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Election Reform and Related News, Sat. Feb. 9, '08

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 11:51 AM
Original message
Election Reform and Related News, Sat. Feb. 9, '08
Election Reform and Related News for Saturday, February 9, 2008


This was originally posted yesterday by Bill Bored, but I thought it was worth a second look. At least one member of the MSM seems to get it.

Team 4 Investigates Voting Machine Security Issues

snip
But Team 4 found the doors to the warehouse where voting machines are stored wide open on several warm days.
snip
And here's something that hasn't been reported before. Last year, Allegheny County lost three of its PEBs.

"A judge of election in Mount Lebanon thought he returned them, but he never did," said Wolosik. "And we have never found them."
snip
That's because of a December Penn State University study that found a half-dozen security flaws with the machine, including the ability to use a palm pilot to hijack the voting machine by fooling it into thinking that the palm pilot is actually the PEB cartridge. The study warns that "the ability to emulate a PEB enables a wide range of serious poll worker and voter attacks."

That caused Team 4 to wonder about poll workers in Allegheny County. Team 4 found 13 judges of election, the bosses at polling places, who have criminal convictions.
snip
But, like all election judges, they have sole possession of the PEBs for several days leading up to an election.
more

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/15245889/detai...


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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. States n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. N.M. Democrats Get Apologies, No Winner
Feb 9, 7:35 AM EST


N.M. Democrats Get Apologies, No Winner

By HEATHER CLARK
Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Three days after New Mexico voted, Democratic officials offer apologies and finger-pointing - but have no winner. Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a slight lead, but the state is still counting 17,000 provisional ballots given to voters because of long lines and a shortage of ballots.

snip

As the image of New Mexico election workers hunched over ballots recalls Florida's "hanging chad" spectacle of 2000, Democratic Party officials, who ran the election, warn that the count could last well into next week - perhaps until Feb. 15 when they have to certify the results. It took until late Thursday for the Clinton and Obama camps to agree on a process for tallying provisional votes.

New Mexico Democrats call their contest a caucus, but it's not like Iowa's caucuses where voters gather in gyms, churches or meeting rooms, divide into groups for each candidate, try to attract more support from other groups, and then count each group. Rather it more closely resembles a "firehall primary" - a primary with shorter voting hours and fewer voting sites than would be found in traditional state primaries.

It was a mess: Overwhelmed polling places with long lines, some up to three hours. Too few ballots. Confusion over where to vote. Bad weather in the north. In Rio Rancho, one of the state's largest cities, a single polling location where 1,900 people remain lined up at 7 p.m on election night.

more

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/N/NEW_MEXICO_CAUCU...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Clinton or Obama? Still No Winner in New Mexico
Clinton or Obama? Still No Winner in New Mexico
posted by Crystal Gutierrez KDBC 4 News

Thursday morning in New Mexico and still the state had not declared a winner for the Democratic delegates.

Clinton or Obama? A question that still needed 17-thousand provisional ballots to be opened before an answer would be given.

The state's Democratic Party said they were simply not ready for the huge influx of voters. Many had to write in their votes on plain pieces of paper. All of those votes became provisional ballots.

Then, add in voters heading to wrong polling sites and the number of provisional ballots would hit more than 17-thousand.

a bit more



http://www.kdbc.com/Global/story.asp?S=7840631
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Panel Votes To End Fla. Election Probe
Panel votes to end Fla. election probe
2/9/2008, 4:07 a.m. CST
By MITCH STACY
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) A House task force voted Friday to end an investigation into a disputed 2006 Florida congressional election after extensive testing showed that touch-screen voting machines likely worked properly.

Democrat Christine Jennings called for the congressional investigation after she lost the District 13 seat to Republican Vern Buchanan by 369 votes. She suggested Sarasota County's touch-screen voting machines were to blame for the more than 18,000 ballots that did not register a choice in the contest.

But the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which conducted extensive testing of Sarasota County machines last year, said it was satisfied that votes were counted properly. It's more likely, the investigative arm of Congress said, that voters skipped the race, either intentionally or by mistake, on the ballot.

