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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:08 PM
Original message
Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News, FRI. 12/29/06
Primordial ways are not inferior, in fact, there is great wisdom.

Dao (Way, Guide, Road)
Daoism has a reputation of being impenetrable mainly because of its central concept, dao. Yet surprisingly, the almost universal translation in English uses one of the smallest, simplest, most familiar and least consciously noticed terms of the language -- way. This common translation, way, is apt in several ways. Dao (Tao) is a pivotal concept of ancient Chinese thought. Way is similarly primitive (it resists analytic definition). We can only offer synonyms: e.g., course, method, manner, mode, style, means, practice, fashion, technique and so on. We discover the circularity when we try to analyze one of the synonyms without recourse to the term way with which we began.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/taoism/#Dao-de

Let's rethink electronic voting and counting
Paper (resists complex algorithms) :evilgrin:
impenetrable


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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. CO: Denver City Council approves special election after voting problems


DENVER (AP) - Voters in Denver will decide whether to retain the three-member Election Commission or replace it with an elected clerk and recorder.
The Denver City Council voted earlier this week to hold a mail ballot next month. It comes after a botched fall election, where computer problems led to long lines outside of polling centers and many voters not casting a ballot.

City Councilwoman Rosemary Rodriguez says the issue needs to be decided as soon as possible.

http://www.9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNAME=KUSA&IKOBJEC...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. OR: Valid voting is not rocket science
Statesman Journal

Ray Martinez III and Aviel D. Rubin
December 29, 2006

After another general election in which technical and human errors at polling places affected the voting process for many Americans, a renewed focus on improving the mechanics of elections is clearly in order.

A national voter hotline received more than 40,000 calls, with registration and machine-related problems ranking among the top concerns. In Denver, the intermittent collapse of new technology designed to verify the registration status of voters caused routine waits of more than two hours and the disenfranchisement of thousands of eligible voters who could not wait to cast ballots.

In Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana, judges intervened to extend voting hours in a number of local jurisdictions because of delays caused by the election workers unfamiliarity with procedures and the technology itself.

Although significant efforts have been made in the past several years to improve elections, serious questions remain.

The 2002 Help America Vote Act was supposed to be the answer. In the wake of the 2000 presidential election, Congress passed the law to modernize the process and provide much-needed federal funds to state and local governments. With at least one recent national exit poll showing high voter confidence in the accuracy of election results, officials should be praised for making improvements. But, as the evidence suggests, the difficulties that continue to plague the process require immediate attention.

Four important steps should be taken.

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A...
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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. HAVA & special interests mostly responsible for election disasters of 2004 and 2006
HAVA push for touch screens in all states in spite of unreliablity, high operating cost, and unverifiability has led to a
disastrous status quo and disastrous elections in 2004 and 2006 that did not reflect majority voter intent in many cases.

There was widespread touch screen switching, disappearing votes, machine and equipment malfunctions, that caused inaccurate results,
long lines, many hundreds of thousands unable to vote

2006
www.flcv.com/eirstss6.html

2004
www.flcv.com/summary.html


HAVA has also not done anything effective to deal with the widespread manipulation, misfeasance, malfeasance, voter suppression, and systematic illegal dirty tricks that resulted in millions of legal voters unable to have their votes counted

www.flcv.com/eirsppp6.html
www.flcv.com/eirsdt6.html
www.flcv.com/summary.html

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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. VA: New Voter Registrations On Hold Pending System Upgrade


(Created: Friday, December 29, 2006 11:28 AM EST)
The Loudoun County Voter Registration Office is in the process of switch to a new, centralized, statewide voter registration database.

During the transition process, from now through Feb. 1, the office will be unable to process any new voter registration applications or update voter registration records.

Residents may submit new applications and make changes to their voter records. Qualified voters will receive a new voter information card by mail after their applications have been processed in February. Registration rolls also will be updated after Feb. 1.

http://www.leesburg2day.com/articles/2006/12/29/news/ne...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. Guam: Election Bill
Pacific Daily News

Bill on tax credits for developing sports complex fails
By Dionesis Tamondong
Pacific Daily News
dtamondong@guampdn.com

In the last session of the 28th Guam Legislature, senators passed a bill that would overhaul Guam election laws and procedures.

Most bills passed without much discussion on the floor. The measure that senators spent the most time debating was one that failed to make it to the voting file.

snip

Election bill

Several residents were at the Legislature yesterday afternoon, encouraging lawmakers to approve the election reform Bill 383.
Among them were Democratic legislative candidates Robert Benavente and Trini Torres, who lost their legal challenge to the Sept. 2 Primary Election.

