Saturday, July 25, 2009

7/27 Voting News: Ditching New York's levers costly, stringent audits needed, EAC approves Internet Voting Company as Vendor, TN still in the news

Concerns are raised about New York's Pilot program that allows the use of uncertified computerized vote counting machines. This month citizens learned that a statewide switch from levers to optical scan will cost $200 million, with only $50 million covered by federal funds. Howard Stanislevic of the E-Voter Education Project warns that the increased risk "requires rigorous audits..."and NY Verified Voting urges the NY State Board of Elections to implement "risk-limiting audits as an essential element of public confidence in elections."

Ditching levers will be expensive - it will cost New York $200 million to trade levers for optical scan machines across the state. Only $50 million will be covered by federal funding. The EAC has approved an Internet Voting Company as a registered vendor, which means the threat of internet voting grows larger. The Federal Government still hasn't published the 2008 election returns. Tennessee still in the news. The Latino community pushes nationwide for fairer local election rules.

MS. GOP to stage push for voter ID laws
Mississippi Republicans hope to use a ballot initiative to enact voter identification laws, the source of bitter political fighting with Democrats for years...“We had voter ID,” the Democrats’ statement said. “There was a voter ID bill in the Legislature and Republicans killed it. They are trying to get voter ID on the ballot. It is clear that for them it is nothing but a political game. If they really want voter ID, it was done in the Legislature.”

NC. North Carolina Tax Department Will Honor Taxpayer Requests to Help Libertarian Party

NY. Computer tallies can't be trusted
Software-based vote counting is fraught with potential for error, wildly more so than our lever voting system now in danger of being discarded. This immense yet subtle potential for error requires rigorous audits designed to find miscounted votes -- with the paper ballots under continuous observation. Without such auditing and observation, there can be no confidence in election results.

NY. Uncertified machines do not serve voters
How many candidates running for office this fall know that the votes that will decide their fate will be counted by an uncertified computer program?
And how many of those candidates know that only a small fraction of those votes will be hand counted after the fact to see if that uncertified computer program (which also has not yet proved to be accurate, reliable or tamper-proof) worked as it was intended to and was not hacked into?
"A limited recount."

NY. Critics question integrity of new voting system
NEW YORK CITY--A group of election experts, including Columbia County Election Commissioner Virginia Martin(D), met earlier this month at St. Mark’s Church in the East Village to discuss their concerns about the state’s impending switch to new optical scanner voting machines....that changeover to the new machines is costing $200 million statewide, of which $50 million comes from federal funding.

NY. New Yorkers for Verified Voting has released a commentary on the proposed
New York State auditing regulations.
"New Yorkers for Verified Voting (NYVV) supports risk-limiting audits designed to use auditing resources efficiently and effectively to confirm – or, if necessary, to correct – election outcomes. The 3% audit samples prescribed in New York State Election Law Section 9-211 and the proposed amendment to Part 6210.18 should suffice to confirm election outcomes in most statewide contests, but in many state Senate and Assembly races an audit of this size could easily overlook miscounts large enough to alter the outcome of a competitive contest."
Document is here:
The proposed regulations issued by the State Board of Elections can be found

NY cost for ES&S's new optical scanner. ES&S is sellling the DS 200 to New York for $7744, which includes plastic ballot box, start-up kit, jump drive, shipping and 5-year warranty.
The Florida Fair Elections Center's report on the problems FL experienced with the DS 200:
Examining Florida’s High Invalid Vote Rate in the 2008 General Election
Part I: How Voting System Design Flaws Led to Lost Votes
TN. Arguments continue over voting machines for next year's elections

US. New voting report supports federal election reform

US. EAC approves Internet Voting Company as a registered vendor - will Internet Voting be far behind?
The Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) just approved Everyone Counts, an Internet Voting Company to participate in the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program. E1C now joins several other EAC registered voting vendors. The whack-a-mole attacks on election transparency have stepped up a level...

US. Latino Activists Seize on Texas Ruling to Boost Voting Power
Latino activists are seeking to gain political clout by forcing electoral changes in communities nationwide, using a recent federal court decision in Irving, Texas, as a template.
...Latino advocates respond that they deserve a voice in policy making and will insist on districts and election rules that make that possible.

US. Joyner Addresses Voter’ Issues on Capitol Hill
Radio personality Tom Joyner called for national, uniform standards for voting including getting rid of the voter identification requirement, providing better trained poll workers and ensuring that voting machines work properly and that backup paper ballots are on hand in case of emergency.

US. Federal Government Still Hasn’t Published 2008 Election Returns

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