Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fairfax 'should junk electronic voting machines'. NY Election night-mare

Miller campaign challenges mis-spelled write in votes for Murkowski in Alaska election...IL Appeals court rejects Barrow's redo effort of '09 mayoral election...Philadelphia voter forced to swear on Bible before casting vote...Junk the paperless machines: Computer scientist Jeremy Epstein describes his day as a poll worker in Fairfax,VA. "..one of the touch screen machines was crashing all day...If I had a laptop that crashed three or four times in one day, I'd get a new one." Touchscreen machines failed to record 800 ballots & some precincts had more votes than voters...

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


AK: Miller Cites 'Bush v. Gore' in Arguments‎
http://www.frumforum.com/miller-cites-bush-v-gore-in-arguments
The Miller campaign says that write-in votes for Lisa Murkowski that misspell “Murkowski” should be called “protest votes” and hence disregarded. ..

AK: In early write-in counting news, Miller team challenging about 10% of vote for minor misspellings http://electionlawblog.org/archives/017914.html

AK: State regulation does allow misspelled names on some ballots
http://newsminer.com/pages/full_story/push?blog-entry-State+regulation+does+allow+misspelled+names
+on+some+ballots%20&id=10223786&instance=blogs_editors_desk
http://tinyurl.com/3yatkjr Joe Miller probably chose federal court instead of state court for his lawsuit about the validity of misspelled write-in ballots because of concerns that he would lose in the Alaska Supreme Court.

AK: Ballot counting begins in Alaska Senate races
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/10/AR2010111004751.html?hpid=topnews Election officials were set to begin poring over more than 92,500 write-in ballots in the Alaska Senate race on Wednesday.

AR: Election recount yields same results
http://www.bentoncourier.com/content/view/237169/1/

AZ: State, county lawyers warn of chaos in provisional ballot count
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/politics/article_26c3d804-ec89-11df-b211-001cc4c002e0.html She said there were about 84,000 provisional ballots cast. Brennan said, though, nothing on any of the ballots identifies why they were set aside, whether due to being unregistered or some other reason like voter ID at the polls.

CA: ELECTION UPDATE: About 5,000 vote-by-mail ballots remain uncounted in Orinda
http://www.ibabuzz.com/lamorindasun/2010/11/09/election-update-about-5000-vote-by-mail-ballots-remain-uncounted-in-orinda/

CA: County vote still untallied, but vote by mail is out front
http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_16571650 (Solano County)
With a few hundred damaged ballots and nearly 4,900 provisional ballots still needing to be counted, the turn-out for last Tuesday's election now stands at 58.74 percent.

CA: It's Wednesday ... do you know who your next Oakland mayor is?
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inoakland/detail?entry_id=76754

CA: Election Day Gone Wrong (Humboldt State U)
http://www.thejackonline.org/mobile/news/election-day-gone-wrong-1.2399800
But, some students could not vote on election day. Errors ranged from students not knowing where their polling places were to mail-in ballots and registration forms not turned in on time.

CA: Riverside County, CA's Oft-Failed Registrar Barbara Dunmore Finally Succeeds At Getting Fired http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8189

CO: Eagle County clerk working overtime to hand count ballots in sheriff's race, disputed House contest http://www.realvail.com/article/251/Eagle-County-clerk-working-overtime-to-hand-count-ballots-in-sheriffs-race-disputed-House-contest Military overseas ballots and ballots with corrected signature discrepancies continue to trickle in to the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, with the sheriff’s race between Republican incumbent Joe Hoy and independent challenger James Van Beek unlikely to be decided until late next week.

CT: Courant Editorial: “State Must Review Ballot Blunders” – We agree and disagree
http://www.ctvoterscount.org/hartford-courant-editorial-state-must-review-ballot-blunders/

We note that there are two registrars in Bridgeport, elected to use their two eyes and two brains to represent opposing interests toward voting integrity and access. Today, would the Courant maintain or reconsider its past editorial position proposing a single registrar per town, not in the interest of integrity, but in the interest of saving money?

CT: 68 ballots cast for wrong race in Norwich due to voting mixup
http://www.theday.com/article/20101109/NWS01/311099917/1044
Snafu didn't change results in House races in 46th, 47th Districts
Norwich — For the second time in four years, city voting officials mixed up ballots between precincts in the 46th state House District and those in the 47th District.

FL: Florida recount 10 years later
http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Florida_Recount-_10_Years_Later_107013878.html

FL: Hernando vote recount heads into second week
http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/hernando-vote-recount-heads-into-second-week/1133272 Nicholson and Amore refused to concede, however, triggering a manual recount of ballots that contain so-called over- and undervotes.

