Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Photo ID in CO, Vote Centers in IN, Bill prohibiting Intenet "kill switch"

AL: Sec. of State Releases Legislative "Wish List" | ABC 32 WNCF TV

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill preserves the Electoral College, while assuring that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election. Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn't be about winning states. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, including for a change, West Virginia, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states. 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. Read More

CO: Photo ID bill receives initial House approval - The Pueblo Chieftain

Utility bills no longer would stand as valid proof of residency to vote under a bill hotly debated before receiving preliminary approval Monday in the House. The proposal, HB1003, would require voters to show a state-issued photo identification card in order to cast a ballot. Republicans lined up to support the bill, sponsored by Reps. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood, and Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, as a safeguard against voter fraud. Democrats called it an obstacle to voting, particularly for senior citizens, the infirm, the homeless and others who tend not to possess the documents the bill would require of the mobility to easily obtain them. Read More

IN: Gov. Daniels signs Vote Center Bill | Indiana Politics | Lafayette Online

Gov. Mitch Daniels today signed into law a bill authored by State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) authorizing the continued use of vote centers in Tippecanoe County and allowing it as an option for the entire state. “This is the first bill in the current session to be approved by the Senate, passed out of the House of Representatives and signed into law by Governor Mitch Daniels,” Alting said. “Overwhelming support for this new law shows how important it is to provide a convenience to voters and options to local governments that are looking to cut election costs.” Read More

IA: County Auditor: Voters in Motels Are No Reason for Voter ID Law | KCRG-TV9

Voters listing motels as their addresses on voter registration documents isn’t evidence of voter fraud, Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said Friday. Miller said Iowa Republicans are wrong to use motel listings on voter registration records in their push to require Iowa voters to present photo identification at polling places. To prove his point, Miller is traveling to motels throughout the county to verify that voters who say they live in those motels are actually there. In fact, as I’m finding, we do have people legitimately living in hotels and motels and registered to vote appropriately and there’s nothing wrong with that,” he said before doing a check at Ced Rel Motel outside Cedar Rapids on Friday afternoon. Rep. Renee Schulte, R-Cedar Rapids, has led Republican legislators’ charge to pass voter ID legislation. The measure, approved by the house last month, would require voters to show a state-issued photo identification before they’re allowed to cast ballots. Requiring a photo ID is “not new, not cutting edge,” Schulte said prior to the bill’s passage in the house. Twenty-seven other states have some kinof voter ID requirement, but only two require a photo ID. Read More

KS: House panel supports Kansas voter ID bill - KansasCity.com

A voting bill sought by Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been approved by a Kansas House committee. The House Elections and Local Government Committee amended the bill Monday to clarify documents that voters could use to prove citizenship when registering to vote. t also sets a process for first-time voters to prove citizenship if they lack documents when they initially register. Kobach says the changes are necessary to prevent voter fraud and to preserve the integrity of the election process. Read More

MD: Motor voter registration sees gaps - baltimoresun.com

Nearly one out of four Marylanders who have tried to register to vote at a Motor Vehicle Administration office in the past four years has not been added to the voter rolls, according to state records obtained by The Sun. Though some of these tens of thousands of would-be voters have undoubtedly found alternative methods to register, officials at the State Board of Elections say they field calls every year from residents who say they turned up at the polls on Election Day only to discover their names did not appear on the rolls. Elections officials, good-government advocates and lawmakers say the failures illustrate the challenges of implementing the federal Motor Voter Act. Read More

NE: Nebraska voting equipment accurate, review finds - KHGI-TV

A hand count of ballots in 33 Nebraska voting precincts that use optical-scanning equipment found errors in only three. Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale ordered an audit of the November 2010 general election results from randomly selected precincts. More than 7,800 ballots were hand-counted in a U.S. House of Representatives election, a community college race and a county race. Gale says the audit found errors in three precincts. In each case, a discrepancy was discovered in one race, on one ballot. Gale said Tuesday the review confirms that state vote-counting technology has a "minuscule error rate." Votes on races in 2 of the precincts were marked too lightly for the machines to count. In a third precinct, one ballot should have been rejected because it wasn't initialed by officials. Read More

