National News

National: Uniformity in Voting Systems: Looking at the Crazy Quilt of Election Technology | The Canvass

June 23, 2016

Since the late 1800s, the decision of whether to use voting machines to help tabulate votes, and which machine to use, has traditionally been left up to local jurisdictions. As different technology was introduced, legislatures passed requirements on what voting machines had to do. However, within those parameters it was still usually up to localities to choose (and purchase) the equipment itself. As a result, voting equipment used in the country looked like a crazy quilt.

National: Will your voting machine work on Election Day? | CBS

June 17, 2016

Voters in Polk County, Florida, will be using 16-year-old machines on Election Day this November, and they are either nearing or have already surpassed their average lifespan. The region, which encompasses parts of the greater Tampa Bay area, is one of many jurisdictions in more than a dozen states that are using voting machines that are 15 or more years old in this year’s election cycle, a report from the Brennan Center for Justice revealed last September. Two years ago, ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, a 10-member commission President Obama formed to figure out how to

Voting Blogs: Election Toolkit launches: Free and low-cost tech tools will help promote civic engagement nationwide | electionlineWeekly

June 17, 2016

This election year, election officials will have a new collection of tools to help them engage their communities in the electoral process and improve how elections are run throughout the U.S.

National: Ballot design pro helps prevent election snafus | Washington Times

June 16, 2016

Campaigns routinely spend millions of dollars on get-out-the-vote drives, but it’s money down the drain if voters can’t figure out the ballot. That’s where Drew Davies comes in. The college art major has parlayed his knack for graphic design into a career as one of the nation’s premier ballot fix-it guys. His job description may come as a surprise to those who assume that the federal government has ironed out the kinks since the 2000 presidential election uproar in Florida. As Mr. Davies can attest, there are still causes for concern.

National: ​David Dill: Why Online Voting Is a Danger to Democracy | Stanford Report

June 10, 2016

If, like a growing number of people, you’re willing to trust the Internet to safeguard your finances, shepherd your love life, and maybe even steer your car, being able to cast your vote online might seem like a logical, perhaps overdue, step. No more taking time out of your workday to travel to a polling place only to stand in a long line. Instead, as easily as hailing a ride, you could pull out your phone, cast your vote, and go along with your day. Sounds great, right? Absolutely not, says Stanford computer science professor David Dill.

National: ​David Dill: Why Online Voting Is a Danger to Democracy | Stanford Report

June 6, 2016

If, like a growing number of people, you’re willing to trust the Internet to safeguard your finances, shepherd your love life, and maybe even steer your car, being able to cast your vote online might seem like a logical, perhaps overdue, step. No more taking time out of your workday to travel to a polling place only to stand in a long line. Instead, as easily as hailing a ride, you could pull out your phone, cast your vote, and go along with your day. Sounds great, right? Absolutely not, says Stanford computer science professor David Dill.

Maryland: Analysis: Improperly scanned ballots too few to affect outcomes of Baltimore City Council primary races

June 1, 2016

Were the irregularities in Baltimore’s primary election numerous enough to affect the outcome of City Council races? It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds. The State Board of Elections reported last week there were 1,188 provisional ballots improperly scanned into the results of Baltimore’s primary election in April — without verification that the voters were registered. That’s too few votes to affect the outcome of the Democratic primary for mayor, where state Sen. Catherine E.

National: More than 30 states offer online voting, but experts warn it isn’t secure | The Washington Post

May 20, 2016

The popularity of voting online is growing and will be in place for the presidential election in more than 30 states, primarily for voters living overseas or serving in the military. But security experts and some senior Obama administration officials fear there is not enough protection for any ballots transmitted over the Internet.

