[ncverifiablevoting] Bartlett: cut early voting, longer lines, more $ & staff needed

ncverifiablevoting@yahoogroups.com

Penny wise, pound foolish. 
Basically, cut early voting and create a mess on election day. Its nice not having Ohio 2004 style lines at the polls.
But it looks to me that the new majority likes absentee by mail voting.
So much so that they’ve made organized mail ballot fraud easier.
Shorter early voting costlier

N.C. election chief: Shortened early voting means longer Election Day lines needing more staff, equipment.

By Jim Morrill
jmorrill@charlotteobserver.com

Thursday, May. 19, 2011

RALEIGH A bill that would shorten North Carolina’s early voting period would create longer lines at the polls and increase the cost of elections, the executive director of the state elections board said Wednesday.

Gary Bartlett’s comments came in a memo shortly after the House narrowly passed the measure that would reduce the current 21/2-week early voting period by a week, even while opening polls for a second Saturday before the election.

The Republican-backed bill passed 60-58, largely along party lines.

Supporters said it would save money for local elections boards by shortening the time early voting sites are open. Legislative researchers estimate it would save counties about $2,000 per site. Bartlett disputes that.

"That perceived savings would be more than offset by cost increases for several reasons," he wrote.

Counties, he said, would have to deal with greater Election Day turnout. That might entail opening new precincts or buying new voting equipment. It would also reduce the flexibility early voting allows to allocate equipment and staff.

"Increasing the number of permanent precincts to handle the number of North Carolina voters is a permanent cost that is not flexible based on need," wrote Bartlett.

The memo marked Bartlett’s first public comments on the merits of the bill, which now goes to the Senate. A similar bill there not only would curtail early voting, but end it on Sundays and bar new voters from registering at the polls.

The bills would take effect for the 2012 elections. The last presidential election in 2008 saw long lines of early voters throughout the state.

It’s unclear whether Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue would sign a bill. Spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said, "It strikes us as one of the lesser important topics to be working on right now."

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bert Jones, said shortening the early voting period would shorten campaigns. "People like for campaigns to be shorter and people like for campaigns to be less costly," he said during Wednesday’s debate.

Jones, an unaffiliated General Assembly member from Rockingham, also said it would save local election boards money. But that could be at least partly mitigated if counties open new sites to accommodate early voters.

Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson said 45,000 county voters voted in the first week of early voting in 2008. With a shorter voting period in 2012, he said, he might ask his board to open 30 voting sites, 10 more than in 2008.

Otherwise, he said, "those additional 45,000 would make longer lines."

Bartlett said the measure would inconvenience voters.

"Reducing the early voting period would result in increased waits, both at early voting sites and at Election Day polling places," he wrote.

Some critics were more pointed.

"It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out if you cut a week off early voting … it suppresses the vote," said Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham.

Six Republicans joined 52 Democrats in opposing the bill.

One was Rep. Chuck McGrady of Hendersonville, who said election workers in his county are happy with the existing law. He questioned the cost savings.

"I just don’t think they are real," he said. "They’re certainly not real in Henderson County."

Several African-American lawmakers, including Democrat Kelly Alexander of Charlotte, spoke against the bill. Some said it would lower black turnout.

In 2008, African-Americans made up 21 percent of registered voters but cast 27 percent of early votes, according to Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College in Salisbury. And 52 percent of all registered black voters cast early ballots.

A survey released Wednesday by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling of Raleigh showed 35 percent of N.C. voters support cutting the early voting period while 44 percent opposed it. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059

Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/05/19/2307261/shorter-early-voting-costlier.html

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[ncverifiablevoting] Best OP Ever on Photo ID flim-flammery by Thomas Bates, Rock the Vote

Why Photo ID Laws Are Not the Answer

Posted: 04/29/11

Thomas Bates

Vice President, Civic Engagement at Rock the Vote

We hear it all the time: How can you be against making voters show a photo ID when they vote? You need an ID to do almost anything in today’s society — buying beer, driving a car, getting on an airplane, going to an R-rated movie — so why shouldn’t you have to show a government-issued photo ID to vote?

