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Voting problems: NJ, New York, Ohio, Maryland

Voting problems: New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Maryland
Voting problems: New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Maryland. Internet voting whack-a-mole contd
Posted: 02 Nov 2009 11:34 PM PST
A 90-Year-Old Won't Be Voting Today because of the ID nightmare she faced when moving to Virginia...Election/Voting problems reported in New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Maryland, just to mention a few...Montgomery County Ohio had problems with Diebold TSX - with some encoders, some calibration issues, printer jams and some machines taken out of service. Emergency paper ballots were provided in some cases......Police called to polling places in NC 23...King County's Ballot Scanners can't handle close Mayor's race?...Must You Vote?...

Alabama State Representative Jimmy Martin reintroduces military internet voting bill HB 30. Something for Alabama lawmakers to this news: Cyber attacks traced to N. Korea -The United States military cyber defense is one of the world's most robust yet the article says "Affected sites include those of the White House and the South’s presidential Blue House." Are we going to trust the election of our decision makers to the internet,or even more secure networks the Pentagon has?..
Virginia election officials take precautions to avoid spread of H1N1 - is voting more dangerous than going to the grocery store or shopping mall?...Take action, tell ES&S to open up their source code...Did you have problems voting? We'd like to hear from you....

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

AL: State may be on fast track to pass military voting bill (military internet voting) The Alabama military voting bill, House Bill 30, has been pre-filed by Rep. Jimmy Martin, D-Clanton, for the legislative session that begins in January. He sponsored the bill last year as well. The bill nearly passed during the last session, but an amendment added by Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, was largely seen as an attack on U.S. Rep. Artur Davis' gubernatorial campaign and the bill failed.

Chapman said the state bill should be on the fast track to pass this session because it passed both houses last year, before the amendment. But she added that the federal legislation was "icing on the cake because it allows us to implement what we've been hoping to implement all along," in regards to federal elections.

CA: San Ardo woman sentenced for voter registration fraud
November 2, 2009 Monterey County District Attorney Dean D Flippo announced today Irene Madrigal, 33 of San Ardo, pled guilty on Oct 30 to a violation of fraudulent voter registration.
or use this

CO: Summit County clerk & recorder resigns unexpectedly
Deputy clerk Kathleen Neel appointed to fill spot during emergency BOCC meeting
or use this

CT: Secretary of the State’s Letter To Senator Schumer RE: Premier, ES&S
November 2, 2009 Secretary of the State, Susan Bysiewicz and Deputy Secretary Lesley Mara have sent the following letter to Senator Schumer relative to the Premier acquisition by ES&S.

FL: Judge rules Fort Pierce election good to go; questions about Perona's qualifications to be decided Wednesday
November 2, 2009

IL: Ballot Order
Champaign County Clerk. We had our drawing today for the ballot order for the candidates who filed at 8am last Monday, the first day of filing. We draw numbers out of a hat that correspond to the names of the candidates in alphabetical order. The numbers were drawn in this order

IN: Voter ID still required, despite court ruling

MA: Phantom precinct shows city’s arcane voting laws
Made up of Harbor Islands, no one cast ballot in 15 years
...“This one little voting place is so out of whack that it is an indication that all the precincts in Boston are in need of adjustment,’’ said Avi Green, executive director of MassVOTE. “They all need to catch up with the last 100 years of demographics and history in our city.’’
Or use this

MD: Over 1,000 voters cast ballots in Gaithersburg election by 11 a.m.*
Voters have until 8 p.m. to vote; minor glitch reported at Potomac Oaks polling place
There was one glitch at the polling place at Potomac Oaks Condominiums. A scanning machine that tallies the ballots broke and a replacement was brought from City Hall, said City Attorney Lynn Board. She said the glitch did not delay voters.

MD: First Test for Election Cryptography (Scantegrity)
Novel voting technology will be used in a local government election.
November 02, 2009 The first government election to use a new cryptographic scheme that lets both voters and auditors check that votes were cast and recorded accurately will be held tomorrow in Takoma Park, MD
"I hate to be critical of something that is so well-intended and is likely to actually increase security, but I don't think this is likely to be deployable on a large scale," Bederson says.

MN: 'Not a whole lot of problems' in Minneapolis voting
November 3, 2009 ...Voters at the precinct seemed to like the new voting method but they admitted that they were hard-put to use all three rankings they were allowed.

"I never got to a third choice," said voter Dale Wiehoff. "I didn't know the candidates that well."