"The results are as clear as we can objectively expect," said U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., one of the three members of the Committee on House Administration task force.

more

http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/politics-...
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Oh sure we voters always go to the polls to skip big races
In fact I bet millions will go to their primary elections and purposely skip the presidential race. :sarcasm:


Sonia
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. You mean there are people who don't skip the headline races? Wow...wink, wink. n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. VT: HOuse Committee Approves Campaign Finance Bill
House committee approves campaign finance bill
By Dave Gram
Associated Press Writer / February 8, 2008

MONTPELIER, Vt.A new attempt to limit the influence of money in Vermont politics cleared a House committee on Friday, but two years after the last bid to do so lost in the U.S. Supreme Court, opponents were saying the new legislation could land the state back in court.

more stories like thisMembers of the House Government Operations Committee, which approved the measure 9-0 with two not voting, made one of two changes sought by Gov. Jim Douglas: It increased from $750 to $1,000 the cap on individual contributions to candidates for statewide office other than governor, bringing them even with gubernatorial candidates.

But they rebuffed the governor on another key provision: He had sought to have stripped from the bill limits on contributions by political parties -- which the bill sets at $30,000 for governor down to $500 for House candidates. The House panel kept those limits in the bill.

"I think it strikes a good balance of what's right for Vermont in terms of contribution controls, limits," said Rep. Tim Jerman, D-Essex, a member of the committee.

more

http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2008/...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. OH: Court Hears County's Case Against Paper-Ballot Plan
Court hears county's case against paper-ballot plan
Friday, February 8, 2008 11:06 PM
By BRUCE CADWALLADER

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
The Union County prosecutor accused the state's elections chief of abusing her authority by requiring counties to offer paper ballots in the March 4 primary and he said Union County won't pay for them.

Prosecutor David W. Phillips said that his county, like 56 others in Ohio, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on electronic voting machines since 2005 and the machines have provided accurate results.

Phillips, a Republican, spoke in an emergency hearing late this afternoon in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Phillips said that requiring paper ballots would cost his county at least $68,000 for materials and require additional poll workers.

more

http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. MD: Voting By 17-Year-Olds Expanded
Voting by 17-year-olds expanded
Maryland's highest court gives them go-ahead to cast ballots in nonpartisan primaries
By Nicole Fuller | sun reporter
February 9, 2008

Maryland's highest court ruled yesterday that 17-year-olds may vote in nonpartisan primary elections.

The Court of Appeals ruling cements a Feb. 1 order in Anne Arundel Circuit Court that allows 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before the general election in November and who registered to vote by last month's deadline to cast ballots Tuesday in nonpartisan primary elections, such as those for county school boards and district judges.

The Court of Appeals ruled that voter eligibility provisions of the Maryland Constitution "are not in conflict" with the state's election law, which says that 17-year-olds who will be 18 before the general election may vote in the primary.

The court added that those 17-year-old voters may not vote in any "special or municipal" election, which in this election cycle would affect Washington County voters, whose ballots will contain a referendum question on the county's home-rule charter.

more


http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/annearundel/bal-...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. MS: Democrats Want Voting Machines With Printers
Democrats want voting machines with printers
Saturday, February 09, 2008
By VETO F. ROLEY
PASCAGOULA -- The Jackson County Democratic Party wants a printer attached to the Diebold voting machines used by county voters.

The reason, party members said, is because the Diebold machines are not reliable.

Robert Smith, a member of the party's executive committee, said there were problems in 27 states that used the Diebold machines, including issues in Harrison and Hancock counties. In some cases, he said, the machines failed to register large numbers of votes.

"Without a paper trail, there is no way to find out if there is a problem," Smith said. "There is no way to check if the Diebold makes an error."

big snip to the end

Without a ballot printed for every vote, Smith said, there was no way to tell if the Diebold had retained all the votes cast on that machine.

