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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:17 PM
Original message
Election Reform and Related News Saturday 3/15/08
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 06:27 PM by livvy
Election Reform and Related News
Saturday, March 15, 2008

:bluebox: Post stories and announcements you find on the web.

:bluebox: Post stories using the new Spring 2006 Edition of "Election Fraud and Reform News Directory" listed here: ...

:bluebox: Re-post stories and announcements you find on DU, providing a link to the original thread with thanks to the Original Poster, too.

:bluebox: Start a discussion thread by re-posting a story you see on this thread.

Recommendations for the Greatest Page are always welcomed. It's the link below.

Sorry this is so late today. No excuses. I was playing, and napping, playing, and napping, kind of like a puppy or a kitten does. :shrug:
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. States n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. FL: Voting Machine Dilemma: Putnam Prepares to Replace Touch-Screens
Saturday March 15, 2008

Voting Machine Dilemma: Putnam prepares to replace touch-screens
By Robert Younis

Concerns over the reliability of touch-screen voting machines could leave Putnam County footing the bill to replace more than $275,000 in equipment.

State officials recently decided to recycle 29,000 of the touch-screen machines and provided funds for about 15 counties to replace the equipment.

But not Putnam County.

Putnam Supervisor of Elections Susan McCool said the state set specific criteria for the grants and Putnam did not qualify.

Officials are acquiring optical-scan systems to replace touch-screen machines because they provide paper ballots and a scanner verifies a vote before the person leave the polling place.

Putnam County has 83 of the touch-screen and 57 of the optical-scan machines, and this mixture was a factor in not getting state assistance.

Another reason other counties are receiving state aid is they still owe money on the touch-screen equipment, McCool said.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. California May Join Other States in Opposing the Federal Real ID Act ...
California May Join Other States in Opposing the Federal Real ID Act as Privacy Battle Intensifies Nationally

By Zack Kaldveer
Consumer Federation of California

A couple days ago the good news was that California is beginning to make its move against the REAL ID Act too, hopefully joining the 17 states that have passed legislation through at least one state body opposing the law.

More good news, Idaho's House has just unanimously shot down the law. The New West Boise reports:

The Idaho House passed unanimously yesterday a bill directing the Idaho Department of Transportation not to implement the federal REAL ID Act a decision that, if passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Butch Otter, could theoretically prevent Idahoans from using their drivers licenses for boarding planes and opening some kinds of bank accounts....

Assuming the federal government follows through on its threat to forbid citizens from non-REAL ID-complying states from boarding planes using drivers licenses, Idaho citizens will still be able to use other types of government documents, such as passports.

Also on the REAL ID front, Maine is standing firm in its commitment to oppose the law too...and their battle with the feds appears to have gotten rather heated.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Michigan Dems Agree on June 3 Do-Over
Mar 14, 6:22 PM EDT

Michigan Dems Agree on June 3 Do-Over

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michigan Democrats agreed Friday to push a do-over primary in early June to give them a say in the close presidential race between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

Amid talks with the two campaigns, the four Michigan Democrats said in a statement they were "focusing on the possibility of a state-run primary in early June which would not use any state funding." Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, one of the Democratic participants, said a likely date is June 3.

"This option would require the passage of legislation by the state legislature, and we look forward to working with the members of the legislature in the coming days to see if this option can be made a reality," the Democrats said.

Other Michigan Democrats working on the plan were Democratic National Committee member Debbie Dingell, Sen. Carl Levin and United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger.

Mark Brewer, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, said the potential privately funded primary was "a good first step" toward seating the state's delegation at the Democratic National Convention.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. Blogs, Opinion, etc. n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Ohio: Post-Election Audit Would Improve Voter Confidence
Ohio: Post-Election Audit Would Improve Voter Confidence

By Lawrence Norden, Brennan Center for Justice New York University School of Law

March 15, 2008

This oped was published in the Columbus Dispatch and is reposted here with permission of the author.

No matter their political persuasion or favored candidates, Ohioans should feel good about the March 4 election: Despite the bad weather, record numbers of voters turned out and, presented with significant procedural and equipment changes, most poll workers and election officials performed very well.

But Ohioans shouldn't close the book on the election just yet. There's still important work to be done, especially if we want to make sure that the general election in November goes as smoothly as possible.

Ohio counties should conduct post-election audits as soon as practical, to confirm for voters that their choices were accurately counted and to provide feedback that will allow counties to improve the voting process in November.

Audits are standard practice in both the public and private sectors. They allow government agencies and private businesses to catch mistakes and set benchmarks for future performance. There is no reason Ohio elections should be exempt from this standard accounting practice, which a growing number of states concerned about voting-system security have adopted in the past few years.

