Sunday, July 4, 2010

DC Internet vote risks update. The reality of cyber threats. Bingo $ and ballots

Nearly 3 million overseas & military voters may cast ballots over the Internet in Nov. using e-mail or fax. Why worry? Eric Riscorla's update on DC's internet voting pilot finds more risks: "So while electronic ballot distribution is more secure than electronic ballot return, there still seem to be a number of potential attacks that would be more difficult to mount en masse with conventional paper-based ballot delivery." Cyber crime is the also one of the fastest growing and most lucrative aspects of illegal use of the Internet...Election analyst GVL NARASIMHA RAO of India makes "The Case Against Electronic Voting"...Meanwhile Bangladesh thinks e-voting will prevent poll rigging...

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

*Correction update see Harrisonburg -state of PA/should be VA

AL: Gambling antes up $4.1 million in Alabama primary
Gambling interests spent at least $4.1 million to back candidates in the June 1 primary, a Birmingham News analysis of campaign finance disclosures shows.
Gambling sources sent cash through 104 political action committees during the 2010 election cycle, disclosures show.

AL: Alabama: bingo and voting rights linked
State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, said the raid of Greenetrack and removal of bingo machines unilaterally nullifies the vote of Greene County residents who approved a constitutional amendment authorizing bingo. ...

CA: Scanning Completed, Results Match Well (ballots viewable online) Humboldt County Election Transparency Project

U.S. Supreme Court ruling to allow unlimited corporate spending on elections heightens concerns
Among the most disturbing evidence was presented by Steven Freeman, founder of Election Integrity, senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of the book Was the 2004 Election Stolen? Freeman has documented compelling evidence and statistical data to indicate that electronic voting machines can—and have—been rigged in American elections—and that San Diego’s voting machines are far from secure.

CO: Our rights of self-governance denied
30% of the ballots were unsecured in an unattended City Hall ballot box with the keys dangling from it...Software changes were secretly made just hours before the polls opened. The software, in testing for the first time only 15 hours before the election, calculated the “winner” to be the candidate garnering the fewest votes! Early voting began 13 days before the earliest possible legal date. Before ballots were even printed, some voters voted on photocopies of mock ups. Neither Councilman Torre nor Johnson received the minimum 50%+1 of votes cast in order to be seated.


MO: County might try digital voter rolls at polls (Boone County)

ND: Ballot measure for ND redistricting approved BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A proposal to put an independent commission in charge of drawing North Dakota's new legislative district boundaries is ready for petition signatures.

NY: New Voting Machines Spur Concerns About Confusion and Fraud*
That’s where the green button issue comes in. If a voter accidentally “over-votes” — meaning to mark more than one candidate for a particular office — the new machines give voters the option to press green to cast their vote, or red to get their ballot back.
However, the machine doesn’t explain that over-votes aren’t counted, so if you press green, your vote will be tossed, Brennan Center lawyers say.

NY: Greenlee: Vote often! The village was forced to spend around $1 million on legal fees defending their former at-large voting system. They were required to cough up an additional $300,000 to inform voters about the new system...Each of the candidates names were then listed five more times amounting to 114 separate levers voters could flip in their voting booths.

**Correction, is Virginia, not PA: City Mopping Up Poll Mess* (Subscription required)
June 15 Confusion Triggers Response By Electoral Board
HARRISONBURG - On the morning of the June 15 special election for the 26th House District, poll official and Democrat Bill Ney witnessed confusion at the Waterman Elementary School polling place. The electronic poll book used to sign in voters failed because of an error in programming the device. The same error shut down poll books in all five of Harrisonburg's voting precincts for more than an hour that morning.

TX: Woods sues over election results
GALVESTON...In the lawsuit, Woods’ attorney, Anthony Griffin, asks the judge to void the election results and declare Woods the winner or declare a new election must be held because of illegal conduct, mistakes and voter suppression that prevented voters from casting ballots for Woods.

WA: `Direct democracy’ — A six-pack for 2010
It’s a bumper crop of initiatives apparently headed to the fall ballot.

WV: Tennant wants Manchin to call special session for Byrd replacement

Internet Voting Watch

Estonia shines light on reality of cyber threats
...Estonia found itself the focus of concentrated attacks from cyber space in the form of denial of service attacks against government and banking websites.
Cyber threats vary and cyber espionage is one of the biggest issues in the world today. Cyber crime is the also one of the fastest growing and most lucrative aspects of illegal use of the Internet.

More on the DC Internet Voting Pilot
Clearly, paper mail return is more secure than Internet return, since we don't have to worry about tampering of the user's completed ballot either by his computer or by the board of election server. However, we still have to worry about tampering with the blank ballot, which can happen in either location.

States Move to Allow Overseas and Military Voters to Cast Ballots by Internet


Voting Rights Coalition Urge Rep to Make Online Registration Bill Fair & Uniform
A coalition of civil rights, voting rights, and civic engagement groups wrote Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), sponsor of federal bill, HR 1719, to “ensure that Internet voter registration opportunities are made available to all Americans in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner.”

Doe v. Reed a Disappointment on Several Fronts (petition signatures public)

Happy 4th of July! Why do we vote on Tuesday? You will not find the answer below, in the Declaration of Independence. Nor is it in our Constitution. Find out why here.


Bangladesh: E-voting and polls rigging (believes e-voting will prevent rigging)

India: The Case Against Electronic Voting
Why is India embracing EVMs, when the world is moving away from them, as they are easy to tamper with?

Mexico: Drug war fears cast pall across Mexican elections
9eeYbwqsn_rMPKhmzYegQD9GNMNG00 Many Mexicans are scared to vote, and others wonder why they should bother if the cartels seem to be in charge anyway.

Poland Expecting Close Run-Off Vote Poland's two presidential frontrunners are going head-to-head Sunday in a second-round run-off vote that may decide Poland's political future.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.Archives here at

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