poll tapes is always standard procedure in hand auditing of ballots to verify that the ballots being counted are the same that were cast at the precinct.
Additionally, there are unresolved questions about why one box would hold 1,200 ballots and another exact same size could hold 1,500 ballots. Are there two types of ballot thicknesses?
Furthermore, the copy of the Attorney General’s Excel report of hand count results raises questions that signal alarm:

· Why were 4 complete precincts worth of ballots missing?
· The precinct ballot error rate is 1 error in 45 ballots. Why would the error rate per precinct be high when HAVA mandates the accuracy rate 1 mark error rate in 10 million. Note: To get a recount in Arizona the result between two candidates must be with in 1/10 of 1%.
· Because the error rate is so high, wouldn’t it have been prudent to use the poll tapes and also check the ballots forensically to verify that these were the original RTA ballots?
· We know that the legitimate 2006-era ballots were printed on offset printers, while by 2008 both Pima and Maricopa counties had the ability to print ballots on demand on high-end laser printers. We also know that a microscope can tell the difference between offset and laser printing processes as laser printers leave a smattering of “stray toner particles”. We brought a microscope to Phoenix; why wouldn’t the Arizona Attorney General’s office let anyone take even a moment’s glance at the ballots through it?

Timeline and Questionable Chain of Events Leading to RTA Criminal Investigation:

 2/13/09 A must read: AZ Daily Star “Goddard: Recount for 'curiosity' not allowed” "If they can bring us viable information we would continue to investigate it. They haven't. They've brought us what I can only describe as a wild story," Goddard said.
 2/18/09 Bill Risner informed the AG that he had reached agreement to finally get the Poll tapes. “The Democratic Party expects to be able to access the poll tapes in the coming weeks. We, of course, need to get these before Beth Ford, the Pima County Treasurer, destroys the ballots. We are concerned about the retrieval process itself, however, because we want to make sure that the evidence is not contaminated. Since your office is conducting your own investigation, we invite you to participate in the poll tape retrieval. Your participation would serve to preserve the integrity of that evidence, should it ultimately be needed.”
 2/20/09 Bill Risner is told by the Attorney for the Treasurer’s office that the AG Office is now interested and is going to seize the ballots
 2/23/09 in court AG office presents a secret court order to take the ballots.
 2/25/09 the ballots are moved from a secure facility “Iron Mountain’ by AG office to a secret location. Video Where are the Ballots?:
 4/06/09 We can see at the hand count that the AG Office compromised chain of custody; the ballots were not securely handled; boxes were not secrecy-taped; the AG gave no accounting for the location of the ballots from 2/25/09 until they arrived at Maricopa Election Department.
Transparency requires that the public be advised of the ballot chain of custody, where the ballots during that time. After ballots are counted their packed back in the boxes, sealed, signed, proper chains of custody is done and that what should have been done when they took the ballots out of Iron Mountain a secure storage facility.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Take this poll: Release the Ballots? Non Aspen voters and Aspen voters please

A non-partisan research team is studying Aspen's May election for ways to improve election transparency and verifciation. For their review, they require copies of the anonymous ballot images on an existing CD. The City of Aspen has refused a Colorado Open Records Act request to make this disk available.

This survey is to learn voter sentiment on this election transparency issue.

Aspen voters and non-Aspen voters are asked to participate. Please click through below to do so. Thank you in advance!
Release the Ballots? (Link corrected, wasn't working earlier)

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tenn voting machine lawsuits Catch-22? Ohio SOS asked to investigate Lucas BOE,US Supreme Court may let Corp. money into elections

U.S. Supreme Court May Unleash Flood of Corporate Money into Elections. Georgia case challenging e-voting heads to Supreme Court for a ruling. Ohio SOS asked to investigate allegations against Lucas Co BoE including altering ballots. Former Hillsborough Co FL Elections Sup Buddy Johnson spent $401,000 in HAVA funds on his own campaign. Tennessee may see lawsuits whether paper ballot law is implemented or not. Tarrant County Democrats want a church removed as polling place due to politically oriented marquee sign. Maryland issues a RFP for voting machines a month after issuing RFP for voting services. Aspen Co voters' new election method to be on the ballot itself this Nov. The economy again - Jefferson County can't afford to run its elections - outsources to ES&S. Some New York Voters will vote on optical scan soon.

