National News

National: Cyber Vulnerabilities Threaten 2016 Election | Risk & Insurance

July 8, 2016

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of registered voters believe the 2016 presidential campaign will be compromised by a cyber breach in some way, according to a poll conducted by data security firm PKWARE and Wakefield Research. Their concerns are not unwarranted; at a time when breaches and data theft make headlines on a regular basis, much of the voting process remains unprotected.

Voting Blogs: TGDC Releases Draft Project Charter for New Voting System Standards | Election Academy

July 8, 2016

The Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) may not be well-known, but it plays a crucial role in the process of standards-setting in the field of voting technology testing and certification. About a year ago, the TGDC announced that it was going to convene a series of public working groups as part of a new approach to updating the federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). Late last month, the TGDC issued a draft project charter for VVSG version 2.0 that attempts to define both the scope of the project and lay out a way forward. 

National: Uniformity in Voting Systems: Looking at the Crazy Quilt of Election Technology | The Canvass

June 23, 2016

Since the late 1800s, the decision of whether to use voting machines to help tabulate votes, and which machine to use, has traditionally been left up to local jurisdictions. As different technology was introduced, legislatures passed requirements on what voting machines had to do. However, within those parameters it was still usually up to localities to choose (and purchase) the equipment itself. As a result, voting equipment used in the country looked like a crazy quilt.

National: ​David Dill: Why Online Voting Is a Danger to Democracy | Stanford Report

June 10, 2016

If, like a growing number of people, you’re willing to trust the Internet to safeguard your finances, shepherd your love life, and maybe even steer your car, being able to cast your vote online might seem like a logical, perhaps overdue, step. No more taking time out of your workday to travel to a polling place only to stand in a long line. Instead, as easily as hailing a ride, you could pull out your phone, cast your vote, and go along with your day. Sounds great, right? Absolutely not, says Stanford computer science professor David Dill.

National: Ballot design pro helps prevent election snafus | Washington Times

June 16, 2016

Campaigns routinely spend millions of dollars on get-out-the-vote drives, but it’s money down the drain if voters can’t figure out the ballot. That’s where Drew Davies comes in. The college art major has parlayed his knack for graphic design into a career as one of the nation’s premier ballot fix-it guys. His job description may come as a surprise to those who assume that the federal government has ironed out the kinks since the 2000 presidential election uproar in Florida. As Mr. Davies can attest, there are still causes for concern.

Voting Blogs: Election Toolkit launches: Free and low-cost tech tools will help promote civic engagement nationwide | electionlineWeekly

June 17, 2016

This election year, election officials will have a new collection of tools to help them engage their communities in the electoral process and improve how elections are run throughout the U.S.

National: Will your voting machine work on Election Day? | CBS

June 17, 2016

Voters in Polk County, Florida, will be using 16-year-old machines on Election Day this November, and they are either nearing or have already surpassed their average lifespan. The region, which encompasses parts of the greater Tampa Bay area, is one of many jurisdictions in more than a dozen states that are using voting machines that are 15 or more years old in this year’s election cycle, a report from the Brennan Center for Justice revealed last September. Two years ago, ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, a 10-member commission President Obama formed to figure out how to

National: ​David Dill: Why Online Voting Is a Danger to Democracy | Stanford Report

June 6, 2016

If, like a growing number of people, you’re willing to trust the Internet to safeguard your finances, shepherd your love life, and maybe even steer your car, being able to cast your vote online might seem like a logical, perhaps overdue, step. No more taking time out of your workday to travel to a polling place only to stand in a long line. Instead, as easily as hailing a ride, you could pull out your phone, cast your vote, and go along with your day. Sounds great, right? Absolutely not, says Stanford computer science professor David Dill.

Maryland: Analysis: Improperly scanned ballots too few to affect outcomes of Baltimore City Council primary races

June 1, 2016

Were the irregularities in Baltimore’s primary election numerous enough to affect the outcome of City Council races? It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds. The State Board of Elections reported last week there were 1,188 provisional ballots improperly scanned into the results of Baltimore’s primary election in April — without verification that the voters were registered. That’s too few votes to affect the outcome of the Democratic primary for mayor, where state Sen. Catherine E.

National: Online Voting and Democracy in the Digital Age | Consumer Reports

May 18, 2016

Considering the importance of elections in the U.S., the country sure does make voting a challenge. National elections are held on a Tuesday in November, a workday for most people. In 11 states and Washington, D.C., you can register to vote on Election Day. (Maryland allows same-day voter registration only for early voting.) Other states have registration deadlines of eight to 30 days before an election. Some states have expanded voting by mail, online registration, absentee voting, and similar practices.

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