Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spokane must duplicate 30,000 mail ballots. Some elections still too close to call

More bad ideas for Connecticut elections...Rep Tim Bishop wants hand count of 184,000 Long Island 1st dist ballots after vote swing. 10,000 absentee ballots uncounted...Was Stark CO, OH student's video report of touchscreen vote-flipping just an isolated incident? Brad Friedman reports...Spokane WA officials busy duplicating 30,000 ballots that were damaged, poorly marked or unreadable...Dust Settles on Election Results, But Not Voting System Troubles..4 electronic voting machines smashed in India election violence...Update On Deadlocked Races...

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

US. Too Close To Call: Update On Deadlocked Races

AK: Absentee vote count today
Joe Miller hopes to make a comeback in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race when the Division of Elections today starts counting more than 30,500 absentee ballots.
The vast majority of the 83,201 write-ins are expected to be for incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The Division of Elections on Wednesday in Juneau will start the process of opening the write-in ballots to see how many of them actually have Murkowski’s name.

CA: Latest absentee ballot counts still show tight races* (damaged mail ballots)
For the 20th congressional district, Andy Vidak is leading Jim Costa with 145 votes, but tens of thousands of ballots still need to be counted in Fresno County.

Here in Kern County, elections employees are now focusing their efforts on duplicating more than 5,000 ballots damaged in the mail.

CA: Some San Luis Obispo County ballots still need tallying
Votes in close SLO and Morro Bay mayoral races among those to be counted this week

CA: Riverside County Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore fired after delayed vote counts http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101109/NEWS03/101109036/Registrar-fired-after-delayed-votes

CA: Oakland ranked ballot: Least-hated tops most-liked
In an election where second- and third-place count, you are far, far better off being the least-hated candidate than the most popular.

When the Alameda County Registrar of Voters ran the ranked choice algorithm on November 5, 2010, it violated a Memorandum of Understanding it agreed to with the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro.

CA: Confusion about Oakland’s voting system may have affected election results

CO: Clerks to hand count undervotes in House District 61

Judge James Madden ordered the clerks in the district to count any ballots that the voter wrote unaffiliated incumbent Kathleen Curry's name on the line for that race regardless of whether the oval or box next to it was marked. Curry currently trails Roger Wilson of Missouri Heights by 495 votes. There are 2,001 undervotes in the race, opening the door for her to theoretically make up the difference
Harvie Branscomb, co-chair of the Democrats in Eagle County, maintains Judge Madden's ruling is unfair because it is limited to a hand count of the undervotes, and not of the entire HD61 election.

CT: Bridgeport Fiasco Proves We Need To Change Our Voting System
http://www.newhavenadvocate.com/featured-news/bridgeport-fiasco-proves-we-need-to-change-our-voting-system-034113 (suggests everything expect print enough ballots)

IL: GOP Poll Watcher Wears U.S. Immigration Agency Hat at Hispanic Polling Place in IL on Election Day http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8186 Charges of 'intimidation' dismissed by Republicans as 'baloney,' highlights hypocrisy of ginned-up Fox 'News'/GOP New Black Panther Party 'scandal

MA: Provisional ballots could overturn Third Bristol election results in Taunton

MN: Recount or transition: It's a split screen
Republican Emmer and DFLer Dayton must work in two directions, naming teams for both efforts as Dayton's lead dipped slightly to 8,751 votes.
An attorney for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer said Monday that Republicans are giving no thought of waiving their rights to an automatic statewide recount of votes.

MN: Emmer talks recount for the first time since the election
http://www.mndaily.com/2010/11/09/emmer-talks-recount-first-time-election Emmer said he will let the process run its course in determining if his opponent Mark Dayton's 8,700 vote lead is legitimate.

NJ: Jury picked in AC councilman's vote fraud trial (absentee ballot fraud)

NM: Same-day registration would prevent future mishaps at polls

prevent_future_mishaps_at_polls http://tinyurl.com/3789ezz
While NMPIRG acted within the letter of the law that requires them to submit forms within 48 hours of when they have been filled out, unfortunately they missed the other crucial deadline for the forms to have been processed in time for the Nov. 2 election...
(Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Bernalillo County Clerk

NV: Nevada Sec of State website received 34.6M hits on Election Night

NY: City Council Survey Reveals Depth Of Election Day Issues (podcast available)

A New York City Council survey showed that about one in three voters encountered problems in the general election.