**Voting News will be off Wednesday Evening to attend the 4 year anniversary celebration of North Carolina's paper ballot law, passed in August 2005. The news will be back Thursday.**

AL. Private Firm Handling Birmingham Election, County Can't Afford To
8/24 It was just a month ago when the city resorted to Election Systems and Software to handle it's election after learning Jefferson County couldn't afford it.
...In fact in addition to Birmingham, the company is also doing city elections for Dothan and Tuscaloosa. "Last year during the municipal election season, we did approximately 330 municipal elections in Alabama. We do all the county elections, primary and general elections for every county in the state,"

CO. Aspen voters to weigh in on election method
ASPEN — Aspen residents will be asked this November an advisory question on whether they want to continue using Instant Runoff Voting in municipal elections.
The Aspen City Council on Monday unanimously passed a resolution that will place a question on the November ballot that asks voters to weigh in on the city's first-ever IRV election method, conducted this past May for the seats of the mayor and two council members...Some council members have said in the past that they didn't have enough confidence in, or an understanding of, the IRV process.

CO. Unusual ballot question looms for county: cost
August 24, 2009
What if an election were canceled because it cost too much?
A countywide ballot could be cancelled because none of the three open seats for the School District 51 Board of Directors election is a contested race.

FL. Sancho's request to purchase Circuit City building raises concern
August 25, 2009 Debate is stirring among Leon County officials over the practicality of spending an estimated $4.5 million to buy a building to house the Supervisor of Election's Office... this would be the first time the county has had a consolidated office and warehouse space for the supervisor's office.

FL. Hillsborough County's Buddy Johnson improperly spent $401,000 as supervisor of elections, audit says
August 22 ...Most of the inappropriate spending was money paid to Schifino Lee, a South Tampa advertising firm that produced a public campaign last year for Johnson's office.

GA. POLITICS-US: Case Challenges E-Voting's Constitutionality
ATLANTA, Georgia, Aug 25 (IPS) - A case brought by election integrity advocates in Georgia claiming that unverifiable electronic voting, or E-voting, is unconstitutional could spell trouble for the controversial practice, as it heads to the Georgia Supreme Court for a ruling... If the court upholds VoterGA's claims, the case could have a national impact "because these are federal charges involving the U.S. Constitution. If upheld, it would set a precedent of case law that can be used in other states," Favorito said.

MD. MD has now issued its RFP (request for proposal) for an op-scan system and bids are due in early Sept. This is posted at
The State Board of Elections issued a separate Request for Proposal for support services for the voting system back on July 20. This contract would cover all support services for the voting system

NC. Please join the NC Coalition for Verified Voting for our Annual Voting Integrity Meetup In celebration of the fourth anniversary of SL-323 the Public Confidence in Elections Law Wednesday August 26, 2009 6:00 - 7:30 PM at Busy Bee in Raleigh

NC. Gilbert tapped for elections board vacancy
Former candidate replaces Meads
August 24, 2009 A former three-time candidate for City Council has been named the new Republican member of the Pasquotank County Board of Elections... The State Board of Elections voted in July not to reappoint Meads, who has clashed publicly with state elections officials.

NC. Nonpartisan appeal may not have enough time
LaRoque contends DOJ's decision was ‘partisan'
August 22, 2009

NY. Voters embrace optical scan system
ITHACA -- It will be second nature to anyone who has taken a standardized test in the past 20 years.