Benavente said he believes the reform bill will bring consistency to the election process and possibly create fewer problems for future generations of voters and candidates.

"We found there were so many discrepancies to our democracy," he said. "In the deposition, (the Election Commission) admitted that they did the wrong thing ... "We got injured by those discrepancies."

Benavente said the legal challenge was not about winning or losing, it was about the integrity of the election process.

He said an existing law that prevents the use of electronic voting machines is a good start, and the issue now is how the Election Commission does its job.

http://www.guampdn.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. OH: County Commissioners to Seek Early Voting in Ohio

Friday, December 29, 2006

By JOSELYN KING


ST. CLAIRSVILLE Early next year, Ohios county commissioners will lobby state lawmakers for legislation permitting early voting on touchscreen machines in Ohio just like in neighboring West Virginia.

Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas, a board member for the County Commissioner Association of Ohio, said the countys cost to provide elections is escalating each year, and that much of that is due to the price of no excuse absentee voting in Ohio by mail.

The optical scan ballots used for absentee voting in Ohio are expensive to print nearly $2 a ballot. Postage also is necessary to send out the absentee ballot applications, and to mail the actual ballot. It costs the board at least $3 to send an absentee ballot to a voter.

The cost escalates when a county the size of Belmont County sends out 3,000 absentee ballots for an election, officials noted.

In West Virginia, there is very little voting by mail. Voters instead are permitted to cast ballots as early as two weeks before the election on touchscreen machines set up at their countys courthouse.

Commissioners met with the Belmont County Board of Elections this week to discuss the boards proposed budget for 2007, which tripled over recent years to approximately $750,000.

http://www.news-register.net/community/articles.asp?art...
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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. In general opti-scan use is much less expensive than touch screens
see documentation at:
www.votersunite.org

There may be special circumstances where this is not true, however the unreliability and unverifiability of touch screens that are well documented are major problems that should be considered. There may be unstated reasons why this change in being pursued.

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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
6. NY: Port Chester residents discuss federal voting rights lawsuit


By REKA BALA
THE JOURNAL NEWS

(Original publication: December 29, 2006)


PORT CHESTER - A law professor from Pace University told residents last night that they should take a federal voting-rights lawsuit that may change the way village officials are elected seriously because the community's voice and opinion about the case are what matter.

Randolph McLaughlin, an attorney who specializes in voter-rights cases, sat with about two dozen residents at the Port Chester Carver Center and carefully explained to them the reason the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit that accuses the village of illegally disenfranchising Hispanic voters.

"They didn't just file this suit on a whim," he said. "It's your village. You live here. You should have a voice in what happens."

http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. CO: Probe finds no fraud in Pueblo election


By CHARLES ASHBY
CHIEFTAIN DENVER BUREAU

DENVER - Pueblo County elections officials failed to follow proper procedures in verifying absentee ballot signatures, but otherwise did nothing wrong during this year's general election, according to a state audit released Thursday.

Despite numerous complaints alleging widespread fraud and the way that Pueblo County Clerk Chris Munoz conducted the local Nov. 7 elections, the audit conducted by the Secretary of State's Office found all of them to be without merit.

The audit nevertheless recommended some changes that need to be made before the next election, most of which deals with creating a backup system to verify absentee signatures.

"The audit did not produce any indication that mass fraud occurred in the Pueblo 2006 general election," the audit stated. "It is suggested that better organization and filing would ease concerns of potential fraud by the public and this office."

The audit found that Munoz's office did not create a backup procedure for its hand-filed registration documents because it had expected a statewide voter registration data system to be in place by the election.

That data system stalled in 2005, however, shortly after Secretary of State Gigi Dennis took office because of problems with the out-of-state contractor hired to put the system together. Under the federal Help America Vote Act, that database was supposed to be in place by January 2006.

http://www.chieftain.com/metro/1167380659/2
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. FL: AP: Judge rules against Jennings, Democrats to seat Buchanan in Congress
via
Herald Tribune

BY DAVID ROYSE
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A judge ruled Friday that congressional aspirant Christine Jennings has no right to examine the programming source code that runs the electronic voting machines at the center of a disputed Southwest Florida congressional race.

Democrats in Congress meanwhile, said they'd allow Republican Vern Buchanan to take the seat next Thursday, but with a warning that the inquiry wasn't over and that his hold on it could be temporary.

The state has certified Buchanan the winner of the District 13 race by a scant 369 votes.

