News from other states

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.

Rhode Island: Vote-tally audits on Rhode Island lawmakers’ agenda | Providence Journal

September 15, 2017

Amid national news reports about potential election-hacking by Russia — and a machine ballot miscount in North Kingstown last year — state lawmakers have added audits of vote tallies to their special-session agenda. At a rare Friday afternoon meeting in September, the House Judiciary Committee is also scheduled to vote on a criminal-sentencing overhaul that stalled out in the 2016 legislative session, and then got caught up in end-of-session chaos this past June. … That was expected.

National: Electronic voting systems in the U.S. need post-election audits | TechTarget

August 29, 2017

The state of Colorado has taken a step toward rebuilding public trust in the election system in the United States.

Texas: Missing ballots spur calls for auditable vote system | Community Impact Newspaper

August 15, 2017

On the second day of early voting in the November election, Jacob Montoya cast a ballot at the Hays County Government Center. He was a San Marcos mayoral candidate and eager to cast his ballot in that race and other local contests. But his vote ultimately went uncounted, one of 1,816 votes stored on a memory card that was misplaced and discovered weeks after Election Day on Nov. 6. “Do you think the younger generation is going to vote after something like this?” Montoya said. “My vote didn’t matter.

Editorials: Utah needs to think about security above all as it buys new voting machines | Robert Gehrke/The Salt Lake Tribune

August 21, 2017

State elections officials held an open house earlier this month to demonstrate five election systems vying to replace the voting machines that have been chugging away for the past 13 years. Just a few days earlier, a group of hackers in Las Vegas took part in a demonstration of their own, designed to show how easily they could exploit the machines used around the country and potentially compromise our elections process. The results were alarming. The first voting machine was hacked within 90 minutes. By the end of the afternoon, all five had been compromised.

Wisconsin: Recount “Reform” Bills Worsen Already Opaque Elections, Critics Warn | WhoWhatWhy

July 14, 2017

Wisconsin’s legislature is preparing to vote on a pair of bills that would enact stricter standards for election recounts. The impetus for this legislation was Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s successful recount petition after her distant finish in last year’s presidential election. “The situation that we had last fall, with somebody who finished way back in the pack requesting a recount was, I believe, the first time anything like that has ever happened,” Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney told WhoWhatWhy.

California: Los Angeles County Sets Its Sights On Updated, ‘Secure’ Voting System | KHTS

July 21, 2017

As Los Angeles County prepares for the procurement and manufacturing stage of its nationally-recognized Voting Systems Assessment Project (VSAP), Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan is focusing resources on election security.

Colorado: State to require advanced post-election audits | Politco

July 21, 2017

Colorado on Monday said it will become the first state to regularly conduct a sophisticated post-election audit that cybersecurity experts have long called necessary for ensuring hackers aren’t meddling with vote tallies. The procedure — known as a “risk-limiting” audit — allows officials to double-check a sample of paper ballots against digital tallies to determine whether results were tabulated correctly. The election security firm Free & Fair will design the auditing software for Colorado, and the state will make the technology available for other states to modify for their own use.

Texas: Why one of the largest counties in Texas is going back to paper ballots | The Texas Tribune

July 5, 2017

Frank Phillips spent last Wednesday staring down 600 boxes of election materials — voted ballots, blank ballots, precinct records — sitting in a warehouse run by Denton County. After sitting in storage for the legally required periods — up to nearly two years in some cases — the roughly 24,000 pounds of paper were finally ready to be shredded. Yet despite the hassle — and the significant cost — Phillips, Denton County’s elections administrator, is looking forward to this fall, when he will implement the county’s newest voting plan: a complete return to the paper ballot.

Wisconsin: Assembly passes bill limiting who can seek election recounts | Wisc News

June 22, 2017

Despite assurances from the U.S. intelligence community that Russian hacking only influenced the 2016 U.S. election—and didn’t change vote tallies—there was never actually a formal federal audit of those systems, the Department of Homeland Security said. And while DHS offered free security scans to any state that wanted them, many states—even ones that took up the DHS offer, like Michigan and Maine—either use audit procedures that are considered inadequate or don’t audit their election results at all.

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