Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ES&S-Diebold sale a symptom, Corporations aren’t people yet,TN Paper Ballot law threatened

The ES&S Diebold monopoly is a problem, but it is also a symptom of the way the US runs elections. "ES&S acted like a monopoly even before it decided to become a monopoly,"~Ion Sancho, Supervisor of Elections in Leon County Florida. "We need to deploy a system that our election administrators and voters can understand and trust, and we're not there yet," ~ Candice Hoke, election law professor at Cleveland State University.

Issues with Aspen's May 5 election not resolved yet: "It's time for the city leaders to be transparent and responsible by embracing a thorough review, a resolution of serious questions, and any reforms needed to protect future elections." ~ Marilyn Marks, oped about Aspen May 5 election.

Obion County TN trying to enlist other counties to block paper ballot law implementation. A federal bill has been introduced in the US House that would restore voting rights to all felons not currently incarcerated: "If you're paying taxes, you should be allowed to vote." ~ Kenneth Harrigan, at The Fortune Society

The Brazilian Superior Electoral Court is challenging geeks to find flaws in security of electronic voting machines.

CO. Millard Zimet's commentary about his complaint
Sept 22. I recently filed a complaint with the Aspen Election Commission, asking the Commission to determine whether Aspen’s May 2009 election was a secret ballot election as required under the Colorado Constitution...We’ve got to establish the precedent now that computerized voting data must be handled in a manner that preserves voters’ constitutional rights to a secret ballot.

CO. Big changes needed to election system
Sept 22...It is not just IRV. The most troublesome issues are not IRV-driven. Dumping IRV is not a panacea. We need fundamental improvements in simple procedures, from appropriate security for physical ballots to acceptable post-election audits, and accurate, timely reporting by the city.

CO. IRV worked, lets move on

IL. Detroit Voters Will Vote on Changing City Council from At-Large to Districts
September 22nd, 2009 For many years, Detroit has been the only large city in the United States that elects all its city council members at-large, instead of by district. An initiative petition to switch to districts was submitted this year

IN. After ruling, make voter ID law better
Indiana legislature should also mandate early voting periods, vote centers
If the Indiana Supreme Court acts quickly, as the state requests, to reverse a ruling last week by a three-judge appellate court striking down the state's tough voter identification law, it could deny Hoosiers a needed opportunity to improve its law.

MA. Voter turnout soars past 61,000 in election *
glitch optical scanner and automark used
September 22, 2009 ..one person who voted at Cathedral High school complained he was not given the proper ballot...She said voting scanners at three polling locations had to be turned off and turned off again because of a minor glitch. Cuddyer added the scanner issue did not delay voting at the three locations.

MA. Massachusetts Legislature Passes Bill for Temporary Gubernatorial Appointments for Senate Vacancies
September 22nd, 2009

MN. State may make military voting easier
Bill provides way to speed up process for those serving abroad
Sept 22. A bill moving through the Michigan House would speed up the process for overseas military members by allowing election clerks to e-mail or fax absentee ballots. ..."The voter would print it, fill it out and send it back using traditional mail," said Johnson, a Republican.

MN. St. Paul does not need IRV
Instant runoff voting is expensive, convoluted and undemocratic.
09/22/2009 By Andy Cilek, Guest columnist

TN. Obion County Searching for Support in Voting Machine Lawsuit
Monday, September 21st, 2009, by Blake Farmer
The Obion County Election Commission is prepping for a possible lawsuit asking the state to delay the purchase of new voting machines that read paper ballots. And now Obion County wants others to join them.

WI. Government Accountability Board Tests New Voting Equipment
MADISON, WI – The Government Accountability Board will conduct two days of testing on new voting equipment on September 29 and 30
http://elections.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=17735&locid=47 (pdf)

WV. Rotating early voting stations not legal, Tennant says
Patti Hamilton, executive director for the West Virginia Association of Counties, said Tuesday the proposed three-day rule was at odds with the legislation, which requires the satellite locations to be open the same days and hours as the main early voting location in each county

ES&S Diebold monopoly:

Voting Machine Monopoly Threatens Elections
The Sale Of Diebold's Election Business Has Alarmed Civic Watchdogs
National Journal September 21st, 2009
...an industry shakeup that's placed one controversial vendor in charge of more than half the nation's voting technology has thrust the debate over machines squarely back into focus."We've got equipment out there that's unverifiable, and lacks transparency and oversight," said Warren Stewart, legislative policy director for VerifiedVoting.org. "That existed before this merger, and after this merger, and that needs to be addressed whatever happens with this sale."

Voting machine deal raises concerns over monopoly
Sep 22, 2009...The nation's largest election company is purchasing a rival in a major deal that will make it the sole provider of voting machines in 65 of Florida's 67 counties and much of the nation.


Proposed law would restore voting rights to felons
09/22/2009. "In some states, states like Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, up to a third of African-American men have lost the right to vote," says Erika Wood, deputy director of the Democracy Program at NYU's Brennan Center for Justice... "These laws are firmly rooted in the Jim Crow era," says Wood. A federal law called the Democracy Restoration Act was recently introduced in the House and Senate. The act would unify the state laws, restoring the right for all citizens who are not currently incarcerated. It also mandates that ex-prisoners be informed of their voting rights.

Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission

Corporations aren’t people yet
Sept 22. IF A hearing in a campaign-finance case earlier this month is any indication, Chief Justice John Roberts’s Supreme Court is ready to give corporations far more power to influence the political system. That corporate interests already have too much muscle has rarely been clearer: Even under current finance restrictions, health care industry groups are pouring millions of dollars into congressional campaigns, in the hope of thwarting reforms that might constrain their members. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2009/09/22/corporations_arent_people_yet/


Test the security of electronic voting system
The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) will hold between 10 and November 13, 2009 public testing in the electronic voting system to be used in general elections in 2010. Participants who submit three ideas most relevant to the improvement of the system will be awarded for $ 5 thousand, R $ 3 thousand and R $ 2 mil.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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