Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bridgeport CT refuses election audit. Recounts everywhere, what are the laws?

AP news says Murkowski won Alaska Senate Race.Miller did not concede..The Connecticut city with too few ballots - "Bridgeport Embarrasses Itself Once Again, Refusing to be Audited"...Will California ever finish counting absentee ballots?..Who Stole Election Day? (Early voting)...Machine recounts in NC 2nd CD. Election fraud charged in Madison,Yancey Co NC..Photo ID proposed in OK and TX, plans to propose in NC, with LWV filing suit in Oklahoma...Cuomo Seeks Expedited Senate Recount...

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

State Recount Laws Searchable Database:
http://ceimn.org/ceimn-state-recount-laws-searchable-database

AK: Murkowski emerges as winner in Alaska Senate race
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101117/ap_on_el_se/us_alaska_senate
Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday became the first Senate candidate in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign..
...
Murkowski has a lead of 10,400 votes, a total that includes 8,153 ballots in which Miller observers challenged over things like misspellings, extra words or legibility issues.

AK: State to provide Miller with voter rolls
http://www.adn.com/2010/11/16/1557705/state-to-provide-miller-with-voter.html
The state will provide GOP nominee Joe Miller with voter rolls his campaign requested to ensure there was no voter fraud or irregularities in the Alaska Senate race.

AK: Senator leads; Miller wants hand recount
BUT HANG ON: Miller team, citing "suspect" computer system, wants entire election recounted by hand http://www.adn.com/2010/11/16/1557873/murkowskis-lead-more-than-10000.html

AK: Judge denies AFN in election lawsuit
http://www.adn.com/2010/11/16/1558190/judge-denies-afn-in-election-lawsuit.html
A federal court judge has denied a request by the Alaska Federation of Natives to intervene in the write-in election lawsuit brought by U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller.

AL: Election officials plan recount for Jefferson County Circuit Court Place 20 judicial race http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/11/election_officials_plan_recoun.html

AL: Alabama: Vendor Supplies Pencils for Marking Ballots (Trust the Vote Commentary)
http://www.trustthevote.org/alabama-vendor-supplies-pencils-for-marking-ballots
I guess that what Etowah County deserves, but does not have today, is a voting system with optical scanners that are “functionally compatible” with a “marking device” that local election officials can easily buy by the hundred dozen at a local store.

AR: Benton County OKs Election Changes
OFFICIALS APPROVE PLAN FOR VOTING MACHINE SOFTWARE
http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2010/nov/17/benton-county-oks-election-changes/ ...which would eliminate sending information and material back and forth between Bentonville and Omaha, Neb..

CA: Vote count tight, messy in California attorney general race
http://www.scpr.org/news/2010/11/17/AG-race-rhetoric/

CA: Registrar of voters continues count of remaining absentees, work on election certification http://lakeconews.com/content/view/16964/919 Still being counted are 4,500 vote by mail ballots turned in between Oct. 29 and Nov. 2. Of those, 1,834 were turned in on election day, Fridley said.

CA: City, county, state votes still being counted
http://www.willitsnews.com/ci_16637892 While several Mendocino County candidates are still waiting for votes to be counted, the statewide contest for attorney general also remains to close to call. As of noon, November 16, there were 774,065 votes left to be counted statewide, and Kamala Harris was leading Steve Cooley by only 18,064 votes.
There were only 12 counties that have completed counting votes.

CA: Riverside County names acting registrar of voters
http://blogs.pe.com/news/digest/2010/11/riverside-county-names-acting.html
Luna appointed Chief Deputy Registrar Rebecca Spencer to the post.

CA: Reilly and Kelly concede D2 and D10 races
http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2010/11/17/reilly-and-kelly-concede-d2-and-d10-races
For Reilly, the disappointment was sharpened by the knowledge that she received more first-place votes than any other D2 candidate.
...
“In my own race, an independent expenditure committee armed with $230,000 leveled an 11th-hour smear campaign against me,” Reilly noted...

