Thursday, September 16, 2010

New voting machines, angry New Yorkers. New arrest over India EVMs

Brennan Ctr: "Voting System Failures: A Database Solution"...Maryland officials blame voting machine failures on poll workers..The latest target of New Yorkers' ire: new voting machines, which perplexed them, broke down and ate their primary election ballots...New Jersey Military/Internet voting pilot bill..Vote probs in DC, MA, MD...Pune India engineer held, cops say gave EVM to researcher...Why other countries have scrapped electronic voting...

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

Editors request: help us make sure that we don't miss important articles. Please email voting news articles, blogs and reports to go in upcoming editions. Send to votingnews (at)

CA: Jerry Brown wants Bell officials to resign, give up pensions; says they defrauded public

“What is clear is that the City Council and city administrator and other officials abused their public trust. They engaged in a collaboration that [amounted] to a civil conspiracy to defraud the public,” Brown said at a news conference Wednesday morning in announcing the lawsuit.
(City with officials involved in absentee ballot fraud)

CO: Constitution Party Will be Listed Closer to the Top of Colorado General Election Ballots if Tancredo Polls At Least 10%

CO: IRV explained

In November Aspen voters will have a choice to keep the instant runoff voting (IRV) system, or return to the system in place before 2009. It may help to understand how IRV elects candidates with a majority of the vote, even if the slate has a good number of candidates.
To make sure your ballot was considered in the end you had to rank every candidate, even ones you really didn't want. Only 20 percent of Aspen voters did so.

DC: Voting glitches reported in D.C. primary election*
WTOP reporter Mark Segraves said some electronic scanners are not operational so the ballots are not being scanned.
Initially, there were reports of problems at four polling places, but Gray spokeswoman Traci Hughes said their campaign has heard about problems from 15 different precincts.
Elections officials are collecting the ballots and storing them inside the scanner. They will go back later and scan those ballots.

DC: Live blog: D.C. Primary Day 2010 evening -- Court rejects longer voting

(According to the ballots that can be verified anyway)

DE: Delaware's GOP Senate Primary and Its 100% Unverifiable, Faith-Based E-Voting Results

FL: Report: No election wrongdoing DELAND -- A city investigation did not find evidence that Chisholm Center employees improperly influenced voters during the primary election, but changes are in store for the busy community center and polling place.

IL: Census: Voters may exceed residents in Ill. county
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ southernmost county has more registered voters than it has residents who are old enough to vote, according to a Lee Springfield Bureau analysis.

MA: Problem at Lawrence polling precinct resolved; voter turnout slow*
for Mercier at E1 the day got off to a rough start. The Accu-vote machine that counts the ballots was malfunctioning at the start of the day and wouldn't accept ballots.

Mercier said it appeared the machine had "no electricity."

MA: Power fails at polls*
HAVERHILL — Four city polling locations were without power for around 15 minutes this afternoon, but it did not interrupt the voting process, polls workers said.

Ballot machines have a backup mechanism that kicks in when power fails, said City Clerk Margaret Toomey.

MD: 'Hiccups' in Voting in Prince George's County*
18 voting machines were installed for primary election voters in a building at the United Methodist Church in Clinton, Md. As the polls opened at 7 a.m., six of the 18 machines were not working. A technician had four of the machines in operation within one hour. The other two machines were back in service before 10 a.m.
Mortgage banker Tony Leaner had a problem voting at Woodmore Elementary School. When he went to look at the summary screen, it did not show any selection in the "state's attorney" contest in which he had cast a ballot. Election officials at the scene were also unable to find it. Leaner was allowed to try another machine with the same result.

MD: Computer problems slow Baltimore County tally * computer_problems_slow_baltimo.html The computer program that counts votes off the memory cards in voting machines kept crashing Tuesday night, so officials had to slow down, she said this morning. Each memory card takes about two minutes to upload, and there are more than 2,000 machines in the county, so uploading one memory card at a time onto the
election board's computers would take about six or seven hours after polls closed.
Meanwhile, in four or five precincts, judges left the memory cards in the machines.

MD: Delays in election results due to human error more than technical flaws*
The lag for results in Baltimore City and Baltimore County stemmed from missteps by poll workers and judges, as well as computer software glitches in some places. Those factors left some races too close to call — notably the one for state's attorney in Baltimore — late Wednesday.

In Baltimore City and Baltimore County, some poll workers forgot to remove the memory cards from voting machines for delivery to local election boards.

