Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier.
Things did not turn out
exactly as predicted
. [more inside]
The North Carolina Board of Elections
has unanimously overturned a decision Pasquotank County Board of Elections barring barring an Elizabeth City State University senior Montravias King
from running for local office. The County Board had ruled
that King's on-campus address couldn't be used to establish local residency. [more inside]
Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010
: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority
, undermined Obama's mandate
, set the terms of the sequestration fight
, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade
. It's not a new problem
. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act
, it could get a whole lot worse
. And the electoral college may
. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
Exit polls for the 2012 presidential election (CNN).
The most likely bottom line from AP: "Overall, 53 percent had a favorable opinion of Obama, while only 47 percent felt that way about Romney. And 53 percent felt Obama was more in touch with people like them than Romney was."
Initial reactions among the disappointed
The possibility of voter fraud in the US has spawned a number of state laws requiring particular kinds of identification at the polls, as well as grassroots organizations that search public records to challenge certain voters' registrations
. Much of the modern debate about potential voter fraud has been driven by Hans von Spakovsky
, a Heritage Foundation
senior legal fellow, former member of the Federal Elections Commission, and former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, where he worked on voting issues. Writing for the New Yorker, Jane Mayer describes von Spakovsky's influence
on conservative groups like True the Vote, various state attempts to disqualify registered voters, and the lack of evidence for many claims made in support of voter ID laws.
California begins its "top two primary" runoff.
Called a blanket primary
, open primary, jungle primary, the top-two primary seeks to end partisan gridlock
by having one primary for all voters in June, where the top two candidates face off in November, regardless of party affiliation. Said to favor moderates while hurting small parties, Arizona votes on a similar measure next week. [more inside]
"The Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state.
" Former Bill Clinton political director Doug Sosnik
offers an 8-page analysis of the U.S. election that discusses the likelihood of an Obama win, the chances of a complete Republican takeover of Congress, continued Republican dominance of governorships and state legislatures for the rest of the decade, and more. There's also a related slideshow
. [more inside]
In 2008, the National Journal
released The Hidden History of the American Electorate
, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections
. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report
) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis
with a pdf
of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania
and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws.
to a nonproblem
] [more inside]
After weeks of fake primaries
, fraudulent mailers
, special interest moneybombs
, and last-minute attempts at voter suppression
, Wisconsinites went to the polls yesterday in an unprecedented
round of six recall elections targeted mainly at Republican state senators for their support of Governor Scott Walker's controversial union-busting agenda
. Five of the six races were called by Tuesday evening, with Democrats taking two of the three they'd need to regain control of the state senate. The lone holdout? A dead heat between incumbent Alberta Darling and challenger Sandy Pasch in District 8 -- the very same district that saw suspicious vote-counting
by conservative Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus unexpectedly tip the balance
towards Walker ally David Prosser late in the crucial state supreme court race this past April
. The protracted count and late-night shift toward Darling coupled with Nickolaus's questionable history
soon prompted Democratic officials to make accusations of fraud
). Control of the senate now lies in the defense of two Democratic seats up for recall next week and the possible wooing of GOP Senator Dale Schultz
, the only Republican to vote against Walker's bill. Walker himself will be eligible for recall next spring
. [more inside]
It's Election Day in America
, and as is so often the case in this fickle
land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive
, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide
and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense
. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting
process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
The Indian government describes their electronic voting machines as 'perfect
', but has never permitted an independant evaluation. A team of three academic researchers received access to a machine from an anonymous source, and demonstrated
. Concerns are being expressed
in India. At 5:30 this Saturday morning, police arrested
Hari Prasad, one of the research team, at his home, transporting him
: the authors of Kieskompas, a "Vote-O-Mat
"-style tool for the undecided Dutch voter, following up on their adaptation for the US Presidential election
(previously on MeFi
), will launch an EU-wide version for the European Parliament elections
upcoming in June.
So Europeans, urge your political parties to register
! The tool itself will launch in May.
Election Fraud in Kentucky.