CO: Overvotes the latest wrinkle in House District 61 race
http://www.realaspen.com/article/315/Overvotes-the-latest-wrinkle-in-House-District-61-race

Now that the undervotes are almost tallied in the House District 61 race, the contest between Roger Wilson and Kathleen Curry could come down to overvotes.
Kathleen Curry

CT: Bridgeport hearing expose issues beyond ballot shortages
http://www.ctvoterscount.org/bridgeport-hearing-expose-issues-beyond-ballot-shortages/

“Training was not evident. Professionalism was not evident,”

CT: Bridgeport rejects ballot recount
http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Bridgeport-rejects-ballot-recount-815152.php
HARTFORD -- Bridgeport officials, citing a lack of authority for Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, have rejected a request to recount ballots in the 12 city voting precincts that were kept open an extra two hours on Election Day.

CT: 74 Districts in 55 towns chosen for audit. And the surprises just keep coming.
http://www.ctvoterscount.org/74-districts-in-55-towns-chosen-for-audit-and-the-surprises-just-keep-coming/

CT: Bridgeport Embarrasses Itself Once Again, Refusing to be Audited
http://scullycommunications.com/archives/1187
If ever there was a time for Bridgeport election officials to say “sure, we’ll do whatever you want with our voting machines,” it’s right now. But no such luck. In the aftermath of the ballot debacle, city officials are now refusing to participate in the biennial audit of voting machines

CT: CT State Representative Chris Caruso calls for impeachment of a registrar and admonishes the SoS in this interview after a hearing on recent election problems in Bridgeport. http://doingitlocal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=13&Itemid=457

CT: Complaints fly before Election Day panel; answers harder to come by
http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Complaints-fly-before-Election-Day-panel-answers-817745.php

Guam: Gutierrez Camp Begins Review of Voter Registration Lists, In Preparation for Lawsuit http://www.pacificnewscenter.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9404:gutierrez-aguon-camp-wants-to-inspect-voter-signature-roster&catid=45:guam-news&Itemid=156 The review is being conducted ahead of an expected lawsuit challenging the outcome of the Gubernatorial race.

IL: Champaign County Clerk - Two ways to make the media happy
http://blog.champaigncountyclerk.com/2010/11/16/two-ways-to-make-the-media-happy/
In the election business, there are two things you can do to make the media jump for joy.

The first is to give them quick election results, preferably in time for the 10:00 pm news or at the very least tomorrow’s morning edition. This comes with the additional benefit of getting the media safely tucked into bed by midnight.

The second is to screw something up in the election so that they have a ready made and easy to report story for the ensuing weeks.

IL: Primary matters --Yes it helps to be first on the ballot. Now what can we do about that? http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2010/11/primary-matters-.html

KY: The problem with election night returns (online reporting on SOS website)
http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wkms/news.newsmain/article/0/1/172
4963/Local.Features/The.problem.with.election.night.returns http://tinyurl.com/36v5vwh

ME: Who Stole Election Day? (Early voting too early?)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703326204575616890895700112.html
Too many voters are making decisions when horse-race coverage dominates the news, attention to issues is limited, and key debates haven't taken place.

MN: State GOP drops gubernatorial election data lawsuit
http://www.twincities.com/ci_16631321?source=most_viewed

MN: Emmer, GOP ask high court to reconcile votes
http://www.woodburybulletin.com/event/article/id/36684/group/homepage/
The petition asks the Supreme Court to order the State Canvassing Board to make sure the voter numbers and ballots cast numbers are reconciled before a recount in the governor's race proceeds.
...
The Dayton campaign has no over-voting evidence, Martin added, and if it occurred the canvassing board should pick it up. "In this recount, we start zero to zero."

NC: Recount Begins To Determine Alamance County District Attorney*
http://www.digtriad.com/news/elections/article.aspx?storyid=150700&catid=117
Current District Attorney Pat Nadolski won the election by seven votes over challenger Rob Sharpe two weeks ago. The board of elections had to throw out three votes last week, another voter's address couldn't be verified and two people voted twice. [In person voting is on touchscreen,only paper ballots are absentee or provisional. Initial recount is by machine, candidate can request hand to eye of 3% with potential to expand]

NC: Vote investigations in Madison, Yancey*(miscount,conflict of interest, coercion)
http://www.citizen-times.com/article/2010311160074
The challenges came after one-stop voting ballots from the Hot Springs and Beech Glen precincts were initially left out of the election-night totals. When those 1,100 ballots were later included, Harrison had apparently lost to Assistant District Attorney Gary Gavenus.

