Thursday, March 31, 2011

Diebold TS on E-Bay - Get Yours Now!, Florida - 10 Years After

AK: Voter ID, Bible bills rejected; no vote on guns in church - Arkansas News

Legislation to require voters to show photo identification at the polls and to allow Bible study in public schools failed in legislative committees today. Also, a bill that would take authority to set lottery scholarship amounts away from the Legislature was defeated in a House committee. A separate panel heard testimony on a bill to allow guns in churches but lacked enough members present to take a vote. The House Rules Committee is to take up a bill to ban lottery vending machines during a special meeting Thursday. Committee action today came in a flurry as lawmakers work toward a Friday deadline to recess the regular session. Senate Bill 1797 by Rep. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, was voted down on a voice vote by the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee, after a poll worker spoke against the measure. Barry Haas of Little Rock said the requirement would slow things down at the polls and make voting difficult, especially among the elderly who might not have ID cards. Read More

CT: Election reform legislation endorsed by Secretary of State - News

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today praised the Connecticut General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections committee for unanimously endorsing Senate Bill 942 “An Act Concerning the Integrity of Elections.” Secretary Merrill proposed the bill in February to strengthen the integrity of Connecticut’s elections by requiring more communication and accountability between local Registrars of Voters, charged with the responsibility of running all elections, and the Secretary of the State’s office.
Under the proposed legislation, every municipality in the state would be required to either purchase enough ballots to cover 100% of registered voters, or report to the Secretary of the State’s office how many ballots they purchase for upcoming elections, certifying that the number of ballots ordered has taken into account factors such as tight races that may augment voter turnout. The Secretary of the State’s office would have the authority to review and in some cases reject these purchases if an insufficient number of ballots were ordered. Every town would also be required to have an emergency plan to address issues such as power outages and ballot shortages on Election Day. The measure has received bipartisan support and now moves on the full State Senate for consideration. “I am grateful to the GAE Committee for closely examining these issues and throwing its full support behind some targeted, common-sense changes that I believe will go a long way towards ensuring the integrity of our elections,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s Chief elections Official. “No registered voter who wants to cast a ballot on Election Day should ever be turned away from the polls, and as Secretary of the State I am committed to working with local election officials to make sure that never happens again in Connecticut. All of us involved in elections need more information, training, emergency planning and oversight, and this bill addresses those needs. I appreciate the bi-partisan support we have received for these ideas thus far and I urge the Senate to approve this measure as soon as possible.” Read More

FL: Report Tracks Election Reform 10 Years After Bush v. Gore - PRNewswire-USNewswire

In a new report, the Collins Center for Public Policy examines the state of election reform in Florida a decade after a bipartisan task force called for substantial changes. Florida became a laughingstock in 2000 as the nation awaited the results of the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Alarmed by the spectacle, Gov. Jeb Bush asked the Collins Center to form a task force and analyze flaws in Florida's elections proces. In March 2001, the Governor's Select Task Force on Election Procedures, Standards and Technology produced 35 recommendations in a report "Revitalizing Democracy in Florida." Ten years later, a majority of the recommendations have been instituted. Read More

Guam: Respicio Bill Would Permit VVPB Electronic Voting

Senator Rory Respicio has introduced an election reform bill that would permit electronic voting using machine that are capable of producing "voter verified paper ballots" [VVPB]. Following the 2006 election Senator Respicio was the sponsor of a Bill banned electronic voting which eventually became Public Law 128-31. In a release, Respicio explained he drafted that Bill because of the many problems with electronic voting during the 2006 election. “Those Ivotronic machines," says Respicio, "stored votes electronically, so they could easily be hacked or lose their data.” The old machines did not provide paper receipts that could be hand counted or audited. Read More
Read Bill 128

MN: Ritchie goes to Washington to talk elections |

One advantage to having a high-profile recount in two straight elections: Minnesota's voting systems have been scrutinized more than most. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who presided over both the 2008 Senate and 2010 governor recounts, testified Thursday about the state’s voting system at a congressional hearing on improving elections. Ritchie was one of two Secretaries of State asked to testify by the House Administration Committee. The hearing was held to examine “what went right and what went wrong” in the midterm elections, with House members most interested in ways to cut down on fraudulent voting. Calling Minnesota’s elections the “best system in the country,” Ritchie said it was important not to wait until after an election to invest in fixing problems. He cited Minnesota's use of change of address and Social Security electronic databases as one way the state has spotted problems before people begin casting ballots. Ritchie told of a Minnesota man on parole who illegally voted in the 2008 election, saying the goal was to cut down on those types of cases. “There’s just so many advantages to doing it up front,” Ritchie said. “It takes investment to do that.” Read More

NC: Voter ID bill gets changed by NC House Republicans -

House Republicans are rolling out a new version of a bill requiring voter identification before casting a ballot in North Carolina that wouldn't always require a photo ID. The chairman of the House Elections Committee said Wednesday the proposal would allow someone to show their voter registration card to vote. Poll workers first would decide if the person's signature matches the signature used when the person registered to vote. Read More


100+ Diebold voting machines, known for how easily they can be hacked, available now on EBay | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times

You really can get anything on EBay, even electronic voting machines proved to be easy to corrupt for purposes of voting fraud. Brad Friedman of the Brad Blog first noticed that "more than 10" AccuVote-TS voting machines, built by Diebold, were being sold on the online auction site for the buy-it-now price of $1,200 (plus $50 shipping and handling). The machines are used and don't come with user's manuals, power supplies, batteries or memory cards, which may explain their discounted price. However, for those who wish to rig elections, machines like these are priceless. Friedman was contacted by the seller, who told him that he had more than 100 of the electronic voting machines that were originally used in Van Wert County, Ohio. AccuVote-TS voting machines were also used in New Jersey, when a professor at Princeton demonstrated how easy the Diebold machines were to manipulate for nefarious means. In congressional testimony in 2006 on "Electronic Voting Machines: Verification, Security and Paper Trails," professor Edward W. Felten explained to the Committee on House Administration that the AccuVote-TS was quite easy to hack through "malicious software" to produce whatever election results a criminal would want to achieve How easy? It would only take one minute to install the software that would destroy the integrity of the voting. Read More

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he 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.
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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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

EAC Certifies New ES&S Election Management System, WV negotiating new contract with ES&S, Voter ID Gambit?

