News

National: How Applied Mathematics Could Help Democracy | The Atlantic

May 26, 2017

American voting relies heavily on technology. Voting machines and ballot counters have sped up the formerly tedious process of counting votes. Yet long-standing research shows that these technologies are susceptible to errors and manipulation that could elect the wrong person. In the 2016 presidential election, those concerns made their way into public consciousness, worrying both sides of the political fence. The uncertainty led to a set of last-minute, expensive state recounts—most of which were incomplete or blocked by courts.

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.

Internet voting and paperless machines have got to go - Star Tribune

May 22, 2017

Internet voting and paperless machines have got to go

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National: 3 Things Election Tech Officials Need Right Now | Government Technology

May 19, 2017

The U.S. is in the midst of a historic moment of civic participation. And while protesters march in the streets and politicians wrangle with each other over the aftermath of an election, the people who actually run elections are quietly working on making their systems better. And those systems are, by all accounts, in need of updating.

National: Transforming Election Cybersecurity | Council on Foreign Relations

May 18, 2017

The 2016 U.S. election constituted a watershed for democracies in the digital age. During the election cycle, fears proliferated among policymakers and the public that foreign actors could exploit cyber technologies [PDF] to tamper with voter registration, access voting machines, manipulate storage and transmission of results, and influence election outcomes. Russian information operations and disinformation on social media compounded these fears about election cybersecurity by raising questions about foreign interference with the election’s integrity.

National: Hacking US Voting Machines Is Child’s Play | CleanTechnica

May 17, 2017

… J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. student Matt Bernhard have assembled a number of reasons that they say render US voting machines susceptible to outside interference that could affect the accuracy of their tallies. In 2002, after the chaotic presidential election two years before, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act. The legislation provided funding for several private electronic voting machine manufacturers, including Diebold. Voting machines today fall predominantly into two categories.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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