Re: Most blatantly bad election laws contest

From: <dr-jekyll_at_att_dot_net>
Date: Wed May 24 2006 - 12:56:06 CDT

I agree. Kathy Dopp referred to a similar problem in Utah law. It's not as obvious as a law specifically outlawing recounts, but laws that fail to provide for a process of an audit recount accomplish the same ends.

In 1986, at The First National Symposium on Security and Reliability of Computers in the Electoral Process, Terry Elkins, Campaign Manager for candidate Maxwell Goldblatt, presented her audit of the 1985 mayoral election Dallas, Texas. Because there was no law specifically requiring the pertinent election information to be made available, they incurred great legal expenses and time delays obtaining the audit information that they did get. It took about a year to assemble the information, but at that the 1986 symposium, Terry explained that she was allowed only 30 days to file an election contest and 60 days to raise an issue alleging fraud.

I know I'm risking stirring up a hornet's nest when, but I say this, but when I wrote about the TAR (Targeted Audit Recount), I had Terry Elkins' presentation in mind when I specified a very short period of time to select the precincts to be audited and for the election officials to respond with the information. Whether we believe the choices of votes to be recounted ought to made by the candidates (or advocates in referendum questions), by random selection, or by expert analysis, I'm certain we all agree that some selection of audit recounting needs to be required. Perhaps, we can agree on establishing a time limit for producing that information in order that delaying tactics can not be used to frustrate recounts. I believe the time period should be short enough to allow for an audit to be completed within 2 to 3 weeks after the election.

Perhaps one of the many other electoral reform organizations would like to promote legislation that supports voter-verified paper ballots by specifically authorizing audit recounts of them. Perhaps verifiedvoting.org could post 2 maps. In addition to the one showing which states have laws requiring the equipment to have voter verified paper ballots, they might also have another map showing which states have established procedures for audit recounts.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

--
Kurt 
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-------------- Original message from "Alan Dechert" <dechert@gmail.com>: -------------- 
Here's the information on the Florida law (Ion Sancho of Leon County told me about it).  Manual counts can only be ordered in certain circumstances, and then only overvotes and undervotes get checked.  
Alan D.
********
Link to The 2006 Election Laws of Florida: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/publications/pdf/electionLaws2005.pdf
 
Link to The Election Laws of FL, highlighting the 2005 laws as amended by Chapters 2005-277, 2005-278, 2005-279 and 2005-286, laws of Florida: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/publications/pdf/electionlawshigh.pdf
 
The statute itself is as follows:
102.166 - Manual recounts. 
(1)  If the second set of unofficial returns pursuant to s. 102.141 indicates that a candidate for any office was defeated or eliminated by one-quarter of a percent or less of the votes cast for such office, that a candidate for retention to a judicial office was retained or not retained by one-quarter of a percent or less of the votes cast on the question of retention, or that a measure appearing on the ballot was approved or rejected by one-quarter of a percent or less of the votes cast on such measure, the board responsible for certifying the results of the vote on such race or measure shall order a manual recount of the overvotes and undervotes cast in the entire geographic jurisdiction of such office or ballot measure. A manual recount may not be ordered, however, if the number of overvotes, undervotes, and provisional ballots is fewer than the number of votes needed to change the outcome of the election. 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: dr-jekyll@att.net 
To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list 
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 5:03 AM
Subject: [OVC-discuss] Most blatantly bad election laws contest
> In the category of "most dangerous voting system ever seriously 
> contemplated," I think we have to put the current system in Florida at or 
> near the top of that list. They recently passed a law that makes it illegal 
> to audit the machine count. 
> 
> Alan 
While I'm in agreement with David Jefferson on Internet voting as being the worst in the area of voting equipment, a law that outlaws auditing of machine counts deserves some negative recognition.  Do you a URL that points to it?
Perhaps OVC ought to compile some top-10 lists.  Suggested categories would be Top 10 Examples of Bad Voting Equipment, Top 10 Examples of Bad Voting Laws, etc.
--
Kurt 
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Received on Wed May 31 23:17:07 2006

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