National News

National: Senators release new election cybersecurity bill | The Hill

November 1, 2017

Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a multifaceted election cybersecurity bill Tuesday, including a bug bounty program for systems manufacturers and a grant program for states to upgrade technology. “While the Intelligence Committee’s investigation is still ongoing, one thing is clear: The Russians were very active in trying to influence the 2016 election and will continue their efforts to undermine public confidence in democracies,” said Collins in a statement celebrating the bill.

National: Wary of Hackers, States Move to Upgrade Voting Systems | The New York Times

October 13, 2017

State election officials, worried about the integrity of their voting systems, are pressing to make them more secure ahead of next year’s midterm elections. Reacting in large part to Russian efforts to hack the presidential election last year, a growing number of states are upgrading electoral databases and voting machines, and even adding cybersecurity experts to their election teams.

Verified Voting Blog: Yes, Voting Machines Can Be Hacked – Now the Hard Work Begins

October 13, 2017

DEFCON Report on Machine Vulnerabilities Critical First Step in Raising Awareness, But to Secure Election Systems, States Must Adopt Paper Ballots

National: Are Americans Beginning to Care About Election Integrity? | WhoWhatWhy

October 13, 2017

Nearly a year after the 2016 presidential election, many Americans have been forced, some for the very first time, to look critically at their voting protections, and recognize that US balloting systems are not nearly as impregnable as they once thought. Clearly, the US intelligence reports about Russia hacks provided a long-overdue wake up call for this issue. The good news: some progress has been made in some jurisdictions in the last year. The bad news: that progress hasn’t been as widespread or comprehensive as the problem would seem to demand.

National: DHS and top election officials finally meet to begin hashing out ‘critical infrastructure’ designation | Washington Examiner

October 16, 2017

Top election officials from around the country met this weekend to create the formal organization to hash out what powers and lines of communications the Department of Homeland Security should have after the department designated voting systems in the states and territories as “critical infrastructure” earlier this year. By voting to adopt a charter for a “Government Coordinating Council,” the secretaries of state now have a group that has an official channel and a single “voice” to communicate with DHS.

National: Paper ballots are back in vogue thanks to Russian hacking fears | USA Today

September 21, 2017

Once about as newsworthy as water meters, the voting machines and computers used to record and tally the nation’s ballots are suddenly a hot button issue due to mounting evidence Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. According to the FBI, as many as 39 states had their election systems scanned or targeted by Russia. There’s no evidence of votes changed. But given the stakes, some state agencies that run elections are trying to curb any further interference prior to mid-term elections in November.

National: Voting machine concerns have states eyeing return to paper ballots | Fox News

September 26, 2017

When voters in Virginia head to the polls this November, they’ll be casting their ballots the old-fashioned way. The state’s Board of Elections decided earlier this month to de-certify the widely used Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines ahead of the gubernatorial election – prompting counties and cities to replace their touchscreen machines with those that produce a paper trail. Virginia is not alone.

National: Is low-tech the answer to election security? | FCW

September 11, 2017

Some experts say that given uneven IT security requirements for voting systems, the best protection against election hacking may be less technology. “Based on my experience, I don’t have a lot of confidence” in the security of election equipment, said Alex Halderman, director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society, at a Sept. 8 Brookings Institution discussion.

Voting Blogs: Modernizing voting system guidelines and testing | Center for Civic Design

September 14, 2017

If you have ever looked at the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), you might be overcome by the sheer size of the document and the level of detail included. If your state requires federal certification for the voting systems you use, the VVSG 1.0 (2005) or 1.1 (2015) are the specifications used to test the voting systems against. We all learned a lot from the process of creating and refreshing the VVSG over the years. In the meantime, so much has changed. The technology has changed, the market of voting technology has changed, laws have changed — elections have changed.

National: Bipartisan Push for Electoral Security Gets Priority Status | Roll Call

September 15, 2017

A bipartisan effort to enhance election security is among the priorities for Senate Democrats as part of the debate on the annual defense authorization measure. “The consensus of 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies was that Russia, a foreign adversary, interfered in our elections. Make no mistake: Their success in 2016 will encourage them to try again,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday. “We have state elections in a couple of months and the 2018 election is a little more than a year away.

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