Monday, December 7, 2009

Michigan voter purge investigation, Illinois undervote law vs secret ballot, UK: Does E-counting make sense?

"Does it really make sense to splurge a huge sum of money on e-counting when we know a manual count would be cheaper, let alone easier to verify and more trusted by voters and politicians alike?" ~ Jason Kitcat, Green city councillor in Brighton & Hove, London...Missouri troops can continue to vote by email?...Bo Lipari's issued his "Statement on NY Voting System Certification:...New Yorkers try to write-in Simpsons character Charles Montgomery Burns for mayor...Illinois Military and Overseas Voters, Submit your Ballot Request for the February 2, 2010 State Primary!..Nonprofit sues Virginia to avoid revealing source of voters personal data....Burglars steal computers from Houston polling place... New Iraqi election law approved...

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

AL: Alabama Files Brief in 11th Circuit in Ballot Access Case
December 7th, 2009 On December 7, Alabama filed its brief in Shugart v Chapman, the case pending in the 11th circuit over whether a state can require an independent candidate for US House to obtain more signatures than an independent candidate for president.

CA: Local Politician Convicted of Fraud *
Fri, Dec 4, 2009 The former mayor of the tiny municipality of Vernon and his wife were convicted Friday of voter registration fraud and fraudulent

Leonis Malburg, 80, who had been mayor of Vernon for more than 50 years before resigning this summer, and Dominica Malburg, 83, did not live in Vernon, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson found in a non-jury trial.

Leonis Malburg was convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime, being a public official aiding illegal voting, falsifying a declaration of candidacy, voter registration fraud, false voter registration, perjury under oath, fraudulent voting and assisting an unqualified voter....

CA: Secretary of State approves county's ranked choice voting system
12/07/2009 California's secretary of state has officially certified Alameda County's upgraded voting machines, paving the way for instant runoff voting in some cities' elections, likely including next year's Oakland's mayoral race.

FL: Resident claims election fraud in Groveland
GROVELAND -- An elections fraud complaint was filed with the Florida Department of State, claiming the City of Groveland did not advertise its Nov. 3 municipal election in accordance with state statutes.

GA: Group suspects illegal voting in mayor's race
A newly formed group has asked the Secretary of State for voter eligibility information that may allow a challenge to the result in the Atlanta mayoral race
Erica Long, co-chair of the group formed last week, said it discovered that 1,314 voters in the general election on Nov. 3 had invalid addresses.

"They were empty lots," Long said.

She said the addresses had belonged to federal housing projects or apartment complexes that had been knocked down.
Fulton County elections chief Barry Garner, however, said his investigation of the questioned address shows that the concern may be premature, at least in terms of election results. Only 33 of the 1,314 people on the list voted in the general election, Garner said.

"I don't know where they got their numbers but they're just not true," Garner said. "I hope that they are not trying to throw mud into the game but we will see."

HI: Next election must not be compromised
Dec 06, 2009 The resignation of Hawaii's chief of elections officer ends a tumultuous reign and begins a daunting scramble to name a replacement to set up adequate polling stations in less than a year. Next year's elections are the most important in recent years and require the highest of democratic standards.
In the long run -- too late for next year's election -- the state should seek a person who can focus on changing the election process to turn around Hawaii's abysmal voter turnout. The most promising is Oregon's economical system of mailing ballots to eligible voters, used successfully in April's special election to replace the late Barbara Marshall on the City Council.


IL: Undervote Hearing (protection of secret ballot at issue)
Champaign County Clerk The hearing to consider our motion for an injunction on the undervote statute is December 17 at 10:00 a.m.
Memo of Law in Undervote Case
We’ve filed a memorandum in support of our case. You can view it here.

IL: Illinois Military and Overseas Voters, Submit your Ballot Request for the February 2, 2010 State Primary!

MI: Investigation of State Voter Purge Goes Public
December 2, 2009 A recently completed state program to cancel Michigan voter registrations was flawed and may have violated state law and the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Unprecedented in Michigan, the program was poorly planned, mismanaged, often hidden from local clerks, mostly invisible to the media, and unaccountable to the public...
The complete report is available at:

MN: Joe Soucheray: In the case of instant runoff voting, cheaters really do win
12/05/2009 It was tucked away on the inside pages of the paper a few days ago, an
unfortunate placement for a story so steeped in political intrigue and
duplicity, alarm and fury. The supporters of instant runoff voting, the
so-called Better Ballot Campaign, lost in a courtroom against Chuck
Repke's opposing group No Bad Ballots, which had argued that the
supporters of IRV had cheated.

And they did cheat. They were found by administrative law judges
Kathleen Sheehy, Cheryl LeClair-Sommer and Barbara Neilson to have
violated Minnesota election laws by knowingly making false claims for
endorsement of their vote-yes position.

