News from other states

Mullin introduces bill to reform California’s ‘flawed’ recount laws

December 2, 2014

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.

Oregon: Vote tally too close, recount ordered on Oregon GMO labeling | Reuters

November 26, 2014

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.

Electronic ballots raise concerns in outstanding Alaska races

November 13, 2014

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.

Michigan: Voting machines reaching end of useful life | The Oakland Press

November 1, 2014

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.

Editorials: End Exemptions To Connecticut’s Post-Election Audits | Luther Weeks/CT News Junkie

October 16, 2014

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.

Arkansas: Election commission meeting reveals ballot error | Baxter Bulletin

October 10, 2014

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.

California: Paper is Still the Tech of Choice for California Elections | KQED

October 10, 2014

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.

Maryland: Back to the future voting: Elections board demonstrates new paper ballot | Maryland Reporter

September 24, 2014

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.

Pennsylvania: State to hear electronic voting challenge | Associated Press

September 12, 2014

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.

Kentucky: Felons getting closer to voting | Cincinnati Inquirer

September 15, 2014

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.

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