May 9, 2011

Why Return of Voted Ballots Should Not be Permitted via Email

Posted in Election reform, Elections, internet voting, Uncategorized, voting tagged , , , , at 7:29 pm by bluebanshee

Email voting?  Why not, one might ask?!  A lot of folks use the false analogy of  online banking to argue that email voting should be allowed for the convenience and accessibility of voters.  Not a moment of thought is given to the security risks involved.  So I’ve done a brief Fact Sheet summarizing the major arguments against returning voted ballots via email.  I’m OK with distribution of blank ballots via email but not the return of voted ballots by the same method.

Oregon, like many other states, considering authorizing email return of ballots — the bill is HB 3074 and this post is directed toward that proposed law, but could effectively be applied to a host of other states which are considering similar legislation (or perhaps need to review already adopted laws in light of these arguments). Read the rest of this entry »

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March 21, 2011

Dear Senator: NPV is an Oxymoron

Posted in Election reform, Elections, politics, Uncategorized, voting tagged , , , at 10:48 am by bluebanshee

I recently wrote to my state senator about NPV.

Thank you for responding to my previous communication. I hope you will reconsider your position and withdraw your support of what has been called the “Blue State Suicide Pact”, aka National Popular Vote proposal.

I am no fan of the Electoral College as it currently operates but I oppose the current NPV proposal. In fact, the name is a classic oxymoron. Read the rest of this entry »

December 11, 2009

FCC Comments re Internet Voting

Posted in Election reform, Elections, FCC, internet voting, paper ballots, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:28 pm by bluebanshee

Yesterday was the deadline to submit comments to the FCC regarding  the use of the internet for voting as well as other broadband issues.  The context was a nationwide push to extend broadband access to under-served areas of the country, an effort similar in scope to the rural electrification program of the 1930’s and ’40’s.  It will take a major infusion of cash to build out this infrastructure.

So the FCC asked for public comment.   And, boy, did they get a virtual earful!  As of today there are 917 filings posted online. Read the rest of this entry »

September 7, 2009

Song: They lost my vote

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:04 pm by bluebanshee

Oh, the anguish of electronic voting… did that vote actually count? Did the dancing electrons inside that voting machine actually record that vote? Or did that vote disappear into the maw of the voting machine never to be seen again? Only Diebold and ES&S know for sure — and they’re not telling.

May 13, 2009

Will the VRA survive the Supremes?

Posted in Elections, Uncategorized, Voting Rights, Voting Rights Act tagged , , at 9:55 pm by bluebanshee

There are members of the current U.S. Supreme who have an almost visceral dislike of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This antipathy became clear during recent oral arguments  about a Texas case (Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder (“NAMUDNO“).  Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito were the most vocal in questioning whether the landmark legislation is still needed. Read the rest of this entry »

April 27, 2009

New Option for Visually Impaired Voters

Posted in Access for Disabled Voters, Alternate Format Ballot, Election reform, Elections, ES&S, Large Format Ballot, paper ballots, Uncategorized, voter verified paper ballots, voting tagged , , , at 2:37 pm by bluebanshee

Oregon  has been leading the way in providing access to disabled voters and has just announced a new enhancement that will address the needs of visually impaired voters — large format ballots (LFB).  Many voters with vision problems simply need larger type sizes on the printed page rather than electronic voting devices called DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) machines.

One of the chief arguments for the continued use of DRE’s in elections across the US  is the perception that DRE’s are needed to provide access for disabled voters.  Oregon is proving that this is not the only way to assist those who have vision impairments. Read the rest of this entry »

November 3, 2008

Obama Camp Video Warns Against GOP Voter Suppression (VIDEO)

Posted in 2008 election, Barack Obama, Democrats, Elections, Uncategorized, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , , at 3:46 pm by bluebanshee

This is must-see TV.

