Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that he had broken the record for restoring voting rights to convicted felons, calling it his “proudest achievement” as governor. McAuliffe (D) said he had individually restored rights to 156,221 Virginians, surpassing the previous record-holder by a nose. As governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011, Charlie Crist restored voting rights to 155,315 felons, according to figures that McAuliffe’s office obtained from Florida. Today Crist, who has evolved from Republican to Independent to Democrat, is a freshman member of Congress.
California elections officials want state lawmakers to place a $450 million voting-equipment borrowing measure on the June 2018 ballot, saying that many counties’ voting machines rely on outdated equipment that make them vulnerable to breakdowns and hacking. The bond measure in Assembly Bill 668 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales Fletcher, D-San Diego, would be more than double the size of the last voting machine borrowing proposal to go on the ballot.
Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson says Sedgwick County’s new voting machines leave less room for vote tampering than the old ones did, but still aren’t perfect. “It’s a step in the right direction,” said Clarkson, who has a doctorate in statistics and works as chief statistician at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research. “If we would audit (the machines), that would be another step in the right direction.” On the plus side, she said, the new machines do print paper ballots with the voters’ choices printed on them.
While many Americans are still digesting the ramifications of our most recent election, Charles Stewart III, professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is already looking towards 2020. Stewart is the founding Director of MIT’s Election Data and Science Lab: an initiative that strives to bring together data from American elections into one place so that researchers, academics, the press and policymakers can use the information as a resource to inform improvements of elections.
Millions of Georgia voters may have had their personal information compromised for the second time in as many years, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation Friday at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems involving an alleged data breach. As many as 7.5 million voter records may be involved, according to a top state official briefed on the information but not authorized to speak on the record. Neither federal officials nor university officials would confirm the scope of the investigation or how many records had potentially been accessed.
Gov. Scott Walker signaled support Wednesday for a bill that would only allow candidates to request a recount in state and local races if they trail the winner by a certain margin. The bill is a direct response to last year’s presidential recount that was triggered and paid for by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who received 1 percent of the vote.
New voting equipment will be available for the next statewide election in August 2018 after the Michigan Secretary of State announced the selection of three vendors Tuesday that local clerks can use for future elections. The pricetag will not be cheap. The state administrative board approved contracts Tuesday with the three vendors that will cost between $52 million and $82 million. The state has $30 million leftover from the federal Help America Vote Act funds that were provided to states for new equipment after the 2000 elections.
Work to redesign the process of how residents vote in Los Angeles County, the largest local election jurisdiction in the U.S., is entering a critical but transformational stage after eight years of research and conceptualization. The county’s Voting Systems Assessment Project (VSAP), which began in 2009 at Caltech essentially as a research project, has been in design for the past three years. But in October, officials signed an agreement with technology researcher and adviser Gartner Inc. to do a sourcing strategy and readiness assessment over a five-month period.
San Francisco is expected today to extend a voting machine contract for two years, even as The City plans to switch over to an open source voting system. An update on those open source voting plans are expected to be provided during the upcoming budget process before the Board of Supervisors later this year as the board is expected to approve the extension today.
Wisconsin’s presidential recount, which produced very few changes to the Election Night tally, will end up costing far less than the original $3.9 million estimate. With 69 of the 72 counties reporting, the actual cost is a little more than $1.8 million – about half the original estimate, according to data provided to FOX6 News by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Kenosha, Brown and Pierce counties have not yet reported, but Elections Administrator Mike Haas said he expects their final numbers this week.
Wisconsin’s first statewide presidential recount found no major problems with the state’s voting system, but it did reveal several errors affecting thousands of ballots that could spur local clerks to tighten procedures, according to a Wisconsin State Journal review of the results. The recount revealed a yawn-inducing shift in the presidential election results — President-elect Donald Trump extended his lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton by 131 votes and total votes increased by about 400 out of nearly 3 million cast.
All sides agreed Tuesday that state and local election officials did a generally good job on a statewide presidential recount that was halted by the courts on Wednesday after two and a half days of counting. But testimony before the Board of State Canvassers differed on whether the partial recount requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein served a useful purpose. Still, the board voted Tuesday 3-1 to formally reject Stein’s request for a recount.
Michigan’s elections bureau ordered an investigation Monday into substantial ballot discrepancies in a small portion of Detroit’s voting precincts, after the discovery of a polling place where 300 people voted but only 50 ballots were properly sealed in a container. Since learning of the issue last week during Michigan’s presidential recount, state officials have learned of similar “significant mismatch” problems at roughly 20 of Detroit’s 490 precincts, said Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.
Supporters of Green Party candidate Jill Stein and the statewide presidential recount she requested in Michigan aren’t thrilled with state and federal court rulings that shut the process down as of Thursday morning. The Green Party is expected to hold an “emergency rally” in front of the state Supreme Court building 2 p.m. Thursday at 925 W. Ottawa St. to protest a decision they consider unfair and potentially harmful to Michigan voters.
"After two days of ballot counting, conflicting court decisions and legal wranglings between frustrated lawyers, a federal judge on Wednesday halted the hand recount of 4.8 million ballots cast for president in Michigan, concluding there's no real evidence of foul play and there's no valid reason to continue the recount.
A Philadelphia judge has denied Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s request for a forensic audit of voting machines used in the city. Common Pleas Court Judge Abbe Fletman, in a written opinion issued Wednesday, said Stein “is mistaken” in her claim that the state Election Code gives her a right to the audit she requested. Stein had appealed a vote by the Philadelphia city commissioners last Thursday, denying her request for an audit.
Wisconsin’s presidential recount is 70% done but the effort has resulted in almost no change to President-elect Donald Trump’s winning margin in the state, election officials said. The Wisconsin Elections Commission said Democrat Hillary Clinton has gained 82 votes so far on Trump, a Republican who won the Nov. 8 election in the state by more than 22,000 votes.
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein said early Sunday she would "escalate" her statewide recount efforts in Pennsylvania through a federal lawsuit, after announcing she would drop it. Stein on Saturday cited a major cost placed on voters due to a state court ruling that says the voters requesting the recount must pay a $1 million bond. But shortly after midnight Sunday Stein tweeted about plans to continue on the recount bid."On Monday, I will escalate #Recount2016 in PA and file to demand a statewide recount on constitutional grounds. The people deserve answers," she wrote.
A few weeks after a primary election riddled with polling-day issues, Los Angeles County officials announced they’ve completed the first phase of a major planned overhaul of the county’s voting system. County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan envisions a future system in which, instead of being directed to designated polling stations on a single Tuesday, voters will be able to choose from hundreds of voting centers around the county during a 10-day window leading up to election day.
A new voting system prototype for Los Angeles County, which will replace a system based on technology from the 1960s, was unveiled Thursday in the city of Los Angeles. “Today’s event was received with great excitement,” said Brenda Duran, a spokeswoman with the Los Angeles County Voting Systems Assessment Project, established in 2009 to create the new voting system. “L.A. County’s core system that is used today has been in existence for almost 60 years.
Ever since Oregon approved voting exclusively by mail in 1998, Hasso Hering took comfort that a sealable “secrecy envelope” would guarantee his right to a private ballot. So when the 72-year-old from Benton County opened his ballot for the May primary, he was confused to see a non-sealable “secrecy sleeve” instead. Benton is among at least five Oregon counties, including Multnomah County, Marion County, Deschutes County and Washington County, to trade sealed envelopes for sleeves in hopes of speeding up ballot counts while still protecting voters’ privacy.
More than 7 million ballots have been counted across the state from last week’s primary election. But in California, counting votes takes a long time: as of Thursday, the Secretary of State’s office reported there are still about 1.4 million ballots remaining to be counted. In Los Angeles County, the latest numbers from the registrar’s office shows about 350,000 ballots still need to be counted. About 1.7 million ballots were cast and counted so far. The Secretary of State has about a month to process all ballots statewide.
San Francisco’s open source voting project is quickly becoming a reality. Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed budget includes $300,000 towards planning and development of an open source voting system that would allow the city to own and share the software. Dominion Voting Systems, formerly known as Sequoia Voting, has provided San Francisco’s voting technology for years, but its contract with the city and county expires at the end of the year, according to KQED News.
Officials are asking legislators how they want to hold future elections — by mail, by paper ballot or electronically — because that may make a difference of millions of dollars in replacing old voting machines. Mark Thomas, state elections director for Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, said a committee is now studying options for replacing machines statewide that are nearing the end of their lifespans. A recommendation is expected early next year. But Thomas asked the Government Operations Interim Committee for some guidance on Wednesday.