National: Online Voting and Democracy in the Digital Age | Consumer Reports

May 18, 2016

Considering the importance of elections in the U.S., the country sure does make voting a challenge. National elections are held on a Tuesday in November, a workday for most people. In 11 states and Washington, D.C., you can register to vote on Election Day. (Maryland allows same-day voter registration only for early voting.) Other states have registration deadlines of eight to 30 days before an election. Some states have expanded voting by mail, online registration, absentee voting, and similar practices.

National: Online Voting and Democracy in the Digital Age | Consumer Reports

May 18, 2016

Considering the importance of elections in the U.S., the country sure does make voting a challenge. National elections are held on a Tuesday in November, a workday for most people. In 11 states and Washington, D.C., you can register to vote on Election Day. (Maryland allows same-day voter registration only for early voting.) Other states have registration deadlines of eight to 30 days before an election. Some states have expanded voting by mail, online registration, absentee voting, and similar practices.

Connecticut: Online Vote Reporting Test Promises Timely Results At Last | Hartford Courant

May 6, 2016

On Election Day 2014, Connecticut was among the last states in the nation to learn who its next governor was because of its antiquated voting system. In 2010, the gubernatorial vote tally took three days. So congratulations are in order to the 104 municipalities that successfully participated in a trial run last week of the online vote reporting system hosted by the secretary of the state’s office. Shortly after 8 p.m., election officials in many towns started entering Democratic and Republican primary results in the system, even though participation was voluntary this time around.

National: Future of online voting | WLFI

May 5, 2016

As voting wrapped up Tuesday on one of the most significant primaries in Indiana history, some people walked away after standing in line for a few minutes but other places had long delays. That in turn, had some people asking: why online voting isn’t an option? … Eugene Spafford is a computer science professor at Purdue. He and many other scientists have studied the option of online voting. “Online voting sounds appealing because many people have access to the internet,” said Spafford.

National: The state of election technology is… improving | Joe Kiniry & Daniel Zimmerman/TechCrunch

April 29, 2016

With the U.S. knee-deep in what has been an unusual presidential primary season, to say the least, many eligible voters are highly engaged in the process, passionate about their preferred candidates. But when it comes to voting trends, a reality check is in order: Voter turnout in the U.S. during the last midterm election hit the lowest point since the 1940s.

Maryland: New voting machines debut with few reported glitches | The Washington Post

April 29, 2016

Despite fears of a botched debut of Maryland’s new voting machines, state election officials say they received few reports of glitches and voter confusion in Tuesday’s primary. The election marked Maryland’s long-awaited switch to paper ballots tallied by scanner, nearly a decade after lawmakers decided to ditch electronic machines that leave no paper trail. Late last year, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and his administration raised concerns about election officials’ rushing the new machines into service.

National: How the U.S. Ended Up With Today’s Paper Ballots | TIME

April 27, 2016

We send emails instead of hand-written letters, we buy Kindles instead of books, we use iPads instead of pen and paper—and yet, voting is still mostly left to good old-fashioned paper. Voting technology has essentially remained at a standstill for decades. Still, some things have stayed the same even longer: the same concerns for security and secrecy that have kept paper dominant were also the driving forces behind voting policy in the early years of the United States.

National: Post Election Audits Help States Confirm Election Results | The Canvass

April 26, 2016

If the term “audit” either makes you shudder or makes you want to snooze, you’re not alone. But a post-election audit can be an integral step in ensuring the integrity of the election process. Voting machines go through lots of pre-election testing.

Connecticut: Presidential Primary Will Test Merrill’s Latest Attempt At Computerizing Vote Tallies | Hartford Courant

April 21, 2016

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s office has stumbled repeatedly while spending $350,000 to $400,000 in five years trying to build a computerized system to produce speedy election-night vote tallies.

Maryland: State goes back to paper ballots for primary election | Associated Press

April 20, 2016

Maryland is going back to basics — an ink pen and paper ballot — for this month’s presidential primary. Like every new voting system, this one has some quirks that likely will become more apparent when the November general election brings more than 2 million Maryland voters to the polls. The system requires most voters to mark their ballots by filling in ovals, similar to those on standardized tests, with pens provided by election judges.