Most important, a post-election audit would compare voter-verified paper records (whether paper ballots, like those filled out by voters in Cleveland, or machine-printed paper trails, like those reviewed by voters in Columbus) with the electronic totals from the voting machines. Ohio uses the electronic totals to calculate votes, and unless we check those totals with a manual check of the paper records, we cannot know whether a programming error, software bug or other problem led to inaccurate totals. We cannot know if a machine misinterpreted a voter's mark on a paper ballot or misrecorded the total number of voters who cast ballots. Correctly done audits will highlight any technological deficiencies with the machinery, identify missing or ineligible ballots and, most important, provide voters with a justified sense of confidence in the election results.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The DIY Ballot
March 15, 2008 at 11:44:58

The DIY Ballot

by miles mathis (Posted by miles mathis) Page 1 of 4 page(s)

My family has always had initiative and a pretty good sense of humor to go with it. I remember when I was a kid, I went to Baskin-Robbins with my uncle. They had a big sign over the counter that said banana split: 99 cents. Thing is, my uncle had been in several times that week, and they were always out of bananas. But we strolled up to the counter and he ordered a banana split anyway. As expected, the young woman said, Sorry, sir, were out of bananas today. So my uncle pulled a banana out of his pocket, laid it on the counter, and said, There you go, sweetie, let er rip! And dont forget to give me a discount for bringing my own banana.

This story is a good one to lead with, I think, because that banana is sort of like democracy, and that Baskin-Robbins is a lot like our government. They are always advertising something, but they always seem to be out of it. They tell us about all these voting rights we are supposed to have, for instance, but when you get to the polls, they are always fresh out. I went to the polls last in 2006, and I wanted to write-in a name that wasnt on the ballot. WE THE PEOPLE have always been able to do that. I have done it in many past elections when there wasnt anyone worth voting for on the given list. This time I was told I wasnt allowed to do that. I called a precinct person over and she told me that only official write-ins were allowed. To be an official write-in candidate, that candidate had to register with the State and pay a fee. I said that pretty much destroyed the whole idea of a write-in. A write-in that the voter cant write-in in not really a write-in, is it? It should be up to me to choose who to write in, not the State or some registrar. I told the precinct person that I would just write-in my candidate myself. But she said I couldnt do that. The machine couldnt read it. If I wrote anything on the ballot, they would have to discard it. I told them that it was illegal for them to discard a ballot, and that my writing on it was not an illegal or disqualifying act. How could a voter marking a ballot be considered a disqualifying act? That would make a voter voting a disqualifying act. Its not like I was defacing the ballot, or drawing smiley faces or lewd cartoons on it. I was writing a name on it, which by the definition of voting is voting. I said that I was a legal voter, and I had a legal right to present a ballot and have it counted. I told her I didnt care a fig for her machines. If the machines cant read write-ins, then write-ins need to be read by human beings who can read them.

She didnt appreciate the crushing logic of this and decided it was easier to ignore me from there on out. I left the polling place without being able to exercise my right to vote, but this did not appear to concern her or anyone else in the room. Despite being decades younger than all the precinct workers, I was seen by them to be hopelessly outdated, a person of the past. I was not up with the times, and could be ignored as a non-person, with non-rights.

Despite this, I remain certain that I was correct. What is more, I now believe that I have tripped across the easy answer to all our voting problems--not just this one but every last one of them. Just as my uncle cut straight through the Baskin-Robbins blockade with his banana, with one simple and logical action, we can cut through every possible blockade at the polling place with one simple and logical action--an action that cannot be countered.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. 'Voter Fraud' Phantom Returns to Haunt Policy Makers and Voters Themselves
March 15, 2008 at 10:24:46

'Voter Fraud' Phantom Returns to Haunt Policy Makers and Voters Themselves

by Project Vote (Posted by Project Vote) Page 1 of 2 page(s)

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

A year has passed since the U.S. Attorneys scandal first gathered steam for the firings of nine federal prosecutors - at least two of whom claim being "pressured by Republicans to bring charges of voter fraud against people who intended to for Democrats." But the issue is far from settled. This week, the phantom issue of "voter fraud" emerged in the guise of news stories, editorials, memos, blogs, legislation, and even a Senate hearing either extinguishing or inflaming the alleged election integrity problem, particularly regarding voter identification requirements. Ultimately, what has become most evident in the last year is how far partisans are willing to go in order to legalize voter suppression tactics through the smoke-screen of "voter fraud."