"I think this is the first documented case of election fraud in the U.S. using electronic voting machines (there have been lots of documented cases of errors and voting problems, but this one involves actual maliciousness)."
Today, we Americans exercise one of our most sacred rights - the right to free stuff. [more inside]
Do you know what to do if your vote is suppressed?
GOODVOTE.ORG is a group of volunteers from the technology community and blogosphere who simply want the will of the voters to be reflected in the result of the 2008 election. Our only purpose is to make sure that when legitimate voters are challenged they know who to turn to for help.
Bother Voting doesn't care who you are going to support this election,
as long as you get out and vote. Now all you have to do is use their creative e-cards and banners to convince your friends to hit the polls.
Something is rotten in the state of
. [more inside]
“I’m an old computer nerd,” Diener said. “I can do anything with computers. Nothing’s wrong with computers. But this is the worst way to run an election.”
NYTMag piece on electronic voting, voter confidence, and the impact of old-fashioned problems like printer jams, befuddled voters and volunteers, and interface design flaws. By Clive Thompson
Glassbooth connects you to the presidential candidate that represents your beliefs the best.
Too busy/lazy/etc. to research the candidates on your own? Let web 2.0 tell you who to vote for.
Today the DNC voted
"to strip Florida of all its presidential convention delegates, threatening to leave the state without a vote
for the party's 2008 nominee unless it delays the date of its presidential primary election." [More Inside]
Diebold Election Systems is no more
(at least in name). Taking a page from the cigarette companies, Diebold is changing their name
and hoping to reverse the downward spiral
after their recent news
In honor of tomorrow's
Freedom Day (April 27)
, please enjoy these tales from elections past...
Election Consultants "provides unparalleled results by focusing on the outcome rather than the process. Using state-of the-art technology, we overcome the challenges of competition and ensure election results for our clients."
(To make it even more evil, it's Flash-based) A food-for-thought satire or something more? When A reporter called the site's 800 number,
the person who answered "said that he had been contacted by representatives of about 30 political campaigns to date." (I'm thinking sting operation to catch dishonest idiot politicians. Whad'ya think?)
A manual for electoral apocalypse
in America. Quite a bit's been written both on MeFi
and other places about how bad Diebold machines are. Rolling Stone wrote an article about election fraud in 2004 that was discussed here
on MeFi. Tonight, Ars posted a very
thorough, very clear article about how we are completely screwed if we do not enact expensive, fundamental changes in how we handle elections in America. It's too late to do anything about the elections in a couple weeks, but perhaps steps can be taken to fix things before 2008...
MySpace has started a voter registration drive.
MySpace has a ton of users, so this could be huge. Could this get young Americans to vote? I'm going to guess no, but you never know.
[O]ne muggy day in mid-August , [Diebold consultant Chris] Hood was surprised to see the president of Diebold's election unit, Bob Urosevich, arrive in Georgia from his headquarters in Texas. With the primaries looming, Urosevich was personally distributing a "patch," a little piece of software designed to correct glitches in the computer program. "We were told that it was intended to fix the clock in the system, which it didn't do," Hood says. "The curious thing is the very swift, covert way this was done. . . . It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state," Hood told me. "We were told not to talk to county personnel about it. I received instructions directly from Urosevich. It was very unusual that a president of the company would give an order like that and be involved at that level."
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Will the Next Election be Hacked?
Georgia wants to charge people to vote,
having chosen to implement "a new voter ID law that requires many people without driver's licenses...to pay $20 or more for a state ID card."
Adding insult to injury, the number of ID centers in Atlanta is currently ZERO.
(disclaimer: I don't know how to get a subscription-free link to NYT articles- sorry!)
20 Amazing Facts About
Read this and cry. Or move to another country.
Over 125 voter guides,
sorted by city and written collaboratively by Indyvoter's network of members
are now on-line. This is social software with a purpose - members of the network form voting blocs to swing close elections, from city council members up to the national level.