Thousands of Arizona service members were offered the chance to cast a ballot over the internet in Tuesday’s special election, but state and county officials say the threat of hackers makes widespread online voting unlikely anytime soon. Election officials sent ballots to more than 4,000 Arizonans stationed out-of-state or overseas ahead of the election, either by mail or through the state’s relatively new online process.
Portland computer science research and development firm Galois is taking aim at election security with its latest spin-off, Free & Fair. The new wholly-owned subsidiary is run by elections security researcher Joseph Kiniry, who two years ago illustrated how easy it is to hack vote-by-email systems, and is based on technology developed by Galois. To start, Free & Fair has three products:
Efforts to verify Dane County’s voting-machine output were still in their childhood for the 2015 elections. The Wisconsin Election Integrity Action Team conducted efficient, effective and routine citizens’ audits that met nationally accepted standards for transparency, but because we hadn’t yet found a professional statistician willing to work for free, they didn’t meet validity standards.
Lawmakers are starting the process to replace voting machines statewide that are near the end of their expected lives, and the next generation of voting could be a bit different. Instead of the current electronic touch-screen machines — which cost $30 million to buy statewide — the state is looking perhaps at using off-the-shelf scanners and programs that could count hand-marked ballots (which fit in nicely with by-mail voting). Or it might end up buying off-the-shelf tablets to allow electronic voting and printing of paper records.
Accessible. Accurate. Clean. Fair. Transparent. Integrity. These are key values that guide my decision-making as Colorado’s chief election official and that guided my selection of a new uniform voting system for our state. Colorado’s election equipment is at or near the end of its useful life. Operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft. National studies have warned about the major risks of failing to replace election equipment. Continuing to use a hodgepodge of inconsistent and incompatible systems across the state poses a grave risk that jeopardizes Colorado elections.
A Sedgwick County judge has ruled that a Wichita State University statistician won’t get access to paper tapes from voting machines to search for fraud or mistakes. Judge Tim Lahey denied a motion by Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman to dismiss the case brought by statistician Beth Clarkson. But that was a hollow victory for Clarkson. Her point in filing the lawsuit was to gain access to the tapes to check the accuracy of the voting machines, searching for an answer to statistical anomalies she has found in election results.
The state will debut new voting devices during the June primaries that will make it easier for voters with disabilities to cast secret ballot. The ExpressVote system has a video display screen and built-in ballot printer. It’s both audio and visual, allowing a voter to make selections by touching the screen or using a controller that has different-shaped colored buttons with Braille labels.
San Francisco, home of the tech startup, is trying to show its tech credentials by becoming the first city to use open source software for elections. The proposal to adopt a solution in time for the end of the current contract on January 1, 2017 reappeared at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday when Supervisor Scott Wiener called for a hearing on how the city is progressing with the plan to use standard hardware and open-source software to carry out future balloting.
Voting may be a right for everyone, but for those with vision impairment, casting a ballot privately can be a challenge. New Hampshire election officials are hoping to change that with the rollout of a new accessible voting system, called “one4all,” during Tuesday’s primary. “I believe we’re one of the first if not the first state to fully adapt tablet-based technology,” says David Morgan, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Association for the Blind. “It’s a tablet-based system, so there’s a keyboard. There’s a voice entry which is not enabled at this point.
Democratic Party officials in Iowa say they can’t do a recount of Monday’s razor-thin presidential caucus results between Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, even if they thought it was appropriate. And both candidates, in their debate later Thursday night, said it was no big deal. Just two-tenths of 1 percent separated Sanders and Clinton in the first nomination contest of the 2016 presidential campaign. The statewide caucus meetings included reports of chaos in precincts and coin flips to decide county delegates, raising questions about the final count’s accuracy .
Local political leaders said “nay” Wednesday to a request by the Pima County elections director to call off a hand count to verify the local results of the upcoming Arizona presidential preference election. Brad Nelson asked to cancel the tally because it would take place over Easter weekend. Bill Beard, the chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, blasted the attempt to call off the audit. emailing an evening press release. “I take the constitutional responsibility for over site (sic) of elections in Arizona very seriously,” he wrote in response to Nelson’s request.
Elections in the District have been handicapped by faulty voting machines, inadequate polling staff, inaccessible polling stations and delays in vote tallying. And yet it is unclear whether any of those problems will have been remedied by the time the District holds its next major election in six months. These are the concerns held by D.C. Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie and a handful of other close observers of the city’s election process who say the D.C.
This November in Austin, Texas, voters will pick a president during their regular trip to the grocery store. Maine residents who have never voted will register on Election Day. Every Colorado voter will get a ballot in the mail that they can mail or drop off anytime before the polls close. And some Alaskans will simply mark their ballots online. More and more, waiting in line at a neighborhood school or church to vote on a Tuesday in November is becoming archaic.
When Louisiana voters go to the polls to elect a governor in 2019 — if all goes to plan — they will cast their ballots on iPads. Secretary of State Tom Schedler said he’ll ask the incoming administration of Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards and the Legislature for money to roll out this new way of voting. The idea was first broached in 2014 by a presidential commission. A few counties, such as Denver and Los Angeles, already are experimenting with it, but Louisiana could become the first state to adopt the new technology. “It is a drastic change.
San Francisco could have an open-source voting system in place by the November 2019 election, under a plan approved earlier this month by the Elections Commission. The timeline could result in the emergence of San Francisco as the leader of the open-source voting movement in the United States. For supporters of open-source voting, the importance of that point can’t be underscored enough. “San Francisco could help write some U.S. democracy history with its leadership role,” said a Nov.
Coloradans achieved the important right to review voted ballots as open records through a costly legal battle culminating in a state court of appeals victory in 2011. And the legislature affirmed this critical citizen right to see voted ballots in a bill it passed the following year. But did the victory count for anything? Do citizens really possess the right to review the work of elected county clerks after elections are over? The answer seems to be they do if they’ve got a lot of money, and that’s unacceptable.
Internal corporate network of the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan can act in perspective as a platform to launch electronic voting system in the election process in the country. This was announced by the Director of the CEC Information Center, Rufat Gulmammadov at a briefing organized by the Information and Computing Center of Azerbaijan’s Communications and High Technologies Ministry on October 9. According to him, addressing the issues of legal regulation is an important component of this process.
A proposal for 10 local authorities to move to online voting at next year’s elections is seriously flawed, an IT expert says. Five councils have already signed up to the trial, with a further five, including Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton, yet to decide. Local body elections are currently carried out via postal voting. Local Government New Zealand, which proposed the trial, said online voting would future-proof elections from the eventual demise of postal services. President Lawrence Yule said an increasing number of activities were carried out safely online and t
Changes approved Friday for software currently used in the territory’s voting could help prevent some of the confusion seen during the 2014 general election or, according to some Joint Board of Elections members, help make the situation worse. Among other things, voters last year were concerned that Elections officials were hand-counting party ballots in an effort to make sure they were not spoiled.
Changes approved Friday for software currently used in the territory’s voting could help prevent some of the confusion seen during the 2014 general election or, according to some Joint Board of Elections members, help make the situation worse. Among other things, voters last year were concerned that Elections officials were hand-counting party ballots in an effort to make sure they were not spoiled.
Like most good stories, this one starts with a dog. During the 2014 New Hampshire Republican primary, a voter decided he didn’t like his options. So he wrote in the name of his recently deceased dog, snapped a pic of his ballot, and then posted it to social media. Andrew Langlois got a notice a few days later from the New Hampshire secretary of state saying he was being investigated for breaking a law — the ballot selfie law. Up until Tuesday, it was illegal in New Hampshire to take a photo of a ballot in the voting booth.
With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon and the ghosts of elections past still haunting it, you would think Florida would have an acute sense for ensuring its voting processes are working smoothly and efficiently. A recent report, though, indicates the state still is operating like a ‘74 Gremlin. The state auditor general, an independent officer hired by the Legislature, recently identified seven weaknesses with Florida’s voter registration system, a computerized database of voter information.
Rhode Island is modernizing its voting equipment. Gov. Gina Raimondo on Thursday signed legislation authorizing Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea to purchase upgraded voting equipment and software to replace current machines that are nearly two decades old. Raimondo says the new machines will make voting easier and will make sure every vote gets counted. Gorbea says she wants to modernize the equipment as part of a review of the entire elections process. She says voting is the most important right granted to citizens.
If abysmal election participation is any indication, voter experience in the United States desperately demands an overhaul. In 2014, turnout hovered around just 36 percent. Federal and local governments have been experimenting with ways that technology can streamline services, whether it’s obtaining business permits or healthcare. In Los Angeles County, the focus is on a pillar of democracy: voting. Dean Logan is the Los Angeles County Registrar and County Clerk and is leading the local call for a new approach to voting.