MI: Company protests Hinds purchase of voting equipment without bids

Election Services Online maintains it was a sole source supplier for the scanners because it has developed software that allows for the importing and exporting of voting results between the kinds of machines used by the county and the scanners. [Hart Intercivic]

MN: Wis., Minn. chase double-voting cases
MADISON, Wis. - Prosecutors in Minnesota and Wisconsin are investigating dozens of cases in which voters may have illegally cast ballots in both states in the 2008 presidential election. At least two people have been charged so far.

NJ: Approve Internet voting legislation
Let New Jersey men and women deployed overseas vote in local elections online.

NY: Angry New Yorkers Hate New Voting Machines They're loud, they're arguably obnoxious and they don't like to be messed with. The latest target of New Yorkers' ire: new voting machines, which perplexed them, broke down and ate their primary election ballots.

NY: Chuck Schumer Encounters Crappy Voting Machine, Goes Nuts

NY: Before Vote, City Officials Fretted About New System Six days before the primary on Tuesday, state election officials received a request from the city’s Board of Elections: Could it cut short tests on some of its voting machines because of worries that the testing would not be finished before voters went to the polls?
“It was an unusual request,” said Douglas A. Kellner, co-chairman of
the State Board of Elections. “It’s always annoying when someone comes
to you at the last minute and says, ‘Gee, we didn’t know it would take
this long,’ and you say, ‘Well, why did you wait this long to figure
it out?’ ”

NY: Conservative and Working Families Party Sue New York State Board of Elections over Vote-Counting

NY: DiNapoli offers to investigate voting machine problems (Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli)

NY: Election Day Problems Reported Statewide on NY's New Dominion/Sequoia E-Voting System * ... some polling places "did not open for more than 90 minutes" in Brooklyn; elsewhere, every ballot scanned "was returning a the 'system error'" message; and across the state, there have been reports of "longer-than-usual delays...

NY: Voting machine problems*
A "royal screw-up and it's completely unacceptable."

That summation today from New York Mayor Bloomberg about the state of today's primary election in the City. Hizzoner, ticked off again at the Board of Elections, after reports that some election coordinators didn't open the polls on time - with some peeps waiting a couple of hours to vote.

NY: AG candidate says shorter poll hours upstate = disenfranchised voters*
A number of problems have been reported, especially in New York City and Westchester County. In Pelham, there was a problem with scanners, and they weren’t running until 8 a.m. The scanners at the Mount Kisco Public Library jammed before 8 a.m., and the county Board of Elections was fielding dozens of calls. Some sites in Brooklyn were closed for the first 90-plus minutes of the voting day.
Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause NY, says the “sky isn’t falling” because New York has a new voting system. Problems like polls not opening on time and broken scanners at a certain poll don’t mean that the new system doesn’t work or isn’t effective, she wrote on a Times Union blog.

NY: Some problems, confusion with new ballots, machines; get results here after polls close at 9 * Dutchess County election officials dispatched technicians to two polling sites to address problems with new voting machines, Commissioner Fran Knapp said this afternoon.

The glitch, caused by faulty memory cards, has been fixed at the Violet Avenue Elementary School site, and technicians were working on a similar problem at Hyde Park Town Hall, Knapp said.

NY: Board Of Elections: New York, We Have A Problem

Having become aware of voting problems through media reports, direct complaints (and a major trashing by Mayor Bloomberg), the NYC Board of Elections has issued this statement:

NY: New Machines Prove Tricky...for Election Workers*
Board of Elections employees figure out problem at Berry Hill Elementary.

When Syosset Patch arrived at 11:15 a.m., two of the four machines were out of order. Officials said that the screens–instead of thanking the voter at the end of the process–were instead saying that the vote had counted but also included an error message.
officials from the Nassau County Board of Elections arrived and immediately deduced the problem: The two malfunctioning machines were clogged because the blue boxes under the machines that hold the backup paper ballots were closed. The machines were unlocked, the boxes were opened and everything returned to working order.

A Nassau Board of Elections worker said there had been intermittent human error around the county–at one polling station the blue box was off to the side and the ballots were falling right to the bottom of the machine–but there had been no actual machine malfunctions.

NY: New machines pose a few problems at the polls for some voters, county officials working to smooth out process* (with video)
When the polls opened at noon, inspectors at some polling places — including at least two in Saratoga Springs — were unable to get the scanner machines working. The commissioners said 40 technicians were working throughout the county and four were assigned just to Saratoga Springs.

