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The Voting News for August 8 2011

The Voting News for August 8 2011

Mississippi: Hinds County Election Results Could Be Headed To Court | WAPT Jackson

The contentious Hinds County election could be certified by the Democratic party as official this Tuesday. But, the fight will not end there. This appears to be headed to a courtroom. Campaign workers from several camps were keeping close watch over the ballot review process Saturday in the basement of the Hinds County Courthouse.

The most bitter debate is between Tyrone Lewis who currently leads incumbent Malcolm McMillin for county sheriff. McMillin's camp said the election is wrought with too many questions at polling places throughout the city. The sheriff's son isn't the only one saying the election appears to be headed for a challenge.

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From the Verified Voting Blog: Let the MOVE Act have a chance to work before considering electronic return of ballots

Military and overseas voters saw improvements in their ability to vote in 2010, thanks to the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) passed in late 2009, according to a report to Congress last month by the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA). The report indicates that MOVE will improve things further as its provisions become better known and implemented.

The MOVE Act required states to send ballots to military and…

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Mississippi: Lewis likely new Hinds sheriff | The Clarion-Ledger

Tyrone Lewis is expected to be certified this week as the winner in the Hinds County sheriff's race, but questions remain about the election's validity, and many suspect the results will be challenged.

The county's Democratic Executive Committee completed its review of ballots Saturday, and it appears incumbent Sheriff Malcolm McMillin did not get enough votes to push the race into a runoff.

But with questions over voting machine numbers, found ballots and other alleged inconsistencies, McMillin's team isn't ready to give up the fight.

"Nobody here knows what the numbers are," McMillin's son, Andrew McMillin, said Saturday at the Hinds County Courthouse. "Nobody in here knows what the outcome of this election is today."

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Mississippi: Hinds County Election Officials Find Another Ballot Box | WAPT Jackson

Hinds County election officials were still counting votes Friday after discovering another box of absentee ballots.

The results for the Hinds County sheriff's Democratic primary are still unknown. Challenger Tyrone Lewis was making what sounded like an acceptance speech Tuesday night when 16 WAPT News discovered a discrepancy in the numbers.

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Florida: Debate Rages Over Florida’s Election Law Review | wmfe

Florida's new election law is stirring up more controversy, as state officials defend their decision to take the most contentious parts of the law to a federal court instead of to the U.S. Justice Department. The law is already in effect in most of Florida, but it needs federal approval before it's implemented statewide. The Florida Department of State says a court review will remove the possibility of "outside influence," but opponents say there may be other motives at work.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires any changes in Florida’s election laws to get "pre-clearance" from the federal government. That's because parts of the state have a history of suppressing minority voting.

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Kentucky: Grimes, Johnson Spar Over Homeless Voters | WFPL News

Speaking at this year’s Fancy Farm picnic, the candidates for secretary of state continued their debate about registering homeless people to vote in Kentucky.
Declaring that people without an address should not be allowed to vote, Republican nominee Bill Johnson said allowing them to register opens the door to possible voter fraud.

Last month, he filed an ethics complaint over a 2-page memorandum sent to county clerks by the secretary of state’s office telling local officials to approve voter applications that have “homeless” or “place to place” listed as an address.

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Editorials: Bill Gardner: The Ballot Steward | The Boston Globe

IN 2003, a University of New Hampshire poll asked respondents if they thought their vote was counted accurately. Compared to other states, New Hampshire polled exceptionally high. Elections are complex; there is no simple formula for capturing integrity in balloting rules. But if the recipe for the Granite State’s success were boiled down to two words, they would be “Bill Gardner."

For someone who has held elected office for 35 years, New Hampshire’s Secretary of State is remarkably uninterested in publicity. A Democrat, he was first elected in 1976 when the state House handed him a surprise victory over an old-guard Republican. Every two years since, however, legislatures led by both Republicans and Democrats have found at least one thing they agree on: Gardner’s unparalleled stewardship of the office.

So when Gardner voiced concerns about a voter identification law moving through the New Hampshire legislature, both sides of the aisle took note. Governor Lynch vetoed the bill, but with 27 states now requiring voters to show ID at the polls, this is an issue whose time has come. On its face, voter ID adds a level of integrity to the system. If ID is required to board a plane or cash a check, why not to verify one’s status on election day?

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New Hampshire: Voter ID veto gets priority in Legislature | NashuaTelegraph.com

House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, has yet to decide when the House of Representatives will take up the right-to-work veto of Gov. John Lynch. That’s looking more and more like it will happen later this fall, if not just before the 2012 session begins in January.

But O’Brien does want one veto override to come up much quicker than that: Lynch’s bid to strike down legislation requiring voters to show an ID at the polls. Senate President Peter Bragdon accommodated that Friday, setting Sept. 7 as the date the Senate will take up six vetoes, including the voter ID bill.