Sims questioned whether it recorded all votes. She said a number of voters selected the candidate they wished to vote for, but walked away without pushing a final button finalizing their choices.

Sanford said that election workers were trained not to intervene in those cases, but to allow the machine to time out. He noted that a vote cast without finalizing the vote did not count.



http://www.gulflive.com/news/mississippipress/index.ssf...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Iowa: Culver Willing To Back Plan To Buy New Voting Machines
February 9, 2008


Culver willing to back plan to buy new voting machines

By JENNIFER JACOBS
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

Gov. Chet Culver is backing down on his plan for updating Iowa's election technology after weeks of disagreement over how to ensure a paper trail for every voting machine.

Culver said Friday he is now willing to use state money to help counties switch to one uniform system with paper ballots.

Iowa's top election official, Michael Mauro, has been pushing a $9.7 million plan that would give every voter an actual paper ballot that could be recounted later, and would give every county the same equipment.

Two weeks ago, Culver called that plan "irresponsible" because it would cost the state too much money. He wanted to stick with a cheaper plan that lawmakers approved last year: spend $2 million to equip touch-screen voting machines, which have electronic ballots, with a special printer that shows voters their choices on a continuous roll of paper.

Watchdog groups, who distrust the electronic ballots and the printers, criticized Culver's plan as "chasing good money after bad."

more

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Ohio Bill Would allow Midday Ballot Scans
Ohio bill would allow midday ballot scans

Cuyahoga would not count until polls shut

Saturday, February 09, 2008
Joe GuillenPlain Dealer Reporter

Ohio House members will consider a bill that would let Cuyahoga County scan ballots before polls close during the March 4 primary.

But even if the bill becomes law, county elections officials say the process for midday collections of ballots may be too complicated and disruptive to be of help.

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner drafted the legislation to ease the county's transition to a new voting system that counts paper ballots with optical scanners. County officials have said the counting of primary ballots could stretch into the day after the election.

The Senate passed Brunner's bill Wednesday, and the House might vote on it Feb. 19.

Brunner spokesman Patrick Gallaway said he expects it to pass.

more

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/ba...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. Primary News n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Candidates Seek Delegates This Weekend
Candidates seek delegates this weekend
2/9/2008, 7:38 a.m. CST
By CALVIN WOODWARD
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) By their presence, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton anointed Washington state as their prime battleground in a trio of Democratic presidential contests Saturday.

snip

People in Washington and Louisiana were voting Saturday for the nominees of both parties, while Nebraska was holding Democratic-only caucuses and Kansas was weighing in on the Republicans. Maine holds caucuses Sunday in the Democratic race.

Both Democrats visited Washington, the richest weekend prize with 78 delegates, and the campaign was as lively as it was short.

snip

WASHINGTON CAUCUSES:

The stakes: 78 Democratic delegates, 18 GOP delegates.

snip

LOUISIANA PRIMARIES:

The stakes: 56 Democratic delegates, 20 Republican delegates.

snip

NEBRASKA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES:

The stakes: 24 Democratic delegates.

snip

MAINE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES:

The stakes: 24 Democratic delegates.

more




http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/politics-...
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. Not So Superdelegates
Great article in The Nation. "Not So Superdelegates" A must read primer about the historical importance of super-delegates by Ari Berman for The Nation.

The article is here:
Not So Superdelegates

YouTube video here:
Superdelegates 101

:wow:

Sonia
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. Op-Ed, Opinion, Blog...n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Shadows On High: election Machine Drama, All Dam-ed Up and Nowhere to Go
February 9, 2008 at 08:45:20

Shadows On High: Election Machine Drama, All Dam-ed Up and Nowhere to Go

by Brian Rothenberg (Posted by Rady Ananda) Page 1 of 8 page(s)

http://www.opednews.com

Originally posted at ProgressOhio.org; reposted here with permission of Brian Rothenberg.

Progressives are a diverse lot. Its part of the DNA of free-form thinking the Myers-Briggs that defines the ideology. Smart conservatives know that.