CA: San Diego Election Official Calls for Shrinking Ballot -

Every primary election, local voters get to peruse long lists of obscure candidates and ponder which ones should serve in offices that aren't actually part of the government. As many as three out of four voters simply don't bother to decide who will serve on the county central committees of political parties. Now, the county's top election official wants to save money by saving everyone the trouble: She wants to purge these races from the ballot. "The main issue is that these are not public offices, and they're being subsidized at taxpayer expense. It's an unwarranted taxpayer subsidy when so many things are being cut," said Deborah Seiler, the registrar of voters, who's working with election officials statewide to push for new legislation to dump the central committee races from the ballot. She put it more bluntly in an interview with The Sacramento Bee: "It's as if we were running the Kiwanis Club election." Each of the political parties has a county central committee, which does things like endorse local candidates and approves budgets. But only the Democrats and Republicans typically need to hold elections to fill the seats because there are more hopefuls than openings, Seiler said. Each party elects six people to represent each of the eight Assembly districts in the county for a total of 48; the parties may add more people to their central committees, like current elected officials. In the June 2010 primary election, candidates for central committees made up 160, or two-thirds, of all the 240 candidates on the entire ballot. The numbers were similar in 2008. Register employees must verify the signatures gathered by the candidates, Seiler said, making the workload a "huge proposition." Read More

ID: New closed primary and voter registration plan introduced -

A new plan for to close Idaho’s primary elections and require voters to register by parties could still allow independents to cast a vote in primaries, though party leaders would have the final say on such participation. The chairmen of both the state Republican and Democratic parties say they’d welcome independent voters in their primaries. The legislation for closed primaries follows a successful lawsuit by the Idaho Republican Party, which convinced a federal judge that Idaho’s open primaries, which let voters pick any party’s ballot, violated its constitutional right to assemble. On Monday, budget writers also agreed to repay some of the GOP’s attorney fees. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) agreed to pay the Idaho Republican Party $100,000 to cover lawyers’ fees for the lawsuit striking down open primaries. The state owed the GOP those costs as a result of the GOP’s victory. State GOP Executive Director Jonathan Parker said the actual attorney costs were closer to $143,000, but the party and the state government agreed to the smaller payment. The money for the GOP comes from the state general fund. The closed primary “will also allow independent voters to join the Republican Party at anytime, providing a great opportunity for us to continue to attract and recruit like-minded folks to the cause,” party chairman Norm Semanko said on the party’s website. He said he supports implementing the legislation before next year’s primary. Read More

IA: Photo ID to vote? Unnecessary, says auditor -

Jasper County Auditor Dennis Parrott is standing united with all other county auditors in Iowa to oppose a law championed by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz that would require a photo identification to vote in Iowa. Although the law appears to be dead for this legislative session, Schultz is indicating that he doesn’t plan to let the issue die a permanent death. House File 95 would require a person to produce a photo ID when voting at the polls. No county auditor in the state of Iowa, which includes 60 Republicans, 38 Democrats and one independent, was in favor of the bill. Although the purpose of the bill is to prevent voter fraud, Parrott said voter fraud is not a problem in Iowa, and besides, the bill is seriously flawed and totally unnecessary. Parrott says HF95 does not meet the requirements of federal election laws, specifically the Help America Vote Act, which passed in 2002. In addition, the bill fails to address absentee voting. If there is any potential for fraud in Jasper County, Parrott said, the potential would be in absentee voting. Currently, Iowa law allows a person to register to vote by mail, as well as vote absentee by mail, without ever having to produce any form of ID. This creates a double standard, Parrott says, and a requirement of a photo ID to vote in person will encourage more and more voters to go the absentee route when voting. Parrott said he takes pride in serving as an election administrator in a state with good laws and a strong history of fair and impartial elections. Read More

KS: Kansas voter ID bill pushed by Kobach goes to governor -

Starting next year, Kansas voters would have to present a photo ID when they cast a ballot under a bill headed to the governor to sign. The bill, which passed the House 111-11 on Tuesday, would make Kansas the 10th state to require a photo ID at the polls. “Securing our elections is not a Republican issue. It’s not a Democrat issue. It’s an American issue,” said Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of the proponents of the measure. “This bill ensures that in Kansas it’s easy to vote, but hard to cheat.” Critics, however, have questioned whether voter fraud is rampant in Kansas. Others said the law would create a maze of obstacles for legitimate voters. Read More

NY: Manlius village trustee who lost race by one vote takes election to court |

Marc R. Baum, a Manlius village trustee who lost his seat in an election where the absentee ballot of a deceased voter was counted, has asked for a court review of the election results in state Supreme Court. Baum’s request is preliminarily scheduled to be heard April 7 by state Supreme Court Judge John Cherundolo. Baum was ahead by two votes after the March 15 election. The next morning, he found out he’d lost by one vote following a recount. One of the eight absentee ballots was sent by a man who had died prior to the election. It was mistakenly counted because the Onondaga County Board of Elections didn’t know he had died. Read More

TX: New law requiring voter photo identification is being criticized -The Laredo Sun

The impending law requiring voter photo identification was considered by Democrats as a political move so that fewer Hispanics go to vote when elections are held. "It's just that, a political move aimed at creating difficulties for members of minorities to vote. This is something that Republicans have long sought to remove power for the Latino vote," said Sergio Mora, president of the Democratic Party in Webb. He said Governor Rick Perry declared this bill as an emergency in Texas Congress, knowing that there are really serious and severe problems in the state as the budget deficit and cuts to education. "Now more than ever is when we must all work together to overcome the deficit of more than 32 billion dollars we have, instead, Governor Perry is concerned with partisan issues, "he complained. In the House of Representatives, where there are 101 Republicans and only 49 Democrats, the proposal to request a photo ID when voting was approved. The bill would prevent people to vote only with their voting card and will require a photo ID as a valid driver's license, a document that not everyone has. Read More

WV: West Virginia negotiating maintenance contract for voting machines - The Charleston Gazette

West Virginia election officials are negotiating a maintenance contract for the state's electronic voting machines. In 2005, under the direction of Secretary of State Betty Ireland, election officials entered a single-source contract with Omaha, Neb.-based Election Systems & Software to provide touch-screen and optical-scan voting machines. The deal gave ES&S a virtual monopoly on voting systems in West Virginia. The deal also gave ES&S exclusive maintenance contracts to take care of the voting machines. Jake Glance, spokesman for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, said those maintenance contracts are set to expire in September. Glance said election officials are negotiating with ES&S to renew the maintenance contracts. Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick said she expects the maintenance contract to cost Kanawha County taxpayers between $66,000 and $76,000 a year. "It's preposterous," said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper, who has been critical of giving ES&S exclusive rights to West Virginia's election machines since the company first won the contract. Carper said the company's monopoly on voting machines allows ES&S to charge whatever they want to service their machines. "I've jumped up and down and sideways about this all along," Carper said. "What if the company goes out of business? What will [the state] do then?" Read More

VA: Montgomery Co. electoral officials meet with Attorney General's office -

The entire electoral leadership of Montgomery County met Tuesday with state investigators to discuss voting irregularities that took place nearly five months ago. State officials are trying to determine whether any laws were broken when normal voting procedures broke down in the Nov. 2 election. As expected, investigators interviewed election officials Tuesday at the County Government Center. The meeting was closed to the public and press. It is not known when a decision will be announced. The State Board of Elections asked for an investigation after poll workers in several precincts — hampered by laptops that would not boot up with electronic poll books — let some 700 Montgomery County residents vote before it could be determined they were registered and in the correct precinct. When a would-be voter cannot be authenticated in advance, the person is supposed to vote by paper form, according to a regulation that has since been turned into a law. Paper ballots can be set aside if the person turns out not to be registered. Votes cast electronically, as these were, cannot be recalled. However, all who cast ballots during the computer outage turned out to be registered voters, though several voted in the wrong precinct. No votes need to be set aside or recalled. The irregularities did not affect the outcome of the vote. Read More

