Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ES&S sues ex employees, AZ's SOS under investigation? Citizens United big decision coming

Tomorrow, on 9/9/09, the Supreme Court begins hearing re-arguments in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission at 10 a.m. "A bad decision in this case could open the floodgates of corporate money in our elections." ~ Public Citizen. "We are moving toward a deregulated federal campaign finance system, where money flows freely and perhaps only disclosure laws remain." ~ Richard Hasen, Prof of Law at Loyola Law School.
Shocking: ES&S has sued two former employees for copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Is someone investigating how states have handled all of the HAVA $millions? AZ's SoS Jan Brewer may be under investigation for hadling of HAVA funds. (This comes on the heals of federal charges against NM's former SOS for abusing HAVA funds.) The State of TX "volunteered"
Collin,Lubbock, Galveston and Erath Counties to be in Vote Center Pilot - Collin Co Democrats may ask DOJ to stop the plan.
Here's a new one: Mohave Co AZ officials say voters should avoid the H1N1 virus by mailing ballots instead of going to the polls. Economy vs Elections: Towns in MA worried about special election costs - election for Sen. Edward Kennedy's successor will cost cities and towns more than $5 million. Economy A MN city can't get support for its old voting machines so is consolidating precincts.

"Voting Matters" has a video in honor of Diebold fire sale, "The Diebold Song" (youtube).

AZ. Sources say Brewer subject of state investigation
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer could be subject to a state investigation for dealings with other state government agencies and political players as well as the handling of federal money coming into the state for voting machines when she was secretary of state...Another source pointed to possible questions about how Brewer are her aides managed $57 million that came into Arizona under the Help America Votes Act,

AZ. Early voting touted (to avoid swine flu)
Friday, September 4, 2009 KINGMAN - Mohave County election officials are taking note of the looming dangers of the swine flu virus.
Elections Director Allen Tempert recommends that because of the H1N1 virus, voters who are going to the polls for several November elections should vote early instead. Ballots can be mailed to a home or downloaded from the county's voter registration Web site and mailed back instead of going to the polling sites in Topock, Oatman and Yucca and risking exposure to the virus.

GA. Sandy Springs wants out of Voting Rights Act
Sandy Springs is considering using its history — or lack of it — to try to become the first Georgia city to bail out of the Voting Rights Act.
...Attorneys are trying to parse comments by Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote in the majority opinion that “all jurisdictions” were eligible to file suit to be exempted.
Many believe that cities will earn the exemptions, though Sandy Springs appears to be the first city to hire attorneys to try,

MA. Towns bemoan cost of special Senate election
The election to determine Sen. Edward Kennedy's successor will cost cities and towns more than $5 million, and town clerks aren't thrilled...
The Massachusetts Town Clerks Association has sent a letter to the secretary of state to expedite printing of absentee ballots, and there's been discussion about having the state pay for the whole election.

MN. City council trims voting precincts from four to one
In a cost-saving effort, the Ely City Council approved a resolution to reduce the number of city voting precincts from four to one.
According to City Clerk-Treasurer Terri Boese, the city currently owns four ballot counters that have become obsolete and will not be supported by Elections Systems and Software for warranty work...In view of current budget constraints, Boese said St. Louis County officials suggested that the city could consolidate to one precinct

NH. New Hampshire Ballot Access Made Worse in 2009
September 8th, 2009
Ballot Access News has just learned that the New Hampshire legislature made ballot access more restrictive this year.

TX. Collin County chosen to test polling place plan on Election Day (State picks county to "volunteer" for Vote Center)
September 7, 2009. Voters like convenience.
In the Nov. 3 election, Collin County voters will be able to cast ballots at any county polling place on Election Day for the first time. Local Republican officials applaud the change, but
some Democrats say it could confuse voters and reduce turnout.
Collin County Democratic Party Chairman Shawn Stevens and others expressed their opposition to the Texas secretary of state, who oversees elections. But the state chose Collin County last week to join Lubbock, Galveston and Erath counties in using multiple polling locations on Election Day. The program involves only the upcoming election. Democrats may protest the polling place change to the U.S. Department of Justice, which must approve the program, Stevens said.
090709dnmetvotingfight.433fb54.html (sorry for broken url use shrunken one below)
or shrunken url

Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission

Don’t Get Rolled!
Public Citizen. (video available). This fall, a century of modest limits on corporate influence in politics could be completely rolled back, crushing progress on health care, the environment, energy, economic recovery … on everything! ...Don’t let our elections and progress get rolled by corporate power! PLEDGE TO PROTEST!

Court case could undermine 100-year-old ban on corporate money in elections; Coalition says public financing of elections is best available option
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow in a case that could have dramatic impact on the financing of elections. The case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was first heard at the high court in March, but in a surprising and unorthodox move this summer, the Court asked for the case to be re-argued to consider a broader set of decisions regarding campaign finance law.
At issue in the case is whether corporate money can be used to directly advocate election or defeat of federal candidates.

