Friday, February 18, 2011

CentCO SOS role in Saguache election, IA Auditors oppose Voter ID, No Vote Fraud in Forsyth Co. NC snafu,

CO: Information indicates SOS played major role in escalating Saguache election snafu - Center Post Dispatch

Over the past several weeks, many things have come to light that point directly to the Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) and their failure to enforce their own rules as the cause of Saguache County’s November election upheaval. In reviewing surveillance videotapes, one of the most telling incidents found was SOS trainer Amy Wilson’s interaction with Christian Samora on Nov. 2, as he runs the M650 voting machine. Wilson watches Samora remove the dust cover to the machine and, clearly, no seals have been placed on any of the data ports. Zip disks sit out unsecured. Having discovered this clear violation of security precautions prescribed as remedies for the use of the once decertified M650 ballot counter, Wilson was obligated to report this violation to the SOS “immediately” per their own rules. Had she done so, the election would have reverted to a hand count, as is also required under SOS rules. SOS official contradicts himself. The statements made by SOS elections division official Judd Choate also paint a dismal picture of Colorado’s election protection system. Read More

CO: Ranked voting will be on the ballot in Fort Collins | Colorado Independent

Advocates from across the political spectrum officially launched a campaign this week to radically change how Fort Collins elects city officials. Joined by multiple Colorado legislators and city council members, Fort Collins Ranked Voting hosted their campaign kickoff event at Avogado’s Number in Fort Collins after garnering enough signatures to put the alternative voting method on the city’s April ballot. If approved, Fort Collins would replace the traditional plurality voting system with a method that ensures winners receive majority support. For the 2013 municipal elections the mayoral and city council races would use ranked choice voting, also called instant runoff voting, that allows voters to rank candidates on the ballot according to their personal preference. Rep. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, an advisor to the group, said the system is simple. Kefalas explained that if any candidate receives the majority of first place votes, they win. If no candidate receives a majority, the votes for the last place candidate are redistributed among the remaining candidates according to each voter’s preference. The process repeats until one candidate holds a simple majority. “It’s just like choosing your favorite ice cream,” Kefalas said. Read More

CT: Editorial: Lawmakers should make voting easier -

One of the ways Connecticut can improve turnout on Election Day is to loosen restrictions on absentee voting. Lawmakers will hold hearings on a number of election-related bills this session, including some that would correct faults in ballot-counting procedures that became evident in Bridgeport in November's gubernatorial election. They'll also propose measures to increase voter turnout. We hope normally change-resistant Connecticut legislators aren't afraid to shake things up. Currently, the state Constitution says eligible Connecticut voters can use absentee ballots only if they are unable to go to the polls on Election Day for the following reasons: military duty, an out-of-town commitment, illness, disability, religious prohibition on secular activity on an election day, or work as an election official. Read More

IN: Monroe County Election Board addresses past, future voting policy | City & State | Indiana Daily Student

The Monroe County Election Board met Thursday to discuss the 2010 midterm election, new voting machines and accessibility issues for the upcoming municipal primary election. The board manages electoral policy and carries out elections for the county. The members of the board are Democrat Jan Ellis, chairwoman, Republican Judith Smith-Ille and Democrat Linda Robbins, Monroe County clerk and board secretary. Democrat Lee Jones was present in Ellis’ place Thursday. Read More

IN: Secretary of state won't face charges in incident at courthouse | The Indianapolis Star

Hamilton County authorities investigated an altercation involving Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White on Thursday at the courthouse where a grand jury is looking into vote-fraud allegations against him. A Sheriff's Department spokeswoman said Thursday that no charges would be filed in connection with the incident, which involved White and Westfield attorney Tim Stoesz. Stoesz has clashed with White, the former Hamilton County Republican chairman, over political matters in the past. A Sheriff's Department report described the incident as a disturbance on the second floor of the Hamilton County Judicial Center and said it was determined that "no criminal activity took place.'' Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Vicki Dunbar said Thursday that no charges would be filed. Read More

IA: Auditors oppose current voter ID bill - Le Mars Daily Sentinel

Iowa state auditors are opposed to a House bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. Auditors are not against the idea of showing a photo ID to vote; they dislike the terms outlined specifically in House Bill 95, said Stacey Feldman, Plymouth County auditor. "The auditors aren't trying to say we oppose photo ID because we don't believe there's fraud in our state or we don't think we need to have better election laws to prevent fraud," Feldman said. "That's not what the message is. The message is specific to that House file." The Iowa State Association of County Auditors (ISACA) discussed the issue at a special meeting last Friday in Des Moines Feldman attended. She outlined the main problems ISACA auditors have with the proposed bill, from lack of money to pay for the changes to an increase in provisional balloting, "The biggest thing is voter education. There's a huge emphasis put on educating the public and the voter of the change if it were to pass," Feldman said. "And there's no funding behind it." That could possibly mean those education costs would trickle down to the county level and be passed on at the local level, Feldman said. Read More

