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October 16, 2010

Voting News: N Carolina Touchscreens flip votes. Will internet voting cause election debacle?

By Joyce McCloy

Chicago's voting machines mis-spelled Green Pty candidate's name as "Rich Whitey'..Touchscreens flip votes in New Hanover CO NC..Vote PA needs your help in fight for paper ballots...."Overseas and military voters have unprecedented options for requesting, receiving and casting their ballots in 2010." says Pres of Overseas Vote Foundation..Is it possible commit election fraud even without being in a voting booth? (Yes)..


Chicago's voting machines mis-spelled Green Pty candidate's name as "Rich Whitey'. The election board is reprogramming 4,200 machines...Stunned voters watched touchscreens flip their votes in New Hanover CO NC..Vote PA needs your help in fight for paper ballots...."Overseas and military voters have unprecedented options for requesting, receiving and casting their ballots in 2010." says Pres of Overseas Vote Foundation...Is it possible commit election fraud even without being in a voting booth? (Yes)...Will Online Voting Turn Into an Election Day Debacle?...

All this and more in today's voting news below...

CA: "Am I registered to vote?" Find out from your county. Oct. 18 is the voter registration deadline!

CA: Fraudulent voter registration switches rise in Sacramento*
Throughout the county, voters who signed petitions on the street pledging their support to some cause have had their party affiliation switched with fraudulent voter registration filings.

CA: Ranked Choice Voting: How does it work? (Alameda County)

CA: Lick Those Stamps, Alameda County Voters An estimated 78 cents in postage is needed to return the multiple ballot cards from local, state and federal races and measures, according to the county's registrar of voters.

CA: Election Day help is a click away
Election officials remind voters that Monday is the final day to register to vote in the general election. Download a registration form online , print and sign it. Voters may also contact their county election offices.
Voters who are not enrolled in the permanent vote-by-mail program have until Oct. 26 to request a vote-by-mail ballot. Obtain a form at your county election office or go to

CT: Connecticut follows MOVE Act, avoids flaws Others follow the money . But there is big money and momentum behind efforts in other states to exploit flaws in the act.
Hopefully, Internet Voting Will be banned before it costs an election. The recent Washington D.C. public test clearly demonstrated that the years of warnings by computer scientists, security experts, and advocates were fully justified

CT: Connecticut Election Commission Finds 'Insufficient Evidence' in Ann Coulter Voter Fraud Case But Ignored Key Evidence, Erred in Investigation State Elections Enforcement Commission determines it 'cannot make full and fair determination', but failed to look at documented facts and even Coulter's own admissions...

FL: Absentee ballots had wrong addresses* (Seminole County) In a batch of 300 or so, Ertel found six with wrong addresses, due to a computer glitch in Tallahassee.

"To make sure those six didn't go out to the wrong locations, we stopped the entire process, so we could make sure all the ballots would go to the right address," says Ertel. "What we have found is that all the supervisors of elections throughout the state have done pretty much the same thing."

FL: Computer glitch in Tallahassee could delay distribution of some
absentee ballots
* TALLAHASSEE -- If you changed your mailing address recently and just requested an absentee ballot, there's a small chance you might not get it quickly because of a glitch in the state's voter database.

The problem cropped up Monday when the state's elections division performed scheduled maintenance and found out that somehow old mailing addresses of voters had migrated into the new system.

FL: Voter Database Glitch Fixed*
Problems with the state's voter database are keeping dozens of absentee ballots from being mailed. The problems arose earlier this week after the state preformed routine maintenance on the database. As Whitney Ray tells us, the state says the problems have been fixed, but some supervisors of elections are still having doubts.
The problem began after scheduled maintenance created a glitch corrupting some voters address information. Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho says the system is still spotty.

FL: Absentee Ballots Delayed due to Voter Information Corruption*
click here
A glitch in the state's voter database forced Bay County to delay sending absentee ballots out this week.

FL: Seminole County sample ballots provide express voting
New barcode technology allows for faster check-in at early voting

Every voter in Seminole County received their sample ballots this week in the mail. Added to the sample ballot for the first time in Seminole County is a barcode, which allows for the pollworkers at the early voting sites to check the voters in much more quickly, resulting in lines moving at much faster speeds.

IL: 'Whitey' on machine ballots will be fixed* The Chicago elections board says the problem of a name misspelled as "Whitey" on 8,000 voting machines will be corrected.

The machines with the misspelled name of Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney will be fixed by Sunday but city elections board Chairman Langdon Neal said the error won't be corrected on the 5,000 ballots already cast, WGN-TV, Chicago, reported Friday.
Whitney's name is spelled correctly on all paper ballots.

IL: Mistake on some Chicago ballots lists candidate as "Rich Whitey'
click here
_9eDNUhJiCypHmX8TBprg8H Voters in some predominantly African-American Chicago neighborhoods will be faced with the prospect of electing a candidate listed as "Rich Whitey" thanks to a mistake made on electronic voting machines in nearly two dozen voting wards, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.
The glitch means Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney's name will be misspelled on voting machines in 23 wards, the report said.

