Thursday, January 6, 2011

Montana's vote by mail legislation expected to move, New Jersey election dispute rekindles

Montana's Legislature will once again consider vote by mail legislation, Missouri's will consider early voting, and unopened ballots may change a recount result in New Jersey.

All this and more in today's Voting News below.

AR: Martin names top aids for secretary of state's office

Martin announced his leadership team Thursday, including Family Council lawyer Martha Adcock as elections director and Alice Stewart as deputy director of public affairs. Read More

CO: Saguache County clerk complaint sent to AG - Colorado Springs Conservative |

In answer to objections that she should “butt out” of the election controversy in Saguache County, Marks pointed out that according to state statue, any person may file a complaint with the appropriate district attorney. The fact that she resides in Pitkin, not Saguache County, Marks said, has no effect on her strong conviction that elections must be fair and uniform throughout Colorado.

“As a Coloradan, I'm not only interested in competency and fairness in the Saguache clerk's office for the conduct of future elections, but given the big questions on water, energy and the environment facing the BOCC, I know that decisions of Saguache BOCC impact the entire region,” she explained. “The election of those officials should truly reflect the will of the Saguache voters.” Read More

CT: Journal Inquirer Politics & Government Forum on ballot shortage

The forum, at 10 a.m. Friday in the Capitol Old Appropriations Room, will allow policy experts and members of the public to offer ideas on preventing such problems. Registrars of voters, town clerks, and voting rights advocates are expected to weigh in on the issue. Among those in attendance will be Manchester Town Clerk Joseph Camposeo, president of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association. Read More

FL: Browning Returns as Secretary of State

Kurt Browning, a former local official who was widely respected for his knowledge of running elections, will return to lead the Department of State, which oversees the Division of Elections, from which he recently retired, Gov. Rick Scott announced late Wednesday. Read More

IN: [SoS] White sworn in despite controversy

White is still answering the charges that his victory came despite listing his ex-wife's address on voter registration forms for the May 2010 primary. Two special prosecutors are looking into the allegations that White acted intentionally to mislead voters but White said he hasn't spoken to investigators.

"We're just waiting on them and we'll cooperate when it's time," White said. Read More

IN: Charlie White sworn in as Indiana secretary of state

Charlie White was sworn in today as Indiana’s newest secretary of state, but a cloud hung over the Statehouse ceremony as special prosecutors in Hamilton County continue to investigate whether White committed voter fraud. Read More

IN: Embattled White says investigation won't affect Secretary of State's office

The Republican said he believes the investigation “will work itself out” and won’t interfere with his ability to administer an office that regulates elections, business charters and the securities industry. Read More.

MA: Recount loser says he'll stay in house until court fight ends - Sharon, MA - Sharon Advocate

Citing provisions in the state Constitution, Rep. Geraldo Alicea (D-Charlton) said Thursday he will continue to serve indefinitely in the Massachusetts House even though he lost a recount to Republican Peter Durant by one vote. Read More

ME: LePage administers oath to Maine officials

As secretary of state, Summers replaces Matthew Dunlap. He’ll be in charge of motor vehicle registration and licensing, elections, corporation registration and the state archive. Read More

ME: Portland city clerk retiring after a decade

The woman credited with restoring the public's trust in Portland's election process is retiring after nearly a decade. Read More

MN: Stevens County to be paid for recount expenses | Morris Sun Tribune | Morris, Minnesota

A Minnesota Republican spokesman said the party is paying counties for copying and related costs incurred during the Mark Dayton-Tom Emmer governor recount. Read More

MO: Early voting ballot measure proposed in Missouri

The proposal would change Missouri law to let voters cast ballots in person before federal general elections. Officials estimate early voting would cost state government $676,800 for one-time costs and $297,216 for each federal election. Read More

MT: McCulloch proposes mail-in balloting

Secretary of State Linda McCulloch on Wednesday unveiled a plan to move the state to a vote-by-mail system for all state, local and federal elections by January 2012.