It sure sounds like common sense, and it is a sentiment, coupled with the specter of voter fraud, that has driven more than 30 state legislatures this year to consider requiring limited forms of government-issued photo ID at the polls, prompting the Washington Post and New York Times to question why the country is fighting what is essentially a war on voting.

The rub: Strict photo ID laws result in disenfranchisement, unnecessary costs, and unequal treatment of voters and simply are not a proportionate response to any legitimate concerns about potential voter fraud. What may seem like common sense is actually a real barrier for those who want to participate, and a significant expense to all of us.

Our voting system badly needs to improve to meet 21st century standards. Yet here we are fighting to stop politicians from turning back the clock and making it harder for people to vote. It is distracting and disappointing to see proposed laws that use tomorrow’s money to solve yesterday’s alleged problems when real problems are staring us in the face.

Let’s put this issue to rest and move on to envisioning a real 21st century system.

The Current System

In states that allow people to register to vote by mail, first-time voters who show up at the polls must provide some form of government-issued photo ID or non-photo documentation with their name and current address. For nearly all other voters, identification requirements vary in the 50 states.

In 23 of them, no formal documentation is required at the polls. Although, in these states voters are often required to recite their addresses or sign a poll book affirming their identities, under penalty of perjury. A perjury conviction could result in five years in prison and a $10,000 fine under federal law, in addition to any state penalties.

Only Indiana and Georgia require voters to show a government-issued photo ID like a driver’s license, passport, or military ID at the polls. Texas and Kansas are soon to join them. South Carolina and Oklahoma require either a government-issued ID or a voter registration card. Florida requires a photo ID, but it doesn’t have to be government-issued, which means a buyer’s club ID, student ID, neighborhood association ID would be fine.

Of the 22 other states that require some form of documentation at the polls, 12 states allow voters to present a wide range of documents to prove their identity and current address, such as utility bills, voter registration cards, student IDs, paychecks, tax bills, car registrations, and other government documents. The remaining 10 states allow a voter who doesn’t have the required ID to sign an affidavit or statement, under the penalty of perjury, that they are who they say they are.

This list will change as states enact new laws. You can see where things are in play here.

The Prevailing Justification: Why Are We Hung Up On Voter Fraud?

Voter fraud is the justification most often cited by those who want to enact strict photo ID laws. Unfortunately, the term "voter fraud" frequently gets conflated into an all-encompassing bogeyman that sweeps in all kinds of potential election misconduct, including allegations of felons voting before their rights have been restored, voters being registered in more than one place, dead people on the rolls, double voting, vote-buying or even poll workers and elections officials miscounting or misinforming voters. None of these potential abuses would be addressed by a photo ID law.

The type of voter fraud that photo ID bills can potentially claim to counter is voter identification fraud, which is basically pretending to be someone else for the purpose of casting that voter’s ballot. Numerous studies and extensive criminal investigations have shown that voter impersonation fraud is extremely rare.

A five-year crackdown by President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice yielded only 86 voter fraud convictions (120 million people voted in 2004) and most of those convictions were not for voter fraud that could have been stopped by a voter ID law. Problems mostly occurred due to confusion about eligibility to vote, especially among felons and immigrants, and clerical errors. Other exhaustive studies just have not found extensive problems with voter impersonation. As it turns out, the Brennan Center for Justice concluded, voter impersonation is more rare than death by lightning.

