Counts & Recounts

The ability to accurately count the votes, and to conduct a full and accurate recount if necessary, is a hallmark of any genuine democracy. Who, or what, counts the ballots can affect which ballots are counted and which ones will be marked as “spoiled”. Every eligible voter should be able to cast their ballot and be guaranteed that their ballot will be counted correctly. Full and accurate recounts are necessary to determine the correct winner of closely contested races.

Organize or attend a Voter Assembly in your community on November 7th!

This election is being threatened by unverifiable voting machines, voter ID laws that disenfranchise millions of eligible voters, restrictive election laws for third party candidates and voters who wish to vote early, as well as many other forms of voter suppression that we are likely to witness on November 6 and the weeks leading up to the election.

Sign the Pledge of Action!

Standing for Voters

From: 
www.StandingforVoters.org
What's happening: 

The Standing for Voters campaign is collecting pledges from candidates ready to commit to:

    -- no concessions before all valid votes are counted and all serious challenges resolved;

    -- challenging elections where necessary.

Video the Vote

From: 
VideotheVote.org
What's happening: 

Take a look at this excellent video, and then, take action . . .

Organize a Voter Assembly in your community!

Date: 
November 7, 2012 - 12:00pm - 9:00pm

This election is being threatened by unverifiable voting machines, voter ID laws that disenfranchise millions of eligible voters, restrictive election laws for third party candidates and voters who wish to vote early, as well as many other forms of voter suppression that we are likely to witness on and before November 6.  Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 have taught us that our elections can be stolen if we do not act.

Event Contact
First Name: 
Jolie
Last Name: 
Lizotte
Phone: 
920-312-4246

SALON: Provisional ballots still being counted in Arizona and reports of suppressed Latino votes could affect outcome of close races

November 17, 2012
By: 
Alex Seitz-Wald
news photo

 

The election may have ended almost two weeks ago, but in Arizona, it goes on. Perhaps it’s fitting for a state with its own time zone, but as of last night, there remained over 100,000 uncounted votes in the state’s two largest counties, leaving election officials unable to officially certify the results of a number of the state’s high profile races, including the Senate race, several House contests, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reelection bid. Friday was the deadline for counties to finish counting ballots, but the state blew past it yesterday when Maricopa, which contains Phoenix, and Pima County, which contains Tucson, said they needed more time.

NYT: Americans in non-swing states less likely to vote and millions of ballots are still being counted

November 12, 2012
By: 
Nate Silver
news photo

Initial accounts of last Tuesday’s presidential election contemplated what seemed to be a significant decline in turnout from 2008. Those reports may have been premature, at least in part. Some states, particularly those where much balloting is conducted by mail, have yet to finish counting their returns. It is likely that there are several million votes left to be counted in California, for example. Nonetheless, it seems probable that we will see something of a split in the number of people who turned out to vote in 2012.

In many of the states where the campaigns focused most of their attention, more people voted than in 2008. Turnout is likely to have declined in many non-battleground states, however.

AP: South Carolina GOP wants to stop recount, but Election Day problems show importance of completing recount

November 9, 2012
By: 
Associated Press

South Carolina Republicans on Friday asked the state's highest court to stop a recount of votes in Richland County, arguing that a GOP candidate fairly won a disputed legislative race.

The state party made the request to the Supreme Court a day after a circuit judge ordered that ballots and voting machines in Richland County be guarded by state police while state election officials reviewed them. County election officials had planned to certify election results Friday, but that process is on hold.

State election officials said they planned to begin their count Friday afternoon.

ALTERNET: Latino organizers call attention to thousands of uncounted votes in Arizona county sheriff's race

November 8, 2012
By: 
Steve Rosenfeld
news photo

Did Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio—the face of Arizona’s anti-immigrant movement—really win a sixth term of office on Tuesday?

That is one question that Latino organizers are asking Wednesday after receiving reports that perhaps as many as 300,000 ballots remain uncounted in Maricopa County, with what they say are a sizeable proportion coming from non-white voters who unexpectedly were given provisional ballots after their names were not on polling place voter lists.

