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12/29. Maryland eyes paper voting, OH considers voting bill, MO considers early voting

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:29 PM
Original message
12/29. Maryland eyes paper voting, OH considers voting bill, MO considers early voting

Maryland eyes paper voting, OH considers voting bill, MO considers early voting

Dec 29, 2009

"Bad Business" says Florida paper about ES&S/Diebold voting machine monopoly...New York voter surprised to hear that election clerk declared him deceased....In Maryland "Will state pull the plug on new voting machines?"...Legislation filed for early voting in Missouri, 30 other states already have early voting...Ohio legislators consider Senate Bill 8 which would impact voter registration, early voting and voter rolls....Good idea? WV approves military internet vote proposal. Meanwhile Hackers Steal South Korean War Plans...

All this and more in today's voting news below...

FL: Editorial: Bad business
http://www.gainesville.com/article/20091227/OPINION01/9...
December 27, 2009 Corporate mergers can be good for business. But if mergers lead to less competition and innovation, they are not necessarily good for consumers.

This is especially true when the "consumers" are voters and the product voting machines.

IL: State Eases Absentee Voting Laws
http://illinoishomepage.net/content/fulltext/?cid=12479...

IL: New state law puts crimp in secret ballot
http://www.myjournalcourier.com/news/law-24877-state-ba...
December 21, 2009 State Sen. William R. Haine said he is working to counter the effect of a new state law that some county clerks say thwarts the whole purpose of a secret ballot.

The Alton Democrat said he has introduced a bill that would amend the law to strike a passage dealing with undercounting of votes.

MD: Will state pull the plug on new voting machines?
http://www.gazette.net/stories/12252009/polinew160336_3...
System's burden on counties, merger of suppliers stoke worry
...
State Board of Elections members expressed concerns last week over how a merger between the two largest voting machine manufacturers, which is the subject of an ongoing antitrust probe, could have skewed the procurement process.

MD: CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Maryland eyes paper voting
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/29/citizen... /
Dec 29, 2009. Election boards may abandon $65 million electronic system
...Despite resources made available by HAVA, Maryland is tentatively planning to return to paper ballots for the 2010 election. Maryland would abandon its $65 million electronic system while continuing to pay off capital lease costs associated with electronic voting machines until 2014, according to a story this month in the Frederick News-Post.
...
In the past decade, the annual budget for the Maryland State Board of Elections has accelerated exponentially. In fiscal 2000, its budget, limited to state funds, was $3.136 million, while in fiscal 2008, with a combination of federal funds from HAVA, state funds and special funds largely coming from county contributions, the Board of Elections' budget was $27.504 million.

ME: Lawsuit Victories in Maine Referendum Petition Cases
http://www.ballot-access.org/2009/12/29/lawsuit-victori... /
December 29th, 2009 On December 21, a lower state court in Maine ruled that if election officials take longer than the time allowed to check petition signatures, then the petition must be deemed valid.

MN: Innovations: City participates in electronic poll book pilot project
http://www.eminnetonka.com/news.cfm?story_id=Innovation...
December 22, 2009 The city of Minnetonka has had a longstanding reputation for instituting innovative ideas in order to provide excellent customer service to residents while also using taxpayer dollars wisely.

MO: Legislation filed for early voting in Missouri
http://www.connectmidmissouri.com/news/story.aspx?id=39...
Under Frames bill, voters could vote as early as three weeks prior to an election. This measure is similar to House Bill 49, which Frame filed for the 2009 legislative session.
...
More than 30 states currently offer some form of early voting.

NY: Back from the dead: WNY voter says he's very much alive
http://www.politickernj.com/max/35665/back-dead-wny-vot...
In her submitted explanation of why Roque didn't muster sufficient signatures, Clerk Carmela Riccie's wrote, "On all five petitions there is a remarkably accurate signature of a person, Pedro Costales, who has been deceased for two years, according to the Statewide Voter Registration Database."

That sparked Roque to go to Costales's apartment yesterday and ring the doorbell.

