Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Myrtle Beach missing 260 votes, Ohio voter rolls in disarray, Phantom districts

Our apologies if you did not receive a Voting News yesterday, there was a problem with our feedburner delivery... 260 votes lost or uncounted in a Myrtle Beach SC muni runoff election...Lackawanna PA will use a machine to recount its other failed machine count. Which machine count would you trust?....Phantom congressional districts get stimulus money...In Iran 5 Post Election Protesters Sentenced to Death...Congratulations: Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota Celebrates its 5th Anniversary!...Bob Fitrakis reports: On voter registration, the Columbus Dispatch gets it right, almost...
Retail Fraud – A Stitch In Time Could Save Democracy, Luther Weeks writes about absentee ballot fraud and disenfranchisement...Judge orders recount in Rutherford NJ squeaker...
Project Vote Releases New Report on Composition of the 2008 Electorate ...We used to look to Canada for accurate and transparent elections, but that is at risk now as more Canadian municipalities adopt internet voting...

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

Voting News for November 17 (if you missed it)
Public Opinion and Election law shocker, NY 26 absentee ballots, Acorn -Bill of Attainder

CT: Chain-Of-Custody Education In Haddam
November 18, 2009...Unfortunately, in Connecticut, election laws, regulations, procedures and common sense are often not followed. The Coalition Post-Election Audit Reports have documented many lapses in procedures, including the chain-of-custody. It is quite possible that in this case there was a violation of state law subject to enforcement, as the registrar points out

CT: Retail Fraud – A Stitch In Time Could Save Democracy
November 15, 2009. There is no agreement on the demarcation between retail vote fraud and wholesale vote fraud. In general retail fraud represents fraud that involves individual voters and individual votes, while wholesale fraud would represent fraud an a large scale by insiders or hackers.

MA: Massachusetts Military and Overseas Voters, Submit the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) NOW for the December 8, 2009 Special Primary
On Tuesday, December 8, 2009, Massachusetts will hold a special primary election to fill the vacancy left as a result of the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. A special State election will follow on Tuesday, January 19, 2010.

Massachusetts jurisdictions are currently express mailing ballots to military and overseas voters.

MA: MassVOTE on Boston's phantom precinct
...This phantom precinct, made up of Boston’s Harbor Islands, where no ballots have been cast in the last four elections, is a quirk of the city’s intricate electoral landscape, which because of an obscure legal exemption has not been redrawn in almost a century.
“This one little voting place is so out of whack that it is an indication that all the precincts in Boston are in need of adjustment,’’ said Avi Green, executive director of MassVOTE

MN: Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota Celebrates its 5th Anniversary!

or use this

NC: Kinston rejects nonpartisan appeal despite pleas from residents
November 17, 2009 KINSTON — Despite a series of passionate pleas from local residents and political activists, the Kinston City Council voted 3-2 Monday against appealing the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to deny nonpartisan voting in municipal elections.

Just more than 64 percent of the 7,680 ballots cast in a special referendum during the 2008 elections were in favor of changing Kinston’s election system.

But Section 5 of the federal 1965 Voting Rights Act requires that any changes to the elections systems in selected cities, counties or states with a history of discrimination against minority voters — Lenoir County is on that list — must be approved by the justice department.

NJ: Judge orders recount in Rutherford squeaker
...State Superior Court Judge Estela De La Cruz in Hackensack ordered the recount of the race where one vote separates two candidates vying to take office for the first time. The order also calls for election workers to recheck 24 voting machines.

NY: An irregularity at Nassau ballot count?
November 17, 2009 ...There was a brief flurry of activity at about 11:15 a.m. when the team at Table No. 4 reported an irregularity.

They had agreed to open a ballot that looked proper, but found an extra sheet of paper enclosed. The Democratic boxes on the ballot were checked for every race, but the extraneous piece of paper was a note, in a different handwriting, saying the voter had meant to vote straight Republican.

NY: Elections commissioners still auditing results 2 weeks later
Steuben County. “The Board of Elections will not start the recanvassing (counting the absentees, affidavits, & write in votes) until the state required audit is complete,” a notice on the Web site states. “Once the audit is complete we will notify you on this website when we will begin the recanvass.

“We are sorry for the delay but we must follow the state requirements. This is a new process for everyone so please be patient.”

