Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Expert:No way to secure internet voting, Talk–A Poor Substitute For Integrity?

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: Will Voters’ Choice Be Outdone by Sponsorship?...Security expert: no way to secure Internet voting...Hackers cracked military systems and cut mains power...Internet voting too dangerous, especially for our military....

D.C. passes same day voter registration...Audit finds that Venice FL ballots were counted properly...Vanderburgh County Indiana wrangles with voting monopoly ES&S over pricing..."Don’t Count Your Ballots Up in Massachusetts. That Sort Of Thing Just Isn’t Done."..."Massachusetts does not have a post-election audit"...Ballot Design Still Matters...Bo Lipari writes about Paper Ballots, Photocopiers, and Security as pertains to New York's voting machine pilot....Nobody could vote in the race for mayor in Limaville,Ohio...Calls for complete hand recount of Lackawanna County PA election....Gregoire pushes to make WA election results more timely...We're still sweeping up after Nov 3 with voting glitches, snags,snafus and hiccup reports in CA, MA, NC, NY,OH AND PA...

CA: Letter: Frustrating vote
Editor: My apologies to my candidates, Michelle Gabriault-Acosta, Bill Blake and Mary-Michal Rawling. I tried to vote Tuesday but had a very frustrating experience.

I had requested a "vote by mail" ballot, which I never received. I thought, "No big deal."

I went to my polling place a few minutes before they opened. When the polls opened, I was second in line but was unable to vote because I was marked as a mail-in voter.

CA: Lobbyists sue to block state public financing proposition
Over the weekend the Sacramento Bee published this story by Andy Furillo reporting on recent legal actions taken by California's association of lobbyists to block a proposition that, if passed by voters would create a public financing system for the Secretary of State's elections in 2014 and 2018. The measure relies on fees paid by lobbyists and lobbying firms to fund the public financing system

DC: D.C. passes same day voter registration
The DC Council has unanimously passed an election reform bill that includes Same Day Registration and asks the District to look at implementing a system of universal voter registration.

FL: Venice ballots were counted properly
An audit finds no problems caused by the ink voters used
...The unusual proxy audit -- one of only three that election workers could recall over the last decade -- was conducted by the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections on a total of 1,028 absentee ballots.
"This gives me more peace of mind in the reliability of the machines," Muntz said.
Dent said that future absentee ballots will carry instructions that voters only use black ink.

IN: Elections Board having issues with voting machines co. (ES&S)
Nov 09, 2009 ...The attorney said County Clerk Susan Kirk isn't happy with the way the company is responding to her requests.

"Part of this actually has to do with obtaining the software which is actually needed to conduct the elections," Vanderburgh County Elections Board Attorney Doug Briody said. "We had an original contract which expired last year and so we need some additional software from them in order to go forward with elections happening in 2010. They have not been able to negotiate anything that's been satisfactory to the board and to the county."

MA: Talk – A Poor Substitute For Integrity?
Don’t Count Your Ballots Up in Massachusetts. That Sort Of Thing Just Isn’t Done.
Story in the Eagle-Tribune about Methuen, MA: Jammed voting machine misses six ballots in close race We say “Maybe, maybe not”.
Massachusetts does not have a post-election audit. But what does it matter if we lose six votes in an election? Should every voters vote really count?

MA: Jammed voting machine misses six ballots in close race* (Diebold accuvote)
METHUEN — A voting machine jammed during last Tuesday's election, resulting in six votes apparently going uncounted, City Clerk Christine Touma-Conway discovered yesterday.
While doing her final reconciliation of ballots counted by machine versus the number of people who voted in the election, Touma-Conway found a discrepancy in Precinct 7, where the number of voters checked in and out was six higher than the number of ballots counted by the AccuVote voting machine. That leads Touma-Conway to believe six votes weren't counted.

The machine read 762 ballots, but 768 voters checked in and out at Precinct 7. The box containing the ballots is sealed, so officials don't know for certain whether there are in fact 768 ballots in there, but Touma-Conway expects there is.
Poll workers called the City Clerk's office to report problems with the machine, but the machine stopped jamming on its own, Touma-Conway said.

NC: Lewis suggested for board vacancy * (vote totals transposed)
After losing an election bid Tuesday to become Mount Airy’s mayor, Teresa Lewis still could reach the city council after all, based on discussion at a commissioners meeting Thursday night.

Two commissioners indicated support for appointing Lewis to a vacancy on the city board that will result when Commissioner Deborah Cochran becomes mayor. Cochran captured the mayor’s seat Tuesday 1,018-897 after Lewis earlier was declared the winner due to an election snafu involving transposed numbers at two precincts.

NY: Paper Ballots, Photocopiers, and Security
November 10 2009 ...It didn’t surprise me, and the first line of defense against attacks involving any type of fake ballot, photocopied or printed, is well designed and implemented ballot management security procedures. But this is a complex issue which bears some discussion...

