Thursday, August 13, 2009

8/13. More on voting machine hack, Canada moves forward with internet voting plans, India high court orders proof EVMs can be tampered with

The new Sequoia hack triggers humor amidst alarm and renews calls for paper ballots. Argument for open source repeated in wake of the recent Diebold software patch. Florida election laws may address google ads. Illinois voters will be able to register up to 7 days before election if gov signs bill. TX two step primary to be challenged in Fed Court. A VA county moves election date to save money. Canada moves on with internet voting in spite of fresh warnings from computer scientists. In India, the Madras High Court today directs the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) President G. K. Mani to demonstrate how EVMS can be hacked.

CA. California Still Willing to Give e-Voting a Try
Secretary of State discusses the flaws in the system but remains committed to electronic voting. Dell talks up cloud computing.
...Paper ballots right now, she said, mean "never having to say 'I trust you' to thousands of lines of code no matter how cute they may be," she added.

FL. Florida Election Laws May Adapt to New Media Demands
Aug 13th, 2009 A case that penalized St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Scott Wagman for using Google ads in his campaign could lead to a new law making the practice acceptable in political races across the Sunshine State....The problem arose when a complaint was filed against Wagman who used Google click ads that do not say who paid for them, which is against election law. The Wagman campaign contended that it was impossible to provide the disclaimer because the ads contain a character limit.

IL. Waiting for Governor's signature. HB 267, which allows grace period voter registration as late as 7 days prior to an election (now, grace period registration ends 14 days prior), was sent to the governor on June 17. The governor has until Sunday, August 16 to take action.

MA. City consolidates polling places to save money
SALEM — Many voters will cast their ballots at new locations this fall, as the city cuts back on the number of polling stations to save money. saves you in police costs and handicap machines programming."
The state provided the city an estimate of $1,000 per handicapped voting machine for the cost of programming each one, LaPointe said.

NC. Only two candidates participating in Chapel Hill's voter-owned elections
...It's a simple, albeit controversial idea: The public should fund campaigns for viable candidates so everyone, not just those who can afford to bankroll their campaigns, has a fair shot at winning office.
NCSBoE presentation on Voter Owned Elections

NE. Mail-in elections a growing trend
...In what is a growing trend across Nebraska, more and more villages, cities and counties are holding “mail-only” elections when considering local issues such as sales tax proposals, school bond issues and keno measures

NY. Upcoming elections bring new equipment, rules
Instead of drawing a curtain, flipping levers and pulling a handle to register votes, voters will be given a paper ballot and a pen, and guided to a screened area where they will fill in boxes next to their candidates’ names...But there are other changes besides the obvious ones in store for voters, including identification for first-time voters – through a driver’s license or the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number – when they arrive at the polls.

SC. Federal Court Upholds South Carolina’s Method of Restricting Fusion
On August 12, U.S. District Court Judge Cameron McGowan Currie, a Clinton appointee, upheld South Carolina election laws that permit fusion, but which also say that if someone gets the nomination of one party first, and later tries to get the nomination of a second party and fails, then the first nomination is voided.

TN. Election commission names York administrator again
Aug 13. Smart then asked Smith about the missing voting machine, duplicate serial number on two machines and the security at the Community Complex.
"I don't know, I would ask the machine tech and I'd have to investigate that myself ..." ..Phillips then told the commissioners the missing machine was one that was taken in for repair and the duplicate number may have come from the machine manufacturer. Smart said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) might have to be called in.

TX LULAC Challenges Texas Two-Step
By David Martin Davies, Texas Public Radio (2009-08-13)
Vera is set to argue in federal court that the Texas Two-Step is a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

VA Chatham considering moving town elections to November
August 12, 2009 Additional costs passed down by the state may prompt Chatham to move its town elections from May to November.

US. Hang your head, Sequoia e-voting machine; you've been hacked again
Aug 13th 2009 Oh, Princeton University, won't you leave the poor electronic voting machines alone? Haven't they suffered enough without you forming teams with researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Michigan to spread their private moments even further asunder?...

US. Why Governments must make voting systems open source
Friday, 14 August 2009 Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold, patched a security weakness in its electronic vote tabulation software this week. Nice, but how many flaws are required before governments mandate open source solutions?

US. Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections – USENIX/ACCURATE Electronic Voting Technology Workshop (EVT) and IAVoSS Workshop on Trustworthy Elections (WOTE), August 10-11, 2009: A two-day workshop about voting technology held earlier this week brought together researchers from a variety of disciplines including computer scientists, political scientists, legal experts, election administrators and voting system vendors. A number of papers were presented on topics such as usability, forensics, security and audits.

Canada. Abandon e-voting dreams, hackers warn
Elections Canada still plans online voting despite safety warnings from U.S. computer scientists August 13, 2009
As Elections Canada moves forward with its proposal to try online voting in Canada within the next four years, a fresh warning was raised this week urging governments to stick to old-fashioned paper

Canada. Study urges paper trail as Canada mulls e-voting
August 12, 2009 OTTAWA —Elections Canada has already begun hiring resources, developing a timeline and researching e-voting experiences over the Internet. "It's at the early stages," she said, adding the agency is on track to try online voting in a 2013 byelection...

India. EVM: Madras HC directs PMK to prove before poll panel on Aug 27
12 August ( The Madras High Court today directed the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) President G. K. Mani to demonstrate before the Chief Election Commission (CEC), how the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered with.

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