Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sequoia e-voting code out, Vote flipping in Tennessee, Will Afghan voters turnout for do-over?

Aspen Colorado citizen wins effort to stop destruction of May 5 ballots...New Jersey's anti-exit polling law...Election Defense Alliance has election databases from Riverside County that Sequoia insisted on "redacting" first, Sequoia Voting Systems inadvertently released the SQL code for its voting databases...Wow! Diebold (OSX) scanners are picky about ink colors on ballots..."The next question is whether these machines can actually count." ~ Voting Matters Blog...Touch Screen Vote flipping in Franklin Tennessee...Breaking: Supreme Court Reverses Ninth Circuit, Reimposes Stay in Washington Referendum Signer Case...Afghan Leader Said to Accept Runoff After Election Audit, Do-over? “Neither Karzai nor Abdullah are worth the lives of our children.” ~ Sadruddin Khan, a tribal elder in Kandahar.. Oh goodie Nigeria wants e-voting...

AZ: City of Prescott appeals election ruling
...Claiming "irreparable harm," the city filed a request this morning for a stay of the ruling that Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff issued this past Thursday, prohibiting the city from continuing with its November general election.

...The case centers on the city's decision in September not to place City Council candidate Paul Katan's name on the general election ballot. Katan, the seventh-place finisher in the Sept. 1 city primary, maintained that he should have moved up and onto the ballot after fifth-place finisher Bob Bell withdrew from the race in mid-September.

CA: E-Voting Code to Receive 'First-Ever' Public Scrutiny Following Public Records Request Sequoia's 'proprietary' source code now available on the Internet
ALSO: Company yet to come clean to federal investigators, election officials, public about Chavez-tied Venezuelan firm's ownership of vote machine Intellectual Property...

CA: The Election Defense Alliance filed a public records request under California law for a copy of the final election databases from recent elections in Riverside County California. Riverside coughed them up, after sending them first to Sequoia for "redaction of trade secrets" and forcing EDA to pay a substantial amount for this "service."

As near as we can tell, instead of stripping out proprietary stuff of any sort, Sequoia simply committed vandalism:

CO: Ballots will be kept past Nov. deadline
Saturday, October 17, 2009
A judge has issued an order requiring the city of Aspen to keep ballots from the May election past the November date when they otherwise would have been destroyed.

The ruling, issued Friday by District Court Judge James B. Boyd, granted a preliminary injunction sought by Marilyn Marks in her lawsuit against the city, which has the ultimate goal of forcing the city to release the ballots.

GA: Ballot confusion: Candidates, issues, polling places vary in Nov. 3 voting
The Nov. 3 Douglas County election presents a variety of candidates and issues, and the ballots that voters receive depend upon their city or county locations.

This may cause confusion for some voters, Laurie Fulton, county election supervisor, confirmed Friday.

“Voters in city precincts must request both city and county ballots,” Fulton said. “Signs are posted at these locations showing the two separate voting places.”

MN: Not-so-instant runoff voting
Results of the first IRV city election may not be in for weeks.
10/19/2009 Editorial Board. On Nov. 3, Minneapolis residents going to the polls will face a new voting system that lets voters rank their top three choices for each municipal office.
Fortunately, the city attorney has assured elections officials that they can use Microsoft Excel to help tally

MN: Joe Soucheray: Don't think IRV would be a mess? Just ask my friend Dave Thune!

MN: New Way of Voting in Minneapolis
19 Oct 2009 MINNEAPOLIS - Two weeks from Tuesday, voters in Minneapolis will be making history with a new way of voting, called ranked choice voting. It is similar to a primary and general election all rolled into one.

And in the city's sixth ward in south Minneapolis, it's leading to some very interesting strategies and political alliances.

Councilman Robert Lilligren is not only running for reelection, he's also explaining a new way to vote.

NC: The Problems with Vote Centers
...Any jurisdictions considering Vote Centers must be warned that they run an increased risk for voting machine malfunction and error and an increased risk for fraud. Officials also must consider the impact on vulnerable populations when their neighborhood polling places are eliminated.

NC: Elections official: Easley hearing not a trial
...Easley's campaign finances also are the subject of a federal grand jury investigation. In addition to his travel and use of vehicles, the grand jury is looking into his purchase of a waterfront lot in Carteret County at a below-market price, a high-paying job his wife landed at North Carolina State University, decisions by the state Division of Motor Vehicles that might have benefited a political contributor and the sale of a Southport marina to a group that included some political contributors.

NJ: News groups fight ruling that bans exit polling near N.J. voting sites
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Six of the nation's largest news organizations filed a federal lawsuit yesterday challenging a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that bars them from conducting exit polls near voting sites
During the last three decades, 10 states, including Ohio, Florida and Nevada, have enacted laws to prevent exit polling within 100 feet of voting sites.

All 10 were struck down by federal judges.

