Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WV troops as internet voting guinea pigs, NY 23 election updates, Un-rigging FL districts

A chance for Floridians to redraw rigged districts...Husband of NJ state Sen. Teresa Ruiz indicted for absentee ballot fraud...Some Muscogee County GA voters given provisional ballots because of e-poll book problems...
Madison County KY Judge-Executive Kent Clark on switch to paper ballots: “It’s quicker, it’s easier and it’s honest,”...“If there are any questions (about voting results for certain precincts), the boxes are unlocked and the paper ballots are counted. There are no computer glitches.”

...Group that supported IRV in St. Paul fined for deceptive endorsements
New York group ETC to file lawsuit to keep lever machines...Brad Friedman writes "NY-23, Sequoia and the Private Corporate Takeover of Your Once-Public Democracy"...
Vote Recount in Nassau (NY) Executive Race Ends, judge to rule on 700 to 800 contested ballots...
Monongalia County WV plans to use military as internet voting guinea pigs. This is part of the trojan horse put in the MOVE act. They should read - Internet Voting Too Dangerous -ESPECIALLY for Our Military...Yesterday evening, Sequoia Voting Systems released the first portion of source code...A writer in Ghana warns against e-voting, cites US problems...

CA: Maywood activists seek probe into alleged voter fraud
December 1, 2009 Community activists from Maywood plan to file a complaint with the L.A. County district attorney’s office today, seeking an investigation into voting discrepancies during last month’s city elections.

Members of the group, Maywood for Better Community, said some residents were unable to vote in the Nov. 3 election because someone had already voted for them. The group also alleges that some voters lived in other cities, such as Southgate and El Monte, and that other Maywood residents were allowed to vote more than once.
The group said it has video footage, photographs and signed affidavits by several witnesses. Marlene Mortley, 42, who served as a poll watcher, said she observed at least two people vote twice.

CO: The cost of botched elections
LTE...I believe that the expensive November 5A lodging tax election snafu could have been prevented if city management had taken election-quality issues seriously in early summer.


FL: A chance for Floridians to redraw rigged districts
November 28, 2009 ...The good news is, Florida voters will likely have the opportunity to inject some competition back into legislative races next November. Fair Districts Florida, a nonpartisan issue committee, is sponsoring two ballot measures that will establish fair and impartial standards for redrawing state and congressional district boundaries every decade.

FL: Much ado about nothing? Debate over early voting hours in Florida neglects most empirical research
There is a heated debate going on in the Florida state legislature over a permanent extension to early voting hours.
My friend and colleague Bob Stein of Rice University has been studying the relationship between early in person voting and partisanship for more than a decade, and he has consistently shown that early voting conveys no partisan advantage. It only benefits the party or candidate with more money and more organizational resources.

GA: Minor voting problems arise in Georgia House 129 race *
A small number of voters casting ballots early this morning in the runoff race for the vacant Georgia House District 129 seat encountered delays at several Columbus precincts, Muscogee County Elections Director Nancy Boren said.

All of those caught in the delay were able to vote, but about 10 voters had to cast provisional ballots, Boren said. Those votes will not be counted with the rest of the votes today, but instead will be tabulated on Friday when the election is certified.
When the Columbus polls opened at 7 this morning, the computers that were used to look up the voters were moving slowly. What should have taken seconds, was taking minutes to complete, Boren said. The problem was fixed about an hour later, Boren said. The machines were operating properly at mid morning. The main problem was at Wynnbrook, where there were the most voters, Boren said.

IL: Opposite Directions (about implementing the MOVE act in IL)
Champaign County Clerk

KY: Primary election to be done on paper
Madison County’s primary election in May will run a little differently than in years past, and the new twist on voting is actually a step back in time.

MN: Group that supported IRV in St. Paul fined for deceptive endorsements
Dec 1 2009 The group that supported ranked voting in St. Paul has been fined $5,000 for making false claims of endorsements.

or use http://twi.cc/soHa

MN: Group that backed instant runoff voting in St. Paul is fined $5,000
December 1, 2009 The group deliberately made false claims of endorsement by certain people and groups, according to the ruling by administrative law judges Kathleen Sheehy, Cheryl LeClair-Sommer and Barbara Neilson.

NC: Election protest in Columbus County (video available)
Dec 01, 2009 ...Fair Bluff Mayor Randy Britt, Sandyfield Mayor Perry Dixon, and Brunswick Town Commissioner candidate Phyllis Jones say some people voted in towns where they don't live.

NJ: Husband of state Sen. Teresa Ruiz indicted for election fraud *
01 December 2009 Essex County Freeholder Samuel Gonzalez among five accused of tampering with absentee ballots
Five people, including Essex County Freeholder Samuel Gonzalez, the husband of state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), were indicted Tuesday for election fraud in connection with absentee ballots they collected and submitted as workers for Ruiz's 2007 Senate campaign.
According to Gramiccioni, Gonzalez, Caceres, Kowalski, Fernandez and Cruz are charged with tampering with documentation for messenger ballots, which are absentee ballots intended for use by homebound voters. They are charged with fraudulently submitting such ballots as votes in the Nov. 6, 2007 general election. The charges stem from an ongoing investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau and the Essex Prosecutor's office corruption unit.

"We charge that these campaign workers fraudulently submitted absentee ballots on behalf of residents who never received the ballots or had an opportunity to cast their votes," state Attorney General Anne Milgram said. "Election fraud is a serious crime, particularly when voters are disenfranchised."

NJ: Recount results stay the same, but Hennessey continues challenge
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 A recount of the votes in the Rutherford council election has yielded the same result as before: Democratic candidate John Parnofiello is ahead of Republican candidate Todd Hennessey by a single vote. But Hennessey plans to continue his challenge, alleging that mail-in ballots were cast by out-of-towners and other electoral irregularities.

