Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SC election officials point to human error in ballot discrepancy; vote by mail bill fails in MT House; early WV primary likely

The Photo ID debate shows no sign of cooling in TX, WI, and NC. In SC, the state Election Commission's investigation concludes that Colleton County ballot discrepancies resulted from human error. In Montana, vote by mail legislation suffers an unexpected reversal, and in WV lawmakers seem likely to advance the gubernatorial primary to May 14.

All this and more in today's Voting News below.

FL: Many ballots remained silent on Sink and Scott |

Florida's charged campaign for governor -- which featured waves of negative television ads -- might have turned off a higher number of voters last year. Read More

IL: Change of Subject: The icy blizzard thaws my heart about early voting & 'dibs'

Election officials say there's no precedent for postponing an election here on account of weather, so voter turnout in Chicago would almost certainly be far lower than the pathetic 27.3 percent we got 12 months ago when two whisker-close races for Illinois governor were at the top of the ballot. Read More

MA: Judge rules that two tied in Central Mass. House race - The Boston Globe

A Worcester Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that a hotly contested election for state representative in Central Massachusetts is a tie, an exceedingly rare result, and ordered a new election. Read More

MT: The Laurel Outlook:News

What a difference a day makes. One day after giving preliminary approval to vote-by-mail balloting in all but school elections, the House reversed itself and torpedoed the idea. Read More

NC: Alleged lawbreaking, impropriety and fraud undermine confidence in Forsyth elections

The Forsyth County Board of Elections will hold an open hearing on Feb. 7 to consider alleged election law violations. Read More

NC: ISS - Report: Voter ID law 'unaffordable' for North Carolina

Today, Facing South and the Institute for Southern Studies released an analysis [pdf] showing that a voter ID bill proposed by North Carolina Republicans could cost the state $20 million or more over the next three years, exacerbating the state's $3.7 billion budget gap. Read More

OH: - Our View: New voting machines are good deal for Portage Co.

The Portage County Board of Elections has done the right thing in deciding to acquire for free 99 new voting machines, formerly manufactured by Diebold.

The machines became available following a settlement between Diebold and the state of Ohio, which under former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner demonstrated the machines had issues that entailed accuracy and ease of invasion by outsiders. Read More

OH: Ohio secretary of state supports appeal - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Ohio's top elections official wants a federal court ruling appealed in a disputed election for a juvenile court judge in the county that includes Cincinnati. Read More

Panel: Human error, not voting machines, skewed Colleton County election results | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC - News, Sports, Entertainment

Colleton County's election results were skewed by human error that had nothing to do with the electronic voting machines, according to an investigation by the S.C. Election Commission. Read More

TX: Bruce Sherbet says dispute with John Wiley Price lies at the heart of his forced resignation | Dallas - The Dallas Morning News

Sherbet said he now suspects one reason for his departure was that he declined a request from Price during the last day of early voting in October to send some of his clerks to a Duncanville polling place that had long lines. Read More

TX: Voters called to stand in HD48 contest |

Howard first beat her Republican opponent Dan Neil in November’s election by 16 votes, then later in a recount by 12 votes. In the days to follow, Neil’s attorneys have scoured the ballots cast in the Travis County district for any sign of error. Read More

TX: San Antonio Current - NEWS+FEATURES: Show me your pictures: How near-certain Voter ID laws will affect you

John Tanner, former chief of the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division during the last Bush administration, says Texas offers unique impediments that will block voters from obtaining photo identification that states like Indiana and Georgia — where voter ID laws passed and were deemed constitutional by the courts — did not have. Read More

WA: Politics Northwest | Report lauds King County Elections' extreme makeover | Seattle Times Newspaper

King County's once tarnished elections office "has become an international model for the efficient and accurate administration of elections," an oversight group says in its annual report. Ellen Hansen, chairwoman of the Citizens' Elections Oversight Committee, said election officials from other counties and states now visit King County to learn how to count ballots accurately and in a way the public can understand. Read More

WA: Abandon presidential primary, leaders say | The Columbian

Neither major political party relies on the Washington presidential primary to choose its delegates to the national conventions. In 2008, the state Democratic Party ignored the election’s result and chose its delegates in local caucus meetings. The Republican Party chose a portion of its delegates in local caucuses and the rest through the presidential primary. Read More

WV: 7 W.Va. Towns Will Test Voting By Mail This Year

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says voters in seven West Virginia towns will be given the chance to vote by mail. Read More

WV: House, Senate pass bills - | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Support waned in the House to hold conventions to choose party nominees as delegates passed House Bill 2853 setting the primary election on May 14, a Saturday, and the general election on Sept. 13. The Senate version follows the dates earlier proposed by Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for a primary on June 20, West Virginia Day, and the general election on Oct. 4. Read More

WI: It's about time for this law - JSOnline

Opponents of the law argue that it's not needed because there is no proof that widespread voter fraud occurs. The word "widespread" always strikes me in that argument. Just how widespread does fraud have to be before opponents of voter ID would support it? And if proof is lacking, perhaps it's because it's impossible to prove people voted fraudulently if they don't even have to prove who they are when they vote. Read More

WI: The cost of vote suppression - JSOnline

There are a lot of questions that still need to be addressed. Why in the world is a U.S. passport not considered a valid form of ID? Or a student ID with a photo? For that matter, a recognized employer ID with a photo should work. If the point of a voter ID law is not merely to suppress votes, then it should be more flexible, shouldn't it? Read More

WI: TOWN OF TRIMBELLE TEST OF VOTING MACHINE | Pierce County Herald | Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Notice is hereby given that the public test of the Electronic Voting Equipment to be used at the Primary Election on February 15th, 2011 will be conducted at the Trimbelle Town Hall, N5310 800th Street, Ellsworth, Wisconsin at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, February 7, 2011. The public test is open to the general public.

WI: Common Council urges changes to voter ID bill - JSOnline

Numerous absentee ballots could be invalidated without voters' knowledge if a voter identification bill is passed, Milwaukee city officials are warning. Read More

WI: Got a Photo ID? | Pierce County Herald | Ellsworth, Wisconsin

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports 27 states require some form of voter ID. But most states allow a variety of forms – including hunting and fishing licenses, student IDs and Medicare or social security cards. Only two states, Georgia, and Indiana, require a photo ID. No state requires the ID be as narrowly defined as the bill being debated in Wisconsin. Read More

WI: Nancy F. McDonald: Voter ID bill will fix a nonexistent problem

Wisconsin voter fraud in November 2008 was 0.0008 percent, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. Read More

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