Consider what someone who wants to impersonate a registered voter at the polls would have to go through for one vote (which I have adapted from a very smart brief submitted in the Supreme Court case about Indiana’s photo ID law):

  • Travel to the proper polling place for a particular voter whose name and address is memorized
  • Accurately forge the voter’s signature
  • Potentially have to provide other information about the voter (utility bill, last four digits of her Social Security number)
  • Make sure that voter has not already voted absentee or requested an absentee ballot
  • Know that the voter has not moved and re-registered at her new location or hasn’t been removed from the rolls for another reason
  • Know that the voter has not already voted that day and does not plan to vote before the polls close
  • Wait in line to cast a ballot in that voter’s name
  • Risk detection from a poll worker who may know the registered voter
  • Face fines and jail time

It seems pretty far-fetched, yet that specter is what is apparently driving the push for photo ID laws.

No one wants to see the system abused. The problem with combating "voter fraud" with photo ID requirements is that these laws can exclude or deter people who are otherwise legally able to vote. For both proponents and opponents of photo ID bills, it should be just as unsettling to think that someone could abuse the system as it is to think that someone could be excluded from it. So even if you think voter impersonation fraud is a huge problem, let’s talk about whether strict photo ID bills are an effective and just response. Hint: They are not.

The Case Against Photo ID Laws

As states try to restrict the forms of acceptable identification at the polls to a very narrow list of government-issued IDs, consider these reasons why these policies will not propel our country’s voting system towards the reform we need:

1. Not everyone has photo ID states would require

It may sound crazy, but not everyone in America has a photo ID. Hard to believe, but 11 percent of the eligible population (about 21 million people) do not have the type of identification that would be required by photo ID laws. When you look at voters under the age of 30, the facts are even worse: 1-in-5 doesn’t have a driver’s license, the most commonly accepted form of photo ID.

Just look at a few states where strict photo ID bills are being pushed.

In North Carolina, more than 500,000 currently registered voters do not have a driver’s license. In Wisconsin, 23 percent of all citizens over the age of 65 and 78 percent of African-American men and 66 percent of African American women ages 18 to 24 don’t have state-issued ID. In Ohio, over 40,000 out-of-state students at public colleges and universities who would not be able to vote in Ohio unless they get a state-issued ID card.

For young people who are more likely to be in school and are generally more mobile, these requirements are a real burden. The simple truth is that as the list of acceptable IDs gets shorter, more people are excluded from the democratic process. The longer the list, the more likely it is that someone will have documents that allow them to vote. If we accept the reality that not everyone has a driver’s license or state-issued ID for whatever reason — but may have a student ID or a tribal ID or a utility bill or a Social Security number or other types unique identifiers — then how can proponents justify the exclusion of otherwise lawful voters on that basis?

2. It costs a lot of money to implement a strict photo ID system

OK, so not everyone has an ID. It is completely logical to ask: why don’t they just get one? Fair enough, but you are going to foot the bill.

Under the Constitution, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a state that requires a voter to show an ID at the polls must provide one at no cost to that voter. Charging a voter for it constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax, which was outlawed by the 24th Amendment. Accordingly, in order to implement a new photo ID program, taxpayers are going to have to pay millions of dollars a year to make sure every voter who wants one has state-issued identification. That’s not cheap.

It is estimated that a new ID requirement in Missouri will cost over $20 million over the next three years; in North Carolina, independent estimates suggest $14 million or more; in Minnesota, the bill would be around $19 million. At a time when states are struggling to make ends meet and are making deep and real cuts, is it really worth millions of taxpayer dollars to provide IDs to everyone and fund the necessary public education and poll worker training (both of which are also required by the courts) that comes with it? It just doesn’t sound like the best use of precious resources.

It is also worth noting that there isn’t anything "free" about a free ID. (Check out this video of one student in North Carolina trying to get a state ID.) In addition to the cost to either voters or taxpayers (an ID cost $28 in Wisconsin, for example), voters have to get the underlying documents (birth certificates or other official documents) that allow them to get a driver’s license or state ID. They have to take off work or school, get to the DMV (because they surely aren’t driving themselves), and have everything you need to get an otherwise unnecessary ID. As a result, we are making voting as easy as a trip to the DMV — hardly an appealing solution for anyone.