The Campaign Finance End Game
Richard Hasen, Loyal Law School and ElectionLawBlog. In an audacious move in June, the Supreme Court ordered reargument in the Citizens United case to consider whether to overrule two cases upholding Congress’s power to require corporations and unions to pay for federal election spending through political action committees. The order was audacious because it ignores the court’s rule that federal statutes should be interpreted when possible to
avoid constitutional questions. ...It appears that the two “swing Justices” in this case — Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito — are ready to consider overturning the two earlier cases http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/free-speech-and-hillary-the-movie/#richard

Citizens United v. FEC Panel: Video Now Available
American Constitution Society
On Wednesday, September 2, 2009 ACS hosted a press briefing on Citizens United v. FEC, which has been ordered for re-argument so that the Supreme Court can address whether important precedents in the area of campaign finance law are constitutional.... Panelists offered analysis of the case and its implications, and previewed some of the points likely to be considered when the Supreme Court hears oral argument on Wednesday, September 9, 2009. The panel featured Robert F. Bauer, General Counsel, Democratic National Committee; James Bopp, Jr., General Counsel, James Madison Center for Free Speech; Laurence E. Gold, Associate General Counsel, AFL-CIO; Fred Wertheimer, President and CEO, Democray 21 and Democracy 21 Education Fund; and Moderater, Joan Biskupic, Supreme Court Correspondent, USA Today.

ES&S Purchase of Diebold

My how times have changed
7 September, 2009 In January of 2002 Diebold bought Global Election Systems Inc. for approximately $31 Million this past week they sold off their voting machine business to ES&S for $3M. What caused the death and devaluation of this property? Well Diebold has only themselves to blame...Frankly, I’m surprised they even got $3M for such a poisoned product – I would have thought they would have had to pay someone to take it off their hands.

09.07.09 The Voting Machine Song (Video)
In honor of the planned union of the number one and number two voting machine companies (ES&S and Diebold), I give you the Voting Machine Song ..

Diebold, Ditching Voting Machines, Sticks With ATMs
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
If you’ve ever used an ATM, chances are you’ve used a Diebold. If that name sounds familiar to you, you may remember that in April of 2008,
I interviewed Ed Felten via Skype, the Princeton professor who was able to hack a Diebold voting machine, one of their other ventures

United States other stories

US. Neb. election systems company sues former workers
OMAHA, Neb. - Election Systems & Software has sued two former employees and an Indiana elections consulting firm, accusing them of illegally using the company's software and trade secrets....Election Systems seeks unspecified damages for copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract, among other claims.

US. EAC seeks comments on research items
EAC seeks comments on proposed information collection for an Evaluation of EAC Educational Products and a 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey. The 60-day public comment period begins September 8 and ends November 9, 2009. Read

US. OVC Boosted by Series of House Parties (Open Voting Consortium)


England. Labour activist tells party's new star: I 'helped' voters fill in postal ballots 04.09.09 Police are investigating allegations of postal vote fraud by a London activist linked to one of Labour's highest-profile parliamentary candidates.
The Met is examining an email in which Anisur Rahman, a Labour branch secretary in Tower Hamlets, admits "helping" a dozen voters fill in postal vote forms for the European elections..."How can we have a go at voting malpractice in Afghanistan and Iran when we are not giving voters a secret ballot here?"

Iran. Iran Raids Offices of Election Challengers Mousavi, Karrubi
Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The offices of Iranian opposition leaders
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karrubi, who ran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June 12 election, were raided and shut by security officials, their groups said... They searched Karrubi’s office, confiscated documents, films, computers and compact discs, and arrested the editor of the party’s Web site, Gerami-Moghaddam told ILNA.

Ireland. Save General Election Night!
...The more I think it about the more annoyed I become that certain councils are taking it upon themselves to count on the Friday when there really is no valid reason for doing so apart from sheer incompetence and laziness....Threats to the integrity of the ballot. Security is a less important concern, but worth a mention all the same - I am just a little uncomfortable about increasing millions of ballot papers being left overnight before being counted.... Anyway, Jonathan has set up a
Facebook Group which I would urge you to join if you, like me, wish the current arrangements to remain in place.

Phillipines. What if there is a failure of elections?
September 09, 2009 .
Two senators-to-be talked about
electoral reforms at last Monday’s Kapihan sa Manila. ...As a victim of election cheating, Koko wants to introduce in the Senate bills that would make it difficult for cheaters and make it easier to seek redress for victims of cheating. “It is very expensive and difficult to pursue an election protest,” said Koko. “There is no crime and punishment in election fraud,” somebody said. “The cheater always wins, no matter who is declared winner.” ...
“The battery that powers the
voting machine is good only for 12 hours,” Koko explained. “The original plan was for the voters to shade the ballots by hand and then the ballots are later counted by the voting machine. But then the Comelec changed the rules. Now the voter himself will insert his ballot into the voting machine. That extends the working time of the machine. Worse, the Comelec extended the voting time, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. That’s 12 hours. The battery would be empty by 8 p.m. What if there are still voters in the precinct who have not voted?”

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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