Wednesday, October 7, 2009

WA's voter reg system crash, E-voting not safe says hacker, Hursti wins award

Famous cyber expert Rop Gonggrijp says: "electronic voting does not work.” .....E-Voting Investigator Harri Hursti wins Pioneer Award from EFF...Albuquerque Muni Election -confusion and accessible equipment broken and not set up...Early voting increases campaign costs... Florida spends $700K on single candidate contest...Hamilton County OH suspects absentee ballot fraud... New Jersey's unfair ballot design discriminates...Allen County TX studying vote centers, cutting polling places... Washington's online voter registration system crashes...Welfare reform/voter registration myths debunked...

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

CA. Voting Systems Announcements from the California Secretary of State
Sequoia WinEDS v. 3.1.012 Revised Conditional Reapproval_
Posted: 06 Oct 2009 04:59 PM PDT
The Sequoia WinEDS v. 3.1.012 Conditional Reapproval has been revised. To
view the changes that were made, a redlined version is available at
( .

CO. Voting Equipment Certification Rules (audio)
The state is updating how it certifies voting machine equipment in preparation for future elections. The secretary of state’s office held an initial meeting on Friday to go over the details, another public hearing is scheduled for later this month. Bente Birkeland reports from Denver.

CT. A Candidate’s View – Early Voting, Vote-By-Mail
October 6, 2009 ...a candidate’s view from FL, where early voting has changed the campaign calendar, increased cost, and perhaps reduced voter knowledge along with costing some voters their votes

FL. Florida Spends $700,000 on a Special Election with One Candidate on the Ballot
October 6th, 2009 ...The cause of so many one-candidate elections is that Florida filing fees are so large

MA. State eyes allowing teenagers voting rights
Oct 07, 2009 "At the Election Laws hearing, municipal clerks from Sherborn and North Andover urged lawmakers to form a task force to advise them on changes to election laws, arguing that the people charged with implementing the laws should have a more prominent role in shaping legislation."

NC.Chatham ponders moving town elections to November
October 7, 2009 Chatham Town Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 13, on changing the town's charter to hold elections in November.
..Chatham elects its mayor and town council members every two years in May.
...Moving elections to November is expected to save the town $2,000 to $5,000.
According to Pittsylvania County Registrar Jenny Lee Sanders, the state is cutting expenses and passing election costs on to localities.
Beginning in 2010, localities will be responsible for the cost of paper poll books and other election expenses, she said.

NC. What was your Voting Experience 09?
Oct 6.

NJ. Daggett gets little help from ballot position *
After his spirited performance in last Thursday's debate, independent candidate for governor Chris Daggett has seen the number people Googling him increase by 40 times over last year.
...His obstacle: New Jersey laws reserving the top two spots on any ballot for the two major-party candidates. Last month, Daggett - along with Libertarian Party candidate Kenneth Kaplan - took the step of filing suit against the practice.
The suit argued the system was unconstitutional because it gives an unfair advantage to those backed by major parties.

NM. Premiere Film RECLAIMING Their VOICES:
The Native American Vote in New Mexico Monday, October 19, 7pm
Palo Alto, Aquarius Theater 430 Emerson Street Palo Alto

NM. Guest Blog: Lonna R. Atkeson, “Observing the Albuquerque Municipal Election” *
...The election ousted a 3 term incumbent, so it was unusually exciting, though turnout was typically low overall (about 25%). Nevertheless, most people (76%) chose to vote on Election Day, so the consolidated precincts were busy all day.
Perhaps the most important difference between the municipal elections in Albuquerque and statewide elections is the requirement of a photo ID, of any sort –Club membership card, driver’s license, credit card, etc.—whereas in statewide elections the voter ID law is not concrete and...For example, precinct consolidation results in voters going to the wrong place and, with so many precincts in a polling location, in several places we saw voters trying to insert their ballot into the “wrong” tabulator. These ballots were rejected and then voters had to find the right machine for tabulation. We also saw several broken Automark machines, one in a nursing home. And, there was one precinct where the poll workers’ chose not to set it up because,
“anything you put up, you have to take down.”

NY. New York Libertarians Lose Ballot Status for Suffolk County Slate on a Technicality *
October 6th, 2009
On October 6, a New York Superior Court in Suffolk County, New York, ruled that the lawsuit Kosin v Geier should be dismissed. This means that none of the Libertarian candidates for county office in that county will be on the November 3, 2009 ballot.
...As a result, the voters of Suffolk County will only have one candidate to vote for, in all the races for countywide executive positions.

