Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pennsylvania SOS hired by Internet Voting Co. AR, CA, KY and PA ballot problems

Verified Voting on May 18 primaries: "Despite signs of progress, today’s primaries in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, and Pennsylvania show how much work remains to verify the vote."..Paper ballots save day in Faulkner Co AR..San Francisco ballot mix: 1000 got wrong ballot, 1317 got dupes..178 Fayette Co, PA voters voted twice..A KY man charged with vote buying..Not enough ballots in Boone PA...A Sadsbury Twshp PA touchscreen did not compute.. Pennsylvania's SoS Cortes quits, takes VP job @ internet vote company..BoingBoing on India's EVMs...

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

AR: 27 votes counted mistakenly in Farmington*
This morning 27 voters in Farmington voted mistakenly in that city’s sales tax election, said Washington County Election Commission Chairman John Logan Burrow.
An incorrect ballot was given to voters at the Farmington First Baptist Churc

AR: Only ‘minor problems’ in election, officials say* (central count/M650) ...Faulkner County Election Commission chairman Frank Shaw said on election night that one problem arose when the paper ballot counting machine inexplicably failed to “read” four ballots. Shaw said that the commission fully filled in the “bubbles” these absentee voters had marked to denote a choice, but the machine still failed to recognize the choices.

Then, the disc produced by the machine containing the absentee ballot results could not be recognized by the computer used to tally the votes.

“We’re getting an error code,” County Clerk Melinda Reynolds said.
Twenty-one of the absentee ballots were set aside due to discrepancies, which included missing or mismatched signatures. These will be reviewed by the commission Wednesday.

Another snag involved an errant voting machine at the Mount Vernon/South Mountain precinct polling location. This machine seemed to be malfunctioning on Tuesday morning when it was turned on by election workers, and so was simply set aside.

When polls closed and results were delivered to the county courthouse, this machine was not properly “closed out,” Reynolds said, and though it had recorded no votes whatsoever, it resulted in an on-paper-only unaccounted for precinct in election results.

AR: Faulkner Co. Turnout Low, But No Problems Reported County Clerk Melinda Reynolds said that the only problems she’d been made aware of concerned voters who had moved to a different voting precinct without notifying her office.

CA: Bungled ballots imperil election *
A blunder has left thousands of San Francisco voters holding the wrong mail-in ballot for the June 8 election, in which pivotal primaries for statewide offices are at stake, along with the outcomes of local and state propositions.
Last week, K&H Integrated Print Solutions, based in Everett, Wash., mailed out ballots with the wrong names to at least 1,000 voters
In addition, the company sent out duplicate ballots to 1,317 absentee voters
Arntz said they are working to contact voters...

CA: Supervisors approve purchasing machines to count absentee ballots One machine priced at $115,000 is designed to remove a ballot from the envelope, while another one selling for $550,000 electronically verifies the voter’s signature and sorts the ballots by precinct.

CA: Non-Citizen Voting Proposed In SF School Elections

CA: Clairemont Man Finds Mistakes On Sample Ballot (San Diego County ) With all of the errors Watson found, he said he is worried about possible mistakes on the actual June 8 ballot.

CA: Vote-by-mail misprint in San Fernando Valley * (Los Angeles County)
...election officials on Tuesday acknowledged sending vote-by-mail guides to as many as 1,100 Democrats that erroneously listed candidates for the 43rd Assembly District in the same space as votes for or against a controversial parcel tax.

CA: Second malicious flier targets San Jose City Council candidate Carrasco
A second inflammatory flier aimed at San Jose City Council candidate Magdalena Carrasco has surfaced, this one connecting her with Los Angeles street gangs

CT: Court Rules Against Connecticut's Secretary of State
04575252763104156230.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_PoliticsNCampaign_4 HARTFORD, Conn.—Connecticut's highest court says Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz is not legally qualified to hold the office of state attorney general.

FL: Second hearing on election suit produces no resolution The two Gainesville residents challenging Craig Lowe's mayoral victory on Tuesday presented a judge a list of 44 names of voters who they suspect voted illegally in the election, but whether that list will even factor into the case remains to be seen.

FL: Supervisor of elections office not meeting demand for cuts, either
One reason: the office has a 17.7 percent increase in costs for elections,

FL: Complaint against Broward elections supervisor dismissed Brenda Snipes case involves Mardi Levey Cohen, who lost November 2008 bid for circuit judge

GA: Ga. to sue feds over voter verification Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed a special attorney general to sue the Obama Justice Department in an effort to gain approval for its citizenship-verification procedures, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Wednesday morning.

KY: Hazard businessman charged with vote buying
HAZARD, Ky. -- Police in Hazard say a businessman has been charged with one count of vote fraud.
Hazard Deputy Police Chief Joseph Engle says 57-year-old Pearl Combs Jr. was arrested Tuesday after a voter told authorities he was paid $20 to vote for certain candidates.

