Monday, September 14, 2009

Hawaii judge formally bans e-voting, ES&S-Diebold issues, TN officials still obstruct paper ballot law

A Hawaii Judge issues order blocking the use of direct record electronic (DRE)voting machines.

She saw them coming: Putnam Co Tennessee Election official argues that no qualified voting machines will be federally certified in time for the 2010 election and that by the 2010 census, new requirements would likely be issued and those machines would be obsolete.
In Dunkerton Iowa, a school board race is up in the air due to tallying problems, shortage of ballots and discrepancy in number of photocopied ballots. (Yes - they used photo copied ballots).
NY will still have some levers in use during the primary.
Some South Dakota counties get federal money to help in upkeep of touchscreen voting machines. The Champaign Co Ill clerk warns that modernization of registration may disenfranchise college students. Thankfully, there is now a website monitoring the developments of Citizens United V FEC.

CO. Council denies election commission's request
Sept 15. ASPEN — Aspen's elected officials on Monday night voted to deny the city election commission's request to hire an outside attorney to determine its authority before it addresses a citizen's claim that his voting rights were violated in the May election. Officials also denied another resident's request to release all of the election's ballot images so they can be reviewed independently.
...Aspen voters will be asked this November an advisory question whether IRV should be retained or another method should be pursued, including systems used in the past.

HI. Maui judge formalizes ruling that bans electronic voting
A Maui judge has made permanent an oral ruling that bars the state
Office of Elections from using electronic voting machines or
transmitting election results over the Internet or telephone lines.
Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza, whose written ruling on the matter was
filed Thursday, sided with five Maui plaintiffs who argued the
electronic voting methods should have been subject to public hearings
through the administrative rule-making process.
Cardoza had issued an oral ruling in May.
How the ruling might affect the 2010 elections was not immediately

HI. Judge Cardoza issues written order enjoining use of electronic voting machines in Hawaii (video also)
Judge Joseph E. Cardoza has issued a written order dated September 10, 2009 following his May oral injunction against Hawaii’s use of electronic voting machines. His order also prohibits the illegal transmission of vote results over telephone lines or over the Internet... Although not mentioned explicitly in the order, the adoption of the HART mark-sense readers might also be called into question if they are not covered by the administrative rules...

An unofficial copy of Cardoza’s order in Babson v. Cronin, made searchable, is posted on Disappeared News here. "Plaintiffs are arguing that rulemaking is required for the adoption of DRE voting systems.......As to the second element,since the next election is over a year away, there is little or harm in requiring Defendants to undergo proper rulemaking procedures when adopting new DRE voting systems."

HI. Procurement appeals (ES&S v. Cronin, Civil No. 08-101657-08, Hart (still pending)
InterCivic v. ES&S, Civil No. 08-1-1665-08, Cronin v. ES&S, Civil No. 08-1-

HI. Voting machine rules ordered
A Maui judge has ruled that it is in the public's interest for the state Office of Elections to adopt new administrative rules for electronic voting machines before the 2010 elections...Cardoza in May ruled in favor of five Maui residents who sued the state alleging that new electronic voting machines for the 2008 elections were improperly approved because of a lack of administrative rules.

IA. Dunkerton school board race still undecided
DUNKERTON — A one-vote loss turned into an apparent three-vote victory for Cindi Rigdon following a administrative recount Monday of the District 4 Dunkerton School Board race...During the recount, officials discovered an extra ballot not counted by the voting machine that went in Rigdon’s favor. The recount also revealed the hand count of photocopied ballots — machine-readable ballots ran out due to high voter turnout — at the precinct was inaccurate. There were 27 photocopied ballots, not 28. Rigdon gained one vote and Steffen lost two.

NY. Some lever machines still around for primary
Eighteen counties have done away with lever machines and are using paper ballots and scanners Tuesday and on Election Day, and about 30 are using a mixture of lever machines and scanners, according to the state Board of Elections.

SD. SD Counties Get $500K In Voting Machine Support
South Dakota counties will use $500,000 from the federal government to help them maintain touch-screen voting machines mandated by Congress.

TN. County MUST Fund Election Commissions Contested Requests (also election administrator argues against TN's paper ballot law)
...Election Administrator Debbie Steidl ...explaining that accord to the Tennessee Code Annotated, the County Commission was required to fund this line item, as it was necessary for the Election Commission to have in order to carry out their official legal obligations & duties.
...Election Administrator Steidl explained voting machines must first go through a rather long certification process at the State level, generally taking 12 to 14 months, before they can be purchased & legally used at local voting precincts.
As of today, the State of Tennessee has not certified any voting machine which meets the requirements of the new law; therefore, the Election Commission cannot comply with the new requirements at this time.
...Even if a machine is certified by the State of Tennessee in time for the 2010 election, any machines purchased under 2010 guidelines may be made legally obsolete once the new 2010 Census data is collected & evaluated.

TX. Voter fraud allegation alleged in District 3 race
Sep 14, 2009 Bruce Parrott, a District 3 school board candidate, is not happy about a call to his home today from the Dallas County Elections office... the representative proceeded to notify him that the election office had received Lois' call requesting that her ballot be mailed to her residence and that it would be mailed later today so she can cast her vote in the Nov. 3 election. Problem is, Bruce said, Lois never made such a request —


Disenfranchising Student Voters through “Modernization”
Published by Champaign County Clerk
...As I heard about the proposal to “modernize” our voter registration system, I contemplated its impact on students. My research shows that it will cause about half the students to be disenfranchised.
...Of the 33 identified, 16 were registered and voted in other counties. 17 were registered and voted in Champaign County. Under the “modern” program, those 16 students registered from what I presume to be their “home” address will have their registration switched, automatically, to their University address. Their right to vote in the district they live in, perhaps intend to stay in, serve their community in, etc. will be taken away in the name of modernization.
...Don’t forget, this update is “conveniently” done without the knowledge of the voter. Can you imagine registering from your home, coming down to the University, mailing in your absentee request, and then finding out that, unbeknownst to you, your registration in your home has been cancelled.

Diebold Sale to ES&S

Antitrust Concerns Swirl Around Sale of Diebold Voting Machines
By Kim Zetter September 14, 2009
...The sale gives ES&S, already the largest voting machine maker in the country, a near monopoly on the voting machine industry. According to the company’s website, its systems, used in 43 states, counted “approximately 50 percent of the votes in the last four major U.S. elections.”
...The sale also threatens harm to election districts that purchase voting equipment in that it will likely increase the costs of equipment and result in a decrease in the quality of products, the suit alleges

Citizens United v Federal Election Commission

A new website has been set up to follow the case:

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