NY: 3 voting machines repaired in NYC suburb *
NEW YORK (AP) - Primary day started slowly in one New York suburb where 3 of 5 new electronic voting machines were out of service when polls opened.

Voters in several districts in Pelham were turned away or given emergency ballots because of a glitch in optical scan machines making their debut Tuesday. The machines were out of service about 2 1/2 hours.

NY: Are New York’s Voting Machines Secure? With comments by Prof. Doug Jones, underneath three of the 8 pictures taken of unguarded voting machines that had been left in the
polling location since last Thursday through election day.

NY: Oneida County election totals still delayed Final tallies for several local primary races remained unavailable Wednesday in the wake of problems Tuesday night with a low percentage of votes being called in, Oneida County election officials said.

NY: Voting machine glitches haunt primary voting in Broome County * machine+glitches+haunt+primary+voting+in+Broome+County
Technical difficulties were reported at many of Broome County's 190 electronic voting machines during Tuesday's primaries, forcing voters to cast emergency ballots for a few hours until the issue was resolved.

Board of Elections Republican deputy commissioner Karen Davis said that about 11:15 a.m. -- 45 minutes before the polls opened -- election officials learned the magnetic security keys, or "I-buttons," needed to activate the voting machines weren't working.

Advancement Project’s 2010 “Ohio Voter Protection Laws in a Nutshell” is now available. These publications are intended to distill complex election law for lawyers, advocates, voter registration campaigns, and “Get Out the Vote” campaigns.

OK: State Question 746 to bring voter ID issue to voters

SC: South Carolina Campaign Finance Law Struck Down
On September 13, U.S. District Court Judge Terry L. Wooten, a Bush, Jr. appointee, struck down a South Carolina campaign finance law that requires all groups that spend as much as $500 to “influence the outcome” of an election for state office to register as a Political Committee.

TN: Election Consultants Find Problems With Shelby County Elections (video avail),0,4133902.story

TX: Travis County voters might face longer lines on Election Day
That’s because Travis County is loaning some voting machines to Harris County, which had its election equipment destroyed in an Aug. 27 fire. (early voting urged)

WI: Voters complain they can't cross parties on ballots
Several voters have called Milwaukee officials to complain because they're allowed to only pick candidates in one political party during the voting in Tuesday's primary election.

Susan Edman, executive director of the city's Election Commission, said she told those callers that they had to share those complaints with lawmakers in Madison.

WI: Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs accused of hitting poll inspector with her car,0,4108130.story
Poll worker says Coggs and the inspector were engaged in an argument (video)

Internet Voting Watch

NJ: Approve Internet voting legislation (opinion)
Let New Jersey men and women deployed overseas vote in local elections online.

NJ: Milam, Albano Want Overseas Military to Vote Online (The bill, A-2846)

India: Special programme to train Surat voters in e-voting The state election commission (SEC)'s much-hyped e-voting facility has received less than favourable response in Surat, with only 161 voters in the city registering themselves for it.


Election Protection will again be putting together a comprehensive nationwide voter protection program for November 2 2010. (Tell a Friend)

The 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline - a nationwide toll-free hotline for voters to ask questions and report problems, - an online clearinghouse for national and state election rules, regulations and breaking news; and...comprehensive Election Day program in up to 30 states on November 2.

Brennan Center Report: Voting System Failures: A Database Solution
When it comes to system failures, however, voting machines are different from automobiles and airplanes, and other products, in at least one important respect: for the vast majority of voting systems in use today, (1) manufacturers are not required to report malfunctions to any government agency, and (2) there is no agency that either investigates such alleged failures or alerts election officials and the general public to possible problems (let alone requires voting system manufacturers to fix such problems).


Afghanistan: Fake voter cards seized ahead of key Afghan vote More than 2,000 candidates are vying for 249 seats in parliament. Thousands of fake voter registration cards have been seized ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, election officials say.

Guinea: Doubts growing about Sunday election in Guinea
Any delay is sure to escalate tension in this mineral-rich country that has only known authoritarian rule since winning independence from France more than half a century ago. Over the weekend, street fighting between supporters of rival political parties left one person dead and 54 others wounded.

India: Pune engineer held, cops say gave EVM to researcher ...Mukund Lagoo, 48, is accused of handing over the voting machine to Prasad in Hyderabad.

The Mumbai police aren’t clear, however, about how Lagoo, a civil engineer and activist, got the EVM from the Collector’s office.

India: Why other countries have scrapped electronic voting

Voting News by Joyce McCloy. Archives here at
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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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