National News

National: The state of election technology is… improving | Joe Kiniry & Daniel Zimmerman/TechCrunch

April 29, 2016

With the U.S. knee-deep in what has been an unusual presidential primary season, to say the least, many eligible voters are highly engaged in the process, passionate about their preferred candidates. But when it comes to voting trends, a reality check is in order: Voter turnout in the U.S. during the last midterm election hit the lowest point since the 1940s.

Tennessee: Legislature passes online voter registration bill | Associated Press

April 20, 2016

The General Assembly passed legislation Tuesday that would allow Tennesseans to register to vote online. The House unanimously passed a bill that the Senate had earlier approved. The measure allows Tennesseans to go online to register to vote or update their registration records. Applicants would be directed to apply on paper if their name, date of birth or other identifying information could not be confirmed with the Department of Safety. Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, who sponsored the House bill, said there would be safeguards to discourage voter fraud.

Maryland: State goes back to paper ballots for primary election | Associated Press

April 20, 2016

Maryland is going back to basics — an ink pen and paper ballot — for this month’s presidential primary. Like every new voting system, this one has some quirks that likely will become more apparent when the November general election brings more than 2 million Maryland voters to the polls. The system requires most voters to mark their ballots by filling in ovals, similar to those on standardized tests, with pens provided by election judges.

Maryland: State goes back to paper ballots for primary election | Associated Press

Maryland is going back to basics — an ink pen and paper ballot — for this month’s presidential primary. Like every new voting system, this one has some quirks that likely will become more apparent when the November general election brings more than 2 million Maryland voters to the polls. The system requires most voters to mark their ballots by filling in ovals, similar to those on standardized tests, with pens provided by election judges.

Connecticut: Presidential Primary Will Test Merrill’s Latest Attempt At Computerizing Vote Tallies | Hartford Courant

April 21, 2016

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s office has stumbled repeatedly while spending $350,000 to $400,000 in five years trying to build a computerized system to produce speedy election-night vote tallies.

National: Many hurdles preventing emergence of online voting

April 6, 2016

The search for solutions to increase voter numbers on Election Day continues as states rack up underwhelming turnouts in both presidential and non-presidential election years. But Eugene Spafford, a computer science professor at Purdue University, says online voting is not one of those solutions. The most important aspects of an election are privacy and accuracy for citizens and, from the standpoint of candidates, the vote total accountability. However, current online technology available to the average citizen dictates that you can’t have it all, says Spafford, the exe

Missouri: New proposal would only allow paper ballots in Missouri | KMOV

April 7, 2016

A St. Charles County lawmaker is pushing for a proposal that would get rid of electronic voting machines in Missouri. State Senator Bob Onder-R, Lake St. Louis, is the sponsor of a bill that would make paper ballots the only type of ballots available in Missouri when voters go to the polls. Onder has previously expressed doubts about the accuracy of electronic voting machines during recounts. The proposal comes in midst of a probe into problems with paper ballots in St. Louis County.

National: What Keeps Election Officials Up At Night? Fear Of Long Lines At The Polls | NPR

April 8, 2016

Election officials around the country are nervously planning how to avoid long lines at the polls this year, after voters waited for hours at some Wisconsin sites earlier this week. That came after voters in Maricopa County, Ariz., had to wait up to five hours last month, in part because the county cut back on the number of polling sites. Those delays led to raucous protests at the state capital and a voting rights investigation by the U.S.

National: Paper-Based vs. Electronic Voting: States Move in Different Directions | StateTech Magazine

April 1, 2016

Although most Americans can summon a private car, order a drone and purchase international plane tickets using their smartphones and computers, many voters will find themselves using good old-fashioned pen-and-paper ballots as they vote this primary and general election season. This might be a surprise, given the increased push toward more digitized civic engagement, but there’s been strong pushback against electronic voting. Questions about reliability and security have been raised, and in some states, legislation is now forcing boards of elections to use paper-based voting machines.

National: Could the Election Be Hacked? | Government Technology

April 4, 2016

With the surge in data breaches over the past several years, the prevailing wisdom is that no online data is completely safe from hackers. Banks, governments, insurance companies and small businesses globally have lost billions of dollars to cybercrime. Last year, the top security breaches affected something more precious than personally identifiable information.

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