Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Florida law wrongs disabled voters. GAO on AZ, ME public finance. Do-over in Philippines?

Florida has made great strides to improve elections, but sadly barriers to voting remain. Florida enacted HB 131 which harms disabled voters by delaying the replacement of touch screen voting machines until 2016. In spite of some good lawmakers efforts, the Florida legislature failed to clean up election code that disenfranchises many valid voters...Activist bashing: "Investigations of Aspen's many election irregularities are notoriously unpopular." ~ Harvie Branscombe...Did public financing change anything in Arizona and Maine?..The Philippines may need a "do-over" of the May 20 election...

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

AL: Chapman Says “Zero Tolerance” for Voter Fraud (press release)

AL: Autauga County voting off to smooth start *
NEWS/100601005/Autauga+County+voting+off+to+smooth+start http://is.gd/cySbf
At another polling place, the election machine mangled a ballot in early voting. The machine was adjusted and is now working properly, election officials said.

AL: Thousands of Madison County voters moved to new polling places
HUNTSVILLE, AL - Thousands of Madison County voters will vote in a different place in Tuesday's party primaries even if they haven't moved.

As mandated by Congress, the GAO has issued this extensive report (as well as this extensive technical supplement).
The bottom line of the report: not much has changed despite these programs

CA: Complaint in AG's race shines light on outdated election laws
The complaint filed with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission accused Kelly of improperly using a private stock deal to pour some $10 million into his campaign, a transaction fueled by a loan from an equity firm.

CA: Some California legislators pepper constituents with taxpayer-funded mailers
The privilege is intended to keep voters informed, but experts say the mailers are a key advantage for incumbents seeking reelection or higher office.

CA: Submitting Vote-By-Mail ballots (Tehama County)
[mail + postage, drop off in person, how to check on ballot,etc]

CO: Update on DA Investigation--KAJX June 1, 2010
http://aspenelectionreview.blogspot.com/2010/06/update-on-da-investigation-kajx-june-1.html Aspen Public Radio reports on the District Attorney's investigation of Aspen's May election irregularities.
Marilyn Marks' comment: Although the City does not have a copy of the complaint, Mr. Springer, claims that the complaint has "no merit," -- presumably without reading it.

CO: Amid low blows, Marks takes the high road
Aspen's data is already packaged on a CD. There is nothing “specious,” “demagogic,” “prudish,” “off the bus,” “pointless” or “dark” about seeking public access. Public review of ballots is good public policy, and Aspen deserves a lot more of that.

CO: Investigation by DA nears completion

FL: Advancement Project Releases Issue Brief Focused on Continued Barriers to the Ballot in Florida
/publications/fl_issue_brief.pdf http://is.gd/cyJUO (pdf file)
Comprehensive reform of Florida’s election code is needed to remove barriers to the franchise and ensure that eligible Floridians are able to participate in elections. Once again, state legislators failed to enact necessary reforms in the 2010 legislative session. 2011 will offer legislators another opportunity to correct flaws in the code in advance of the 2012 presidential elections.

FL: Crist signs voting bill that saves Treasure Coast $1.85 million by delaying handicapped-accessible voting machines (disabled to vote on paperless machines)

IA: Register to vote - or vote - today
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100529/NEWS09/5290323/-1/caucus/Register-to-vote--or-vote--today All county auditor offices are open today for voter registration for the June 8 primary elections and for in-person absentee voting.

IL: Investigation into Lake Co. voter fraud expands
The investigation into the filing of fake voter registration cards in advance of the 2008 fall elections is expanding, a Lake County prosecutor said Tuesday.

KY: Bullitt primary election changes after judge throws out votes* (wrong ballots)
Bullitt+primary+election+changes+after+judge+throws+out+votes http://is.gd/cySdm
Democrat Tim Boggs, a loser in last week's Hillview City Council primary, became a winner Friday following a ruling by a Bullitt County judge.

Bullitt Circuit Court Judge Rodney Burress threw out 99 votes cast by Brooks residents who shouldn't have voted in the Hillview City Council race.

