Thursday, January 27, 2011

Voting News 01/27/11 - U Michigan Computer Scientist Makes Argument Against Internet Voting?

ID: 45 households in Asotin County get wrong ballot for upcoming election | KLEW CBS 3 - Lewiston, ID

The Asotin County Auditor's Office has sent out new ballots to fix a registration issue. It all started when a concerned citizen brought in his tax information. "His voter registration card showed that he was registered to vote in Asotin School District but he was paying property tax in Clarkston School District," said Asotin County Auditor Darla McKay. "So we did some further investigation with the Assessor's Office and mapped it out and we found that 45 Clarkston School District voters were registered to vote in the Asotin School District." Read More

IL: Court Allows Emanuel on Ballot for Chicago Mayor -

Rahm Emanuel’s bid to become mayor of this city may proceed, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. The decision appeared to bring an end to weeks of legal debate over whether Mr. Emanuel qualified for the ballot, specifically whether his time in Washington as President Obama’s chief of staff meant that he had given up his residency status in Chicago, where he was born. By Illinois state code, candidates for mayor are required to have resided in Chicago for at least one year before Election Day. Mr. Emanuel left the White House in October, and the election is Feb. 22. Read More

IN: House committee to hear vote center bill | | Journal and Courier

A bill that would extend the life of vote centers in Tippecanoe County will be heard by a House committee this afternoon. Senate Bill 32 has already passed out of the Senate and will go before the elections committee in the House chamber at 3:30 p.m. today. Heather Maddox, the Democratic co-director of the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, is traveling to Indianapolis and plans to testify in support of the bill today. She said she' worried the bill will face more questions in the House than it did in the Senate. Read More

MN: Kiffmeyer presents voting reform legislation | Hometown Source

Republican Rep. and former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer of Big Lake argues her voting legislation will catch errors early.
“If the math isn’t right upfront, it’s pretty difficult to correct it at the end,” said Kiffmeyer, speaking at a Capitol press today (Wednesday, Jan. 26). Kiffmeyer, as Republicans have for years, wants voting in Minnesota to require a Photo ID. But Kiffmeyer is also proposing the use of a so-called “electronic roster” system, an approach that could allow voters to merely swipe their driver’s license or state identify cards, sign and vote. She envisions the electronic system statewide — some 1200 precincts with fewer than 100 voters would be exempt. Read More

NY: Decision near in ballot fraud probe - Times Union

A Rensselaer County grand jury ended nearly seven hours of deliberation Wednesday in its probe of alleged absentee ballot fraud by nine city Democrats in the 2009 city primary election. The grand jury was behind closed doors Wednesday without any witnesses seen entering to testify. Special Prosecutor Trey Smith declined to comment about the investigation after he left the grand jury room at the Rensselaer County Court House late Wednesday afternoon. Read More

OH: Provisional ballot procedures could change -

Democrats in the Ohio House hope to change the way county elections boards decide whether to count certain provisional ballots. Rep. Alicia Reece, from Cincinnati, plans to offer legislation following an incident in her home district in which voters arrived at the correct polling location but were given ballots for the wrong precinct by poll workers. One candidate in a juvenile court race affected by the situation is leading the other by about 20 votes, with courts disagreeing on whether to count several hundred additional provisional ballots. "It has been a major issue in Hamilton County these past few weeks on what we look upon as an election nightmare... ," Reece told reporters during a press conference at the Statehouse Jan. 19. Read More

SC: House OKs IDs to vote - S.C. Politics -

Buoyed by overwhelming Republican support, House lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday requiring voters to present a South Carolina driver’s license, a passport or a new state photo ID at the polls. If it becomes law, the bill will cost the State Election Commission $720,000 in its first year. Republicans say the bill, which passed 74-45 and now heads to the GOP-controlled state Senate, will protect against voter fraud.“The bill before you today is to preserve the integrity of our election system in South Carolina,” said state Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Horry, the bill’s primary sponsor. “We arrive at it by requiring that each voter do no less than what a voter does when they go to Walgreens to buy a bottle of Dimetapp. They present a driver’s license.” Wednesday’s vote marks the second consecutive year that a voter ID bill has passed the House. Last year, the issue died in the Senate. Democrats unsuccessfully argued the bill is an unnecessary expense to taxpayers — saying there is no evidence of voter fraud in the state — and a waste of precious, legislative time that would be better spent addressing the state’s financial woes. South Carolina is facing an $829 million funding shortfall for its budget year that starts July 1. Read More

TX: Few South Texas elections officials back ID plan - San Antonio Express-News

Mail-in ballots are viewed as more of a concern when it comes to potential fraud.

