Friday, November 20, 2009

FCC considers Internet Voting, WV oks internet voting for military, NY Voting Machines had bug not virus

The biggest threat to democracy quietly sneaks forward: The FCC seeks public comment on internet elections by Dec. 10 of this year... Clearly the e-voting movement is not keeping up. Problems with voting machines pale compared to the risks of internet voting. Voting online is not secure and is not secret according to many tech experts...Meanwhile, West Virginia just passed a law allowing online voting for military, it goes to the governor to be signed...

"Voting is not a commodity or industry, it's a democratic right...Anti-trust officials must stop this monopolization of America's most basic democratic process. More fundamentally, though, we must restore full public ownership and management of our voting systems."~Jim Hightower...This should be true everywhere: "Registration of voters should never be seen as a political act." – European Commission Head of Delegation to Zambia...

There is good news and bad news about New York's voting systems. The problems with some New York voting machines were not due to a virus, as reported yesterday by the Gouverneur Times, but were due to a flaw/bug in the source code. The problem was not caused by election workers but by the voting vendor. The good news is that there are paper ballots. But the bad news is that elections are still being used as beta tests for voting vendors. We all know there is no perfect voting system but is it too much to ask that these voting systems work correctly? Bo Lipari has a write up on his blog and we have a press release from the New York State Board of Elections...In Utah New ID Check-In scans your drivers license....

All this and much more in today's voting news below...

IL: Undervotes and the AccuVote
Champaign County Clerk under Elections. The formerly Diebold, formerly Premier, now ES&S Accu-Vote ballot tabulation system is under the gun to meet the state standards for rejecting undervotes. (We do not use the Accu-Vote) At the State Board of Elections meeting yesterday we learned that their first go around on testing failed, and now they are making programming changes and retesting.

IL: Illinois Newspaper Story on Challenge to Green Party U.S. House Candidate in 14th District
November 20th, 2009 The Daily Herald, a newspaper in Arlington Heights, Illinois, has this article about a Democratic Party-connected challenge to the Green Party’s candidate for U.S. House in the 14th district.

MA: BREAKING NEWS: Vote-Rigging Alleged in UC Presidential Election
November 19, 2009 In an unprecedented reversal following allegations of fraud and vote-tampering, the Undergraduate Council Election Commission decided to “de-certify” the results of the presidential election released today, pending further notice.

MN: Kummer wins Park Board seat without a majority
Candidate is first under ranked-choice voting to be elected without support from a majority of voters.
November 19, 2009 ...Incumbent Kummer amassed 46 percent of the vote to almost 42 percent for Jason Stone in a replay of their 2005 finish. Her election without a majority occurred because 957 ballots, or 12 percent of those cast, were exhausted. That means either the voter didn't list a second or third choice, or the candidate the voter listed was eliminated from consideration.

MO: Cooper County Clerk's office canvasses voter registration records
...The effort is being made in accordance with the law, which states this must be done every two years.

NC: Most missed filing deadlines
Finance reports 'a little screwy'
CHAPEL HILL - This year the town instituted a new campaign-finance report to reveal candidates' spending up through six days before the election. Trouble is, only one candidate managed to file it on time. And she only received $1 in campaign contributions.

NJ: Quigley on Bill Creating Online Voter Registration (A-4189)youtube video
November 18, 2009 In this video press release, Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley (D-Hudson) discusses her legislation to allow New Jersey residents to register to vote online. The measure (A-4189) would create an online voter registration form, hosted on a secure site within the Department of State's Web site, that would allow residents to register to vote, change their voting address after a move or change their name in the voter file, all from a computer

NY: Statement from the Board of Elections on the 23rd Congressional District

NY: No Voting Machine Virus in New York-23 Election
November 20, 2009 By Bo Lipari. Erroneous reports are circulating that a virus caused a problem in the scanners used in the NY-23 Congressional race.
The issue was a bug in the Dominion source code that caused the machine to hang while creating ballot images for certain vote combinations in multiple candidate elections (the ImageCast, like the other scanner used in New York, the ES&S DS200, creates digital images of each ballot which can be reviewed after the election). So if, for example, a “vote for three candidates out of five” race was voted in a certain way, the scanner would hang. This is one reason why the defect affected some, but not all machines with ballots containing this type of race, because only certain combinations of votes caused the memory problem. But here’s the thing – the problem was discovered before the election.

OH: Party-line vote (HB 260 goes to state senate next)
Elections bill passed by divided Ohio House
Registration would be easier, 'golden week' eliminated
November 19, 2009 ...The House bill would make changes to virtually all aspects of the voting process.
The bill would streamline the processes for showing identification at the polls and for casting provisional ballots. It also would allow online voter registration and automatic updating of registrations when voters move or change their name.

or use this url

SD: South Dakota Court Says Inactive Voters May Sign Petitions
November 20th, 2009 On November 13, a South Dakota Circuit Court Judge ruled that petition signatures are valid if the signer is not on the list of active registered voters, but is on the list of inactive voters. Inactive voters are those who once registered to vote, but whose registration is considered questionable because the post office reported that the voter had moved and that voter has not re-registered.

UT: Utah New ID Check-In
Utah is creating a new cool check in process for voters. The State’s voter registration data base will be able to read the bar codes on a voter’s driver’s license. So when a voter goes to check in to vote, a poll worker will be able to scan the bar code on the back of the State driver’s license and that person will be pulled up in the state database.

WVA: Online Voting Bill Passes During Special Session
November 19, 2009 House Bill 406 passed during the special legislative session Nov. 19
House Bill 406 passed during the special legislative session Thursday. The bill gives military and other West Virginia citizens the opportunity to vote online, while outside of the country.

Each participating county will setup an online system. Military and overseas voter will be able to login to the Web site using a security code, and cast their ballot.
The bill now goes to Gov. Joe Manchin for a signature

WV To Offer Online Voting For Some
WEST VIRGINIA- A pilot program to allow West Virginians, serving in the military, the opportunity to vote online passed the Legislature unanimously on Thursday during the special session.

House Bill 406 now needs West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin's signature in order to become law.


FCC wants public comment on digital democracy - (internet voting whack-a-mole )
Comments due by December 10 of this year : Technologists' statement on internet voting
This is also the position of on internet voting, and ...

ES&S trying to monopolize America's voting system
...But during the past decade, state and local election authorities have ever-so-quietly allowed a little intrusion to come between the casting and the counting of our votes. The intrusion is called "privatization."

Balloting, which has historically and properly been a purely public function in our country, now relies largely on electronic machines that are made and controlled by a handful of corporations
Anti-trust officials must stop this monopolization of America's most basic democratic process. More fundamentally, though, we must restore full public ownership and management of our voting systems.

Uniform State Law Commission Meets Again to Consider Changes in Electoral College
November 20th, 2009
The National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws has existed since the 19th century. It proposes model laws to the state legislatures of all states. The Commission has been meeting this year to work on a proposed model law on how to stop presidential electors from voting for presidential or vice-presidential candidates who vote for someone in the electoral college who was not their party’s choice.


Registration of voters should never be seen as a political act – European Commission Head of Delegation to Zambia
European Commission Head of Delegation to Zambia Derek Fee yesterday said the registration of voters should never be seen as a political act in favour of one side but as a necessary step in ensuring that election results reflect the true will of majority voters.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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