Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ES&S to pay Cuyahoga $200K, Military Voters Bill stalled in CO

CO: Gessler’s proposal for voters draws fire - The Longmont Times-Call

Secretary of State Scott Gessler and critics of his push for citizenship verification in Colorado’s voter-registration rolls agree on one thing: No one who’s not a U.S. citizen should be casting ballots in Colorado elections. They disagree, however, over Gessler’s latest proposal for a state law he says he needs to identify people who may not be citizens and block them from voting until they can prove that they are. Earlier this month, Gessler issued a report in which he and his staff said that as many as 11,805 of Colorado’s nearly 3.3 million registered voters aren’t eligible to vote. Those 11,805 individuals got or renewed Colorado’s driver’s licenses since 2006 using documents the state requires of noncitizens seeking licenses. Read More

CO: Overseas military voter bill stalled in Colorado House - The Denver Post

A Democratic overseas military voter bill is in limbo in the House, but the reason it’s stalled depends on who’s talking. Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, said when she asked about her bill she was told that Republicans, who took control of the House in November after six years in the minority, are frustrated with Democrats for “locking down” and voting against their proposals. But Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton, who chairs the committee hearing House Bill 1219, said the secretary of state says the bill is flawed and unnecessary, and Levy knows that. Read More

IN: Prosecution of Indiana elections chief could be tough - The Herald Bulletin

Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White's excuse that a busy schedule and new marriage caused him to give the wrong address at a polling place could be a feasible defense to voter fraud and other criminal allegations he now faces, a legal expert said. "It may not be a defense to the claim that as secretary of state he should be held to a very high standard, but in terms of a criminal conviction, I think that kind of mistake sounds plausible," said Craig Bradley, an Indiana University law professor. Prosecutors contend that White improperly voted in last May's Republican primary after moving out of his ex-wife's home in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Fishers and the town council district he represented. The indictment charges he continued to collect a salary from the town council after he was no longer eligible to serve on it. Bradley said prosecutors could argue that White had the political knowledge to know what he was doing was wrong. Read More

NV: Lawmakers to Consider Combining Elections - 8newsnow.com

Early voting began on Saturday and so far nearly 4,000 voters have cast their ballots in this municipal election. Clark County election officials say they'd save a $1 million by combining municipal and national elections. Unused voting machine and more election workers than voters is a common site inside Clark County's early voting trailer which happens to be parked at Lake Mead Blvd. and Tenaya Way on this day. The Clark County Registrar of Voters expects turnout for this municipal primary election to be between 15 and 25 percent of registered voters. No matter how many turnout, it costs taxpayers. "The five cities together spend around a million dollars to put on a primary and a general election every odd year," said Larry Lomax, Clark County registrar of voters. Assembly Bill 132 would combine the municipal elections with the state and county elections hoping to raise turnout. Read More

NV: Bill would allow Election Day voter registration - necn.com

A bill allowing Nevadans to register to vote on Election Day drew strong reactions from supporters who say it promotes democracy and opponents who say it will breed fraud. AB108 removes a deadline specifying residents must register 30 days before an election, or in-person at county clerk offices no later than three weeks before the election. Supporters say it helps people who move and are forced to re-register, including college students. A proposed amendment calls for adding online registration. Read More

NY: Mandate could change voting dates and procedures - The Courier

With a new state mandate retiring all lever-style voting machines by 2012, Steuben County Board of Elections officials are looking at ways to streamline village and school board elections. That streamlining could mean a drastic change in the way the elections are held, with some proposing village elections be moved to November. County Republican Commission Veronica Olin said the recent mandate means villages and schools must decide whether to use electronic scanners or use paper ballots inserted in a locked strong box and counted by hand. Counting ballots by hand is not burdensome during low voter turnout – such as in the South Corning village race last Tuesday when 77 votes were tallied. However, in the village of Bath election workers took more than 2.5 hours to count -- and recount -- the 468 ballots cast. Village Clerk Nonie Flynn said the state first told her she had to use the paper ballots, then informed her the week before the election she could use the lever machine this time. But by then, the ballots and safe box were ordered, she said. “Do I want the scanner for next year?” Flynn said. “Definitely.” County officials said they may consider running pilot elections next year to see how the scanners work out during a March election. However, the final switch could mean additional expenses for villages – and a possible shift of village elections to the November ballot. Read More

