News from other states

Michigan: Bill Aims To Boost Fee For Election Recount When Margin Isn’t Close | Associated Press

May 23, 2017

Legislation up for a vote in the Michigan Senate would double the fee for losing candidates to file recount petitions if they are down by more than 5 percentage points. The bill is a response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount last fall despite her winning 1 percent of the vote. The Republican-sponsored measure to be approved Tuesday would increase recount fees from $125 per precinct to $250 if losing candidates are behind by more than 5 points.

Nevada: Assembly bill aims to change election recount rules in Nevada | Las Vegas Review-Journal

May 4, 2017

All ballots would be recounted in a contested election under a bill heard Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. Under existing law, if a recount is demanded an initial sample recount is done of ballots from 5 percent of the total number of precincts that voted in the election, or at least three precincts in smaller races.

Vermont: Election Officials Worried Concerning Recount Rules | Valley News

May 4, 2017

The Vermont Municipal Clerks’ and Treasurers’ Association is raising concerns that already hardworking election officials would be overloaded by a pending House bill intended to address controversy over legislative-race recounts last fall. “The last couple years there’s been so much coming at us that something’s going to break,” said Karen Richard, the town clerk for Colchester, Vt., who also heads the association’s legislative committee.

Montana: Aging voting machines pose challenges for disabled, counties | Associated Press

May 9, 2017

Elections clerks across Montana could find themselves increasingly challenged to serve voters with severe physical disabilities because of a dwindling supply of polling equipment designed especially for people who cannot use traditional voting machines. Existing inventories of voting machines for disabled voters are antiquated, some nearly two decades old. Many units are in disrepair and elections officials have been unable to replace the aging machines with newer, modern equipment because of state law.

Wisconsin: Bill to Limit Election Recount in Wisconsin Advances | Associated Press

May 10, 2017

A bill that would have prevented Wisconsin’s presidential election recount is gaining momentum in the state Legislature. The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections voted 6-3 to send to the full Assembly a Republican proposal that would limit who can request recounts in state and local elections. Under the bill, only candidates who trail the winner by 1 percentage point or less in statewide elections could petition for a recount. The bill would also tighten the deadline to request one.

Virginia: McAuliffe says he has broken U.S. record for restoring voting rights | The Washington Post

April 28, 2017

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that he had broken the record for restoring voting rights to convicted felons, calling it his “proudest achievement” as governor. McAuliffe (D) said he had individually restored rights to 156,221 Virginians, surpassing the previous record-holder by a nose. As governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011, Charlie Crist restored voting rights to 155,315 felons, according to figures that McAuliffe’s office obtained from Florida. Today Crist, who has evolved from Republican to Independent to Democrat, is a freshman member of Congress.

California: Election officials support $450 million voting-equipment bond | The Sacramento Bee

April 21, 2017

California elections officials want state lawmakers to place a $450 million voting-equipment borrowing measure on the June 2018 ballot, saying that many counties’ voting machines rely on outdated equipment that make them vulnerable to breakdowns and hacking. The bond measure in Assembly Bill 668 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales Fletcher, D-San Diego, would be more than double the size of the last voting machine borrowing proposal to go on the ballot.

Kansas: WSU statistician: New voting machines more tamper-resistant, but not perfect | The Wichita Eagle

March 31, 2017

Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson says Sedgwick County’s new voting machines leave less room for vote tampering than the old ones did, but still aren’t perfect. “It’s a step in the right direction,” said Clarkson, who has a doctorate in statistics and works as chief statistician at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research. “If we would audit (the machines), that would be another step in the right direction.” On the plus side, she said, the new machines do print paper ballots with the voters’ choices printed on them.

Georgia: As many as 7.5 million voter records involved in data breach | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

March 6, 2017

Millions of Georgia voters may have had their personal information compromised for the second time in as many years, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation Friday at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems involving an alleged data breach. As many as 7.5 million voter records may be involved, according to a top state official briefed on the information but not authorized to speak on the record. Neither federal officials nor university officials would confirm the scope of the investigation or how many records had potentially been accessed.

Massachusetts: MIT Launches an Election Data and Science Lab | Paste

March 7, 2017

While many Americans are still digesting the ramifications of our most recent election, Charles Stewart III, professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is already looking towards 2020. Stewart is the founding Director of MIT’s Election Data and Science Lab: an initiative that strives to bring together data from American elections into one place so that researchers, academics, the press and policymakers can use the information as a resource to inform improvements of elections.

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