Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Montgomery CO PA exempt from election code? New Mexico not so secret ballot

Concerning the issue of internet voting -"Who are you going to believe? Scientists or Vendors?" asks CT Voter...Van Hollen, 'Corporate Candidate' Murray Hill Spar Over Political Rights of Businesses... Secret ballot? Not for everybody (in New Mexico)...There's a Constitutional Amendment Campaign to Undo Citizens United in the works...Are Montgomery County PA voting machines exempt from accountability?...A few questions about Mass Natl Pop Vote Bill...

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

AL: ADC files complaint against judge over ad The Alabama Democratic Conference has filed a complaint against Circuit Court Judge Patricia Warner over what the organization's chairman said are questionable and misleading campaign tactics.
The "advertisement" in question was a sample ballot printed under the banner of the Montgomery County Democratic Conference.
Reed said in his letter that the flier was a fraud because only the state organization can make endorsements in state races.

AL: U.S. set to defend Voting Rights Act against Shelby County challenge
The U.S. Department of Justice will mount a vigorous defense against a Shelby County lawsuit that seeks to have parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ruled unconstitu tional, a DOJ spokeswoman said.

AL: Councilman Ben Little files suit seeking clarity on state law Little has said that Anniston attorney Donald Stewart’s contributions to the campaigns of several local judges has influenced their rulings. He reiterated those claims Monday, saying people without Stewart’s resources can’t expect a fair hearing.

AZ: Important information for ALL voters

If you have a drivers license you can register to vote online right now!

AZ: Cooperation is right approach in voting probe
Agree or disagree- Click here to send letters to the editor
The intent of a flier being circulated in the border city of San Luis, Ariz. about a voter fraud investigation is disputed, but it does seem to be an attempt to undermine the probe.

CA: SF Voters Could See Same-Day Registration; Some Supes Don't Like

CA: Fresno woman charged with 30 counts of voter fraud A complaint filed in Fresno County Superior Court on Monday charges Holland in 10 of those cases. She's charged with 10-counts of forgery, 10-counts of perjury and 10-counts of filing false documents. Holland faces up to 10-years in prison if convicted.

CA: Board gets another look at non-citizen voting plan (San Francisco)
The measure would limit non-citizen voting to the school board election and only include parents and guardians of students in the school district.

CT: Supreme Court allows more public funds for Fedele campaign

The state Supreme Court today refused to block Republican gubernatorial candidate Michael C. Fedele from seeking an additional $312,500 in public financing for his campaign

CO: Track your ballot via email or text

FL: Are Florida Primaries too close to the general election?

This year Florida will hold its primaries on August 24th just 11 weeks before the general election

GA: Scanners Speed Primary Voting Poll workers in 31 counties have been using bar code scanners on voters’ drivers licenses at check-in.

GA: Glitch slows Cherokee voting, no results impacted *
Some technological glitches and one operator error slowed the tallying of voting results in Cherokee County Tuesday and caused about 500 ballots to have to be recounted.

GA: Handful of voting hiccups in Effingham County on Tuesday

A few minor issues were reported at various voting locations across the county, including the lone precinct in Clyo at the community center.

GA: Georgia voters locked out of Virginia-Highland Church early Tuesday * Polling place opened at 9:30 AM

GA: Fulton County releases unofficial election results * There was one small hiccup yesterday with a polling place, which resulted in the county changing the precinct but failing to mail cards to the voters. But Garner said they were able to rectify that situation quickly and the correct polling location stayed open later to accommodate voters.

IL: Illinois Green Party Legislative Nominee Wins Ballot Access Lawsuit

MA: Mass. Legislature poised to enact Electoral College bypass bill
Critics say the current system is not broken. They also point to the disturbing scenario that Candidate X wins nationally, but Candidate Y has won in Massachusetts. In that case, all of the state's 12 electoral votes would go to Candidate X, the candidate who was not supported by Massachusetts voters

MD: Van Hollen, 'Corporate Candidate' Murray Hill Spar Over Political Rights of Businesses
In his closing statement, Murray Hill told the audience that the political system, like a carnival game, "is rigged," and if "you can't come around the corner and challenge the game that you are just going to have to accept the fact, as fact, that corporations are people, too."

