Monday, May 24, 2010

Email balloting risks midterm election to hacking. Hanging Chads - 10 years later

16 states will allow overseas voters to return ballots via email for the midterm elections. "But cybersecurity experts and voter advocates contend that these well-intentioned efforts ignore the technical vulnerabilities of sending a voted ballot as an e-mail attachment, potentially subjecting this midterm contest to electronic vote rigging and hacking"...Meanwhile, the US Air force assigns 30,000 Cyber Warriors...GA's voter reg process disenfranchises valid voters....Mark Halvorson has "straight talk about Minnesota’s elections."...Chicken costumes banned at Nev. polling places...IN "Ballot Boxing", PBS Radio interviews Dan Wallach, activist Marybeth Kuznik,& John O’Grady, NY City Elections Chief to discuss reform 10 yrs after 2000 election fiasco...Were flash cards manipulated in Philippines election?...

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

AL: Chapman to visit counties with alleged voter fraud Secretary of State Beth Chapman is informing voters of allegations of voter fraud prior to the primary election on June 1. So far, the office has received complaints of reported voter fraud from Greene, Macon, Perry and Wilcox counties.

AZ: San Luis mayor: Errors not voter fraud would appear that just with members of council, their wives, and council members-elect, the error rate exceeded 35 percent!...
If one is to do something constructive that might reduce the error factor, may I suggest instituting a better system to check signatures?

CA: Candidate threatens to sue county
update/doc4bf6bf93c5540498201732.txt A Democratic state Senate candidate is threatening to sue Napa County after the local elections department refused to correct a misprint wrongly identifying her as a Republican

CO: The national trend toward open access
If Michigan activists can review ballots for audits, why can’t we? If copies of Humboldt County California’s ballots are regularly posted on the web, why are Aspen’s more secret? If Minnesota can post their questionable ballots on the web, Why can’t Aspen? If Longmont, Colo.’s ordinary citizens can participate in an audit to test procedures for improvement, why are Aspen citizens prevented?

CO: City talks down, lawyers up
Will Aspen simply protect their many election irregularities with big-time lawyers or instead solve the underlying problems and make sure anonymous records become accessible? I am hoping for the latter.

CT: Cops: Clinton woman tried to vote twice *
Police say the woman was spotted by two other poll workers and prevented from casting a second ballot.

GA: Georgia’s Voter Registration Procedures Discriminate And Should Be Permanently Blocked, Civil Rights Coalition Argues
Under the procedures, U.S. citizens from minority communities were incorrectly flagged as non-citizens and prevented from registering to vote.

HI: 54 percent voter turnout in special election signals success of mail in ballots

LA: Cromer asks for voting machine analysis after malfunctions at House this week

MN: Editorial: straight talk about Minnesota’s elections (By Mark Halvorson ) ...Norm Coleman’s recount attorney, Fritz Knacck said of the recount, “We were looking for fraud, but we didn’t find any.” We wish that Mr. Kaiser could be as forthcoming and honest about elections here in Minnesota. We invite you to read our report alongside his report and decide for yourself which one you find more credible.

MN: Our view: Break down barriers to voting
The march to demand documents at polling places, including photo IDs and proof of citizenship, has been quietly persistent — and as disturbing in its reach as in its potential for negatively influencing elections.

NV: Chicken costumes banned at Nev. polling places
Under the new rule, chicken costumes will be banned along with political buttons, shirts, hats and signs within 100 feet of polling places.

NY: MY VIEW: Making it possible for all to vote
By Virginia Martin Democratic Commissioner Board of Election
doc4bf602e612afa678274222.txt What's the value of going through the effort of obtaining accessible voting machines and training election workers to be competent and sensitive in their use if the people that would use them can't even get in the door?

SD: SD to pioneer electronic voting system (only for downloading blank ballots)

TN: Two claim Shelby County primary elections unfair
Say precinct changes prompted confusion

TX: Voter fraud allegations prompt lawsuit in San Luis
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — A candidate in this city's mayoral race this year is following through with her vow to sue a one-time political ally who accused her of voter fraud in her 2006 campaign.

TX: McAllen voter fraud case finally falls apart
Case touted as example of ‘epidemic' at polls amounted to little, observers say

VA: Purcellville Files Elections Complaint
The mayor was referring to signs placed outside the polling station advocating write-in votes for Mickey Mouse in the uncontested mayoral race May 4.

Internet Voting Watch

US: Benefits, risks of e-mail ballots weighed
An increasing number of states will offer Americans living overseas a chance to return their completed ballots over the Internet this November.

But cybersecurity experts and voter advocates contend that these well-intentioned efforts ignore the technical vulnerabilities of sending a voted ballot as an e-mail attachment, potentially subjecting this midterm contest to electronic vote rigging and hacking.
“The best analogy,” Jefferson said, “is what would it be like if you conducted an election where people voted in absentee ballots with pencil, on a postcard which isn’t even in an envelope, and it was delivered hand to hand to hand to the county. That’s an analogy to how e-mail works.”
“E-mail itself isn’t secure,” said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, president of the Overseas Vote Foundation. “It doesn’t go direct from one computer to another. It has quite a few stops, and at every stop the content can be manipulated.”

US: Overseas Internet Voting (LTE to NY Times by Congressman Rush Holt)
...Internet voting will be less secure and secret than the hard-copy ballot return for our service personnel already provided for and paid for by the law.

US: Help for the absentee voter
What if yourr planned trip to Europe and confines of current election law make it impossible to file an absentee ballot for the June 8 runoff?

US: US Air Force Assigns 30,000 Cyber Warriors

Kenya: Annan team urges electronic voting for Kenya ... “And because a national infrastructure to support e-registration and e-voting is in place, evidenced especially by use of mobile telephony and a broad GSM coverage, the Commission should embark on establishing an electronic system to support e-registration and e-voting for the 2012 ...


PBS Audio: Ballot boxing
Nearly 10 years after hanging chads and butterfly ballots decided the presidential election, the way we vote still hasn’t changed. [interviews Scientist Dan Wallach, activist Marybeth Kuznik,& John O’Grady, NY City Elections Chief.]

Take Justice Off the Ballot
A better system is one that strikes a balance between lifetime appointment and partisan election by providing for the open, public nomination and appointment of judges, followed in due course by a standardized judicial performance evaluation and, finally, a yes/no vote in which citizens either approve the judge or vote him out.


Ethiopia: Ethiopians Vote in Election Marred by Intimidation Complaints

India: Despite ECI’s penchant for them, EVMs would be gone in two years
“India’s EVMs use an extremely simple design with small software TCB, yet we find that this makes physically tampering with the devices relatively easy,” says the research paper prepared by Hari Prasad, Alex Halderman and Rop Gonggrijp – the team that exposed the vulnerabilities of EVMs recently.

Philippines: More losing bets claim they were offered 'altered' CF cards While playing golf in his home province in November 2009, the now defeated Surigao del Norte gubernatorial bet Robert Ace Barbers said he was approached by a man who offered him to 'pre-program’ compact flash cards in his favor.
Barbers, Defensor, and Lazaro were not the first individuals to claim that agents had been "roaming" around the country offering to rig the automated polls through pre-programmed cards.

Philippines: House probers focus on ‘error’ in CF cards
WAS the “error” on the configuration of the compact flash cards which caused the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to malfunction five days before the May 10 elections deliberately done so that they can be recalled and “reprogrammed” to produce preprogrammed election results?

Philippines: Comelec asks DoJ to probe PCOS problems

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.Archives here at
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