News from other states

Voting Blogs: Virginia’s Odd Recount Law | State of Elections

March 25, 2015

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.

Utah: Election machines focus of first Salt Lake County audits | The Salt Lake Tribune

March 19, 2015

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.

Ohio: Future elections may return to paper | The Columbus Dispatch

March 16, 2015

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.

Louisiana: Sending Out an S-O-S for Voting Machines | WRKF

March 6, 2015

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: Paper ballots return to Maryland elections | The Washington Post

January 30, 2015

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.

New York: Disabled hope to retire lever voting machines for good | Legislative Gazete

January 26, 2015

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.

Maryland: State going back to paper voting in 2016 | Herald Mail Media

January 20, 2015

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.

Ohio: Are Ohio’s older voting machines a risk for 2016? | The Columbus Dispatch

January 16, 2015

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.

Virginia: Virginia getting new voting machines | The Gazette-Virginian

December 18, 2014

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.

Oregon: Lawsuit filed in GMO labeling recount | Statesman Journal

December 9, 2014

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.

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