Monday, February 15, 2010

Aspen ballot image court date set, Goldman Sachs fishy internet vote

The cost of transparency: The lawsuit to force release of ballot images from Aspen Colorado's May 2009 election is set for March 22-23. By that time, the plaintiff's legal fees are expected to total $75,000. The city of Aspen has moved for a protective order to disallow testimony from voting vendor True Ballot's staff... Witness says KY lawmaker gave $40,000 to vote-buying group...

The ACLU Challenges Illegal Disfranchisement of American Indian Voters in South Dakota...

Was there cheating in Goldman Sachs internet vote? 5,000 votes against the "Robin Hood" tax came from 2 servers at Goldman Sachs...Worries grow about America’s cyber security......In Anambra State, Nigeria, only 350 out of 1.8 million registered voters were able to cast a vote in the governorship election because "their names were not in the revised voters registers."

CA: Voting rights suit settled with Riverside County
The U.S. Justice Department has settled a lawsuit with Riverside County that claimed the county didn't provide help for Spanish-speaking voters.

CA: OSDV Testifies (sort of) at CA Voting Systems Hearing
First, my take is the CA Secretary of State needs to conduct another Hearing that is strictly focused on the challenges and opportunities of open source technology in elections systems

CO: Trial set in suit over Aspen's May election results
Aspen resident Marilyn Marks' lawsuit over the city's Instant Runoff Voting has been scheduled for trial in March. Marks is seeking release of photographic images of the ballots from last May's election.

FL: Despite deal with justice department, no blacks run for office in Lake Park
After spending nearly $80,000 on attorneys to defend itself against the lawsuit, the commission in October agreed to abandon the at-large system and switch to one that has been used successfully throughout the South to assure blacks are elected to public office.

GA: GOP: Voter ID issue headed to ballot

KY: ELECTION FINANCES: Jefferson County Kings are not the only elected folks facing financial scrutiny in the commonwealth over their campaign spending and fundraising

KY: Witness: State lawmaker gave $40,000 to vote-buying group *

MD: Maryland should ban contested judicial elections
For judges, drumming up campaign money -- often from lawyers who appear before them -- and marketing themselves undermines the perception of impartiality and can in practice lead to its corrosion.

NM: Time To Give Challengers A Fair, Equal Opportunity
SOCORRO, New Mexico (STPNS) -- Which knuckleheads in Santa Fe came up with idea that city clerks across New Mexico could have the early voting machines in their office at election time every two years – even though their bosses (incumbent mayors and councilors) may be running for re-election?

NY: "Auditing" Regs Confirm Op-Scan Vulnerabilities
... and if we make enough exceptions to cover discrepancies between hand and machine counts, then almost any machine, even rigged ones, will pass "audit."

NY: Local assemblymen vote down absentee ballot changes

OH: Money saved or wasted? Cuyahoga County pays for unused voting machines

OH: Cuyahoga County taxpayers on the hook for voting machines being sent back
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County's costly conversion to modern voting technology took another expensive twist this week when commissioners agreed to pay $600,000 to return 300 unneeded and unopened ballot scanners.

The county ordered 1,500 machines in 2008 but now needs only 1,200 because of a reduction last year in the number of voting precincts.

SD: ACLU Challenges Illegal Disfranchisement of American Indian Voters in South Dakota
An ACLU report providing a historical overview of systemic discrimination against American Indians, limiting their ability to participate in local, state and national elections, can be found at:

TX: Texting, voting proposals advance
ONLINE VOTING - Senate Bill 2767 requires the secretary of state to study and report on the cost and feasibility of online voter registration.

VT: Burlington's Instant Runoff Voting On Ballot Again (podcast available)
The future of instant run off voting in Burlington will be decided on Town Meeting Day when voters address whether it should be repealed.


Redistricting Reform Part 4
William & Mary Election Law Society

The Case Against Corporate Speech
In the absence of a future court overturning Citizens United, the fundamental response should be a constitutional amendment. We must exclude all commercial corporations and other artificial commercial entities from participating in political activities. Such constitutional rights should be reserved for real people, including, of course, company employees, to enhance a government of, by and for the people.

Worries grow about America’s cyber security
The deputy secretary of defense says “the cyber threat” is the one thing that keeps him up at night.

The director of national intelligence says such attacks pose a severe menace to the “fragile system behind the country’s information infrastructure.”

O'Connor fears cash will flood judicial races


Iraq: Iraq election campaign opens with concern over sectarian disqualifications

Netherlands: How does the system work?
"Voting computers have been abandoned because they are not fraud-proof."

Nigeria: Anambra Elders Raise Legal Team to Defend Election
It called for investigation into some of the hiccups in the exercise, such as the messy voter register. It added: "In a state constituency made up of 1.8million registered voters, only about 350 persons were able to cast their votes.
"The question whether this disempowerment of people was the result of mere incompetence on the part of INEC officials or it was a part of a deeply meditated conspiracy should be investigated immediately. It is important that in the future more attention be paid to the accurate compilation and the integrity of the voters' register."

UK: Scotland. system used in 2007 will return for 2012 council polls
Award election contract with caution – MSP
The voting and counting system now synonymous with the election night debacle of 2007 will return for the council elections in 2012, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
The government’s determination to stick with STV guarantees the return of electronic counting, because a manual count would take up to three days.

UK: Straw backs bid to save election night counts
Election counts will have to begin within four hours of polls closing under proposals backed by Jack Straw

UK: Plan to ensure election night counts 'may be unworkable'
Electoral Commission criticises plan requiring vote-counting to start within four hours of polls closing on election night.
Campaigners believe overnight counting is vital to retaining interest and faith in the democratic process

UK: Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs, clicking in the votes?
Public appears to take on role of Sheriff of Nottingham in 'Robin Hood' tax poll – but should foul play be suspected?
almost 5,000 no votes against the Robin Hood tax within 20 minutes – turned out to emanate from just two computer servers, one of which was registered to the investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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