"I actually sort of like it," he said of his experience with ranked-choice voting. "I came in sort of skeptical."
One early election-related glitch: Because of an unspecified snafu at the U.S. Postal Service, tens of thousands of sample ballots prepared by the Minneapolis DFL never got delivered.
Party officials are concerned that the lack of sample ballots could hurt their candidates if voters are confused by the new ballot setup, "but nobody really knows what'll happen,"

MN: Minneapolis' first such vote -- and St. Paul's referendum on a similar system -- could set future of method in state.
November 2, 2009...Although the results should be fairly evident in lopsided races, it could be weeks before a victor is known in contests where nobody achieves the required number of votes on first choices. Then the more complicated hand sorting of second and third choices will be required to declare a winner. That's where rankings of candidates could be the most influential...

MN: St. Paul To Weigh 'Ranked Choice' Voting Option
If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of "first choice" votes, they win. If nobody reaches that number, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and ballots cast for them are instead counted using that voter's second choice.

MN: Anti-IRV group calls claims of Obama, DFL endorsement ‘evil’
11/2/09 St Paul.

MN: Minneapolis voters, what did you think of those newfangled ballots?
November 3, 2009

NC: Election day: Don't forget to vote
Initial election totals are low, but typical for off yearBy John Harbin Times-News November 3, 2009..."There were 500 votes cast for the Hendersonville election," Election Director Beverly Cunningham said. "It's hard to tell if those numbers are higher than the 2007 municipal election because we also had the county land transfer tax on the ballot (in 2007)."

Voters have so far been giving positive feedback on instant runoff voting.

"We will have people taking surveys at each polling place like we did in 2007," Cunningham said.


NJ: Voting-machine problems crop up in Essex, Somerset and Gloucester counties * (Sequoia Voting AVC Advantage touchscreen for all 3 counties)

As voters trickled into polling sites across the state this morning, a handful of voting machines in Essex, Somerset and Gloucester counties had to be replaced due to start-up problems, state officials said.

When poll workers turn the machines on and off, it can cause mechanical malfunctions -- and delay for voters while back-up machines on hand in every district are trucked over to the polling sites, said Susan Evans, a spokeswoman with the New Jersey Division of Elections.

NY: Police Called To NY-23 Polling Sites * (voter intimidation)
November 3, 2009...who informed me the police had been called to at least two polling sites in St. Lawrence County due to overzealous electioneering (O'Neill called it "voter intimidation") by Doug Hoffman supporters.

NY: Paper votes in Vernon during machine repairs * (Levers and Sequoia Voting Systems/Dominion ImageCast)
There were scattered voting machine problems around the county this morning as voters went to the polls to elect mostly county and local officials.
Republican Election Commissioner Pamela N. Mandryck said there was a problem at a Vernon polling location when none of the three voting machines would operate. While the problem was being fixed, voters used paper emergency ballots or a ballot marking device. All polling sites have one such machine to accommodate special needs of the handicapped.

Mandryck said also were reports of temporary glitches at some Utica polling locations and elsewhere one machine that had to be repaired when a lever broke off.

NY: Optical voting machines raise privacy issues with some Broome voters
But others find new system simpler *
Polling places experienced relatively few difficulties, although a maintenance person had to be called to reset and restart a machine at Davis College in Johnson City that broke down before the 6 a.m. start.

NY: Spa City voting goes smoothly despite minor hiccups *(voting switches misaligned)
November 3, 2009 (Lever and Sequoia Voting Systems/Dominion ImageCast)
Gerald Erchak, a voter in district 1, a downtown district west of Broadway which votes at the Wesley Community, said that he had gone to the polls specifically to support Stop Corruption candidate for sheriff, Jason Longton, but found that the rows of voting switches had become misaligned with the paper marking ballots. The result was that Erchak said he was unable to vote in the Mayor’s race.

“It was pretty aggravating,” said Erchak, who brought the problem to the attention of poll officials, who invalidated the vote he cast on the machine, and allowed him to vote on a paper ballot.

Still, Erchak said he was voter number 80, and wondered how many of the 79 voter ahead of him had been confused and possibly voted for the wrong candidate.

“In my opinion, this invalidates the entire election,” he said.

NY: Hoboken. Voters say challengers are harassing them * anecdotal report
Some voters came out of the Elks and said they were being essentially harassed by challengers inside, snatching their ballots, invading their personal space, and even blocking the voting machine. One man told me they were challengers for Glatt. I’ll be voting after the morning rush is complete…

NY: Dispatches from the Front: The Queens City Council race *anecdotal report
November 3rd..."Sorry sir, the voting machine is broken. You’ll have to fill out an affidavit ballot.” EXCEPT that affidavits are for people who assert their eligibility rather than having it proved by the presence of a signature in the registration book.