NC: Editorial: A vote of no confidence : News-Record.com

Add this to the list of poorly named legislation: the "Restore Confidence in Government Act." The main feature of this bill, introduced last week in the state House of Representatives, is to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The first sign that the initiative actually shakes confidence in government is that it was filed at 9 p.m. Monday and a hearing was held at 2 p.m. Tuesday. That didn't allow much time for the public to respond. More critically, the bill would not ensure that elections are free from fraud unless poll workers are 100 percent adept at spotting fake ID cards. But it's almost certain to block some people from voting who are legally registered and eligible but forget, misplace or simply don't have the right document showing their mug shot. How does it restore confidence in government to tell someone who has voted in the same precinct for 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years that, all of a sudden, she has to present a photo ID so that the poll worker -- who may be a neighbor -- will officially recognize her and grant her right to vote? Read More

OH: Ballot scanning company Election Systems & Software agrees to give Cuyahoga County $200,000 | cleveland.com

A maker of ballot scanners will pay Cuyahoga County more than $200,000 because its equipment could not scan larger-sized ballots. The settlement approved Tuesday between Election Systems and Software Inc. and the county Board of Elections covers the county's costs of printing extra pages of smaller ballots in 2009 and last year, along with extra staff costs to test the scanners and for repairs to ballot boxes the county bought from ES&S. "We got what we thought we could get," Assistant County Prosecutor Dave Lambert told the elections board Tuesday. Elections Board Director Jane Platten said the issues were all caught before election day and no votes were affected. The county has avoided the problem by using smaller ballots, she said. Platten also said the company has made software changes to handle larger ballots which should be approved for use by the fall. Read More

PA: House panel hears plan to require photo ID for voters - PostGazette.com

Concerns over voter fraud have reignited efforts to strengthen identification requirements for those seeking to cast a ballot in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers on the House State Government Committee heard debate Monday on two bills, including one from Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, that would require a voter to show government-issued photo ID at the polls. Under Mr. Metcalfe's proposal, the state Department of Transportation would provide a free ID card to those who do not have acceptable identification. Except for first-time voters, Pennsylvania voters currently are not required to show an ID. Read More

TX: Voter ID measure delayed in House - Statesman.com

State House Democrats delayed a vote Monday on the controversial voter identification bill. The bill requiring Texans to show a valid photo ID to cast a ballot could return to the floor later this week. It is expected to eventually pass with ease in the Republican-dominated House. The delay resulted when Rep. Armando Martinez, a Democrat from Weslaco, raised a point of order dealing with a discrepancy between the bill and its official analysis. Speaker Joe Straus sustained the point of order, which shelved the bill. Martinez pointed out that the language in the bill indicates that people may vote with provisional ballots on election day if they don't have ID and that their votes could be counted as long as they return within six days with proper proof of identity. But the bill analysis says a person has six business days, not six calendar days. Read More


Armenia: Ballots Recounted After Local Poll Marred By Fraud Claims - azatutyun.am

Officials in the southern Armenian town of Armavir began on Tuesday recounting ballots cast in a weekend mayoral election that was marred by fraud allegations and sparked violent clashes between police and supporters of the main defeated candidate.
Official vote results showed Armavir’s incumbent Mayor Ruben Khlghatian affiliated with President Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) narrowly winning reelection. His main challenger, Sevak Minasian, refused to concede defeat and said the election was blatantly rigged in Khlghatian’s favor. Minasian, whose father is the town’s deputy prosecutor, has no party affiliation. Hundreds of his supporters blocked the Armavir-Yerevan highway on Monday to condemn the alleged fraud and demand a rerun of the ballot. Police used force to disperse the crowd. Five protesters were detained on the spot. Read More

India: Online voting in Gujarat capital’s local elections - Khaleej Times

Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project of online voting, which was dropped at the last minute ahead of the municipal elections in Gujarat’s six major cities in October last, will finally be implemented when the state capital of Gandhinagar goes to local polls next month. State election commissioner KC Kapoor told Khaleej Times that Gujarat with its robust information technology infrastructure in terms of a data centre with 32 servers would become the first state to introduce Internet-based voting on April 19 when civic polls were scheduled to be held in India’s only capital without an elected body. About 1,600 people have signed for the new facility under which a registered voter can either come to the e-polling station to exercise his franchise or can even cast his vote through Internet from his home or office, instead of standing in long queues outside polling booths. Read More

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