Wichita State University mathematician Beth Clarkson has seen enough odd patterns in some election returns that she thinks it’s time to check the accuracy of some Kansas voting machines. She’s finding out government officials don’t make such testing easy to do. When Clarkson initially decided to check the accuracy of voting machines, she thought the easy part would be getting the paper records produced by the machines, and the hard part would be conducting the audit. It’s turned out to be just the opposite.
Last year, a bipartisan commission established by President Obama declared that the U.S. faces an “impending crisis in voting technology.” After the 2000 Florida recount showed the world that the American presidency could be determined by hanging chads, Congress set aside $3.3 billion, most of it to help local election officials upgrade their voting machinery. Bureaucrats with relatively little experience buying advanced technology rushed to purchase machines developed to satisfy the sudden demand.
Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that revamps Wisconsin’s election recount fee structure. Currently recounts are free if the margin is less than 10 votes with fewer than 1,000 votes cast or less than half-a-percent in larger elections. Requesters pay $5 per ward if the margin is 10 votes in smaller elections or falls between half-a-percent and 2 percent in bigger contests. Requesters pay full costs if it’s greater than 2 percent.
Felons who’ve served their time and want their voting rights restored won’t have to pay outstanding court costs anymore as part of the deal, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday. The governor compared the long-standing requirement to a poll tax, as did the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, which had called for the change. The legal system will still require people to pay these fines, fees and restitution, McAuliffe said, but failure to do so won’t keep people from voting.
New voting system equipment for the state of Arkansas has been selected, but Mississippi County will likely not implement the new paper ballot system until November 2016. Secretary of State Mark Martin has chosen Election Systems & Software (ES&S) as the vendor for any state-purchased integrated voting system equipment going forward. This announcement comes after months of evaluation and analysis and input from state and county officials.
Los Angeles County is home to a burgeoning technology industry. It boasts a roster of high-profile companies including Hulu, Snapchat, and Tinder. As of 2013, it offered more high-tech jobs than other major markets in the country, including Silicon Valley and New York City. Come election time, however, its residents cast their votes by marking inkblots on ballots that resemble Scantron forms. This discrepancy hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, thanks to recent efforts, it’s gradually narrowing.
The state Board of Elections approved use of four additional devices for voting and counting ballots in South Dakota and adopted an assortment of small rule changes Thursday for the 2016 elections. The four types of machines are products from Elections Systems and Software, a company based in Omaha, Neb. They include a basic counting device, a high-speed tabulating device, the company’s version of an AutoMARK machine for persons with disabilities, and the company’s ExpressVote Universal Voting machine that also can be used by persons with disabilities.
When I cast my first ballot, I voted on a paper ballot for Daniel R. McLeod, who was elected attorney general and served for the next 24 years. At that time, voting machines in South Carolina were limited to several urban counties. As I recall, election security consisted of a padlocked plywood ballot box, the key to which was attached to a modest chain connected to the padlock. I did not give much thought to the mechanics of elections, or how the poll managers tabulated the election results from the paper ballots cast.
County Clerks offices around Kentucky will be busy Thursday morning as they re-tally the votes in not just one, but two Republican primary races. (In addition to recanvassing the 83-vote margin between gubernatorial hopefuls Matt Bevin and James Comer, Republican Richard Heath has asked for a recanvass of his 1,427 vote loss to Ryan Quarles for state agriculture commissioner.) But what will the County Clerks offices actually be doing on Thursday at 9:00 am when they recanvass these races? It is fairly simple, and it depends on the kind of vote counting system each county uses.
The state Election Commission is inviting county officials and state lawmakers to review potential replacements for South Carolina’s decade-old touchscreen voting machines. Spokesman Chris Whitmire says the agency is holding a voting system fair Wednesday that will include presentations from four companies that chose to participate. The agency hopes to replace, by 2017, the current system that’s been used statewide since January 2005. It consists of more than 12,500 voting machines split between 2,260 precincts.
State House lawmakers voted Wednesday to give county boards of elections an extra 20 months to replace their touch-screen voting machines with machines that produce paper ballots. Current state law requires all counties to complete the transition to paper ballots by Jan. 1, 2018. House Bill 373 extends that deadline to Sept. 1, 2019.
On April 14, the Virginia State Board of Elections voted to immediately decertify use of the AVS WinVote touch-screen Direct Recording Electronic voting machine. That means that the machine, which the Washington Post says was used by “dozens of local governments” in Virginia, can’t be used any more, though the commonwealth is holding primaries in just two months. The move comes in light of a report that shows just how shoddy and insecure voting machines can be.
On November 24, 2014 widely reported stories told of Sony Pictures being hacked, resulting in the loss of an incredible amount of intellectual property. Then last month, a massive cyberattack hacked Anthem Blue Cross, leading to a breach of over 11 million customers’ personal information. Now, with the end of the session less than four weeks away, legislators in Colorado—both Democrat and Republican—are working on a bill that could expand the use of internet voting, claiming that it is safe and secure.
In response to concerns about glitches with some voting machines in Virginia, election officials in Botetourt County will be counting votes by hand for the June 9 Republican primary. The decision to go old-school, made Friday by the county’s electoral board, comes amid growing concerns about WinVote touch-screen voting machines, which are used in about 20 percent of Virginia’s precincts, including those in Botetourt. A vote to decertify the machines statewide could be taken as early as next week at a Virginia Board of Elections meeting in Richmond.
A new bill filed in the state House of Representatives would delay some counties, including Burke, from having to buy new voting equipment. HB 373 would extend the time those counties would have to implement paper ballots. State Rep. Hugh Blackwell (R-86), who is a co-sponsor of the proposed bill, said there are 36 counties, including Burke, to which the bill would apply. Burke and the other 35 counties use direct record electronic voting machines, which create a paper receipt of a voter’s choices.
Looking into what went wrong when Virginia Beach supporters of Rep. Scott Rigell couldn’t get voting machines to register their choice last November, the state Department of Elections found problems with some touchscreen machines — but not the kind that frustrated Rigell’s backers. Instead, it found such serious problems with another, aging touchscreen device — AVS WinVote — that it thinks the State Board of Elections should consider stopping its use altogether.
A change in voting equipment across the state may be on the horizon, according to discussion at Friday’s meeting of the Mississippi County Election Commission. Tom Wiktorek, who was voted chairman of the commission Friday, said because of security concerns, discussion at the March 19 Arkansas County Election Commissions Associations conference centered around the possibility of returning to a paper ballot voting system.
Virginia is certainly no stranger to statewide recounts. It’s had two in the last ten years and the nail-biter senatorial race on November 4th almost increased that number to three. For a key swing state with a trend toward close elections, Virginia’s recount laws could become a deciding factor in national politics. The birth of Virginia’s current recount laws come from the 1978 senatorial race between former Virginia Attorney General Andrew P. Miller and former Virginia Senator John Warner. Senator John Warner won the seat by 0.39% of the total vote.
Voting machines and other election technology in the clerk’s office will be the subject of the first of three audits to be conducted soon by the Salt Lake County auditor. The County Council instructed Auditor Scott Tingley to begin the performance audit of the clerk’s election apparatus because the time is approaching when the existing system will have to be replaced — and the council hopes this review will shape future decisions about whether to replace current machines or switch to mail-in balloting or something else.
Aging voting machines have been a concern for election officials. Secretary of State Job Husted estimates it would cost $200 million to replace all the machines in the state, but the federal money that paid for them about a decade ago is gone. While there does not appear to be a crisis on the horizon, Assistant Public Affairs Editor Michelle Everhart notes that Husted expects isolated problems will occur. So what is the solution? Husted said punch-card ballots are the most cost-effective system for running elections, but those are illegal now.
Addressing the House and Governmental Affairs committee Wednesday, Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler sent out an S-O-S on the condition of the state’s stock of voting machines. “I just will tell you that it’s getting a little scary out there,” Schedler said, reminding lawmakers, “Voting machine equipment is all 15-20 years, plus.” Sulphur Rep. Mike Danahay, part of a contingent that’s been investigating new voting technology with Schedler, noted, “They’re having to scavenge parts off old machines to keep the current machines running.”
Maryland voters will return to casting ballots on paper starting with the presidential election in 2016, election officials said Thursday, adding it to the long list of states that use paper ballots or a blend of paper and digital formats. On Thursday, state lawmakers were given a sneak peek of the new paper voting machines that will be set up in polling centers for the 2016 election. Officials also briefed the legislators on lessons learned from the last election in November. The state has used digital voting machines for the past decade.
Legislators joined disability and voting advocates at a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 13 in Albany to call for an end to the use of lever voting machines in local elections. Although lever voting machines have been replaced in most elections in New York since the implementation of the Help America Vote Act in 2002, many are still in use in village, school district, and other local elections due to repeated extensions by the state Legislature.
