Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why "Citizens United" matters, Iowa Co makes own e-poll software, Utah voters bring ID

Tues Sept 1. "Five Reasons Why Citizens United Is a Truly Momentous Case". Paper is in: “You can actually run a modern and efficient election on paper,”Hovav Shacham prof of computer science at UC San Diego. An Iowa County develops own e-poll book software
Virginia standardizes student registration. A Jackson City GA councilman charged with rigging his own election. Oregon elections to be headed by former San Bernadio Asst Registrar and elections consultant Steven Trout. Reminder to Utah voters: new law requires you to present ID to vote. A King Co WA judge will decide whether people who sign referendum petitions be registered. A Wisconsin bill would allow released felons to vote.
The Justice Department redirects focus back to civil rights. Allegations of fraud in Afghanistan's presidential election may affect outcome. There's no way to verify the vote on India's paperless voting machines says Dr. S. Ramdoss.

CA. Solano County. Election today for Tauscher's vacated seat
09/01/2009 ...the ratio of vote-by-mail compared to those heading to the polls could be as high as three to one.

CO. Attorney claims ballots may be identifiable
September 1. A local citizen claims he has identified which anonymous "string" is his in digital records released by the city of Aspen after the May election

FL. St. Pete voting canvass begins with relative ease
LARGO -- No serious voting glitches turned up in the mail ballots before St. Petersburg's primary election Tuesday, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark said today...The St. Petersburg canvassing board waded through about 54 questionable mail ballots this afternoon, rejecting about 40 for questionable or missing signatures. That's after rejecting 120 of 196 questionable envelopes for similar reasons last week.

GA. Voter fraud admissions rock Jackson city council
August 30. 2009
Admission to some 40 counts of voting irregularities by one councilman have rocked the Jackson city council, resulted in huge fines and could lead to criminal prosecutions. WKEU radio is reporting councilman Tommy Rainey admitted to rigging the election which he won. He has been fined $158,000.

GA. The Georgia State Election Board at its August 27 Meeting
took the folloiwng actions against a Jackson Georgia City Councilmember, and other Butts County Residents.

IA. Computerized system cuts down on voter errors
August 29, 2009 BURLINGTON, Iowa A computer program designed in Cerro Gordo County is expected to speed up voting by helping poll workers cut time spent processing voters. The program, Precinct Atlas, has already been tested in special
elections in Butler, Johnson, Appanoose, Buena Vista and Monona
counties, and a mock election was held modeled after Election Day in

IA. New Polling Software Reaching Half of Iowa
8/31 Mason City, IA- New computer software developed in North Iowa will help poll workers in more than half the state next week...Thanks to the endorsement of Iowa's Secretary of State the program is getting use in more than 50 Iowa counties for next weeks school elections.

IN. Satellite voting centers proposed for next year
Whitehead says she prefers Vote Centers, needs time to decide
9/1/09 Delaware County Clerk Steve Craycraft, a Democrat, proposed establishing two satellite voting sites for the 2010 election at last week's meeting of the Delaware County Board of Elections.

OR. Californian named new Oregon elections director
August 27, 2009
SALEM -- A lawyer and former senior counsel to the California Secretary of State has been appointed the new director of the Oregon Elections Division
...Trout has also counseled California's Senate minority leader and was assistant registrar of voters in San Bernardino County and most recently was president of Elections Solution Providers, which helps local governments comply with federal and state election laws.

Stephen N. Trout letter to CA SOS Bowen in opposition to State Post Election Manual Tally Requirements on Oct 14, 2008

VA. Student voter registration standardized
September 1, 2009 The State Board of Elections approved changes to a state statute Saturday that gives students the right to register to vote at their campus address.
The updated statute considers a person’s primary home to be the physical location where they live and what they consider to be “the center of his domestic, social and civil life.” It was approved unanimously by the three-member board after a two-day meeting at the capital.

UT. Minority advocates concerned as primary election nears
August 31st, SALT LAKE CITY -- Minority advocates say they've got big worries about the primary elections on September 15, because of a new state law requiring voters to show identification. Voters will have to show a picture ID, such as a passport or driver's license, or some alternative, like two pieces of mail with a name and address on them, in order to vote in the primary.

WA. Laws or technicalities? Judge to decide R-71 challenge
Is a requirement that people who sign referendum petitions be registered Washington voters when they sign an important tenet of state law or a "hyper-technicality?"
That's one of the questions a King County Superior Court judge must answer as she decides whether to grant an injunction keeping Referendum 71 off the November ballot. R-71 would give voters a chance to overturn the state's new "everything but marriage" same-sex domestic partnership law.

WI. Let felons vote? Dems and GOP (surprise!) disagree (in Wisconsin anyway)
August 31, 2009 Should convicted felons be given back the right to vote?
It’s a question that’s being raised in Wisconsin: Legislators there are reviewing a bill that would change the law and allow convicts to vote as long as they’ve been released or are on probation, parole or have received a pardon. Essentially, it would mean that you’re cool to cast a ballot in the Badger State as long as you’re not behind bars...Since the late 1990s, at least 18 states have restored some or all voting rights to convicted felons.

US. Justice Department to Recharge Civil Rights Enforcement
August 31, 2009 WASHINGTON — Seven months after taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is reshaping the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division by pushing it back into some of the most important areas of American political life, including voting rights, housing, employment, bank lending practices and redistricting after the 2010 census...“I think the wounds that were inflicted on this division were deep, and it will take some time for them to fully heal,” said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

US. Five Reasons Why Citizens United Is a Truly Momentous Case
...Let’s start with the biggest and most obvious reason this is a momentous case. Citizens United is arguing that expenditures by corporations in elections should be treated identically to those of individuals. If the Court accepts this argument, it would do away with a distinction that has been in place in our Constitution since the Founding and our statutory law since the Tillman Act of 1907 (as explained in the brief CAC filed in Citizens United), and allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections.

US. EAC Seeks Input on Voting System Verification and Technology Grants

US. Hackers can ’steal’ ballots from EVMs
August 31, 2009 ...Computer scientists have demonstrated how criminals could hack an electronic voting machine (EVM) and ’steal’ votes using a malicious programming approach that had not been invented when the voting machine was designed...“You can actually run a modern and efficient election on paper,”

Afghanistan. AFGHANISTAN: Poll Fraud Probe Will Decide Runoff
6.5 million Afghans voted in the Aug. 20 presidential elections
KABUL, Sep 1 With a majority of polling stations yet to announce their results, and investigations into major fraud complaints underway, the contest is still wide open.
Whoever the winner, unless that candidate wins over 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be inevitable. ...Grant Kippon, head of the Election Complaints Commission (ECC), says that over 225 complaints were filed immediately after the election. Of these, 150 have been sorted through and approximately 35 were assigned "high priority," meaning that if true, these allegations could affect the outcome of the contest.

India. EC has lost control due to EVMs: PMK
PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss today charged that following the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the polls, the Election Commission of India had lost control over the electoral process. Speaking to newsmen today, he said there was no verification methodology developed by the EC to detect malpractices in EVMs and these machines were easy to tamper with.

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