Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Maryland eyes paper voting, OH considers voting bill, MO considers early voting

"Bad Business" says Florida paper about ES&S/Diebold voting machine monopoly...New York voter surprised to hear that election clerk declared him deceased....In Maryland "Will state pull the plug on new voting machines?"...Legislation filed for early voting in Missouri, 30 other states already have early voting...Ohio legislators consider Senate Bill 8 which would impact voter registration, early voting and voter rolls....Good idea? WV approves military internet vote proposal. Meanwhile Hackers Steal South Korean War Plans...

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

FL: Editorial: Bad business
December 27, 2009 Corporate mergers can be good for business. But if mergers lead to less competition and innovation, they are not necessarily good for consumers.

This is especially true when the "consumers" are voters and the product voting machines.

IL: State Eases Absentee Voting Laws

IL: New state law puts crimp in secret ballot
December 21, 2009 State Sen. William R. Haine said he is working to counter the effect of a new state law that some county clerks say thwarts the whole purpose of a secret ballot.

The Alton Democrat said he has introduced a bill that would amend the law to strike a passage dealing with undercounting of votes.

MD: Will state pull the plug on new voting machines?
System's burden on counties, merger of suppliers stoke worry
State Board of Elections members expressed concerns last week over how a merger between the two largest voting machine manufacturers, which is the subject of an ongoing antitrust probe, could have skewed the procurement process.

MD: CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Maryland eyes paper voting
Dec 29, 2009. Election boards may abandon $65 million electronic system
...Despite resources made available by HAVA, Maryland is tentatively planning to return to paper ballots for the 2010 election. Maryland would abandon its $65 million electronic system while continuing to pay off capital lease costs associated with electronic voting machines until 2014, according to a story this month in the Frederick News-Post.
In the past decade, the annual budget for the Maryland State Board of Elections has accelerated exponentially. In fiscal 2000, its budget, limited to state funds, was $3.136 million, while in fiscal 2008, with a combination of federal funds from HAVA, state funds and special funds largely coming from county contributions, the Board of Elections' budget was $27.504 million.

ME: Lawsuit Victories in Maine Referendum Petition Cases
December 29th, 2009 On December 21, a lower state court in Maine ruled that if election officials take longer than the time allowed to check petition signatures, then the petition must be deemed valid.

MN: Innovations: City participates in electronic poll book pilot project
December 22, 2009 The city of Minnetonka has had a longstanding reputation for instituting innovative ideas in order to provide excellent customer service to residents while also using taxpayer dollars wisely.

MO: Legislation filed for early voting in Missouri
Under Frame’s bill, voters could vote as early as three weeks prior to an election. This measure is similar to House Bill 49, which Frame filed for the 2009 legislative session.
More than 30 states currently offer some form of early voting.

NY: Back from the dead: WNY voter says he's very much alive
In her submitted explanation of why Roque didn't muster sufficient signatures, Clerk Carmela Riccie's wrote, "On all five petitions there is a remarkably accurate signature of a person, Pedro Costales, who has been deceased for two years, according to the Statewide Voter Registration Database."

That sparked Roque to go to Costales's apartment yesterday and ring the doorbell.

"This elderly gentleman answered with a big moustache - he looks like a big teddy bear, but his expression changed from happy to being very upset when he talked about being reported deceased,"

OH: Apportionment of General Election Expenses For November 3, 2009
Preble County Court House News by Jeff Golden

OH: 12/29/2009 (Senate Bill 8) Integrity, transparency of elections critical
JOHN CAREY Ohio Senate ...On Dec. 9, my colleagues and I approved Senate Bill 8, legislation that would make several reforms to Ohio's election procedures to streamline early-voting rules, facilitate the sharing of voter registration mismatches between the Ohio Secretary of State and county election officials and make it easier for the thousands of brave Ohioans who are serving our country overseas to have a voice in electing their leaders back home....

VT: Burlington voters to reconsider Instant Runoff Voting
Dec 29, 2009. A group of folks against IRV has worked for eight months gathering signatures on a petition that asks the city to put IRV on the March 2010 ballot. Last Monday the group handed in close to 2,100 signatures, meaning voters will get to decide if they want to keep or repeal IRV.

WV: Officials OK pilot project proposal
By PAMELA BRUST pbrust@newsandsentinel.com December 29, 2009
Proposals for the pilot program are due Jan. 8. Counties chosen are to be notified by the end of January.
Counties selected to participate will set up an online system where the military and overseas voters receive a security code to go online to a secure Web site and access a ballot. Once the person has cast their ballot that vote is transmitted to the county to a secure computer. Not only is this system secure, but it ensures the privacy of the voter and their vote, according to the secretary of state's office.

"The ballot is stored on the server until election day, and at that time the clerk and commissioners would log in and results would be tallied," Rhodes said.

Computer Technologists' Statement on Internet Voting


New York Times Carries Letter to the Editor, Advocating Independent Federal Election Commissioners
December 29th, 2009 The December 29 issue of the New York Times contains this letter, advocating that President Barack Obama appoint one or more Federal Election Commissioners who are not members of either the Democratic or Republican Parties


Hackers Steal South Korean War Plans
DailyTech - ‎Dec 25, 2009‎
While South Korea has faced many cyberwarfare attacks in the past, the most recent attack has been successful in extracting classified intelligence.

Internet Voting:What can Canada Learn? January 26, 2010
The Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue
(Strategic Knowledge Cluster)Internet Voting: What can Canada Learn?

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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