Thursday, October 1, 2009

Common Cause sues Tennessee SOS over voting machines, ES&S-Diebold anti-trust court date, internet whack-a-mole cont'd

Common Cause Tennessee filed a suit today to compel the State of Tennessee to comply with the paper ballot law. “Tennessee voters deserve a voting system that they know will accurately record and count their votes” said Dick Williams, Chair of Common Cause Tennessee. “That is why the legislature passed this bill in 2008 and the Governor signed it into law. We are going to court today to see that the will of Tennessee citizens is honored and the law is enforced by 2010.”

Update on ES&S/Diebold monopoly: "Judge Robert Kugler of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey didn't immediately rule on a request for an injunction that would block the merger of two large voting machine manufacturers, instead setting a hearing for Nov. 12." ~ Carrie Levine.

The state of Maine will conduct the first ever voter registration drive in a prison. Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, officials will seek to prosecute 195 felons for voting (illegally).

I report: Bo Lipari blogs his observations of New York's 3rd day of voting system testing.

Good point: "Now, is convenience something that we should be striving for in elections? Yes, but it’s not traded off against integrity but rather against cost and against the rights of others... Integrity involves many items. It should mean only eligible people vote. It should mean that every ballot is counted as intended by the voter. It should mean that the winners of elections actually won." ~ Mark Sheldon, Champaign County Clerk.

Today's internet whack-a-mole target is: the city of Vaughn,in the York Region of Ontario, Canada. Internet voting is being recommended by a city task force.

Dominion Voting Systems is the second fastest growing tech company in Canada this year according to an industry ranking

CT. 'Short and sweet': Voting results to be audited
Thursday, 01 October 2009. It turns out the town is not quite done with last month’s tax collector primary between Bill Grad and Rick Novakowski.
As part of state law, anytime there is an election, either primary or general, districts from around Connecticut are randomly chosen to have their results audited to make sure that a hand recount matches machine totals from the optical scanning voting machines in use throughout the state.

GA. Georgia Supreme Court Rules Unauditable, Unverifiable Elections Are Just Fine

ME. First In The Nation Prison Voter Drive Held
...Maine and Vermont allow even convicted felons to cast ballots.
Yesterday the NAACP sponsored a voter registration drive throughout Maine's correctional system. It's the first of it's kind in the nation and organizers are hoping it helps prompt change in other state laws

MS. Hattiesburg city wards upheld (hat tip to Rick Hasen of
ElectionLawBlog ) September 30, 2009 Hattiesburg didn't hurt minority participation on the city council when it counted university students as city residents while redrawing ward lines, a federal appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had been asked to overturn a Mississippi judge's ruling upholding the city's decision to include dormitory students in population calculations used to draw the city's wards.

NC. Hearing Set for Pender County Voter Dispute
WILMINGTON, NC (whqr) - The Pender County Board of Elections has scheduled a full hearing for next month to determine whether 51 voters should be dropped from the rolls... Boyles says he has no idea how many of the 51 voters in question will remain on Pender County's election rolls. And he urges residents to request a challenge if they know someone who is not a full-time resident is voting.

or use this tiny url

NJ. New Jersey Supreme Court Gives Exit Pollsters a Rare Legal Defeat
September 30th, 2009 On September 30, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that no one, not even exit pollsters, should be allowed to approach voters (whether entering or leaving) within 100 feet of a polling place, on election day.

NY. Military ballots will lack a race *
ELECTION LAW TWIST: Candidates for 23rd Congressional District won't be included
By Friday, the Jefferson County Board of Elections will be forced by state law to mail more than 600 military voters a ballot that doesn't include the special 23rd Congressional District race.
Commissioners are caught in the cross hairs between state laws governing regularly scheduled elections and special elections.

NY. Day 3 of NYS Voting Machine Tests (photos also)
October 1 2009 The third day of New York State’s Voting Machine Certification testing proceeded without problem. Today’s test efforts focused on final preparation of the systems prior to voting. After insertion of the ballot programs created on the EMS earlier in the week, the machines were sealed, and administrative setup functions performed. Setup includes things like checking the clock, calibrating touch screens, and checking the accuracy of the ballots.