NY: Voting machine saga finally finished
November 2nd, 2009 SMITHVILLE FLATS – Voters pulled its lever for the presidential elections just last year, as they have for every government election since 1934, but the oldest voting machine in Chenango County will be used no more.

OH: Voting going smoothly, officials report *
(Premier/Diebold Election Solutions AccuVote-TSX)

Montgomery County ...After a few early morning glitches, he said as the day progressed there have been “just a few minor problems, all immediately resolved.”

An encoder used to activate the machine at Dayton 1C, located in the Wilkinson Plaza building at 126 W. Fifth St. didn’t work so they used paper ballots until they got a new encoder installed, Harsman said.
Though a few machines have been taken out of service or replaced today, he said it’s no problem.
Other than some sporadic paper jams which were quickly resolved, there have been no problems.

Llyn McCoy, Greene County Board of Elections deputy director, said they had minor calibration issues with voting machines this morning at a couple of polling places. The machines ran slow when a person touched it, but once the machines were calibrated correctly they worked better, she said. All the polling places opened on time, she said.

The Vandalia power outage earlier this morning that knocked out electrical power to about a third of the city did not stop voting because the machines have a battery backup that lasts five hours, Harsman said. The power outage only lasted about an hour, from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., according to a Vandalia police dispatcher.

VA: Election Protection ready for Nov. 3rd Elections
Election Protection ready for Nov. 3rd Elections, 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline staffed by trained volunteers to answer questions from Virginians seeking free, confidential and nonpartisan guidance on registration and voting

VA: Election Day updates: Voting enters final hour *(damp ballots and poll book issues)
In Bristol, a paper-ballot scanner didn’t work because the ballot was dampened with hand-sanitizer gel, she said. The ballot was put in a box to be counted later.
In Richmond, a city work crew starting digging in front of a polling place on West Grace Street but quickly shut down after being informed that the street needed to remain open for voters, said Registrar J. Kirk Showalter.
A computer glitch slowed the checking in of voters at the Chickahominy precinct in Hanover County from 6 a.m. to about 8:30 a.m.

Until the glitch was fixed, voters were checked in using paper rolls, said the precinct’s chief officer, Howard Ostergren. _
or use this

VA: 90-Year-Old Won't Be Voting Today *
It's Election Day today, but a 90-year-old Republican will not be voting after the ID nightmare she faced when moving to Virginia. As it turns out, her birth certificate did not match her married name (ya think?), but even though she also brought a driver's license, proof of her new residence, a Medicaid card and a bank card, she still had problems getting the state-issued ID she'd need to vote today in VA.

VA: Early morning snag leaves York voters outside *(polling place and voting machine)
YORK - —A problem with keys left York County officials processing votes outside first thing this morning at the Magruder Precinct
Sheriff's Office and fire department officials arrived, and finally someone from the county's General Services got to the site with keys that worked, Latham said.

He said approximately 25 voters were processed outside, using an emergency ballot box to secure their votes, and the start wasn't delayed by more than five minutes past 6 a.m.
York's only other problem so far has been an issue with an optical scanner at the Queenslake Precinct, which is located at Magruder Elementary School, Latham said. The machine was switched out for another one.,0,3656332.story

VA: Registration snag in Suffolk *(e-poll books wrong, paper poll books right_
Tuesday, 03 Nov 2009 SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) - It's Election Day and polling places across Hampton Roads and all over Virginia are busy with the hustle and bustle of people checking in to vote.

This morning, some voters in Suffolk hit a minor registration snag when they appeared in the electronic poll log as absentee voters.

Voting officials said a few voters had to visit the registrar's office to confirm they were not registered as absentee voters. Voting officials then started cross-checking the electronic log against the paper poll log, which had correct voter information according to voting officials.

VA: Races an early test of Obama influence * (poll book check in issue)
Nov 03, 2009. Polls opened at 6 a.m. EST and, unlike during last year's presidential election, lines haven't been long. A few voters in Suffolk in Virginia's South Side had registration problems when they appeared in the electronic poll log as absentee voters, but the problem was quickly corrected, deputy registrar Burdette Lawrence said.

VA: City gets new voting technology
November 2, 2009. Many Suffolk voters will notice a change when they visit the polls on Tuesday.

This year, there will be no more thick poll books with long lists of names of registered voters. Taking their place will be notebook computers with software that contains a database of the city’s registered voters.

VA: Virginia officials take precautions to avoid spread of H1N1
Nov 02, 2009 - Concerns about swine flu have added at least one more burden to already harried officials prepping for Election Day.

WA: King County's Ballot Scanners can't handle close Mayor's race?
A new King 5 Poll shows Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan are in a statistical dead heat ...Unfortunately for us and the candidates, a report in the 9/3/09 Queen Anne News, states that King County's brand new Diebold/Premier (now ES&S) ballot scanners fail to record all the votes. This is bad in and of itself, but it poses an even more significant problem when there are very close races, like the McGinn/Mallahan race and possibly a few others.