3. There are effective ways to make sure people are who they say they are

Photo identification isn’t the only way you can prove your identify. States use a number of different unique identifiers in addition to photo IDs to ensure they are providing ballots to the right registered voter, including signature verification, utility bills, paychecks, student IDs, bank statements, requiring voters to provide the last four digits of their Social Security number, asking for their date of birth, and more.

Last month, when he came out against Ohio’s proposed photo ID law, the Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said that he believes the current identification requirements are sufficient to combat fraud. According to the Columbus Dispatch:

Husted said he would not change Ohio’s current election-day process in which voters can prove their identities at the polls through a photo ID (such as a driver’s license), a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government document with a current name and address.

"I believe that if you have a government-issued check, a utility bill in your name with your address on it, that no one made that up," Husted said to reporters following his speech during League of Women Voters of Ohio annual Statehouse Day. "They didn’t call AEP and establish utilities in their name to commit voter fraud."

The county auditors in Iowa — a collection of 60 Republicans, 38 Democrats and two independents who actually run the elections in the state — came out against that state’s photo ID proposal because it was costly and unnecessary to prevent voter fraud. A recent article highlighted Jasper County and 49 other counties that have systems to ensure integrity and guarantee voters are who they say they are without resorting to disenfranchising methods like only accepting state-issued photo ID.

Jasper County began using laptop computers equipped with the Precinct Atlas Program to check voters at the polls. Forty-nine other counties in Iowa also use the program. Precinct Atlas contains all of the vital information about voters registered in Jasper County to verify their true identity. Poll workers are provided with the voter’s birth date, address, telephone number, the last four digits of their Social Security number, a driver’s license number, and whether that person is a convicted felon.

If a voter shows up at the wrong polling place to vote, the program prints out a label with the address of the voter’s correct precinct and polling place.

"With this information, it would be extremely difficult for a person to pass themselves off as someone else to vote," [Jasper County Auditor Dennis] Parrott said.

This strikes me as a more modern, forward-looking approach to addressing the need to identify people at the polls and to assist them if they are in the wrong spot.

(Side note to those who hang their hats on the sanctity and security of photo IDs: Did you ever try to get beer before you were 21 or know anyone who has? Fake IDs are not hard to get. Half of the 9/11 hijackers had real, official state-issued identification cards.)

4. Photo ID laws aren’t applied equally

The most common retort to our complaint that student voters, especially out-of-state students, will not be able to vote at their school if voter ID laws pass is: "Just get an absentee ballot from your home address!"

First, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that students have the right to vote where they go to school. They are constitutionally protected from having to just vote absentee from "home" if they want to vote at school.

Second, telling someone who doesn’t have an ID to just get an absentee ballot is an interesting argument from supporters of strict photo ID laws. While there is a lot of chest thumping about potential voter fraud at the polls, absentee voters who don’t show up at a polling place aren’t required to provide photo identification. Ballots get mailed to absentee voters who return them without stepping foot in a polling place. An out-of-state student voting from her parent’s house "back home" or an in-state student who gets his ballot sent to him at his school address would never go to the polls or show an ID.

Third, in addition to unequal treatment of poll voters and absentee voters, states also treat different types of students differently. In some states, like Indiana and Georgia, public school student IDs with expiration dates are acceptable, but not student IDs from private schools. No student IDs would be accepted under the current versions of the Ohio and Wisconsin laws, by the way.

The Debate We Could Be Having

We all should want a modern, secure, just and fully participatory democratic system that we can trust. Strict photo ID laws alone are a dangerous solution in search of a problem. What is real is the antiquated, paper-based voter registration system that keeps people off of the rolls because of clerical and user errors. Too many states have failed to make voter registration more effective and efficient through automatic or online registration, and they continue to lag at making it easier for people to cast a ballot with same day registration and early voting. Plus, our schools have cut civics education, so we have an electorate less familiar with the system and less aware of their rights.