NJ: Election contractor says Mercer owes him payment
November 30, 2009. A dispute over the job of transporting the county’s voting machines on Election Day continues to simmer nearly two months after the contract was awarded to a new company over protests from the former contractor.
The county requires that the expensive voting machines be transported in “air ride” vehicles, which are less likely to experience jolts that could damage the machines. Crocker charged after the election that Princeton Van Service had not used air ride trucks, which would violate the terms of the transportation contract, Crowley said...

NY: NY-23, Sequoia and the Private Corporate Takeover of Your Once-Public Democracy
Monday, 30 November 2009 Editor's Note: This in-depth study of the issues in NY-23's e-voting pilot program was written exclusively for The Gouverneur Times
Sequoia's objection to independent examination of their systems was even more ludicrous than most since, as it turns out, unbeknownst to the public and federal and state officials, the company didn't actually own the Intellectual Property they claimed in court that they did
While the IP on the newer machines currently being tested on New York voters may no longer belong to the Venezuelan firm, Sequoia's history of lying to federal, state and county officials makes that difficult to know for certain.
FULL STORY: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7548

New York MUST keep its lever machines: HOW TO HELP
mcm December 1, 2009 ...Long-awaited e-voting lawsuit preparing to launch!
ETC is poised to file our historic lawsuit: we’re seeking to have concealed vote counting declared unconstitutional!

NY: Battlelines Drawn On Optical Scan Voting System
30 of November, 2009 ALBANY—The State Board of Elections is scheduled to certify several optical-scan electronic voting systems at their meeting in Albany on Dec. 15.

NY: New N.Y. voting system raises privacy concerns
November 30, 2009...In Onondaga County, there were some "overzealous inspectors who insisted on helping voters scan their ballots or were simply standing too close to the scanner,"
or use this url http://twi.cc/hKpj

NY: 140 registered voters not full-time residents

December 01, 2009 Sullivan County sheriff's deputies have determined that roughly 140people who registered to vote in Bethel during the last election don't live there full time.

NY: Vote Recount in Nassau Executive Race Ends
November 30, 2009...Despite Mr. Mangano’s lead, the results will not be certified until lawyers for both candidates appear Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Mineola. Justice Edward W. McCarty III is expected to rule on which contested ballots will be counted. Objections to 700 to 800 ballots have been filed, elections officials said.

OH: Ohio settles lawsuit over voter registration
CLEVELAND — The state of Ohio has agreed to settle a federal court lawsuit over expanded voter-registration procedures for low-income people.

Under the agreement filed last week in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, low-income people must be given the chance to register to vote when applying for public assistance. The lawsuit said such services are required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
or use this url http://twi.cc/3rPL

WV: Mon County wants to join overseas voter pilot (internet voting whack-a-mole)
...Monongalia County Clerk Carye Blaney says the county plans to apply to participate in the Uniformed Services and Overseas Voter Pilot Program.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says the program allows members of the military and other residents living overseas to vote online.
Counties have until Jan. 8 to apply to participate in the program.

SEE "Internet Voting Too Dangerous -ESPECIALLY for Our Military"

WV: Satellite Voting Proposal Stalled
(Charleston) Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says he will call a special meeting of the commission if the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee does not grant its approval to the county's satellite voting plan before Thursday's regularly scheduled meeting.
Carper also says the county clerk has said each voting machine used in the process will cost roughly $100,000 each. However, that does not include the cost it will take to hire security personnel and poll workers.


Paying ACORN, And Constitutional Avoidance by the Executive Branch
...This paragraph in the Times story caught my eye: "Moreover, [Barron] argued, requiring the government to cancel contracts with a specifically named entity --- "including even in cases where performance has already been completed but payment has not been rendered" -- would raise constitutional concerns best avoided by interpreting the law differently."

Military and overseas voters to get online options
A section of the 2010 Defense Authorization Act includes requirements for states to provide overseas and military voters with online access to voter registration applications and ballot requests.
The act does not require actual online voting. Although voters can request ballots electronically, they must physically return the marked paper ballots to state election officials for their votes to count.
it also includes Pnyx.SecureBallot software from Scytl Secure Electronic Voting to securely deliver a blank ballot and allow voters to track the voted ballot.

"The Voting Rights Act's Secret Weapon: Pocket Trigger Litigation and Dynamic Preclearance" ...Section 3 authorizes federal courts to place states and political subdivisions that have violated the Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendments under preclearance.

"Fearing Fear Itself: Photo Identification Laws, Fear of Fraud, and the Fundamental Right to Vote"
Joel A. Heller has written this student note for the Vanderbilt Law Review

Sequoia Voting Systems’ Source Code for New Frontier Election System Now Available for Public Download on Company’s Website at www.sequoiavote.com
Dec. 1, 2009 Yesterday evening, Sequoia Voting Systems released the first portion of source code for the company’s latest product offering – the Frontier Election SystemTM - on the company’s website at www.sequoiavote.com. This initial release contains source code for generating ballot PDFs within the election management system as well as the internal dependencies required for this functionality.


Electronic Voting Machines and a New Era of Fixing Elections
...The specific aim is to provide some information on the subject of e-voting, since it looks like Ghana may be going down that route soon or at least some Ghanaians are campaigning strongly for the introduction of electronic voting machines to be used in Ghanaian elections.
Perhaps rather than rush into investing in costly e-voting systems shown to be vulnerable to election manipulation, for the time being Ghana may be better off sticking with our slow but sure paper-based voting system that allows for the counting of votes to be observed by the plebs, the citizens who voted.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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