Even with the technology available today, Maryland will go back to a paper-based voting system in 2016. The state Board of Public Works last month approved a $28.1 million contract to replace the current touch-screen voting system with machines that scan paper ballots, which can be marked by voters using a pencil or pen.
When you cast a ballot on Election Day, can you be sure your vote will count? Ohio is relying on “ancient” voting equipment to carry out that fundamental responsibility of democracy, says a Buckeye State native newly appointed to a federal commission that sets standards for voting devices. The iPhone was still two years in the future when most Ohio counties obtained their voting devices, said Matthew Masterson, a former top official with the Ohio secretary of state’s office who began work this week as one of four members of the federal Elections Assistance Commission.
A total of $28 million is included in the state budget to provide new voting machines to precincts across Virginia, so all polling places will have uniform, state-of-the-art equipment for the 2015 November elections, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday. On Election Day 2014, 49 Virginia localities reported voting equipment issues, and currently Virginia precincts are using a wide variety of machines that are often outdated and lack paper trails.
Supporters of a measure to label genetically modified food in Oregon filed a lawsuit Monday claiming 4,600 valid votes were rejected during the statewide recount that’s underway. Nine voters have asked a judge for a restraining order to stop certification of the recount results until those 4,600 votes are counted, said Keven Glenn, spokesman for the Yes on 92 campaign. ”We have said from the beginning of the recount that all valid votes should be counted, but unfortunately that is not happening currently,” said Paige Richardson, spokeswoman for the Yes on 92 campaign.
Assemblyman Kevin Mullin introduced legislation Monday to overhaul California's system for recounting votes in tightly contested statewide elections, claiming the June primary in the state controller's race highlighted flaws in the current format. The bill would require the state to pay for a full recount in any election involving a statewide office or ballot measure when the margin of victory is one tenth of 1 percent or less. The law presently allows candidates to recount the tallies of individual counties as long as their campaigns foot the bill.
The final vote tally on an Oregon ballot measure that would require labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients was so close that state officials are doing a recount, a spokesman for the state said on Tuesday. Final results show the Oregon measure losing by 812 votes out of a total of more than 1.5 million votes, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.
Election watchdog groups are worried about the role electronically submitted ballots in Alaska might play in the state’s two tight federal elections. Ballots returned online are vulnerable to cyberattacks and lack a proper paper trail, said government accountability advocate Common Cause and election oversight group Verified Voting. Alaska’s gubernatorial and Senate races have both dragged on long after Election Day, with opponents split by narrow margins.
The machines that will count ballots on election day Tuesday aren’t your grandparents’ voting machines. No punch cards. No levers to pull. Those went the way of the dinosaur after the 2000 election 14 years ago, when punch card voting resulted in the “hanging chad, dimpled chad” controversy in Florida, invalidated a couple million ballots, and delayed the outcome of the presidential election as recounts and courts sorted it all out. When the smoke cleared, Republican George W.
When auditing town expense accounts, would it make sense to exempt some departments? When inspecting trucks, would it make sense to exempt school buses? When inspecting restaurants, would it make sense to exempt diners? Any exemption is an opening for errors to go undetected and an opportunity for fraud. Equally it doesn’t make sense that the Connecticut’s post-election audit law exempts all votes on questions, election day registration, originally hand-counted ballots and absentee ballots from our post-election audit.
In a state that that takes pride in being on the technological cutting edge, most California voters will mark paper ballots with ink by Nov. 4, whether they vote at their polling place or by mail. The state’s reliance on paper would have seemed unlikely 15 years ago. California’s then-Secretary of State Bill Jones floated a radical idea in 1999: let people vote online. He convened task force to look into the possibility. “Here we are in the dot com boom,” said David Jefferson, a computer scientist who chaired the task force’s Technology Committee. “It’s an exciting thing.
The Baxter County Election Committee held an emergency meeting Thursday morning to discuss an error discovered after testing voting machines earlier this week. In its findings, the commission found paper ballots to be correct. However, after testing, touch screen voting machines for three precincts, 8-1, 6-2 and 6-3, left the state representative race for District 100 between Democrat Willa Mae Tilley and Republican Nelda Speaks off the ballot. The three precincts in question represent a total of 1,705 registered voters.
Maryland’s Board of Elections put on a demonstration last week of two potential voting systems that will have voters producing paper ballots again for the 2016 Presidential Primary Election. At the University of Baltimore, citizens could test drive the Everyone Counts and ES&S (Elections Systems & Software) universal-voting systems that will produce paper records readable by optical scanners in every precinct. A 2007 Maryland law required the State Board of Elections to have a paper record of each ballot to be used to efficiently for later audits or potential recounts.
Felons won’t let up on state lawmakers in Kentucky until they get the right to vote. After getting a powerful ally in U.S. Sen. Rand Paul this year, the supporters of the automatic restoration of voting rights for most felons hope the next session of the Kentucky General Assembly in January will give felons the same rights they have in most other states.
Pennsylvania officials crossed their fingers and hoped for no major problems in the 2006 election as voters in all 67 counties cast ballots electronically for the first time. Despite scattered glitches, that’s what they got — thanks largely to $150 million from the federal government that helped more than half the counties obtain new computerized machines that replaced lever and punch-card systems.
With essentially the press of a button, Leon County became one of the first counties in the nation to conduct an independent, automatic audit of election results. In the past, the Supervisor of Elections Office was required to audit a randomly selected precinct and race as part of a post-election, state-mandated audit. The manual audits would take days to complete using temporary workers and result in audits that were not statistically reliable, said Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho.
A federal judge in Baltimore ordered Maryland election officials to adopt an online absentee voting tool in time for this year’s general election, a move designed to make it easier for disabled voters to cast ballots. Opponents of the system — including computer security experts — have warned it could lead to voter fraud or privacy breaches. The tool, developed in house by the State Board of Elections, allows disabled people to receive their ballot over the internet and fill it out on a computer. The completed ballot must be printed and mailed to an elections board.
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has ordered a statewide recount of the votes cast in the August 5 Primary Election on Constitutional Amendment 1. The announcement was made August 26, according to Kander’s website.
New Mexico voters in the Nov. 4 general election will cast ballots using new voting machines, which have cost the state nearly $12 million over the past two years to purchase and set up. Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s chief of staff Ken Ortiz said county clerks in all 33 counties have received thorough training on the machines in recent months. “Our office is confident that there is an adequate plan in place for election night,” Ortiz told the Journal in an email.
Weeks after the tight finish in the June controller’s race highlighted major weaknesess in California’s recount law, legislation to create taxpayer-funded recounts in close contests has bogged down in partisan fighting and is dead for the year. Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo, blamed the failure of Assembly Bill 2194 on Republican members of the state Senate who, he said, have blocked efforts to waive Senate rules that prohibit committee hearings after Aug. 18.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A recount that did not include 110 missing ballots flipped the results in a Democratic primary for a state Senate seat in southwestern Wisconsin, the candidates said. The Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1qNAR5P ) reported Friday that the recount in Senate District 17 ended with Spring Green attorney Pat Bomhack ahead of Ernie Wittwer by 33 votes. Wittwer is a former state Department of Transportation budget director.
Election officials across Missouri will conduct a recount of the narrow passage of a constitutional amendment creating a right to farm, as opponents of the measure seek to reverse the results. The recount on Constitutional Amendment 1 is expected to begin in the coming days. The secretary of state on Monday was officially certifying the results of Missouri’s Aug. 5 primary elections. Those results show that voters approved the right-to-farm amendment by a margin of 2,490 votes out of nearly 1 million cast, a victory of one-quarter of a percentage point.
A new report issued today by the California Voter Foundation (CVF) finds that the top three reasons why some ballots go uncounted in three counties studied are that they are received too late, lack the voter’s signature, or the signature on the ballot envelope does not sufficiently compare to the one on file. “Casting a vote-by-mail ballot has become a popular option for California voters,” said Kim Alexander, CVF president and founder and the primary author of the new report, Improving California’s Vote-by-Mail Process: A Three-County Study.
Arapahoe County is piloting a vote-checking system this week that promises to raise the level of confidence in the accuracy of election results in Colorado. Elections officials gathered Wednesday at the county’s clerk and recorder office in Littleton to put the system — dubbed the risk-limiting audit — through the paces. The goal is to work out the bugs and have it ready for statewide rollout by election day 2017, as required by the state legislature. ”The way we do audits doesn’t present a good enough picture,” Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane said Wednesday.
