Monday, August 30, 2010

VA Election Site IT outage. Kathy Dent recount flap. AK's 11,200 iffy mail ballots

Luther Weeks on Connecticut elections: "State recanvass law inadequate for close elections"...Alaska mail ballots - Over 20,000 Votes Still To Be Counted, 11,200 are 'question' ballots...Sarasota FL Election Sup Kathy Dent accused of influencing election in recount...Virginia's State Board of Elections still affected by IT outage that began last week in a data center run by outsourcer Northrop Grumman...Wasted opportunity: Harris County TX replaces paperless voting machines with more paperless voting machines....

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

AK: Over 20,000 Votes Still To Be Counted *(absentee mail ballots)
On Friday, the Alaska Division of Elections said there are more than 20,000 ballots that have not yet been counted. Over 11,200 are absentee ballots with much of the rest being question ballots.
All ballots have to be postmarked election day, and if it's postmarked within the United States, it has ten days following the day of the election to be received, which would be September 3, and if it's postmarked outside the U.S., fifteen days to be received, which is September 8,"

AK: Miller's lawyer warns of vote tampering by Murkowski campaign In the letter, Miller attorney Thomas Van Flein accuses the observer, who he calls Mike, of accessing the Division of Elections computer database for 20 minutes to "check voter records." That Mike had access to private data was bad enough, Van Flein said in a letter, but the Diebold voter software used by the state is also vulnerable to voter hijacking.

AK: More accusations made in close Alaska Senate race (SENATE RACE)
Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said in an e-mail Saturday that there are many calls going out to Alaskans who voted absentee ballots, asking them who they voted for in the primary.
"I believe, and time will prove it, (the calls) are being done for nefarious purposes," DeSoto said in the e-mail. "It is definitely not being done by the Joe Miller campaign. It is being done, I believe, by the National Republican Senatorial Committee or someone they contracted with as the beginning of a legal battle to throw out ballots."

AZ: Election Watcher Files Affidavit Saying He Saw Sequoia Employee Illegally Connect To E-Voting Tabulator*
...He then includes the affidavit he filed. Basically, he spotted a Sequoia employee hooked into the central tabulator, via an ethernet cable from his own laptop, and he saw that the laptop had an EVDO card from Sprint...

CA: Ballots redesigned for machine to verify them (Riverside CO absentee mail) The system, which banks also use to verify signatures on checks, is supposed to cut down the steps it takes to manually verify and process the increasingly popular vote-by-mail ballots.

CO: (Aspen) Election Commission Inherits Complaints from 2009 Election

CO: State sues Arapahoe County over election ballot drops

Officials from the Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder’s office have said the legislation amounts to an unfunded mandate from the state, insisting that providing drop-off mail facilities at more than 200 polling places would cost the county at least $80,000 in 2010.

CT: State recanvass law inadequate for close elections (Luther Weeks OP) Experience shows that the current law is not well understood by election officials, candidates, and the media. The recanvass is often referred to as a recount, yet it is a far cry from the thorough, transparent, and adversarial recount process in other states.

FL: Dent accused of influencing election in recount flap Not only is Bolam requesting a recount, but she claims Dent influenced her decision and consequently the election results by suggesting that moving forward with a recount probably would not make a difference in the vote count anyway and would have forced her staff to work the weekend.

IN: Vanderburgh County Commissioners reconsidering how contracts awarded *

(voting machines damaged,late) ...County Clerk Susan Kirk warned the commissioners that using a first-time vendor in such a specialized job could result in broken machines at a cost as high as $5,000 each. She begged them to select second-lowest bidder Kinder Moving and Storage, which has experience moving the county's voting machines.
Now the commissioners find themselves asking PD&S for $802.50 for repairing four machines that were dropped.
Armed with the unanimous support of the bipartisan Vanderburgh County Election Board and a list of alleged mistakes and contract violations by PD&S, Kirk plans to ask the commissioners not to engage the company again.

The alleged violations include failing to deliver voting machines to all 101 polling places by 6 p.m. the day before the primary.