WV: Voting machine contract frustrates commissioner - Charleston Daily Mail

A Kanawha County commissioner is upset with the prospect of the state awarding a no-bid contract for maintenance of electronic voting machines. But the Kanawha County clerk believes the maintenance contract, if approved by Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's office, would be a good deal for taxpayers. Commission President Kent Carper believes the state giving Electronic Systems & Software a no-bid contract to perform maintenance on the 374 electronic voting machines and two tabulators is just another unfunded mandate placed on the county. The county would have to pay the company $66,000 to $76,000 a year for maintaining the machines, Carper said. Read More


DOJ probe says Panthers case handled appropriately - The Associated Press

In a case that has drawn strong criticism from Republican conservatives, the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility has found no evidence that politics played a role when department attorneys dismissed three defendants from a voting rights lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party. OPR, which investigates allegations of attorney misconduct, concluded that the government lawyers' work on the lawsuit in 2009 was based on a good-faith assessment of the law and the facts and had a reasonable basis. "We found no evidence of improper political interference or influence from within or outside the department" and the government attorneys acted appropriately in the exercise of their supervisory duties, OPR said in a letter Tuesday to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. "We found no evidence to support allegations — which were raised during the course of our investigation — that the decision-makers, either in bringing or dismissing the claims, were influenced by the race of the defendants," OPR's letter added. Read More

The GOP’s Voter ID gambit - The Fix - The Washington Post

As Republican governors and legislators across the country push forward with ambitious and sometimes controversial budget-cutting agendas, the GOP in many states is also quietly encouraging another controversial measure: Voter ID. The Associated Press reported this weekend that Republicans are moving forward with such measures – which can require people to show identification or swear an oath of their identity when they vote – in about half of the 50 states. And in many of them, the bills have a better chance of becoming law than in a long time. While the big new Republican majorities and GOP governors give Voter ID advocates new hope to pass these bills, the efforts do carry some political risk. Voter ID bills, often compared by opponents to modern-day poll taxes, are characterized by critics as thinly veiled efforts to disenfranchise poor and minority populations who tend to vote Democratic. And for Republicans already dealing with some dicey budget debates, the Voter ID battles are causing a stir. Read More

EAC Certifies ES&S Unity Voting System - U.S. Election Assistance Commission

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has certified the Unity voting system by Election Systems and Software (ES&S) to the 2002 Voting System Standards. It is the fifth voting system to achieve federal certification under EAC’s Voting System Testing and Certification Program. The Unity comprises two precinct-based optical scanners—the M100 and the DS200—and one central-count scanner, the M650. The accessible voting device for this system is the AutoMark. EAC issued federal certification for the Unity system after ES&S demonstrated compliance with the following final certification requirements, which complete EAC’s comprehensive testing process:

Rebuild the voting system in a trusted environment, known as a “trusted build” (an act performed by an EAC-accredited test lab)
Provide software identification tools to EAC so that whomever purchases the system can verify its authenticity
Provide voting system software for the EAC repository
Agree in writing to comply with all EAC certification conditions and program requirements.

Launched in 2007, EAC’s certification program marks the first time the federal government has certified voting systems. The program is authorized by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and is entirely voluntary—states are not required to use EAC-certified voting systems, or to test their systems against federal standards. At least 13 states require the use of federally-certified voting machines. Read More


Australia: Electronic voting a threat to democracy - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Online voting for last weekend’s NSW election was far more popular than expected. But embracing the convenient joys of this new technology introduces new risks to this core process of democracy. As iTnews reported, the NSW Electoral Commission expected around 10,000 people to use their new iVote system. The actual number was more than 47,000, with more than 90 per cent of them being voters who were outside the state. Now without a doubt online voting makes it easier for travellers to vote. It improves the lot of the disabled too, who can vote for themselves rather than rely on the assistance of others. And it’s a boon for the lazy who selfishly imagine that having to queue at a polling place once every three or four years is more of a burden than an undemocratic government. But the success of an election shouldn’t been measured by its convenience, but by its ability to solve a conundrum: how to combine the complete transparency of process needed to eliminate fraud with the secrecy of individuals’ votes.The secret ballot was an Australian invention, even called “the Australian vote” for a time. Today it’s so common even in contexts outside national and state elections, and it so obviously removes the risk of voter intimidation, that we take it as a given. We’d be fools to give that away. Read More

Bangladesh - Tk 1,200cr needed for e-voting - Teh Daily Star

The Election Commission Secretariat estimates that Tk 1,200 crore will be required to hold the next parliamentary elections under electronic voting system. EC Secretary Muhammad Sadiq yesterday said this at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presiding over the meeting said the government will introduce the system in the next parliamentary elections. She directed the EC to take whatever measures necessary to this end. She also said when the system is in place, results will be quicker and there will be no scope for vote rigging. A planning ministry official said the EC Secretary Muhammad Sadiq disclosed the information while discussing a revised project of the EC. The EC secretary said as per their estimate, Tk 30,000 to 40,000 may be required at each voting centre to introduce the electronic voting system. Read More

Canada - Potential pitfalls of e-voting are significant -

Re: Online poll 'If electronic voting was available, would you use it?' (Daily News, March 26) This question should read: "If the option was available to vote online in an election, would you trust it? People seem to believe that because we routinely do our banking and buying online that this same mechanism would be secure for voting. And it would, as long as you are willing to forego the secret ballot. Banking and buying can be secure because there is an indelible link between patron and business, between me and my bank or me and the store from which I make a purchase: the transaction can be traced in detail and if this were not so there would be no online commerce. Read More

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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.
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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.

Monday, March 28, 2011

CO Secretary of State sues Sagiuache County Clerk, Voter ID bills across the nation

CA: Election schedule hostage to budget | The Desert Sun

With the idea of a June 7 special election increasingly less likely, state officials are starting to consider additional dates for Gov. Jerry Brown to put a proposed five-year tax extension before voters. At least one of those plans could cost Riverside County taxpayers as much as $3 million. Brown needs two-thirds support in the Legislature to put his controversial tax proposal before voters. But the idea has been on hold as he tries to secure four elusive Republican votes. Read More

CO: Gessler sues Myers - Center Post Dispatch

Secretary of State Scott Gessler answered citizens’ questions and objections, interjected jokes and qualified election perceptions at length during a two-hour town hall meeting in Saguache Wednesday. A good-sized crowd listened intently as Gessler explained the role his office played in the election, separated his approach to the election problems the county has experienced from that of predecessor Bernie Buescher, and outlined how he plans to move forward. During the meeting, Gessler cleared up some misconceptions about election-related issues, left some questions pending and gave a frank “I don’t know” when he was not sure where answers were concerned. But the hand count most of his audience hoped to hear him announce will be delayed indefinitely. Read More

CO: Ranked voting gets mixed reviews throughout country - The Coloradoan

The election process known as ranked voting, or instant runoff voting, has received mixed reviews across the country in communities that have used it. From coast to coast — spe-cifically from Cary, N.C., to San Leandro, Calif., — offi-cials with mid-sized municipalities that have used a ranked-choice voting system similar to what is proposed for Fort Collins on the April 5 ballot disagree on whether the process is fair, accurate and cost effective. Ranked voting "worked as advertised" in San Leandro, which used the process for the first time in November, said Mayor Stephen Cassidy in an email to the Coloradoan. Read More