MO: New Rules Make It Easier For Troops To Vote
Federal Law Bans Voting By E-Mail For Military Members
December 7, 2009 ...The new federal rules will permit more troops to register, receive and vote by electronic e-mail.
But Laura Egerdal of Carnahan’s office, said that Missourians in a war zone will be still be able to vote by e-mail

MO: Missoula elections office looks to cut polling places to save money
December 5, 2009 Thirteen of Missoula County's 37 polling places are on the chopping block in a manpower- and cost-saving proposal by the elections office.

NY: Statement on NY Voting System Certification
bolipari on: December 7 2009 ...Finally, here are my thoughts on what we should use as our evaluation criteria to determine whether the systems have met New York’s standards. It is simple – the systems must meet specific standards set forth by state law and regulation. In New York’s case, this also includes meeting standards defined in the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines of 2005. New York is the first state in the country to require compliance with this standard, so the results here have national implications as well.

NY: New York City Election Board Tallies All Write-in Votes for Mayor, Other Offices
December 7th, 2009 The New York city Board of Elections recently issued the official tally of election returns for Mayor and other city offices, from the November 3, 2009election.

NY: Excellent! Mr. Burns Scores the Most Write-In Votes
But those 25 votes were no enough to win the election.
Excellent! Fictional cartoon millionaire Charles Montgomery Burns scored the most write-in votes; collecting 25, according to Board of Elections data.

TN: Voters need confidence in electoral process
December 5, 2009 ...But an affidavit submitted by voting technology expert Dr. Douglas Jones, associate professor in the Computer Science Department of the University of Iowa, said that if election officials wish, optical scanners certified to 2002 standards could be upgraded to 2005 standards without difficulty.


TX: Burglars steal computers from Houston polling place
Dec. 7, 2009 Burglars took two county computers and other equipment from an early voting station in the city's Fifth Ward, the county's chief elections officer announced this morning.

The equipment voters use to cast ballots at the Julia C. Hester House on Solo Street remained intact
The computers contain personal information on voters that already is publicly available, said Hector de Leon, director of communications for the County Clerk, noting he does not believe the computers make voters more vulnerable to identity theft.
The computers do not contain recorded votes, de Leon said, so the integrity of ballots is not threatened.

In addition to the computers, a modem, a printer and a scanner are missing, and another printer was destroyed

Nonprofit sues Virginia to avoid revealing source
Dec 07, 2009 - The Know Campaign, the source of an aborted mass mailing that would have disclosed many Virginians' personal voting history days before the Nov. 3 election, is defying the State Board of Elections' demand that it reveal where the data came from.

VA: Virginia Non-Partisan Group Sues Over Restrictions on Receiving Voter Registration Data
December 6th, 2009 On December 4, a non-partisan group called The Know Campaign filed a lawsuit in Virginia state court, challenging a law that says certain voter registration data is private, and can only be distributed to candidates, political parties, and PACs


"ACORN report: Disorganized, not criminal"

Rasmussen Poll Imagines a “Tea Party” Exists, and Says It Would Rival Republican Support in 2010 Congressional Races
December 7th, 2009

Bias Older, Higher Income Voters - It's In the Mail
December 5, 2009 Vote by Mail is growing. It's convenient for some. It costs less. But is it good for democracy? Or is it newest form voter disenfranchisement plan - overrepresenting the votes of older wealthier voters and underrepresenting younger and lower income voters. The same bias found in registration laws, felon disenfranchisement, vote suppression strategies and the like.


Canada: How Durham votes: by paper ballot, mail, phone, Internet, or a combination
Does voting method increase participation? (voting vendor claims secure)
Dec 07, 2009
Online voting systems are "battle-tested" and have been used in a variety of applications, for both the private and public sector, around the world, said Larry Franschman of, a provider of such services. In 2006, 18 municipalities in Ontario used either a straight Internet or a telephone-Internet hybrid approach to balloting, he noted.
Similarly, moving voters online didn't have a dramatic impact in Markham.

"It didn't really increase voter turnout," Mr. Edwards said. "Voter turnout really depends on the race."

New Iraqi election law approved
Vice-President Hashemi (L) withdrew his veto after the vote
Iraq's parliament has unanimously approved a new electoral law, paving the way for elections early next year

London: We have a non-answer on e-counting
November 28th, 2009 So London Mayor Boris Johnson did answer Andrew Boff’s question on e-counting, or did he?...
For the 2012 elections would the Mayor prefer a £5million+ electronic count where the bulk of the costs would go to a foreign computer company or a £3.5million manual count where the bulk of the costs would go into Londoner’s pockets?

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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