Thou shall not be like Florida in 2000. To keep that commandment, state lawmakers want localities to purchase voting machines that leave a paper trail. However without state funds to back up the directive, local registrars must figure out how long they can chance using the old touch-screen machines while they find money to afford new ones. Botetourt County Registrar Phyllis Booze worries touch-screen voting equipment purchased following the Bush v. Gore debacle might not hold up to the demand of heavy voter turnout expected for the 2016 presidential contest.
This summer's hotly contested race for state controller exposed the unfairness of California's outdated election recount laws. Fortunately, one person who was paying attention was Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo. Mullin has just introduced a new bill, AB2194, to create a process for an automatic recount in California.
Opponents of Missouri's Right to Farm constitutional amendment were weighing a recount request Wednesday, a day after the measure appeared to pass by the slimmest of margins. The unofficial tally from Tuesday's election showed that with nearly 1 million votes cast, Amendment 1 carried by just over 2,500 votes, a margin of 0.2 percent. The measure was favored in most rural counties, but opposition in the St.
Maryland’s Board of Elections fell one vote short last year of the super-majority needed to inch the state toward online on-line voting, despite cyber experts’ warnings that such balloting could easily be hacked, with votes even switched to other candidates. Now, three months before this fall’s elections, the issue has morphed into a legal battle pitting the blind vs. the blind. It’s a fight with plenty of intrigue behind it and nationwide implications in the debate over whether cyber security is ready for electronic voting.
Until former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez called it off Friday, we were in the midst of what was likely to become the biggest election recount in California history. If anything good comes of this political tempest, it is to remind us how badly we need to reform our recount laws. The race to be the next state controller was excruciatingly tight. Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, is now set to face off against Board of Equalization member Betty Yee. Four hundred eighty-one votes separated Pérez and Yee, both Democrats.
With 4.8 million registered voters, 5,000 polling places and the need to provide voting material in 12 different languages across the country’s largest election jurisdiction, Los Angeles County has its hands full during election season. Which is why local election administrators are looking beyond repairing old systems to design a new one that meets the unique needs of its voters, according to Governing.
Imagine casting your vote on an everyday touch-screen tablet that prints out a paper copy of your ballot, as well as a take-home receipt you can use to verify it was counted. Such a system could be in place at Travis County polls as early as 2017. For the past three years, the county and a group of experts have been designing the specifications for new voting software that would rein in costs while providing what critics of electronic machines have long requested: a verifiable paper trail. “You can never win the argument over black box voting,” said Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir.
Election officials in Kern and Imperial counties continued hand recounts Monday of thousands of ballots in the state controller’s race, with a new survey by the secretary of state’s office suggesting that the recount could last well beyond the Nov. 4 election if it covers all of the 15 counties sought by former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. In election results certified Friday, Pérez finished 481 votes behind second-place finisher Betty Yee, out of more than 4 million votes cast. Both Democrats seek to take on first-place finisher Ashley Swearengin, the Republican mayor of Fresno.
A blind voter who had a “horrific” experience voting during the primary election has filed a new complaint against the state election board, adding to the list of grievances in a lawsuit initiated by the National Federation of the Blind in May. One of the original plaintiffs, Janice Toothman, is seeking an unspecified amount of damages for what she says was a bungled voting experience that left her without the ability to vote privately or independently. Toothman, 52, is deaf and blind with a limited ability to hear.
Assemblyman John A. Pérez called Sunday for a recount in the razor-close primary election for state controller, a first step in what could become an expensive and lengthy effort to salvage his campaign for one of California’s top financial posts. Pérez, a Los Angeles Democrat, trails Betty Yee, a Democratic member of the Board of Equalization from the Bay Area, by just 481 votes — or one hundredth of one percent of the more than 4 million ballots cast.
In 2010, California lawmakers approved legislation meant to reduce the incentive for expensive and contentious ballot recounts of the sort looming in the exceedingly close race for second place in the state controller’s primary. But the law went dormant at the end of last year and will have no bearing on the controller’s contest between Betty Yee and John A. Pérez. In a statement Tuesday, the Pérez campaign said it is conducting a review to “determine whether a recount is warranted.
They’ve been counting votes for three weeks in the race for California controller, and Democrat Betty Yee has gone from second place to third place, to fourth place and back to third. As of Tuesday afternoon, she was again clinging to second place, ahead of former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez by a mere 865 votes. Whoever survives gets a spot in the Nov. 4 runoff against Republican Ashley Swearengin.
Up until now, the state of California has been able to boast about one of the most liberal election “recount” statutes in the nation. It allows any voter or group of voters to request a post-election hand-count of any number of precincts in any race or ballot initiative in the state.
Iowa voters, beware: You could be disenfranchised by an absent postmark on your absentee ballot. Lawmakers and state elections officials are warning that a state law mandating postmarks on absentee ballots has caused the disqualification of dozens of potentially valid votes in recent elections, and could disqualify many more in high-profile statewide contests later this year. After months of debate, legislators have failed to find a solution to the problem and all but given up on fixing it before they adjourn the current session.
Davison County has something no other county in South Dakota has: a new up-to-date voting machine that is supposed to count ballots easier and quicker. But the new device didn’t quite do its job last night. It failed to read around 700 ballots, creating some headaches for the County Auditor. The new voter machine in Davison County is supposed to be a big improvement over the equipment it replaced, but during Tuesday night’s election it worked almost too well. ”The ballot marks on the back bled through to the front.
Lucas County elections officials are blaming a technical glitch for switching the party registrations of as many as 167 voters, including Democratic Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates and Republican Toledo Municipal Judge Tim Kuhlman, to the Green Party. Sean Nestor, a sharp-eyed local political analyst and candidate of the Green Party, checked out a filing on the Ohio Secretary of State‘s Web site and spotted that a disproportionate number of people pulled ballots in the May 6 for the Green Party, which espouses progressive, pro-environmental policies. Mr.
When it comes to elections, the pendulum just keeps swinging. With electronic voting equipment nearing the end of this life expectancy, Barton County Election Officer Donna Zimmerman is eyeing the future and sees a need for a change. This change could include a return to the old-school paper ballots. With such an evolution on the horizon, Zimmerman hosted a voting equipment demonstration in the Barton County Courthouse Thursday morning. Kansas county clerks and election officials joined her staff for the presentations.
New Jersey lawmakers have advanced legislation that could pave the way for soldiers and diplomats serving overseas to vote completely online. New Jerseyans serving in the military or foreign service are permitted to request and return mail-in ballots by fax or email, but the process isn’t completely private and can still be difficult because service members also must complete and mail ballots to their county boards of election. Legislation penned by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, D-4th of Washington, seeks to move the process exclusively online to a secure and private system.
Iowa Democrats are mulling a slate of ways to boost participation in their next presidential caucuses, including permitting Internet voting, a controversial method that would mark the first time in history the web is utilized to cast an official ballot preference for president. Hawkeye State Democrats are in the midst of surveying how to most effectively expand access to those who would like to participate in the unique caucus process, but cannot due to residency or military service overseas or age or physical restrictions that keep them in hospitals and nursing homes.
Those fancy voting machines with touch-pad screens will no longer be used in elections in Clay County. County Clerk Kayla Wang, also the county’s election officer, recommended that the county follow what other counties are doing and return to voting on a paper ballot, according to the meeting minutes. The recommendation is based on presentations commissioners and the Clerk;s Office attended on new voting equipment, which included two demonstrations over the last couple of months. Expense is part of the reason the county is returning to paper ballots.
D.C. elections officials offered an entirely new explanation Tuesday for the major vote-counting delays that plagued the city’s April 1 Democratic primary: The issue was not five mishandled electronic voting machines, but a broad computer network failure. The network failure was a mystery to elections officials as it unfolded, said Clifford D. Tatum, executive director of the Board of Elections.
The future of a system that would let voters download absentee ballots before mailing them in was cast into doubt Thursday when the State Board of Elections refused to move forward with part of the plan amid fears it would open the door to widespread fraud. The five-member panel declined to certify a system for marking the ballots on a computer screen despite assurances from its staff that the system was secure and ready to be used in this year’s June primary and November general elections. No formal tally was taken, but it was clear the approval was two votes short of the
The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections held an informational hearing on the subject of online voter registration on Tuesday. The hearing did not focus on a specific bill, but legislators and speakers discussed how an online voter registration system has been implemented in other states. Currently, 18 states offer online voter registration, and four other states have passed legislation allowing it.
After spending tens of millions of dollars in recent years on ineffective voting systems, California election officials are planning to experiment with an “open source” system that may prove to be the cure-all for secure, accessible balloting – or just another expensive failure. Most computer programs, such as the Microsoft Windows or Apple OS X operating systems, are “closed source” programs. That means the original computer code only can be examined by the program’s owners, in these cases Microsoft and Apple.