MO: Voter ID card are in the mail
The Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners this week sent voter identification cards to registered voter who had not received one since January. The card is one of many IDs acceptable to use when voting.

MO: Military Voting Bill Signed into Law

Under the bill, local election officials will be able to send ballots by email at least 45 days before the election. Applications for absentee ballots and other election information also can be sent electronically.

NY: Boyle: Voting Machines Flawed (Op Ed)
Machines a step backward for New York's Democratic Process

PA: Judge allows ACORN challenge of voter law
A federal judge has turned down a request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by ACORN that challenged a state law barring the use of quotas in voter registration drives.

SC: Voters can check their voting precincts online
/voters_can_check_their_voting_precincts_online/174738/ http://is.gd/cySfF
CONWAY—Voters with last minute questions regarding the physical location of their voting precinct can now go online to the South Carolina Election Commission’s website at http://www.scvotes.org/check_your_voter_registration

TN: Regaining voting rights for felons is challenging but worthwhile
In Tennessee, to have voting rights restored, a person convicted of a felony must acquire a certificate of restoration, available online or at the county election commission.


TX: So much for Abbott’s big “voter fraud” case
http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=28468 One thing that’s been true in all of the cases Abbott has pushed is that they involved mail in ballots, which as I’ve observed would be unaffected by any legislation that required photo ID to vote in person.


Open Source Development Philosophy is Spreading


Georgia: Georgians Vote in First Election Since War
For the first time since Georgia fought a war with Russia nearly two years ago, the country is holding municipal elections. About 3.5 million Georgians are registered to vote.

Iceland: Iceland Party Founded by Comedian Wins Largest Share of Seats on Reykjavik City Council http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/05/30/iceland-party-founded-by-comedian-wins-largest-share-of-seats-on-reykjavik-city-council/

India: Tech trip takes toll on poll
Electronic voting machines (EVMs) proved a hindrance to the smooth conduct of the civic polls across the city.

India: Why EVMs would go (Part 2): Because our arguments are very powerful
Why have our efforts begun to make a telling impact so quickly? It is because our arguments are extremely powerful, the facts we have presented are incontrovertible and the scientific evidence that has been made available by researchers is irrefutable.

India: Researchers Claim Indian Election Voting Machines are Vulnerable to Fraud
(comprehensive video)

India: Polling begins in West Bengal
Polling for the civic body elections in 81 municipalities of India's West Bengal state began on Sunday morning amidst reports of violence between political rivals Trinamool Congress and CPI-M activists in several areas and polling being suspended in several wards across state due to faulty electronic voting machines

Philippines: No-el and No-proc?
Elections were actually held on May 10, 2010, but a grave and inexcusable error on the part of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) may put to waste that exercise — as if no elections were held at all and, therefore, we may have to go back to the polling precincts and vote all over again.

Philippines: 4 compact flash cards dumped in CDO authentic -- Smartmatic
MANILA, Philippines -- The four compact flash cards found in a Cagayan de Oro junk shop appeared to be authentic, after they were opened using the encryption keys from the Commission on Elections.

Philippines: Comelec must heed vulnerabilities of AES pointed out by AGHAM and Kontra Daya http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/component/content/article/86-special-reports/18431-comelec-must-heed-vulnerabilities-of-aes-pointed-out-by-agham-and-kontra-daya

UK: Voting fiasco remedy sought

UK: Election date risks Scottish and Welsh confusion, warns adviser
UN adviser says fixing UK's 2015 poll for same day as elections to devolved assembles could damage democratic process
Gould was hired by the Electoral Commission to investigate the chaotic scenes during the last Scottish parliamentary and council elections, which were held on the same day in May 2007.

More than 180,000 votes were lost when voters spoiled their ballot papers as they wrestled with two polls using different PR voting systems at the same time. Confusing layout of ballot papers was also blamed. In some seats, candidates suspected the results had been affected.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.Archives here at http://votingnews.blogspot.com/

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