Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I-Voting, direct democracy. 'Hack is Wack'. Sarasota Election Sup faces class action?

Snoop Dogg fights cyber crime, see 'Hack is Wack'...Dr.Joseph Lorenzo Hall writes about Electronic Voting and Direct Democracy...Class Action Lawsuit Being Filed Against Sarasota Elections Sup Kathy Dent?...Missing ballot ovals confuse Billings Montana voters...New Jersey lawmaker wants military internet voting experiment...18,000 Wisconsin voters could be cut from rolls...Fox News article: Online Voting For Military Serving Overseas...

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

AL: Ex-clerk guilty in voter fraud case* (absentee ballot)
Former Hale County official could spend up to a year in jail
Before Bryan, Tinker — through her attorney — admitted to falsely certifying the absentee ballots of five voters. The ballots, her attorney said, were notarized by her despite inconsistencies in signatures and spelling.

CA: RivCo and Postal Service near agreement to prevent election snafu (mail ballots) Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore and the USPS regional district manager, Dallas Keck, have reached a tentative understanding as to how absentee ballots will be handled in the weeks and days leading up to the Nov. 2 general election, according to Executive Officer Bill Luna.

CA: San Joaquin County looking into absentee-only voting ballot
County officials are exploring the idea of a vote-by-mail-only system because it could save the county considerable money, Registrar of Voters Austin Erdman told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Co: Most counties deny Marks 
ballot inspection According to a statement released by a group advocating for disclosure of ballots, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Robert Balink supports public disclosure of ballots as a crucial oversight mechanism.

CO: Repeal Instant Runoff Voting (LTE)
Richie argues that IRV produces 50 percent-plus winners for city council while the proposed traditional runoff requires only 45 percent support. Look at 2009 reality, not theory: 2,510 voters voted in the council race. Torre won with 1073 votes, or 42.7 percent of the 2,510, while Derek Johnson won with 49 percent.

DC: Voting Card Error Affects 7,500 Voters*
The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics announced that a barcode error printed on voter cards affected 7,579 people, the AP reports. Though the voter card is not necessary to vote, the barcode speeds up the voting process.

FL: Class Action Lawsuit Being Filed Against Sarasota Supervisor of Elections? (Kathy Dent again)

FL: Return to controversy (Sarasota SoE Kathy Dent)
Recount dispute shows elections are still subject to human error
Dent, now in her third term of office, has known her share of controversies. Among them: She once championed touch-screen election machines that later were outlawed. She waged (and won) a legal battle against a voter-approved requirement for manual, post-election audits. In 2008, her office failed to quickly notify candidates whose names inadvertently had been left off several dozen absentee ballots.

GA: State election board sends Temple voter case to AG

IL: Preparing The Ballot This Year
Champaign County Clerk...A few things have changed in the election law that are making the job of preparing ballots a little easier. At the same time, the number of referenda on the ballot is adding some complications.

Last year Congress passed legislation that requires military ballots to go out at least 45 days prior to the election. In the past, that was a goal of ours, but often one that we couldn’t meet because of the certification date for state candidates. Thankfully, the legislature amended the Election Code to move that certification date.

MA: County clerk lays blame for ballot snafu* Barnstable County Clerk of Courts Scott Nickerson has blamed a lack of money to pay for election work as one of the reasons five candidates were left off the Nov. 2 ballot.

Nickerson also said an unnamed county employee he trained to cover election work in his absence gave out wrong information.

ME: Secretary of State Matt Dunlap Announces Launch of Enhanced Online Absentee Ballot Request Service
Absentee Ballot Request Service Enhanced to Comply with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act Enacted by Congress

MT: BALLOT OVALS * (absentee mail ballot)
BILLINGS - Some mail-in ballots have left people confused about how to vote. The ovals on some of the ballots are missing or extremely faded. The ballots are for the School District Two’s bond election.

Yellowstone County election officials said it was a printing mishap. They ask that voters put a check or an x by their choice. They said the machine will either read the mark or set it aside for hand counting.

NY: Nassau County Challenges Feds, State to Beat Back Electronic Voting
But more significantly he will argue the ease with which the machines are vulnerable to hacking and manipulation - something the good ol' lever machines are not.

"The fact is that the machines don't meet the requirements of the law," Ciampoli says: "Sooner or later, people will lose their right to vote."
"You have a private, for-profit company, with no responsibility, not elected, controlling the machines, the software," says William Biamonte...

OH: Cuyahoga county has agreement for next week’s elections The special elections, which will be Sept. 7, will have both English and Spanish versions. Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner’s office will pick up the extra cost needed to have both languages.

TX: Pulling together
Elected officials, party leaders and voters must cooperate to conduct smooth election
On Monday, Harris County Commissioners' Court approved an emergency expenditure of $13.6 million to purchase 2,325 new voting machines and other equipment. Kaufman plans to have 1.4 million paper ballots printed as backup if limited numbers of machines generate long lines at some polling places. She's promising to have all precincts staffed on election day.
Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade also pledged to help provide whatever the county needs from the state to successfully stage the election.

TX: Bexar offers old voting equipment to fire-stricken county (to Harris County) ...the county has offered up its old equipment, including paper ballot boxes and portable booths. The devices won't be shipped until Harris County formally requests them after they get Justice Department approval. Fort Bend and Tarrant counties have offered similar backup equipment...

VT: Recount pushes state’s election staff up against a Sept. 20 ballot delivery date

WA: State getting bad rap on military voting waiver

WI: 18,000 could be cut from voter rolls
Letters sent about mismatched information were undeliverable
The state tried to contact the voters because their names, birth dates or driver's license numbers do not match information in other government databases. If marked as ineligible to vote in the voter database, they would have to re-register to vote with municipal clerks or at the polls before they could cast ballots.

Internet Voting Watch

Electronic Voting and Direct Democracy (Dr. Joseph Lorenzo Hall)
To be sure, there is a lot of momentum behind moving parts of our elections processes online. In some cases, such as online voter registration, the security and reliability risks are small and the net benefits are particularly high. However, I can’t say the same about internet voting, especially in the sense that elements of direct democracy may be particularly attractive to powerful foreign interests and parties outside our collective jurisdiction

"Hack is Wack” (how about a hack the vote rap video?) Snoop teams up with Norton (Symantec) to raise awareness about cybercrime. “Hack is Wack” gives you the opportunity to create and enter a 2-minute rap video and win exciting prizes

(Assemblyman Paul)"Moriarty adds this kind of a program could eventually open the door to internet voting - for all Jersey residents."

Fox News: Online Voting For Military Serving Overseas
(This article manages to make computer scientists opposition to internet voting
sound like support FOR internet voting. )

India: Lengthy form deters voters from e-voting in Gujarat civic polls

Even after the deadline to enroll for e-voting and online voting was extended twice, Amdavadis have given thumbs down to the concept with only 274 people coming forward to register under e-voting (from e-booths) and 88 people opting for online voting (from home).

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.Archives here at

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