WI: GOP raises the stakes: Voter ID Bill Coming to Wisconsin Legislature in Dems' Absence? - JSOnline- JSOnline

In a move meant to lure boycotting opposition senators back to Wisconsin, the Republican leader of the state Senate threatened Monday to force a vote soon on a bill that is abhorred by Democrats: requiring people to show an ID at the polls. The push on the photo ID bill by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) is the latest example of Republicans pressuring Democrats in hopes of ending the standoff over the bill on union rights. Senate Democrats disappeared to Illinois on Thursday to prevent a vote on that bill, and they’ve been there ever since. Read More


Bill explicitly prohibits Internet shut down | Government Security News

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, (I-CT), Ranking Member Susan Collins, (R-ME), and Federal Financial Management Subcommittee Chairman Tom Carper, (D-DE), introduced updated cyber secrurity legislation aimed at not only securing national cyber infrastructure, but also at stanching fears of a government “Internet Kill Switch.” The Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act, said a joint statement on Feb. 17 by the three Senators, explicitly states that “neither the President, the Director of the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications or any officer or employee of the United States Government shall have the authority to shut down the Internet.” It also provides an opportunity for judicial review of designations of our most sensitive systems and assets as “covered critical infrastructure.” The bill was introduced amid increasing concerns that cyber security legislation would include an insidious ability by the U.S. government to shut down Internet access for citizens. Lieberman said the unfounded fears had overshadowed the more important goals of protecting energy transmission, water supplies, financial services and other critical infrastgructure. Read More


Colombia weighs anti-election fraud measures - Colombia news | Colombia Reports

With Colombia's October 2011 local elections approaching, bodies involved in the electoral process held a forum to discuss technological solutions to voter fraud, newspaper El Espectador reported Tuesday. The deadline for implementing electronic voting systems in Colombia is 2014. Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras said he agrees with the technological improvement in the voting system but said that "the electronic vote has little importance where illegal groups are trying to take on a political project." The minister said that voter fraud had been recorded in over 300 towns and that the government has recently been informed about illegal armed groups pressuring voters. Vargas said that he is holding consultations with political parties with the intention of bringing a comprehensive reform of the electoral code to Congress. "We have not given up this possibility. It has been tried five times and nothing has come to fruition," said Vargas. Read More

Estonia: Cyber-titan Estonia drafts e-squad to secure election - AFP

Estonia announced Tuesday it was drafting in its newborn cyber-squad to ward off potential attacks on the Baltic state's pioneering e-voting system in its looming general election. "The cyber-unit of the Estonian Defence League will keep an eye on Internet traffic and will react in the event of any attack," Heiki Sibul, chairman of the national electoral commission, told reporters. After five decades of Soviet rule ended in 1991, Estonia opted to go hi-tech as fast as possible. The European Union nation of 1.3 million became one of the world's most cyber-focused nations, earning the nickname "E-stonia". Since falling victim to a politically-charged "cyber-war" in 2007 widely blamed on Russian hackers, it has become a leading light in fending off online attacks, and hosts NATO's IT-defence facility. Read More

Phillippines: Back to 'dagdag bawas' polls? - HIDDEN AGENDA By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes | The Philippine Star

While it seems MalacaƱang might get its wish to have this year’s elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) postponed and synchronized with the May 2013 polls, the debate continues on whether the ARMM polls should push through or not, especially with the prevailing view that it is needed to strengthen democratic institutions in the region. But besides pushing through with the elections, the government should also listen to the call of non-partisan groups like the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Consortium for Electoral Reforms (CER) for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in the ARMM polls this August. These PCOS machines, which were leased through public bidding from the consortium Smartmatic-TIM, were first used in the Philippines’ successful first crack at poll automation in the May 2010 presidential elections. Read More

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