Monday, October 4, 2010

DC Internet Vote Test Oddities. Shelby TN: 'Was this any way to hold an election?'

DC Internet voting trial suspended on Oct 1 citing "usability issues". Oddly the Univ of Michigan fight song played in voter's browser after vote cast. This may be the tip of the iceberg..Shelby County Election-"Was this any way to hold an election?"..Interest Group Spending Is Up and Anonymous..Make sure your vote counts; cast it in the right place..USENIX: "Security blunders dumber than dog snot."...A Canadian soldier in Afghanistan will pay $241.21 to mail absentee ballot home, US troops have free express mail ballot return...

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

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AZ: Make sure your vote counts; cast it in the right place
http://azstarnet.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_df63170c-2d3e-5d1a-a9ad-4a8408330914.html Attention voters: Late this month you will receive a postcard in the mail from the Pima County Elections Department. You'll probably be tired of mail from politicians by then, but do not toss this card. It is not junk. It lists the name and address of your polling place.
If you vote at the wrong place, you risk having your ballot invalidated. That's what happened to 3,230 Pima County electors in 2008, according to a new report...

CA: Vote-by-mail ballots headed to California voters
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_16234857?nclick_check=1
Voters have until 8 on election night to turn in ballots at their polling places.

CA: Fresno County cuts polling sites in half
http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/10/03/2103656/fresno-county-cuts-polling-sites.html
Fresno County's budget crisis is bringing an ugly new reality to next month's election -- a massive cutback in the number of voting precincts

CO: The politics of election quality
http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20101004/LETTER/101009943/1020&ParentProfile=1061
Starting with cordial private meetings and advisory e-mails we have gradually and patiently escalated our criticisms to appropriate authorities. As if to punish us, citizens with no power have been tarred and feathered with unwarranted blame and denigration.

CO: Colorado Republican Party May Lose Status as a Qualified Major Party
http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/10/04/colorado-republican-party-may-lose-status-as-a-qualified-major-party/

IL: Can Rahm Emanuel Run for Mayor of Chicago?
http://electls.blogs.wm.edu/2010/10/04/can-rahm-emanuel-run-for-mayor-of-chicago/

NJ: Jury selection in voter fraud trial of former Atlantic City councilman Marty Small begins http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/jury_selection_in_voter_fraud.html

NM: RECLAIMING Their VOICE: The Native American Vote in New Mexico
http://www.concentric.org/reclaiming/ Native Americans living on reservations were the last ethnic minority to have been granted the right to vote in the United States.

PA: Right call on the Black Panthers (Editorial)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/03/AR2010100303620.html
Far from acting recklessly, the Justice Department did what every law enforcement entity is ethically obligated to do: press only those charges that are supported by evidence.

SC: Scary Video: Who Builds South Carolina's Electronic Voting Machines?
http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheGoodFight/archives/2010/10/03/scary-video-who-builds-south-carolinas-electronic-voting-machines
"The Trouble With Touchscreens"

TN: The Gang(s) That Couldn’t Shoot Straight* (Shelby County Election)
Wild charges and careless accounting: Was this any way to hold an election?
http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/the-gangs-that-couldnt-shoot-straight/Content?oid=2320888 What else might have gone wrong besides the glitch with early-voting data on Election Day? A good deal, say the litigants, their supporters in the Democratic Party and elsewhere, and, notably, Black Box Voting consultants Bev Harris and Susan Pynchon, residents of Washington state and Florida, respectively, who have served as the principal investigators for the plaintiffs.
...
And the claim is being advanced from the plaintiffs' camp that the key to everything may be in a central programming card — a simple item analogous to a digital camera's memory card and, say the investigators, highly hackable — that has been so far withheld from inspection by the Election Commission.

TN: 19 Charges, 19 Answers: Giannini Responds to Plaintiffs' Accusations
http://www.memphisflyer.com/JacksonBaker/archives/2010/09/29/2320493-19-charges-19-answers-giannini-responds-to-plaintiffs-accusations&show=comments
Brief Answers to charges in the August 5th Shelby County Election

Internet Voting Watch

DC Internet voting trial intermediate results (public test suspended)
http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/26.18.html#subj1
The District of Columbia is, against advice from many computer scientists, pursuing a
trial of a prototype system for the November election.
...
It's unclear when the test period will resume, if it all. It's also not
clear at this point the extent of the compromise of the system. While it's
true that the DC BoEE can fix whatever problems allowed introduction of the
"fight song", it's also clear that this is the tip of the iceberg - we know
from 30 years of experience that the "penetrate and patch" method doesn't
produce secure systems.


