Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TX Photo ID opponents point to rural burden; UK's e-voting experiment recalled

There is an extremely high volume of coverage both of the Illinois Supreme Court's order regarding the Chicago mayoral election and of the photo ID debate in the Texas Senate. We have included a small sampling of articles on each of these issue.

Photo ID legislation appears to be a fait accompli in Texas, though opponents raised the argument that the proposed bill would burden remote areas. In the United Kingdom, consideration of voting system reforms prompts a partisan skeptic to revisit the country's e-voting pilots of the early 21st century.

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

GA: Press Releases - Newsroom - The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law | National Voting Rights Groups Put Georgia Secretary of State Kemp on Notice of Voting Rights Violations

Citing clear evidence that low-income Georgia residents are being denied a legally-mandated opportunity to register to vote, attorneys from Project Vote, Demos, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), the ACLU Voting Rights Project, and the law firm of Dechert LLP sent an official notice letter today to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, on behalf of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, demanding that the Secretary immediately act to bring Georgia into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Read More

IL: Clout St: Chicago election official: Might want to hold off on early voting

If the Supreme Court rules in Emanuel’s case or lower courts rule in any of the others, early voting would be halted at the affected locations so touch-screen voting machines could be swapped out, most likely overnight, he added. Read More

IL: Court halts ballots without Emanuel's name - AP News Wire, Associated Press News - Salon.com

The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered election officials not to print any mayoral ballots without Rahm Emanuel's name while the justices consider whether to hear an appeal from the former White House chief of staff. Read More

MO: Voter ID Bill Under Scrutiny in Missouri Senate - Yahoo! News

If Republicans have their way in the Missouri Senate, the state will have a tough new voter ID law. Senate leaders are calling for a photo identification requirement for voters at polling places by a vote of the legislature and leaving it up to voters in Missouri. The Kansas City Star reports a hearing of the Senate elections committee drew opposition to the law from voting rights groups. No one spoke in favor of the measure. Read More

NE: Voices, scenes from the polls - Omaha.com

A sampling of voters' voices and scenes from polling sites from today's recall election of Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle: Read More

NY: Mayor Marvin's Column: Voting Machines and Village Elections - Bronxville-Eastchester, NY Patch

Even assuming the machines are released to villages, we have no idea of the rental fee. In addition, we are required to purchase three scanable ballots for every anticipated voter, since the new election law (HAVA) allows two mistakes per voter. At one dollar per ballot, the cost is not inconsequential.

If the machine rental costs are anywhere near as exorbitant as those charged to our colleagues in Orange County, I would recommend we opt to use the lever machines and let the State challenge our results. (We do joke at Village Hall that the thousands of very reliable lever machines that have been declared obsolete may end up as a coral reef somewhere!) Read More

NY: Statewide Elections Officials Gather in Rockland to Critique New Voting Machines - New City, NY Patch

Elections officials from throughout New York are scheduled to gather in Rockland County on Wednesday to critique the performance of new optical scanner voting machines that were introduced to the election system in 2010. Read More

NC: Exposing the Left on Voter ID - Civitas Review Online

Voter ID legislation is sure to be one of the most important issues lawmakers address in the upcoming session. A December 2010 Civitas Institute Poll found 83 percent of respondents favored a law that requires voters to show government-issued photo identification before voting. Read More

RI: Burrillville legislators propose stronger election laws | The State Column

In an effort to prevent voter intimidation and other violations of elections laws, Sen. Paul W. Fogarty and Rep. Cale P. Keable are proposing legislation to require the Board of Elections to provide a uniformed police officer at all polling places. Read More

SC: SC Senate Republican Caucus » Blog Archive » Legislative week to focus on Voter ID, gambling and automated traffic tickets

Requiring a photo ID to vote, gambling and home poker games, and automated traffic tickets are on the General Assembly’s agenda this week. Read More

TX: Texas GOP pushing hard for voter ID bill | khou.com | KHOU.com Home Page

Texas Republicans are making a hard push to require voters to show photo identification before casting their ballots. Read More

TX: Indiana prof: 'Definitely a chance' that DOJ would reject Texas voter photo ID law | The American Independent

An Indiana election law expert said Texas lawmakers do have reasons to be concerned that proposed voter photo identification legislation — authored by state Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) and based on Indiana law — may fail to meet standards under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Read More