July 5, 2008

5 simple ways to increase the youth vote

Posted in election day registration, Election reform, Elections, Maryland voting, politics, Uncategorized, voter registration, voting, youth vote tagged , , , , , at 12:01 pm by bluebanshee

Much ado is made about the increased participation of the 18-25 demographic in this year’s election but their participation still lags behind that of other age groups.  Here are several ways to change election law to make their participation easier.

  • Give the office of school guidance counselor in public secondary schools legal status as a designated voter registration agency.  That way the voter registration forms can be handed out to students while they are signing up for their class schedule.  Then the forms can be sent from the school guidance counselor to the election office.  (Louisiana just passed H. 990 to make this happen in that state)
  • Allow 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register so that they are automatically registered to vote when they reach their 18th birthday.  If high school juniors and seniors get their paperwork completed well in advance they will be ready and able vote when the next election rolls around. (Rhode Island just passed the “Youth Voting Bill,”  H 7106 and S 2081and sent it to the governor for signature)
  • Allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the General Election to also vote in the Spring Primary Election.  This way their voice can be heard during a contested party primary when excitement is high and they are motivated to participate in support of their candidate.  Maryland already has made this a part of their election law, largely because of the efforts of a 17-year-old student who wanted to vote for Barack Obama.
  • Allow all voters, including high school and college students, to register to vote up until the close of polls on Election Day.  Young people are often in transition during the run-up to election day — starting college, moving to a new city, starting a new job — and often do not pay attention to an upcoming election until the deadline for voter registration has passed.  A handful of states (Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire and Minnesota) already allow Election Day Registration — and report the highest voter turnout numbers in the country coupled with virtually no problems with voter fraud.
  • Allow high school juniors and seniors to work at the polls.  If students can be appointed as official poll workers two problems can be solved at once — greater involvement by high schoolers in the electoral process — and trained replacements for the current crop of aging poll workers, whose median age is in the 70’s in most jurisdictions.  (in Rhode Island, H 7833, which allows high school juniors and seniors to be appointed as election officials, has been sent to the governor for signature)

Rock the Vote, Project Vote and similar voter registration outreach efforts have done outstanding work but are frequently hampered by state election laws.  If the five simple changes recommended above were to be enacted in all 50 states, their job would be much easier because they would be filling a much smaller gap and we would not have so much handwringing about the low rate of participation by the 18-25 year old demographic.

June 19, 2008

‘I was working for the Sith lords:’ fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias

Posted in Daily Show, David Iglesias, DOJ, Elections, politics, Uncategorized, voter fraud, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , at 12:46 am by bluebanshee

Because he refused to prosecute bogus “voter fraud” cases in New Mexico, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was fired by the Bush Administration. A dyed-in-wool Republican, Iglesias was disillusioned by the politization of the DOJ under John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales.

In a recent appearance on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart Iglesias won audience applause by referencing characters in Star Wars movies:

“I thought I was working with the Jedi Knights and I was working for the Sith Lords.”

The video is from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, broadcast June 16, 2008. Find it here: http://rawstory.com/news08/2008/06/17/fired-us-attorney-i-was-working-for-the-sith-lords/

June 4, 2008

The GOP war on (Democrats) voting

Posted in Democrats, DOJ, Elections, politics, Uncategorized, Von Spakovsky, voter fraud, Voter ID, voter registration, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , , , at 3:37 pm by bluebanshee

As previously noted on this blog, the Republican party has a long history of voter suppression, dating back at least as far as William Rehnquist’s activities in Arizona, long before he ascended to the U.S. Supreme Court. We have chronicled the effort by the Bush administration to foist Hans von Spakovsky on the Federal Election commission, an effort that, fortunately for American democracy, has come to an inglorious end with von Spakovsky’s withdrawal from consideration for the post.

One of the recent GOP tactics has been to push for legislation requiring voters to show ID in order to vote. To listen to many Republicans the greatest danger to the country is voter fraud, i.e., folks casting ballots they are not entitled to. Most often the boogie man is the specter of illegal aliens voting but no proof is ever offered. Read the rest of this entry »

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