NC: State Bureau of Investigation: No widespread voter fraud in Forsyth County |

The State Bureau of Investigation has finished a probe of alleged voting fraud in Forsyth County and concluded that no widespread fraud took place. District Attorney Jim O’Neill said this afternoon that he had asked the SBI to look at Forsyth County elections after an incident in May 2010 in which a woman attempted to vote twice. An investigator with the N.C. State Board of Elections conducted a preliminary investigation and turned the results over to O’Neill. O’Neill then asked the SBI to find out if the case of voter misconduct was an isolated one, or if there was “a wider case of voter fraud conspiracy.” Read More

NY: State might allow lever voting machines in village elections | Watertown Daily Times

New Yorkers would continue to pull the lever — literally — for their preferred candidates in village elections under a bill passed Monday by the state Assembly. The bill must pass the Senate and the governor must approve it before it becomes law. In 2010 primary and general elections, the state made the switch from the lever machines — which are difficult for people with disabilities to use — to optical scanning machines to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act. Read More

OH: Lucas Co. BOE upgrade voting machines |

Lucas County Board of Elections began the upgrade of voting machines Thursday. Technicians are training Board of Election employees to complete the upgrades to the voting machines. The improvements will allow the county to use new high speed scanners and save money. Linda Howe says, "It will save us money in the future by the number of people we have to hire every year for Election Day." The director of the Board of Elections, Linda Howe, says finding people to work election night is tough. She says, "We were happy with the employees we had doing it, but its difficult to find people who can come in at 9pm on election night." Read More

SC: Election officials want ‘checks and balances’ -

Richland County election officials will develop new practices to ensure that every vote is counted, after an outside audit found 1,127 electronic ballots went missing in the November election. Members of the county election commission said Thursday they hope to conduct a recount and develop fail-safe procedures in about three weeks. An audit of computer records, conducted by the League of Women Voters of South Carolina and released this week, uncovered errors with the vote tallies at two of the county’s 126 precincts. Computer records of votes mistakenly were not removed from some voting machines in the Bluff and Ward 21 precincts, election director Mike Cinnamon acknowledged Thursday. “We view what happened as human error,” said Cinnamon, director of elections for nearly 40 years. “It should never have happened, but did.” He reiterated that the 1,127 votes would not have changed the outcome of any race or ballot issue. Duncan Buell, the computer scientist who conducted the League’s review, concurred. Problems came to light a week after the election, when Richland Councilman Kelvin Washington called Cinnamon to express concerns that the numbers for the Bluff precinct were wrong. By then, Cinnamon said, the total vote already had been certified as accurate. “I do not know, cannot figure out, why that was not reported to you at that time,” Cinnamon told the commission. “That was our fault.” Read More

WV: Bill affects state's electoral votes - News - Charleston Daily Mail

A hotly debated bill to change the way U.S. presidents are elected emerged from a House committee on a voice vote. West Virginia would begin awarding its five electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote - regardless of how the state voted -- under the bill that cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. If the proposed system had been in place in 2008, this state's five electors would have cast ballots for Barack Obama. Republican John McCain soundly defeated Democrat Obama in West Virginia. The vote was 56 percent for McCain and 43 percent for Obama. Bill supporters argue the proposed system would cause presidential candidates to pay more attention to small states. Opponents believe just the opposite. House Bill 2378 would enroll the state in an interstate compact known as the "Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote." Read More


Ireland: Changing the voting system - The Irish Times

Twice in the history of the State, in 1959 and 1968, Fianna Fáil sought unsuccessfully in referendums to persuade the people to replace our voting system – proportional representation by the single transferable vote (PR-STV) – with the crude British “first past the post” system. On both occasions the No majorities, 52 to 48 and 61 to 39 per cent respectively, reflected the widely held perception that the party was simply trying cynically to copperfasten a permanent majority. Now, once again, changes to our PR system are being proposed with four parties backing its review or replacement. Germany’s model is Fianna Fáil’s manifesto alternative, “a mixed system of single-seat constituencies elected through the system of single transferable vote and a top-up national list which will ensure proportional representation”. The Green Party agrees, but specifies the top-up list would fill half the total seats, while Sinn Féin also wants a list system for a third of seats, but would retain multiple-seat constituencies for the rest. Fine Gael wants to ask a citizens’ assembly “to consider the merits or otherwise of a mixed member system where the Dáil has TDs that are directly elected and or where some are elected from a list”. Read More

