News from other states

California: New California Law Strikes Blow to Election Audits | WhoWhatWhy

October 31, 2017

As the most populous state in the country by far — and a leader in innovations — California is always worth watching. In no situation is that more true than in its attempts to fix its voting system. Sometimes, however, those efforts prove to be entirely counterproductive. In response to reports from US intelligence that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, election officials across the country are striving to fortify their security procedures.

New Mexico: State ‘ahead of the game’ on paper ballots | Santa Fe New Mexican

November 1, 2017

Your bank might want you to give up those paper statements sent in the mail in favor of an app on your smartphone, and your doctor might keep your medical records on a computer instead of in a manila folder. But New Mexico wants to keep your vote on a paper ballot, and a growing number of states are following suit, ditching paperless elections because of concerns about cybersecurity. Russian hackers, according to election officials, targeted voting systems in 21 states last year, but New Mexico was not among them.

Connecticut: UConn’s Center for Voting Technology Research supports fair and free elections | The Daily Campus

November 2, 2017

The University of Connecticut’s Center for Voting Technology Research (VoTeR Center) is working to keep state elections fair and fraud free, a topic recently brought to light by Secretary of State Denise Merrill in a statement released Friday. “(On Oct. 26th), along with representatives from the state’s information technology and public safety departments, I met with regional officials from the United States Department of Homeland Security to discuss how we can work together to ensure that Connecticut elections are safe from outside interference or manipulation,” Merrill said.

Georgia: Attorney General Won’t Defend State In Voting Machine Case | Courthouse News

November 3, 2017

Georgia’s attorney general announced Wednesday his office will not defend the state against claims it knowingly used antiquated voting technology in recent elections despite knowing it was vulnerable to being hacked. The Coalition for Good Governance and Georgians for Verified Voting, both of which advocate for voting transparency, sued Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in Fulton County Superior Court on July 3. The case was removed to federal court in August. The proceedings are pending.

Editorials: Make commitment for secure voting system in South Carolina | Post and Courier

October 16, 2017

Faced with increasingly convincing evidence that electronic voting systems can be hacked to alter election results, a majority of states are wisely moving to adopt voting methods that enhance security, in part by producing a paper ballot record that can be used to audit results. South Carolina should do the same. In fact, that’s the goal of the state Election Commission, if the Legislature will come up with $40 million to purchase the 13,000 new machines needed to serve every precinct in the state.

Georgia: Paper ballot voting machines unveiled in Rockdale, Georgia’s first pilot | OCG News

September 29, 2017

Rockdale Elections Director Cynthia Welch recently held a demonstration showing off the new “paper” ballot voting machines that will be used in the Nov. 7 Conyers municipal elections. Rockdale is the first county in Georgia to pilot the new machines, which will provide voters with a paper ballot they can examine before casting their ballot in a tabulator machine that counts the votes. “If they’re not satisfied with their vote, they can take it to a poll worker and request a new ballot and start all over.

California: Challenges mount as rollout of new California voting overhaul nears | KPCC

September 25, 2017

Think back a decade: what did your cell phone look like? Now imagine carrying out your normal routine today with that old phone. That scenario sums up the problem facing California’s aging voting system. Around the state, the machines that handle ballots have grown old as technology has advanced. There are also increasing concerns about security threats and how to get more voters to participate in elections. And the pending rollout of a new law could do away with most neighborhood polling locations and nudge more voters to vote by mail.

California: Cyber Security Experts Say California Vote Audit Has Exploitable Problems – capradio.org

September 27, 2017

Federal officials told California Friday that Russians probed the state’s election system for vulnerabilities before the 2016 election. That’s raising new questions over a bill on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. Cyber security experts say the measure could weaken California’s voting systems. California relies on machines to tabulate the millions of ballots cast during an election, but counties also do a manual audit of one percent of precincts.

Wisconsin: State to end use of ballot-counting machine that had flaw highlighted in recount | Wisconsin State Journal

September 28, 2017

State elections officials plan to end the use of a type of ballot-tabulation machine after the statewide 2016 recount linked the machine to vote-counting discrepancies in the last election. State elections commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to de-certify the machine, the Optech Eagle, immediately after the 2018 election. The commission also required that if those machines are used in a recount before then, a hand recount would be required. A Wisconsin State Journal analysis of the recount results, published in January, highlighted the problems.

Virginia: State moves to eliminate voting machines considered top hacking target | Politico

September 11, 2017

Virginia’s election office on Friday urged the state’s election supervisors to prohibit touch-screen voting machines before November’s elections, saying the devices posed unacceptable digital risks. If approved, the move would represent one of the most dramatic actions taken to help secure elections since a 2016 presidential race rife with concerns about digital meddling and vote tampering. Election security experts have long warned that such machines are a top target for hackers.

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