With just over a week left before election day, the Long Beach city clerk has discovered ballot irregularities that could affect more than half of the city’s voting precincts in one of the most closely watched local elections in years. Ballot tabulators failed to count votes marked on the second page of some ballots, said City Clerk Larry Herrera.
With a new system going live Monday, Georgia residents will now be able to go online and register to vote. “In 2012, I worked with legislative leaders to craft a law that would allow for online voter registration,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in a press release. “We did this because Georgians deserve to be able to register to vote or change their information with as much ease as possible.
A lengthy retabulation of the March 18 primary results in Champaign County uncovered major discrepancies in some unofficial vote totals reported on election night. In the uncontested race for 13th Congressional District Democratic Central Committeewoman, for example, Jayne Mazotti of Taylorville now has 5,284 votes — rather than the 450 votes with which she was credited on March 18. In another race — for 15th Congressional District Democratic Central Committeeman — Brandon Phelps had 517 votes, not the 574 votes he was credited with on election night. The badly errone
An Hidalgo County grand jury Thursday took a step toward investigating possible criminal tampering with voting machines in the recent Democratic primary, District Attorney Rene Guerra said. The grand jury signed an order to hire a forensic analyst to inspect the voting machines used during early voting in late February and Election Day on March 4. The order is “requesting that experts be hired to look at the machines and determine if they were properly functioning during the primary election,” Guerra said.
The Senate has endorsed legislation by Republican Senator Brian Nieves that could possibly change how Missouri voters cast their ballots. The legislation has been given first-round approval, but needs one more Senate vote before moving to the House. The law will require local election authorities to phase out the use of electronic voting machines. The touch screen method would be gone. The bill says when the current machines break, they can’t be repaired or replaced.
Tippecanoe County’s certification of its electronic poll books was held up last week because of two glitches. The laptop computers and other hardware arrived at the out-of-state testing lab on March 7, and it should have been an hourlong test to certify the e-poll book, Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey said last week before she received notification of the certification on March 12. Valerie Kroeger, communication director for the Secretary of State, said late last week that the initial test of Tippecanoe County’s equipment showed two problems. “When VSTOP (Votin
Chicagoans who vote in the March 18 Primary Election will be checked in electronically by election judges instead of through paper poll books at all 2,069 precincts. Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal announced the introduction of electronic poll books at a press conference Wednesday. “We are very excited about introducing a networked, digital ‘E Poll Book’ solution,” Neal said.
A Senate committee moved forward with a bill that would allow online voter registration in Florida and put new restrictions on drop-off locations for absentee ballots. The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee unanimously approved introducing the measure (SPB 7068), which will still have to return to the panel for another vote. Because of that, Democrats backed away from offering amendments that could still become flashpoints in the debate over the measure.
A southwest Indiana county is developing a new accountability system using “archaic” methods after a discovery that thousands of votes weren’t counted in the 2012 general election. Nearly 3,800 early votes cast in Warrick County during the 2012 general election went uncounted because of an error by an electronic voting machine technician.
A southwest Indiana county is developing a new accountability system using “archaic” methods after a discovery that thousands of votes weren’t counted in the 2012 general election. Nearly 3,800 early votes cast in Warrick County during the 2012 general election went uncounted because of an error by an electronic voting machine technician.
On Monday, the Connecticut Citizen Election Audit released its report on the November 2013 post-election audits. Coalition spokesperson Luther Weeks noted, “When compared with audits in 2011 and 2012 we found little difference, positive or negative, on the issues previously identified and the level of concerns affecting confidence.” The report concluded that the official audit results do not inspire confidence because of the continued: Lack of consistency, reliability, and transparency in the conduct of the audit, and discrepancies between machine counts and hand coun
Lawmakers on Wednesday shelved legislation that would have required the Oregon Secretary of State’s office to study the feasibility of Internet voting. Senate Bill 1515 came under intense criticism from opponents who cited the state’s questionable track record of information technology projects and the Feb. 4 hack of the Secretary of State’s website. The agency’s business and elections databases returned online last weekend after a nearly three-week outage. Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, sponsored the bill and voted for it when it passed the Senate on Feb. 20.
Legislation that would allow online voter registration in Iowa advanced in the state Senate Wednesday. The bill received preliminary backing in a Senate subcommittee was set to go to the full State Government Committee for approval. Under the proposal, the Iowa Secretary of State would oversee an online voter registration system that would be available by 2015. Sen. Jeff Danielson, D- Cedar Falls, said he wants to make registration more “customer-friendly,” while still ensuring that the system is secure.
Across much of the country, voters are casting ballots at voting machines with expired warranties or outdated components. For the next election, these machines will likely suffice, but these decade-old machines could fail in the next few years. The problem is two-fold: Many Ohio counties say they do not have the money to purchase replacements for their 2005-era machines, and anyway, there’s little incentive for them to update. Voting-machine technology hasn’t advanced much since the federal government last revised its certification standards — in 2005.
The state Bureau of Elections head says Flint’s inability to recount absentee ballots from the November election here was “unfortunate and disheartening” and says the bureau will work with Clerk Inez Brown and her staff to ensure that training and written staffing plans are completed before the next election. Sally Williams, director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections Election Liaison Division, made the comments in a four-page letter to Genesee County Clerk-Register John Gleason, who had asked the state in December to review why the county Board of Canvassers could not recount
Virginia localities may continue to use touch-screen voting machines at the polls beyond the 2014 election. A proposal that would have forced precincts to replace the so-called direct recording electronic machines with optical scan tabulators by November was defeated in the House Privileges and Elections Committee Friday after several panel members voiced concern with the financial burden of replacement. The measure, sponsored by Del. David I. Ramadan, R-Loudoun, would have created a fund to help localities cover half of the cost of new tabulators.
The following testimony was presented by Verified Voting President Pamela Smith to the New Hampshire House Election Law Committee on January 21, 2014.
No voting system is perfect. Nearly all elections in New Hampshire, as in most of the nation, are counted using electronic vote counting systems. Such systems have produced result-changing errors through problems with hardware, software and procedures. Error can also occur when compiling results. Even serious error can go undetected if results are not audited effectively.
With control of the Virginia Senate at stake, Republican Wayne Coleman will officially request a recount Thursday in his intensely close race against Democratic Del. Lynwood Lewis. The State Board of Elections last week certified Lewis (Accomack) as the winner of the contest to succeed Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the Senate by just nine votes out of more than 20,000 cast.
As the midterm elections loom closer and closer, voter registration becomes increasingly important. Online voter registration is a recent concept in Missouri after going into effect December 20th. It was successfully pushed by Secretary of State Jason Kander in an effort to boost turnout rates, but there are some that feel it can cause issues. Beth Walker, the Nodaway County clerk and election authority, feels the idea may skew the numbers of voter turnout. “So many people register… but they are not wanting to go to the polls,” Walker said.
No development in recent years has had a bigger impact on election administration than online voter registration.
Franklin County Clerk Debbie Door said a voting bill in the upcoming legislative session regarding paper ballots demonstrates the need for the county’s new election equipment. There has been a push in recent years to go to paper ballots, but finding the funding has been a problem, she said. With the county’s new machines, there will now be paper ballots for all the election results, Door said. The county commission recently purchased new election machines for $414,322 after Door said the equipment was needed.
A state senator wants to allow online voter registration and believes there will be bipartisan support for the legislation. Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, said he is crafting a bill for the 2014 Legislature, which begins Tuesday, to allow online voter registration. Blount said he doesn’t believe there will be widespread opposition because mail-in voter registration is allowed now.
The Democratic leader in the Iowa Senate plans to push for on-line voter registration in Iowa. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says young people, in particular, expect to be able to conduct most of their personal business on-line and legislators should take steps to allow eligible Iowans to register to vote online. “Twenty states have on-line registration and have no problems with that, so that’s one of the things I’d like to see,” Gronstal says.
The most extensive recount in modern Virginia political history will involve tens of thousands of people statewide to determine the state’s next attorney general. The recount begins Monday in Fairfax County and the cities of Alexandria and Chesapeake before moving to every jurisdiction in the state on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Minnehaha County commissioners Tuesday postponed deciding where residents will be allowed to vote in next year’s elections after expressing doubts about the effectiveness of electronic poll books. The Sioux Falls School District was first in the state to experiment with e-poll books and voting centers in 2011 with Secretary of State Jason Gant’s encouragement. Since then, several other local governments have used the system, which enables residents to vote at any of several voting sites throughout the jurisdiction.