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South Carolina: Municipalities may stop running elections | GoUpstate.com

Spartanburg County municipalities are considering a move to give their election operations to the county. Last year, the state Legislature amended the law to require all election commissioners and staffers in every municipality to become certified through the State Election Commission.

Certification requires completion of seven courses costing $20 each per person. Municipalities also would have to pay for the trips to Columbia to take most of the courses. In addition to cost considerations, completing the certification courses and an annual continuing education course also require a tremendous time commitment, said Henry Laye, director of the Spartanburg County Office of Registrations and Elections.

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Blogs: Dirty Tricks in Wisconsin: Deceptive Absentee Ballot Mailers Appear to be Coordinated Hoaxes | The Brad Blog

No doubt by now you've heard of the deceptive absentee ballot applications mailed to Democrats in Wisconsin by David Koch's Americans for Prosperity, WI, as reported earlier this week by David Catanese at Politico.

As seen below, the mailer instructed recipients to return the application to the "Absentee Ballot Processing Center" by August 11th, even though the recall elections for 6 Republicans is next Tuesday, August 9th...

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Editorials: Their View: Proving the unprovable: Voter fraud in New Mexico | Las Cruces Sun-News

One of the most thoroughly documented histories of voter fraud was recently presented by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican. Over a span of 13 years (1997 - 2010), there were 221 instances of alleged voter fraud reported in Kansas. Of these, 30 individuals were prosecuted and seven were convicted. One was convicted of electioneering (advocating someone's election too near a polling place) while the other six were convicted of double voting. Comparing the conviction number with the number of eligible voters in Kansas, we arrive at a "fraud index" of ~ 0.00033 percent. Keep in mind that this is over a span of 13 years so the yearly index would be ~ 0.000025 percent. As one can readily see, this number is vanishingly small. The data used for his report was provided to the public by Kobach's office.

In response to this small-time epidemic, Kobach and the Republican-controlled legislature, passed a very restrictive voter-ID measure which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. Incidentally, Kobach also drafted Arizona's SB 1070 immigrant identification law.

While the Kansas fraud index is quite small, it mirrors data from other states. According to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, the accumulated rate of voter fraud in the states with documented cases is minuscule, with overall rates of 0.0003 percent in Missouri, 0.0002 percent in New Jersey and 0.000009 percent in New York.

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Oklahoma: Cherokee Councilors boycott special meeting | Native Times

Failing to make quorum, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council did not take action on potential amendments to the tribe’s election code at a special meeting Friday afternoon.

Twenty minutes before the meeting’s scheduled 3 p.m. start time, principal chief candidate and Tribal Council member Bill John Baker, along with councilors Tina Glory-Jordan of Hulbert, Okla., Chuck Hoskin Jr., of Vinita, Okla., Jodie Fishinghawk from Stilwell, Okla., and Curtis Snell from Rose, Okla., issued a statement through Baker’s campaign that they would not be attending the special council. The five called the meeting illegal due to the presence of proposed election law amendments on the agenda that had not been vetted by the council’s rules committee.

“The Tribal Council rules are crystal clear that an issue cannot be addressed by the council unless it has first been considered and passed out of a council committee, “ Baker said in the statement.

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California: Mental status of San Francisco’s ballot thief to be determined | San Francisco Examiner

Doctors are set to cast their votes today on whether a former San Francisco poll worker who stole dozens of ballots on Election Day is crazy. On the eve of his possible release from jail last month, 51-year-old Karl Bradfield Nicholas was thrown back into a cell after giving the judge the silent treatment.

The Gandhi-esque snub was the latest in a string of bizarre behavior that caused Superior Court Judge Anne Bouliane to order a psychiatric evaluation.

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Canada: Tabulated voting machines for British Columbia election | Coast Reporter

As the November municipal election comes closer, the Town of Gibsons has finalized its voting procedure, although the process has turned out to be different than originally thought.

… Mayor Barry Janyk has been opposed to Town staff tasked with running this year’s election, citing the mishap in ballot counting in the 2008 vote, resulting in a changed election result as well as a court challenge. At previous meetings, Janyk said he “does not want to see the last election mistakes happen again.”

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United Kingdom: Logica tests Scottish e-voting technology | ZDNet UK

Along with technology supplier Logica it held a dummy run to count 160,000 ballot papers in Perth on Friday. This was the latest stage in testing the system, which uses off-the-shelf software from Opt2Vote.

Aileen Campbell, the Scottish government minister for local government planning, said: "Compared to a manual count which would take at least two to three days, e-counting will be much faster and more transparent. This test is a crucial milestone in the project to make e-counting a reality in 2012."

Logica is providing the programme management, training services, printing services and more than 40 project and count centre managers for the election under a contract awarded in October 2010.

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