Monday, August 31, 2009

Smartmatic demo glitch, Was Aspen election secret ballot or not? Lamone blocks campaign finance bill

Aspen voter complaint asks if election was held by secret ballot or not. Virginia's new registration rules would allow students to list dorm as residence. Maryland Election Director Linda Lamone helps block local campaign finance bill. Asheville NC spends $60K on additional early voting sites hoping to increase turnout. Should Voter Registration Be Automatic? - the new bipartisan "Committee to Modernize Voter Registration" will study the issue. "'Citizens United v. FEC' has sparked what may be an unprecedented lobbying and public advocacy war." The "Citizens United vs FEC" case challenges campaign finance rules that limit corpporations influence on elections. A "glitch" spoils Smartmatic's public demo in the Phillipines. A special election for Senator Ted Kennedy's seat will be held on Jan 19.

CO. "Big Brother Knows How You Voted," Millard Zimet
August 30. Aspen citizen Millard Zimet filed the formal complaint with Aspen's Election Commission questioning whether Aspen conducted a secret ballot election in May 2009. His complaint and related materials are linked below...

MA. Governor sets date for special Senate election, presses for interim appointment
August 31, 2009 Governor Deval Patrick continued today to press for a change to state law to allow him to appoint an interim replacement for Senator Edward M. Kennedy as he announced that a special election for the seat will be held on Jan. 19

MD. Maryland’s Administrator for Life, Part One
Suppose a local bill (a bill affecting only one county) gets the unanimous support of its local government, the unanimous support of its county delegation in Annapolis and is passed by the House of Delegates by 135-0. You would think it would be headed for the Governor’s desk, right?
Not if it’s a campaign finance reform bill and Linda Lamone get winds of it...

NC. Early Asheville voting sites added
Officials hope to improve city's poor turnout
...The city will spend up to $60,000 for four general election early voting sites...The city will have additional sites for one week of early voting for the Nov. 3 general election. General election early voting is Oct. 15-31. Among eight large cities, including Raleigh, Wilmington and Durham, only Greensboro and Charlotte have additional sites..

VA. Virginia seeks to ease student voting
August 31, 2009 The Virginia State Board of Elections moved Saturday to remove barriers that have made it hard for college students to vote and streamline inconsistent local policies for establishing residency. The proposal, which awaits a nod from the U.S. Justice Department, won unanimous approval from the three-member board after months of deliberation by the Virginia Residency Task Force. Under the new guidelines, local registrars would be barred from refusing a student's voter registration simply because that student listed a dorm as his address

NY. Election Problems?
Posted on August 30, I got both my National and New York election ballots this weekend. Everything was fine with the National package, but my New York envelope was missing the instruction pamphlet with the candidates statements.

WA. Judge dismisses lawsuit over Pierce County charter amendments

Aug 31. A judge has dismissed a challenge to the ballot language describing three proposed amendments to the Pierce County charter.
Sherry Bockwinkel, a term-limit supporter, and Kelly Haughton, a supporter of ranked choice voting, claimed the language of the amendments was inappropriate. But Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper did not rule on their claims.
Instead, Culpepper found the pair had failed to meet a deadline for challenging the ballot language

US. Citizens United Sparks Pitched Battle
Outside Groups Are Straining The Court System In Their Attempts To Influence What Could Be A Landmark Campaign Finance
Monday, Aug. 31, 2009 As the Supreme Court gears up for its Sept. 9 oral argument of a major First Amendment challenge to campaign finance rules, the case known as Citizens United v. FEC has sparked what may be an unprecedented lobbying and public advocacy war.

US. Should Voter Registration Be Automatic?
A Washington Post editorial looks at bipartisan support for automatic voter registration:

US. "Partisan Rivals Unite to Modernize Voter Registration System"

US. Vote for This
A bipartisan chance to repair an antiquated registration system
...The Committee to Modernize Voter Registration will be formally launched Monday. Its aim is to replace the country's cumbersome, paper-based system of voter registration with one that uses new technologies and government databases to build a more lasting roster...The group rightly does not want to impose an unfunded mandate on states. Instead, it believes that Congress should outline goals, set standards and use federal funds to encourage states to modernize. Important work on how states could compile a list of eligible voters from existing databases is being done by the Pew Center on the States...

Afghanistan. Many Women Stayed Away From the Polls In Afghanistan
Fear, Tradition, Apathy Reversed Hopeful Trend...With insurgents threatening to attack polling places and voters, especially in the rural south, many families kept their women home on election day, even if the men ventured out to vote.

Iran. Iran News Agency Reports Prisoner Died of Abuse (Iran Election)
August 31, 2009 CAIRO — In what may be the first admission that a prisoner died from abuse by Iranian prison authorities in the wake of post-election unrest...He was one of hundreds of people arrested as mass protests swept major Iranian cities after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed a landslide victory in June, and one of dozens who died.

Phillippines Machine glitch spoils Smartmatic's poll automation demo (video also)
08/30/2009 ...Smartmatic spokesman Miguel Avila ...assured the public that their machines and transmission are “100 percent hack-free." hackers a window of only two minutes to intercept the data," ...During the fifth trial the PCOS refused to accept the ballot...This was the second time that Smarmatic's PCOS encountered glitches during demonstrations. Last May, its demo machine short-circuited during a demonstration in front of the Commission on Elections bids committee because of faulty wiring.

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