Monday, January 10, 2011

Indiana Senate takes step toward vote center approval; new Kentucky SoS named; voter ID debated

We at Verified Voting extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the tragedy in Arizona and their loved ones.

Tonight's edition includes an important story about the Department of Labor's new guidelines for electronic voting in union elections; several editorials on the question of voter ID [Editor's Note: the editorials on voter ID in tonight's edition express the same general point of view; please note that we include editorials expressing diverse points of view as they appear]; and news regarding Kentucky's new Secretary of State.

CA: Report: Ranked Choice Voting Causes Confusion, Fatigue In SF's District 10: News: SFAppeal

Ranked choice voting, otherwise known as instant run-off, has been used in San Francisco elections since 2004. This past November's elections marked the first time it was used in Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro. Read More

CT: Our View: A Better Way to Vote?

In the aftermath of November’s election, with a ballot shortage snafu in Bridgeport that delaying naming a new governor for days, newly elected Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill has started a discussion about how the voting process can be improved. Read More

CT: Special elections mean more expenses, more rhetoric - Connecticut Post

If you thought you had your fill of political elections, think again.

Nine more are slated for March involving 18 municipalities. And if incumbents from other offices seek to elevate their political standing, there will be another round of special elections in May. Read More

IL: Chicago military first to receive municipal election ballots

United States Armed Forces members from Chicago serving around the world were the first to receive ballots on Saturday for the upcoming municipal general election, the Chicago Election Board announced. Read More

IN: Senate Takes Step Toward Authorizing "Vote Centers" Statewide | Indy's News Center - 93.1 WIBC Indianapolis - Live. Local. First.

The Senate Elections Committee voted unanimously Monday to give all counties the vote-center option if local election boards give unanimous approval.

Former Secretary of State Todd Rokita spearheaded the push to test the concept in Cass, Tippecanoe and Wayne Counties. Those counties say they believe discarding multiple precincts in favor of a handful of centralized locations has improved turnout and polling-place accessibility. Read More

KY: Kentucky to Receive New Secretary of State

Governor Steve Beshear has announced that Grayson would be replaced by Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker. According to Beshear, Walker will take the position for the final eleven months of Grayson’s term and then file to run in the next election for a regular term as Secretary of State. Read More

LA: Federal approval of Louisiana open primaries expected within a month |

Louisiana is still waiting for federal approval to return to open primaries in the state's congressional and U.S. Senate elections beginning in 2012, though aides to Attorney General Buddy Caldwell say they do not believe the delay suggests the U.S. Department of Justice will reject the request. Read More

MD: Military Spouses Get Residency Relief - Odenton, MD Patch

Now, spouses of active duty military can choose to change their state of residency for taxes and other purposes like voting and car registration. Read More

MS: Yall Politics | Vote could end lengthy voter ID debate

The long-running legislative debate over requiring photo identification at Mississippi polling places could end come November. Read More

MT: Gazette opinion: Vote-by-mail bill offers better plan for state elections

Montana lawmakers can increase voter participation and decrease taxpayer expense by supporting House Bill 130.

This legislation is the result of months of work by Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, a Democrat, and a working group of county election officials of both parties as well as representatives of tribal governments, disabled Montanans and other groups advocating voter rights. Read More

MN: Some counties looking for recount reimbursement - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Some county officials in Minnesota say they're still waiting to be reimbursed for the gubernatorial recount. The state Republican Party says it's paying the bills as they are reviewed. Read More

MS: Vote could end lengthy voter ID debate » The Commercial Appeal

The long-running legislative debate over requiring photo identification at Mississippi polling places could end come November. Read More

NJ: Election Day once again in Manasquan | | Asbury Park Press

Rather than hold a second recount, Superior Court Judge Lawrence Lawson decided in early December that the borough should hold a special election for the [Borough Council] seat. Read More

NM: Locals react to state elections director appointment - Carlsbad Current-Argus

Rosprim said Shearer has a big job ahead of her. She said the new director's years of experience as an analyst for the state House Voters and Elections Committee for the state House Republican Caucus is a big plus because she is familiar with case law and how bills pertaining to the election process introduced by Legislature will work." Read More

NY: Clinton County to pay towns for election costs » NEW TODAY... » Press-Republican

The Clinton County Legislature has devised a plan to help towns pay for last year's election costs, but it won't be enough, in most cases. Read More

NY: Fired Board of Elections big shows true incompetence after putting in 'comical' $227G comp time bill

The board's 10 commissioners - a Republican and a Democrat from each borough - got Gonzalez's request in late November and treated it like it was radioactive - forwarding it to the city Law Department, where it is still being reviewed. Read More

NY: Rockville Centre to vote on consolidating election districts

The Board of Trustees will vote to consolidate its 22 election districts and 10 polling stations down to one. Village Administrator Frank Quigley said the board will vote on the election districts at tonight's meeting and the polling stations by April. If approved, residents will vote for village officials at the village's recreation center. Read More

NY: No state of pleasure - Wellsville, NY - Wellsville Daily Reporter

The elections board wants to talk more with county leadership about its own space issues in the aftermath of last year’s elections. The board is a“high priority,” according to a space assessment by Deputy County Administrator Mitchell Alger. The assessment was handed out during Wednesday’s county Court Facilities and County Space Needs Committee session. Read More