If we truly care about prioritizing participation, reducing barriers and building faith in the system, then we can’t waste any more time on photo ID laws.

[ncverifiablevoting] update on H351 photo Id hearing

Voter advocates were out in full force today.There will be lawsuits if this bill passes and the Gov doesn’t have courage to veto.
Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, NAACP, Democracy for NC, NC Center for Voter Education, NC League of Women Voters, NC AARP, Institute for Southern Studies.(all against photo ID, citing the groups it will disenfranchise and the enormous financial cost)

I have to say, Bob Hall of Democracy for NC hit a home run when he called the bill and its intents "phony as a $3.00 bill".
 
It will cost millions of $ to implement. GOP did not attach much funding at all, and it might not be legal for lawmakers to use
Help America Vote Act funds for this purpose.  It looks like Counties would be stuck with additional costs that lawmakers
haven’t owned up to at this time.

The legislative hearing room was divided – the "for" photo ID side was smaller than the "against" photo ID side. .

There were people who remembered the literacy tests and some whose parents nearly gave up their lives to vote.
Some remembered the days when their parents were disenfranchised by laws aimed to prevent African Americans from voting.
You don’t have to go back very far to have a family member who was impacted.

Have you read the bill?
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2011&BillID=h351&submitButton=Go

The bill won’t stop people determined to commit felony voter impersonation –
fake ID kits are cheap at EBAY -starting bid $12.95 sale price $14.95 with hologram if you want it.


http://cgi.ebay.com/Make-ID-Cards-Home-ID-Supply-Fake-Proof-Hologram-/320668763777?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aa9590681

__._,_.___

[ncverifiablevoting] SC election commish $40K a month on PR after Fiasco

No surprise here: There’s been a thorough review of the voting machine logs from the SC primary where Alvin Greene was elected.
Whether he really "won" or not, there were so many irregularities and malfunctions in the machines, it is dizzing.
MORE SHOCKS!!! The amount of $ the Election Commission is paying a PR firm to convince the public that all is well with the voting machines!

"Did you know the [State Election Commission] is paying Chernoff Newman, a PR and advertising company, 40,000 dollars a month
to manufacture positive spin to the voters, politicians, and press about how state of the art our system is, when in reality, the exact opposite is true?"

By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2011 11:05am 
Citizen Oversight Reveals 1000s of Errors, Extra Votes, ‘Lost’ Votes in SC’s 2010 Election
The state and voting systems that impossibly gave Democrats Alvin Greene for their U.S. Senate nominee, continue to fail voters...

Yup. This about sums it up…

Almost 100 people packed into North Charleston City Hall on Thursday night to hear whether crucial cogs in their democracy — South Carolina’s voting machines — are working right.

The consensus seemed to be no, they weren’t, but there was less certainty about what to do about it.

The Charleston County Democratic Party arranged the forum on the electronic voting machines, which several leaders have called into question after last year’s shocking primary win by unknown Democratic Senate candidate Alvin Greene against former judge and Charleston County Councilman Vic Rawl, a former circuit judge.

Rawl, one of the panelists, said this issue isn’t about him but instead about the sanctity of the principle of one-man one-vote.

"From every expert I talked to, that (primary result) was an aberration," Rawl said. "If that aberration was contrived or accidental, we seriously need to get rid of that machine."

State Democratic Party Executive Committee member Susan Yarborough Smith began her remarks by paraphrasing Communist leader Josef Stalin, saying, "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

For six years, the state’s voters have used about 12,000 iVotronic touch-screen machines made by Election Systems & Software, a Nebraska-based company.

Frank Heindel, a Charleston businessman who has launched his own investigation of the machines, noted there were thousands of error messages on Charleston County machines in the 2010 elections. Also, he noted that a different error led to 1,389 extra votes in statewide races in Colleton County.

However, [State Sen. Phil] Leventis, [D-Sumter] and Sen. Raymond Cleary, R-Georgetown, said the Legislature won’t do anything unless it is pressured to. Cleary noted lawmakers are satisfied with the outcome of their own elections: They won.