Although she could appeal, the ruling Friday from Circuit Judge William Gary prevents the Jennings camp from being able to use the programming code to try to show voting machines used in Sarasota County malfunctioned. Jennings claims that an unusually large number of undervotes - ballots that didn't show a vote - recorded in the race implies the machines lost the votes.

Jennings still has a complaint filed, however, before Congress, which is the ultimate arbiter of who will fill the seat. The seat is being vacated by Rep. Katherine Harris, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for the Senate.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
11. TN: Sells drops challenge to election loss


Mary Jo Denton
Herald-Citizen Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- The August election for Criminal Court judge, Part II, in this district is finally over.
Former Judge Lillie Ann Sells has dropped her challenge of the results of that election, which she lost to David Patterson by 10 votes.

Sells, who is now recovering from a stroke she suffered in early November, yesterday confirmed for the Herald-Citizen that she has filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of her appeal in the case, which was decided in favor of Patterson last September in Chancery Court.

"I want to get all this behind me," Sells said yesterday, referring both to the election contest suit and her illness.

http://www.herald-citizen.com/NF/omf.wnm/herald/news_st...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
12. CQ: Florida Republican Faces House Challenge Next Week
By CQ Staff | 3:09 PM; Dec. 29, 2006 | Email This Article
The 2006 House elections may be over for most members, but Rep.-elect Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., faces a potentially lengthy wait before he can rest easy in the seat he won Nov. 7.

Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., said Friday that he will raise a parliamentary inquiry next week concerning voting irregularities in Floridas 13th District election contest between Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings. Holt will make his move before Buchanan is sworn into office Jan. 4, but the Republican is expected to be seated at least conditionally nonetheless.

Floridas secretary of state certified Buchanan the winner by 369 votes out of more than 238,000 counted in the race to succeed two-term Republican Rep. Katherine Harris, who this year made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate. Jennings protest centers on votes that werent counted namely 18,000 undervotes in Sarasota County, the districts largest jurisdiction and the area where Jennings ran strongest. Those ballots, mostly cast on electronic machines, showed votes cast for other offices but not the House race. The roughly 15 percent undercount far exceeded that in other counties or absentee ballots in Sarasota County.

http://www.cqpolitics.com/2006/12/florida_republican_fa...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
13. AL: Three ballots examined in commissioners race
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 03:35 PM by rumpel


Wayne Ruple
12-29-2006

Attorneys representing Cleburne County Commissioner Tracy Lambert and his Democratic opponent Beverly Casey were in a Cleburne County courtroom last week examining three questionable ballots cast in the recent District 2 commissioner's race.
The ballots in question were examined by both parties and oral arguments are set for January 26 with Judge John C. Thomason presiding.
Lambert won his General Election contest by two votes and in a recount by one vote.

http://www.cleburnenews.com/news/2006/cn-local-1229-wru...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
14. WI: Former state Senate candidate to return contributions
Riley convicted of fraud in 2000 election

By JODY MAYERS - GM Today Staff

December 29, 2006


WAUKESHA - Former state Senate candidate Donovan Riley has agreed to return contributions to his Senate campaign committee as part of a plea agreement with the Waukesha County District Attorneys office.
Riley - a former candidate for state Senate District 7 seat - also agreed Dec. 21 to pay a $10,000 fine after pleading no contest to election fraud for voting twice. Riley dropped out of the state Senate race after authorities began to investigate the allegations that he voted twice in 2000. Later, he was charged with one count of election fraud.

http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2006/Dec_06/1... (subscription)
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
15. U.S., Regional Security Organization Together Promote Democracy
US State Department

29 December 2006

States Finley praises Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

By Jane Morse
USINFO Staff Writer


Washington - In the 16 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has contributed much to making Europe whole, free and at peace, says Ambassador Julie Finley, the U.S. chief of mission to the OSCE in Vienna, Austria.

Formed in the 1970s and now with 56 members from Europe, North America and Central Asia, the OSCE is the largest regional security organization in the world.

But as a values-based organization, the OSCE is Europes most important forum for human rights, Finley told USINFO in a recent interview.

Each member country has voluntarily accepted a long list of agreements to protect human rights worked out painstakingly through consensus negotiations over the past three decades. And the OSCE is the only organization that includes every single country in the Europe and Eurasia area, from tiny Andorra to the Russian Federation, along with the United States and Canada, she said.

According to Finley, two of the OSCEs most important tools are its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Representative for Freedom of the Media (RFOM).

ODIHR is famous for its election monitoring; its the gold standard by which free elections are judged, Finley said. RFOM promotes free and independent media both through the dissemination of best practices and by exposing obstructions in problem areas.

http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfi...

