Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Photo ID bills advancing; India court grants bail to Hari Prasad; Canadian Internet voting debate continues

In the Carolinas, Texas, Wisconsin, photo ID legislation is on the move. In New York State, a robust debate continues over the conduct of recounts and routine audits. Another Canadian jurisdictions is eyeing online voting in 20011, and in India, computer technologist Hari Prasad has been released on bail.

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

CA: Gaines moves on Senate bill to cut special-election costs - Rocklin

State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, has introduced a bill that could cut the cost of special elections in smaller California counties.

CA: SB109 aims to cut Special Election costs - Roseville California News including Rocklin & Placer County

Senator Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, today announced that he has introduced a bill that will help cut the cost of special elections in smaller California counties.

Senate Bill 109 will give counties with populations under 400,000 the option to hold solely vote-by-mail elections in situations where a special election is called. Read More

CA: Gautam Dutta: California's Humpty-Dumpty Law

A few weeks back, the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal about a core part of Proposition 14 (aka, the "Top Two" Primary). As a result, a state appeals court in San Francisco will soon hear legal arguments on two troubling flaws of what we affectionately call the Humpty-Dumpty Law: Senate Bill 6, which fleshes out crucial details of Prop 14. Read More

CT: Merrill not sure about ballot reform - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill told municipal leaders this morning that she isn't sure calls for local communities to provide 100 percent ballots, one for every registered voter, is the appropriate answer to the problem in Bridgeport where election officials ran out of ballots at the last election. Read More

DC: Cheh battling to open all precincts for special election | Freeman Klopott | DC | Washington Examiner

Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh wants to keep all 143 of the District's voting precincts open for the special election to elect an at-large council member scheduled for April, and she's asked the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to dig deep on cost-saving opportunities. Read More

FL: Change in law could reduce absentee voting in Tampa elections - St. Petersburg Times

Absentee ballots for the city's March 1 elections are starting to go into the mail, but a change to state law means many Tampa voters expecting a ballot will not get one — unless they act soon. Read More

IN: Vote center option passes Senate, heads to House | pal-item.com | Palladium-Item

Legislation that would allow all Indiana counties the option of using vote centers was approved by the Indiana Senate on Tuesday on a 49-0 vote. Read More

IN: Make voting early easier | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN

Voting early is becoming more popular with Allen County voters. It’s unfortunate voters will have to wait until the fall election to enjoy the convenience of more early voting sites. But few can argue with the Election Board’s reasons for rejecting a plan to increase the number of early voting sites during the spring election. Read More

KS: Kobach seeks voter IDs, power to prosecute - KansasCity.com

Getting an early start on his No. 1 campaign pledge, Secretary of State Kris Kobach unveiled a bill Tuesday requiring all voters to show photo identification at the polls and proof of U.S. citizenship to register for the first time. Read More

KS: Kobach proposes election fraud reforms

Future voters may be required to show proof of U.S. citizenship when registering and produce photo identification at the polls to help stem election fraud, the state’s top election official announced Tuesday.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach also said the Kansas Secure and Fair Elections Act that he is submitting to the state legislature would make election fraud a felony rather than a misdemeanor as it is currently. Read More

KY: Fiscal Court approves buying scanner-type voting machines » Local News » The Wayne County Outlook

Wayne County Fiscal Court approved the purchase of 21 new scanner- type voting machines, during a meeting held on Thursday, January 13. Read More

MN: Political Notebook: Benson's first bill would require voter ID at the polls - Postbulletin.com: Rochester, MN

Rep. Mike Benson’s first bill introduced last week would require a voter to present photo ID to cast a ballot. Read More

MN: New voter requirement already stirring up controversy | Minneapolis and St. Paul | kare11.com

Allegations of voter fraud have surfaced again and again. A new bill going through the Minnesota House of Representatives hopes to change that. The bill will require all voters to show a photo-ID. It sounds simple but the bill is already meeting a lot of resistance. Read More