NY. milvoteoverseas tweet - Military VotePaterson picks a date for NY-23 *election - not great for mil voters. OVF's online ballot could be an answer - hey NY!... (To see tweets, go to , type in milvoteoverseas in search box and hit enter)

NV. Acorn to Stand Trial in Nevada Case
September 30, 2009 LAS VEGAS — The community activist organization Acorn was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on charges that it violated Nevada law by offering bonuses to employees who registered 21 or more new voters in any given shift.
Under Nevada law, it is illegal to attach incentives to voter registration work, in part because doing so gives canvassers a motive to submit fraudulent forms, of which there were thousands resulting from Acorn’s registration drive here in Clark County last year.

TN. Common Cause Tennessee Takes Legal Action to Protect Voters
Files Lawsuit to Ensure Safe, Reliable Voting Machines by 2010

The non-partisan citizen advocacy organization Common Cause Tennessee filed a lawsuit today in state court to compel the State of Tennessee to comply with a law which mandates that the voting equipment used in elections in the state be secure and reliable.

WI. Wis. board to seek crackdown on '08 felon voters
September 30, 2009 State elections officials have identified up to 195 felons who may have illegally voted in the November 2008 presidential election.
Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney said the agency will forward names to district attorneys for further investigation and prosecution by Oct. 9.

WI. GAB tests new gear
Board provides demonstration of voting equipment
October 1, 2009 The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board staff finished up two days of testing new voting equipment with a public demonstration Wednesday night.
Representatives of Election Systems and Software, headquartered in Omaha, Neb., presented the Unity Voting System to GAB staff and members of the public, letting them test the machines for themselves.


A Right to Vote: Modernizing Voter Registration
10/1. Whether this reform happens through the larger movement for a complete modernization of the voter registration process or standing alone, the government needs to take some responsibility for helping new Americans, and indeed all Americans, exercise their right to vote. NVRA designation of federal agencies like USCIS is one relatively easy and obvious way to do so.

Convenience and Integrity
10/01. Champaign County Clerk. As I read the Democracy Index, I found myself discouraged and sometimes angry at what I felt were misrepresentations of various issues. I’ve written about a number of them.

ES&S Diebold Antitrust (also posted at WSJournal)
Sept 29. Judge Sets Hearing on Injunction to Block Voting Machine Merger
Judge Robert Kugler of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey didn't immediately rule on a request for an injunction that would block the merger of two large voting machine manufacturers, instead setting a hearing for Nov. 12.
Jonathan Rubin, a Washington-based Patton Boggs partner who represents Hart InterCivic Inc., a Texas-based voting-machine manufacturer, had requested a temporary restraining order to stop the merger of the voting division of Ohio-based Diebold, Inc. and Election Systems & Software, Inc.

Voter group challenges Diebold voting machine sale
September 29, 2009 WASHINGTON (AP) - A voter advocacy organization asked the Justice Department today to undo the Diebold Inc. sale of its voting machine business.
Seattle-based Voter Action says the sale of Allen, Texas-based Premier Election Solutions to its biggest competitor, Election Systems and Sofware of Omaha, Neb., promotes a monopoly...A spokesman for North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold, says the sale has already gone through and referred questions to Election Systems & Software.

Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights (AMOVR) Circulates Survey on Military and Absentee Voter Experiences
September 29th, 2009 The Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights (AMOVR) released two surveys today to gather responses from US military members and their families and overseas civilians on their experiences with the absentee voting process...AMOVR supports efforts to reform this system for Americans civilians and members of the military alike and advocates changing inconsistent state and federal laws to facilitate improvements.

Some reading on Internet Voting Internet Voting Risks and Issues
(a work in progress)

How Many Votes? Help Sunlight Labs gather the numbers on how well our nation's legislators did in their last elections. The answers are scattered over 50 different state websites, so we'll point you to the right one and let you dig it up. We're looking for the win percentage, vote totals, and the year of their last election.


Canada. Six Ottawa tech firms make fast-track list
October 1, 2009 Level Platforms, an Ottawa software company, is the third-fastest-growing technology company in Canada for the second year running, according to an industry ranking.
The fastest growing company this year is ProSep, a Montreal oil and gas process equipment firm, followed by Dominion Voting Systems, a Toronto election systems company.

or use this tiny url

Canada. Internet gateway to election reforms in Vaughan
...The city's task force on democratic participation and renewal presented its final report to council Tuesday. It was two years in the making.
The use of Internet voting is the first among 16 recommendations aimed at making the electoral process more transparent and convenient for voters, while increasing Vaughan's voter turnout from a dismal 38 per cent in 2006 to 50 per cent.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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1 comment:

  1. Just came across Voting News via a comment at Least of All Evils. Great resource, this.


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