National News

National: Efforts to restore felons’ voting rights cause deep divide | News21

August 25, 2016

Republican and Democratic politicians across the country are deeply divided over restoring the right to vote to felons, a political fracture that affects millions of convicted criminals. In Iowa and Kentucky, Democratic governors issued executive orders to restore voting rights to many felons, only to have them rescinded by Republican governors who succeeded them.

National: The United States is getting better at running elections | The Washington Post

August 10, 2016

Today marks the release of the latest edition of the Pew Charitable Trust’s Elections Performance Index (EPI), a measure of how effectively U.S. states administer elections.

National: Just how secure are electronic voting machines? | CNN

August 10, 2016

t’s no secret, given the hacks that have plagued the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. But security researchers warn that it’s just the beginning. “There’s not even a doubt in my mind that there are other actors out there that have yet to be found,” Crowdstrike CEO George Kurtz told CNNMoney.

National: These States Are At the Greatest Risk of Having Their Voting Process Hacked | MIT Technology Review

August 12, 2016

The recent cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee has raised the specter of an Internet-based assault on the democratic process in the U.S., and has led computer security experts to call on the federal government to do more to protect the voting process from hackers.Since national elections involve some 9,000 separate jurisdictions, and they use a variety of technologies, the problem at first appears to be hopelessly complex.

Voting Blogs: Assessing Elections with a Clear Eye: What the EPI Tells Us about Election Performance | electionlineWeekly

August 12, 2016

On Tuesday, The Pew Charitable Trusts released the latest version of the Elections Performance Index (EPI), its effort to take ideas proposed by Heather Gerken in The Democracy Index and turn them into flesh and blood (or at least electrons). The website captures what happened during the 2014 midterm election, adding to existing measures from 2008, 2010, and 2012, as well. Having data from a series of elections makes it possible to examine the process of change across time.

National: How Hackers Could Cause a Presidential Election ‘Virtual Hanging Chad’ – But maybe not. | Fortune

August 12, 2016

The hanging chad from the 2000 Presidential election could be making a comeback—in virtual form. At the Black Hat USA 2016 hacking conference in Las Vegas that ended on Aug. 4, security firm Tripwire surveyed more than 220 information security professionals to determine whether they believed hackers could influence the outcome of the Presidential election.

Editorials: The Election Won’t Be Rigged. But It Could Be Hacked. | Zeynep Tufecki /The New York Times

August 13, 2016

Voting isn’t a game, of course, and we need to trust the machines that count our votes. Especially this year. Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, raised the possibility of “rigged” elections, and his former adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. has warned of a “blood bath” in such a case. A recent poll found that 34 percent of likely voters believed the general election would be rigged. It’s unclear what mechanism the Trump campaign envisions for this rigging.

Editorials: After DNC hack, the case for paper ballots | Glenn Reynolds/USA Today

July 29, 2016

Somebody — probably, though not certainly, Vladimir Putin’s intelligence apparatus — has hacked the Democratic Committee’s email servers and released some of what it found via the Wikileaks site.  As Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith notes, this is something new:  Although meddling in foreign elections is old stuff for intelligence agencies (including our own), this sort of email release is unprecedented.

National: By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines | Bruce Schneier/The Washington Post

July 28, 2016

Russia was behind the hacks into the Democratic National Committee’s computer network that led to the release of thousands of internal emails just before the party’s convention began, U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded. The FBI is investigating. WikiLeaks promises there is more data to come. The political nature of this cyberattack means that Democrats and Republicans are trying to spin this as much as possible. Even so, we have to accept that someone is attacking our nation’s computer systems in an apparent attempt to influence a presidential election.

National: How Technology Is Shaping Voter Registration and the Election Process for States and Localities | StateTech Magazine

July 20, 2016

As Hennepin County, Minn., prepares to implement its new electronic poll book system in August, one of election officials’ main concerns has been how to train poll workers. The workers are wonderful, says Hennepin County Elections Manager Ginny Gelms, but many are older and not very comfortable using technology. Those worries proved unfounded when the poll workers in a neighboring county’s pilot project said they would return only if they could use the electronic poll books again. “That was a real eye-opener for me,” Gelms says.

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