Friday, July 23, 2010

Judge - Test NY DS-200 voting machines. Wilkinson GA election meltdown.

Denver Co's ballot tracking system malfunctioned and told 190 voters that their completed mail ballots had been received. The problem? The voters hadn't even received the ballots in the first place... Wilkinson CO GA's server crashed and also had memory card problems...Judge Wants New York's Voting Machines Tested...Where Do (NY's)Old Voting Machines Go When They Die? Lever machines are considered obsolete so can be sold for scrap... The Wisconsin State Elections office won't allow candidate to use obscene description on ballot...

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

Editor's note: we did not send out news yesterday, it is combined with today's news.

AK: On the ballot in Alaska: transparency To some Alaskans, the fight against Proposition 1 has morphed into a fight to guard their state's initiative process from those who would take advantage of its loopholes.

AL: Suit filed to block enforcement of law on campaign contributions A 15-year-old Alabama law that says judges should not hear cases in which one of the parties donated at least $2,000 to their campaigns has never been enforced, locked in a stalemate over whether it first needs to be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice for evidence that it would not disenfranchise minorities.

CO: Vote early and...not at all? Ballot TRACE glitch has some worried *

CO: Uh-oh, technical glitch baffles Denver voters * That "hiccup" sent emails to approximately 170 voters telling them that their completed ballots had already been received by the Post Office despite the fact that those voters had yet to receive the actual ballots personally.

CT: What do [Connecticut] voters think?
A new Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project Report provides insight into the opinions of voters on several voting reform issues. We comment on Connecticut specific results and editorialize on voting integrity implications of the survey.We recommend the survey and commentary be contemplated by activists, legislators, and future Secretaries of the State
We caution against recommending a reform or opposing a reform based on public perception reported in a single, or several surveys providing simple reform descriptions.

FL: Voting by mail has increased in popularity, but has unintended consequences Absentee voting by mail has its risks for candidates and voters. The method is considered more vulnerable to mischief and outright fraud. In 2009, voters in a special State Senate election were persuaded to send their ballots to a private mail box instead of the elections office in an apparent attempt to void their votes.

GA: Computer woes a headache for Wilkinson election officials*
A computer system crash and difficulties with a memory card created an unexpected delay in counting votes in Wilkinson County late Tuesday night.
“We had the server go down around 10 p.m., and we had three precincts left to report,” she said. “We’ve never had problems like this before. Normally there’s no trouble.”
as of Wednesday afternoon, Barfield said she was unable to confirm whether officials were able to read the final votes from the last memory card.

GA: Voter Fraud Alleged in Brooks County (opposition to absentee ballots)
Brooks County residents are concerned there may be irregularities with the outcome of several local races. And now the GBI has launched a probe into these allegations.

GA: Congressional election redos costly, confusing North Georgia voters are preparing to go to the polls for the fourth time in as many months to elect a 9th District congressman, costing cash-strapped counties hundreds of thousands of dollars.

HI: Congressional Special Election Cost $670K
Abercrombie Defends Decision To Resign

MD: Lasting effects of prison-based gerrymandering in Maryland local action been taken to correct the imbalance that has allowed the First District seat to be held for 20 years by James Ring, an elderly white man who benefited from a shrunken electorate that musters fewer than 500 total votes.

NM: Secretary of State Opens Investigation into County Clerk*
The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office last week opened a formal investigation into whether the Rio Arriba County Clerk broke election law after the June 1 primary by opening ballot boxes without legally required supervision.

NY: Judge Wants New York's Voting Machines Tested (Nassau ES&S DS200 machines) MINEOLA, N.Y. (CN) - A state Supreme Court judge ordered that the New York Board of Elections submit the electronic voting machines it approved for the September primaries to a testing facility in Connecticut... the machine at issue, the ES&S DS-200, malfunctioned in Florida during the 2008 presidential elections.
"Since Nassau is not using Dominion's system, it would probably be very helpful for a Dominion county to arrange to have their machines evaluated by joining the lawsuit," said Howard Stanislevic, founder of the E-Voter Education Project, in a mass email.

NY: Where Do Voting Machines Go When They Die?
So...what happens to all those old voting machines, anyway?
"The old voting machines are, indeed, now, the property of Westchester County," he said. "According to federal law, they must be retained for a period of two years. But, seeing that the lever style machines are now would be a safe assumption to say that we will dispose of them by selling them for scrap metal."

NY: Surprise: Charter Commission to Give More Power to the Mayor

NY: "Many in NY election gave 6 votes to 1 candidate" AP reports on a Port Chester exit survey. You can read the entire 72-page report by Kimball and Kropf here.

NY: Term Limits Dominate Charter Panel's Conversation In The Bronx

TN: Editorial: Don't let intimidation keep you from voting (crossover in primary) ...She was pulled out of line, her voting paper taken from her hand and was told her right to vote in the Republican Primary was being challenged by Linda Thompson, a poll watcher and aunt of state Rep. Eric Swafford
This was an absolute slap in the face of all Cumberland Countians who hold dear the right to vote their conscience in an election.

WA: 31 voters registered at one house sparks investigation in Washington state* _voters_registered_at_one_house_sparks_investigation_in_
Grays Harbor County Auditor Vern Spatz suspects a computer glitch in the database and says there's no evidence that any voter has done anything wrong.

WI: Wisconsin Independent Candidate Files Federal Lawsuit Over Denial of Her Ballot Label
On July 22, independent candidate Ieshuh Griffin filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, over the state elections office refusal to print her partisan label on the November ballot. She is running for Assembly, 10th district, and wants “Not the ‘whiteman’s bitch’ ” on the ballot.

WV: Election evidence secured at courthouse (Lincoln County)
Circuit Clerk Charles Brumfield and county commission candidate Phoebe Harless have contested the results of the May primary and a preliminary hearing in the case is not scheduled until July 28. The actual hearing in the case is set for the week of August 16. Since the circuit court, which will hear the case, had ordered all election equipment and material to be held as was at the time of the primary as possible evidence in the matter, election officials became concerned that Lincoln County would have a machine shortage for the special election.

So a conference call was held, according to Chief Circuit Judge Jay Hoke. During that call, it was agreed that information from the machines would be downloaded onto paper form, the judge said.

Internet Voting Watch

Online Voting: All That Glitters Is Not Gold (Unless You're a Vendor)


Some Congressional Challengers Defy Odds by Out-Raising Rival Incumbents
The imbalance between Republican and Democratic challengers who are out-raising incumbents may foreshadow a broader change in political currents.


India: Jumbo ballot box to accommodate EVM mistrust

UK: AV referendum question published
The government has published the question it plans to ask voters in a referendum on electoral reform.
Voters will be asked if they want to "adopt the 'alternative vote' system instead of the current 'first past the post' system" for electing MPs.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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Disclaimer: Articles and commentary included in "Voting News" do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors of Voting News,or its allied organizations. Articles are selected for inclusion to inform subscribers'ability to draw their own conclusions based on noteworthy and credible news,research, legislation, and debate bearing on the integrity of elections.

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