As I say, that about sums it up. "They won," so most of the lawmakers who would be the ones to force voting system reform, don’t much care. That, even after the disastrous Democratic U.S. Senate primary last year, which The BRAD BLOGcovered in great detail as it all shamefully unfolded. (Search "Vic Rawl" or "Alvin Greene" here for some of that coverage).

But for those who would like a few more details on those "1,389 extra votes in Colleton County," as mentioned in the article above, as well as — perhaps even more disturbing — some 13,500 votes apparently missing entirely from Charleston County, please read on…

Frank Heindel, a SC commodities trader, who is mentioned in the article above, has almost single-handedly been taking on the system in his state by demanding transparency, oversight, and accountability via public records requests and meticulous hand-audits of the voting system logs in his state ever since last year’s disastrous primary election. He is an inspiration, frankly, and another one of this nation’s great models for what citizen-led Election Integrity work looks like.

He is all the more inspiring in that he is a Republican! Unfortunately, most of those who’ve done real EI work over the past 10 years or so have tended to be Democrats (if often disaffected ones), as it has historically been their ox most frequently gored (pun intended), along with a fair number of Libertarians or Greens.

Here is Heindel’s concise, full speech from the Democratic forum reported above this week, in which he notes:

Did you know the [State Election Commission] is paying Chernoff Newman, a PR and advertising company, 40,000 dollars a month to manufacture positive spin to the voters, politicians, and press about how state of the art our system is, when in reality, the exact opposite is true?

I wish the state would give me 40,000 dollars a month to hire computer experts to perform election forensics and audit all the state’s election data. Over the last 6 months, I have spent approximately 1,000 dollars out of my own pocket on a citizen’s audit. I am a Republican and view our voting machines strictly as a non-partisan issue.

He went on in his remarks,to offer more details on the extra and/or missing votes in the counties so far examined, but among the tasks he’s taken on as well is helping to assemble computer scientists to examine many of the records he’s been able to obtain via those public records requests.

One of those members of the team, Chip Moore, a programmer from Cambridge, MA, detailed the work the team has been able to do so far. See his full report here, but below are some of the specifics of what they’ve uncovered in regard to the unexplained extra votes in Colleton County to date:

After the November election, Travis Avant of Walterboro, a former Sheriff of Colleton County, contacted Mr. Heindel about some inconsistencies in the returns from his County. On election night, Colleton County reported, and this is still on the website for the state election commission, 13,045 votes in the race for Governor, 12,877 votes for Lt. Governor and 12,733 votes in the U.S. Senate contest. However, as Eric Campbell, the Executive Director of the Colleton County Board of Elections admits, and our audit confirms, only 11,656 votes were cast in Colleton County in the November election.

1588 absentee votes were cast in Colleton County in the general election. Director Campbell says this is the correct number and our review of the audit file agrees. Yet in the certified returns for the County, the number of votes cast on absentee ballots in 14 separate county-wide contests exceeds 1588, some by more than 300 votes. The director has thus far refused to recount the absentee votes. The audit information we have for Colleton County does not include ballot data for the absentee votes, so we cannot provide an accurate accounting. Today, 11 weeks after the election, the tally of votes in Colleton County is incorrect. Neither the County nor State Election Boards seem to be in much of a hurry to get the numbers right.

In reading some of these numbers, I’m reminded of the "impossible numbers" we discovered in the Monroe County, Arkansas, primary election last year — where ES&S systems are also used — and where thousands of votes simply "disappeared," with neither county nor state officials able to explain what happened. Of course, nobody else in the entirety of either the state legislature or the media gave enough of a damn to follow up on our exclusive report to demand an explanation for the failure.

And here are Moore’s key points (also too familiar) on the unaccounted for votes in Charleston County:

In the 2010 general election in Charleston County, the official returns from the election board reported that 104,087 votes were cast. However, in our audit of that election, we only found 82,190 votes recorded on the County’s iVotronic voting terminals and 8078 on paper ballots.