FL: Three missing ballots bedevil Palm Beach County school board recount
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/three-missing-ballots-bedevil-palm-beach-county-school-1033905.html Originally, 16 early-voting ballots were missing, Bucher said, but seven were found. Those ballots had been misfiled in the wrong boxes.

IL: Voters say they were handed wrong ballots*
http://forestparkreview.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=38&ArticleID=5312
Residents had cast their votes at Betsy Ross Elementary School before they realized the error

IL: Election hotline handles 60 complaints
http://www.kcchronicle.com/articles/2010/11/08/79953700/index.xml Of the 60 complaints the Kane County State’s Attorney’s election hotline recorded on Nov. 2, 12 were about an organization and restaurant offering free meals or discounts to voters.

IN: New voting machines expected by May primaries (Monroe County)
http://dailyme.com/story/2010110500004174/voting-machines-expected-primaries.html
The specific machines to be purchased include 65 of the company's DS200(i) model, and 65 handicapped-accessible AutoMARK(i) machines.

MI: Canvass confirms Lenawee election results* (test votes left on machine)
http://www.lenconnect.com/news/x1684095745/Canvass-confirms-Lenawee-election-results
The only significant error found by the board of canvassers was in Medina Township’s unofficial vote report, Holloway said. It was due to pulling data from a computer card that contained results from an earlier test vote instead of the real ballots cast on election day, Holloway said.

MI: Appeals court rejects Barrow's redo effort of '09 mayoral election
http://detnews.com/article/20101110/METRO01/11100396/Appeals-court-rejects-Barrow’s-redo-effort-of-’09-mayoral-election "The irregularities plaintiff alleges do not tend to show that any unrecountable ballots were not valid as originally cast or that Mayor Bing usurped the office of mayor,"...

MN: Now the felon voter is getting votes ...
http://www.minnpost.com/politicalagenda/2010/11/09/23215/now_the
_felon_voter_is_getting_votes_ http://tinyurl.com/3yycvl8
(Write in votes for felon voter in contest against Polk Co Atty who prosecuted him).

MO: Missouri poll worker describes Election Day problems
http://watchdog.org/7259/missouri-poll-worker-describes-election-day-problems/
St. Louis County... Due to a computer problem in the state’s capital, Keough said she watched as several voters left in frustration.
...
“I convinced one lady to stay and vote,” Keough told Missouri Watchdog. “But if you have two to three leaving at each polling place, that starts to add up.”

ND: Cass County ballot count may prompt change in law
http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/297893/group/News/ A split decision by Cass County’s canvassing board to accept absentee ballots postmarked on Election Day has prompted one legislator to consider introducing a bill to clarify the law.

NM: N.M. reworks voting machine audits
Number of precincts under review will depend on closeness of race http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/N-M--reworks-voting-machine-audits

NY: Election night-mare.
New, slow electronic system delayed results for hours
http://www.liherald.com/stories/Election-night-mare,28746?page=1&content_source=
“The last flash drive arrived at the Board of Elections a little past midnight, because you always have stragglers at the end,” said Biamonte. “We had a backup of flash drives — a considerable backup, because we have 1,170 election districts in this county. [It took] three and a half hours to finish the scanning of these things.”

NY: The Issues With the New Voting Machines
http://www.antonnews.com/greatneckrecord/news/11400-the-issues-with-the-new-voting-machines.html

NY: Why there were so many election-night snafus in New York
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/11/why_there_were_so_many_electio.html

NY: The Paper Trail: Optical scan voting system was the right choice
http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2010/11/the_paper_trail_optical_scan_v.html

NY: Board of Elections blames old state law for tiny type on midterm election ballot
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/11/10/2010-11-10_board_of_elections_blames_old_state_law_for_tiny_type
_on_midterm_election_ballot.html http://tinyurl.com/26wzcpe "Many people thought the ballot was too damn small," said Board of Elections Commissioner Frederic Umane, who blamed a state law that dictates the size and style of ballots.

NY: Absentee count begins in NY-25 election between Ann Marie Buerkle and Dan Maffei
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/11/absentee_count_begins_in_ny-25.html
Cayuga County

NY: State Senate majority fight far from over
http://www.queenscourier.com/articles/2010/11/10/news/top_stories/doc
4cdad323e8fdc670210197.txt http://tinyurl.com/2367czt While the outcome of three State Senate races remains up in the air and a final count is still weeks away, what party will control New York’s Senate chamber is still a mystery.

No winners have been declared in State Senate races in Westchester, Buffalo and Long Island, where thousands of absentee ballots still need to be counted

NY: New York Voter Survey Reveals Ballot Insufficiencies
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/45714/

PA: Philadelphia 'Freedom': Voter Forced to Swear on Bible Before Casting Vote in Mid-Term Election http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8190 When informed of the incident, Bob Lee, the Voter Registration Administrator for the Philadelphia City Commissioners, confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that Bibles are, indeed, included in the package of election materials provided to each polling site, but says no such oath is required before casting a vote.