CT: Connecticut elections chief named to national committee on voter participation -

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has been named to a national panel that's looking for ways to increase voter participation nationwide. Merrill, a Democrat, was appointed by the National Association of Secretaries of State as co-chair of the group's Voter Participation Committee. She will lead the committee with Republican Jason Gant, South Dakota's secretary of state. The 19-member panel will provide a forum for the secretaries to share their best ideas for voter education and outreach. It will also serve as a clearinghouse for information on voter participation. Read More

MN: Photo ID backers get an e-mail scare -

Backers of the "photo ID" voter legislation got a bit of a scare last week. The bill, which would require voters to show photo identification when they vote, was pronounced nearly dead by a group that had championed it. "Internal Republican politics may ultimately kill 21st Century Voter ID," screamed an e-mail alert from Minnesota Majority. The photo ID proposals originally were projected to cost $60 million because of weighty mandates that would require precincts to have electronic verification systems, making the bills a hard sell. Supporters say photo ID is needed to prevent fraud at the polls. Opponents argue that it would disenfranchise some voters. Bill sponsor Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said the proposal still is on track, largely because of changes that strip the cost to under $5 million -- though the new analysis has not been released. The computerized verification systems would be optional. Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, plans to make similar changes in the House. Read More

OH: Review casts doubt on outcome of race - Toledo Blade

Lucas County Commissioner George Sarantou? That was the wish of some 69,580 Lucas County residents who voted for the Toledo Republican in the Nov. 2 election. But Carol Contrada, the Democrat, was declared the winner after the Lucas County Board of Elections said she received 193 more votes than Mr. Sarantou. But did she? A review by The Blade over the last six weeks of the 4,157 validated provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 2 election suggests at least 527 votes were erroneously included in the total vote count. And hundreds more that were counted are suspect based on Ohio law and regulations. Read More

RI: Rhode Island voter-ID bill has support on both sides of the aisle | Rhode Island news | | The Providence Journal

It’s not every day that House Speaker Gordon D. Fox adds his name to a bill with Republican Joseph A. Trillo or even fellow Democrat Jon D. Brien. But Fox and House Majority Whip J. Patrick O’Neill, along with Brien, Trillo and Republican Tea Party member Doreen Costa, have joined together to support a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The unlikely tandem of state lawmakers is sponsoring House bill H-5680 at the request of Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, who argues that the “belief that voter fraud exists undermines the public’s faith in the fairness of our elections.” “Voting should be at least as secure as renting a car, getting a library card or any of the other tasks that routinely require an ID,” Mollis said. “Some people look at this as a Republican or a conservative issue. I look it as an electoral issue,” said Brien, the bill’s prime sponsor, noting its support from leading Democrats. Read More

TN: Boards urge voting act repeal - Herald Citizen

Two separate Putnam County boards made formal requests this week that the Tennessee Legislature repeal a 2008 act that would require new voting machines and paper ballots in next year's election cycle. The Putnam County Election Commission joined the Putnam County Commission on Monday in supporting a resolution asking the General Assembly repeal the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act. Both bodies are concerned that the optical scan voting machines and paper ballots required under the rule could pose additional financial burdens. Officials have said that the equipment and ballots could cost the county $78,000 more per election, on top of the average $48,000-50,000 it takes right now. And those are conservative estimates, Putnam County Election Administrator Debbie Steidl said. Read More

TX: New bill may affect voter turnout - SMU Daily Campus

After more than 11 hours of debate, the Texas House passed a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at polls. While the bill is aimed at addressing voter fraud, many say that it will negatively affect students' ability to vote. "The thing that is usually disruptive for students is that they are not at home," political science professor Cal Jilson said. "So if you are not at home and do not have local ID, you won't be able to register to vote and vote at your university home." John Carona, the Republican senator that represents the SMU area, said that the Senate considered this particular problem. He said that a student who is a resident of Texas may register to vote at a temporary address, and "if there is a conflict of address on a voter registration card and a driver's license, it would not prohibit that person from voting." The language of the bill, SB-14, does not specifically address this problem, although Carona said the office of the secretary of state is currently developing rules that will "equip election workers to handle these situations." Carona said that if there were to be an issue, "students will have the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot." Read More


Across country, GOP pushes photo ID at the polls - The Associated Press

Empowered by last year's elections, Republican leaders in about half the states are pushing to require voters to show photo ID at the polls despite little evidence of fraud and already-substantial punishments for those who vote illegally. Democrats claim the moves will disenfranchise poor and minority voters — many of whom traditionally vote for their candidates. The measures will also increase spending and oversight in some states even as Republicans are focused on cutting budgets and decreasing regulations. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, a Republican, said he believes his state's proposed photo ID law will increase citizen confidence in the process and combat fraud that could be going undetected. "I can't figure out who it would disenfranchise," Hargett said. "The only people I can think it disenfranchises is those people who might be voting illegally." Hargett said the measure currently moving through Tennessee's legislature — now controlled by Republicans — would accommodate people who don't have IDs by having them sign oaths of identity, which provide more prominent warning to potential fakers than the standard name-signing. Party leaders advanced several ID proposals this week with successful votes in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio and Texas. Read More


Australia: Use of e-voting in NSW election triples expectations - Computerworld

The NSW Electoral Commission’s (NSWEC) e-voting system, iVote, has far exceeded initial expectations of 15,000 users, with more than 46,800 NSW citizens using the technology in the recent state election on 26 March 2011. NSWEC CIO, Ian Brightwell, told CIO Australia the original suggestions of between 5000 and 15,000 users had far been superseded, with some 95 per cent of those voters being in the interstate and overseas group. The project, first slated in June last year, initially focused on enabling blind, vision-impaired and disabled voters, as well as those living in remote areas, to cast a secret and unassisted vote from home or in other locations using an interactive voice response by phone or the internet. The world-class technology was later extended to include other groups. Read More

India: Shiv Sena opposes EVMs and e-voting system - Mumbai DNA Media

Shiv Sena would oppose the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and e-voting system during upcoming polls in 10 municipal corporations and 167 municipal councils in Maharashtra. A delegation of Sena leaders today met state election commissioner Neela Satyanarayan submitting a memorandum opposing use of EVMs and e-voting in the polls. The commission had earlier said that it will set up a committee before introducing the e-voting system. "The EVMs create confusion in the whole voting process and among voters. It becomes difficult for the voters to know whom they have cast votes. Instead, the old ballet papers should be used for better understanding of the voters," Sena secretary, Anil Desai said. Read More

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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.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Battle over Saguache CO ballots continues, Machine flaws in GA, DC Court decision may affect TX Voter ID proposal