The bipartisan measure seeks to succeed where other vote-by-mail bills failed in previous legislative sessions. Read More

NJ: Unopened ballots could change recall results

According to County Registrar Michael Kennedy, there were 11 mail-in ballots, formerly known as absentee ballots, which were not counted. He explained that the reasons a ballot were unopened varied from some not having proper signatures to others where the voter’s residence was in question. Read More

NJ: The Record: Ballot integrity

The stated aim of the vote-by-mail bill passed by the Legislature in 2009 was, quite simply, to get more people involved in the democratic process, a way to build convenience into one of America's greatest rights: the act of casting a ballot. Read More

NY: Making Ballots Easier to Read

Citing what he called "the most common complaint" with the new voting machines this past election, State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) is introducing legislation that would make the font on the ballots bigger and easier to read. Read More

OH: Butler elections chief Betty McGary stepping down | | Cincinnati.Com

"To take it from manual counts to the complex rules and regulations and electronic voting that is in place today, she literally grew up with the process. She never once shirked her duties and we've always had fair elections with integrity," Ellis said.

McGary, who made about $86,000 a year, was considered an expert in Ohio election law, said Ellis, and other county election directors looked to her for advice.

She was one of the first county election directors to join state legal action against the manufacturer of touch-screen voting machines after software glitches caused at least 105 votes in West Chester Township to go missing in 2008. Read More

OH: Democrat Johnnie Maier leaves board of elections

The four-member elections board is to meet in regular session Friday afternoon. It will be Maier’s last meeting with the body. The county Democratic party’s executive committee will recommend a replacement for Maier — the pick is then forwarded to Ohio Secretary of State John Husted for final approval. Read More

WV: Pilot Vote-by-Mail Program Will be Tested in WV City

Morgantown City Council approved the city's participation in the program Tuesday. The Dominion Post reports that Morgantown voters will cast ballots by mail in the April municipal election.

Three council members who opposed the measure said they're concerned about rushing into the program without considering the possibility of fraud and other factors. Read More

Morgantown is preparing to send nearly 16,000 ballots out to the city's registered voters in April.

And it could cost the city up to $18,000, according to early estimates, which is only about $2,000 less than the city paid for its 2009 election -- which was done the traditional way at polling places. Read More


The Geek Who's Policing Your Privacy - BusinessWeek

Known for cracking the music industry's digital-copyright protection code in 2000 (in response to a challenge from the music industry), Felten boasts a résumé that includes exposing security weaknesses in electronic voting machines. In 1998 he testified for the government in its antitrust case against Microsoft, saying that the company's Internet Explorer Web browser could be separated from the Windows 98 operating system without impairing the functionality of Windows. Read More

Voter Registration Modernization a Progressive Alternative to Right-Wing Voter ID Laws

Voter registration modernization, aside from preventing fraud more effectively, would also boost the percentage of registrations coming from these historically disenfranchised communities by using already-existing government databases to compile accurate lists of eligible voters. Read More


Canada: A year of prosperous growth for the area comes to an end (Part 1 of 2) - News - By EMC News Kemptville Local Community News

While polls were originally scheduled to close at 8 p.m. [October 28, 2010], a failure of the Intelivote electronic voting system, used by municipalities across Ontario, caused North Grenville to make the decision to extend the voting deadline by an hour to 9 p.m.

While it was expected that Intelivote Systems Inc.'s electronic voting system was fairly fail safe, the Nova Scotia-based company didn't anticipate the large number of last-minute voters across Ontario on Monday evening. Read More

Canada: NiagaraThisWeek Article: Bentley accused of meddling in recount

While Tuesday’s manual recount went smoothly, the 24-hour period leading up to it was marked by angry e-mail exchanges running past 2 a.m. Tuesday morning and concerns about undue mayoral involvement in the process. Read More

Canada: Ward nine recount scheduled for next week - CTV News

Chapman had petitioned the court for a manual recount, and she now hopes the process will lead to improvements in the Municipal Election Act, which predates the use of electronic vote counters. Read More

Canada: Recount may come on Jan. 18

One vote tabulation machine -- which will be tested immediately prior using the same protocols in place for the Oct. 25 election -- will be used to count the 76 ballots that are subject to the recount.

Those 76 ballots were not counted on election night because the identity of the voter may be compromised. However, Justice Lauwers ruled that the anonymity of the voter could be maintained while ensuring that every valid vote is counted. Read More

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