In South Texas, the region with the richest tradition of voter fraud in the state, few election officials believe a new law requiring all voters to have photo identification will do much to curb voting chicanery. The Texas Senate late Wednesday passed the controversial voter ID bill on a 19-11 vote, after more than 40 amendments were proposed — mostly by Democrats — and almost six hours of debate. While the outcome wasn't in doubt, Democrats launched a fierce campaign against the measure, saying it could prevent minority, elderly and more transient voters such as college students from voting. Read More

WI: Changes to voter ID bill suggested - JSOnline

The state's chief election officer recommended changes Wednesday to a bill that would require voters to show photo IDs at the polls, including allowing student IDs and passports to be used for voting. Key senators said they hadn't decided whether to make those changes. The recommendations by Kevin Kennedy, director of the state Government Accountability Board, came at a seven-hour public hearing in which proponents said the photo ID requirement would restore confidence in the election system and detractors said it would disenfranchise thousands of voters. The bill - a top priority in the Republican-run Legislature - would give Wisconsin the strictest photo ID requirement in the country, said David Canon, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist. Read More

WY: Voter registration glitch checked - The Casper Journal

Renea Vitto, the Natrona County Clerk, is investigating a possible glitch in the computer software being used for Wyoming’s statewide voter registration system, which is causing some voters to be improperly notified that they have to renew their registration. The problem came to light recently after notices were set to voters in Natrona County whose names weren’t checked in the precinct poll books during last November’s election, indicating they didn’t vote. (It’s standard policy to update voter lists after each general election.) As it turns out, however, some of those who received notices did vote, causing them to also wonder whether their ballots were counted. “The voter’s vote did count,” Vitto said, explaining ballots are handled and counted separately from registration. “The ballots are never correlated to a name. It’s a voter registration issue.” Vitto said the problem seems to be tied to whether a person made a change at the polling place, such as switching parties or giving a new address. While such a change shouldn’t cause a nonvoting notice to be sent, that’s apparently what happened in some cases. Read More


Voter ID laws carry hefty price tag for cash-strapped states - Facing South

As state legislatures have opened for business over the last week, GOP lawmakers have begun not by pushing bills focused on jobs, but for measures that would require citizens to show photo identification while voting -- laws which, among other controversial features, will end up costing states tens of millions of dollars to implement. GOP leaders have introduced voter ID bills or plan to in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. In Texas -- which faces a budget shortfall of over $10 billion -- Gov. Rick Perry (R) went so far as to declare voter ID a legislative "emergency" to fast-track the bill. All the bills have sparked controversy. For one, there's scant evidence that voter impersonation at the polls -- the one kind of fraud that ID laws address -- is a big problem. The bills are also viewed by Democrats and voting rights advocates as deeply partisan, given studies that show the elderly, African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and other constituencies are most likely to not have the needed ID cards. Read More

Internet Voting Watch

Is online voting in the cards? | The Detroit News

Despite a steady call for better ballot access, security concerns are keeping online voting from universal acceptance. "Imagine what could happen if a career criminal hacker started working on this," said University of Michigan computer science professor J. Alex Halderman. "There are just too many doors in a Web-based system to secure. Nonetheless, and even with a slew of documented problems with electronic voting at traditional polling locations, there's a growing push from voters for even more convenient solutions, including voting online. Halderman, however, advises caution. A team of U-M researchers proved that just because it's possible to book an airline ticket or access a bank account online, voting online is a reality that's at least a decade or more off. Read More


India: Poll panel to give e-voting second shot - The Times of India

The State Election Commission (SEC) aims to make e-voting a big success in the elections to newly-formed Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) slated in April-end. The SEC got extremely poor response for its Rs 34-crore e-voting experiment in polls to six municipal corporations in October 2010. Out of 86.16 lakh registered voters, just 124 e-voted in the polls to Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara civic bodies. Read More

Philippines: Use of Precinct Count Optical Scan machines in ARMM poll OK'd | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

The automated counting machines credited for the speedy results in last year’s national elections have won the nod of an election advisory council for use in the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The multi-sector Commission on Election Advisory Council (CAC) has given its imprimatur on the use of the precinct count optical scan or PCOS machines for the Aug. 8 ARMM polls, in a sign of confidence to the integrity of the machines. Read More

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