CO: Gessler, clerks battle over ballots in Saguache County | Real

A disputed election in south-central Colorado is now in the hands of a grand jury that is reviewing allegations that the clerk and other officials committed crimes when they tallied the votes. The officials under investigation stood to benefit from the election’s outcome — most notably Saguache County Clerk Melinda Myers — who, along with County Commissioner Linda Joseph, at first lost but then won their races after Myers declared the races had to be retabulated due to a technical glitch. The snafu hasn’t just initiated secret court proceedings. It’s also knocked over a political hornet’s nest. "Family style voting" in Saguache County caught the attention of the Colorado Elections Division, which noted in a December report that partitions were not used Nov. 2 to protect voter privacy. It is but one example of problems that plagued the county's disputed general election. The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office initially claimed it didn’t have jurisdiction in the races, despite its heavy involvement in the election in question. A secretary of state official was present on election night — when Myers and Joseph were thought to have lost — but no one from the state directly oversaw the retabulation that changed the outcome. State officials did, however, remain in regular communication with Myers and provided her with guidance on how to proceed. The office also sent two officials to Saguache County two weeks after the election to conduct an audit. The secretary of state also rejected the county election canvassing board’s request to hand count the machine-plagued races. Read More

CO: It’s not about ballots — it’s about public records -

Beginning in 2006, when Valley Courier reporter Ruth Heide was denied copies of the minutes from Center Town Board meetings, Saguache County and municipal officials operating within the county have consistently balked at producing documents deemed public under the Colorado Open Records Act. Records either have been denied or their delivery has been delayed past the usual three business days specified by law. By settling the Colorado Open Meetings Law complaint filed by Valley Publishing last fall, Saguache County Commissioners avoided the release of tapes and/or notes of all executive sessions relating to the incident in question, which counties are required to record per state statute. Since the Nov. 2 election, Saguache County Clerk Melinda Myers also has consistently refused to release documents as requested — not only by this reporter, but by several other individuals. Among these requests were the ballots, which Myers now is refusing to deliver to Secretary of State Scott Gessler. This even though Myers’ invited the SOS to come look at the ballots during the Feb. 27 election forum. Read More

GA: Machine Flaws, Dubious Results and Deficient Auditing are Key Factors Again in $1.4 billion Cobb SPLOST Tax Levies - OpEdNews

Voting machine flaws have once again, plagued Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum results in Cobb County. The 2011 results were certified this week by the Cobb Election Board. However, a flaw that is present in all Georgia voting machines has now played a key role in $1.4 billion of SPLOST tax levies for those who live in one of Georgia's largest counties. The flaw allows totally blank voted ballots to be recorded during an election. In a 2005 Cobb SPLOST, and again in the recent 2011 SPLOST, blank voted ballots exceeded the margins of victory. In 2005, the SPLOST appeared on its way to defeat, trailing by several percentage points with just a few precincts left to count. But then unexplained transmission problems and reporting delays were encountered. The next day the SPLOST was declared victorious by a razor thin 114 votes out of 39,780. The 2005 results show that 285 totally blank ballots were cast. In 2011, 95 blank voted ballots were recorded in a race decided by only 90 votes out of 43,109 that were cast. Adding to the 2011 unverifiable voting controversy are the verifiable mail-in ballot results that totaled to a near landslide, 60-40% point defeat for the 2011 SPLOST. John Fortuin, co-founder of Defenders of Democracy, explained: "The voting machine vendor could have easily programmed a specific warning to voters that their ballot is totally blank when they cast it". That warning could then allow the voter to either vote in at least one of the races or void the ballot. He concluded: " Officials may try to claim that is not a defect, but ensuring entry of required data is a must for integrity of any enterprise application." Read More

IL: Chicago Heights election problems prompt call to close early voting site - Chicago Tribune

A local minister has called for an early end to early voting in Chicago Heights after repeated claims of intimidation and improper electioneering at a polling site inside City Hall. At a news conference outside City Hall on Thursday that was watched by election monitors, the Rev. Lawrence Blackful complained that disruptions and allegations of attempted voter fraud at the location "threatened the democratic process" in Chicago Heights. "We need to make sure this election is done properly. We need to make sure no individual gains an edge … or circumvents the democratic process," said Blackful, pastor at St. Bethel Church and head of the Chicago Heights Area Ministerial Council. Read More

ID: Closed primary moves closer - Coeur d'Alene Press

Idaho Republican leaders are close to inking a deal that would limit GOP primary elections to only the party's registered voters. The proposal comes weeks after a federal judge ruled that Idaho's 38-year-old open primary system was unconstitutional. That ruling was appealed by a national Independent voting organization on Wednesday, but legislators could be ready to spring a bill that would require Republicans to vote in GOP primary races, while Democrats would vote in Democratic primary races. "We are very close," said House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale. He said a bill could be introduced by Friday. Read More

MD: Maryland lawmakers move to change presidential and gubernatorial primary election dates - The Washington Post

Maryland voters would cast ballots in the 2012 presidential primary election in April and the 2014 gubernatorial primary would move from September to June, under legislation moving through the General Assembly. In 2008, Maryland, Virginia and the District all held primaries on Feb. 12, creating a Potomac Primary that gave the region greater importance in the competitive race. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said he doesn’t like the date change, but noted that the scheduling of elections is being driven by the national political parties. “It makes no sense that New Hampshire and Iowa drive the politics,” Miller said, referring to party rules that protect the first-in-the-nation nominating contests in those states, held in February. Read More

MN: Analysis: Voter ID bill would cost state many millions - MinnPost

Voter ID bills introduced early in the legislative session have languished for many reasons, but they might be mostly burdened by their potential costs. We wrote about some feared costs before, particularly as they apply to proposed electronic pollbooks. Now, Minnesota Common Cause and Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota have compiled a detailed review (PDF) of the costs of House File 210 — which requires Voter ID and institutes the electronic voter check-in system statewide — and House File 89, which simply requires photo ID for voters. Bottom line: $84 million over three years for H.F. 210, and $25 million for H.F. 89. Much of the analysis is based on real costs in other states that have instituted Voter ID. The two voter rights and election watchdog groups say the fiscal notes developed by legislative researchers underestimate the real potential costs. The voter groups also took county level costs into account. Read More

NC: Proposed voter ID could be too costly |

Legislative staff has come up with a non-partisan fiscal note on voter identification. On the high end, it shows the cost to the state could be two-and-a-half million dollars. But critics say that's way under what other states have reported and isn't close to what the actual cost may be. The fiscal note offers a range of what requiring voters to show identification at the polls could cost. On the low end the cost is almost $850,000, and on the high end, the cost is almost $2.5 million. There are a lot of unknowns such as what it would cost counties. "What's shocking about this estimate, it's full of lines like 'could not be determined,' 'could not be estimated,' 'was not included in this estimate,'" said Chris Kromm, Institute for Southern Studies. Read More

ND: Senate considers rules for counting election ballots from voters without ID - Bismark Tribune

North Dakota could deter voter fraud by requiring people who don't bring identification to the polls to prove they are eligible to vote, or risk having their ballots thrown out, a state lawmaker said Tuesday. Rep. Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo, is sponsoring HB1447, which would set aside the ballots of voters who do not bring documentation that they're eligible to vote on Election Day. If the voter does not prove his or her eligibility to the county auditor within three to six days, the vote wouldn't be counted. The proof must be presented before a local voting board meets to certify election results. North Dakota law now allows voters who do not bring identification to the polls to sign a sworn statement saying they can legally vote at that precinct. The person's ballot is then counted, even if county officials find out later that the voter was ineligible. Read More