We CAN do better

November 7, 2012
By: 
No More Stolen Elections
news photo
 
From an election protection stand point, what did we witness yesterday? 
  • We saw the culmination of the most expensive campaign season in U.S. history, with over $5.8 billion spent to influence the electoral process
     

SALON: Is the GOP Stealing Ohio?

November 5, 2012
By: 
Brad Friedman
news photo

Last week, Bob Fitrakis and Gerry Bello at FreePress.org reported an important story concerning what they described as “uncertified ‘experimental’ software patches” being installed at the last minute on electronic vote tabulation systems in 39 Ohio counties.

AMERICAN PROSPECT: Study shows that votes cast by mail are more likely to be uncounted

October 26, 2012
By: 
Abby Rapoport
news photo

Ohio's Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted, has been under fire now for months from Democrats. They’re angry, particularly, about his moves to limit early voting hours across the state—especially those on the weekend before the election. Poor and minority voters rely on the expanded hours. Black churches have used the last Sunday before election day to bring voters to the polls; low-income voters often have inflexible work schedules and childcare demands at home. After a lengthy court battle, Husted has now authorized county election boards to offer hours in the three days before election day. But he did limit early voting hours in the weeks before, with fewer evening hours and no weekend hours.

NYT: Voting machine industry plays large role in the Election Assistance Commission

October 16, 2012
By: 
Adam Cohen
news photo

The much-delayed work of setting federal standards for electronic voting machines is speeding up, and there is reason for concern. Voting machine companies and their supporters have been given a large say in the process, while advocates for voters, including those who insist on the use of voter-verified paper receipts, have been pushed to the margins. Election officials and machine makers may be betting that after the presidential election, ordinary Americans have lost interest in the mechanics of the ballot. But Americans do care, and it is unlikely that they will be satisfied by a process in which special interests dominate, or by a result that does not ensure vote totals that can be trusted.

COMMON DREAMS: Bain Capital owns electronic voting machines that will count many of Ohio's ballots

October 14, 2012
By: 
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
news photo

Electronic voting machines owned by Mitt Romney's business buddies and set to count the votes in Cincinnati could decide the 2012 election.

The narrative is already being hyped by the corporate media. As Kelly O'Donnell reported for NBC's Today Show on Monday, October 8, Ohio's Hamilton County is "ground zero" for deciding who holds the White House come January, 2013.

O'Donnell pointed out that no candidate has won the White House without carrying Ohio since John Kennedy did it in 1960. No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio's electoral votes.

ROLL CALL: Ohio votes must be counted if poll workers put provisional ballots in wrong precinct

October 11, 2012
By: 
Amanda Becker
news photo

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati today decided two cases related to Ohio’s provisional voting procedures, ruling that it is unconstitutional to toss out ballots that are cast in the incorrect voting precinct due to poll-worker error.

Ohio law “effectively requires voters to have a greater knowledge of their precinct, precinct ballot, and polling place than poll workers,” the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit said.

BRAD BLOG: Gubernatorial Recall Ballots Saved from Destruction in Waukesha County, WI - For Now...

August 13, 2012
By: 
Brad Friedman

The ballots cast in Waukesha County during the June 5th Gubernatorial recall in Wisconsin appear to be safe from destruction at the hands of one of the nation's most notorious election officials.

For now.

BRAD BLOG: Infamous Waukesha, WI Election Clerk Threatens to 'Destroy' Historic Walker Recall Ballots Amid Statewide Public Hand Count Effort

August 13, 2012
By: 
Brad Friedman
news photo

[LATE UPDATE:The recall ballots from Waukesha County have been saved from destruction, for now. Full details posted in our follow-up now here...]