OH. State asked to investigate Lucas Co. Board of Elections
August 24, 2009...Allegations against the board include claims of misconduct, possession of false records, fraudulent marking or altering ballots or election records, all of which are felonies. The state has also been asked to investigate the board's prohibition of an inspection of election records.
A letter sent by an associate of the Lucas Co. Republican Party's Jon Stainbrook to Secretary Brunner

TN. Paper Ballots Put State In No-Win Situation
State Could Face Lawsuit Whether Machines Purchased Or Not
August 25, 2009 ...The state has found itself in a no-win situation in the battle over paper ballots. If Tennessee goes ahead and buys the machines, it could face a lawsuit. But it could also face one if it doesn't buy the machines.

TN. Press release. Tennessee Secretary Of State Obstructs Fair And Verifiable Elections
August 25th, 2009 by TNDP Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester says local election commissions are being misled about the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act if they believe the county is responsible for the cost of purchasing new voting machines. Forrester also pointed blame for confusion concerning the implementation of the law to Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

TN. Inactive Voters Purged From Election Rolls
Since late last year, the Shelby County Election Commission has focused on getting inactive voters off the voter registration list. So far, they've purged more than 50,000 names...In order for a name to be removed from the list, a voter has to have not voted in two federal primary elections or the Election Commission must be notified by a next of kin that the voter has passed away. A letter is sent out to voters thought to be inactive, and if the Election Commission doesn't hear back, that person's name is removed from the registration list.

TX. County grills pastor over 'Where's birth certificate?'
Democrats want church service as polling place terminated
August 24, 2009
Democrats in Tarrant County, Texas, have launched a campaign to have a local church eliminated as a polling place because the pastor has posted a statement of his own choosing – "Where's the Birth Certificate?" – on the facility's marquee...such locations must be politically neutral all year round if they want to serve the electorate during elections as polling locations.

U.S. Supreme Court May Unleash Flood of Corporate Money Into Elections
e-mail alert Public Citizen: This fall, a century of modest limits on corporate influence in politics could be completely rolled back, crushing progress on health care, the environment, energy, economic recovery … on everything!
The Supreme Court on September 9 hears a case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that reopens the question of unlimited corporate money in our elections.

US. State GOP leaders in DC to challenge McCain-Feingold campaign finance law
...The San Diego GOP -- which says it has more than 500,000 members and is "one of the largest Republican organizations in America" -- is specifically fighting "provisions of federal law interfering with local party organizations' ability to support non-federal candidates for office,'' the release says.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court May Unleash Flood of Corporate Money Into Elections

e-mail alert Public Citizen: Once upon a time, corporate titans bankrolled our elections with no limits. There were no social safety nets, no real labor laws, and no voting rights for most Americans. There were the haves and have nots.

This fall, a century of modest limits on corporate influence in politics could be completely rolled back, crushing progress on health care, the environment, energy, economic recovery … on everything!

The Supreme Court on September 9 hears a case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that reopens the question of unlimited corporate money in our elections. In a stunning move, the Court will reach back and reconsider two other pivotal campaign finance cases settled long ago. The potential result? A century-old pillar of campaign finance doctrine could be swept away.

Sound like a good idea? Sounds so very last, last century — except this time it wouldn’t be the robber barons — it would be the giant, multinational corporations buying our politicians outright.
Don’t let our elections and progress get rolled by corporate power!

More including case info at this link

Monday, August 24, 2009

Smartmatic must reveal source code, WVA touchscreens easily hacked,Aspen ballot battle continues

"Why does U.S. seemingly insist on electronic voting machines?" asks an IT professional in Japan. Indeed. The Philippines calls for review of Smartmatic source code. Good reason not to require voters to dip fingers in ink: Afghan election observers report finger amputations. West Virginia lawmakers hear expert testimony that their ES&S ivotronic touchscreens have "serious security vulnerabilities". A Denver Colorado attorney says Aspen's May 5 IRV ballots are subject to open records request.
Are some candidates for California's top offices "Too big to vote"?
Economics affect elections again: Budget crunch may eliminate early voting in Evansville IN in next GE. Should there be fewer polling places in primaries? While some US states struggle to get paper ballots, a Ghana oped proposes electronic voting and biometric id as solution to vote rigging problems. Intimidation and Fraud Observed in Afghan Election. Afghans turn to the Twitterverse.