.......
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
16. AZ: Recall of Spear fails again
The Kingman Daily Miner

12/29/2006 10:07:00 AM

Suzanne Adams
Miner Staff Writer

KINGMAN - The effort to recall Kingman City Councilman Tom Spear has failed a second time. City Clerk Debbie Francis received the results of the Mohave County Recorder's Office decision on the recall petition Wednesday.

The petition held 632 unverified signatures and was 53 pages long.

The Voter Registration Office found 466 signatures valid, 68 signatures not registered, 59 signatures out of the district, 19 signatures that did not match voter rolls, 13 signatures that were duplicated and seven illegible signatures.

http://www.kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=13&...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
17. IL: Democrat finally concedes state House race
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 11:35 PM by rumpel
Daily Herald

By Michael Wamble
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, December 29, 2006

The race for the 46th District seat in the Illinois House is over more than a month after voters went to the polls.

Democrat Joseph Vosicky conceded Thursday to Republican Dennis Reboletti, officially ending the hard-fought race to replace retiring state representative and longtime House GOP leader Lee Daniels.

The district includes all or parts of Addison, Bensenville, Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst, Itasca, Lombard, Villa Park and Wood Dale.

Vosicky decided to concede after a two-day recount earlier this month by the DuPage County Election Commission changed only one vote in the 299-vote margin that separated him from Reboletti.

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/dupagestory.asp?id=2644...

thanks to AtLiberty
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Democrat ends his challenge
Legislative candidate in northeast DuPage concedes after 7 weeks

By Ted Gregory
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 29, 2006

Joe Vosicky, a Democrat who narrowly lost the general election for state representative in a Republican stronghold and then waged a seven-week challenge to the results, ended his fight Thursday.

"At a certain point, you've got to say you've run a good race," Vosicky said in conceding to Dennis Reboletti, a Will County prosecutor from Elmhurst.
Vosicky, an attorney from Elmhurst, lost by 299 votes to Reboletti. Voters cast 26,712 ballots in the race for the open 46th District seat, a northeastern DuPage County post occupied for years by Republican Lee Daniels, a former state House speaker.

Early vote totals showed Reboletti defeated Vosicky by 296 votes, but Vosicky said he may have lost votes through the mishandling of computer memory voting cards and ballot boxes that were found unsealed.

Vosicky requested and received a partial recount, which showed Reboletti winning by 299 votes. Vosicky and his attorney, Richard Means, maintain the election tabulation remains questionable. Last week, Means threatened to take the challenge to the state House of Representatives.

But the campaign decided against that move Thursday.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/west/chi-06122...

thanks to AtLiberty
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
19. OpEd: Dear American Patriot: Amending the Holt Bill
by Nancy Tobi

December 29, 2006 at 19:25:43

Dear American Patriot,

You have undoubtedly been solicited by several large organizations and others to sign petitions for election reform at the national level. There are many legislative proposals to amend the Help America Vote Act HAVA).

There are divergent opinions on how to make our way out. We represent an affiliation of citizen election reformers working in a direction that we know can WORK and can restore democratic elections to our country.

We are asking for your support of our Request by Voters, and for permission to add your name to our letter to Congress. Please respond with your affirmation of support TODAY. Send your name, state, and organization (if applicable) in a reply to this email or send your reply to patriotism@earthlink.net .

Then, pass on this request to everyone you know. Contact YOUR Congressional representatives and ask them to help amend the Holt Bill to include the remedies and recommendations found in the Request by Voters. Contact Congressman Rush Holt, and tell him you support the Request by Voters.

Contact Congressman Holt here: http://holt.house.gov/contact.shtml

more
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_nancy_to_061229...
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
20. NY: Its paper ballots vs. touch screen voting at the City Council
Courier Life Publication

By Helen Klein
12/29/2006

The City Council is poised to make its voice heard on the controversial issue of which voting machines the Board of Elections should choose for New York City.

A resolution recommending that the Board of Elections select paper ballot optical scanners, was introduced earlier this year by City Councilmember Charles Barron and has 44 additional sponsors. The council will be holding a hearing on the matter in January, with the citys election commissioners supposed to be making a decision in February.

In general terms, the choice the Board of Elections faces is between optical scanners and touch screen voting machines, also known as DREs (Direct Recording Electronic).

As the last state in the union not to have complied yet with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which was passed in 2002 in the wake of the controversial 2000 presidential election, New York is under orders from the federal Department of Justice to replace its old lever machines with machines that comply with HAVAs requirements.

http://www.carrollgardenscourier.com/site/news.cfm?news...
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