NY: 'They Tried to Steal an Election,' N.Y. Voter Fraud Case Heats Up * October 20, 2009. Thirty-eight forged or fraudulent ballots have been thrown out, according to records at the Rensselaer County Board of Elections in Troy, N.Y. Enough votes, an election official admits, to likely have tipped the November election to the Democrats.

OH: Issue 6 calls for special election, to cost the county $4 million
October 19, 2009. CLEVELAND, Ohio — If Issue 6 passes, it will cost Cuyahoga County an extra $4 million to stage a primary election next September to whittle down candidates for new county offices.
Jones criticized the extra election required for Issue 6.

"This is inexplicable why they would not have that primary at the same time as all the other primary elections," he said.

OH: Bill to improve Ohio elections hangs in the balance
Oct 20, 2009 - Despite being the product of months of review and discussion, a wide-ranging proposal to try to improve Ohio's elections hangs in the balance as the Ohio House and Senate struggle to work together.
The bill would shrink the state's early voting period but expand the number of sites in each county, simplify voter identification laws and try to reduce the number of provisional ballots cast.

PA: Voters to see double at the polls this fall
Voters who opt to use the eScan machines at their polling places will receive two sheets of paper instead of one.
"People are going to be encouraged to fill out all three sides and scan both sheets of paper in the scanners," Stehman said.

TN: Franklin voting machine pulled off-line after complaint in early voting *ES&S iVotronic Touch Screen machines
Early voting in city election will end Thursday

October 20, 2009 FRANKLIN — State and local officials say they're satisfied with remedies to separate complaints made by two supporters of Franklin aldermanic candidates in the city's upcoming elections.
Ward 3 voter Karen Carter complained to Beard and state election officials when she tried to vote for Alderman Mike Skinner on one of the electronic machines and said the machine displayed another candidate's name.

She eventually voted for Skinner using another machine. However, she and Beard disagree about the source of the problem.

Beard said she believes Carter inadvertently voted for another candidate on that machine, but Carter maintains the iVotronic machine is in error.

TX: Called to Service: NSERL to Double as Polling Place (Vote Center)
Research Lab to Host University's First Ballot Station Amid Collin County Test
Oct. 20, 2009 On Nov. 3, during a statewide Special Election, registered Collin County voters may vote at any of the 57 designated polling places in the county. Just as early voting allows registered voters to cast ballots at any polling place before Election Day, the pilot program works in the same way for the Tuesday, Nov. 3 Special Election, at 57 different locations.

WA: U.S. Supreme Court Reinstates Temporary Ban on Releasing Names on Petitions by Vote of 8-1
October 20th, 2009
On the afternoon of October 20, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 8-1 to forbid the Secretary of State of Washington from releasing the names and addresses of people who signed the R-71 Referendum petition. The dissenter is Justice John Paul Stevens.

WA: Breaking News: Supreme Court Reverses Ninth Circuit, Reimposes Stay in Washington Referendum Signer Case
The stay remains in effect until a petition for cert. is considered in timely fashion, with the result being that the information will not be disclosed until (at the least) after the election. That is somewhat problematic, not for formal mootness grounds, but because the interests in disclosure are different before and after the election.


Wow! Diebold scanners are picky about ink colors on ballots (Diebold OSX) ...If you feed your carefully marked ballot through a scanner from Diebold sometimes it just “sees” a blank piece of paper. And you’ll never know when a Diebold scanner will fail to do its basic job of scanning for filled-in ovals on a sheet of paper. Sometimes it works just fine and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes your vote will count — and sometimes it just won’t...


Afghanistan: Afghan election investigation released
The Afghan Electoral Complaints Commission released their report about their investigation of electoral fraud allegations in the recent Afghan presidential election. Their order is here. The first finding indicates the wide extent of the potential problems in the election: “the EEC has ordered the IEC to invalidate 210 polling stations around the country where the EEC found clear and convincing evidence of fraud.”

Afghanistan: ‘We will not risk our lives to vote again’
Voting is a risky business in Afghanistan. During the period when Afghanis cast their ballots more than two months ago the Taliban launched grenade attacks at polling places. They also punished voters who sported the ink-stained finger that is proof of voting in Afghanistan by amputating that finger.

Afghan Leader Said to Accept Runoff After Election Audit
NY Times. KABUL, Afghanistan — Under heavy international pressure, President Hamid Karzai appears set to concede as early as Tuesday that he fell short of a first-round victory in the nation’s disputed presidential election, but the path to ensuring that the country has credible leadership remains uncertain, American and European officials said Monday.

Nigeria: Use local voting machines in 2011, association urges FG
Mr. Okon Essien, president, Association of Nigerian Inventors, has advised the federal government to consider the use of locally-invented voting machines for the 2011 general elections.
He said the use of locally made voting and monitoring instruments would ensure credibility, free and fair elections.

Essien said the machine did not need electricity to function but required only a 12-volt battery and could be operated anywhere by anybody.

He said that the era of spending millions of dollars printing ballot papers abroad and importing ballot boxes was over as the system would not require ballot papers.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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