Thursday, September 9, 2010

Suing Sarasota Election Sup: the Sequel. Shelby Co TN lawsuits update

Shelby Co Alabama fight against voting rights act argued in DC..Arizona fake green pty candidates stay on ballot for now..Another election down, another accusation of misconduct against Sarasota Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent..Hawaii voters take note: many polling places have closed..Maryland early voting yields only 2% turnout, costs $3.4M...Ballot access in NC nearly impossible says lawsuit, officials say access would "clutter" the ballot..Harris Co Texas mulls non partisan election chief... Shelby Co TN plaintiffs seek to consolidate lawsuits...

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

AL: Shelby County: VRA challenged argued in DC
http://www.votelaw.com/blog/archives/006437.html
The Birmingham News reports: Shelby County is intent on having key sections of the Voting Rights Act declared unconstitutional and ending federal oversight of elections across the South, not just in one Alabama county, the county's lawyers said Friday.

AZ: Judge won't kick Green Party candidates off ballot
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/politics/article_1513caa6-bc8c-11df-9a07-001cc4c03286.html
While the Green Party filed suit in federal court, the Arizona Democratic Party is attacking the problem elsewhere.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court, attorney Paul Eckstein said Arizona voters will be "deceived, misled and confused'' about the true nature of the campaigns of the Green Party write-in candidates which will affect the "purity'' of the general election. He wants Judge Robert Oberbillig to erase the candidates' names from the ballot.
That, however, may come too late: Officials in the state's two largest counties said printing will begin today.

CA: Former City Council Candidate Charged with Voter Fraud *
http://www.kpsplocal2.com/Content/Top-Stories/story/Former-City-Council-Candidate-Charged-with-Voter/rNJa45ROik-6JMpjm48Byw.cspx
A former Palm Springs City Council candidate who claimed she resided in the city when she allegedly lived in Arizona was charged with felonies, prosecutors said Thursday.
...
Eloise Garcia-Mohsin, 46, was charged with two counts of voter fraud, three counts of perjury and four counts of falsely filing election documents, and the Riverside County District Attorney's Office issued a warrant for her arrest.

DC: Gray camp responds to Fenty vote buying allegations
http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2010/09/gray_camp_responds_ to_fenty_vote_buying_allegations.html http://tinyurl.com/28uv6dk An allegation of vote buying against Mayor Adrian Fenty's reelection team has the Vincent Gray campaign calling for law enforcement to investigate and claiming the incumbent has undermined the integrity of the primary election.

DC: D.C. Jail inmates cast their primary ballots
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/debonis/2010/09/dc_jail_inmates_cast_their_pri.html
Getting them to vote, Stewart says, is the first step toward re-entering the community.

FL: Candidate sues Dent over recount refusal
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100910/BREAKING/100919992
SARASOTA COUNTY - Another election down, another accusation of misconduct against Sarasota Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent.

FL: Forums: Suing Dent for RECOUNT
http://forum.heraldtribune.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2131

HI: Hawaii voters take note: many polling places have closed
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=13122695
There won't be signs or anything else at polling places that have been closed informing people the location of their new polling place, so it's important voters know where to go before election day arrives.

IA: Elections watchdog group sees problem with voter rolls in 7 Iowa counties
http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/09/10/elections-watchdog-group-sees-problem-with-voter-rolls-in-7-iowa-counties/
An elections watchdog group believes seven Iowa counties have more more registered voters than citizens of voting age.

But the state’s top election official said today that group’s information is distorted, and that Iowa’s election rolls don’t need any extra cleanup.

MD: Little interest shown for early voting
Officials unsure what changes to make before general election
http://www.gazette.net/stories/09102010/polinew191043_32542.php Despite spending millions of dollars on early voting this year, it appears that only about 2 percent of Marylanders will take advantage of the new option before the primary election.

MD: What does early voting cost us?
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/local/politics/2010/09/ what_does_early_voting_cost_us.html http://tinyurl.com/2g7bxaw The State Board of Elections released an estimate this afternoon of how much it costs to provide early voting for the primary and general elections. The tally: About $3.4 million.

MN: MN voters - can look online to make sure they are properly registered and that information is correct http://www.wdaz.com/event/article/id/3598/

NC: Third parties push to ease restrictions to appear on ballot
http://charlotte.news14.com/content/local_news/triad/630173/third-parties-push-to-ease-restrictions-to-appear-on-ballot When voters head to the polls in North Carolina, they are likely to only see a democratic and republican candidate on the ballot. But other parties want their candidates considered too.

NC: Can't trust the count
http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/09/11/674648/cant-trust-the-count.html

NY: New Voting Machines Raise Concerns in Harlem Primaries
http://dnainfo.com/20100910/harlem/new-voting-machines-raise-concerns-for-hot-harlem-primaries
If a voter selects more than one candidate in a single race, the machine offers the voters two options to correct the error — a green button or a red button. If they press the red button, the ballot can be fixed. If they press green, the vote on that race will be thrown out. But the machine doesn't explain what the buttons mean.

