Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Michigan recount uncovers ballot probs. Internet voting in age of Cyber War

Michigan recount mess: 1000s of ballots in Huron & Tuscola Cnty weren't secured properly so cant be recounted...NC Statewide IRV contest faces recount..MY City, How Do You Lose Nearly 200,000 Votes? "This calls into question the whole validity of the process." — Sam Roberts..India missing 4,000 electronic voting machines..Dr. Barbara Simons on internet voting...All out Cyber War over Wikileaks shows risk of using internet for elections..

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

AK: Miller disputes Senate vote count at Juneau hearing,0,3656395.story
Miller argues that write-in votes must name “Lisa Murkowski,” exactly as her name appears on her declaration of candidacy, to be counted.

AK: Alaska judge to decide Senate challenge by Friday
A decision in Miller's favor could result in thousands of challenged write-in ballots for incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski being tossed and lead to a recount

AR: Losing candidates file lawsuit over missing absentee ballots in Arkansas' Phillips county,0,7936274.story
Phillips County election officials say 65 absentee ballots from the Nov. 2 general election are missing and now several candidates who lost close races are filing a lawsuit.
The list showed 608 absentee votes were cast, but only 543 were turned over to commissioners for certification on Nov. 15.

CA: After losing, politician rethinks ranked-choice voting
San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos was a big booster of ranked-choice voting, the controversial new system for conducting local elections in California

FL: December 12th is the 10th Anniversary of Supreme Court Decision to Halt Florida Recount in 2000 Presidential Election

IL: Judge to Naperville: Return candidates to ballot
A DuPage County judge on Tuesday ordered the city of Naperville to allow two city council candidates back on the April 5 ballot.
They were among four kicked off the ballot due to what they called misleading paperwork issued by the city. In the wake of that ruling, two other candidates, forced off for the same reason, also were reinstated.

IN: Secretary of State-Elect Tries Again to Halt Election Challenge Parker claims White is ineligible to take office because he registered to vote at the wrong address. Brooks says that's a misstatement of the law, which requires only that candidates be registered in the district they intend to serve -- in White's case, the entire state.

MA: Plymouth County election results official despite missing names “The mantra is supposed to be ‘count every vote,’ ” Markham said, “but though the commonwealth must have known there was a problem with several towns when they didn’t report the names of their top write-ins, they did nothing.”

MI: Election recount uncovers ballot problems Trouble first showed up in Huron County, where about 25 percent of the ballots could not be recounted....
A state election official says at least 10 of the 32 precincts in Tuscola County cannot be recounted because of these and other mistakes made by precinct officials.
(Huron & Tuscola Cnty,ballots not properly secured can't be recounted)

MI: Cost costs $250,000 and rising for Saugatuck Township in legal battle with developer Aubrey McClendon The filing on behalf of township residents Walter Hanlin and John Latini is funded by Aubrey McClendon. It alleges township officials inappropriately handled the ballots from the May 5 election and botched a recount.

MN: Tom Emmer concedes gubernatorial election to Mark Dayton
Following a statewide recount and after receiving a written opinion from the Minnesota Supreme Court, reaffirming its earlier opinion that dismissed a key Emmer argument that election officials across the state had not acted appropriately in reconciling precinct returns.

MN: Supreme Court says counties correctly reconciled results
The Supreme Court today released the reasoning behind its decision last month to deny Republican Tom Emmer's request to order counties to re-do a process known as reconciliation

NC: N.C. Appeals Court Runoff Heads for Recount
More than a month after voting ended in North Carolina, the only statewide race still without a winner is headed for a recount.

NC: Thigpen wants re-count in N.C. Court of Appeals race Spokesman Reid Overcash says Thigpen wants to make sure the count was performed properly because instructions may have been confusing to county officials

NC: Buncombe County Board of Elections finishes weeklong hand count

NC: Instant runoff flop Well, it's still not settled -- belying the "instant" component of this hare-brained scheme.

