Monday, October 26, 2009

Expert to aid Tennessee paper ballot case, Cyber warfare vs internet voting, NY official won't certify election IF

Tennessee Common Cause calls in big guns - asks expert Doug Jones to aid in paper ballot case...Is signing a petition a public or private act?...Absentee ballot blues: La Plata County Colorado sent some voters 2 ballots, Tulare County CA must re-send some ballots, Nearly 500 Hamburg Michigan voters don't have absentee ballots...No one on ballot for mayor, council in NC town...NY Election Official would refuse to certify electronic vote count if...For the first time, NY-23 will vote on paper ballots...A Voting News reader writes: So you want to run elections on networks? FYI Northrop Grumman report on the Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation...A different view of ACORN...Why Russians Ignore Ballot Fraud...

All of that and more in today's Voting News below..

CA: Tulare County looks to resend ballots to dozens living on Visalia outskirts
October 24, 2009 The county is looking for a do-over when it comes to mail-in ballots for 57 people on the outskirts of Visalia.
The ballots didn't include the race for Visalia City Council. There are nine candidates running for three seats in the Nov. 3 race.
or use this tiny url

CO: Double ballots complicate election
Saturday, October 24, 2009 Bud Smith, the attorney for the district, said some voters received duplicate ballots because of slight variations between their names on their voter registration and property ownership

CO: Ballot advice (humor)
October 26, 2009

MI: Nearly 500 Hamburg voters don't have absentee ballots
According to Joan Runyan, elections coordinator with the Livingston County clerk's office, as many as 475 of the 1,300 absentee ballots mass-mailed from the post office in Howell on Oct. 14 have yet to reach voters.

Runyan said her office became aware of a problem when concerned voters continued calling her office through Thursday — eight days after the mailing went out. The county clerk's office said ballots reported missing

MN: better ballot? St. Paul election to decide 'instant-runoff voting'
Supporters, opponents make cases on non-primary system
10/24/2009 The second-choice candidates of the voters for the candidate who finished last among first choices get the second round of votes. And so on.

Got it?

It can actually be stated simpler than that, but the point is it's not hard to find confusion surrounding a significant election reform St. Paul residents will vote on next month.

NC: What if there's an election and nobody runs?
10/25/2009 SPENCER MOUNTAIN, N.C. (AP) -- Who's on the ballot in a tiny North Carolina mill village? This year, no one.
...There are 29 registered voters in Spencer Mountain

NC: City to test instant runoff voting (using ES&S iVotronic Touchscreens)
October 23, Hendersonville residents who haven't voted in awhile will notice something different at the polls Nov. 4.

NC: Hendersonville Instant runoff voting in Nov - Will your vote be counted? Surprising answer

NY: Let NY keep its lever machines! PRESS CONFERENCE on 10/28!
October 24, 2009 Supporters Needed to Attend PRESS CONFERENCE on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 12:45 – 1:30 PM Promptly
City Councilmember Helen Foster is introducing a new Resolution
to Keep Our Lever Voting Machines!

NY: Andi Novick speaks on NY’s lever machines: Rhinebeck, 10/27
October 24, 2009 From Andi Novick:Dear friends of transparent elections,
I have been invited to speak at Rhinebeck’s Town Hall, this Tuesday night, October 27th, 5:30 80 East Market Street. I will be discussing where we’re at in our efforts to stop voting from becoming a “useless formality.”

NY: Election Official Would Refuse to Certify Electronic Vote Count
Columbia County Election Commissioner Testifies at Public Hearing
New York City, Oct. 23, 2009 --While she praised some of the State's actions to comply with new election law, she said the new computerized voting systems are poorly made and break down often, in contrast to the dependable lever voting systems currently in use. "If Columbia County starts using software to count votes, I will not certify an election unless an appropriately designed audit of the paper ballots is conducted. So far, the State Board [of Elections] has not mandated an audit that audit experts agree will expose inaccurate counts."

NY: NY-23 and the Voting Machine Pilot Program
For the first time, NY-23 will vote on paper ballots

SC: South Carolina voting machines are not trustworthy
July 26th, 2009 (re-run of good article)

A trustworthy voting system should reliably record the voter’s choices and provide a dependable method of recounting the votes. However, South Carolina’s voting system provides neither.

All voting machines used in South Carolina are iVotronics. Mathematical formulas and computer instructions are used to match the position of the voter’s finger on a touch-screen with a candidate’s name and then to store the vote in the machine’s memory.

TN: Group enlists voting-machine expert to aid paper ballot case
October 25, 2009
The citizen-advocacy group Common Cause has enlisted an expert on voting machines to make its case in a lawsuit to force Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett to switch to paper ballots by the 2010 elections.

In new court documents, Common Cause introduces an affidavit from University of Iowa computer science professor Douglas Jones to try to undercut Hargett’s arguments against abandoning the state’s touch-screen voting machines.
In his affidavit, Jones recommends that Tennessee make the switch immediately by buying machines meeting 2002 standards. He says the state can upgrade those machines to meet new standards.

Jones says voters using the new system “have a significantly higher likelihood of having their votes counted and counted as intended” than voters using touch-screen machines.

TX: Local election error taints portion of votes so far *
October 24, 2009 George Matthews erred when wording two propositions on the in-person ballot machines used during early voting for the upcoming state election.

The Victoria County elections administrator said he accidentally duplicated the English version of Proposition 4 into Proposition 5 - and vice versa for the Spanish version.
Early voting for the Nov. 3 Texas Constitutional Amendment Election began Monday. The error appeared only on the in-person ballot machines and not on mail-in ballots, Matthews said. Local elections officials discovered the error on Wednesday afternoon - after 48 Victoria County residents cast in-person votes.
The state's secretary of state's office confirmed that Matthews cannot discard the 48 tainted ballots and allow those voters to vote fresh.


So you want to run elections on networks?
Northrop Grumman report on the Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation

Dr. Eugene T. Paslov: A different view of ACORN
...If we are going to cause the demise of ACORN, we should think about causing the termination of all government contractors who misused government funds. This is not likely, because ACORN serves the poor, and the others, Halliburton, Blackwater, Northrop, all tend to enhance those who are at the pinnacles of power.

Gay marriage fights fuel debate over petitioners' rights
Gay rights advocates have sought to use public records to expose their opponents, which raises the question: Is signing a petition a public or private act?
October 25, 2009... The Supreme Court voted last week to block release of the names of more than 138,000 people in Washington state who signed petitions seeking to repeal a same-sex domestic partner law in a ballot scheduled for Nov. 3.

The Supreme Court's intervention set off a broad debate among election-law experts and 1st Amendment scholars over what is private and what is public when it comes to politics.,0,1692604.story


Russia. Why Russians Ignore Ballot Fraud
...“People are passive because they feel that there is absolutely no opportunity to change the system,” Mr. Gerasimov said.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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