One of the most notorious election officials in the nation may be mercifully retiring at the end of this year, but that hasn't stopped her from attempting to block citizens hoping to oversee the accuracy of their own elections in one of the most right-leaning counties in Wisconsin, following one of the most contentious elections of the year and certainly in state history.

The ISTHMUS covers Hand Count Votes Now!

July 19, 2012
By: 
Judith Davidoff
news photo

In a few weeks, a group of volunteers will don latex gloves, huddle around a table in downtown Madison under the watchful eyes of election clerks and start counting — by hand — a select group of ballots cast in the June 5 recall elections.

Mary Magnuson, an electoral reform activist, submitted an open records request to the Madison city clerk on June 14 asking to inspect "any and all ballots," including optical scanned ballots and absentee ballots, that were cast in Wards 16, 19, 39, 40 and 100 in the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker. She also asked to inspect the tapes used in the scanners and any inspectors' reports prepared by poll workers.

NEWSWEEK: Serious doubts remain about the 2000 Florida recount's legitimacy

May 13, 2012
By: 
Michael Isikoff
news photo

(originally published on November 18th, 2001)

After spending nearly $1 million, a consortium of big news organizations last week rendered what it once thought would be final word on last year's bitterly contested Florida recount.

The decision: a split verdict.

BRAD BLOG: Columbia County, NY uses system of hand-counted paper ballots to verify their votes

March 28, 2012
By: 
Brad Friedman
news photo

This is really great. But the subsequent information I've received from the Columbia County, NY commissioners in reply to my query is even better!

For a start, here's the key parts of the story from Debora Gilbert at The Columbia Paper near Albany, New York.

Note, in particular, how both the Republican and Democratic commissioners concur on what should not be a partisan issue. They are doing a great service to their voters. Read the story and then I'll share the even better news with you below that...

SEATTLE TIMES: Foreign electronic voting systems similar to the US systems are suspected of being tampered

March 25, 2009
By: 
Greg Gordon
news photo

WASHINGTON - The CIA, which has been monitoring foreign countries' use of electronic-voting systems, has reported apparent vote-rigging schemes in Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine and a raft of concerns about the machines' vulnerability to tampering.

Appearing last month before a U.S. Election Assistance Commission field hearing in Orlando, Fla., a CIA cybersecurity expert suggested that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and his allies fixed a 2004 election recount, an assertion that could further roil U.S. relations with the Latin leader.

NYT: North Carolina's election machine blunder

January 18, 2005
By: 
Adam Cohen
news photo

The November election may feel like ancient history, but it is still going on in North Carolina. The state has been unable to swear in an agriculture commissioner because a single malfunctioning electronic voting machine lost more ballots than the number of votes that separate the two candidates. The State Board of Elections, the candidates and the public are sharply divided on how to proceed. The mess North Carolina finds itself in is a cautionary tale about the perils of relying on electronic voting that does not produce a paper record.

HUMANIST: Touchscreen voting machines leave a paperless trail in districts where the polls do not match the results

January 1, 2004
By: 
Michael I. Niman
news photo

Manipulating election votes, the act of stealing an American election, used to sound far fetched. While many people weren't always confident that voters would make fully informed decisions, it was always assumed that each vote would at least be counted. Then came Florida--and the whole quaint notion of elections got tossed out the window. The final 2000 election recount showed that George W. Bush didn't win but he came close enough to move in for the kill.

BRENNAN CENTER: Electronic voting machines record higher rates of residual votes among poor and racial minority populations

October 16, 2012
Lawrence Norden, Jeremy M. Creelan, David Kimball, Whitney Quesenbery

Originally published August 28, 2006

On August 28, 2006, the Brennan Center released a report and policy proposals regarding the performance of various voting systems and their ability to allow voters to cast valid ballots that reflect their intended choices without undue delay or burdens. This system quality is known as usability. Following several high-profile controversies in the last few elections including most notoriously, the 2000 controversy over the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach voting system usability is a subject of utmost concern to voters and election officials.

UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT: ES&S optical scan machines prone to loss of data due to battery failures

October 8, 2010
Tigran Antonyan, Nicolas Nicolaou, Alexander A. Shvartsman, Therese Smith

Abstract

Optical scan (OS) voting systems play an increasing role in the United States elections, with over 40 states deploying such systems. The AccuVote optical scanners (AV-OS) manufactured by ES&S account for over 20% of all OS systems. OS systems typically use removable media (cards) to provide election-specific programming to the scanners and to convey precinct election results for central tabulation. Several reports document occurrences of AV-OS memory card failures, with up to 15% of all cards failing in some cases.

PEW CENTER: Higher rates of residual votes found in Florida among African-American, Hispanic, and senior voters

October 1, 2010
Paul Gronke, Charles Stewart III, James Hicks

This report describes a project that examined the residual vote rates in the state of Florida’s 2008 presidential preference primary, taking advantage of a state law that, for a time, required all jurisdictions to report over- and under-votes at the precinct level.

UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT: Statewide audit of optical scan machines

November 18, 2009
Tigran Antonyan, Seda Davtyan, Sotirios Kentros, Aggelos Kiayias, Laurent Michel, Nicolas Nicolaou, Alexander Russell, and Alexander A. Shvartsman

Abstract

Document: 

FRIEDMAN: Democracy's Gold Standard

September 14, 2009
Brad Friedman

Last March, the country's highest court found that secret, computerized vote counting was unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the country was Germany, and the Constitution violated by e-voting systems was the one that the U.S. wrote and insisted Germans ratify as part of their terms of surrender following WWII.

Paul Lehto, a U.S. election attorney and Constitutional rights expert, summarized the German court's unambiguous, landmark finding:

"No 'specialized technical knowledge' can be required of citizens to vote or to monitor vote counts."
There is a "constitutional requirement of a publicly observed count."

NICHOLS: Special Report on the 2008 Elections

November 5, 2008
John Nichols

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change.
And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. ~ Barack Obama
<

~ NOVEMBER 5, 2008 ~

Additional Information: 

John Nichols is the Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine.
He is also a member of the Liberty Tree Board of Directors.

David Cobb: 'The New Voting Rights Movement' and 'Fighting The Corporate Takeover'

January 3, 2005
David Cobb

The Brad Blog at www.bradblog.com

INTRODUCTION {by Winter Patriot}: We are thrilled to announce that David Cobb will be with us for some live blogging on Saturday morning [late Saturday morning in the East, early Saturday morning in the West]. As most of you probably know, Mr. Cobb represented the Green Party in the 2004 Presidential 'Election'. He has indicated that he wishes to blog about two subjects, and he has sent us some very interesting links and text. So there's plenty to absorb before Mr. Cobb takes the hot seat as the first live blogger of the weekend.

Mr. Cobb's first subject:

Additional Information: 

To read the archive of the full blog post, visit http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001550.htm

How to Organize a Voter Assembly Manual

November 7, 2012

I want to organize a Voter Assembly in my community, where do I start?

Choose a Good Location and Time

Accessible, public spaces outside (parks, prominent intersections, or in front of civic buildings) are usually a good bet. If you need to use an indoor space then an accessible, public space such as a community center would be ideal.

Monitor Provisional & Absentee Ballot Processing

November 5, 2009
Emily Levy

Provisional ballots are not counted on election night, but must first go through a qualification process to determine whether or not the voter was eligible 1) to vote at all, and 2) to vote in all races on the ballot that was cast. . . . Observing this process can increase the chances that it is conducted fairly, in part by providing a deterrent to biased decision-making.

Voter Bill of Rights

September 26, 2009

From unreliable electronic voting machines and millions of uncounted ballots, to partisan election officials and 10-hour waits at the polls, it is clear that our electoral system is in dire need of an overhaul. To build a more just, secure, and robust democracy, please support the following 10-point Voter Bill of Rights:

1. Pass a Constitutional Amendment Confirming the Right to Vote

Syndicate content