Monday, August 10, 2009

Voting News 8/9. New voting hack, Internet voting in defense bill, Tennessee lawyering up, Aspen transparency

New hack demonstrated on electronic voting machines. (video) Internet Voting whackamole as Defense Authorization bill allows pilot. Tennessee hot mess: The dispute over voting machines may head for the courts. Tenn. Secretary of State detained voting activist as a terrorist. Aspen voters still seek ballot images from May. Bad economy pushes an Ohio county to cut polling places and Santa Barbara CA muni elections to go postal. New Jersey voters now have "no excuse" absentee voting. Computers searched in NJ election fraud case. Australia approves a new party decides name not obscene. Early voting - Wisconsin doesn't want it, while WVA wants more. Larry Norden from the Brennan Center proposes a few ideas about what the voting community should focus on. Iran admits election demonstrators were tortured.

CA. Santa Barbara Municipal Elections Go Postal
Bring Your Own Ballot If You Don’t Mail It In August 8, 2009
...City staff estimated that the change will save $50,000.

CO. It's all about transparency
August 8...Despite that on election night in May, each anonymous ballot was projected during scanning for the public to see, the city no longer considers these ballot images to be public information...The ballot images are required by a team of Colorado election quality experts undertaking an Independent Review of our May election.
...Voters request the opportunity to change the charter in November to again allow the traditional style of elections with subsequent run-offs

FL. Local legislators split on idea of making future special elections vote-by-mail or early voting only Wednesday, August 5, 2009

OH. Board of Elections cuts polls, precincts
August 8, 2009 FREMONT -- The Sandusky County Board of Elections proceeded with plans to cut down on precincts to save money and better comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act...The number of polling places was cut from 33 to 22.
Board members say the effort is expected to save $20,000 on equipment, printing costs and wages for poll workers.

NJ. Computers searched in NJ election fraud case
NEWARK, N.J. - There is new activity in the state's investigation into alleged absentee ballot voter fraud in Essex County. Carmen Cassiano, Essex County's commissioner of registration, says state investigators were at the county election office Thursday making copies of approximately 25 computer hard drives.
To date, four people have been indicted for election fraud involving absentee ballots collected on behalf of Teresa Ruiz, who won her 2007 race for a state Senate seat.

NJ. State Voters Can Now Vote by Mail
TRENTON -- New Jersey registered voters now have more options to vote by mail as an alternative to voting at a polling place on election days... In June, Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed the "Vote by Mail" law that now allows all voters to request a mail-in ballot for an upcoming election, and receive mail-in ballots automatically for additional future elections with one application

TN. Lawyering up on voting machines
August 10 It’s beginning to look like the dispute between the legislature’s Democratic leadership and the secretary of state’s office over voting machines is heading for the courts, as both sides get their lawyer on to explain why Tennessee must/must not purchase optical-scan machines in time for the 2010 election.

TN. Voting in Tennessee isn't safe or verifiable
August 9, 2009 ...defending our current nonverifiable voting machines is a stark example of defending the indefensible.

Prevent Election Fiascoes in Tennessee - Enact Paper Ballot Law Now
A perfect storm is brewing for Tennessee voters for the 2010 election.Tennessee is set up for an election debacle, thanks to the states' reliance on paperless electronic voting. Currently 93 out of 95 counties in Tennessee use these machines.Unless the Secretary of State Hargett takes swift and certain prompt action, thousands of votes will be at risk in the 2010 election.

TN. Tre Hargett Strikes Again: Citizen Activist Detained at Capitol
By Jeff Woods in Legislature, WoodsWednesday, Aug. 5 2009
When last we heard from Bernie Ellis, mild-mannered citizen activist, TBI agents were descending on his farm to investigate a "terrorist threat" against Secretary of State Tre Hargett....imagine Ellis' surprise when, upon his arrival yesterday at Legislative Plaza for a meeting with Sen. Beverly Marrero and Rep. Jeanne Richardson, he was detained at the security checkpoint as a suspected terrorist

TN. Knox Election Commission kills ‘convenience voting’ project
August 08. 2009 KNOXVILLE — The Knox County Election Commission has killed a national pilot project that would test a new voting setup designed to increase participation.The project would establish “convenience voting centers” where anyone in the county could vote. They would replace precinct-based polling places.

WA. Aug. 18 election is big test of King County mail balloting
King County has gone to an all-mail voting system, and the Aug. 18 primary will be its first major test. On the vast, secured second floor of the King County Elections office in Renton, a handful of people sit in front of computers, examining every swoop, space and slant of voters' signatures....The county is using new machinery and software this year that was certified last week by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission

WI. Report: Public Opposes Early Voting In Wisconsin
Board Held 11 Listening Sessions
August 10, 2009 MADISON, Wis. -- The public doesn't support changing Wisconsin elections to allow early voting, according to a new report.

WV. West Virginia newspapers speak
"Early voting" has been an impressive success in West Virginia. We agree with those who believe it should be expanded - unless it becomes an unnecessary burden on county governments

US. Computer scientists take over electronic voting machine with new programming technique (w/ Video)August 10th, 2009
...The new study demonstrates that return-oriented programming can be used to execute vote-stealing computations by taking control of a voting machine designed to prevent code injection. Shacham and UC San Diego computer science Ph.D. student Stephen Checkoway collaborated with researchers from Princeton University and the University of Michigan on this project....Princeton University computer scientists affiliated with the Center for Information Technology Policy began by reverse engineering the hardware of a decommissioned Sequoia AVC Advantage electronic voting machine, purchased legally through a government auction.

US. Computer scientists: to avoid election fraud, stick to paper ballots
August 10, 2009 (this is related to the new hack in article above)

US. Overseas And Military Voting Reform Approved By Senate – With Risky Provision. Our concern is with a provision in the law which requires a pilot of internet voting. We would rather have a test than a pilot program – a pilot program implies actual votes.

US. EVT/WOTE 2009, Day 1, Morning
Filed under: security, voting — August 10, 2009 @ 12:34 pm
I’m at the Electronic Voting Technology / Workshop on Trustworthy Elections get-together (in Montreal). A few thoughts about the day and talks.
..Larry Norden from the Brennan Center is proposing a few ideas about what the voting community should focus on. Voting machine security, including forensics.

US. National Association of County Recorder Announces New Officers
August 6, 2009 The National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks held its Annual Conference July 23-26, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn.

AU. Electoral commission approves new 'Sex Party'
The electoral commission has officially approved the registration of the Australian Sex Party, ruling the new political party's name is not obscene.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) registered the new party as a legitimate political group over the weekend, with a membership of about 3,000.

IRAN. Iran admits election demonstrators were tortured
9 August 2009. Senior police commander says head of Tehran prison dismissed after evidence of abuse but denies anyone died.

IRAN. Trial of post-election protestors resumes in Iran
2009-08-09 The second hearing for the trial of protestors and activists resumed in Tehran on Saturday. ·A female French, 2 workers of French and British embassies were among the accused. ·More than 1,000 protestors were reportedly arrested in the wake of the disputed election.

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