Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To EAC: Fix problems BEFORE voting systems certified, Tenn. can avert election fiascos, New Jersey Bad Ballot

TTBR Investigators letter to EAC - fix vulnerabilities before systems are certified and sold...More Media complaining about a low turnout elections but as usual forget their own part in stoking voter interest....Minneapolis election could take 8 weeks to count...Recount Confirms Voting Machines' Tally In Pott County Nebraska...Instant Run-Off Voting Debate Returns in Burlington.. Common Cause TN op-eds supporting paper ballots for 2010: "the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act must, and can be, implemented for the 2010 election...The strongest argument for adoption was that paperless systems are subject to unintended errors and possible hacking and that votes might not be recorded as intended by the voter."
The news is brief today, we'll have a big day tomorrow....

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

CA TTBR Investigators Send Letter to the EAC
Today we sent a letter to the Election Assistance Commission signed by a number of the investigators involved in the California Secretary of State's Top-to-Bottom Review of voting systems.
The letter points out that the EAC, and a lab that performs certification testing of voting systems, disregarded technical information about voting system security from state-level evaluations of a particular voting system
"The EAC should use its VSTL oversight to require test labs to conduct thorough evaluations of voting system vulnerabilities during conformance testing, so that vendors will fix vulnerabilities before systems are certified and sold."

CT. How Much Are Election Officials Paid In Norwalk?
October 13, 2009 Part-time workers hired by registrar may get pay hike
The argument for a raise seem to make sense:

FL. Election costs thousands; hundreds elect Thrasher
Taxpayers spent thousands so hundreds of voters could choose a new state senator for a district that includes Amelia Island

GA. ACLU Urges Department Of Justice To Object To Changes In County Board Elections In Georgia (10/13/2009)
The proposed changes would alter the boundaries of two commissioner districts, reducing their minority populations, and implement an at-large election system for the chair of the board. Currently, the chair is elected by the commissioners who represent individual districts.

MN. Not again? Minneapolis says city election next month could take 8 weeks to count
Oct 12 2009 As if we haven't suffered enough with delayed election counts, Minneapolis officials now say it could take up to eight weeks to determine the winners in next month's city election.
could_take_8_weeks_to_count or use this tiny url

MN. How will Instant Runoff Voting work? (+ podcast)
Broadcast: Midday, 10/12/2009. MIDDAY offers a primer on what's also called Ranked Choice Voting, which will be used in the Minneapolis general election in November. St. Paul voters will decide if they want to employ IRV in future elections.

NE. Recount Confirms Voting Machines' Tally In Pott. County
Recount Confirms Machines' Tally; Bates Ousted (+ podcast) Recount Requested By Ousted City Councilman Darren Bates A recount of primary election ballots in Council Bluffs has found no changes, upholding the removal of Darren Bates from the city council...Not a single vote changed, said election officials. Nearly 500 votes were methodically counted by hand.

NC. Final slate of council candidates still unknown
Miller dropping out could mean Croft joins race
ASHEVILLE — Three days before voters begin chosing the newest members of Asheville's governing body, elections officials didn't know who will be on the ballot.
Councilman Kelly Miller's announcement Friday that he was dropping out of the race to help his wife fight cancer threw a curve into the final lineup for the Nov. 3 general election. Early voting starts Thursday.

Atlantic Monthly Notices Bad Ballot Design in New Jersey *
October 13th, 2009. The well-known Atlantic Monthly has this short commentary on New Jersey ballot design, although the article fails to explain that the problem is much worse than discriminatory rules on the order of candidates.

VT. Instant Run-Off Voting Debate Returns in Burlington
October 12, 2009. Should Burlington residents decide if instant run-off voting continues in Burlington? A petition is circulating right now that calls for that question to be on the Town Meeting Day ballot

TN. It is not OK to delay new state voting machine law
October 11, 2009 ...the TVCA, after years of testimony and study by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs, was adopted by a nearly unanimous and bipartisan vote in the legislature and enthusiastically signed by Gov. Phil Bredesen.

TN. Paper ensures ballot integrity
October 11, 2009 In response to the Oct. 4 editorial, "Ensure ballot integrity," I would like to briefly explain why Common Cause Tennessee and others concerned about ballot integrity believe the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act must, and can be, implemented for the 2010 election...The strongest argument for adoption was that paperless systems are subject to unintended errors and possible hacking and that votes might not be recorded as intended by the voter.

WA. Ranked-choice voting has appeal, but it's too complicated
October 13, 2009 Seattle Times editorial columnist
...Fairness and democracy are important values, but they aren't everything. An election system needs to be simple, so that citizens will participate in it, trust it and accept the authority of the candidates chosen under it. And ranked-choice voting is not simple. To the average voter, it's a black box.


Email Your Representative About Fair Elections
The Fair Elections Now Act would allow candidates for Congress to choose voluntary public financing instead of getting bankrolled by big corporate interests.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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