Friday, September 18, 2009

"Let Freedom K-Ching", Plug pulled on e-voting in Australia, OH, NY election glitches

Plug pulled on electronic voting trials in Australia, deemed "too expensive".
Conversely, Bangladesh considers electronic voting trials to save money.
Meanwhile, in the US there were voting machine problems reported in NY and OH.
Internet Voting? "Given its current architecture and engineering, the Internet provides neither high assurance data security and integrity, nor reliable information transmission protected from denial of service and other attacks."~ Candice Hoke, Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

The Diebold Deal - Common Cause calls on Justice Dept to investigate.

Citizens United v FEC: About Corporations -"Why should they have the political 'free speech' rights guaranteed for 'we the people,' rather than more narrow 'commercial speech' rights developed through centuries of litigation?" ~Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina.
"There could be an argument made that that was the court's error to start with... imbuing] a creature of state law with human characteristics." ~Justice Sonia Sotomayor. "Let Freedom K-Ching" ~fake news man Stephen Colbert. "Perhaps this will be proof that contributors get the best government they can buy, and we can stop fooling ourselves about democracy." Rep. Charles F. Weed, Keene NH.
US voter registration woes: "the system is problematic for all, but impacts young voters, military members, lower income voters, those who move, and voters of color more often than most." ~ Jonah Goldman of the Voter Registration Modernization Committee.

AK. FEC Unanimously Dismisses Action Against Alaska Group, Citing as One Reason the Pending Citizens United Case

HI. EDITORIAL Fix elections office
Sep 17, 2009 Hawaii's next statewide elections are a year away, but serious questions have arisen about whether the agency assigned to facilitate the vote is up to the task. The state Elections Commission must determine if new leadership is needed to assure a smooth process that meets legal requirements.

MT. Gazette Opinion: Voters stamp approval on mail ballots
Sept 17. This year's all-mail ballot, the first held for a Billings city primary, resulted in a turnout of 38 percent of registered voters. The 20,966 ballots voted in Tuesday's election represents an 87 percent increase over the 11,161 ballots voted four years ago in the last primary with a mayoral election.

NC. N.C. ACORN proud of record, state director says
September 18, 2009 RALEIGH — Embattled community organizing group ACORN has four offices in North Carolina, but none is known to have the kinds of problems that have drawn bipartisan criticism in Congress this week.

NY. District Attorney primary totals updated after voting machine malfunction*(uses Sequoia Imagecast) September 16, 2009 Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright picked up 97 additional votes after a malfunctioning voting machine in Whitehall was fixed Tuesday night, but that did little to close the gap against his opponent, Robert Winn. Winn, a former district attorney, received 76 votes after the machine was fixed.Election officials blamed a paper jam for the voting machine malfunction. The breakdown delayed the posting of results for District 5 in Whitehall until late Tuesday night. "They couldn’t get the paper out,"

OH. Glitch in database delays vote count by 90 minutes **voting database error*(uses Diebold touchscreen machines)
Toledo's mayoral primary results were delayed up to 90 minutes because of a database error that was not discovered until the Lucas County Board of Elections started crunching the election results late Tuesday night...The glitch occurred when the elections staff tried to merge the database of votes cast at the Early Voting Center, 653 Miami St., with the database containing the rest of the approximately 40,000 votes cast.
When the two databases didn't merge, the election board staff lost time waiting for Premier's representative to implement a fix...I said you keep working on it; we're going to load the cards," Ms. Howe said, referring to the data memory cards used in the touch-screen machines at 130 polling locations around the county.
Ms. Howe said the problem was fixed after the elections board added the numbers from the early voting center manually, using six people with calculators to make sure there were no mistakes

OH. Voter turnout still low - at 11.6 percent *wrong programming card*. Diebold Touchscreen) Sept. 15, 2009 ...There was a minor glitch this morning when someone inserted the wrong programming card in a voting machine before the polls opened, but it was quickly corrected, elections director Linda Howe said.

VT. Public reviews charter changes
BRATTLEBORO -- Talk of instant runoff voting dominated the first public meeting of the Brattleboro Town Charter Revision Commission..."It just seems with the expense and the complexity, it might be overkill for Brattleboro," she said.