So when progressives began to splinter over different issues involving the Ohio Election study EVEREST -- it was hardly surprising. What was surprising was how a Republican election official from Franklin County Matt Damschroder became to borrow Reggie Jacksons famous phrase -- the straw that stirred the drink in sidetracking Ohios Secretary of States voting change efforts.

One of the few things the increasingly secretive legislators on Broad and High havent exempted from public records are emails of Boards of Elections officials. So ProgressOhio requested Matt Damschroders emails on the subject of EVEREST to give SHADOWS readers a glimpse of how operatives influence politics.

What we found was correspondence that showed Damschroder become the de-facto Secretary of State for the opposition. These emails showed Damschroder positioning himself as an expert with newspapers, serving as the public relations scheduler for the elections activist community and generally evolving into Secretary of State Jennifer Brunners worst unseen antagonist.

Where there was a newspaper leaning -- he pushed. Where there were progressives with narrow concerns he fawned over them and inflamed.

The emails show Damschroder to have become an impassible Dam to Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunners reform efforts a study in the use of access, geniality and chutzpa to further his partisan agenda.

more

http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_brian_ro_080209...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. CO: Clock is Ticking on Ballot Issues
Clock is ticking on ballot issues

By The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 02/08/2008 09:49:04 PM MST


It's difficult not to empathize with the frustrated folks in Mesa County.

They've seen their voting machines decertified by Secretary of State Mike Coffman and they're worried about a lack of time to plan a November election, as well as the cost of a proposed all-paper ballot.

So, when county commissioners this week broached the idea of just using the machines anyway, as reported by the Grand Junction Sentinel, who could blame them?

While a damn-the-torpedoes approach might at first seem attractive, there are some real-world consequences to consider.

What if Mesa County's votes in the November election get disqualified because they were cast on uncertified machines? That would hardly serve the voters.

And what if other counties decide to follow suit. It's true that the election process in this state is in chaos, but adding anarchy to the mix will only make matters worse.

more

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_8209814
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Empire America's Bread and Circuses
02/09/08
Empire America's Bread and Circuses
Richard L. Franklin

Back in the first century, the Roman poet Juvenal, in his 'Satire X', wrote a poem with lines which have forever remained famous and have been endlessly repeated. His satirical poem ridiculed the Roman people for letting their freedoms dwindle and slip away as they contented themselves with the free grain that was given to them in addition to the free circuses held in the Coliseum.

From Juvenal's 'Satire'

Already long ago,
from when we sold our vote to no man,
the People have abdicated our duties;
for the People who once upon a time
handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything,
now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses

As I watched and listened to the electoral circus being presented to the people of America, and I took note of their extreme excitement over the ongoing contests, I was simultaneously saddened and angered. I saw the entire huge ritual as a great waste of time and wealth. It is obvious to me that it has been no more than a spectacular diversion for the media and the people of America. I say 'diversion' because the ongoing electoral circus takes the minds of the people off an ongoing dramatic erosion of their liberties, clear hints of a pending national economic collapse, and most significantly, clear signs that a corrupt electoral system has been installed in so-called 'key states'.

Since the last election, which was won by Kerry, but was blatantly fixed to give Bush still another undeserved four years in the White House, America's electronic electoral system has been left untouched by significant reform or the imposition of any rational governmental control over it. There is no federal oversight whatsoever over the new electronic voting systems! Not only that, state after state continues buying huge numbers of corruptible Diebold and ES & S voting machines from the infamous Bob Urosevich and his brother Todd.

Bob once publicly declared that he 'would do anything to elect George Bush'. Amazingly, the media ignored his brazen pledge, and Bob went ahead to fix his Diebold programs with switch levers. In the Ohio elections, his machines performed such manipulations as giving Bush two votes and Kerry one vote every time somebody voted for Kerry. Todd most likely managed to do the same with the ES & S machines in other locales.

more

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
19. Have a great Saturday, everyone!
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Thanks, you too, livvy!
:thumbsup:
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