Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Color of Money in elections. Alabama election computer accessed impropery?

The Color of Money - "If the best predictor about which candidate will prevail at the ballot box is which one has the biggest stash of cash, then American democracy has strayed far from its egalitarian ideal...The time has come to move toward public campaign financing at the Federal level, also, so as to prevent future amazement that a candidate like Alvin Greene had a chance to win because there was a more level playing field." ~ VotingMatters...Alabama Officials Investigate Possible Improper Access, Tampering Into ES&S Voting System...Replacing Okla.'s 18-year-old voting machines eyed...Don't blame the machines in SC?...

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

AL: Alabama Officials Investigate Possible Improper Access, Tampering Into ES&S Voting System
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7904
More disturbing news for voters who are forced to rely on the historically dreadful ES&S electronic voting system, this time in Alabama

AL: Officials investigate possible voter fraud in Autauga County (election fraud, not voter impersonation)
http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20100619/
NEWS01/6190334/Officials+investigate+possible+voter+
fraud+in+Autauga+County
http://is.gd/cWXUU PRATTVILLE -- District Attorney Randall Houston is investigating possible voting improprieties in Autauga County after someone allegedly gained improper access to the circuit clerk's computer.
...
The computer that records absentee information sits beside Moncrief's desk in his courthouse office. Access is double-password protected, and Moncrief said he hasn't given his passwords to anyone. When the problem regarding the security of the system came to light about mid-week, he said that he changed both of his passwords.

CA: Elections looking a little old-fashioned (some counties switch to central counting votes)
http://www.lompocrecord.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_5fde8c48-7b68-11df-9458-001cc4c002e0.html When registered voters in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties cast their ballots in the June 8 statewide primary election, they may have noticed a change.
...
The paper ballots were trucked from polling places across each county to the main elections center, where they were then fed into dozens of voting machines.

FL: Florida Republican Removed from Primary Ballot Because his Filing Fee Check was One Cent Too Low
http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/06/19/florida-republican-removed-from-primary-ballot-because-his-filing-fee-check-was-one-cent-too-low/

GA: GALEO launches voter registration campaign
http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=230201
ATLANTA - The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) has launched "a massive non-partisan voter mobilization campaign" to register 100,000 new voters in time for the General Election in November

KY: Judge-exec. says he will not resign
Regular meeting focuses on county’s business
http://glasgowdailytimes.com/local/x657336690/Judge-exec-says-he-will-not-resign
TOMPKINSVILLE — It was business as usual in Monroe Fiscal Court on Thursday in the first meeting after 10 residents, including the county judge, were indicted on vote-buying charges
...
Graves and his co-defendants, Wanda Moore and Gary Bartley, are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green on June 23 for arraignment. The summons to appear in court for the fourth co-defendant in this case, Ronald Muse, was returned by the U.S. Marshal’s service and had not been served by June 14, according to federal court records. Each defendant has been charged with varying counts of voter fraud and conspiracy to commit voter fraud.

In another criminal case, six additional Monroe County residents were indicted on varied counts of voter fraud and conspiracy to commit voter fraud. Tony Gumm, Martha Hughes, Corey Page, Michael Page, Billy Profitt and Todd Newport were indicted. This group is also scheduled to appear in federal court on June 23.

MD: Vote early (but not often)
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-early-voting-20100620,0,6934258.story State's new early-voting rules will change the way campaigns approach the final days of the campaign
...
Beginning with the primary elections in September, the rules will give voters six extra days to cast their ballots.

MN: Photo ID raises costs and burdens to solve a voting problem Minnesota doesn't have
http://www.ceimn.org/Minnesota_elections_photo_ID_voting_Pioneer_Press

MN: WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES JUNE 8, 2010 (contract with ES&S)
http://www.co.wright.mn.us/countyboard/2010-06-08%20Wright%20County%20Board%20Minutes.pdf With funding from Help America Vote, 23 precincts in Wright County updated to M100 Tabulating Machines. Hiivala presented a Contract for approval with Election Systems and Software (ES&S) for an annual amount of $3,795.00. The Contract will provide maintenance of the machines. In an effort to save the precincts money, the County will contract with ES&S and bill the precincts.

