National News

National: House panel probes DHS scans of state election tech | FCW

January 19, 2017

The leader of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants a fuller accounting from the Department of Homeland Security about complaints of the agency “rattling of doorknobs” on the state of Georgia’s network firewall. Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent letters on Jan. 11 to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and DHS Inspector General John Roth asking about “unauthorized scans” and “unsuccessful attempts to penetrate” the Georgia Secretary of State’s  firewall from last February into November’s election season.

National: New Election Cyberprotections Cause Confusion and Concern | Governing

January 12, 2017

Amid ongoing investigations into how Russia may have used cyberhacking to influence the 2016 presidential election, the Obama administration added the nation’s elections systems to the list of “critical infrastructure.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision, which was announced last Friday, is meant to ensure that elections systems — which include voting machines, storage facilities and voter registration databases — are a high priority for federal cybersecurity assistance and protections.

National: State election recounts confirm Trump win but reveal hacking vulnerabilities | The Guardian

December 30, 2016

The US presidential election was correct, according to a crowdfunded effort to recount the vote in key states, but the review also highlighted the unprecedented extent to which the American political system is vulnerable to cyberattack, according to two computer scientists who helped the effort to audit the vote. J Alex Halderman and Matt Bernhard, both of the University of Michigan, campaigned in favor of a recount of the US presidential election, which was eventually spearheaded by Jill Stein, the Green party candidate.

National: Here’s the evidence U.S. intelligence has on Russia’s election hacking | The Daily Dot

January 2, 2017

U.S. intelligence agencies on Thursday released a detailed report laying out evidence showing that Russia’s government orchestrated cyberattacks meant to tamper with America’s presidential election. The 13-page Joint Analysis Report (JAR), released by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), details the technical methods two Russian intelligence agencies used to “compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S.

National: Post-recount, experts say electronic voting remains ‘shockingly’ vulnerable | The Parallax

January 2, 2017

As the Obama administration took tough action against Russia for interfering with the 2016 U.S. election this week, two experts in U.S. voting-machine security offered evidence at Europe’s largest annual hacker conference here they say proves that while the voting machines used in the November presidential election were not hacked, U.S. voting systems remain “shockingly” exposed to hackers. “We knew on November 8 that hacking was possible,” J.

National: Stein pushes Justice Department for investigation of electoral system | The Hill

December 26, 2016

Jill Stein is continuing her push to investigate the integrity of the U.S. electoral system, with lawyers for the former Green Party presidential candidate asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to probe the issue. “We write to urge the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the integrity of our nation’s election system generally, and our nation’s voting machines specifically, based on the information we discovered in the course of this representation,” reads the letter from Stein’s counsel dated Friday.

National: Electoral integrity in all 50 US states, ranked by experts | Vox

December 26, 2016

Ever since the contested 2000 presidential election, the way that American elections are run has become increasingly partisan and contentious. The 2016 elections ratcheted up the number of complaints by all parties, yet there is heated disagreement about the nature of the problem — let alone potential solutions. For many years, the main complaint by the GOP has centered on alleged incidents of illegal fraud, in which it is claimed that ineligible people registered and cast ballots, for example non-US citizens and felons, or simply imposters voting more than once.

National: Recounts or no, US elections are still vulnerable to hacking | Associated Press

December 26, 2016

Jill Stein’s bid to recount votes in Pennsylvania was in trouble even before a federal judge shot it down Dec. 12. That’s because the Green Party candidate’s effort stood little chance of detecting potential fraud or error in the vote — there was basically nothing to recount. Pennsylvania is one of 11 states where the majority of voters use antiquated machines that store votes electronically, without printed ballots or other paper-based backups that could be used to double-check the balloting.

Editorials: Why the Green Party Continues to Demand Presidential Recounts | David Cobb/The Nation

December 22, 2016

Presidential recounts are not about changing election results. At least, that is not their primary purpose. At their core, recounts are about ensuring confidence in the integrity of the voting system. It is unfortunate, if not all that surprising, that the two largest corporate-controlled political parties have chosen to stand in the way of these grassroots-demanded recounts—in the case of Republicans, actively blocking them in the courts; in the case of Democrats, capitulating in their refusal to push for them.

A Democracy Worth the Paper — Ballot — it’s Written on | Commentary by Mark Halvorson and Barbara Simons

December 21, 2016

As the CIA digs deep to investigate foreign influence on our election, we should recognize that we don’t need cybersecurity experts to tell us if our votes have been accurately counted. Citizen observers can do the job, if we fix the way we vote and the way we verify those votes.

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