KY: Boone runs out of GOP ballots * (didn't print enough)
Boone County ran out of Republican ballots just before the polls closed this evening, according to elections officials. Jefferson County, home to Louisville, also ran out of GOP ballots...The paper ballots are used in the new e-Scan voting machines.

Boone ran out in 11 of its 60 precincts, including the Burlington firehouse, where poll workers said they used up more than 100 of their 150 GOP ballots by noon. The precinct ran out of GOP ballots at about 4:20 p.m., poll workers said.

The shortage didn’t disrupt voting — poll workers simply diverted Republican voters to the e-Slate voting machines instead.

MN: MINNESOTA’S ELECTIONS — TRANSPARENT, VERIFIABLE, AND ACCURATE. Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota and Common Cause Minnesota release a report that refutes erroneous claims about the 2008 US Senate recount and Minnesota's election law and practice, made by the Center of the American Experiment.

MO: Cooper County Clerk Darryl Kempf testifies against advance-voting proposal
The Missouri Association of County Clerks opposed the bill because of the potential cost of advance voting on municipalities,

NC: New vote totals mean no runoff for Queen’s Republican challenger *
An election night glitch in McDowell County led to some votes being counted two or even three times instead of just once, skewing the results in the Republican primary for a state Senate seat spanning six mountain counties, including Haywood.
McDowell County’s election glitch happened when transferring electronic results from one computer to another. Results are sent electronically from polling locations to county election headquarters. At headquarters, they are transferred from one computer to another. In that process, votes from some precincts were transferred multiple times.

NC: Election numbers wrong * (5/10 older article we missed)
Six local presincts counted twice, N.C. Senate race changes
Due to errors made by local election officials, the results from six precincts in McDowell County were accidentally counted more than once on primary night.

NC: Elections board tosses complaints about helping voters The Forsyth County Board of Elections this afternoon turned aside three protests that charged that candidates and their supporters gave voters illegal help during early voting before the May 4 primary.

NY: Voters cry foul play *
Lake Luzerne -- ...For the first time, voters say there was just one voting machine instead of two. Record voter turn-out combined with a single voting machine meant some voters had to wait hours to cast their vote

OH: Ohio Supreme Court denies mayor's suit against elections board
/UPDATES01/100518006 The board found that Ross lives at 3029 Alan Road, outside Bucyrus city limits. Under the Ohio Revised Code, elected officials must reside in the area they were elected to represent.

OH: Ballot that led to worker quitting 
is disqualified* (Montgomery Co)

PA: Governor Rendell Announces Resignation of Secretary of the
Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortes
Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortes will resign June 11 to become the executive vice president of Everyone Counts, a company specializing in military and overseas voting technology. He will be responsible for strategic business development, including the Latin American and Caribbean marketplace.

PA: Voting machine malfunctions in Crawford County* (ES&S iVotronic paperless)
Preston said poll workers in Sadsbury Township, near Conneaut Lake, were unable to retrieve voting information stored in one of the township's voting machines

PA: Some vote twice in Uniontown balloting error*
An estimated 178 people were permitted to vote twice today at a Uniontown polling place...GOP attorney Heather Heidelbaugh said that through human error, voters at the North Union 4 VFW Hall were given one paper ballot for the primary election and two for the special congressional election between Republican Tim Burns and Democrat Mark Critz.

PA: Burns campaign manager: voting problems in PA county not surprising Tad Rupp, campaign manager for the Republican candidate in the race Tim Burns is not satisfied with Mr. Blosser's explanation.
"This is a county that’s had this problem many, many times, and every political reporter and every political observer in the state wasn’t surprised this happened in Fayette County," he said. "This is an institutional problem they have down there."

PA: Lower Mount Bethel Township woman says bad advice cost her votes*(Sequoia AVC)
Northampton CO. A Lower Mount Bethel Township woman claims bad advice from a poll worker made her unable to vote in most races today.
Brewer said she was led to believe she should press a red “Cast Ballot” button after each choice she made. But voters are supposed to press the button only after they’ve made all of their choices.

Citizens United

Elections not for sale - High court decision must be mitigated elections_not_for_sale_high_court_decision_
The Citizens United decision is troubling. It opens up political campaigns to potentially wide-reaching private and foreign interests because of the now-unlimited ability of corporations to spend money in order to influence the outcome of elections

"No system allows voters easy access to identities of special interests funding campaign ads" - Lisa Rosenberg of the Sunlight Foundation offers this commentary

Internet Voting Watch

Overseas voting
New rules to expand use of Internet
Only a few states have allowed Internet voting, and then it is often limited to pilot programs. Proposed guidelines from the Election Assistance Commission will be finalized this month to allow 3 million overseas voters from 33 states to cast ballots over the Internet, the New York Times recently reported.


DOJ lawyer who brought Black Panthers case resigns


Boing Boing covers India's e-voting machine issue

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