MA: Clerical error keeps county candidates off November ballot*
Five people vying for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates will have to wage write-in campaigns after a combination of errors left their names off the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

The five candidates had errors in their paperwork that were initially overlooked by a county election official but identified earlier this week, after a critical state elections deadline had passed, Barnstable County Clerk of Courts Scott Nickerson said

MD: Absentee voting glitch? *,0,1456545.story I attempted to access the on-line ballot and it won't pull up. I am fairly computer knowledgeable and it frustrates me so I can only imagine how this is going to put other people off and limit the number folks who use the service.

MD: Md. withdraws military voting act waiver request

...the Defense Department found Maryland in compliance with the new law's mandate...

NC: Several candidates for N.C. judge mean ranked voting

Voters must use instant runoff voting when so many candidates run for a vacancy close to Election Day. The voters rank their top three candidates in order of preference. Second-place votes are counted if no one gets a majority of first-place votes. (No legal software to tally the election)

N.J. ignores voting integrity issues

The late Soviet dictator Josef Stalin is often quoted as saying, “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” New Jersey goes Stalin one better. There is not even a pretense of counting votes, because the votes are invisible.

OR: Lawsuit Filed to Prevent Oregon Election Officials from Using Three-Letter Party Abbreviations on November Ballot

PA: Pennsylvania Breakthrough on Ballot Access Reform?

TN: Rutherford County Election Admin Gets Job Back
Election Commission Rescinds Hooper Penuel's Firing

TN: The Status of Ballot Box Access in Tennessee
My question to Mr. Goins is, why can’t the State Election Commission do both – clean up the rolls and ensure that every vote is counted fair and accurately? Surely the two are not mutually exclusive?

TX: Williamson County, Texas Awards Hart Ballot Printing Contract
County will save money with Hart printing ES&S Optical Scan Ballots

TX: 'Attack' alleged on local voter rolls
Nonprofit disputes claims made against it by county official

TX: Back To Paper Ballots For Some Of Harris County
The paper ballots will be the same as the ones regularly used by mail-in voters, and will be two-pages long for the November 2 election. Kaufman is urging residents to vote by mail and use the early voting period, which begins October 18.

TX: County OKs $13.6M purchase of new voting machines
Commissioners Court approved Kaufman’s emergency plan this afternoon to spend $13.6 million to buy 2,325 electronic voting machines and supporting equipment.
Kaufman’s request included 1.4 million paper ballots, which will be distributed to polling stations as a backup in case a shortage of machines leads to long lines.

TX: Harris County commissioners OK emergency voting machines plan after fire destroyed equipment .column The measure was amended to specify that the county would seek eSlate machines like those destroyed Friday in a fire.

VA: Update: Virginia's IT outage continues, 3 agencies still affected*
A memory card within a SAN caused the outage *
Several Virginia state agencies continue to experience problems with data access due to an outage related to problems in a storage-area network (SAN) that began last week in a data center run by outsourcer Northrop Grumman.
Late today, VITA issued a statement saying that only three of the 27 agencies initially affected by the outage were still without service. Those agencies are the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Department of Taxation and the State Board of Elections.

WA: Feds’ OK of waiver request will help state’s military voters “Washington’s military voters can actually vote on Election Day and still get a ballot back in time to be counted since Washington does not certify the election until 21 days after Election Day. In other states, voters must vote and mail the ballot weeks before Election Day.

WI: Thousands of state voters don't match lists * Wisconsin election officials say more than 66,000 entries in their voter registration system still do not match information contained in other state databases.
Of those, about 18,000 could be made ineligible to vote because letters sent to them were returned as undeliverable. If that happens, the voters could re-register on election day.

WV: Mountain Party Primary Turnout is Better than Primary Turnout for Either Major Party in West Virginia


Are Election Outcomes Publicly-Verifiably Accurate?
11 Fundamentals of Auditing Vote Tallies
*All* of the following post-election auditing (pea) procedures are
necessary to avoid certifying incorrect election outcomes..


Australia: Hung Parliament - Where to From Here?

India: ECI’s conduct and “conspiracy” theories make the EVMs suspect
Hari Prasad’s arrest brought the issue to national focus. The manner it was done has shocked the general public and technologists in particular and raised uncomfortable questions over the ECI’s role in the issue. The ECI’s claim of “fully tamper proof” EVMs does not have many takers any longer. Its own standing as an autonomous institution has also taken a big knock. It is time the ECI realized this hard reality and reformed its ways.

India: Indian voting machine hacker released
Seven days in jail for showing up election fraud

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