CA. Too big to vote?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
How do you run for California's top political offices when you often have failed to vote yourself and have no political experience? ...Some big names in the GOP have rallied behind former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as she eyes a run against Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as she prepares to run for governor...But both former CEOs have a boardroom-size problem: They have shoddy voting records.

CA. Proposed constitutional convention is a big con
08/22/2009 The most interesting thing about the New America Foundation think tank's recent Sacramento seminar on replacing the California state constitution with something unknown and unpredictable was that even the foundation's designated election law expert had to admit the "Pandora's Box" problem

CO. Links to media- discussion of ballot release and election review
The two Aspen Colorado papers and one state-wide blog have been covering the topic of the Aspen May 5 IRV election and the upcoming Aspen Election Independent Review and numerous letters to editor. Here is a perhaps not complete collection of them:

CO. More calls for release of ballots
August 24, 2009 ....Sources from across the state and the political spectrum called into question the city of Aspen’s reasoning for not making citizens’ ballots from the May election public...
...Thomas Kelley, a Denver attorney who specializes in open records law, said he has studied the issue before and concluded that ballots are subject to open records requests, as long as the ballots don’t identify the voter.

CT. Should There Be Fewer Polling Places For Primaries?
...When we think of a large cities such as Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport its easy to see how reducing polling places could reduce turn-out and locations could easily change the result

IN. Sunday Soapbox (budget dispute about early voting)
August 22, 2009
Due to a budget dispute, that service may not be available during next year's general election. County Clerk Susan Kirk says she would need $60,000 in 2010 to pay part-time workers to man the voting centers

NY. City Council campaigns use social media
August 23, 2009 ..They can track who clicks on their ads, match that to voter registration lists and see who has a history of voting in primaries. Working the voter lists is common practice in campaigning,

NY. Safe & Secure Voting in Broome County
Starting with September's primary, Electronic machines will process votes in Broome County.

PA. OpinionMore voters would cure Monroe’s election problems
August 23, 2009 The real problem with how Monroe County voters elect our judges is that too few people bother to vote. Of the roughly 165,000 people living in Monroe County, nearly 114,000 are registered to vote. But only 11,448 people actually voted in the spring judicial primary election this year — that's only 10 percent of our registered voters.

TN. Vines: Voting changes studied
...Individuals like to go back to small, home precincts. That also was the same logic used for early voting,"

TN. GOP could be flipped to top of Tenn. ballots
8/23/2009 Tennessee Republicans could start being listed first on ballots next year under changes being considered by the Secretary of State's office.

VA. State’s Proposed Voting Rules in Need of Some Work
August 23, 2009 ...The proposed new rules will be sent to the State Board of Elections, which can accept, modify or reject them. One of the task force members raised a good reason for rejecting the rule that allows students or other voters to claim their home is wherever they say it is. Tracy Howard, Radford’s voter registrar, said the proposed regulations would allow people to “float their vote” and to do so frequently.
WA. Suit fights Pierce County ballot language
Amendments: Term limits, voting are at issue
08/22/09 ..Sherry Bockwinkel, a term-limit supporter, and Kelly Haughton, a supporter of ranked choice voting, filed a lawsuit late Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks to prohibit the county auditor and prosecuting attorney from publishing ballots and the voters pamphlet with the current language.

WVA. August 22, 2009
Electronic voting machines easily hacked, researchers say

..Earlier this month during interim legislative meetings, state lawmakers heard from a University of Pennsylvania researcher who believes the machines can be easily hacked..The researcher, Micah Sherr, says the ES&S machines West Virginia uses -- called iVotronic -- have "serious security vulnerabilities" that could let poll workers or other election officials take control of the equipment...Gary Zuckett, executive director of
West Virginia Citizen Action Group, called the research alarming. His group wants to phase out electronic voting machines.