NY: Unofficial count shrinks Suozzi lead to 107 votes *
November 9, 2009 Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi's lead over challenger Mangano is down to 107 out of nearly a quarter-million cast.
The count change - Suozzi led Mangano by 237 votes last week - corrects key-punching errors typical to frenzied election nights, Biamonte said.

The task now for Democratic and Republican Board of Elections officials is to reach a final count upon which both sides can agree. To that end they are rechecking the results from 1,300 voting machines, one by one.
For instance, at one point Monday afternoon at each machine, one person read - "Row 1A, 240 votes; row 1B, 220; row 1C, 30; row 1D, 0." - while the other compared the key-punched numbers from last week. If there was a difference, the machine's figures won. Discrepancies will be argued once the recanvassing is complete.

Even after the machine count finishes, there also are 7,159 unopened absentee ballots still to be counted and more than 1,000 affidavit and emergency ballots

NY: ROYALTON: Nieman wins re-election as highway superintendent on a recount *
Inspectors call in numbers, and the little boxes are hard to read. There can be human error.”
The towns of Royalton and Hartland experimented with ballot scanners for the first time, but the error “had nothing to do with the devices,” Kiedrowski said.

When the polls close, the numbers are phoned in or faxed to the Board of Elections. It’s unusual, but sometimes mistakes are made when inspectors are hurried, according to Kiedrowski. “Nothing that comes in election night is official,” Kiedrowski said.

NY: New York State Board of Elections Resolution
Nov 10 2009. Resolution urging the US Department of Justice and the New York State Attorney General to intervene in litigation concerning the acquisition of Premier Election Solutions by ES&S.

OH: Ohio mayor gets no votes because of ballot snafu * (voters given wrong ballot on DREs)LIMAVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Elections officials say poll workers made a mistake and provided the wrong ballot to all 42 people who voted Tuesday in a small town in northeast Ohio.

So, nobody could vote in the race for mayor in Limaville, though it wasn’t much of a race anyway since incumbent Mayor Tami Angel ran unopposed in the village 44 miles southeast of Cleveland.
Mullane says the poll workers in Limaville mistakenly loaded touch-screen voting machines with a ballot for a neighboring precinct.

OH: Clock ticking for elections fixes
Ohio House, Senate disagree on overhaul bill
November 9, 2009. ...But the competing bills would start absentee voting at different times, and the latest version of the House bill calls for early voting to continue up until noon on the Monday before the election. County officials say it's too problematic to handle early voting so close to the election with all the other final preparations required.

PA: Munchak calls for complete hand recount
November 9, 2009 A member of Lackawanna County's Board of Elections is asking for a countywide hand recount of the nearly 50,000 ballots cast on Tuesday.

"Everybody's vote has to count," Lackawanna County minority Commissioner A.J. Munchak said Sunday. "We want to get this count right."

His request comes after it was learned that a glitch in computer coding resulted in a failure to count up to 2,452 straight-party votes for two city candidates, Councilwoman Janet Evans in the council race and Councilman Bill Courtright for tax collector.
County solicitor John O'Brien, who spoke on behalf of Mr. Washo on Sunday night, said it was premature to proceed with a hand recount, and several factors, including the possibility of a statewide recount of the close Pennsylvania Superior Court race, would determine how the county would proceed...

UT: New ID law didn't greatly hamper voters
Impact small » Few provisional ballots cast as a result of ID problems.
11/09/2009 While a new state law may have forced Salt Lake County residents to fetch a driver license, passport or even a concealed weapon permit from home before setting out to vote in last week's election, it prevented only a handful of voters valleywide from casting traditional ballots.

The Salt Lake County Clerk's Office has confirmed only 13 cases of voters having to pick their candidates by provisional ballot because they didn't have the proper identification to vote electronically -- a tiny portion of the 1,300 provisional ballots cast countywide.
What the county's numbers don't account for is the number of prospective voters who were turned away from the polls because of ID problems and never returned -- a scenario Deputy Clerk Jason Yocom heard anecdotally from poll workers

WA: Gregoire pushes to make WA election results more timely
...The key issue, of course, is the postmark deadline...

WA: Wash. gov: Election results should be more timely
November 09, 2009 OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Chris Gregoire cited Seattle's drawn-out mayoral race Monday as the most recent example of why the state needs an earlier deadline for mail-in ballots

Nearly a week after Tuesday's election, elections officials in King County finished counting all but 33,000 of the more than 1 million ballots received.

WV: Jefferson commissioner attempts to vote twice
November 10, 2009 CHARLES TOWN - A Jefferson County commissioner who attempted to vote twice in the local zoning referendum said he did so to "see how the system worked."

Commissioner Jim Surkamp said Monday that he had cast his ballot on the issue on the first day of early voting. Then on Saturday, he said he went to his precinct and requested a ballot because of concerns he had heard from residents.