MD: Maryland social media rules: respect my authority (line) Maryland’s rules for campaigns using social media moved forward yesterday and the Baltimore Sun reports here

NC: County DSS part of e-filing voter registration program
The Alamance County Department of Social Services and DSS departments in eight other Tar Heel counties are taking part in a pilot program that allows the agencies to electronically file voter registration forms with the state Board of Elections in Raleigh if clients wish.
In February, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division said the DSS departments in Alamance, Burke and Johnston counties had “consistently and substantially failed to comply with the requirements of Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act,” the 1993 federal law, and asked the agencies to comply.

NM: Secret ballot? Not for everybody
Seems they've been given access to enough data to sniff out some citizens' election choices: It tends to happen in small precincts, and where there's only a single contested race; by cross-checking public records, such as lists of people who cast ballots, against results reported from a precinct, political operatives can pin down who voted for whom, at least in some cases.

NM: Public hearing planned on secret ballot safeguards SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The secretary of state's office will hold a hearing in September to solicit public comments on how to safeguard the secret ballot for voters in New Mexico.
Currently, it's possible to identify voters and determine who they supported in precincts where only one or a handful of people cast ballots.

NY: Many in NY election gave 6 votes to 1 candidate
PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- An exit survey indicates that nearly a third of the voters in an unusual New York election cast all six of their votes for one candidate.

NY: Comptroller's Office: Federal mandate strains Board of Elections finances
1006 /Comptroller-s-Office--Federal-mandate-strains-Board-of-Elections-

NY: Machine politics! City unveils new voting machines in Boerum Hill
Not only was New York State late to upgrade, New York City became one of the last municipalities within the state to select a new system when it awarded the contract for new machines to Omaha-based Election Systems and Software, a contract reportedly worth $50 million.

OH: Absentee voting is OK; lack of polling places, not
Polling places should not be closed if there is any indication doing so will inconvenience Ohioans - perhaps prompting some to decide voting just isn't worth the trouble of driving to a more distant precinct.

OH: Voting machines lawsuit settlement includes free upgrades The lawsuit settlement also includes:
A discount on licensing fees worth about $113,000.
The company will give Montgomery County 380 new voting machines, eliminating the need for a future hardware maintenance contract and saving the county $125,000.
The ability to buy new equipment at half price...

PA: Letter: Montgomery County needs to do closer examination of its voting machines
opinion/doc4c469dac60f1e979051842.txt However, when we asked why the county did not abide by the ballot reconciliation requirement in the PA election code, the response was, well, creative, saying that electronic vote machines are just plain exempt. But not according to the Allegheny County Elections Division.

PA: Conservative Media Stokes New Black Panther Story

Internet Voting Watch

Who are you going to believe? Scientists or Vendors?
Calling it safe does not make it safe. Using the challenges facing those we would like to help vote, does not mean it would actually be a good idea:

EVOTE2010 conference about to start It is Wednesday noon, July 21st, and we are ready to start with the 4th International E-Voting Conference.
We are very happy to welcome the Chair of the U.S. Election Administration Commission, Donetta Davidson, as keynote speaker


THE FEC AO: WHY EXISTING DISCLOSURE LAW WON'T DISCLOSURE BE ADEQUATE Undisclosed donations will be especially important to corporations. Many corporations won't want to alienate many of their customers by having their corporate names associated with advertising against a candidate. But they'll be more than happy to participate if they can obscure their identity. This is what I expect to happen under the new AO.

Rove-linked group uses secret donors to fund attacks

People For the American Way, Public Citizen Launch Constitutional Amendment Pledge Campaign to Undo Citizens United "...a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision giving corporations the same First Amendment rights as people.”

New Policy Paper: Restricting Voter Registration Drives The paper offers reasonable recommendations for how state and local election officials can work together with civic organizations, to ensure reasonable regulation, without unfairly impeding the vital role community-based voter registration drives play in America.

Civil Rights in the Supreme Court: Wrapping up the 2009-2010 Term
During its 2009-2010 term, which ended last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard several cases with civil rights implications.


India: VeTA petitions the President of India to intervene on the vexed EVM issue
Even as the introduction of EVMs has brought efficiency into our election operations, a major shortcoming is that they function like “black boxes” as they store voting data only electronically. The election results cannot thus be verified as physical record of votes is not maintained in a paper form.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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