As we progress deeper into the election season, we expect accusations of voter fraud to increase in number, become more aggressive in tone, and continue to precede strident calls for a range of voter suppression tactics, including draconian voter ID requirements. In this climate we feel it is vital to reiterate the definition of voter fraud. Voter fraud is "'the intentional corruption of the electoral process by the voter'...All other forms of corruption of the electoral process and corruption committed by elected or election officials, candidates, party organizations, advocacy groups or campa This definition is especially helpful to keep in mind in evaluating voter ID proposals, almost all of which are designed to prevent only the very rare polling-place fraud and never target absentee voter fraud, where the bulk of the (very small number of) convictions for fraud have occurred.

Stories in advance of Mississippi's primary election highlight this dichotomy. An Associated Press headline announcing the indictment of 16 Benton County individuals for voter fraud in a 2007 county election greeted voters in the state on Tuesday. Some of the "voter fraud" activity appears to actually be an election fraud scheme, as outlined in this January article on the same defendants. This "voter fraud" news arrived just in time to back Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's aggressive calls for voter ID laws.

Although they "don't have voter ID just yet," Hinds County, Miss. voters who registered to vote by mail or through a voter registration drives were alerted to bring proof of identification to the polls Tuesday. The county circuit court's office made this announcement on Election Day through Jackson, Miss. broadcast news channel, WLBT 3.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Election '08 n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Forget Iowa. How About That Antarctica Vote?
March 16, 2008
Forget Iowa. How About That Antarctica Vote?

LONDON They call themselves residents of the 51st State, which is a broad territory that covers all continents, counts around six million Americans and displays a passionate interest in the Democratic match-up between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Democrats Abroad, a branch of the Democratic Party with members in over 100 countries, is in the middle of the same race for delegates and heated debates over who should be the partys nominee as Democrats in the United States. The only difference is that their politicking may take place in a pub in Ireland or a Starbucks in Thailand.

And with 11 delegate votes that will be under its control at the partys convention, Democrats Abroad is more than a debating society. It is an increasingly vibrant wing of the Democratic Party, particularly as more Americans fan out across the globe yet seek to maintain their voice in the politics back home.


This year, the Democratic National Committee held its first ever Global Democratic Primary, where Democrats could vote in person, by mail, by fax and, unlike in the United States, over the Internet.

And vote they did: A total of 22,715 Democrats in 164 countries cast their ballots in a primary planned to coincide with the coast-to-coast nominating contests on Feb. 5.

Senator Obama, of Illinois, gained a lopsided victory; he took 66 percent of the total and gained three delegate votes, to the one and a half delegate votes for Senator Clinton, of New York. All told, 22 Democrats Abroad delegates will attend the partys national convention this summer in Denver, each representing a half-vote when superdelegates and others are included.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. For Democrats, Increased Fears of a Long Fight
For Democrats, increased fears of a long fight
New York Times

5:03 PM CDT, March 15, 2008


Lacking a clear route to the selection of a Democratic presidential nominee, the party's uncommitted superdelegates say they are growing increasingly concerned about the risks of a prolonged fight between Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and perplexed about how to resolve the conflict.

Interviews with dozens of undecided superdelegates the elected officials and party leaders who could hold the balance of power for the nominationfound them uncertain about who, if anyone, would step in to fill a leadership vacuum and help guide the contest to a conclusion that would not weaken the Democratic ticket in the general election.

While many superdelegates said they intended to keep their options open as the race continued to play out over the next three months, the interviews suggested that the playing field was tilting slightly toward Obama in one potentially vital respect. Many of them said that in deciding whom to support, they would adopt what Obama's campaign has advocated as the essential principle: reflecting the will of the voters.


While the situation remains fluid and could change as the voting plays out in Pennsylvania in April and in a series of primaries and caucuses scheduled to last into June, there seems to be intensifying support for the idea that superdelegates should follow the voters rather than for the approach being promoted by Clinton: that they should exercise their own judgment about who would make the best president. In one sign of this, members of Congress from states where Clinton won or seems likely to winincluding Brown in Ohio and Altmire in Pennsylvania -- made a point of saying they would not feel bound by how their states voted.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
9. World n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Iran: Over 60% Turnout in Election
Sunday, March 16, 2008

Over 60% turnout in election
Tehran Times Political Desk

TEHRAN - Over 25 million people, which is about 60 percent of all eligible voters, took part in Fridays parliamentary elections, Interior Minister Mostafa Purmohammadi said on Saturday.

So far, over 71 percent of the elected candidates are members of conservative groups, Purmohammadi told reporters at a press conference.

He went on to say that women accounted for about 48.68 percent of voters while over 51.32 percent of the ballots were cast by men, adding that 42 percent of voters were between 18 and 30 years old.

Because of the importance of the parliamentary election, ballots for the Assembly of Experts by-election will be counted after the results of the parliamentary election are announced, he said.

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