NY: Court battle looms in outcome of NY House race
Bishop's camp says that because the outcome is so close, all 184,000-plus votes should be recounted. There are also over 10,000 uncounted absentee ballots.

NY: Bishop filing suit today seeking hand count of paper ballots
http://www.riverheadlocal.com/local-news-content/1091-bishop-filing-suit-today-seeking-hand-count-of-paper-ballots ...Poll inspectors confused by scanner reports?
Maybe or maybe not, according to a source at the Board of Elections, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It could be a problem with the software, too," he said.

NY: L.I. Dems to Demand Vote Recount After Election Errors
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Dems-To-Demand-Vote-Recount-After-Election-Errors-106915918.html The effort follows a wild vote swing in Bishop's re-election bid against Republican challenger Randy Altschuler.
When the congressman went to bed election night, he had a more than thirty four hundred vote lead over Altschuler; but, after the numbers were checked late last week, Bishop's lead vanished. Altschuler now holds a 383 vote advantage.
Thirty to forty percent of the election districts in this Congressional race had vote count errors, according to a county source.

OH: OH Touch-screen Vote-Flipping, From Dem to Libertarian, Caught by Student on iPhone Video http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8187
So will the GOP finally ban 100% unverifiable e-voting for 2012?...
No worries. The election officials in Stark County, OH say the Diebold touch-screen vote-flipping, as captured on iPhone video by voter and University of Akron freshman Ian Sanderson on Election Day last week, was just "an isolated incident"...

OR: Sen. Morse eyes ballot collection change

TX: Ballots to be recounted in tight Cameron County judge race

WA: Elections Workers Still Counting Spokane County Ballots
http://www.kxly.com/news/25677850/detail.html Spokane County Auditor Vicki Dalton said Monday several things need to happen to get results sooner.
Another issue is that voters need to fill in the ovals on their ballots correctly. This apparently was an issue this election year and is one reason twice as many ballots as usual are having to be duplicated by hand, which adds to the processing time.
Approximately 30 election workers will work into next week duplicating more than 30,000 ballots.

Internet Voting Watch

WA: State not ready to take on online voting until testing shows it works
Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman said South Sound voters are hostile toward online voting. She discovered that when she held a series of community meetings when Thurston County was switching from punch card voting. The question was what election system to switch to.

At Argonne National Lab, closing the curtains on ’security theater’
http://www.smartplanet.com/technology/blog/science-scope/at-argonne-national-lab-closing-the-curtains-on-security-theater/5167/ A VVPR isn’t an absolute guarantee of election integrity, but it complicates things for would-be vote tamperers, and makes audits and recounts more believable.

Internet voting would be totally crazy at this point in our understanding of security.

Technology brings wonders, dangers
As most people know, computers can be very susceptible to hacking. From recovering e-mails to convict a felon to distributing provocative photos of celebrities, hacking can be used for good or bad.
As United States citizens, we have the right to vote, but we also have the right for our vote to be counted accurately. As of today, there is no way to determine whether or not online votes accurately represent voters.


Dust Settles on Election Results, But Not Voting System Troubles

In many parts of the U.S., the voting systems used this month are the same flakey systems that in the past have created controversy and legal wrangling

This is the Month to Ask State Legislators to Introduce Ballot Access Improvement Bills http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/11/09/this-is-the-month-to-ask-state-legislators-to-introduce-ballot-access-improvement-bills/

Why are political robocalls legal?
When Congress wrote the law creating the do-not-call system in 2003, lawmakers decided that the rules should not apply to campaign calls..


India: Ex-minister arrested for booth violence
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Ex-minister-arrested-for-booth-violence/articleshow/6897759.cms NAWADA: A group of anti-social elements smashed four electronic voting machines (EVMs), roughed up the four Andhra Pradesh policemen and tore voters' lists at four polling booths located on the campus of a school at Narhat under Hisua assembly constituency on Tuesday. A BJP polling agent, Vinit Kumar, was injured after he was hit on the head by a brick.

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