Monday, August 3, 2009

8/3 Voting News. Dominion takes New York? USPS to push Vote By Mail, TX county ditching paper, PA wants levers

Sequoia/Dominion has succeeded in getting its machines in most New York Counties. The National Association of Letter Carriers) wants the the Postal Service to aggressively pursue “vote-by-mail” initiatives. Aspen is holding a special election by mail only, the town's mayor worries voters will be caught unaware. A felon disenfranchisement case may head to the US Supreme Court... Galveston County Texas will ditch paper ballots, go to all paperless voting and hopes to cut polling places. The Mississipp GOP is pushing to get voter ID on the ballot.

Tennessee still fighting over paper ballot law. I just found a great video of a Tennessee lawmaker arguing the cost benefits of paper ballots vs. paperless. This is from June, but you need to see it. Sen. Herron (TN) rebutts alot of misinfo. In India, a group of NGOs sets out to prove the machines can be tampered with - a bit of déjà vu? In Afghanistan, 3,000 donkeys are transporting paper ballots to the polls. Other countries struggle.

CO. Aspen marketing officials prepare for bed tax ballot question
Friday, July 31, 2009
Pitkin County residents can only mail in their ballots, which will require a specific postage rate and a restrictive timeline for them to be received by the county clerk and recorder.That creates several issues, said Mayor Mick Ireland, adding he is not a fan of mail-in ballot elections because people who move a lot become disenfranchised and not all of them will receive their ballots at the correct addresses.Others caught unaware won't realize that they can't vote at their normal polling places.

FL A conversation with Hillsborough's new supervisor of elections. Aug 3.

FL & US.. For State, Local Office Seekers, Web Ads Present Potential Pitfalls
Aug 3. ..The Florida Elections Commission has decided a mayoral candidate's ads on Google and Facebook appear to violate the state's election law because they don't include a disclaimer that indicates who bought them.

IN. Counties try to stop vote
* Let the state pick up the tab or put off referendum until next year, critics say.
August 2, 2009...The combined cost for the four northern Indiana counties having a referendum on transportation this November will easily top $1 million... It's not necessarily the ballot question they're outraged about. Rather it's the timing of the referendum that's at issue.,ropref.article

MA. Felon Disenfranchisement Issue Heading to the Supreme Court?
On Friday, a First Circuit Panel split 2-1 in Simmons v. Galvin, a case challenging the disenfranchisement of currently incarcerated Massachusetts felons under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the ex post facto clause... The majority, in an opinion by Chief Judge Lynch, rejected the arguments... This case could well go to the Supreme Court on an issue that Judge Sotomayor knows well.

MI. Michigan Law Allows Felons to Run for Local Office But Removes Them if they Win August 2nd, 2009

MS. Mississippi GOP launches voter ID campaign
Aug 3. JACKSON, Miss. -- The head of the Mississippi Republican Party said the group will handle an initiative to get voter identification on the ballot just as it would any other election campaign, by traveling the state to urge voters to support the issue.

NC. DOJ sets a date: Justice Department has deadline of Aug. 17 to submit ruling on Kinston non-partisan voting

NY. Sequoia/Dominion Voting System takes New York?
..There are 62 counties in the State of New York, and 54 will be or are using the Sequoia Image Cast

NY. Pilot programs for new voting machines to begin locally
August 1, 2009.
Many New Yorkers will be voting in new, high-tech and expensive ways this year as the state, operating under a federal court order, phases in electronic voting machines.
Between purchasing new equipment and training people to use it, the initiative has cost about $121 million so far, according to Bob Brehm, spokesman for the state Board of Elections.

NY. Broome Helps Voters Use Technology
Aug 2. ..Broome County welcomes you to learn the new way to cast your ballot.
It's replacing lever machines with these electronic Image-Cast voting machines.

PA. BACK TO THE FUTURE. State Rep. James Casorio, a North Huntingdon Democrat, apparently longs for the old days -- at least where voting is concerned. Casorio has introduced legislation in the state House of Representatives calling on Congress to allow Pennsylvania counties to return to the use of mechanical lever voting machines. He said electronic machines -- particularly ones that do not produce a record of individual votes -- are especially susceptible to failure and fraud.

TN. Republicans blocking new voting machines
August 1, 2009 Letter to Editor

TN Tennessee State Senator Roy Herron Addresses Costs Of Implementing Paper Ballots June 18, 2009 Tennessee Senator Roy Herron (D-Dresden) directly address the cost estimate disparities that the Secretary of State's office presented as evidence that paper ballot elections would cost Tennessee more than $4 million extra dollars. (Refers to cost studies in NC and FL)

TX. County looks to cut polling places (and go paperless)
Galveston County voters would be able to cast ballots at any polling place in the county in November if state elections officials select the area for a “super precinct” pilot program.
...But this year, even if Galveston County is not selected for the state’s pilot program, elections officials are phasing out the paper ballots completely.

TX. Harris officials linked to voting lawsuit reassigned
Aug. 1--Two Harris County officials at the center of an ongoing dispute over what the Texas Democratic Party claims was an orchestrated effort to purge thousands of voters for partisan political reasons have been reassigned to duties outside the voter registration office, Tax Assessor-Collector Leo Vasquez said Friday.

US. USPS may close 1,000 post offices
August 03, 2009 That means the Postal Service will have to find new sources of revenue. Rolando ( president of the

National Association of Letter Carriers said the Postal Service should aggressively pursue “vote-by-mail” initiatives, which allow citizens to cast their votes via the mail, and business from e-commerce retailers.

Afghanistan. Fear, violence in Afghan countryside ahead of vote
Walking to a polling station in rural Afghanistan can be risky -- even for 250 troops armed with a guided missile, whose recent visit was disrupted by rocket attacks and gunfire.

How Afghanistan poll is shaping up
Aug 2. 3,000 donkeys are moving ballot papers to outlying areas for Afghanistan's election, while up to 10,000 extra international troops will try to protect 7,000 polling places from attacks by the Taliban.

India. Orissa to prove EVMs ‘can be tampered’ 2 AUG: Orissa may create history if a group of NGOs and technocrats (in photograph) can establish before the Election Commission of India that Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) can be tampered with.

India. EVMs tamper-proof, says poll panel, invites naysayers to demo
August 1, 2009. ‘So far, no one has been able to demonstrate that EVMs used by the Election Commission can be tampered or manipulated.

While ‘completely rejecting the contention regarding fallibility of the EVMs’, the Commission said: ‘It has now decided to go the extra distance by inviting all those who have expressed reservations about the machine to come and demonstrate the points made in their allegations.’

Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz president inaugurated for 2nd term amid opposition claims of election fraud
August 2nd, 2009 ...Opposition activists accuse the government of rigging last month’s vote, which Bakiyev won with 76 percent of the ballots. International monitors also said the election was marred by ballot-box stuffing and widespread irregularities in vote counting.

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