MS: Write-ins often turn into wasted votes

According to state law, write-in candidates are permitted only as the legitimate substitute of a candidate who has died, resigned, withdrawn or been removed from the race. Read More

MT: Chronicle editorial: Lower costs, higher voter turnout may outweigh loss of tradition - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Opinion

Going to the polling place on Election Day to cast a ballot is a great American tradition. For those who make it a habit, it's a chance to run into friends and neighbors and share a moment of democratic fervor. It's a teachable moment for showing our children the importance of a citizen's duty. Read More

NY: Albany must go back to basics if it hopes to repair the mess it has made of electronic voting

Basic No. 1: New York must define what constitutes a valid vote. Will your vote count only if you fill in the bubble next to a candidate's name? Or should it count if you leave the bubble blank but pick a candidate by, say, circling the name?

Basic No. 2: New York must establish when election officials or judges should order a count of the paper ballots - as opposed to relying on machine tallies. Should there be an automatic count if an election is very close? If so, how close? Read More

NY: Ashford Board decides to keep voting machines | News | Metrowny.com

During a regular meeting of the Ashford Town Board on Wednesday, Jan.12, Supervisor Chris Gerwitz stated that the County Board of Elections has offered the town the option of keeping their voting machines or letting the county pick them up. There was agreement by all board members to keep the machines and eventually sell them for scrap. Read More

NY: Washington County villages eye new voting machines for use in March elections

Three villages in Washington County are hoping to move the electoral process into the electronic age when voters head to the polls in March. Read More

NY: Election Integrity: Fact & Friction: Apparent NY SD 7 Winner Says Other Elections Should Have Been Questioned

The media focused their attention on Martins' race because it was the last contest in the state that could have determined which party controls the Senate -- but it certainly wasn't the only one. Read More

NY: Reply to Howard Stanislevic’s Latest Article | Scoop News

New York has become the Florida of the Northeast when it comes to elections, or perhaps worse since we don't even attempt to count thousands of undervotes reported by the ballot scanners. Our new machines don't even warn voters of the effect of casting overvotes, which Florida has corrected after their unfortunate 2008 experience. Read More

NC: Requiring ID to vote could leave some behind at polls :: WRAL.com

Republican lawmakers say requiring identification at the polls is a common-sense way to prevent voter fraud, but critics argue the move would open the door to discrimination. Read More

OH: 1330 WFIN News with Tom Sheldon and Scott Jennings - Findlay Ohio

Hancock County voting machines that were destroyed in the 2007 flood will finally be replaced this year. The Hancock County Commissioners voted Tuesday to buy 95 new machines to have in place for the May primary. The county had been leasing 95 machines from Mercer County to make up for the damaged units. Read More

OK: Oklahoma will benefit from new voting machines | NewsOK.com

By replacing the aging voting devices, computers and software now, we can help ensure that Oklahoma doesn't suffer an election system failure as a result of worn-out hardware or antiquated software. Read More

SC: Voter ID, early voting should remain linked

Legislators have enough to do this year with budget issues alone. On this issue, put the compromise back on the table. Require voter identification but also allow for a period of early voting. This is one matter over which Republicans and Democrats should not wage war. The voting process should be as secure and accessible as possible. Read More

TX: Texas Legislature News - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News

The Republican majority in the Texas Senate on Wednesday pushed through a plan that would clear the way for approval of a hotly contested voter ID bill this year, dismissing objections by Democrats that it unfairly targets certain groups of voters. Read More

TX: Euless state rep. confident voter ID bill pass this session | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

State Rep. Todd Smith, chairman of the House Elections Committee in the 2009 session, told me this week he expects a voter ID bill to finally pass this year. Read More

UT: House committees says Frank doesn't live in Utah County district | Deseret News

House leaders voted unanimously Tuesday to declare Craig Frank doesn't live in the Utah County district he has represented since 2003. Read More

WA: State has definite need to move primary date in August - Editorials - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington

But to ensure compliance with the law, legislators must move the primary forward two weeks, with a corresponding two weeks change in the period to file for public office. If Reed’s proposal is approved the 2011 primary election will move from Aug. 16 to Aug. 2.