WA: In King County, 2009 will be the first general election without voting booths


Election day problems? Let us know:
email brad (at) and cc

Must You Vote?
...It is a fine thing to rally support for a person or a policy you esteem. It is reasonable to urge your neighbors to be informed about issues that affect your community. But it is irresponsible to encourage the unaware to put their ignorance into action so aimlessly
We are indeed an ignorant people. A 2008 survey found that only 18 percent of Americans could name all three of the following: the U.S. secretary of state, the British prime minister and the party that controls the U.S. House of Representatives.

Secretary of State Project - Who's next?
Sequoia Voting Systems have announced their first transparent, public source voting system that will be available for public download as early this month!
Tell ES&S to follow Sequoia's example and open up its source code to election officials and the public.

Fixing Bugs in the Ballot
Nov 2. Years after the controversial presidential election in 2000, election activists are still struggling to work the bugs out of balloting systems.

One Voting Machine Vendor?
The New York Times November 3, 2009 Letter
To the Editor: Re “Trust, Antitrust and Your Vote” (editorial, Oct. 29):
You are correct in your concerns about one company’s providing voting machines to 70 percent of the nation’s voting precincts.
...Jeffrey T. Zaino Vice President, Elections American Arbitration Association
New York, Oct. 29, 2009

John Fund on Potential Vote Fraud in New Jersey, and Media Matters on John Fund

English-only registrations creates barriers for voters
"General criticism aside, English-only policies are particularly troublesome when applied to voting," says Michael Zuckerman in a recent guest column to the Des Moines Register. "This is because voting is a fundamental right and one of the most important tools of political change. To that end, requiring voting materials to be only in English infringes upon the rights of Iowans to vote and to petition the government, both of which are protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution."

Tweet - ELB: Demos Webcast on National Popular Vote: See here...

Internet Voting? Read this and think twice about it:

Reports: Cyber attacks traced to N. Korea
The Associated Press Friday Oct 30, 2009 SEOUL, South Korea — The North Korean government was the source of high-profile cyber attacks in July that caused Web outages in South Korea and the United States, news reports said Friday.

The Federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, (Move)contains a pilot for internet voting.
The technology pilot program language included in the MOVE Act was set forth in Section 589. :

*10/22/09 RELEASE OF RESEARCH REPORT ON “CHINESE CYBER WARFARE & ESPIONAGE”: *The Commission has approved for public release a contracted report entitled: Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation.

The government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a decade into a sweeping military modernization program that has transformed its ability to fight high tech wars. [Read THE PDF REPORT ]

ExpressAdvocacy Tweet:Lobbyists terminating federal registrations at increased rate. Are new lobbying restrictions the cause?

electionlineWeekly--October 29, 2009 (link working now)
Nov 02, 2009 - Director's Note MOVE Act enacted


US and Afghanistan. 2009 elections demonstrate flaws in voting methods
Press Release – the Center for Range Voting – 2 November 2009
Of the three most-examined elections in the USA plus the Afghan Presidential election – i.e. the four most-important-for-the-US elections in 2009 – three clearly exhibited major flaws. The problems in the two US elections are traceable to the flawed voting method, "plurality," employed. In contrast, score voting (also called "range voting") and approval voting both would have behaved reasonably. But Instant Runoff Voting (IRV; lately called by its US advocates "ranked choice voting") still would have yielded clearly-undemocratic behavior.

Afghan presidential runoff scrapped
In an interesting round of developments, Abdullah Abdullah pulled out of the Afghan runoff election scheduled for this coming weekend. Because of the lack of a challenger in the runoff election, the Afghan Independent Election Commission declared Hamid Karzai the winner of the presidential election.

Brazil: Brazil To Let Hackers Try To Crack E-Voting Terminals
from the good-for-them dept
One thing that never made much sense was how vehemently the big e-voting manufacturers fought pretty much every single attempt to let outside computer security experts try hacking their machines.

Canada: Glitches delay final election results until Monday afternoon
Nov 2 2009 All the ballots cast in Montreal’s election have been counted, but snags in getting vote counts from polling stations to city hall continue to cause delays in making results public.

Philippines 691 centenarian voters found in Taguig list
11/03/2009 More At least 691 voters who are more than 100 years old, majority of them having the same birth dates, are still included in the 2007 voters’ list of Taguig, a former lawmaker bared on Tuesday.
...of the 691 centenarian voters, 624 were born in 1901. Of this, 621 were born on January 1.

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
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