US. Expand the House?
September 17, 2009
WASHINGTON — In America, democracy follows the simple principle of one person, one vote, right? Unless, that is, you live in Montana, where your vote carries a little more than half as much weight in the House of Representatives as that of someone living in Rhode Island. Or if you live in Utah, where your vote counts about two-thirds as much as it would in Iowa. With the 2010 Census around the corner, Washington and the various state capitals will soon turn their attention to carving out congressional districts across the nation.


US Congress denies funds to scandal-hit activist group
Sept 17. Both houses of the U.S. Congress on Thursday passed legislation that would cut off federal money to ACORN, a scandal-hit liberal grassroots group which has long angered conservatives.
But Democrats have also criticized ACORN in recent days after conservative activists secretly filmed employees in several cities giving tax and housing advice to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute.

Internet Voting: Formulating Structural Governance Principles for Elections Cybersecurity.
Draft posted at SSRN, Social Science Research Networdk.
Candice Hoke Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
September 4, 2009 Cleveland-Marshall Legal Studies Paper No. 09-179
Abstract: In Europe, the U.S., and Asia, political and market forces seek regulatory approval for Internet-based voting and electoral administrative tasks. Governmental responses have differed, but commonly governments omit Internet and computer security experts from exercising decisive weight in such policy decisions.

A New Bipartisan Committee Aims to Revamp Voter Registration
September 17, 2009 The Committee to Modernize Voter Registration, a bipartisan group of election and campaign experts and former Republican and Democratic congressmen, aims to fix the nation's broken voter registration system. The committee says that the two biggest problems with the current system are paper registration forms and the time constraints of the registration process...The committee says that using existing government databases to automatically register voters could eliminate many of these problems

Diebold sale to ES&S

The Diebold Deal
Please join Common Cause in calling on the Justice Department to investigate whether the Diebold-ES&S deal violates antitrust regulations.

Sale Would Give One Voting Machine Company Most of US Market
September 17 - Common Cause is raising concerns over the proposed sale of Diebold's voting systems division to its largest competitor...Diebold and ES&S have been criticized by election officials and experts for dramatically increasing prices for aftermarket service and equipment and misrepresenting the capabilities or certification status of their systems.

Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission

Sotomayor’s ‘Provocative Comment’ Questioned Corporate Law Foundations
Posted Sep 17, 2009
Judges "created corporations as persons, gave birth to corporations as persons," she said. "There could be an argument made that that was the court's error to start with... [imbuing] a creature of state law with human characteristics."

Corporations are People Too. (Stephen Colbert)

Corporations aren't people
Rep. Charles F. Weed, Keene September 18, 2009
We may soon be confronting the consequences of a Supreme Court decision in a case heard last week. Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission may allow corporations to use their immense wealth to loudly promote or attack candidates through unlimited expenditures on ads.

Siskel and Ebert and … Von Spakovsky?
September 17, 2009 in Const Law Issues, Courts & Cases
Get some buttered popcorn (a box of Junior Mints for me, thank you very much) and curl up with Hans von Spakovsky’s review of Hillary The Movie - The Sequel at the Supreme Court

Let's not give corporations even more Constitutional rights-- they are not people
NCPIRG. Over more than a century of jurisprudence, the courts have unwisely granted more and more Constitutional rights to corporations (background). Usually these expanded rights come at the expense of the rights of natural people. And most of the time, corporations take on the rights, but reject any responsibilities

VOICES: Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court and corporate power
Talk about "judicial activism"! Through a series of remarkably aggressive procedures, a majority on the US Supreme Court seems determined to give new powers, even personal traits, to inanimate entities that amass money through commercial transactions, namely corporations.


Australia. Plug pulled on electronic voting
Sept 17. ELECTRONIC voting trials conducted at the last federal election proved too expensive and will be abandoned, the Federal Government says.
The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters earlier this year conducted an inquiry into remote electronic voting for Australian Defence Force personnel serving overseas and electronically-assisted voting for people who are vision-impaired.
It found that both had relatively high average costs compared to ordinary voting and recommended the trials, carried out at the 2007 federal election, be discontinued
...the Australian Electoral Commission would reconsider providing electronic magnifiers at polling booths, while the Government would make changes to the Electoral Act so that a designated person can help co-ordinate votes cast by troops serving abroad.,27574,26086980-29277,00.html

Bangladesh. EC to pilot e-voting in local polls
Sep 17th, 2009 Dhaka, Sep 17(—The Election Commission is considering introduction of an electronic voting system in upcoming Dhaka City Corporation elections on an experimental basis.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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