That’s not a substantive change to fend off lawsuits from the federal government. That’s why lawmakers should approve Reed’s legislation. Read More

Incorporated in his bill — and as a separate bill (HB 1000) — is a more controversial provision that would allow military and overseas voters to cast ballots by fax or e-mail rather than by slower surface mail.

WI: Merrill and Lincoln County to hand count February ballot - WSAU News/Talk 550AM 99.9FM

Merrill and Lincoln County have received permission to use hand counted ballots in the upcoming February primary elections from the Government Accountability Board. Read More

WI: Getting it right - JSOnline

Here's the reality: GOP control of the Legislature and the governorship assures that Wisconsin will join the nine states that already have or will have by this year some measure of photo ID at the polls.

This legislation addresses a problem that does not exist. But since a bill is likely to pass, the Legislature should eliminate any possibility of voter suppression. And lawmakers should use the debate as an opportunity to begin a broader discussion about how to streamline the voting process and make casting a ballot easier. Read More

WI: Voter ID plan is unneeded, expensive, harmful -- GazetteXtra

The League of Women Voters calls on lawmakers to reject a new bill requiring citizens to show a state-issued photo ID every time they vote. This unneeded legislation would harm Wisconsin’s tradition of clean, fair elections. Read More

WI: Editorial: Don't end same-day voter registration | sheboyganpress.com | Sheboygan Press

Another bill being circulated now for support — one that apparently is on a fast track — calls for the state to end its long practice of allowing people to register at the polls on Election Day. Read More

WI: Plain Talk: Voter ID a solution in search of a problem

As a delegation representing the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Disability Rights Wisconsin and the American Civil Liberties Union told us recently, there is virtually no election fraud in Wisconsin. Out of 2,997,007 votes cast in the 2004 presidential election, for example, authorities substantiated just 18 cases of fraudulent votes and not one of those 18 cases would have been prevented by requiring picture IDs. Read More

WI: Voter ID is preventive medicine

Those who suggest this will shut minorities and lower-income residents out of the process are underestimating the citizenry. Studies conflict on the effects of voter ID, with one group of researchers learning a policy in Indiana actually gave a tiny boost to turnout. As long as they're given the access, we have faith that citizens will obtain the IDs needed to vote. Read More

Internet Voting Watch

Canada: Why voting should never be done online - BC Election 2013

I have been watching the various campaign pledges performed by the BC Liberal candidates for party leader (and subsequently Premier), and there have been some policy announcements (by nearly all candidates) that make me concerned for the welfare of the province.

However, the pledge to encourage online voting is the worst of them all. Read More

Canada: Coquitlam looks at online voting

The City of Coquitlam may soon join Vancouver and Surrey in trying to establish an online voting system, though it's unlikely any changes will be made before municipal elections later this year. Read More

Canada: BCLocalNews.com - Let them vote online: Reimer

It would be easier to have voters choose their politicians with the click of a mouse from the comfort of their homes rather than by filling in a paper ballot at a polling station, says a Coquitlam city councillor. Read More

Estonia: Online Voting Touted as More Secure than Paper Ballots | Politics | News | ERR

E-voting system developer Tarvi Martens said that the threats in the case of e-voting are clear-cut, while paper ballots, he said, afford more opportunities for malfeasance. Read More


India: Researcher gets bail in EVM case - The Times of India

The sessions court rejected the police application opposing the bail of Hyderabad researcher Hari Prasad on Tuesday. Read More

Philippines: Comelec execs’ suspension upheld - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

The Court of Appeals has upheld the suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman of five Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials involved in the purchase of grossly overprized ballot secrecy folders worth P690 million. Read More

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