A VOTING machine manufacturer has agreed to pay California $3.2 million to settle a lawsuit claiming it sold unauthorized voting machines to five counties. The company, Election Systems & Software, sold the AutoMark A200 machines to San Francisco, Colusa, Marin, Merced and Solano counties. The company claimed the machines made only minor changes from an earlier, certified model.
In Kentucky, a judge, school superintendent and county clerk have been indicted on charges they extorted money from political candidates so they could bride voters in a scheme to rig several elections. The charges include racketeering, bribery, extortion and voter fraud.
Heather K. Gerken has published "The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System is Failing and How to Fix It." From Amazon - "Gerken has written a compelling and practical plan for improving the conduct of American elections. The Democracy Index offers a politically sophisticated strategy for converting those forces that typically frustrate reform--partisanship and localism--into engines of reform. Given the evident shortcomings in the ways in which citizens register to vote, cast their ballots, and have their choices counted, the subject of this book could not be more important. And Gerken's lively and engaging prose makes it a genuine pleasure to read.
Intelivote Systems Inc. (ISI), which specializes in telephone, wireless and Internet voting, provided their electronic voting technology to members of the Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP) at a Leadership Convention held recently in Hamilton, Ontario.
Intelivote provided 23,842 voters with the convenience of casting their votes from any location in the world with Intelivote's technology. Advanced voting through two channels, mail-in ballots and Internet voting, was offered to voting members up to two weeks prior to the convention date March 7th. On Convention Day, ONDP members cast their votes using both the Internet and telephones. Members cast ballots from every province in Canada, 13 different US states, and 8 international locations including Australia and Kuwait in advance and on Convention Day.
Diebold subsidiary Premier Election Solutions admitted in a California state hearing on Tuesday that its voting machine software can lose votes and fail to log the fact that the votes were lost.
The admission, reported on Wired's Threat Level blog, is significant. For years, the company has touted the quality of its electronic voting machines amidst mounting criticism that they were prone to errors and tampering.
More than 1.6 million Californians have registered to vote over the past two years, keeping voter registration at a record level. Voter registration numbers have continued to tick upwards even after the historic 2008 presidential election, according to the Secretary of State’s newest “Report of Registration.” The report, issued every odd-numbered year, reflects updates to voter registration rolls including the removal of registrants who have died, moved out of state, or been determined to be ineligible to vote, as well the addition of new registrants.
In all, more than 17.3 million Californians were registered to vote last month, compared to nearly 15.7 million in February 2007. The percentage of people who are eligible to vote and are registered also increased to 74.4 percent, compared to 68.9 percent two years ago.
Here are the percentages of Californians registered by party, as of last month:
-American Independent, 2.17 percent
-Democratic, 44.52 percent
-Green, 0.67 percent
-Libertarian, 0.48 percent
-Peace and Freedom, 0.32 percent
-Republican, 31.14 percent
-Decline to State, 19.99 percent
-All others, 0.70 percent
Of the 58 counties in California, 31 counties have a Republican plurality and 27 have a Democratic plurality of registered voters. Democratic registration increased by 2.0 percentage points while Republican registration dropped by 3.05 percentage points.