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.

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