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The Voting News for July 22 2011

The Voting News for July 22 2011

Estonia: Tallinn Calls in Expert to Denounce E-Voting | ERR

Yesterday, July 20, the City of Tallinn bolstered its drive to bar the nation's much-touted e-voting system from local elections, holding a press conference where prominent US computer scientist Barbara Simons said that such systems are inherently vulnerable.

The University of California, Berkeley PhD and former Association for Computing Machinery president spoke about risks such as malware, attacks on the server managing the election, insider threats and false websites.

Speaking in general terms, not about Estonia's system in particular, she said that the nature of e-voting makes it impossible to audit or recount the votes. She also warned of the possibility of software viruses or worms that could infect a computer, casting votes without the user's knowledge.

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Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation Supreme Court throws out election for chief of Oklahoma’s largest Indian tribe | The Washington Post

The Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court on Thursday threw out the results of a disputed election to determine the chief of Oklahoma’s largest Native American tribe following weeks of legal wrangling and multiple vote tallies that each came out with a different number.

The court’s ruling means a new election will be held in Tahlequah, although a date was not set by the five-justice court. At stake is the leadership of 300,000 Cherokees, one of the largest tribes in the U.S. Uncertainty about the accuracy of the results of the June 25 election and repeated flip-flopping in terms of the declared winner has eroded confidence among Cherokee voters.

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Virginia: Homeless Have Right to Cast a Ballot | NBC29

Casting a ballot may be the last thing on your mind if you're homeless but election officials say everyone's voice matters. Even if you don't have an address, you still have the right to vote here in Virginia.

Charlottesville City Councilor Kristin Szakos is taking voter registration to The Haven, where many didn't know they can cast a ballot. "I think that when people's lives are difficult, it's hard to think about things like civic participation," she said.

Sheri Iachetta is the city's voter registrar and she wants to see more homeless voters coming out to the polls. "The people who are homeless don't realize that they have the opportunity to register and vote. That's what we're realizing," she said.

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Virginia: Ruling: Virginia voter applications must be public | HamptonRoads.com

A federal judge has ruled that Virginia must make its voter registration applications available for public inspection. The opinion, issued Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, stems from a lawsuit filed by the national voting rights group, Project Vote, which sought access to voter applications of Norfolk State University students in the 2008 presidential election.

The state Attorney General's Office said Thursday it will ask the judge to stay the ruling while it prepares an appeal. Project Vote was seeking to investigate what it believed was an unusually high number of application rejections. It sued the head of Norfolk's Office of Elections and the state Board of Elections.

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New Jersey: Judge throws out Chesilhurst election challenge | Philly.com

A Camden County Superior Court judge threw out a lawsuit Wednesday that sought to overturn the results of Chesilhurst's June primary due to alleged voter fraud.

Judge Edward J. McBride Jr. ruled that the suit had been filed after the 10 days allowed for election challenges.

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South Carolina: Democrats want Lt. Governor Ken Ard recall vote | The Post and Courier

If Lt. Gov. Ken Ard won't go on his own, Democrats want to give voters the chance to kick him to the curb themselves. Three House Democratic members joined their party chairman, Dick Harpootlian, Thursday to announce a plan to push legislation that would allow voters to recall Ard's election.

The bill, which could become law in the upcoming special session scheduled for next week, would apply to all constitutional officers. If the bill passes, voters would be given the chance to amend the state constitution in November to allow future election recalls.

For an election recall to be put on the ballot, under the proposal, 15 percent of the voters who took part in the original election must sign a petition.

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Colorado: Colorado Secretary of State sued over election-complaints standard | The Denver Post

An Aspen election-integrity activist is suing Secretary of State Scott Gessler and his office, saying Colorado has set an overly restrictive standard for who may allege violations of federal election law.

"When an election irregularity occurs, it's important that anyone be able to complain and have their complaint fully investigated," Marilyn Marks said Wednesday. "If a very, very high hurdle is up, it will discourage complaints. It sends a message to the county clerks that 'You don't have to worry; we're not going to let anyone complain.' "

Marks filed a complaint in April alleging that violations of the federal Help America Vote Act occurred during the 2010 general election in Saguache County — an election so plagued with problems, it prompted a statewide grand jury investigation.

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West Virginia: City Council dismisses election challenge | The Charleston Gazette

Defeated mayoral candidate Janet "JT" Thompson's quest to overturn the May 17 city election came to an abrupt end Thursday when Charleston City Council dismissed her challenge on multiple grounds.

Council members wasted little time considering Thompson's June 3 Notice of Election Contest and later filings, especially since Thompson -- as promised -- skipped the court-like tribunal entirely.

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Blogs, Washington: Complying with minority languages requirements | From Our Corner

If you ever wonder why our state or a certain county provides ballots or elections material in some language besides English, it’s because we’re complying with a federal mandate resulting from the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act were added in 1975. These minority language mandates are found in Section 203 of the VRA. The way it works is that if at least 10,000 (or over 5 percent) of the voting-age citizens in a voting jurisdiction are members of a single language minority group and are limited-English proficient, that jurisdiction has to provide any registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, ballots and other elections-related info in that minority language.

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Thailand: Abhisit, Yingluck ask Red Shirts not to pressure Election Commission | People’s Daily Online

Thailand's outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Prime Minister in-waiting Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday asked the members of "Red Shirt" movement not to put pressure on the Election Commission (EC) to endorse all elected Pheu Thai MPs.

The caretaker premier Abhisit said Thursday morning that leaders of the Red Shirt, or the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), should stop putting pressure on the Election Commission (EC).

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Hungary: Hungarian socialists approve of dual citizenship, object to voting rights | Politics.hu

An important component in the renewal of the Socialist Party is reconsidering its nation policy, deputy head of the party Andras Balogh told a press conference on Thursday, adding that his party approved of ensuring easy citizenship access for ethnic Hungarians, but would not consider granting voting rights “an integral part” of the process.

Balog said that the government’s efforts to seek closer ties with Hungarians in neighbouring countries and re-unite the nation should also involve reducing differences within the country’s borders.

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India: Election Commission gets proposal to hold 2012 Uttar Pradesh polls in February | The Times of India

The possibility of early assembly election gains ground in UP with the Election Commission of India saying that it is not averse to examine the suggestions made by two political parties for holding the election in the month of February.

This was announced by chief election commissioner (CEC) SY Quraishi here on Thursday at a press conference held after a two-day interactive session by the commission with government functionaries and political representatives in connection with the poll-preparedness in the state. The Mayawati government is due to complete its tenure on May 13, 2012.

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Somalia: President Speaks at Puntland Election Commission Ceremony | Garowe Online

A special ceremony marking the swearing-in of members of the Puntland Election Commission (PEC) was held at the Puntland State University campus in the Puntland capital of Garowe on Sunday, 17 July 2011.

The event was attended by the President of Puntland State of Somalia, H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole), Vice President H.E. Abdisamad Ali Shire, Speaker of Parliament, H.E. Abdirashid Mohamed Hersi, among Cabinet ministers, Puntland parliamentarians, High Court judges, traditional elders (Issimo), religious scholars, business community, and civil society of Puntland.

President Farole’s 22-minute speech covered a range of topics, including the ongoing democratization process in Puntland and the role of PEC, the history of democratization in Puntland, the security situation and pardon for insurgents, insecurity in Mogadishu and south-central Somalia, the drought and the refugee exodus, and the expected Somalia National Consultation Conference.

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