OH: David Callahan: Ohio's Voter ID Law and the 2012 Election - Huffington Post

Was the 2012 presidential election just decided by the Republican-controlled legislature in Ohio? It is possible. Two days ago, the state's House of Representatives passed one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the country. If the bill is enacted into law, it will make it harder for President Obama to win in Ohio next year. Ohio, as we all know, has become the mother of all swing states. It was ground zero of the titanic fight between Bush and Kerry in 2004, and the outcome there narrowly secured Bush a second term. Ohio was also hotly contested in 2000. Obama fought hard to win the state in 2008, and did so with a five point margin. But a new poll out earlier this week now shows Ohioans exactly divided on whether Obama should be re-elected. With unemployment in Ohio still likely to be above 8 percent next year, Ohio is going to be a tough fight for Democrats and the state will again be the scene of massive turnout efforts by both parties. If Ohio is decided by a close margin, the new voter ID law could give a Republican contender enough of an edge to win there. And, if the state's 20 electoral votes are decisive, the outcome in Ohio could determine the election. Read More

RI: Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Rhode Island on Voter Registration at Public Assistance and Disability Offices | Vadvert

The Justice Department announced today that it has reached an agreement with Rhode Island officials to ensure that all public assistance and disability services offices in Rhode Island offer voter registration services to their clients. The agreement is necessary to bring Rhode Island into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The agreement was filed in conjunction with a lawsuit by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division alleging that Rhode Island violated federal law by failing to provide voter registration services at all public assistance offices and all offices that provide state-funded programs primarily aimed at persons with disabilities. Congress enacted the NVRA in 1993 in part to enhance citizen participation in elections by making voter registration opportunities available at offices that provide essential services, like public assistance and disability services. Read More

TX: Impending decision by D.C. judge has implications for voter ID in Texas - The American Independent

Though Republican lawmakers remain unswayed by Texas Democrats’ arguments that disenfranchising minority voters should outweigh unsubstantiated fears of polling place voter impersonation — the U.S. Department of Justice, and possibly the courts, will consider those contentions in light of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) before allowing a voter photo identification law to take effect. That is, unless a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., issues an opinion — which is expected to come soon — that strikes down the part of the VRA requiring Texas and other states, mainly in the South, to seek federal approval before enacting election laws with the potential to adversely impact representation of racial or ethnic minorities. That includes voter photo ID. “During one of the telephonic conferences, Judge [John D.] Bates indicated that he would like to have this case settled by the first of April,” said Edward Blum, whose organization Project on Fair Representation is assisting the plaintiffs in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. “So we’re all just eagerly awaiting.” “If the court in Shelby County strikes down either Section 4(b) or Section 5 [of the VRA], and the judge does not stay his opinion, then Texas and all other states subject to Section 5 will no longer be required to preclear,” Blum said. “That doesn’t mean the DOJ doesn’t have the power to come in anywhere and sue a jurisdiction or sue a state under various constitutional statutory provisions to prevent discriminatory election practices from going into or staying in effect.” Blum’s organization backed a previous challenge to Section 5 brought by a small municipal utility district in Austin. That case made it all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court; however, justices refrained from addressing the constitutionality of that part of the VRA, deciding in a narrow ruling that the district, because of a clean voting rights record over the past 10 years, could seek to “bail out” of the preclearance requirement — an option that Shelby County, Ala., does not have. “If Section 5 is struck down, then Texas and the other eight states subject to this provision won’t have to go to D.C. to ask for permission anymore,” Blum said. Texas’ voter photo ID bill is most often compared to existing laws in Indiana and Georgia, though it’s generally considered tougher than either. The law in Indiana, which is not covered by Section 5, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law in Georgia, which is covered by Section 5, was OK’d by the DOJ under the administration of Pres. George W. Bush, amid allegations of partisanship. Read More

WV: Harrison County Commission Waits Another Week on Voting Machine Decision - State Journal

The Harrison County Commission hasn't decided yet what it will do about switching voting systems for the October election. County Clerk Susan Thomas and Commissioner Michael Romano have been pushing to make the switch from the computerized iVotronic machines that voters have seen for the last few years to the simpler and more reliable AutoMARK machine, which uses paper ballots. Read More

WI: Expert: Student IDs should be OK under voter ID law - LaCrosse Tribune

Wisconsin's proposed voter ID law will be less expensive, less susceptible to fraud and less likely to face legal challenges if student badges are included as an acceptable form of identification, an elections expert told lawmakers Thursday. Speaking for himself and three University of Wisconsin colleagues, UW-Madison political scientist David Canon told the Assembly Committee on Election and Campaign Reform that he's not taking a stance on whether the Legislature should require that voters present a valid photo identification card - just making suggestions on how to write a law that protects the integrity of elections, limits legal challenges and keeps the costs down. "You already have tens of thousands of these IDs being produced by the state (at UW campuses)," he said. "So why duplicate the state's efforts in terms of having (students) go out and get another free ID at a cost to the state?" Voters would be required to present a valid ID, such as a Wisconsin driver's license or a military ID card, to vote if the Senate Voter ID bill becomes law. Student IDs are not a valid form of voter identification under the Senate bill. Assembly members said Thursday they are drafting their own legislation. Read More


Estonia: Centre Party Demands Election Results be Annulled - ERR

The Centre Party has filed a petition with the Supreme Court to annul the results of the March 6 parliamentary elections over what it says are significant deficiencies in the electronic voting system. In a statement from the party, its secretary general Priit Toobal said that the nation's electronic voting is unreliable and unverifiable, and lacks the uniform procedure used in polling stations. The results, therefore, shouldn't be trusted. Read More

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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.
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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.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

KS Senate/OH and TX House approve Voter ID Bills

AZ: Tucson moving to all mail-in ballots for elections -

The Tucson City Council has given preliminary approval for future mail-in ballot elections. Before it's finalized, the council plans to hold a public hearing. Forty-six percent of all registered voters signed up to receive their ballot by mail in 2011. In the 2009 city election and 2010 general election, about 65 percent of voters cast ballots by mail. Read More

CO: Overseas voting bill clears committee - The Longmont Times-Call

Boulder Democratic Rep. Claire Levy’s House Bill 1219 got a unanimous vote of approval from members of the Colorado House’s State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, according to the House Democratic staff. “It’s essential that we bring uniformity to voting laws for military personnel and civilians abroad,” Levy said in a statement. Levy said her bill, co-sponsored by Colorado Springs Democratic Rep. Pete Lee, “will help clear up uncertainties in the law and help to more fully enfranchise U.S. voters who are abroad.” Read More

GA: Lawmakers consider shorter voting period | Atlanta Business Chronicle

Many communities are pushing for a shorter voting period to save money, and members of both chambers of the Georgia Assembly are behind the move. A house bill passed out of a senate committee on Tuesday that would shorten the time Georgia voters can cast early ballots from 45 days to three weeks and one Sunday, Georgia Public Broadcasting reports. There are a lot voters at many polling sites across the state during big elections, but only a handful at some locations during special elections, lawmakers said. The cost for some smaller communities to provider early voting is as much as $100 per voter, The Association of County Commissioners told lawmakers, according to GPB. Read More