NC: Hearing Held in Lawsuit by Voters in Kinston, North Carolina, Who Want Non-Partisan City Elections
On December 3, U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates, a Bush Jr. appointee, held a hearing in Laroque v Holder, 10-0561. The case is in federal court in Washington, D.C.

NY: Johnson to appeal ruling of Martins victory

NY: Altschuler Concedes House Race In Suffolk
Although initial returns showed Bishop the winner, additional votes were later discovered that gave Altschuler the edge. But when absentee and affidavit ballots were counted, Bishop regained the lead.
There were calls for a hand recount, but the Suffolk County Board of Elections conducted an audit of 3 percent of the voting machines, found that they had performed without error and certified the election.

NY: City, town officials balk at paying election costs (Goshen)

NY: New York, NY - Bloomberg: New Voting Machines Are Worse Than Paper Ballots

NY: How Do You Lose Nearly 200,000 Votes? (podcast available)
On today's Brian Lehrer Show, Sam Roberts, urban affairs correspondent for The New York Times, talks about the discovery of nearly 200,000 unreported votes from the mid-term elections.

OH: Election lawsuit looming? County commish race in court? (Lucas County)
Republican candidate George Sarantou is marshaling his political forces behind an effort to find out whether hundreds of provisional ballots were properly included in the recent vote certification...

TX: Harris Co. voter registration changes cause a stir new process for newly naturalized systems might not include voter registration

WI: Few faults found with Waukesha County clerk's election system Among the recommendations from Internal Audit Manager Lori Schubert: assigning different IDs and passwords to three employees who now use the same one; never connecting certain PCs to the county network or Internet; and storing periodic back-up of programming data in some place other than the courthouse.

Internet Voting Watch

Barbara Simons on internet voting (presentation slides available)
_time_has_not_come_liberation_technology_series_summary_20101207/ There are a plethora of powerful technologies that make Internet voting inherently unsafe.

Extraordinary battle underscores serious threats to our very democracy, in more ways than one.. Despite the proven ability of a small group of hackers to take down several of the most secure financial sites in the universe, with ease, in what appears to be incredibly short notice, there remain those who believe that voting over the Internet and e-voting at local polling places, can be carried out safely and securely --- even with, often, trillions of dollars riding on the outcome of such elections.

Leaked Cables: Chinese Hackers Used Microsoft Source Code To Attack Google & US Government
WikiLeaks cables have shown that Chinese security firms, with ties to the Chinese military, hired hackers, including the group responsible for the original Blaster worm, to exploit Windows vulnerabilities, attack Google and conduct cyber warfare against U.S. government websites.

Symantec Predicts 2011 Security Trends,2817,2373894,00.asp
Given the "huge sums of money available to criminal enterprises at low risk of prosecution," Symantec predicts further attacks on non-PC devices, possibly smartphones, electronic voting systems, or power grid controllers.


Procedural Manual for the Election Assistance Commission's Voting System Testing and Certification Program, Version 2.0 This article has a comment period that ends in 55 days

Commentary Suggests that Gerrymandering in the United States is On the Way Out


Canada: How votes are counted (uses ES&S optical scanners)
As Peel Regional Police investigate allegations of voting fraud, Mississauga and the company that supplies voting machines are defending the reliability of the technology

Egypt: Elections Monitor: Violence in run-offs and calls to dissolve parliament

India: Vijayawada police recover 6 stolen EVMs, 4 persons arrested

India: Missing EVMs beep an alarm
The recent recovery of some EVMs from a scrap dealer at Vijayawada strengthens fears about the efficacy and safety of polling machines. It also corroborates a campaign launched by political parties and certain NGOs in Andhra Pradesh, which estimate that an astounding 4,000 EVMs have gone unaccounted since the 2004 parliamentary elections.

Nicaragua, Venezuela: Venezuela aided Nicaragua vote-buying, U.S. leak says Nicaragua received "suitcases full of cash" from Venezuela that may have helped to sway tainted elections in 2008, according to U.S. diplomatic cables that throw light on Nicaragua's increasingly authoritarian leader Daniel Ortega.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy. Archives here at
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