IL: Election Board fixing 'Whitey' spelling error*,rich-whitney-spelling-error-election-101410.article
An embarrassed Chicago Election Board will spend the money and time to re-program and re-test 4,200 electronic voting machines to correct a spelling error that changed the last name of Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney to "Whitey."
But, since the error was made on machines scheduled to be delivered to nearly two dozen Chicago wards, half of them predominantly African-American, there was no choice but to spend the tens of thousands of dollars needed to make the change.
Delivery of 4,200 electronic voting machines originally scheduled for Monday will now be pushed back until Wednesday. After that, the same fix will be made on roughly 500 machines used in early voting.

IL: Voting Machine Mangles an Illinois Candidate's Name
An error on some electronic voting machines already in use in Illinois identifies Rich Whitney, the Green Party candidate for governor, as Rich Whitey.

IL: Brady threatens suit if ballot extension isn't granted
CHICAGO (WLS) - Illinois GOP Party Chairman Pat Brady is calling for a deadline extension for accepting overseas military ballots after it was found that some Illinois jurisdictions failed to mail absentee ballots on time.

IL: Justice Dept. Investigating IL Over Military Ballots The U.S. Justice Department is investigating allegations the state of Illinois failed to comply with a federal law requiring early mailing of ballots to military personnel overseas, a local radio station reported Thursday.

IN: Neb. election firm reaches deal over trade secrets
Documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Omaha show U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Thalken canceled a January trial after being notified of the deal with James Dalton of Granger, Ind.

ES&S attorney Michael Cox declined to give details of the settlement. A message left for Dalton's attorney wasn't immediately returned.

The Omaha company said in its lawsuit that Dalton and his Indiana firm were using copyrighted software to help state and local governments manage elections.

KS: Voting rights for the mentally ill in Kansas
Supporters of an amendment on the ballot which secures the right to vote for thousands of Kansans worry an unfair stigma may keep it from passing in November

NC: Instant Run-off Voting to be used statewide for first time in state history
click here
1711936 /ENC.Regional.News/Instant.Run-

NC: Instant runoff voting: Unconstitutional? (N-R Editorial Dept)
An email I received this afternoon:

Per our conversation earlier today, I am attaching a copy of the paper that Professor Joseph and I currently have under review at several law reviews concerning the constitutionality of instant runoff voting in North Carolina.

NC: Some experience early voting woes* NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC
Some people complained that when they voted for certain candidates the electronic voting machines would pick another candidate.

"I was going through county commissioners and made my selection, it went from Republican candidates to Democrat. It did it three different times," said Dean Lambeth, Mayor of Kure Beach.

According to Lambeth, he experienced the same issue when he voted for the congressional race.

"We talked with a technician and said it could have been an interruption in power or it could have been a calibration that wasn't saved," said Bonnie Williams, Board of Elections Supervisor.

NC: Touchscreen voting machine problems: Select Pantano, you get McIntyre!*
On the first day of voting in New Hanover county there was a problem with the screen calibration on some voting machines. When someone touched the screen for Pantano, it would check the box above (McIntyre's). It happened in other races down ticket too, because the Republican candidate is second on the ballot and the touchscreen would mistakenly record the vote in the box above where you touched. The machines in New Hanover were re-calibrated and the issue seems to have been solved.

NV: Foreclosure Increase Triggering Voter Concerns Foreclosed folks are losing their registered address, and missing their sample ballots. Miller says "They think that because they didn't get their sample ballot they're not allowed to cast ballots, and that's just not the case. As long as they still live in Washoe County and voted in 2008, they can go to their old precinct and be able to cast a ballot.

OH: Absentee ballot patterns in Cuyahoga; no party advantage but slow NP returns I've created a quick spreadsheet from the early voting turnout results posted at Cuyahoga County, OH (hat tip to Michael McDonald).

PA: Marybeth Kuznik's Birthday Wish (Keep VotePA, a verified voting org going) "My birthday is on October 17th and I want to help fund VotePA and its mission for voting rights and fair, accurate elections; moving us closer to the goal of protecting every vote in Pennsylvania with an auditable, recountable, voter-verified paper ballot."

SC: Voter Registration office scrambles to process nearly 500 requests that arrived in single envelope Marshall said his office deals regularly with voters wondering when their applications or ballots will arrive. Many have sent their applications through a third party, such as South Carolina Victory 2010. Although perfectly legal, Marshall does not recommend the practice because of the potential for delays and identity theft that he cannot control.

TN: FBI hotline to handle election complaints The FBI plans to set up a hotline to hear citizen complaints of fraud or other problems in the Nov. 2 polls, a step that comes as Shelby County election officials are trying to rebuild trust following a partisan voting dispute.
An inquiry by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is ongoing.
[How does this help if electronic voting machines lose or switch votes or if poll books have wrong voter registration data?]