That miscount is the basis for Harrison’s protest, though he also tried to get Jerry Wallin, the chairman of the county board of elections, to step aside from the canvass and certification because he says Wallin and his wife donated “at least $1,100 to the campaign of Gary Gavenus.”
...
Yancey County Board of Elections Chairman Charles McCurry said a state investigator had been in Burnsville after complaints from “individuals who say they were harassed or persuaded to vote in a particular way.

NC: Secret ballots — a whisper with loud implications
http://www.mountainx.com/opinion/2010/111710secret-ballots-a-whisper-with-loud-implications ...I learned that although individual votes are secret, neighborhood (precinct) votes are not.

NC: ID push is partisan
http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/11/17/807456/id-push-is-partisan.html

NC: Brief Filed in 4th Circuit in North Carolina Independent Candidate Ballot Access Case http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/11/16/brief-filed-in-4th-circuit-in-north-carolina-independent-candidate-ballot-access-case/#comments

NC: NC: Second and third choices by voters will determine winner between Thigpen, McCollough http://www.americanindependent.com/157072/nc-second-and-third-choices-by-voters-will-determine-winner-between-thigpen-mccollough
Winner of Court of Appeals race won't be known until end of November

NJ: No proof juror tainted in ongoing voter fraud trial, judge rules as case slowly moves on http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/article_38687e40-f1c8-11df-842e-001cc4c002e0.html

NJ: FBI investigates New Brunswick primary election (messenger ballots)
http://www.dailytargum.com/news/fbi-investigates-new-brunswick-primary-election-1.2408506 FBI agents made a visit to downtown New Brunswick early yesterday to seize documents and electronic data from June's democratic primary election, in which Patricia Bombelyn challenged long-time incumbent candidate Mayor Jim Cahill.

NY: New Yorkers Pretty Much Sucked at Voting This Year
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2010/11/fewer_new_yorke.php New York ranked among the 10 lowest states for turnout in 2006 and 2008, but until this year it was not at the bottom.
...
Bombelyn's campaign worker Gideon Weisberg observed a Cahill campaign aide, Kevin Jones, allegedly handling stacks of unsealed, undelivered mail-in ballots in Pine Street Park in June, according to a June 9 article on nj.com.

NY: Cuomo Seeks Expedited Senate Recount
http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wxxi/news.newsmain/article/0/0/1726825
Governor -elect Andrew Cuomo has written a letter to the State's chief judge, asking for expedited court action in three disputed State Senate races that will determine the outcome of which party controls the State Senate.

NY: Dems call for hand count in 60th state senate race
http://tonawanda-news.com/top_stories/x1672070487/Dems-call-for-hand-count-in-60th-state-senate-race Democrats are strengthening calls for a hand count of every vote cast in the ongoing race for New York’s 60th senate district after a reported glitch in some area voting machines failed to provide tallies Monday.

NY: New wrinkle in Senate recount
http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/erie-county/article255921.ece
Ward said the problem was not the memory sticks, which contain the machine results, but rather the software that reads the sticks.
...
The problem with the software, Ward said, was fixed by the software manufacturer, a remedy Senate Democrats were quick to criticize.

“What they’re effectively doing is seeking a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants fix by the manufacturer,” said Gianaris, a lawyer and assemblyman who won election to the Senate this month.

NY: In tight local races, focus is on absentee ballots
http://www.riverheadlocal.com/local-news-content/1126-in-tight-local-races-focus-is-on-absentee-ballots

A lawsuit promised last week by attorneys for Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) to secure a full hand recount of the paper ballots cast in the 1st Congressional District race on Election Day has not yet been filed, according to Bishop spokesman Jon Schneider.

A separate suit filed by Assemblyman Marc Alessi (D-Shoreham) Nov. 8, seeking to impound the voting machines and obtain a hand recount, has been adjourned on consent till the end of the month, according to Alessi attorney Steven Schlesinger of Garden City. The parties were due in court Nov. 15.

NY: Voters Found Faults With Ballot, Council Says
http://www.qgazette.com/news/2010-11-17/Features/Voters_Found_Faults_With_Ballot_Council_Says.html A City Council survey of people who voted in the recent elections reveals that they cited issues such as ballot design, the size of type used to print instructions and lack of privacy among the problems encountered on Election Day, Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced.

