Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ES&S: "All Your Votes R Belong to US"- NOW, Tenn voter purge? Procrastinate by mail voting

The big news is that ES&S bought Diebold's election division, creating a virtual monopoly for ES&S. "It's a massive consolidation of voting-system vendors," - Candice Hoke, election law prof. at Cleveland State U. "The move, if allowed to go forward, is sure to raise further concerns among the U.S. Election Integrity community who have, for years, been alarmed by the private take-over of public elections by unaccountable corporations, and the increasing use of secret software used to both cast and tally votes." -Brad Friedman of Bradblog. Anti trust complaints expected to be filed. Wired news has a Diebold map up.

The rest of the news: Fire fighters in LA area get extra time to vote.
In Yuma Co CA,procrastinate-by-mail voters delay results. Aspen Co wants independent attorney to address challenges related to ballot secrecy and transparency in the May IRV election. Shelby Co TN Election Commission purges 60,000 voters. **Just a reminder to readers - its municipal election time, don't forget to vote.

CA. Station fire delays ballot counting
Emergency workers get extra time to vote in L.A.-area Assembly race and Bay Area congressional contest.,0,1915505.story

CA. Inconsiderate to delay count of mail ballots
September 02, 2009 Less than 8,000 voters chose to participate in the primary election for Yuma City Council and mayor,.many ballots - more than 1,600 of them - remained to be counted Wednesday...There is no reason this needed to happen. It is the fault of inconsiderate voters.
They received their mail ballots weeks ago but failed to turn them in early enough so they could be verified and counted in time to release the results Tuesday night

CO. Aspen's May election faces more challenges
City commission wants outside attorney to deal with myriad issues
ASPEN — Aspen's election commission plans to ask for an outside attorney to determine its authority on whether it can rule on a citizen's claim that his voting rights were violated in the May election, as well as another resident's request to release all the ballots so they can be reviewed independently.

CO. Election commission unsure of powers
September 3, 2009 The city of Aspen Election Commission, a body that the City Charter calls for to weigh in “when election procedures are in doubt,” met for the first time in decades Thursday and promptly called for an independent attorney to be appointed to advise it on its jurisdiction.

NC. OpEd. Voter registration reforms can aid turnout, lower costs
New bipartisan panel's work could be a win for all of us.
Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 ...You can register and vote on the same day in this state on early voting days, and many residents did so during last year's elections.

But voting on Election Day still requires registration in advance. And nationwide, voter registration remains tedious and costly, and is often plagued by inefficiencies and inaccuracies....the N.C. Coalition for Verified Voting has pointed to continuing weaknesses, particularly in voter registration lists. Officials say lack of standards for voter databases, problems in moving voter registration and lack of voter education were among the problems.

TN. Election Commission Purges 60,000 Voters
03 Sep 2009 MEMPHIS, Tenn...Joseph Kyles, of Memphis Rainbow/Push explains, "After the election of President Barak Obama in January, the Shelby County Election Commission purged forty-thousand voters...and I understand they're on target to purge more than 200,000."
Bill Giannini, Election Commission Chairman, confirms, "We've purged, up to the date, 60,000 voters with no number in our minds of where we need to be. We believe, you're an eligible voter or you are an ineligible voter."

Giannini says it's been years of neglect in purging voter rolls that's led to a major effort to pare them down.

Bargain-basement sale price; Anti-trust complaints to be filed; Dreadful history of failure by both companies...A further investigation into the matter revealed that all versions of their tabulation software, used in some 34 states across the nation, allow for the simple deletion of ballots without notice in the so-called "audit logs", and that those audit logs themselves are not secure, and can be easily deleted or over-written, in violation of federal voting system standards.

US. Diebold Unloads Beleaguered Voting Machine Division (Wired News)
September 3, 2009 ES&S purchased the company for a mere $5 million in cash, plus 70 percent of any revenue collected on outstanding accounts through the end of August. According to Diebold’s announcement the sale was “consummated” Wednesday.
..ES&S systems were “utilized in counting approximately 50 percent of the votes in the last four major U.S. elections,” ... The company also created the statewide voter registration systems used in California, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska and New Mexico.
With its acquisition of Premier, the second-largest voting machine maker, ES&S achieves a near monopoly on election gear in the country.

US. Diebold unloads voting machine albatross
The ATM maker says it expects to lose up to $55 million as a result of the sale of its voting machine subsidiary.
September 3, 2009: NEW YORK ( -- Diebold Inc. said Thursday it has sold its voting machine business to Election Systems & Software, Inc., in a deal that could result in a $55 million loss for the ATM maker.

US. ES&S to buy Premier Election Solutions from Diebold, Inc
News article and letter from Aldo Tesi, President of ES&S

US. AP. Diebold selling US voting machine unit
NORTH CANTON, Ohio...Candice Hoke, an election law professor at Cleveland State University, said the sale raises questions about the consolidation of election services. "It's a massive consolidation of voting-system vendors," she said.
The increased size and influence of ES&S could make it harder for smaller, innovative companies to enter the market, she said. "The market power (of ES&S) will be so significant," she said.

US (Reuters) Diebold Sells U.S. Elections Systems Business to ES&S
Thu Sep 3, 2009 ...The company's Brazilian subsidiary, which manufactures voting terminals for Brazil's national elections board, the Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (TSE), is not affected by the sale of Premier Election Solutions.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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