Canada: HOW I’M GOING TO VOTE IN THE MUNICIPAL ELECTION
I’ve decided to try Internet Voting just to see how it works.
http://whenthemayorsmiles.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-im-going-to-vote-in-municipal.html
To do this I needed to register (to internet vote) and it needs to be done from September 27th – October 11th

It took me about three minutes to get registered. The key thing I needed was my Voter Information Notice that includes a 13-digit EID number that I had to enter along with a number of simple questions.

...We were told at an information session that it would take 24 hours or more for the approval and I’ve been waiting for 3 ½ days.

National

"THE OCTOBER 4TH VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS HERE, BUT MILLIONS CAN STILL REGISTER AND VOTE" http://electionlawblog.org/archives/017222.html

Product Liability: It is not just for consumers
http://www.ctvoterscount.org/developments-in-oh-ca-and-ct-could-benefit-aggressive-election-officials-nationwide/ The opportunity is for Secretaries of State and Attorneys General in states harmed by poor products to take advantages of documented defects like those uncovered by UConn, learn of those defects based on studying submissions required by California’s law, and aggressively following Ohio’s example of redress.

Proving Voltaire Right: Security Blunders Dumber Than Dog Snot
http://kentuckyhelp.com/proving-voltaire-right-security-blunders-dumber-than-dog-snot.html

Talk given at the 19th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security ’10)
Talk given by Roger G. Johnston, Vulnerability Assessment Team, Argonne National Laboratory. Voltaire famously said (sort of) that the main problem with common sense is that it is not all that common. Security is certainly a case in point.
...
This talk gives examples of common design blunders, easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities, poor usage, and sloppy thinking associated with various electronic devices involving physical security, including locks, tags, tamper-indicating seals, GPS, RFIDs, biometrics and other access control devices, and electronic voting machines.
[Discusses electronic voting around 11 minutes into the video]

The Roberts Court’s Legacy: Interest Group Spending Is Up and Anonymous
http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/10/the_legacy_of_the_roberts_cour.html

International Trade - Law Firms
Inbound Investment And U.S. National Security: Which Transactions Will The CFIUS Review And Why?
http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/current.php?artType=view&artMonth=October&artYear=2010&EntryNo=11507
On occasion, however, CFIUS has rejected any solution other than the divestiture of U.S. assets or operations deemed too sensitive for the particular foreign acquirer to retain. In these cases, the parties typically will admit defeat rather than force the President to issue a formal divestiture order. The most recent examples include (1) the negotiated exit in December 2006 by Smartmatic International, a Venezuela-owned firm, from its ownership of Sequoia Voting Systems, a U.S. supplier of voting machine technology used for elections by many states;

Absentee Voter Week encourages overseas voters
http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/09/27/45708-absentee-voter-week-encourages-overseas-voters/ The United States Postal Service is also assisting absentee voters this year by providing free express mail to speed ballots to state offices. As part of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in October 2009, the service is designed to help U.S. citizens abroad participate in elections.


International

Canada: Municipal ballot couriered to Kandahar
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2010/10/03/pf-15569091.html
CALGARY - Two hundred and forty dollars, and twenty-one cents.
That's the exact price of democracy, when you're a soldier stationed 10,850 kilometres from the nearest voting booth, and the government back home hasn't made election provisions for troops overseas.

India: EC asked to enhance confidence on EVM
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article812829.ece
Attending a meeting of political parties convened by the Commission, the main opposition BJP made a strong plea to go for a “paper trail.”

Philippines: Comelec wants polls rid of ‘illiterate’ candidates
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/202529/comelec-wants-polls-rid-of-illiterate-candidates
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may ask Congress to legislate additional requirements for persons running for public posts to rid elections of “illiterate" candidates, Palace officials suggested Sunday.

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