Security expert: no way to secure Internet voting
WBBM Newsradio 780 CHICAGO (WBBM) -- An Internet security expert says there's no way Internet voting can reliably replace paper ballots to ease the expense of election day.

John Hopkins University computer science professor Avi Rubin spoke one day after Lake County, Ind., sat out a transit referendum because county commissioners didn't have a spare half million dollars to fund the election.
The ultimate problem, he says, is one of authentication: there's just no guaranteed way to tell who is who at either end of the voting connection.

Rubin says banking transactions are fine on the Internet because there's a back-office trail that can always be followed. But he says there's no secure way to ensure whether the person casting or counting a private ballot, is who they claim to be.

Still want to try internet voting?

Hackers cracked military systems and cut mains power
10th November 2009...Retired Admiral Mike McConnell, who oversaw organisations including the CIA and NSA, told the CBS News programme 60 Minutes that not only do attackers have the capability to bring down the US power grid but that the country is not prepared for such an attack.
This time last year, an attacker was able to access US military computer systems that were directly involved in war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This access allowed the perpetrator to spy and potential control systems. They were, in the words of Lewis, "part of the American military command."

Preparing for cyber warfare
The scramble for position on a new, global battlefield has begun, but it's not clear yet if state secrets, financial data and privacy can be defended
But, in truth, cyber spying is equal opportunity and has an amazing wealth of targets to go after.

Internet Voting Too Dangerous -ESPECIALLY for Our Military
Our overseas troops need help voting, and while internet voting sounds like a good idea, even a pilot is too dangerous to consider in this new age of Cyber Warfare. We must carefully ask - what problem are we trying to solve, exactly and how do we solve it?

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: Will Voters’ Choice Be Outdone by Sponsorship?
November 9, 2009 With the most expensive presidential and congressional campaigns behind us, do we really want to see more corporate money free-flowing behind special interests and political elections?

In what legal scholars have touted one of the most important First Amendment cases in years, the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case could reverse a century’s worth of campaign finance reforms.

Fact-based election reform for military and overseas voters
By David Becker - 11/09/09 ...Congress is beginning to answer Truman’s call with its recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the bipartisan Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act...
The act ensures that the millions of Americans living, working and serving abroad will get their absentee ballots faster, giving them more time to vote and increasing the likelihood that their ballots will be counted...
While these changes offer a significant step forward in resolving ballot transmission problems, they won’t be helpful to voters if outdated records in voter registration systems direct materials to the wrong address.

Ballot Design Still Matters
By Lawrence Norden – 11/10/09
...Last week's election presents more evidence, if any was needed, of the potential disenfranchising effects of poor design. As a political blog in Seattle noted, a poorly-designed ballot probably caused as many as 40,000 King County voters to miss a property tax State Ballot Initiative. As you can see from this picture of the ballot...


Latin American news from L.A.
Honduran civil leaders denounce intimidation and fraudulent elections
November 9, 2009 Honduran labor and civil leaders embarked today on a “Honduran Justice Tour” around Los Angeles to decry the human rights violations, threats and violence they say the de facto government of Roberto Michelletti is inflicting on all those who support President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted June 28th

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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1 comment:

  1. Internet voting is more vulnerable to the SAME threat that are possible in poll voting using memory chips, software, and central tabulators.

    The problem is the secret ballot. If people had rights as Constitutionally directed to hold elections and exercise power over the government, then the secret ballot would have never been law.

    The secret ballot is a mechanism that justifies corruption of elections because it makes corruption possible on many levels.

    1) Criminal election influencing by employers to spouses is still possible with no consequences. If an employer or personal group or relationship influences a voter there are no consequences, because there are no laws to protect the voter. Every major employer makes it well known who they favor and if you don't agree, you run the risk of being out of work.

    2) The voter can not check how their vote was counted and that facilitates election manipulation after the vote was cast. Imagine if you could NOT check your bank account debit and credit transactions. That is the corrupt election unaccountable election system we have today.

    3) Disenfranchisement of the voter from their vote and the election process. The secret ballot assumes the voter is a criminal and prevents the people from being able to check their vote in the totals cast or tally the totals used that determine the election.

    4) Voter apathy is the consequence of the secret ballot because it is "trust US elections" in principle and people feel like there is nothing they can do to change government or the people running elections can do whatever they want and the voter is helpless to challenge, observe, or change what strangers do with their vote.

    We need a published record of all the votes cast with random numbers associated with the voter. Each voter should have a random number issued when they sign the poll book and after the election is tabulated (hopefully hand counted paper ballots) then the voter could check how their vote was counted.

    Further, each voter could tally the entire election by adding up the totals used to determine the race they are interested in.

    This would contribute greately to ending apathy and getting the people involved in the process and issues.


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