Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Voter Action challenges Diebold sale, Tennessee 2 step, NJ worries over e-voting

The group Voter Action is challenging the merger of Election Systems and Software and Diebold. "This transaction threatens the democratic process itself," Voter Action's letter states. "The ES&S/Premier acquisition is absolutely unique in its potential for disturbing U.S. election processes and results." Meanwhile, Diebold is cutting jobs at touchscreen factory in Lexington NC. Could ES&S be ending the troubled Diebold voting machine line?

Indiana's voter ID law still stands for the November election although that law was struck down by a State Appeals Court.

Tennessee Two Step - Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey will introduce a bill to delay implimenting paper ballot law, thus risking that will be the next state to have a Florida-style election nightmare. Meanwhile SOS Hargett plans to find voting machines compliant with the law in time for 2010.

Now that its the 21st Century, isn't it time to end the use of blended voting systems and give everyone a paper ballot? "Why should voters with disabilities continue to be forced to vote on segregated ballot systems that are far too complicated for the pollworkers to operate and that make us vulnerable to disenfranchisement because of poor machine reliability and inadequate training and/or poor attitudes on the part of the pollworkers?" ~ Noel Runyan, electrical engineer and computer scientist.

Citizens report: New York began end to end testing of voting machines yesterday - Bo Lipari gives a firsthand report with photos.

Meanwhile, the New York media whines about low turnout/high cost elections without accepting any responsibility of spurring voters' interest in interesting voters in the elections.

CA. Runner sues Attorney General over ballot wording (measure in favor of voter id)
Runner blasts 'biased' summary of his initiative to prevent voter fraud
September 28, 2009 SACRAMENTO • State Sen. George Runner is suing California Attorney General Jerry Brown for crafting what Runner calls an “overtly biased” summary of a ballot measure the senator created to prevent voter fraud.

CA. Riverside County supervisors may discuss to discuss registrar's response to audit
Sept 26. (podcast available) The audit, led by former District Attorney Grover Trask, said the election was successful but presented 36 recommendations for improvement. In her response, Dunmore says she has already heeded 31 of them and has partially implemented five.

CA. Collection of my Electronic Voting Experiences on the Sequoia Edge II
by Noel H. Runyan September 24th, 2009 ...the government should refuse to buy any more systems, unless they are completely redesigned and made reasonably useable...It took me 30 minutes to work my way through the ballot and make my selections. After that, I had quite a bit of trouble getting into the review mode, to get a full list of all my selections. When I did, it went on and on, for 23 minutes,

GA. ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Georgia Restriction on Absentee Voting
September 29th, 2009

GA. Georgia Supreme Court Rules that Unauditable Elections are A-OK
September 28, 2009 ...In our current world order, U.S. electoral management bodies (EMBs) have consciously chosen to ignore the science and rely on the electronic tally, preserving the ballots only for some potential future recount.

IN. Indiana voter ID law still stands for November election *
SOUTH BEND — Although the state Court of Appeals recently struck down an Indiana law requiring government-issued photo identification for voters, the law remains in effect for the Nov. 3 special election in St. Joseph County, said Linda Silcott, a member of the county’s voter registration board.

NC. Diebold cutting approximately 100 jobs (the touchscreens and OS made in NC)
September 28, 2009 ATM and bank security manufacturer Diebold announced last week it would be cutting approximately 100 positions from its facility in the Lexington Business Center near the south side of the city.
http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20090928/ARTICLES/909289991/1005? Title=Diebold-cutting-approximately-100-jobs
"The Diebold AccuVote-TSX touch screen and AccuVote-OS optical scan voting systems are manufactured in Lexington to ISO-9000 quality standards."
http://www.ncvoter.net/diebold.html scroll lower down the page for Diebold email

NY. Day 1 of NYS Voting Machine Tests
September 28 2009 • Categorized in: Certification, New York State, Testing
New York State kicked off a week of public voting machine certification testing today. The state is testing two systems, the Dominion ImageCast scanner/Ballot Marking Device and the ES&S DS200 scanner with the Automark BMD. The test plans seem to be quite comprehensive, and are designed to provide a full end to end test...There’s still a whole week to go...

NY. Ballot problems trigger lockdown in Troy *
Housing worker allegedly ordered to stay away from office and computer
September 29, 2009 City housing authority officials have sealed off the office of a longtime worker who allegedly helped obtain absentee applications from voters who said their information had been forged on election ballots filed in the Sept. 15 primary

OH. Diebold Inc.'s sale of voting machines unit doesn't quiet critics
In recent weeks, several parties have called for a Department of Justice investigation into the $5 million transaction, saying that it gives the buyer, Election Systems & Software Inc., too much control over too many elections, including those in 86 of 88 Ohio counties.
And today, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group called the Velvet Revolution asked Diebold to repay more than $100 million in California taxpayer money spent on faulty voting machines and software. Hart InterCivic Inc. of Austin, Texas,...has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Delaware against Diebold and ES&S... U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y... has asked the Justice Department to review the sale..