NY: Battle over DNA order
http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Battle-over-DNA-order-650801.php
ALBANY -- The Troy city clerk and a city councilman have not agreed to turn over DNA samples in a Rensselaer County ballot-fraud investigation that is targeting nine people, including several elected officials.
...
"This is a witch hunt," Feit said. "If they don't have probable cause to arrest any of these people, how do they have probable cause to seek a search warrant? ... This is a very serious thing and it's really unprecedented."

TN: Democrats seek to consolidate lawsuits - Two cases dispute Aug. 5 election
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/sep/10/democrats-seek-to-consolidate-lawsuits/

TN: Shelby County Election Commission Responds To Lawsuit (video available)
http://www.myeyewitnessnews.com/news/local/story/Shelby-County-Election-Commission-Responds-To/pRwQoN9pskO9bn8I7UmWmw.cspx?rss=59
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is conducting a second investigation to determine if there was any criminal intent. That investigation is still ongoing.

TN: Election Commission Files Point-by-Point Rebuttal of Election Litigants, Promises More Info (Video available) http://www.memphisflyer.com/JacksonBaker/archives/2010/09/10/election-commission-files-point-by-point-rebuttal-of-election-litigants-promises-more-info

TX: Will Harris turn pro on voting?
County looks at elections chief outside politics
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7195632.html
Harris County is considering the idea of hiring a pro to run voting functions currently handled by two politicians. The idea is to install an elections leader who does not run for office, has no D or R next to his or her name and, therefore, has a shield of professionalism as insulation from partisan attacks.

TX: Arson investigation in Houston voting machine fire
http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/11/arson-investigation-in-houston-voting-machine-fire/

TX: Lawsuit filed over special election
http://www.delrionewsherald.com/story.lasso?ewcd=90a594d9a29c5f1e Vera in the suit charged, “There has been inadequate time for proper notice to the voters and every major portion of the court’s order is contrary to the Texas Election Code.

US Virgin Islands: USVI group protests electronic voting machines
http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1372762〈=eng_news

WA: Critics are misinformed on military ballot waiver
http://tdn.com/news/opinion/article_efbd7170-ba89-11df-9c49-001cc4c002e0.html

WI: Wis. reaches deal on military, overseas voting
http://www.salon.com/wires/us/2010/09/09/D9I4IJ684_us _military_voting_state_primaries/index.html http://tinyurl.com/323faqj

WI: Deployed Wis. Guard members urged to exercise their right to vote
http://www.wqow.com/Global/story.asp?S=13132325
Deployed Wisconsin National Guard members who have not received a state absentee ballot before Oct. 2 are encouraged to use the federal write-in absentee ballot, which is available online and at military bases, overseas embassies and consulates.

Internet Voting Watch

Canada: Councillor suggests move to online voting
http://www.bclocalnews.com/entertainment/102660279.html
Abbotsford. ...In 2008, Halifax, N.S. voters received a PIN (personal identification number) in a letter sent specifically in their name to their address, and needed the PIN plus their date of birth to identify themselves to the Internet voting system.

Mayor George Peary said he’s not adverse to the idea, but there are still many questions to be answered.

“The trouble is we have no idea who is sitting in front of those terminals,” said Peary.

India: E-voting not withdrawn, says SEC
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/evoting-not-withdrawn-says-sec/679352/
Ahmedabad: Online polling has not been withdrawn and voters in six municipal corporation areas, who have registered themselves for e-voting, can vote either from their personal computers with internet connections at their residence or offices, according to State Election Commission (SEC).

India: SEC to offer e-voting facilities to other institutions in Gujarat, but at a price http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_sec-to-offer-e-voting-facilities-to-other-institutions-in-gujarat-but-at-a-price_1436146 It seems that either the state election commission (SEC) is entirely unperturbed with the citizens' poor response to the newly-implemented e-voting, or it is simply trying to recover its investment by alternative means.
...
The state election commission has organized another round of mock polling on September 14 in the state, for voters who wish to experience online voting

National

Conservative group alleges liberal campaign on judicial elections
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/10/AR2010091005747.html
Record spending on judicial elections around the country has prompted calls for changes from a broad array of advocates, including moderate conservatives such as retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

But a report issued Thursday by a small conservative group active in judicial elections alleges that the efforts to change such elections amount to a campaign to bolster liberals, with backing from financier and philanthropist George Soros.

Info from webinar, "Voter Registration and Voter Education for Nonprofits
http://nonprofitvote.blogspot.com/2010/09/info-from-yesterdays-webinar.html

International

Australia: AUSTRALIA’S ELECTION STALEMATE: ANOTHER HEADACHE FOR NICK CLEGG? http://ukpolitics.freshcontentengine.com/australias-election-stalemate-another-headache-for-nick-clegg-michael-white/
But Ashley is right to make the connection with the Australian election, fought under an alternative vote (AV) voting system of the kind Clegg will advocate in May’s referendum – and do so against the smart, populist ‘no’ vote leadership of Matthew Elliott, brains behind the TaxAvoiders’ Alliance.

As you know, it produced a stalemate yet to be resolved. My take is that – as in Britain – a government which loses its pre-existing majority has lost.

India: SC dismisses petition on EVM
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/sc-dismisses-petition-on-evm/300581.html
The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition seeking a direction to the Election Commission for allowing the continuance of ballot papers in place of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in elections

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