KS: Senate Approves Voter ID Bill -

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill containing Secretary of State Kris Kobach's proposal to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The vote Wednesday was 36-3. The Senate version of the bill still includes Kobach's proposal to require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove they're citizens, but that would be delayed until 2013. Kobach and the House wanted that provision to take effect next year. The Senate's version of the bill also omits proposals from Kobach to increase penalties for election crimes and to give the secretary of state's office the authority to file and prosecute voter fraud cases in state courts. Read More

NC: Local Reaction To NC Voter ID Bill - WBTV 3 News

Critics have said all along that North Carolina's voter ID bill has the potential of putting the political process out of reach for the disenfranchised. Kojo Natambu heads the local NAACP and he feels that some groups may be shut out. "Students, elderly, and of course the people who don't have the opportunity to get there," he said. It is not a welcome piece of legislation within the local civil rights community, and Dr. Patrick Graham who heads the Urban League of the Central Carolinas calls it a throwback to a time when African Americans were denied the right to vote. Graham said, "You would have a class of people who are legal residents who would not be able to vote simply because they don't have a state issued ID." Before anyone in our state visits the ballot box, it is a legal requirement that they provide proof of identification when they register. Read More

OH: Amid rancor, voter-ID bill moves to Senate | The Columbus Dispatch

With Democrats invoking racist images of the nation's past and accusing Republicans of trying to disenfranchise minorities and the poor, the Ohio House voted yesterday along party lines to impose a new requirement that voters show a photo ID at the polls. House Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, said he was "a little bit embarrassed by the floor debate," which featured passionate speeches mixed with repeated mentions by Democrats of Jim Crow laws and how the bill represents a modern-day poll tax. Read More

RI: Commission would examine challenges of election reform - The Brown Daily Herald

Rhode Islanders for Fair Elections, a coalition of organizations that advocate for publicly financed elections, is working to pass legislation creating a commission to study the challenges facing state election reform. Bills proposing such a commission are currently under debate in the state House of Representatives and Senate. The proposed commission would consist of three House members, three Senate members, the executive director of the Board of Elections and potentially "one outside expert" in public finance, said John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island. The bill's efforts represent a "stepping stone" on the path toward achieving the coalition's larger goal of taking the money out of politics, said Emily Koo '13, co-coordinator of the student group Democracy Matters, one of the leaders of the coalition. Publicly funded elections similar to those already in place in Maine, Connecticut and Arizona "would allow you to run for office without being a really wealthy person or relying on money from special interests," Koo said. Read More

TX: Emotional voter ID bill debate ends in passage -

Democrats in the usually congenial Texas House gave heated speeches Wednesday - sometimes with raised voices - against the Republicans' voter ID bill, which they said discriminates against minorities. But after a long day and night of debate, Democrats just didn't have to votes to significantly change or derail the measure. The bill passed 101-48. The Senate passed its version earlier in the legislative session. Both chambers were tasked by Gov. Rick Perry with making voter ID legislation a priority. The measure would require Texans to show a valid photo ID - such as a driver's license or state-issued ID card, a military ID or a passport - to vote. The measure in the House is more stringent than the Senate version. Speaking against the bill, Rep. Rafael Anchía, D-Dallas , said there is "intentional disenfranchising of African Americans and Latinos" in the bill. Read More

WI: Absentee ballots cut lines, add paperwork | Green Bay Press Gazette |

Green Bay area municipalities spent time and money before and after Election Day to process absentee ballots submitted either in person or via mail. More than half a million Wisconsin voters cast absentee ballots in the Nov. 4 presidential election — or about 18 percent of the voters who turned out. That was a big increase from the 360,000 who voted absentee in the 2004 presidential election. Wisconsin is one of 31 states that offer some form of early voting. Read More


Scytl Launches New Patented Solutions for Overseas Voting (Scytl Press Release) | Business Wire

Scytl today announced that two new patented solutions for overseas voting are now commercially available with Scytl’s Pnyx.SecureBallot online ballot delivery and marking platform. Both solutions are designed specifically to improve the processes for election officials supporting overseas voters as required under the federally-mandated Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. The innovative technology implemented in both solutions is protected by patents and available for licensing to other election technology providers. “We are pleased to provide our latest absentee ballot technology that has worked so well in King County, Washington to election jurisdictions and technology providers throughout the country,” said Hugh Gallagher, Scytl’s Managing Director, Elections in the U.S. “Our goal has always been to provide secure and cost-effective solutions that increase the speed and efficiency of ballot processing.” Read More


Sri Lanka: UNP wants electronic voting -m Daily Mirror

Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga stressed yesterday in parliament the need to introduce an electronic voting system into Sri Lanka as has been done in India. “In India, electronic voting is carried out even in remote areas. When there is such a system in place, no one can make allegations of malpractices such as impersonation. We ask the government to take steps to introduce such a system at least for the next election,” he said. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, who moved the adjournment motion in this respect, said that state resources including vehicles and helicopters had been made use of even on polling day. Read More

Voting News archives here at at Twitter 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: 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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photo ID pushed in AL, IA, KS, NC, OH, TX - Voter Fraud App assisting voter fraud?

AL: Alabama House passes bill requiring photo ID for voters |

Alabamians would have to show photo identification at the polls before voting, with some exceptions, under a bill approved Tuesday by the state House of Representatives. The House voted 64-31 for House Bill 19, which now goes to the Senate for debate. A photo ID could include an Alabama driver's license, a non-driver ID card issued by a state or county agency, a military ID, a U.S. passport or a college or university ID card for a student or employee, among other options. Alabama voters for years have been required to show identification at the polls, but many forms of non-photo IDs are allowed, such as a utility bill, a bank statement that shows a voter's name and address, a Social Security card or a certified copy of a birth certificate. Read More

CA: Report: Blame budget cuts for Nov. 2 Fresno County election snags -

Long lines and confusion over where to vote in November's election prompted some to complain that the Fresno County clerk shouldn't have slashed the number of polling places -- but the county grand jury says it wasn't entirely his fault. Instead, jurors blamed the county's administrative officer and Board of Supervisors for cutting the clerk's budget in June. In a report issued Tuesday, the grand jury said Clerk Victor Salazar had no choice but to eliminate 108 polling sites. County records show that funding for his office is down 40% from what it was five years ago. This caused thousands of voters to wait in long lines at the remaining 114 precincts, which were too small to accommodate the crowds. Many voters left without casting ballots. Others didn't get a chance to vote because polling places weren't properly identified and not easily accessible by public transit, the report said. Read More

IA: Schultz catching flak for push to make it harder for Iowans to vote - Iowa Independent