Afghan election observers report finger amputations
There are reports of two voters in Kandahar being attacked and their ink-stained fingers cut off by the Taliban, which issued the threat before the vote. A third apparent case is being investigated.,0,1689966.story

AFghanistan. Intimidation and Fraud Observed in Afghan Election

Afghanistan. Afghan Election Marred by Fraud, Karzai Opponent Says
U.S. Anxiously Awaiting Results as War With Taliban Rages
KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 23, 2009
President Hamid Karzai's chief competitor today accused the incumbent of "widespread rigging," while the body that judges electoral complaints admitted fraud could alter the results in Afghanistan's second ever presidential election.

Afghans Turn to the Twitterverse for Election
August 24, 2009 While far smaller than the response after the Iran vote, the online activity in Afghanistan was an amazing contrast to the last presidential election in 2004, when the country was only a few years removed from Taliban rule that banned many types of technology, including TV and the Internet. Afghans now have cell phones even in remote areas.

GHANA. Let Us Consider Electronic Voting
Aug 23...In my humble opinion, investing in electronic voting will be the best way forward in ensuring free, fair and transparent general elections that will lead to a more lasting and credible democratic dispensation in this country.

Japan. 2009-08-23
U.S. election officials, how about OCRing paper ballots instead of electronic voting machines? This Science Friday Story on a voting machine hacking reminds me of my long standing question. Why does U.S. seemingly insist on electronic voting machines? How about collecting paper ballots at voting stations in the very old fashioned way and counting them using optical character recognition (OCR) machines?

Philippines. Call for poll machines source code review mounts
08/24/2009 MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it will release the source code of the Smartmatic-TIM Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines for review to political parties as well as an internationally accredited body chosen by the poll body....The commissioner said the poll body is still waiting for Smartmatic-TIM to turn over the source code so that it could be opened for review....Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said IT experts would need at least two to three months to conduct a proper source code audit.

"The source code has to be reviewed now. If there is a defect, we cannot use it. If we find say, a line of code that says for every 100 votes for candidate A, put it to candidate B, that cannot be - dapat may changes. If we can't fix it in time, what will happen to the elections?" he asked.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hanging chads in Afghanistan? PA voter database flaws, Dual for Aspen ballots continues

U.S. officials eye hanging chads -- in Afghanistan. "The citizens of Aspen are asking: Whose election is this anyway? Does it belong to the government — made up of the very officials who are candidates in each election? Or is it the people’s election?". That question posed by voting activists Harvie Branscomb and Al Kolwicz, when Aspen City officials refused to allow independent review of ballots cast in Aspen's May election. In PA, a trial over a petition drive reveals deep flaws in PA voter registration database. A Washington paper says look before leaping, learn from HAVA mistake. Afghani women find obstacles to voteing - male family members can vote their ballots by proxy.

CO. Show us our ballots!
Letter to the Editor Friday, August 21, 2009
Is this Iran? I implore you to assign a reporter to investigate the issue of why the city refuses to let the public see CDs of the anonymous ballot images from the May election....Ballots are anonymous, and not personal. What is the city’s real objective here after hailing their “transparency” for this election?

CO. Whose election is this anyway? OpEd.
...The city says trust: but don’t verify....The record of the collective intent of the voters is contained on ballots and on a disk which, although made for the purpose of transparency, is being withheld from the public- locked away in the “ballot box.” (cached version)

CO. Secret ballots: A matter of law
August 21, 2009 The city of Aspen has not released the ballots or images of the ballots for the 2009 spring election because we have a legal responsibility rooted in the state constitution, statutes and Supreme Court decisions to protect every citizen’s right to a secret ballot.

FL. Fla elections commission inquiry prompted WellCare to disclose illegal campaign funds
...Of the company’s 142 violations, all except 32 were before June of 2007, meaning they can’t be held accountable for them because of a 2-year statute of limitation.