In the upcoming recount of Virginia’s attorney general election results, Chesapeake’s 61,000 paper ballots must be tallied manually, the state Board of Elections has told city officials. The reason, according to Chesapeake General Registar William “Al” Spradlin, is that the city’s optical scanning equipment cannot segregate ballots that were undervoted – didn’t vote in all races – or overvoted – voted for too many candidates. Instructions from a three-judge panel overseeing the recount indicated those ballots must be singled out for examination, Spradlin said. Democra
Virginia elections officials say some voting equipment used in the November election doesn’t meet state requirements. State Board of Elections chairman Charles E. Judd said that there should be uniformity in the election process. “This vast diversity of equipment in the state is problematic,” Judd said. “We should have two kinds of equipment and not 10 or 12 kinds around the state.
The county terminated the contract with its election software consultants just six months before the next election. “It is now required in Indiana that electronic poll books have to be certified,” Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey said as she explained Monday to county commissioners why the contract needed to end. “Our current vendor, Votec, has determined they are not going to go through that certification process.
Lawyers for the losing Republican candidate in a tight race for Virginia attorney general filed a petition in Richmond Circuit Court on Wednesday for a recount of the votes. In results certified on Monday by the Virginia State Board of Elections, out of 2.2 million votes cast in the November 5 election, only 165 separated Republican Mark Obenshain from Democrat Mark Herring, who has declared victory. Overseeing the recount will be a three-judge panel consisting of the chief judge of the Richmond Circuit Court and two other judges named by the chief judge of the Virginia Su
Alexandria election officials will be going back to the future in the next few weeks, pouring over thousands of paper ballots by hand as part of a recount effort in the hotly contested race for attorney general.
All the votes from the November 5 election have been tabulated, and the Virginia attorney general race is as close as they come. Democrat Mark Herring holds a slim 164-vote lead over his Republican opponent, Mark Obenshain. The close count has teed up a likely recount for next month, and the Republican candidate has hinted at an unusual legal strategy: basing a lawsuit on Bush v. Gore, the controversial Supreme Court decision that ended the 2000 presidential election in George W.
The House voted 141-10 Wednesday to approve legislation authorizing early voting in presidential elections and online registration in Massachusetts, major changes that supporters claimed will broaden voter engagement. House Election Laws Committee Rep. James Murphy (D-Weymouth) said the panel had heard “loud and clear” the call for reforms to expand access to voting.
A state election audit revealed Thursday that Richland County officials failed to count 1,114 absentee ballots when finalizing results of the Nov. 5 city and county elections. Howard Jackson, county election director, said the electronic ballots came from a single voting machine used by absentee voters at the election office. This was the first countywide election since Richland County’s botched 2012 general election, considered one of the worst in state history.
The court-ordered recount of Nov.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today the Voting Systems Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) at Ball State University’s Bowen Center will begin testing electronic poll book systems commonly referred to as ePollBooks. Secretary Lawson approved the Bowen Center’s ePollBook testing standards, clearing the way for testing to begin. “The Secretary of State’s office has always been a leader in using technology to modernize the way we do business as a state,” said Secretary Lawson. “Today, we continue that tradition by modernizing the electoral process.
With Republican state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain holding the slimmest lead — less than 500 votes — over Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring to become attorney general, the race is likely headed for a recount. That means, it would be weeks before Virginians are certain who will be the state’s top lawyer. First, there is no such thing as an automatic recount. Under Virginia law, a loser in a tight race may request a recount within 10 days after the state Board of Elections certifies the results. That won’t happen until Nov.
Lowndes County supervisors plan to seek bids to buy new voting machine system that scans paper ballots. Supervisors on Monday approved a request by county purchasing clerk Terry Thompson to solicit bids, The Commercial Dispatch newspaper reported. The equipment would replace a TSX electronic voting system that has been used since 2005 to process votes digitally. Mississippi received federal funding in 2005 for TSX systems as well as maintenance and technical support. County circuit clerk Haley Salazar said in September that money for support and upkeep will not b
Last November, Richland County residents seeking to participate in local elections encountered an unanticipated hindrance at polling stations: stagnant lines of voters unable to cast their ballots because of malfunctioning voting machines. The lines reportedly were so outrageous that some residents had to wait upwards of seven hours to vote. Many voters grew impatient and left polling stations without submitting a ballot. Moreover, the disarray was hardly confined to election day.
Stanislaus County leaders have dismissed the balance owed for the recount of the Riverbank mayoral election of 2012. County officials entered an agreement last month with former mayor Virginia Madueño to dismiss a remaining balance of $3,250, with neither side admitting fault. After Madueño lost by 53 votes to Richard O’Brien last year, one of her supporters asked for the Dec. 10 recount, which was stopped after five hours because the results were not changing.
Asking for a recount of an election could get a whole lot more expensive under a bill passed by the state House of Representatives on Thursday. Currently, a candidate requesting a recount must pay $10 per precinct to get a recount underway.
A state appeals court on Monday upheld New Jersey’s use of electronic voting machines, but the judges expressed serious concerns about possible human error and ordered further review of the state’s safeguards. Monday’s ruling, which upheld a lower court decision, is the latest in a legal battle dating back to 2004 when state Assemblyman Reed Gusciora and others sued over the state’s use of the machines.
Dented, dinged and dated, New York’s battleship-gray lever voting machines have been hauled out of retirement because the city can’t seem to get the hang of electronic voting.Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for news and conversation. The board is using the lever machines for the coming primary elections because of their quicker turnaround. About 5,100 old machines, each weighing more than 800 pounds and made of 20,000 parts, have been lubricated, and the names of candidates from 2009 (Michael R.
Legislation proposed by a Republican lawmaker is raising some issues for groups that seek to promote voting rights in Wisconsin. Andrea Kaminski with the League of Women Voters says under terms of one of the bills from state Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berline), if a busy poll worker forgets to ask a voter to sign the poll book, another ballot could be “drawn down” in the case of a recount. “You could sign the poll book, do everything right, but nontheless, if a poll worker forgot to ask someone else to sign the poll book, your ballot could be removed,” Kaminski says.
The Michigan Board of State Canvassers will meet on Tuesday, August 27 to continue and complete the canvass of the Detroit primary. The resolution of the write-in votes will likely take a few days. The county is given 14 days to canvass and if they fail to complete the canvass, the canvass by operation of law is transferred to the Board of State Canvassers.
The winner of Detroit's recent nonpartisan mayoral primary is in doubt after Wayne County officials refused to certify a set of returns that omit about 20,000 write-in votes for the apparent winner - because they were not tallied properly by poll workers.
Election Integrity Action Team of the Wisconsin Grassroots Network issues report: Wisconsin's Post-Election Voting Machine Audit Practices.
Full text of the report: http://goo.gl/pF8zQ6
A Republican senator wants to make voter registration available online, a move he says will make voting more accessible to Ohioans while also saving money for boards of election across the Buckeye State. Sen. Frank LaRose introduced his plan Thursday.
Want to see every ballot cast in the last election with your own two eyes? The Humboldt County Registrar makes that possible in her home near the Oregon border. Humboldt Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich responded to controversy and an outcry from residents by creating a system for anyone to request a scanned version of the vote through the Humboldt County Elections Transparency Project. In 2008, to the dismay of Humboldt County voters, 197 votes (or 0.3 percent of the total vote) disappeared due to a software malfunction.
The ballot bar code lawsuit, White v.
Board of Elections members expressed their opposition Wednesday to a bill in the General Assembly that would require the use of paper ballots in all North Carolina elections, a move that could cost Henderson County half a million dollars to implement. “I’m just amazed by this,” said board member Bob Heltman. “I’m perplexed. (It) sounds foolish as hell to me.” “I don’t think we need to be stepping back in time,” agreed Chairman Tom Wilson, referring to the days when illegibly marked paper ballots had to be hand-examined by elections officials, slowing returns.
New voting machines will be in place for fall elections. The Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the purchase of a new stand alone central scanner, for counting absentee ballots, and 45 precinct vote scanners. The equipment will be purchased from Election Systems and Software at a cost of $322,750. The company demonstrated their latest equipment for the board June 18. Representatives of the company told the board the new equipment takes a lot of the stress away from poll workers, because it is so easy to use.
After winding up testimony from Town Clerk Christian Samora and hearing closing arguments from both sides Thursday, District Judge Martin Gonzales rendered a timely decision Friday morning on the March 19 Center recall election. Gonzales based his decision strictly on the ruling handed down in the 1964 Colorado Supreme Court decision Taylor v.
More than six months after North Dakotans voted in the November general election, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp lost 174 votes and Gov. Jack Dalrymple gained one. Vote tallies for all statewide races and local races in Walsh County were changed by the State Canvassing Board on Thursday after the federal court system realized in mid-February that Walsh County had 300 more votes cast than the number of voters. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said human error happens, and he thinks the canvassing board has never met this long after an election before.