All 99 of Iowa’s county auditors — a majority of which are Republican — have come out in unprecedented opposition to Secretary of State Matt Schult’z push to require Iowans to show an ID in order to vote, saying it will disenfranchise voters. Currently only Indiana and Georgia require all voters to present photo IDs. Six states request photo IDs but have alternatives for voters lacking identification. The Indiana law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, but only because that state provides free ID cards to all who need one. Schultz has argued that the legislation is needed to prevent voter fraud. But blogger John Deeth points out that Iowans are already identified when they register to vote, and those registering on Election Day have to show an ID, as to those who are considered “inactive” voters. All 99 of Iowa’s county auditors — a majority of which are Republican — have come out in unprecedented opposition to Secretary of State Matt Schult’z push to require Iowans to show an ID in order to vote, saying it will disenfranchise voters. Currently only Indiana and Georgia require all voters to present photo IDs. Six states request photo IDs but have alternatives for voters lacking identification. The Indiana law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, but only because that state provides free ID cards to all who need one. Schultz has argued that the legislation is needed to prevent voter fraud. But blogger John Deeth points out that Iowans are already identified when they register to vote, and those registering on Election Day have to show an ID, as to those who are considered “inactive” voters. Read More

KS: Senate warm to election reform |

The Senate voted Tuesday to capture election reforms sought by the House and Gov. Sam Brownback requiring proof of citizenship to register and a picture identification before casting a ballot in Kansas. Final action on the Senate bill is expected Wednesday, but details of the reform measure clash with the House's version. "This would clarify and guard the voting process," said Sen. Terrie Huntington, R-Fairway, chairwoman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, reached the opposite conclusion and declared the picture ID provision an attempt to stifle election turnout and skew results in favor of affluent Kansans. Democrats also fear a proof-of-citizenship law would undermine voter registration drives. Read More

NC: Voter ID law sparks debate - Watauga Democrat

A Raleigh public hearing on Voter ID attracted hundreds from across the state Tuesday and caused tempers to flare. If the law passes, North Carolina will join 27 states that currently require voters to present identification before casting a ballot. While Republicans argue that the law would reduce election fraud, Democrats say the legislation would cause declined voter turnout. "I'm definitely in favor of it," said Rep. Jonathan Jordan, a co-sponsor of the bill. "When there's fraud in the system," Sen. Dan Soucek said, "that's where you have disenfranchisement." But outspoken critics, including Chris Kromm of the Institute of Southern Studies, said his nonpartisan group released a study in February that showed Voter ID legislation could cost the state $20 million. "This was one of the first studies to look at the fiscal notes, which are the cost estimates that states use when they are considering a voter ID bill," he said. ISS looked at legislation in places like Missouri, South Carolina and Wisconsin. "What's interesting is that most of those fiscal notes estimated costs at much more than what is being discussed for North Carolina, even though we have more voters," he said. Read More

OH: Commentary: Ohio's New Disenfranchisement Bill - Election Law @ Moritz

In 2004, Ohio became infamous for making it difficult to vote and have one’s vote counted. Much of the criticism was directed at then-Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Remember his directive to reject registration forms on less than 80-pound paper weight? Now, Ohio House Republicans are attempting to go further than Blackwell ever dared. In an obvious attempt to gain an advantage in the 2012 presidential election, they are attempting to rush through a bill (HB 159) that would make it more difficult for eligible citizens to have their votes counted. Ohio already has a tough voter ID law, but the proposed bill would make the burden on eligible citizens more onerous, requiring that in-person voters present one of four specified forms of government-issued photo identification. “Disenfranchisement” isn’t a word to be used lightly. But it is necessary to capture this bill’s purpose and impact. Passage of this bill would restore our state’s unfortunate reputation as the nation’s capital of vote suppression. Yet so far, it has gone completely under the radar. This comment provides background on the problem, debunks the arguments in favor of the bill, and anticipates the lawsuits that can be expected to follow if it passes. Read More

OH: Bill would require Ohio voters to have photo IDs | Lancaster Eagle Gazette

If two southwest Ohio Republican lawmakers get their way, state voters soon will have to show photo identification at polls. Under the bill, only four forms of government ID would be sufficient to cast a ballot: a state driver's license, state or military ID or U.S. passport. Voters currently can show utility bills, pay checks or bank statements if they don't have an ID. Hearings for House Bill 159, introduced last week by state Reps. Bob Mecklenborg, R-Green Township, and Lou Blessing, R-Colerain Township, started Tuesday in front of the House State Government and Elections Committee. It is expected to continue and hit the House floor for a vote today. Backers say it will curb voter fraud. No one will be disenfranchised, supporters say, because the state will provide a photo ID at no cost to voters who can't afford one. Neither sponsor returned calls. "It just protects every citizen's right to vote by assuring their identity," said Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican party and a member of the county board of elections. Democrats are calling it a "modern poll tax" and effort to "suppress the Democratic vote" as Ohio heads into the 2012 presidential election. Read More

TX: Local Taxpayers May Bear Cost Of Voter ID Bill - KSAT San Antonio

Already adopted by the Texas Senate, the bill that would require Texas voters to have a photo ID was expected to hit the floor for debate in the Texas House on Wednesday.The bill that Gov. Rick Perry has made a priority is expected to pass the Republican-controlled Legislature. However, Kevin Wolff, a staunch Republican who represents Precinct 3 on the Bexar County Commissioners Court, said, "There's a bunch of foolishness going on up there."Wolff said although he supports the voter ID proposal, it will come down as an unfunded mandate."Every time I hear of something that's going to cost taxpayers money, I'm like, 'OK, wait a minute,'" Wolff said.He said the Commissioners Court has instructed Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callenan to look at its potential cost at the local level. For instance, Callenan said, overtime and additional staffing may be required on weekends, if provisional voters are given six days to produce a photo ID, such as a driver's license or a proposed voter ID issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Read More


American Majority's "Voter Fraud" App: It's a Tool for Election Law Violations | The Awl

The last time we heard from the corporate-funded Washington D.C.-based "free market" candidate seed organization American Majority, it was training candidates to assume local offices like school boards in Wisconsin (and elsewhere) to better implement the "tools" that legislators like Governor Scott Walker have fashioned. Well, it appears American Majority has a new endeavor to help you "take control of your elections." The American Majority Action Voter Fraud App. Except, on its way to stopping voting fraud, it seems the app may encourage election law violations. As we already know from a video featuring the group's Director of New Media Strategy, Austin James, instructing seminar attendees how to vote down liberal books on while at the same time voting up conservative books, American Majority likes technology. So it's no surprise that "Just in time for Election Day," American Majority started offering "the nation’s first mobile application to help identify, report and track suspected incidents of voter fraud and intimidation" and "help you report violations at the election booth and serve to uphold the democratic process." (iPhone, Blackberry, Android). And it's free! Read More


EU: 'Serious' cyber attack on EU bodies before summit - BBC News

The EU has reported a "serious" cyber attack on the Commission and External Action Service on the eve of a summit in Brussels, a spokesman told the BBC. Crucial decisions on the future structure of the EU, economic strategy and the ongoing war in Libya are to be discussed at the two-day talks. Details were not given but other sources compared the attack to a recent assault on France's finance ministry. "We're often hit by cyber attacks but this is a big one," one source said. The European Commission has been assessing the scale of the current threat and, in order to prevent the "disclosure of unauthorised information", has shut down external access to e-mail and the institutions' intranet. Staff have been asked to change their passwords. Read More

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