Racially-Based Suppression of the African-American Vote:
The Role It May Play in the Upcoming Presidential Election What exactly is racially-based vote suppression? Simply defined, it is the targeting of potential voters, based on their race, in an attempt to suppress the exercise of their right to vote for the candidate of their choice.
Becoming what you hate : Nathan Sproul, case study in moral relativism on the Religious Right
"former head of the Arizona Republican Party and of the Arizona Christian Coalition....Sproul is connected with the Republican National Committee-funded voter registration organization, Voters' Outreach of America Inc." - Sproul's firm is accused of fraud and the destruction of voter registration forms
. He also failed to pay his workers and his office rent. Rick Perlstein, in the Village Voice, comments on the Sproul scandal : "Both sides are not equally bad, and any reporters who don't recognize that conservatism's very core has become shot through with a culture of mendacity should turn in their press badge.....
It used to be that we could count on the conscience of conservatives to protect our democratic institutions."
, take 6
. While lawsuits elsewhere
seek to require paper trails or block e-voting altogether, early voting in some states is already using the controversial machines. Take New Mexico, for example: "I voted for Kerry and a check mark for Bush appeared
." It's not that funny
anymore — especially when most of the fears aren't about what you do see, but what you don't
An Election Lottery? We've had decades of handwringing and civics lectures while voting continues to plunge. This is America, dammit. If everything else pays, why shouldn't voting?
Illegal RNC trashing Democratic registrations in Vegas -- Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.
The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.
Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.
The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican National Committee. Similar complaints have been received in Reno where the registrar has asked the FBI to investigate.
Was your voter registration form thick enough?
Ohio's republican secretary of state has issued an order (three days before the registration deadline) to throw out all voter registration forms printed on paper less then 80lb. Coincidence that dem-leaning areas have seen a 250% rise in voter registration, with tens of thousands of new voters in a race expected to be closer then FL 2000?
Oh yeah, the state sent out 40lb forms to those requesting them. Cute, huh.
Why You Should Ignore The Gallup Poll This Morning - And Maybe All Of Theirs
If you support the Dems, you might want to pass this on!
"This morning we awoke to the startling news that despite a flurry of different polls this week all showing a tied race, the venerable Gallup Poll, as reported widely in the media (USA Today and CNN) today, showed George W. Bush with a huge 55%-42% lead over John Kerry amongst likely voters. The same Gallup Poll showed an 8-point lead for Bush amongst registered voters (52%-44%). Before you get discouraged by these results, you should be more upset that Gallup gets major media outlets to tout these polls and present a false, disappointing account of the actual state of the race. Why?"...
By entering a 2-digit code in a hidden location in the Diebold voting machine, a second set of votes is created. "This set of votes can be changed, so that it no longer matches the correct votes. The voting system will then read the totals from the bogus vote set. It takes only seconds to change the votes, and to date not a single location in the U.S. has implemented security measures to fully mitigate the risks."
indian electronic voting vs. diebold "Reading this article, some of you might remember that Cold war era joke, about NASA and its multi million dollar experiment with a pen that can write in micro gravity to solve the writing problems of astronauts, and the Russian solution of using a Pencil to solve the same problem."
2000 Election results ranked by avg statewide IQ.
Shame on me for even posting this here in this slavering den of liberal fervor, but if it's true, it certainly is kinda fascinating.
uncovers what seems to be a serious problem either with California voting machines or the vote tallying system: The Secretary of State's summary of votes
on the Davis recall shows three counties--Alameda, Kern, and Plumas--that apparently had zero
voters who didn't vote on the recall. Not one. All three counties used Diebold machines. Other counties ranged from 0.5% to 10.3% of voters not voting on the recall. More
from Rick Hasen, a top election law scholar. [Via Volokh.]
Important expose and interview runs on Salon today.
"This evening the site the aritcle features is shut down.
As soon as we get that new server up we'll host the materials (yes, we have a copy) that Diebold doesn't want the public to see. Diebold cannot silence everyone. "
The links (2) for this piece can be found at URL given here.
"If you're not outraged you are not paying attention. "
, as usual, is both outraged and paying attention.