June 15, 2010

Paper, Please!

Posted in Election reform, Elections, ES&S, paper ballots, politics, Rush Holt, South Carolina primary, voter verified paper ballots, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , at 3:09 pm by bluebanshee

No, this isn’t about your choice at the supermarket checkstand. Nor is this post about the controversial ID law in AZ – that would be a whole different post. Instead this is about the recent Democratic Senate primary in South Carolina, where all the ingredients for an election disaster were present.

First, take two obscure candidates in a statewide race. Yes, one the of the candidates (Rawls) had previously run for office but he was not widely known across the Palmetto state – he at least ran something of a campaign – website, rallies, e-mails, mailings. But the other candidate, come-from-nowhere victor (Greene), mounted no discernible campaign and still cruised to victory with 60 per cent of the vote. How likely is a scenario where an unemployed vet who lives with his Dad and faces felony obscenity charges emerge as the election winner. No wonder lots of folks are scratching their heads and looking for answers.

Next ingredient in this election controversy: paperless touchscreen voting machines.  South Carolina uses the ES&S iVotronic DREs without a paper trail. Read the rest of this entry »

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June 7, 2009

SD ‘Glitch’ adds 5000 phantom votes

Posted in Elections, ES&S, paper ballots, Rush Holt, voting tagged , , , , at 3:45 pm by bluebanshee

An unexplained ‘glitch’ nearly doubled the reported vote count in a recent local election in Rapid City, SD. Election officials were quick to note that the error was caught and did not change election results.
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2009/06/04/news/local/doc4a26be929b134639509302.txt?show_comments=true#commentdiv

Comment: election officials always assure the voting public that every thing is OK after a glitch like this is found, metaphorically pat us on the head and tell us to ‘move along … nothing to see here.’ They expect us to ignore the signs that something went wrong that they can’t explain — or how they plan to prevent similar glitchy events in future elections. Read the rest of this entry »

December 11, 2007

Rush Holt to offer opt-in election reform bill for 2008

Posted in Elections, Hr 811, politics, Rush Holt, voting, voting machines tagged , , , at 6:16 am by bluebanshee

The election reform measure with broad support in the U.S. House, H.R. 811, appears to be stalled.

So Rep. Rush Holt, the lead sponsor for that bill, is planning to introduce yet another bill in the hope that states will have the ability to upgrade equipment and/or plan for election audits during the 2008 election cycle.

This attempt by Holt to get some forward movement in time for 2008 is good news for all who are worried about another presidential election riven by chaos, controversy and and a lack of confidence in election results by the American public. The news about the new Holt bill was published the National Tech Journal Daily and was reproduced with permission on the VoteTrustUSA site:
http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2682&Itemid=26

Holt’s new proposal would authorize federal reimbursement for states that decide they want to offer paper-based options to voters next fall, as well as conduct audits. His staff discussed the proposal with Democratic leaders this month, and he said in a recent telephone interview that he intends to formally introduce it soon. Read the rest of this entry »

December 4, 2007

Tell Congress: Voters Deserve Accessible, Verifiable Elections in 2008 and Beyond!

Posted in Elections, Hr 811, paper ballots, politics, Rush Holt, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , , , at 4:51 am by bluebanshee

Verified Voting has anew action alert for the Senate version of Rush Holt’s H.R. 811. S. 2295, introduced by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), contains the desirable paper ballot and audit provisions of the original “committee mark” version of H.R. 811 plus the welcome addition of a phase-out of DRE voting machines. Go to the Verified Voting website and use the tools you find there to to contact your Senators and urge them to sign on as co-sponsors for S. 2295.

http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/vevo/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=21882

Less than a year from now, an important national election will be held — but will our voting systems be prepared? Some states have already taken action to require voter-verified paper ballots and mandatory audits to check ballot tallies for accuracy. But what about the rest of the country? Read the rest of this entry »

November 5, 2007

A fraternal twin for H.R. 811

Posted in Elections, Hr 811, paper ballots, politics, Rush Holt, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , at 6:05 am by bluebanshee

A new, improved version of H.R. 811, The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007 has been introduced by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that would outlaw the use of DRE voting machines by 2012. The House bill has been in a kind of limbo awaiting action since it was voted out the House Administration committee in May.

In response to the actions of his Senate colleagues Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) issued a press release praising the introduction of S. 2295:

“Senators Nelson and Whitehouse deserve credit for recognizing the need to give Americans confidence that elections are accurate and verifiable. I look forward to working with them to pass this legislation in Congress and send it to the President for his signature. Congress shouldn’t wait to protect voters’ rights, ensure the accuracy of elections, and increase the confidence of our citizens in their electoral system,”

One cannot fairly describe S. 2295 as a clone of the House version introduced by Rep. Holt but more of a fraternal twin — same genetic heritage but a few differences worth noting. Warren Stewart of Verified Voting believes that there are “significant improvements” in the Senate bill. Among the changes are a new provision that would eliminate the use of DRE voting machines by 2012.

In light of the revelations of the Top to Bottom Review performed at the behest of California SOS Debra Bowen (which happened after Rep. Holt introduced his bill), it is good to see a solid thoughtful legislative response in the provisions of S.2295 to the problems that the California process uncovered.

The text of the bill can be found here:

http://www.votetrustusa.org/pdfs/Bills/Nelson110107.pdf

It is not yet available at Thomas.gov