News from other states

US Virgin Islands: Joint Elections Board: Voting Machine Software Changes will Eliminate ‘Confusion’ Next Election | St. Croix Source

August 15, 2015

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.

Editorials: Florida elections imperiled by human error | Daily Commercial

August 13, 2015

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.

New Hampshire: Selfies — yes, selfies — just won a big political and legal victory | The Washington Post

August 14, 2015

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.

US Virgin Islands: Joint Elections Board: Voting Machine Software Changes will Eliminate ‘Confusion’ Next Election | St. Croix Source

August 15, 2015

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.

Rhode Island: State set to modernize its voting equipment | Associated Press

August 7, 2015

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.

California: Voting Needs A Serious Overhaul And Los Angeles Might Have The Solution | Co.Design

August 4, 2015

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.

California: In Los Angeles, Voting Is Getting the Silicon Valley Treatment | Bloomberg

July 17, 2015

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.

Kansas: Statistician battles government to determine whether vote count is flawed | Lawrence Journal World

July 20, 2015

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.

Wisconsin: Walker approves changes to recount fees | Associated Press

July 2, 2015

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.

Arkansas: New voting system to roll out in the fall | Blytheville Courier News

June 23, 2015

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.

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