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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