By our reckoning, we can account for 90,586 votes on voting terminals, paper ballots and 318 ballots entered manually by the election staff. That still leaves 13,501 votes missing from the input stream. Those votes were probably cast on the 14 voting terminals missing from the log file containing vote events, but without the data, we cannot be certain.

Seven of the missing machines may not have contained any vote data. The Charleston County Election Board was unable to collect audit data from those terminals. In the log file, the reason listed for why audit collection failed is “Invalid Ballot Database Version in Audit/Vote file”, which does not inspire confidence that anyone was able to cast a vote on these devices.

Similar studies are being done on data from Richland, Sumter and Lexington counties, but these are not so far along because the data was obtained later than from Charleston.

Finally, for good measure, here are a few more granular details from specific systems in Colleton County that simply failed, suggesting much more such failure across the state where the team has yet been able to examine details…

In the Jacksonboro precinct in Colleton County, where 201 votes were cast on three voting terminals, one machine recorded just 14 votes. That same machine registered 13 vote-canceled events, one for having the wrong ballot and 12 because of a terminal failure. In Edisto, a precinct where 146 ballots were recorded on three terminals, terminal #5129854 accepted only 19 votes. This machine logged 6 vote-canceled events because the voter left the voting booth and 7 errors caused by the Personal Electronic Ballot voters use to cast their ballots failing to communicate with the iVotronic machine. Lastly, 52 votes were cast in Berea precinct on three terminals, but one machine was used for only seven votes. That terminal registered another 13 errors caused by the Personal Electronic Ballots.

All-in-all, those are some very disturbing details, and yet, these 100% unverifiable voting systems — and ones identical or nearly-identical to them — continue to be forced upon some 20 to 30% of voters across the nation. That will undoubtedly be the case once again when the nation goes to the polls to elect a President in 2012.

Of course, our federal legislators don’t much care either and continue to do absolutely nothing about the problem. Why? Because as SC’s Post and Courier noted above, "lawmakers are satisfied with the outcome of their own elections: They won."

* * *

Please support The BRAD BLOG’s fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we’ll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here…

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8320

Weak defense of IRV – Instant Runoff Voting in NC Court of Appeals oddities

Some say instant runoff voting did what it was supposed to do in the NC Court of Appeals Contest. For sure the IRV algorithm that sorts, allocates and eliminates votes is capricious in nature. IRV election is like a crap shoot. The top 2 candidates had 20% and 15% of first round votes. Thigpen led McCullough by 100,000 votes. After sorting, allocating, eliminating and reshuffling the IRV votes, McCullough and Thigpen had a near tie. (Read more)

See related:

Instant Run Off Voting

N. Carolina’s instant runoff voting chickens come home to roost. Recount sought


The instant runoff voting contest for NC Court of Appeals is headed to a recount. Here we are, 38 days after the election, we get the results to the "instant runoff" and learn that we’re going in for another round, due to lack of confidence in the tallying procedures. No surprise, since Larry Leake, the Chair of the NC State Board of Elections expressed concern about the tallying procedures when approved on Oct 28, 2010 in the middle of the election. (Read more)

See related:

Instant Run Off Voting

Note: IRV what a mess. But they wanted though. C. Dancy II DCN Publisher

Correcting counting error leads to new leader in Court of Appeals race–Source: WRAL

RALEIGH, N.C. — Nearly complete results from the instant runoff race for the North Carolina Court of Appeals show the second-place candidate overtaking the leading candidate from the first round of voting.

State elections director Gary Bartlett said Doug McCullough had a roughly 6,700-vote lead over incumbent Cressie Thigpen with counting complete in 99 of the 100 counties. The only one left – Warren County – doesn’t have enough votes cast to turn the race back to Thigpen, he said. (Read more)

See related:

Instant Run Off Voting