New York City’s Board of Elections has complained for weeks that the electronic voting machines first used in 2010 cannot handle the city’s tight primary elections schedule. But one solution, endorsed by the board and under consideration in Albany, seems absurd. The board and the State Legislature are talking about scrapping the new machines and replacing them with the old metal clunkers, with their creaky levers, that went out of production more than 30 years ago. The issue arises because the primary elections are set for Sept. 10.
In with the old out with the new in Pittsylvania County. Paper ballots are coming back after voters complained about touch screen voting booths. Voters now color in an oval beside the name of a candidate instead of touching their choice on a screen. The ballot is fed into a machine that stores it and calculates the votes. It tells operators if the person voted correctly. The county voter registrar predicts it will cause less confusion.
Connecticut lawmakers are considering legislation to allow military voters to cast ballots over the Internet. The intention of this legislation is well-meaning — Connecticut does need to improve the voting process for military voters — but Internet voting is not the answer. Every day, headlines reveal just how vulnerable and insecure any online network really is, and how sophisticated, tenacious and skilled today’s attackers are. Just last week, we learned that the U.S.
A bill attempting to make the requirements for a candidate to seek a recount consistent throughout the state passed the House Tuesday and now goes to the Senate. Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley, the sponsor of HB85, said the current law allowing recounts only if a candidate loses by no more than one vote per precinct is “bad policy.” He said that the number of precincts in legislative districts, for example, varies from 16 to 56.
What happened last November in California’s Prop 37? Is it really possible that progressive California doesn’t want Genetically Engineered Foods to be labeled as such? According to the reported results of that election, that would seem to be the case. But did Californians really vote against such labeling? Unfortunately, thanks to a lack of overseeable public hand-counts on Election Night, and a gaping weakness in the state’s otherwise liberal “recount” law, we’re unlikely to ever know for certain.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ proposal to make it easier for members of the military to vote has been hailed by legislators of both parties and even given the honorific designation as Senate Bill 1 for this year’s legislative session. But the proposal drew opposition Wednesday from groups that say a key provision allowing electronic voting from overseas makes votes vulnerable to fraud.
Connecticut: Merrill's office selects precincts for post-primaries audit
By Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's office
Votes were miscounted, laws ignored
BY ELEANOR HARE
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thousands of votes in the 2010 general election were counted incorrectly in South Carolina. Not only were these votes counted incorrectly, the State Election Commission (SEC) is ignoring state law that requires a recount and federal law that requires that the entirety of the data files from an election be retained for 22 months.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
During the last legislative session, a Senate judiciary subcommittee heard testimony from the State Election Commission and its critics about problems in the 2010 elections. The committee suggested that the two sides work together to recommend improvements to the process.
by Michael Foley, Hudson Patch
By Robert Annis and Mary Beth Schneider, INDYSTAR.COM
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- Almost as soon as he was indicted on seven felony charges Thursday afternoon, pressure began mounting for Secretary of State Charlie White to step aside, with people in both parties -- including Gov. Mitch Daniels -- saying it's wrong for Indiana's top elections official to serve under the cloud of alleged voter fraud, theft and perjury.
White's immediate reaction: No.
by Jennifer Jacos, DesMoinesRegister.com
A proposed requirement that Iowans show a photo identification in order to vote would be expensive, would pinch voter turnout — and is unnecessary, several county election officials said Monday.
“We already have a very secure elections process. It doesn’t seem to make good sense in tough economic times to increase the costs and make it more difficult to vote,” said Tom Slockett, Johnson County’s 34-year elections chief. “It could be a chilling factor to people who aren’t real motivated to vote anyway.”
A citizens group including Dr. Eleanor Hare, board member, Dr. Duncan Buell, a member and consultant on voting technology issues, Mr. Chip Moore, a computer scientist from Boston and originally from Myrtle Beach, and Mr. Frank Heindel, a commodities trader from Charleston, have obtained by FOIA the election data from a number of counties in South Carolina. Moore and Buell have written programs to analyze the data and reconcile it with the official election results. Their reconciliation is proceeding on a county-by-county basis.
To read the full story: http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_11145349
Raises concerns with audit credibility and potential problems for November post-election audit
Hartford, Connecticut –Today, the Connecticut Citizen Election Audit Coalition released a report summarizing the observations of 46 citizen observers at 27 state-mandated post-election audits conducted by local officials following the August primary election. In its 3rd observation report, the Coalition noted continuing improvements in procedures and compliance, while finding additional areas of concern.
A test in Santa Fe County finds and fixes an error that could have cost Democrats thousands of votes
by Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet
An electronic voting machine test in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, on Friday revealed a programming error that, had it not been caught and corrected before the start of early voting next week, would not have counted hundreds -- or possibly thousands -- of votes for president and U.S. Senate in this Democratic stronghold.
by Catherine Dolinski, The Tampa Tribune
TALLAHASSEE — What's the use of paper ballots if no one looks at them? That is the question that election watchdogs continue to press, even as the state's election supervisors race to implement the 2007 election law requiring every Florida county to vote on paper ballots.
By SaveOurVotes.org Yesterday the Maryland General Assembly approved the Fiscal Year 2009 budget, including funding to move Maryland by 2010 to a less expensive, recountable voting system based on optically scanned paper ballots. This highly popular switch, favored by nearly two thirds of voters statewide, was enacted last year in matching bills sponsored by Sen. Edward Kasemeyer (D - Baltimore and Howard Counties) and Del.
New York Times
Voters nationwide have seen that electronic voting cannot be trusted, and New Jerseyans are the latest to learn this unfortunate lesson. It is now clear that the state’s machines produced suspicious results in the Feb. 5 presidential primary. Rather than working to put doubts to rest, the machines’ manufacturer is resisting a proper inquiry. New Jersey needs to quickly get to the bottom of the problem to ensure voters that in November their ballots will be counted accurately.
By Common Cause and Iowans for Voting Integrity Press Release - Iowans for Voting Integrity and Common Cause applauded the state House of Representatives' passage of Senate File 2347 Thursday night by a 92-6 vote. The bill requires all counties to use optical scan voting systems in the November election. Last week, the measure passed the Iowa Senate 47-1.
Independent analysis requested after lack of explanation from Sequoia
BY DIANE C. WALSHStar-Ledger Staff
New Jersey's county clerks remain troubled by the errors uncovered in the February presidential primary election, and yesterday a statewide association representing the clerks called for an independent study of the state's voting machines.
BY DIANE C. WALSH
As Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi tried to verify returns in this month's historic presidential primary, she kept coming up with errors for a handful of voting machines.
The numbers from the cartridges that print out vote tallies and the paper-tape backup within the machine didn't match. Rajoppi asked her colleagues in other counties to perform the same test, and similar problems were found in voting machines for Bergen, Gloucester, Middlesex and Ocean counties.
By Verified Voting Foundation Limited Scope Investigation Not Conclusive
Verified Voting Foundation concluded after reviewing a leaked copy of a draft GAO test report that the findings were not sufficient to exonerate the voting machines in determining what caused a massive undervote in the Florida District 13 contest of 2006.
By Edward B. Foley, The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is concerned that computers used to count ballots at precincts are vulnerable to hacking. In a major report released last Friday, she recommends instead counting ballots centrally at Ohio's 88 county boards of election.
Whatever the risk of hacking, however, it is a mistake to eliminate the counting of ballots at local precincts.
By Ohio Secretary of State Jenniefer Brunner MEdia Release
EVEREST Report of Findings (PDF)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s electronic voting systems have “critical security failures” which could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State, according to a review of the systems commissioned by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.
By John Wildermuth, The San Francisco Chronicle
December 2nd, 2007
Electronic voting systems used throughout California still aren't good enough to be trusted with the state's elections, Secretary of State Debra Bowen said Saturday.
By California Secretary of State Debra Bowen Press Release
In her continuing effort to ensure the security, accuracy, reliability and accessibility of California voting systems and the elections in which they are used, Secretary of State Debra Bowen today received a final report from the Post-Election Audit Standards Working Group, a group created in June to examine whether California’s post-election audit standards should be strengthened.
Researchers commissioned by California have found security issues in every electronic voting system they tested, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said today. PCWORLD
Robert McMillan, IDG News Service
Researchers commissioned by the State of California have found security issues in every electronic voting system they tested, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said Friday.
COALITION INTRODUCES GROUNDBREAKING ELECTION REFORM LEGISLATION
Bills seek to improve the administration of elections to ensure accuracy, security, inclusiveness and integrity
By BOB DRIEHAUS, New York Times
CINCINNATI, April 19 — An audit of last November’s general election in the Cleveland area has found that hundreds of votes were lost, that others were recorded twice and that software used to count the ballots was vulnerable to data problems.