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Editorials: Congress should require paper voter ballots, electronic cybersecurity | Bruce Fein/Washington Times

July 5, 2017

Something is rotten in the state of our electronic voting practices. They are recklessly wandering towards online voting despite their high vulnerable to hacking and manipulation by cyberspace clowns, partisans, enemies, or all three. Congress should invoke its power under Article I, section 4 of the Constitution to require in federal elections use of paper ballots or electronic voting machines that produce voter-verified paper ballots. Congress should encourage States to do likewise for state elections through a federal grant-in-aid program.

Texas: Why one of the largest counties in Texas is going back to paper ballots | The Texas Tribune

July 5, 2017

Frank Phillips spent last Wednesday staring down 600 boxes of election materials — voted ballots, blank ballots, precinct records — sitting in a warehouse run by Denton County. After sitting in storage for the legally required periods — up to nearly two years in some cases — the roughly 24,000 pounds of paper were finally ready to be shredded. Yet despite the hassle — and the significant cost — Phillips, Denton County’s elections administrator, is looking forward to this fall, when he will implement the county’s newest voting plan: a complete return to the paper ballot.

National: Were Voting Machines Actually Breached? DHS Would Rather Not Know | TPM

June 30, 2017

Pressure to examine voting machines used in the 2016 election grows daily as evidence builds that Russian hacking attacks were broader and deeper than previously known. And the Department of Homeland Security has a simple response: No. DHS officials from former secretary Jeh Johnson to acting Director of Cyber Division Samuel Liles may be adamant that machines were not affected, but the agency has not in fact opened up a single voting machine since November to check.

National: Making U.S. Elections More Secure Wouldn’t Cost Much But No One Wants To Pay | NPR

June 28, 2017

What would it cost to protect the nation’s voting systems from attack? About $400 million would go a long way, say cybersecurity experts. It’s not a lot of money when it comes to national defense — the Pentagon spent more than that last year on military bands alone — but getting funds for election systems is always a struggle.

National: Can US Elections Be Hacked? Security Experts Call For More Protections Against Election Hacking | International Business Times

June 23, 2017

More than one hundred security researchers and experts signed on to a letter sent to member of the United States Congress to warn of their belief that not enough has been done to protect against potential threats to state and federal elections. The letter, published Wednesday as a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference during the 2016 U.S.

National: Intelligence Panel Learns How to Hack Air-Gapped Voting Systems | GovInfo Security

June 23, 2017

Hackers can breach air-gapped voting machines and vote tallying systems – those not connected to internet – in an attempt to alter ballots to sway the outcome of an election, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has learned.

Wisconsin: Assembly passes bill limiting who can seek election recounts | Wisc News

June 22, 2017

Despite assurances from the U.S. intelligence community that Russian hacking only influenced the 2016 U.S. election—and didn’t change vote tallies—there was never actually a formal federal audit of those systems, the Department of Homeland Security said. And while DHS offered free security scans to any state that wanted them, many states—even ones that took up the DHS offer, like Michigan and Maine—either use audit procedures that are considered inadequate or don’t audit their election results at all.

Oregon: Oregon’s electronic, accessible ballots may soon be available in other states | StateScoop

June 20, 2017

States may soon have another option for accessible ballots as an HTML ballot provider for 36 counties in Oregon considers service in new states. Five Cedars Group, which creates downloadable HTML ballots for the blind and disabled, is undergoing certification in California and also considering expansion to Ohio, both of which have faced voting discrimination lawsuits related to accessibility.

Voting Blogs: It is Time For Members of Congress to Step Up and Protect Our Election | Lawrence Norden/Brennan Center for Justice

June 19, 2017

On Monday night, the Intercept published a leaked National Security Agency report that recounts a Russian military intelligence cyberattack against a voter registration software company. According to the report, Russian government hackers appear to have used “data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration–themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.” On one level, this story was not particularly surprising.

National: Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known | Bloomberg

June 14, 2017

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database.

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