MA. Dennis will recycle outdated voting machines
By Nicole Muller
Fri Aug 21, 2009, 06:00 AM EDT
DENNIS - Where do voting machines that have outlived their use go? Is there a voting-machine graveyard or a special recycling center for this equipment?
At Town Clerk Terri Bunce’s request, Dennis selectmen have declared as surplus eight 1995 Optech Eagle voting machines that were replaced earlier this year with five new AccuVote machines used for the first time at the May town election.
...The Optech machines cost $6,300 each in the mid-1990s, and six of them still function. “

NM. New Mexico Attorney General Responds to Libertarian-Green Ballot Access Lawsuit August 21st, 2009 On August 18, the New Mexico Attorney General filed this 37-page brief in response to the ballot access lawsuit Woodruff v Herrera, filed by the Libertarian and Green Parties on May 7.

PA. Pennsylvania Hearing Reveals Problems in Checking Petitions
August 21st, 2009
On August 20, a Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania disqualified Wieslaw Niemoczynski from the November 3, 2009 ballot as an independent candidate for Monroe County Common Pleas Judge. However, the trial showed massive problems with the state’s list of registered voters, nicknamed SURE. The candidate may appeal

WA.Lawsuit challenges ballot language of Pierce County charter amendments
A lawsuit filed this week seeks to force Pierce County to change the ballot language on three charter amendments voters will consider in November.

WI. Editorial: Improving voting requires listening, investment
August 21, 2009
The mechanics of voting in America hadn't been an issue many cared to broach until the infamous hanging chads of the 2000 presidential election.
...The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board deserves credit for listening and backing off the pilot. Early voting has merit, but rushing into an under-funded fix to elections is not a permanent solution. Improving voting is something that requires both listening and an investment.

US. Stalking the Errant Voting Machine: the Final Chapter
Aug 20th, 2009
Risk-limiting audits clearly have some valuable properties, yet no state has ever implemented a risk-limiting audit.

Afghanistan. US Officials eye hanging chads -- in Afghanistan
'From Dade County to Kabul, man,' said a bemused Richard C. Holbrooke, U.S. envoy for the region. But such problems are unlikely to influence the outcome, officials said.Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan - Poll workers at a Kabul school didn't seem too alarmed Thursday to see voters struggling to mark their ballots by punching out the tiny paper circle called a chad.,0,885109.story

Afghanistan. Women Face Obstacles to Vote in Afghan Election
Afghan women faced a number of obstacles to voting yesterday in Afghanistan's presidential election
... In Afghanistan, women's voter registration cards are frequently fraudulent because, unlike men's, they do not include a photograph for identification. As a result, men can easily engage in proxy voting by collecting the registration cards of women in their families.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Former New Mexico SOS indicted, Obion Co TN suing to block paper ballot law, WA Mail ballots take their time, Afghanis tweet election

Bombshell: Former New Mexico SOS Vigil-Giron is accused of embezzlement, money laundering scheme, soliciting or receiving an illegal kickback and offering or paying an illegal kickback. Over $2 million can’t be accounted for. Its ok to spend millions of $$ and "test" electronic poll books in Tennessee, but its too hard to implement paper ballot law. Obion County, Tennessee plans to sue to delay paper ballot law. Weakley County officials say new voting machines need to be in place by July 2010. In Ohio, several charges dropped in 'False Statements' case following FBI whistleblower's testimony. Economics again - Indiana's SOS had to order a county to hold a special election that will cost the county $414K. In Washington, vote-by-mail ballots only have to be postmarked by election day - not delivered. Afghans tweet about voter intimidation.

AL. Caught in the Crosshairs: Gov Don Siegelman talks with OpEdNews, Part Three "We await the United States government's response to our motion for a new trial based on their (prosecutorial) misconduct."

IN. Sec. of state: Follow the law
Lake County must hold transit referendum according to elections chief
August 20. That's the simple message Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita had Wednesday for Lake County officials battling over whether to hold and how to pay for a November transit referendum...The Lake County Council has refused to pay the estimated $414,000 cost of the referendum determining whether a regional transit authority is created in Northwest Indiana.