"This elderly gentleman answered with a big moustache - he looks like a big teddy bear, but his expression changed from happy to being very upset when he talked about being reported deceased,"

OH: Apportionment of General Election Expenses For November 3, 2009
Preble County Court House News by Jeff Golden
http://www.citizensforpreblecounty.com/news/?p=532

OH: 12/29/2009 (Senate Bill 8) Integrity, transparency of elections critical
http://www.timesgazette.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSec...
JOHN CAREY Ohio Senate ...On Dec. 9, my colleagues and I approved Senate Bill 8, legislation that would make several reforms to Ohio's election procedures to streamline early-voting rules, facilitate the sharing of voter registration mismatches between the Ohio Secretary of State and county election officials and make it easier for the thousands of brave Ohioans who are serving our country overseas to have a voice in electing their leaders back home....

VT: Burlington voters to reconsider Instant Runoff Voting
http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=11744644
Dec 29, 2009. A group of folks against IRV has worked for eight months gathering signatures on a petition that asks the city to put IRV on the March 2010 ballot. Last Monday the group handed in close to 2,100 signatures, meaning voters will get to decide if they want to keep or repeal IRV.

WV: Officials OK pilot project proposal
By PAMELA BRUST pbrust@newsandsentinel.com December 29, 2009
http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/5...
Proposals for the pilot program are due Jan. 8. Counties chosen are to be notified by the end of January.
...
Counties selected to participate will set up an online system where the military and overseas voters receive a security code to go online to a secure Web site and access a ballot. Once the person has cast their ballot that vote is transmitted to the county to a secure computer. Not only is this system secure, but it ensures the privacy of the voter and their vote, according to the secretary of state's office.

"The ballot is stored on the server until election day, and at that time the clerk and commissioners would log in and results would be tallied," Rhodes said.

Computer Technologists' Statement on Internet Voting
http://www.verifiedvoting.org/article.php?id=5867

National

New York Times Carries Letter to the Editor, Advocating Independent Federal Election Commissioners
http://www.ballot-access.org/2009/12/29/new-york-times-... /
December 29th, 2009 The December 29 issue of the New York Times contains this letter, advocating that President Barack Obama appoint one or more Federal Election Commissioners who are not members of either the Democratic or Republican Parties

International

Hackers Steal South Korean War Plans
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&source=hp&q=cyber%20w...
DailyTech - ‎Dec 25, 2009‎
While South Korea has faced many cyberwarfare attacks in the past, the most recent attack has been successful in extracting classified intelligence.

INTERNET VOTING WORKSHOP PROPOSAL
http://www.carleton.ca/europecluster/events/2010-01-26 -(E)WorkshopProgram.pdf
Internet Voting:What can Canada Learn? January 26, 2010
The Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue
(Strategic Knowledge Cluster)Internet Voting: What can Canada Learn?


Voting News Archives here at http://votingnews.blogspot.com /
Subscribe to Voting News at this link:
http://tinyurl.com/votingnews
To assist with Daily Voting News, please send links to news articles to us at votingnews@earthlink.net
============================================
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Old Codger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Like Oregon
Vote by mail, all elections, no excuse to not go to the polls for weather, plenty of time to study the actual ballot,no reason to make a mistake as no rush in a polling booth, lot of good reasons to do so...
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. Protesting the merging of elections vendors is a red herring
The machines themselves are the problem regardless of who the vendor is; also I recall a study of the 2004 election which calculated that the same algorithm for vote switching from 3rd parties to GWB was the same for several different vendors' machines -- so "merging" seems to have occurred already in the software & hardware components of the machinery amongst the various vendors.

will track down that study and post when I find it
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I truly agree with you
Its a shame that people can get steamed up about a monopoly, but not
about vote rigging or lack of transparency.

Privately owned companies are counting our votes.
That sucks.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I've changed my mind after reading the 21 page complaint filed by Blackboxvoting.org with USDOJ
The complaint opens up the possibility of at least subjecting the voting machine companies to an investigation by the DOJ and exposing a lot of the problems and corruption that way.