Nigeria: The 'Rigging' We Will Not Discuss -

We have a huge problem on our hands. We are facing the scary prospect of having the worst organised election in recent memory. Let no one delude Nigerians with the 'by the grace of God, Insha Allah' singsongs that we love to cling on too with a minimal input from our human angle. The general belief in our political system is that 'rigging' starts and ends with, ballot box snatching, stuffing or voting by under aged or fictitious names which must have been a strategy by some politicians who want to outsmart opponents anyway. Giving the situation we have at the moment, it should be clear to all Nigerians that we are in for some drama before, during and after the April elections. As I write, most of the candidates for the elections do not even know their status. There are court orders from nominees, losers at party primaries, INEC, political parties and just about anyone who wants a piece of the cake. Read More

Uganda Army Chasing Agents From Polling Stations, Shots Fired -

The Ugandan opposition Interparty Coalition has accused the country's military of harassing and chasing away opposition poll agents from polling centers in eastern Uganda, a spokeswoman said Friday. Margaret Wokuri said soldiers beat up opposition agents, forcing them to flee their posts in the coffee-growing districts of Mbale and Bududa. The agents were appointed by the IPC to monitor the election, which started early Friday. Troops also shot at a crowd of voters, injuring several people including Julius Onyago, a photo journalist working with the Kampala-based newspaper, the Razor, witnesses told Dow Jones Newswires from Mbale, Eastern Uganda. "They shot the journalist in the arm after he refused to hand over his camera," Nandala Mafabi, a law maker from Eastern Uganda said. Mafabi's vehicle was also shot at several times as the troops tried to stop his from reaching the polling stations affected. Read More

UK: What Is The Alternative Voting System?

Under the proposed Alternative Vote system people would choose one MP to represent their constituency in the House of Commons, like they do under the current First-Past-The-Post model. However, AV would require the winner to gain the approval of more than 50% of the voters in their constituency. Rather than placing an 'X' next to their preferred candidate on the ballot paper, the voter ranks each one in order of preference. If one candidate receives over half of the first place votes, he or she is elected. But if no single candidate gets an absolute majority, the second choices for the least popular candidate are redistributed. The process is repeated until one candidate gets an absolute majority. Read More

UK: Vote referendum: Clegg v Cameron - BBC News

David Cameron and Nick Clegg can sometimes appear joined at the hip but among the issues on which they fundamentally disagree is the way Britain elects its MPs. Britain will go to the polls on 5 May to decide whether to keep the first-past-the post voting system at Westminster elections or change to the Alternative Vote method, in which voters rank their choices in order of preference. The prime minister and deputy prime minister have both now set out where they stand in separate speeches. Here is what they had to say - followed by an analysis of how they said it. Read More

UK: Prisoners lose voting legal bid in High Court battle | Evening Standard

A High Court judge fuelled the row between Britain and Europe today by rejecting prisoners' demands for compensation for not having the vote. A total of 588 inmates have made claims against Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, with a possible 1,000 more in the pipeline. But Mr Justice Langstaff said the law - including the UK's Human Rights Act - made it clear they had no right to the ballot. Last week, MPs voted by 234 to 22 to defy the European Court of Human Rights and keep a blanket ban on enfranchising prisoners. The court has ruled that taking the vote from inmates breaches their rights. Yesterday its president, Jean-Paul Costa, compared Britain's approach to Greece's Sixties dictatorship. He said only the Greek junta of colonels had previously dared to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights. Today, however, Mr Justice Langstaff said judges in this country could only rule on laws passed by Parliament, including the Human Rights Act - which incorporates the European Convention in British law. Read More

Voting News archives here at
Also at Twitter
Subscribe to Voting News at this link:
The Voting News is a free service made possible by the Verified Voting Foundation. You can help support the Voting News by sending a check to Verified Voting Foundation, PO Box 4104, Carlsbad, CA 92018. Be sure to note "for Voting News" in the memo line of your check! Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Donate online at this link:

Disclaimer: Articles and commentary included in "Voting News" do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors of Voting News,or its allied organizations. Articles are selected for inclusion to inform subscribers'ability to draw their own conclusions based on noteworthy and credible news,research, legislation, and debate bearing on the integrity of elections.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments must be approved to eliminate spamming.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.