KY. Bullitt moves to paper ballots
August 19, 2009 Fiscal Court on Tuesday approved the purchase of 53 Hart Intercivic eScan voting machines, which involve voting on paper and scanning the ballots into a computer...Fiscal Court unanimously voted to purchase 44 eScan machines, using $198,000 in the state Secretary of State's office available to Bullitt

MA Sherborn’s election invalidated
Aug 20, 2009 Sherborn - Sherborn Town officials are waiting for Governor Deval Patrick to take action on special legislation designed to salvage the town’s May 12 Annual Election, which was invalidated last month due to a posting error.

NM. Vigil-Giron accused of embezzlement, money laundering scheme
8/19/09 The indictment lays out a scheme whereby several large deposits were made into a Wells Fargo bank account controlled by Gutierrez over several years — $2 million in 2004; $2 million in 2005; and $1.7 million and $186,500 in 2006

NM. Prosecutors allege the theft of millions of dollars
Vigil-Giron and other defendants each face 50 counts in indictments issued today by grand jury Posted 8/19/2009 Former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron and the others indicted today by a state grand jury each face 50 counts including money laundering, fraud, soliciting or receiving kickbacks and tax evasion in the alleged theft of millions of dollars.

NM. Rebecca Vigil-Giron targeted in probe of voter education funds
8/19/09 ...Audit says more than $2 million can’t be accounted for

OH. Several Charges Dropped in 'False Statements' Case Following FBI Whistleblower's Testimony.
Rep. Jean Schmidt drops four claims in Ohio election case, following deposition by formerly-gagged Turkish-American translator Sibel Edmonds, adds another
Preliminary panel finds 'probable cause' in several claims against Krikorian...

SD. State’s new election system earns national recognition
PIERRE — The national Elections Center granted one of its highest honors to South Dakota for the state’s central system for election and voter reporting.
Now Secretary of State Chris Nelson is offering to help other states adapt South Dakota’s system to their needs...The system cost approximately $350,000.

TN. Election commission seeks delay on machines
Aug 20, 2009 PUTNAM COUNTY -- The Putnam County Election Commission has requested the state delay a law requiring that new voting machines be put in place by 2010, mimicking action taken in Obion County in preparation for a possible lawsuit to be filed against the state.

TN. Election commission preps for 2010 races
August 20, 2009 Weakley County. “With such a big race next August, I would have to have to new machines in place before July so that absentee ballots could be sent out and we can be ready for early voting. That time of year falls right in between budgets so I am not sure what we are going to do,” Castleman explained.

TN.Rezoning recommended for Deason store
August 20, 2009 ...Bedford County Board of Commissioners' The rules committee also endorsed a model resolution from Obion County requesting that the state delay implementation of the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act. That act will require local governments to buy new voting machines so that a "paper trail" of votes is available in case of a recount or disputed election

TN Hours extended for early voting
Expected heavy turnout prompts longer opening
August 20, 2009 ...Election commissioners also voted to make the special election the first major test for new "electronic poll books" made by Diebold...The Election Commission bought 670 of the devices last year for a total of $2.25 million, Holden said.

VA. Electronic pollbooks may trim long lines
Panel recommends purchase of items...The long lines that face voters as they wait for their identification and other information to be checked on Election Day can be eliminated through electronic pollbooks, Shenandoah County Registrar Lisa McDonald said Wednesday afternoon. The pollbooks are not vote-counting equipment.

WA. Super-close election for Seattle Mayor
It was primary election day yesterday for municipalities throughout Washington State yesterday...In Washington, vote-by-mail ballots only have to be postmarked by election day - not delivered. So, there's still a long way to go before we know which two candidates will make the runoff in November. There could be as many as 40-50% of the ballots still in transit and to be counted.

Afghanistan. Afghans turn to the Twitterverse for election
KABUL — Afghans turned to the Twitterverse to share news of Taliban intimidation at the polls and voter turnout in the presidential election, even as the country was just trying to keep electricity running and attacks at bay.