NY: Racial Justice or White Reaction in Port Chester Election?
http://www.examiner.com/x-23544-Bronx-County-Independent-Examiner~y2010m6d17-Racial-Justice-or-White-Reaction-in-Port-Chester-Election
Includes commentary and video of cumulative voting on lever machines

NY: Vote system that elected NY Hispanic could expand
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/18/AR2010061803766.html
PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- The court-ordered election that allowed residents of one New York town to flip the lever six times for one candidate - and produced a Hispanic winner - could expand to other towns where minorities complain their voices aren't being heard.
...
"We put so much emphasis on education - we may have spent $100 a voter - because we knew it would be critical to success," said village spokesman Aldo Vitagliano

NY: Port Chester Cumulative Voting Seems More Useful to Minor Parties and Independents than to Hispanics
http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/06/port-chester-cumulative-voting-seems-more-useful-to-minor-parties-and-independents-than-to-hispanics/

OK: Replacing Okla.'s 18-year-old voting machines eyed
http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=12679480

SC: *Don't blame voting machines*
http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/jun/19/dont-blame-voting-machines/
"Steve Skardon, executive director of the Palmetto Project, said South Carolina's election system is accurate and reliable.
He fears the unsubstantiated claims might have "caused irreparable harm to the public's confidence in our election system."

SC: Send Letter to Editor of the Post and Courier: letters@postandcourier.com The Post and Courier -Main number 843-577-7111 TO OUR READERS: If you have questions or comments about articles or photographs in The Post and Courier, write us at 134 Columbus St., Charleston, SC 29403, or e-mail us at publiceditor@postandcourier.com

SC: Voters Unite database of voting machine failures in South Carolina
http://tinyurl.com/sc-votingmachine-problems

SC: Voting Integrity Groups Call for Investigation of South Carolina Voting Systems
http://www.voteraction.org/news-article/2010/voting-integrity-groups-call-investigation-south-carolina-voting-systems In light of questions raised around results of the South Carolina Democratic Party primary race for US Senate, Common Cause and Voter Action request the South Carolina State Elections Commission take immediate steps to launch an investigation of the state's voting systems, as well as preserve voting data for a thorough investigation...

TX: Candidate withdraws contest of Weatherford City Council Election
http://parkercountyblog.com/2010/06/18/candidate-withdraws-contest-of-weatherford-city-council-election/ It was concluded that without full disclosure of the items requested the ability to pursue enforcement on the basis of the evidence on hand would not be possible outside of a Court of Law.
...
I am now aware after visiting with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and the Texas Ethics Commission that the Hart InterCivic Electronic voting machines used by Parker County and in various other parts of the State are only 80% reliable.
...
Bottom line, it is my hope that the pursuit of this matter has raised awareness in our elected officials of the concerns relating to voting machine reliability and paper ballots are utilized in the future until more reliable voting machines can be produced.

National

The Color of Money
http://votingmatters.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/the-color-of-money/
It is disheartening to realize that the green of campaign dollars has so clouded our electoral system that we automatically assume that a candidate without access to gobs of cash will surely lose

ACORN gets 'vindicated' by GAO, but remains in decline
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/other-races/104357-acorn-gets-vindicated-by-gao-but-remains-in-decline The preliminary findings of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation indicate the controversial grass-roots organization did not misuse the more than $40 million in taxpayer funds it received between 2005-2009

International

The History of the Victorian Parliament - The Secret Ballot (video)
http://lawyers-law.com/the-history-of-the-victorian-parliament-the-secret-ballot/
Dr Ray Wright tells of Victoria's innovation; the introduction of the Secret Ballot System...

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