OH. Bipartisan board put forth to boost trust in elections
September 28, 2009 That's the conclusion of Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's current chief elections officer, in a new report that advocates starting a discussion about restructuring the job of secretary of state.

NJ. Electronic voting machines: Votes need verification
September 28, 2009 ...when the polls close and the votes are counted, can we trust the result? Sadly, we can’t be sure. Because New Jersey still doesn’t require its electronic voting machines to produce a paper record to verify their results.
Paper-ballot proponents are trying to get the law changed. They charge that elections without paper-verified ballots are unconstitutional and illegal, but their lawsuit — Gusciora vs. McGreevey — has dragged on in state court for five years.

NY. Runoff Elections Cost A Lot, Mean Little
Sept 28. It has been a bitter, protracted campaign ahead of Tuesday's runoff vote for public advocate and comptroller -- a special election that will cost the city millions of dollars but is expected to draw fewer than 10 percent of registered Democrats.

NY. Law School professor reshapes voting
September 28 The New York plan, called “Easy to Vote & Easy to Run,” aims to measure indicators such as the quantity of discarded ballots, the ease of voter registration and the time it takes to vote at different city polling locations. That data will then be used to improve and modernize the city’s voting infrastructure.

TN. Ron Ramsey seeks delay of voting machine law
September 28, 2009 KINGSPORT — Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Friday a bill that would delay a law requiring a paper trail from voting machines will top his agenda for the next legislative session...Meanwhile, Secretary of State Tre Hargett says he's moving forward to have the new voting technology in place statewide in time for the November 2010 elections.

909280320/1009/NEWS01/Ron+Ramsey+seeks+delay+of+voting+machine+law or use this tiny url http://tinyurl.com/ron-ramseyrisk

ES&S Purchase of Diebold

Voter Action Challenges Merger of Election Systems and Software and Diebold
Complaint Filed with the US Justice Department Says Merger Violates Federal Anti-Trust Law September 29, 2009
Voting systems monopoly "threatens the democratic process itself"

Voter group challenges Diebold voting machine sale
Sept 29. WASHINGTON, D.C. — A voter advocacy organization asked the U.S. Justice Department Tuesday to undo the sale by Diebold Inc. of its voting machine business, saying the transaction promotes a monopoly.
Voter Action, based in Washington, D.C., said in a letter to the department's antitrust division that the transaction is a grab for market share. The sale creates monopoly power in violation of federal antitrust laws, the group said.

Citizens United v FEC

READER OPINION: The best government that money can buy, by Charles F. Weed
September 27, 2009 We may soon be confronting the consequences of a Supreme Court decision in a case heard last week.
In Citizen’s United vs. the Federal Election Commission — the controversial case would allow corporations to use their immense wealth to loudly promote or attack candidates through unlimited expenditures on ads...To suddenly decide that those voices should be drowned out by the massive accumulated money of a single “corporate person” runs counter to the very ideals of a representative democracy. Perhaps this will be proof that contributors get the best government they can buy, and we can stop fooling ourselves about democracy.


'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Monday, September 28, 2009
transcript. Interview with Former U.S. attorney David Iglesias about ACORN
Maddow: "ACORN was and remains a flawed but legitimate organization which helps register low-income Americans to vote." On frequency of voter fraud cases, IGLESIAS:
"It‘s incredibly infrequent. In fact, the numbers I recall from my Senate testimony from 2008 is something in the order of 14 in the past several years. So, out of the many hundreds of thousands of cases the Justice Department prosecuted during that period of time, 14."

Gone nuts over ACORN, but for the wrong reason
September 29, 2009 ...Yet the recent criticism contains one point of truth: ACORN should not be both a strident advocate for left-wing policy positions and a government contractor providing services in a neutral way.
or use this tiny url http://tinyurl.com/nutsoveracorn

PASS ID Act Fails to Fix REAL ID
September 29, 2009 A broad coalition of civil rights organizations is opposing the PASS ID Act, which was introduced in Congress in June in an effort to soften the REAL ID Act, a law that has drawn fierce criticism since it was enacted in 2005.
...Civil rights groups argue that PASS ID would continue to violate basic laws of privacy, security, and to discriminate against religious minorities and immigrants.
In addition, nearly half of the states have already refused to comply with REAL ID because of the high cost of implementing its requirements.

New NASS report on maintenance of state voter lists

ElectionlineWeekly--September 24, 2009 Sep 24, 2009 - Checking in with the 111th U.S. Congress.


Australia. How the Pirate Party could win seats at the next Australian Election
The Pirate Party of Australia has been getting its act together of late, with a draft constitution published and a call for office bearers as part of the path towards registration as an official party with the Australian Election Commission (AEC.)

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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