The full complaint letter can be downloaded here: http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?...

here is the table of contents from the 21 page complaint:

CONTENTS:
1. THE COMPANIES
2. MONOPOLY MAP
3. HORIZONTAL MONOPOLY: HERFINDAHL INDEX
4. VERTICAL MONOPOLY:
a. MONOPOLIZATION AND CONCEALMENT OF ESSENTIAL PROCESSES FROM END TO
END
b. VERTICAL MONOPOLIZATION THROUGH LOCK-INS FOR SERVICES AND PRODUCTS
5. OUR RESEARCH SHOWS A PAST HISTORY OF ANTICOMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR
6. REGULATORY AND COST OF CERTIFICATION STRUCTURE AFFECTS ANTICOMPETITIVE
ENVIRONMENT
7. THE ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION, THE TECHNICAL GUIDELINES DEVELOPMENT
COMMITTEE, AND PROPOSED FEDERAL LEGISLATION
8. REVOLVING DOOR BETWEEN REGULATORS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND VENDOR
PERSONNEL
9. ACTUAL OWNERSHIP NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED AND DISCLOSED
10. HISTORY OF ANTI-COMPETITIVE PRACTICES: EXAMPLES
12. HISTORY OF THE EFFECT OF LACK OF COMPETITION:
LOW QUALITY, SLOWDOWNS, POTENTIAL SHUTDOWN OF ELECTIONS
13. COMPLAINT THAT THIS ACQUISITION IS A MONOPOLY, SHOULD BE PROHIBITED
UNDER THE CLAYTON ACT, TITLE 15 U.S.C. 1-27 et. al.
APPENDIX A: PARTIAL UNRAVELING OF OWNERSHIP TRAIL ON ES&S
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. Am I reading your IL item correctly?
Edited on Wed Dec-30-09 08:26 AM by clear eye
Does it really say that if a voter skips voting for a local office, his/her entire ballot is disqualified?

Then someone in the article is quoted as saying that it's up to the voter to not do that, instead of it's up to the system not to reject ballots for such a spurious reason?

I also passionately endorse the view that it's not the monopoly but e-voting and counting in gen'l that is the problem.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. no it says that if a voter skips certain contests, the machine beeps
Edited on Sat Jan-02-10 02:51 PM by WillYourVoteBCounted
letting everyone in the polling place know that the voter left certain contests blank.

The state passed a law requiring *undervote* notification for certain state offices.
Not all, just certain offices. The voter is notified by a loud beep that they left one of
those contests blank. So is everyone else in the polling place.

From the article:

The Illinois Undervote Notification Law of 2007 has drawn fire from county clerks across the state because it will require all voting systems to detect and notify voters if they undervote, which occurs when a ballot does not include votes for one or more offices. The measure takes affect in 2010, with the first real impact coming with the primary election Feb. 2.

The new law requires notification to voters when they do not cast a vote for any one of the state constitutional offices such as governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer. However, some election system voting machines also will reject an undervote for a local elected office, such as precinct committeeman or county office.

http://www.myjournalcourier.com/news/law-24877-state-ba...

There's also a considerable amount of money being spent to have the machines modified
to perform this action.

IL: Suit against optical scanning machine rejected
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2009/12/18/suit_...
December 18, 2009 URBANA Despite efforts by Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden to prevent it, voters in the primary election in February may hear their voting machines beeping...
...
Shelden argued, according to court documents submitted in support of his request, that "the right of Champaign County voters to a secret ballot has been compromised" by a change in the state election laws, which require all optical scan ballot tabulation machines to produce an error message when a voter "undervotes" or fails to vote for one or more statewide constitutional office races.


IL: Voting law proceeding despite concerns
http://www.pekintimes.com/news/x1689182012/Voting-law-p...
PEKIN, Ill. - Voting this February could be a little more complicated.
Thanks to a provision passed by the Illinois State Legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2007, if a voter fails to vote for any particular office, many voting machines throughout the state will beep loudly and spit the ballot back out. An election judge will then have to assist the voter, either correcting the undervote; or overriding the system and casting the vote with the omission.

Whether or not the voter intentionally left the ballot blank for that office, which is perfectly legal and is often done, is not taken into account by the machines.



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