OH: Election problem explained to supervisors
http://columbustelegram.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_7dc0d44a-f25b-11df-8083-001cc4c03286.html Olmer said ES&S the election service company that provided the ballots for the election has agreed to credit its billing for Platte County's election in the amount of $2,000.
The credit will cover the costs incurred for extra temporary employees to hand count the 455 ballots rejected by the scanner because of a printing error

OH: Cost of early voting site divides Summit elections board
http://www.ohio.com/news/break_news/108537499.html

OK: Oklahoma voter ID measure challenged
http://newsok.com/oklahoma-voter-id-measure-challenged/article/3515365
A lawsuit claims State Question 746 interferes with Oklahomans’ voting rights. It is the third challenge to a state question approved by voters earlier this month.
...
The measure imposes undue limits on the right to vote, Thomas wrote in the lawsuit, and is unconstitutional under Article 3 of the state constitution, which reads: “All elections shall be free and equal. No power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.”

OK: League of Women Voters sues to stop voter ID
http://www.kfsm.com/news/sns-ap-ok--voteridchallenge,0,2219160.story

OK: Rumored lawsuit becomes reality for Oklahoma’s SQ 746
http://ballotnews.org/2010/11/17/rumored-lawsuit-becomes-reality-for-oklahomas-sq-746/ A lawsuit was filed on November 16, 2010 in Tulsa County District Court challenging the passage of Oklahoma’s State Question 746, stating that statewide question interferes with the “right of suffrage by those entitled to such right.”

TX: Left with discrepancies*
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/judge-119501-left-cameron.html
The Cameron County judge’s race remains in limbo, and the individual who can settle the issue is not saying a word about it.
...
Still at issue is which candidate will be the county judge starting in 2011. Both Republican Carlos H. Cascos, the incumbent, and Democrat John Wood had been deemed the winners just hours apart.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Saturday, Ortiz said Cascos was the winner receiving 20,392 votes to Wood’s 20,342. However, within hours, a discrepancy was discovered, resulting in reports that Wood defeated Cascos by five votes, 20,576 to 20,571.
...
Records indicate that there appears to be a discrepancy between the votes counted on Election Day and the recount conducted on Friday and Saturday.

Unofficial returns in the county judge’s race show there were 41,164 votes counted on Election Day and 40,734 votes tallied during the recount — meaning that the recount had 430 fewer votes in total.

The numbers also differ in the number of mail-in votes counted on Election Day and during the recount. On Election Day 674 mail-in votes were counted, but during the recount that number jumped to 926 — a difference of 252 votes.

TX: Fraser Files Photo ID Measure
http://www.llanonews.com/news/article/36564

TX: Casey: Feuds are bloodiest in the family
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/casey/7298159.html
State Sen. John Whitmire, a Democrat, had little use two years ago for a Republican-backed law requiring voters to present a picture ID when they go to the polls.
"I've never thought there was much fraud at the polls," he said. "Mail-in ballots — there's a problem there, but not at the polls."
...
But he's not joking about being more flexible on the voter ID issue.
"If we fight like hell, we'll lose," he said. "We need some discussion about making it work better."

TX: Houston Group Sues to Strike Down Texas Campaign Finance Law
http://www.lobbycomply.com/wordpress/?p=1779

VT: Recount set in Vt. race separated by a single vote
http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=13515355
According to the secretary of state's office, there are nine recounts taking place across Vermont, including Rutland City which also has only a one-vote difference.

WV: City Council considers vote-by-mail system (Morgantown)
http://www.thedaonline.com/news/city-council-considers-vote-by-mail-system-1.1780207
Postal voting is on the agenda for the Committee of the Whole meeting Dec. 3.

Internet Voting Watch

Editorial: Electronic voting should be the goal in New York
http://www.mpnnow.com/opinions/x1270142273/Editorial-Electronic-voting-should-be-the-goal-in-New-York {another bad idea for election reform)

National

Wall St: I Voted (Cartoon)
http://protectourelections.org/index.php?q=node/86

"Reform Groups Press 'Disclosure Only' Bill in Senate; New study to be release on contribution disclosure" http://electionlawblog.org/archives/017995.html

Report: Black voters had mixed impact in midterm elections
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2010/11/black-voters-turnout-chris-coons-alexi-giannoulias/1

What Do You Mean, “One Person?” (article on re-districting)
http://electls.blogs.wm.edu/2010/11/17/what-do-you-mean-%E2%80%9Cone-person%E2%80%9D/


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