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I called Michael Biesecker of Raleigh N&O to correct misinfo about the so called ballot printing "concession". He wouldn't listen. The N&O ran my op/ed but the wrong information continues.
Gary Bartlett did not grant ES&S or PrintElect anything.
New Mexico & other states also have few ballot printing companies so prices are more difficult to negotiate. Robert Adams, Dep Clerk of Bernalillo County N.Mexico advised in email August 6, 2010 that:
"..the per ballot cost for everything provided by AES is $1.26 per ballot."
The cost of ballots in New Hampshire is about $0.23 for a one-page ballot.
The NCSBOE certified 3 different voting vendors in Dec 2005. I sued the NC SBoE to challenge the certification of Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia (conditionally). The Electronic Frontier Foundation & Donald Beskins represented me. http://www.ncvoter.net/legalactions.html The court ruled with NCSBoE & the vendors were certified anyway.
The NC Coalition for Verified Voting opposed Diebold because Diebold went to court to gut the standards of verified voting law.
Republican, democrat and other activists urged their counties not to buy Diebold.
Diebold fled NC at end of Dec 2005. http://www.ncvoter.net/dieboldnews.html
Sequoia couldn't meet federal standards and left. ES&S stayed, and their local rep PrintElect DID meet the standards
The 5 member bi partisan State Board of Elections voted to certify the 3 vendors. There was an open RFP process. Vendors had to meet state & federal standards as well as criminal & civil penalties for voting vendors and their CEOs. Diebold didn't want to.
The current vendor has acted responsibly and that has been for the better of our voters and our elections. Other states have not faired so well.
[See database of election problems around the country at http://www.votersunite.org/electionproblems.asp ]
15 counties use a ballot printing company out of Durham who says he can't accommodate more business.
Thanks to the high standards mandated in 2005, NC weeded out weak & sloppy vendors & mandated accountability. NC's undervote rate for president was just under 1% in 2008, down to nearly 1/3 of what it has been in previous elections. IOW, a higher percent of voted ballots for President are being counted than before. See Study By Professor at Bard College NY http://www.ncvoter.net/undervote.html
North Carolina no longer has: Diebold (14,000 votes not counted on election night in Gaston Co 2004), Unilect (4400 votes lost in 2004), Microvote (salesman bribed former Meck Co Election Director), Hart Intercivic (caused huge undervotes in Catawba County).
Our election audit shows the count to be accurate.
[See An Assessment of the Recount and the Certification of the Election Result for the November 2008 Election http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/GetDocument.aspx?id=1321
more at www.ncvoter.net
The OP endorses some very dangerous "solutions". 1. IRV, 2. Forced Vote by Mail, 3. Central tallying of votes, 4. Shorter time between primary and runoff and 5. worst of all, internet voting.
1.IRV is costly, complex, confusing and does not provide a majority.
2. Forced vote by mail negatively impacts those in lower socio economic groups who move more frequently and whose mail may be less secure.
Vote by mail opens up the voter to coercion by spouse, employer or others with influence, or to vote buying and selling.
3. Central tallying of precinct cast votes was made illegal because it makes it easier to stuff ballot boxes or steal ballot boxes after polls are closed.
4. It isn't feasible to shorten time between primary and runoff and this would also negatively impact our military voters. Our administrators need time to set up ballots, have them approved and printed, we need time for military to receive their ballots and return them in a secure fashion.
5. Computer scientists warn of the dangers of internet voting. Google & DOD can't secure their sites, and i-voting is vulnerable to insider attacks.
See David Jefferson’s Comments to the FCC on Internet Voting
Verified Voting Comments to FCC on Internet Voting
Computer Technologists’ Statement on Internet Voting
If you want more secure balloting, then it must be in person.
The reason for voter apathy is not because it is hard to vote, but because many voters are low information voters - they only vote in elections where they know something about the candidate.
The reason we can't vote from anywhere in the state is that
a. we have a secret ballot (to prevent vote buying, selling, coercion)
b. voting loses integrity when done remotely and not in public
c. The only way we could vote from anywhere in the state is to do so online, which removes the secret ballot, opens up the entire state's election to tampering by insiders and from anywhere in the world, and disfavors those who do not own pcs or do not have easy internet access.
If Google and the Department of Defense cannot keep China from hacking their systems, why would we expose the foundation of our democracy to hackers?
Voting is easy, being an informed voter is hard.
To increase turnout, run compelling candidates and compelling campaigns.
Educate and inform all voters, not just the stalwarts who do spend alot of time studying politics.
Cary North Carolina tried IRV 1 time and said no more. They kept their chartered election method -majority elections of 50% + 1 & traditional runoffs if needed.
Cary votes to keep current election method (Not IRV)
April 30, 2009 http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/story/5060298/
Excerpts from the Cary Town Council meeting:
1:26 Don Frantz
"One of the reasons I called for change to plurality is because we’d have a public hearing and hear what citizens had to say about it. … Most people said they preferred that we stick with what we’ve got. … Stick with our traditional non partisan…
When our town agreed to IRV in 2007, it was kind of rush job..There was a lot of pushback, the public wasn’t involved
..IRV… I can’t see how it makes our elections better other than saving money
I hope all of us don’t mind paying more to get a little better product..
I like the fact that that traditional elections, no matter how many candidates you have in the race, the top two have a month to go at it. You might have your favorite, it doesn’t make the instant runoff… you didn’t know who to rank… but once you know who the top two candidates are… I don’t think it’s that broke… I don’t’ think we really need to focus on fixing it…
1:35 Jack Smith:
"...I thought that the feedback was pretty balanced .. I didn’t see it overwhelming one way or the other… when you considered Cary citizens.. ...Yes there may be cost issues but is a practice that we’ve been doing this for many years, it does determine a clear winner, a 50%+1 winner….and I think it’s the right thing to do at this time…"
Don Frantz, blogged about about the April 30 decision:
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Week in Review 4/26/09 - 5/1/09
"...This was council meeting week. There wasn’t much on the agenda as there aren’t many development projects taking place these days. Council did however make a decision on whether or not to change the method of elections in Cary. After exploring the possibilities of instant runoff voting (IRV) and plurality elections council decided to stick with the non-partisan traditional runoff election method. I am pleased. If you have been reading my blog youknow my thoughts regarding IRV – I don’t like it (and that’s putting it nicely). I was genuinely interested in hearing citizens thoughts regarding the switch back to plurality elections (Cary utilized this method until 2000 when we switched to runoff elections). Unfortunately I didn’t get a lot of feedback regarding plurality (until I stated such at a council meeting – then I received a few emails). Most folks I heard from were special interest groups and politicos both in support and in opposition to IRV..."
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