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Verified Voting Blog: Yes, Voting Machines Can Be Hacked – Now the Hard Work Begins

October 13, 2017

DEFCON Report on Machine Vulnerabilities Critical First Step in Raising Awareness, But to Secure Election Systems, States Must Adopt Paper Ballots

National: Wary of Hackers, States Move to Upgrade Voting Systems | The New York Times

October 13, 2017

State election officials, worried about the integrity of their voting systems, are pressing to make them more secure ahead of next year’s midterm elections. Reacting in large part to Russian efforts to hack the presidential election last year, a growing number of states are upgrading electoral databases and voting machines, and even adding cybersecurity experts to their election teams.

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.

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.

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.

National: Voting machine concerns have states eyeing return to paper ballots | Fox News

September 26, 2017

When voters in Virginia head to the polls this November, they’ll be casting their ballots the old-fashioned way. The state’s Board of Elections decided earlier this month to de-certify the widely used Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines ahead of the gubernatorial election – prompting counties and cities to replace their touchscreen machines with those that produce a paper trail. Virginia is not alone.

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.

National: Paper ballots are back in vogue thanks to Russian hacking fears | USA Today

September 21, 2017

Once about as newsworthy as water meters, the voting machines and computers used to record and tally the nation’s ballots are suddenly a hot button issue due to mounting evidence Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. According to the FBI, as many as 39 states had their election systems scanned or targeted by Russia. There’s no evidence of votes changed. But given the stakes, some state agencies that run elections are trying to curb any further interference prior to mid-term elections in November.

National: Bipartisan Push for Electoral Security Gets Priority Status | Roll Call

September 15, 2017

A bipartisan effort to enhance election security is among the priorities for Senate Democrats as part of the debate on the annual defense authorization measure. “The consensus of 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies was that Russia, a foreign adversary, interfered in our elections. Make no mistake: Their success in 2016 will encourage them to try again,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday. “We have state elections in a couple of months and the 2018 election is a little more than a year away.

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.

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