OH. Elections board suspects voter fraud *
Oct 7. The Hamilton County Board of Elections is asking the county prosecutor to investigate possible vote fraud because of discrepancies in about 50 absentee voter applications...the ballot requests were questioned by board workers because, in most cases, the birth date listed on the applications did not match the board’s records. Some of those whose names were on the forms were contacted and said they had not applied...Triantafilou said the decision to ask Deters’ office to investigate was bipartisan.

PA. County e-mails ballots (for unvoted ballots only)
New process for absentee voters Intelligencer Journal
Oct 07 Lancaster County residents serving, working or studying abroad will have an easier time voting in the Nov. 3 general election than they've had in the past.
The county Board of Elections has made it possible for those registered voters to apply for and receive absentee ballots via e-mail.

TX. Committee to study county vote centers
Oct 7. Allen County election officials hope to know by January whether vote centers should replace traditional precinct-based voting locations.
A steering committee met for the first time Tuesday to begin researching whether vote centers make sense in Allen County...State law currently allows Tippecanoe, Wayne and Cass counties to run pilot vote centers. But local officials expect a bill to be introduced this winter that would allow vote centers statewide.

WA. Online Voter Registration Crashes *
Mon, Oct 5. Today is the last day to register to vote online or by mail. ...There's been a "computer crash" at the state Department of Licensing, which maintains the online voter registration... "We were just informed by the Department of Licensing that they were having a problem and they will let us know when it is back up." You can register to vote in person until October 26 at the county elections office, but most people don't. "Today is the important deadline because most people register to vote by mail or online,"..Toby Crittenden, spokesman for the Washington Bus, which works to involve younger voters, says, "To have the online tool down on the very last day is really unfortunate—there will definitely be voters who would have otherwise registered, and aren't able to."

ES&S Diebold Monopoly

Verified Voting Statement on the Acquisition of Premier Election Solutions

OPEX and ES&S Reaffirm their Commitment to Incoming Vote-by-Mail Solution (Press Release by vendors)
OPEX Corporation and Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) today reaffirmed their partnership to provide the only vote-by-mail solution offering one-pass sorting with in-line signature recognition. This follows ES&S' announcement last month that it had acquired Premier Election Solutions, Inc.


New Study Debunks Flawed Heritage Foundation Report on Low Income Voter Registrations
That Lower Public Agency Registration Caused by Welfare Reform Rather Than Poor Implementation Undermined
...Demos has been engaged in an initiative since 2004 to improve state compliance with the public assistance voter registration provisions of the NVRA. The organizations have worked cooperatively with officials in states such as North Carolina and Virginia to improve compliance and have filed litigation to force compliance in several states including Ohio and Missouri.

Hardware Hacker, E-Voting Investigator, and Public Domain Advocate Win Pioneer Awards
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2009 Pioneer Awards: hardware hacker Limor "Ladyada" Fried, e-voting security researcher Harri Hursti, and public domain advocate Carl Malamud.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is pre-releasing its 2008 Post-Election Survey methods and questions and is inviting election officials, military and overseas voting advocates and members of academia to review FVAPs methods for statistical reliability and that they meet the industry standards.

AEI-Brookings Election Reform Newsletter (10/7/09) (sign up for it at their site)
1. Accurate Voter Rolls: Policies and Research
Making sense of the debate over voter registration reform requires comparisons of state-level policies on maintaining updated voter lists and an increased understanding of the current research on this topic.
2. A Right to Vote: Modernizing Voter Registration
Tova Andrea Wang makes the case for modernizing voter registration practices in the states
3. Letter on Indiana's Voter ID Laws (PDF)
This letter, from the Indiana Secretary of State, was written the day after the Indiana Court of Appeals handed down its decision on the state's voter ID laws x


Australia. 1.2 million missing from voting roll
ADULTS under 35 or anyone who has changed address during the past three years are more likely than others to be missing from the electoral roll.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) estimates 1.2 million citizens are absent from the voting register. It will be sending 843,000 enrolment forms in coming weeks to where it thinks the missing eligible Australians are living. ...Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn said people who had moved in recent years and had not updated their electoral address ran the greatest risk of being removed from the voting roll.,25197,26177398-12377,00.html

Technology no excuse for loss of transparency, says hacker
...We were really upset with the lack of transparency,” said Gonggrijp, who stressed that the medium with which votes are counted had to be made transparent and could not simply be changed.

“We had decided that this was the one and only time there was going to be voting with computers. We said that transparency and security was lost and I had dedicated three years of my life proving why electronic voting does not work.”
According to him, the manufacturers of the voting computer had insisted the machines were fool-proof. He then tinkered and reprogrammed the machine so that it WOULD count dishonestly during the course of an election, in an effort to prove that tampering with the machines was something that could be easily done by anyone.
“I demonstrated it at a press conference on Dutch television and got the realisation across that we needed to rid of these machines,” he stated.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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