TX: Early Voting by mail, do it right

US Virgin Islands: Senators grill Elections chief on paper ballot issue

VA: F.C. Council Votes to Rescind Move of Local Elections from May to November The back to May smacks of elitism, Jim Crow and is "inconsistent with the kind of City we want. The City deserves better.

WV: Greenbrier County tries e-poll books
LEWISBURG -- Greenbrier is one of 10 counties in the state selected for a pilot program to try out electronic poll books, according to Cheryl Yates, who works in the county clerk's election office.

"Instead of printing out the poll books in paper form, we'll have miniature laptops -- netbooks -- with all the information on them,"

Internet Voting Watch

Will Online Voting Turn Into an Election Day Debacle?
Chastened by the exercise, Washington is canceling plans to let voters return ballots digitally. But some states are undeterred by the red flags. "The system we have is totally different. You can't compare apples and oranges," says West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.
"We've been working to build enfranchisement and increase the ballot count for years. If we thought this was the answer, we'd be doing it. But it's being built on quicksand right now," says Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, CEO of the Overseas Vote Foundation. "Our ballots are precious cargo ... [The Internet] is the last thing on earth designed to handle private info that should not be tampered with. It's like writing a contract in pencil."

DC: D.C. Not Ready for Internet Voting
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A University of Michigan professor who hacked a prototype D.C. elections voting website with his students and had it play the school's fight says that it will be decades, if ever, before voting can be done safely over the Internet.

Florida: SG relives voting discrepancies*
When some USF students attempted to cast their online votes during the Student Government (SG) Senate midterm election this week, they received an error message that prevented them from doing so.
The election, which occurred Tuesday and Wednesday and aims to fill the Senate's 27 vacant seats, allowed students to vote from any computer.
Graduate adviser for SG Advising, Training and Operations Alyssa Thomas said she doesn't know what caused the problem.
Students' U-numbers were distributed to Votenet, the online voting software that is also used in the midterm election, and the company found that 255 were duplicates, causing a delay in the general run-off election between current SG President Cesar Hernandez and his opponent, Andrew Cohen, who was SG director of University and Community Affairs.

Will Older Voters Embrace Online Voting? Studies Say Yes ...The AARP thinks so. In a recent studies by the AARP and the Pew Internet and American Life survey, researchers reported that more than 60% of respondents age 50 and older are comfortable online.
[this appears to be a vendor's write up which reads into a study findings that aren't there]


Roger Johnston on Security Vulnerabilities of Electronic Voting(Video)
Is it possible commit voter fraud even without being in a voting booth? One
researcher at the Argonne National Laboratory says it is -- and his team has
Roger G. Johnston of the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory gave an interview for WTTW in Chicago about vulnerabilities in electronic voting and procedures to mitigate those vulnerabilities

Overseas Vote Foundation OVF talks to #Fox RE #MOVE Act. Transition year or conspiracy against #military voters? Susan makes our case. Pls. Share!

Justice Department moves to counter overseas absentee ballot lag While some election authorities have had trouble implementing the MOVE Act, most of the 10,000 American election jurisdictions have successfully implemented the new mandates, ushering in unprecedented reform for overseas and military voters, according to Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, president of the Overseas Vote Foundation.
There are also express mail options for military voters, as well as emergency back-up ballots available, she said.

Election Tips from FVAP for October 15, 2010 Your Gateway to State Election Resources. It is time to mail back your voted ballot! If you haven't received your ballot, ACT NOW.

DOJ MOVEs on litigation but could go further

Protect Our Elections and Other groups File Complaint With DOJ
Watchdog Groups Ask Department of Justice to Use Criminal Statutes to Stop Crossroads GPS and American Future Fund From Violating Campaign Finance Laws

DOJ Has Statutory Obligation To Step In And Enjoin Use Of Tax Exempt Non Profits To Launder Secret Money And Manipulate Elections

"Show Me the Donors: What's the point of disclosing campaign donations? Let's review."

"Voters Say They Want To Know Who Funds Ads": Part 2 of the NPR story on secret money. See also Analysis: Lit...

Should Cops & Teachers Be Able to Vote?

Public Employees and Elections: A Conflict of Interest?
In nearly all private and public endeavors, there are occasions in which it's only fair and correct that a person or group be barred from participating because that party could directly and unevenly benefit from decisions made and policies adopted.


India: Paper trail is a must for EVMs GVL Narasimha Rao, Political Analyst
Our EVMs function as "black boxes' and have rendered the entire voting process non-transparent, unverifiable and unauditable. Consequently, this has led to nagging doubts among voters and parties about their reliability.

India: Govt official files for anticipatory bail over EVM theft
A senior state government official has applied for anticipatory bail in connection with the theft of an EVM from the Mumbai collector's office.
Bhagwat's application says the MRA Marg police summoned him on October4 and asked him about the smuggling of the machine from the collector's office before it reached Hyderabad-based researcher Hari Prasad, who was later arrested

New Zealand: Confusing voting systems turn off voters: Massey
New Zealanders aren't voting in local body elections because they're turned off by the "mishmash" of voting systems, a local government specialist says.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.Archives here at
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