Monday, August 16, 2010

MORE Tenn. election fiascos. New Lee FL mail ballot probs. Wallach's 'The Wørd'

Tennessee racks up more election failures: 100 Blount County voters were given the wrong ballot. Davidson Cnty vote totals changed when an uncounted voting machine was found. Shelby Co was in news last week when e-poll books wrongly blocked thousands of voters, an investigation is underway...Candidate's envelopes cause major problems for Lee Cnty Florida voters..18 Members of Congress Call On Atty Gen Holder to Ensure Integrity of Voting Systems..24x7 help for Military Vote for Upcoming Election...

All this and more in today's voting news below...

AR: Back to the future (will use touchscreens for early voting) To borrow the title line from an old movie, Sebastian County will go “Back to the Future” when it begins tabulating votes precinct-by-precinct after the Nov. 2 General Election.
The electronic voting machines used in Sebastian County can handle the 91 ballots needed for all precincts. So early voting in Sebastian County will be only by electronic voting machine, the same method as that used in Pulaski County. Incidentally, voting in neighboring Crawford County is all electronic.

AR: Voting Machine Purchase On Hold
Commission Eyes Electronic Poll Books
A plan to add to the number of voting machines in Benton County has been put on hold by questions about software compatibility with the manufacturer’s newest model.
“I hope to buy electronic poll books this year if I can redirect (the money) that way,” Miller said during a discussion of the 2011 budget ...

CA: Court Date Set for Hearing in Case Against Implementation of California’s “Top-Two” System

CO: NOREEN: Elections don't need polling places (opinion)

FL: Rick Scott envelopes cause major problems with voters* (Absentee ballots) LEE County
If you do not use and sign the Election's Office envelope and then put the Election's Office envelope into the Scott envelope, your vote will not count.

The Scott envelope is not to be used in place of the Election's Office envelope.

FL: Another Victory – This Time in Miami-Dade; or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Precinct That means we’re to do ballot accounting at the precinct after all. The changes don’t make it perfect but they do appear to return to substantial compliance with Florida law and good practice.

IL: More Outcome Oriented Research
I can’t say I know much about race relations in Boston. But I know a little about election administration. Enough to know that the draft paper by Profs. Rachael Cobb, James Greiner, and Kevin Quinn, is long on conjecture and short on facts.
I’ve got my doubts about the value of voter ID laws. But those doubts have nothing to do with the ability of election judges to administer them fairly. This research is faulty and its conclusions unsupported. If opponents of voter ID laws are truly concerned about this issue, they should go back into the field in November 2010

NC: New Bern ballot maker defends its reputation and legacy
“People eager to bash the governor or electronic voting machines were ready to use the damaging factoids and insinuations in the initial story to their advantage,” wrote Hall, who heads the citizen advocacy group. “Through the muddle, there was enough information to see that neither Bartlett nor Bev Perdue selected the vendor and that counties are free to buy ballots from other printers.”

NM: Lynn Ellins: Baseless allegations of voter fraud
However, hasty accusations or unverified claims such as Ms. Cooper's promote needless distrust of the system. Citizens can rest assured that where substantiated or credible concerns are raised, the Doña Ana County Clerk's office will take appropriate action against voter fraud and will protect our system of elected government, as it has in the past. (Lynn Ellins is Doña Ana County Clerk.)

OH: Premier Elections Solutions pays up in Ohio Diebold suit, offers more faulty voting machines for free

OH: Ohio signing up more voters at public assistance offices
More than 11,000 people in Cuyahoga County have registered to vote this year through public-assistance programs as part of a renewed effort to involve poor people in elections throughout Ohio.

OH: Toledo Blade Editorializes in Favor of Ballot Labels in Judicial Elections Counties are also eligible for up to $2.4 million in free Premiere software for two years, and the company's even throwing in up to 2,909 free voting machines along with a 50 percent coupon for maintenance fees. Right, because the Buckeye State is so anxious to start using the machines it found so faulty to begin with.

PA: Bill Would Universalize Absentee Ballots
A Berks County Senator wants to amend the state constitution so that Pennsylvanians would not need an excuse to vote with an absentee ballot.

PA: Two Pennsylvania Statewide Minor Party Candidates Withdraw Rather than Face Challenge Fee Threat

RI: Grebien, workers subject of voter card tampering * PAWTUCKET — Mayoral candidate Donald Grebien and several of his campaign workers are the subject of a Pawtucket police investigation into allegations of tampering with voter registration forms.

SC: Candidate Off Ballot Because His Dog Ate His Petitions

..a candidate for the School Board in Lady’s Island, South Carolina

TN: Election audit drops Henry's lead over Yarbro to 11 votes*
A new week has brought yet another set of vote totals in the close battle for the Tennessee Senate District 21 race, closing the gap slightly between Sen. Douglas Henry and challenger Jeff Yarbro.

An audit by the Davidson County Election Commission turned up a previously uncounted voting machine from one precinct, Election Administrator Ray Barrett confirmed this morning. Yarbro won that machine by two votes over Henry, reducing Henry's lead from 13 votes to 11.

TN: Rockford wants vote investigation * (Blount County)
Breeding said that Rockford is a split state House of Representatives district, and the first hundred voters for the 8th District were improperly given ballots for the 20th District.
"I don't think the machines were set for the right district, but I can't prove it," he said. "That's why the state should look into it. I think the machines are hard-coded wrong before they get to Rockford."

TN: Primary Election Probe Underway
"Basically the court has appointed clerk and Master Duane Settle to hear the on going issues that we're having," said Van Turner, attorney for the plaintiff.

But attorney for the plaintive Regina Morrison Newman said there's much more here than just problems. There are also allegations of hiding information.

TN: The Post-Election Challenge for Dummies* (Shelby County Fiasco continues)
Two new discoveries had been made — (1) Ribbon scrolls containing candidate-by-candidate, precinct-by-precinct totals of the sort no longer released by the EC publicly were found in trash bags and, at the request of the petitioners, were impounded for safekeeping. And (2) there was such a thing as a “manual override” capability in the county’s Diebold voting-machine software, and records pertaining to possible use of it continued to be under lock and key.

The petitioners would end the evening in possession of one disc’s worth of information and two bags’ worth of the discarded ribbon scrolls.


Video: Dan Wallach channels Stephen Colbert
Must Watch: From the EVT/WOTE conference, Dan Wallach presents today’s word: “Out of Site, Out of Mind”

Program Helps Military Vote in Upcoming Election Go to , and follow the prompts to register and request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 2 election.

Eighteen Members of Congress Call On Attorney General Holder to Ensure Integrity of Voting Systems - Urges Action In Advance of November Elections
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt led a group of 18 members of Congress in urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to enlist the Department’s enforcement capabilities in advance of the November elections to ensure the viability of voting systems and that votes are counted as cast.

Against Electing Judges.

...In the 20 states that held partisan elections for the state Supreme Court in the previous decade, candidates raised a total $153.8 million for their campaigns.

Presidential Public Financing 2.0
The new version would increase the matching rate in a way that encourages small donors. Contributions of $200 or less -- and that is the total amount the candidate can receive from that donor -- would be matched 4 to 1 by public funds.


India: 'Online voter registration from November' (Panjai)
Speaking to TOI, assistant chief electoral officerArvind Bugde said that its implementation would be part of a nationwide project to network offices of the various state electoral authorities and the Election Commission of India.

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