TX: Despite Democratic delays voter ID inches toward passage | kvue.com | KVUE News | Austin, TX | Breaking News

Democratic delays have slowed, but not stopped, a Republican plan which would require a voter ID card in order to cast a ballot. It now appears poised to pass the Senate and go on to become Texas law. Read More

TX: Remote areas of West Texas penalized by voter ID, Uresti says - Alpine Daily Planet

Senate Democrats have fired two additional volleys against the GOP-supported voter ID bill being debated:

Remote areas will be penalized, and Texans who get their drivers’ licenses suspended may not be able to vote. Read More

TX: Davis recalls her experiences as a single mom in Voter ID debate - PoliTex

Long before she was a Harvard-educated attorney and a member of the state Senate, Wendy Davis was a divorced single mom who was holding down two jobs and raising a young daughter while attending Tarrant County Community College. Read More


“Toy Story 3″ for best picture? | Red Letter Days | a mySA.com blog

The relatively new instant-runoff voting system might reward a movie that is liked by almost everyone, even if it’s not No. 1 on a majority of ballots. Read More

Critics Love 'Social Network.' Will The Academy Defriend It? - NYTimes.com

Last year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences adopted instant-runoff voting for its selection of best picture, a decision which is sometimes credited for its choice of “The Hurt Locker” over “Avatar” and other nominees. Read More

Internet Voting Watch

CA: Redesigning LA's Neighborhood Council Elections

We hope to gain increased control over our own elections through the Election Task Force. One possible outcome (the "cafeteria") is to allow each neighborhood council a choice among several alternatives, including voting by mail, standard polling place balloting, internet voting, or your own combination of two or more of these. Read More

Canada: Online Party of Canada: Appeal to Non-Voters - Press Release - Digital Journal

A recent survey published by Elections Canada entitled, "Explaining the Turnout Decline in Canadian Federal Elections" analyzed the reasons given by non-voters in the 2000 Federal election for not going to the polls. Those reasons included a lack of interest in the election, negative attitudes toward politics, and personal/administrative factors. Young non-voters were more likely to cite a lack of interest and personal/administrative reasons for not voting. Read More

Canada: Examining AMS voter turnout - Queen's Journal

This year’s Kingston municipal elections in October saw 36 per cent of voters cast their ballot at polling stations using a paper-ballot system. After transitioning into online voting last year, the AMS saw three-point improvement on 2009’s paper ballot votes.

“I’m not sure if there’s a clear answer on [whether online voting affects voter turnout],” Matthews said. “All other things being equal, however, if it makes voting easier, then it should increase turnout, especially in (relatively) low turnout elections.” Read More

India: You may soon vote at the click of a mouse - Hindustan Times

If the state election commission’s proposal works out, you would vote online or even from your mobile phone for the 2012 civic polls. The commission has appointed an expert committee of five to six members to create software programme, which will assist electors to vote online. Read More

Emigrants should have a vote in upcoming general election | New York State of Mind | IrishCentral

If you are not present in Ireland on polling day, then your vote is lost.

In Britain, citizens who registered in the last 15 years can vote abroad in elections for Parliament and European Parliament, but not local elections.

France has tested Internet voting in order to stimulate voter participation. A 2003 law means French voters living overseas are afforded the right to vote electronically, or by mail or at a local embassy or consulate. In Holland citizens abroad can vote by mail or online. Read More


UK: E-voting: why it was abandoned in the UK

Back in the early years of this century, the UK was at the forefront of testing out e-voting for public elections. An extensive series of pilots were held and then … e-voting fell out of favour, because the pilots were not a success for a wide range of reasons. The issue still keeps on popping up, so having recently come across again what I wrote back in 2003 about those pilots, those lessons are worth restating. Here is what I wrote back in the summer of 2003. Luckily the last paragraph turned out to be wrong. Read More

India: Engineer team lands for pre-poll EVM check - The Times of India

A team of engineers from BEL, Bangalore is here for the first level checking of electronic voting machines ahead of the assembly elections in May. Read More

Philippines: Comelec officials suspension upheld - Yahoo! Philippines News

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 overpriced ballot secrecy folders worth P690 million. Read More

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