NY: Face it; I won an imperfect yet fair election - Times Union

My opponent opted instead to seek judicial intervention. As noted, every judge, regardless of political affiliation, rejected his argument that a hand recount was warranted. In the end, my opponent acknowledged in a press release that he had lost the election. Read More

NY: Ballot Access News » Blog Archive » New York Bill for Instant Runoff in New York City Primaries

On January 5, five New York Assemblymembers introduced A582. It provides for Instant Runoff Voting in New York city partisan primaries, and repeals the existing provision that requires run-off primaries several weeks after the first primary, if no one gets at least 40% of the vote. Read More

OH: Outgoing Ohio sec. of state returns to law firm - News, Sports, Jobs - The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Outgoing Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is returning to work at the law firm that she launched in 1988 to focus on election law. Read More

OH: Board of Elections considers cost-cutting - Canton, OH -

Stark County Board of Elections members are considering a pair of cost-cutting measures.

One involves reducing the number of voting precincts in the county; the other is a combination of mandatory and voluntary furloughs this year for staff. Read More

A Texas firm was awarded a contract Friday to replace Oklahoma’s voting machines, which have been in place nearly 20 years.

The new system will be installed in all 77 counties in time for the 2012 elections, state Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said. Read More

OH: Youngstown News, Officials differ on status of elections board move

When asked what he likes about the Oakhill location, McCabe said it has more warehouse space to store voting equipment than the annex. But he added that it’s not an ideal location for voting. Read More

TX: Job well done: Veteran Harris County Clerk Kaufman retires after a crowning achievement | Editorial | - Houston Chronicle

[Jan. 6] In nearly 17 years in office, freshly retired Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman conducted area elections with a no-nonsense, nonpartisan demeanor that won her admirers from the ranks of both local Democrats and Republicans. Read More

TX: Voter ID is far from the most crucial issue to come before the Texas Legislature | Editorials...

Requiring Texans to present photo identification to vote isn't an inherently bad idea. But the drive to impose the requirement rests too much on misimpressions, exaggerations and jockeying for political advantage. Read More

WA: Washington Secretary of State asking Legislature to move primary up two weeks to early August - Covington Reporter

Military and overseas voters have repeatedly asked for the ability to scan and return their ballots by e-mail,” said Reed, noting that 20 other states use this approach and that it’s working well for them. “When you’re a soldier stationed in the hills of Afghanistan or on a ship in the middle of the ocean, you don’t have much time to mail back your ballot, so this bill provides a modern, practical solution that allows military voters to return their ballots in a timely way.”

This proposal, prime-sponsored by Rep. Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, is expected to receive a bill number Friday and be referred to the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee. Read More

WI: WisOpinion, Wisconsin's Premier Political News Service

Election reform has been a hot topic of debate in recent years. Too few people vote, polling locations are often understaffed, and special interest spending is at an all time high. While we should be encouraging more electors to participate in our democracy, Republican lawmakers are fast-tracking a bill that would disenfranchise over 100,000 eligible voters by requiring them to show a photo ID at the polls. Read More

WI: State Republicans bring back voter ID push - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

State Republicans are renewing their push to make voters show a photo ID before getting a ballot. Read More


TVA's Website Recognized as One of the Government's Top Five -- KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

The publication consulted with Internet designers and other independent professionals in the Washington area to determine the government's best-designed public websites. In addition to TVA, web experts also gave top-five rankings to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission; the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Assistance site; the Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook, which provides data on countries around the world, and the Obama administration's site, which tracks how tax dollars are spent. Read More

Internet Voting Watch

A new way to view award nominees: iPhone, iPads or iPod Touch -

Tom Sherak, the academy's president, said Fox's iTunes deal might also be the first step toward Internet voting.

"If this works as an experiment, hopefully the studios will all become comfortable, and then the next thing would be how can we secure our voting online," Sherak said. "If those two things can be solved, it would make us more confident to bring a proposal back to move the show up earlier in the year." Read More

U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) - RFI: Use of Electronic Voting Systems in Union Officer Elections

On January 11, 2011, the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) will publish in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) notice seeking public comment to assist the Department of Labor (Department) in issuing guidelines concerning the use of electronic voting systems in union officer elections. Read More

CA: Your votes didn't count - Opinion

The historic event of having Fall 2010 host the first online voting process has been overshadowed by what will probably become known as the most infamous election in LBCC history.

Maybe since voting online is so much more convenient, the committee thinks it's reasonable and acceptable to delete the votes and try again. We hope the inch doesn't become a mile, allowing election re-do's to become more frequent and acceptable.
Read More


Canada: Counting underway as polls close in partial re-run of general election - Winnipeg Free Press

Philippines: Comelec withholds part of Smartmatic’s pay -, Philippine News for Filipinos

Smartmatic-TIM, the technology provider for the country’s first automated national elections last May, is “not yet off the hook” as far as supposed lapses and flaws in the conduct of the voting were concerned, according to an election official. Read More

Poll watchdog bares list of possible replacements for Comelec officials | The Philippine Star News Headlines

The poll watchdog Consortium on Electoral Reforms (CER) has come up with a list of possible replacements for outgoing Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo and Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer and Gregorio Larrazabal. Read More

United Kingdom: A new voting system – is it really what Britain needs? - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

With 16 weeks to go before the nation makes a historic decision, the two camps put their cases and Paul Bignell invites leading advertising agencies to devise the billboard posters. Read More

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