Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CO Clerk Denies SoS Access to Ballots, Voter ID Bills Debated in NM & NC

CO: Secretary of state, clerks battle over Saguache ballots - The Denver Post

What started as small-town suspicions of a "stolen" election has erupted into a fight between Secretary of State Scott Gessler and the state's county clerks over whether voted ballots should be public records — and the issue appears headed to court. Gessler announced Tuesday his staff and local election judges will conduct a public hand review of ballots from the 2010 general election in Saguache County, where the attorney general's office already is investigating allegations of election fraud. But in a letter emailed to Gessler late Tuesday, Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Melinda Myers, whose re-election would be one of the races reviewed, indicated she wouldn't unseal the ballots without a court order. Read More

CO: Myers denies Gessler access to Saguache ballots - Valley Courier

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler will speak to Saguache residents tonight (Wednesday) and answer questions about concerns stemming from races overturned in November after a voting machine allegedly malfunctioned. The town hall meeting with Gessler will consist “more of questions and answers,” press officer Rich Coolidge told the Center Post-Dispatch Tuesday. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at the Saguache Community Center and is expected to last until 7 p.m. But Gessler, who intended to announce a hand count of contested races in Saguache Thursday and Friday, will likely tell Saguache residents instead he will not be allowed to review the ballots. Read More

NM: Voter ID: Partisanship or common sense? -

It was standing-room only in House Elections today for the public comment period on H351, the Voter ID proposal. There was a lot of passion, some strong words and the occasional outbreak of applause, politely squelched by Chairman David Lewis. But overall, it went pretty smoothly. Contrary to fears some Democrats had expressed, the procession of 43 speakers seemed pretty evenly divided between opponents and supporters of the proposal. It was clear both sides had done some organizing work to get their people there. Read More

NC: Voter ID bill fuels passion and questions -

A bill that would require photo IDs for N.C. voters was slowed down Tuesday after a long, often-passionate hearing and a wave of challenges. But the bill - which supporters call a common-sense way to ensure the integrity of elections and which critics call unneeded and "a solution in search of a problem" - could reach the House floor soon. It has wide support among Republicans, who control the General Assembly. "The purpose of this bill is simply to restore confidence in the process and not to (deny) access," said Rep. Tim Moore, a Kings Mountain Republican. Along with GOP Rep. Ric Killian of Charlotte, Moore is one of the bill's chief sponsors. But critics said the bill would disenfranchise many voters who don't have a picture ID. They said the measure would affect elderly, minority and disabled voters particularly hard. Read More

NC: Voter I.D. bill heads to House next week | Triangulator

Legislation that would require North Carolina voters to show photo I.D. at the polls will likely get a committee vote and move to the House floor next week, House Elections Committee Chairman David Lewis said Tuesday. A vote had been expected Tuesday evening, immediately following a lengthy hearing on House Bill 351, the voter I.D. bill that was filed Monday night. But Lewis, a Dunn Republican and one of the bill's primary sponsors, said that vote would wait until next week, following more discussion and consideration of amendments. The long-anticipated bill sparked passions on both sides of the issue Tuesday, filling one of the General Assembly's largest committee rooms with speakers, observers, legislators and media. More than 35 people spoke for or against the bill over a two-hour public comment session, which was followed by another two hours of committee members discussing the bill. Read More

RI: Rhode Island lawmakers consider several election-related bills -

Police at the polls, shorter polling hours, and an ID requirement for voters. These are just a few of the proposed Election Day changes Rhode Island lawmakers are scheduled to discuss at the State House on Tuesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear a number of bills aimed at amending the state's election laws. One proposal, introduced on behalf of Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, would require all Rhode Island voters to present identification at the polls before being allowed to vote. The new rule would go into effect in 2012, and would cover all general, primary, or special elections. Under the bill, the state would offer free voter identification cards to individuals who do not have any of the other required forms of ID. People who show up to the polls without identification would have to vote using a provisional ballot. Read More

WV: Voting bill receives mixed reactions - Charleston Daily Mail

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper is hailing a bill passed by the Legislature that will allow counties to establish multiple early voting locations. A couple of local Republican officials are less enthusiastic. The community voting bill, which still must be signed by the governor, makes it easier for county officials to set up what previously has been called "satellite voting." Voters currently must go to county courthouses to cast early ballots. This measure allows for early voting to take place in other locations for a minimum of five days, Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick said. Carper, a Democrat, actively supported the bill during the legislative session that ended Saturday. He called its passage a victory for voters. Read More

VA: Was vote against Boucher rigged? |

Virginia’s longest serving U.S.Congressman, Rick Boucher, is beloved by all of the people of his district, having served them through 14 terms. He received 68 percent of the vote in 2006 and was not even contested in 2008. So does anyone think it a little strange that he lost his seat garnering only 46 percent of the vote? It reminds me of the curious result in where an unknown, unemployed black man named Alvin Greene beat a well known state senator with 59 percent of the Democratic vote in the primary. He then lost the general election 68 percent to 28 percent to Jim Demint, the incumbent Republican. Did Rick really lose? He deserves this theory be presented: It has been documented time and again by the best computer scientists in the country that 80 percent of America’s votes in 2010 were tabulated by hackable, inaccurate, unreliable, electronic voting machines. After a university team hacked into California machines, that state outlawed electronic voting machines for the 2010 election. In another instance, computer scientists tested the vulnerabilities of a mock District of Columbia election in 2010. They were able to infiltrate the online system and change votes without leaving a trace. Read More


Some Nonprofits Dedicated to Making it More Difficult for People to Register and Vote - The Nonprofit Quarterly

Our nation needs people to vote. It's essential to our democratic process. Nonprofits have increasingly been active in helping get voters registered and educated, notably the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network which has been profiled in the pages of Nonprofit Quarterly. But some organizations it seems have quite a different idea about this. For example, a Texas-based Tea Party organization called "True the Vote" issued a warning about electoral fraud, having found that "precinct judges . . . help people vote." As Eliza Carney of the National Journal says, "One would hate to think of a poll worker helping someone vote." True the Vote and others are so exercised about this that they have planned a national summit in Houston on March 25 to train citizen volunteers to act as poll watchers during the 2012 elections. Read More


Phillipines: Comelec switches to manual recount of ballots - Nation - GMA News Online

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday decided to switch to a manual recount of the ballots that were cast during the 2010 May automated elections. A copy of Comelec Resolution 9164 obtained by GMA News Online states that "the recount of the votes on the ballots shall be done manually and visually." It did not say the reason behind the switch. This is a departure from the poll body's earlier resolution — Comelec Resolution 9104 — which says that ballots shall be recounted using Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines. Under the new guidelines, the protestant shall submit a list of at most 20 percent of the total number of protested clustered precincts that will best show the legitimacy of his or her claims. It said that the ballot recount for the rest of the contested precincts shall not commence until the Comelec division concerned has determined the merits of the protest. Read More

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