OH: Moyer, others want justice selection changed
November 17, 2009...Moyer, who now is closing out his final term, is leading a quest to depoliticize the state's highest court by replacing competitive elections every six years with a far less frequent "retention" election in which the justice doesn't face an opponent.

The so-called merit selection process would take most of the money out of judicial elections, Moyer said yesterday, which in turn would combat the perception that judicial rulings can be bought.

or use this

OH: On voter registration, the Columbus Dispatch gets it right, almost
November 17, 2009 ...Ohio’s voter registration databases are in disarray. In the 2008 presidential election, many voters found their right to vote challenged in Ohio because of discrepancies in state and federal databases. For example, under Social Security I am listed as Robert John Fitrakis, but on my driver’s license it’s Robert J. Fitrakis. On the voting rolls I’m Robert Fitrakis. If the states would integrate their databases and establish a single form for voter registration, bizarre challenges over middle initials and names may become a thing of the past.
Ohio purged more than 1,250,000 voters between the 2004-2008 elections. Many of these voters lost their ability to vote because of electronic poll books using proprietary software and hardware provided or controlled by private companies with questionable loyalties.

PA: Lackawanna County Vote Recount Begins
Election officials said the whole process will take a few days and they started bright and early in an effort to make sure the election results they came up with are correct.

For the first time since election night, the ballots come out of the boxes and once again, through a machine.

All 52,000 ballots from Lackawanna County will pass through when all is said and done, as ordered last week by the county board of elections because malfunctions were discovered in several machines on election night.

In two races, some straight party Republican and Democratic votes never showed up.,0,3254905.story

SC: Voting machine error reported in Myrtle Beach* (ES&S iVotronic paperless touchscreens)
A poll worker accidentally used the wrong hand-held vote counter to close a voting machine at the Dunes 1 voting precinct in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday, leaving about 260 votes uncounted.

But it appears that, along with the 23 failsafe, challenged and late-arriving absentee ballots still to be certified Thursday, cannot change the outcome of the election.

More on that story
SC: MB leaders to tally unaccounted for votes*
Leaders in Myrtle Beach say approximately 257 votes are unaccounted for following Tuesday's municipal runoff election in the city due to a problem with a voting machine printout.

It happened in the Dunes 1 precinct at Fire Station No. 5 on 79th Avenue North.

Sandy Martin, director of the Horry County Voter Registration and Elections Office confirmed vote totals from one of the three machines in that precinct did not print when the poll clerk collected the results.

The county will retain possession of the machine and bring it to the Election Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m. Thursday at City Hall.

At that time, Martin will retrieve the votes from the third machine and present those numbers to the commissioners.

WV: Retain Elections For Judicial Posts
November 17, 2009 Members of a special commission set up to recommend changes in the state's court system were right to surprise some observers by failing to make a suggestion that many expected.

Gov. Joe Manchin established the Independent Commission on Judical Reform earlier this year. It was a blue-ribbon panel, the luster of which was enhanced by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's agreement to serve as honorary chairwoman.


Project Vote Releases New Report on Composition of the 2008 Electorate
Representational Bias in the 2008 Electorate reviews the story of who was eligible to vote, who was registered to vote, and who did vote in the 2008 general election.

$6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts
November 17, 2009. Just how big is the stimulus package? Well for one, it has doubled the size of the House of Representatives, according to, which says that funds were distributed to 440 congressional districts that do not exist.


Canada: Huntsville Ontario. Phone-in and Internet voting possible in 2010 municipal election
November 18, 2009 It could be like voting for your favourite singer on reality television. Almost.

The Town of Huntsville is considering Internet and phone-in voting for its next municipal election, which takes place October 2010.

Canada: Port Hope adds Internet voting for 2010 election
Election method costs for 13,903 eligible voters
Paper ballot system: $82,650. Cost per voter: $5.94
Paper and internet voting for 2010 election only: $121,820. Cost per voter: $8.76

Paper and internet voting for 2010 and 2014 elections: $170.990 ($85,495 per election). Cost per voter: $6.15

Internet and telephone voting only (plus list management, salaries, technical support, advertising, auditing and miscellaneous costs): $79,424. Cost per voter: $5.71
Polling stations will remain open as well
Nov 12, 2009

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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