TN: ACLU Challenges Tennessee Voter Re-Enfranchisement Law
http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/aclu-challenges-tennessee-voter-re-enfranchisement-law The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Tennessee filed a petition today with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to re-hear a case challenging a Tennessee law that denies voting rights to people with felony convictions who have outstanding financial obligations related to their conviction or owe child support.

VA: Barbara Hollingsworth: Fairfax should junk electronic voting machines*
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Fairfax-should-junk-electronic-voting-machines-1509824-106981668.html
Jeremy Epstein was a poll worker in Fairfax County during last Tuesday's cliffhanger between incumbent Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly and Republican challenger Keith Fimian, so he had a front-row seat watching an electronic touch-screen voting machine behave badly during the critical midterm election.
...
"In Precinct 121, Villa, we had three electronic machines and one optical scanner," Epstein told The Washington Examiner. "I was there from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and one of the touch screen machines was crashing all day. We had to reboot it a few times. We also had problems getting it to print the results. If I had a laptop that crashed three or four times in one day, I'd get a new one."
Voting machines in two other precincts failed to boot up at all at the end of the day and were taken to the county's Government Center without a vote total recorded, he added.
Despite a poor track record -- including decertification in Pennsylvania -- more than 1,000 AVS machines are still in use in Fairfax County, where they failed to register votes from more than 800 ballots

VA: In Virginia, No Room For Florida-Style Recounts*
Candidates challenging election results don’t have advantages they would in other states. http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=345897&paper=72&cat=104 Orange Hunt voters may also have been delayed because one of the electronic voting machines with a touch screen froze during its 12-hours of operation.
...
After the polls closed, election workers at two different Lorton precincts were unable to get electronic voter machines to report ballot tallies.

Results from those precincts — Lorton and Laurel Hill — were not reported until the day after the election, when staff members at the Fairfax County Government Center restarted the machines and were able to retrieve the results.
...
“There has never been any proof that they don’t lose votes when they crash. We don’t really know if they are losing votes or not,” said Jeremy Epstein, a computer scientist who works on building more secure voting systems professionally.

VT: With Election Results Now Official, Vote Goes To Legislature
http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/89241/
The official results of last week's election have been released and no candidate for Governor or Lt. Governor received more than 50% of the vote

WA: Washington Supreme Court race still up in the air
http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/analysis/index.php?ID=7933
After leading in vote counting for the past week, incumbent Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders now trails challenger Charlie Wiggins by 3,601 votes. With approximately 175,000 more votes to be counted in the next few days, the outcome of this race remains uncertain.
WA: Ballot counting becomes an issue of speed (LTE)
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/northwestvoices/2013379690_
ballotcountingbecomesanissueofspeed.html http://tinyurl.com/2efqbx9
‘Hard to imagine a system less efficient, or more susceptible to fraud’
...
Back in the olden days, five or 10 years ago, we cast our votes at polling places, of which King County had several hundred, put the ballots in a machine that tabulated them and by 11 p.m. we pretty much knew who won each position.


Internet Voting Watch

Canada: Couple standing up for local democracy (Huntsville)
http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/opinion/letters/article/900743--couple-standing-up-for-local-democracy #1. We have initiated a new citizen’s group called Citizens for Secret And Verifiable Elections because we believe that Internet voting is a threat to democracy and would like to see our town council reverse its decision until a more thorough examination of the issues is undergone.
...
We have also started a Facebook Group called Citizens for Secret And Verifiable Elections—note the capital letters.
...
#2. We are interested in counting the number of voters who were unable to cast their vote in the past election due to problems with accessing the system on Oct. 25 or confusion about how to proceed...

Canada: Resident reports a different voting woe
http://www.insidehalton.com/opinion/letters/article/900801--resident-reports-a-different-voting-woe

I would be curious to know if there were others like me that never received the required PIN to vote online.

National

Electronic Voting Machines Continue to Cause Problems for Election Day
http://www.govtech.com/e-government/Electronic-Voting-Machines-Continue-to-Cause-Problems-for-Election-Day.html “If votes can silently move from one candidate to another, I find that very scary,” Dill said. “And as a computer scientist, I know it’s completely possible — either by accident or because of tampering with the machines.”
...
Smith said fewer DRE machines will be used in the next election, as more jurisdictions are moving to optical scanning voting systems. Using optical scanning, candidate selections are handwritten, so if the system fails, the votes can still be recounted. This method likely will provide a safer, more trustworthy outcome.

THE ELECTION ADMINISTRATOR'S PRAYER.
http://electionlawblog.org/archives/017917.html

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