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 Dennis will recycle outdated voting machines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.

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