Tennessee: Legislature passes online voter registration bill | Associated Press

April 20, 2016

The General Assembly passed legislation Tuesday that would allow Tennesseans to register to vote online. The House unanimously passed a bill that the Senate had earlier approved. The measure allows Tennesseans to go online to register to vote or update their registration records. Applicants would be directed to apply on paper if their name, date of birth or other identifying information could not be confirmed with the Department of Safety. Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, who sponsored the House bill, said there would be safeguards to discourage voter fraud.

National: What Keeps Election Officials Up At Night? Fear Of Long Lines At The Polls | NPR

April 8, 2016

Election officials around the country are nervously planning how to avoid long lines at the polls this year, after voters waited for hours at some Wisconsin sites earlier this week. That came after voters in Maricopa County, Ariz., had to wait up to five hours last month, in part because the county cut back on the number of polling sites. Those delays led to raucous protests at the state capital and a voting rights investigation by the U.S.

Missouri: New proposal would only allow paper ballots in Missouri | KMOV

April 7, 2016

A St. Charles County lawmaker is pushing for a proposal that would get rid of electronic voting machines in Missouri. State Senator Bob Onder-R, Lake St. Louis, is the sponsor of a bill that would make paper ballots the only type of ballots available in Missouri when voters go to the polls. Onder has previously expressed doubts about the accuracy of electronic voting machines during recounts. The proposal comes in midst of a probe into problems with paper ballots in St. Louis County.

National: Many hurdles preventing emergence of online voting

April 6, 2016

The search for solutions to increase voter numbers on Election Day continues as states rack up underwhelming turnouts in both presidential and non-presidential election years. But Eugene Spafford, a computer science professor at Purdue University, says online voting is not one of those solutions. The most important aspects of an election are privacy and accuracy for citizens and, from the standpoint of candidates, the vote total accountability. However, current online technology available to the average citizen dictates that you can’t have it all, says Spafford, the exe

National: Could the Election Be Hacked? | Government Technology

April 4, 2016

With the surge in data breaches over the past several years, the prevailing wisdom is that no online data is completely safe from hackers. Banks, governments, insurance companies and small businesses globally have lost billions of dollars to cybercrime. Last year, the top security breaches affected something more precious than personally identifiable information.

National: Paper-Based vs. Electronic Voting: States Move in Different Directions | StateTech Magazine

April 1, 2016

Although most Americans can summon a private car, order a drone and purchase international plane tickets using their smartphones and computers, many voters will find themselves using good old-fashioned pen-and-paper ballots as they vote this primary and general election season. This might be a surprise, given the increased push toward more digitized civic engagement, but there’s been strong pushback against electronic voting. Questions about reliability and security have been raised, and in some states, legislation is now forcing boards of elections to use paper-based voting machines.

Voting Blogs: D.C. Board of Elections works with civic hackers for voting insights | electionlineWeekly

March 18, 2016

Election administrators generate heaps of data beyond the election night returns that take center stage, but the data revolution that now drives decisions in campaigns, business, and parts of government has yet to transform how we run elections. As the Presidential Commission on Election Administration noted in its report, a “new technological gap is beginning to emerge, between the data analytical capacity that has improved customer service in the private sector, and the lack of data-driven efforts to improve the experience of voters.” A lack of money for election administr

National: Starting from principles: remote ballot marking systems | Center for Civic Design

March 11, 2016

Remote ballot marking systems are one of the new uses of technology in election administration. As part of a vote-by-mail system, they allow voters to receive a blank ballot to mark electronically, print, and then cast by returning the printed ballot to the elections office.

National: ‘Let Me Vote!’ Voters Experiencing Problems During Primaries: Long Lines, Faulty Machines, Ballot Shortages Among Problems | Latin Post

March 8, 2016

Earlier this week, millions of Americans in 12 states across the country participated in the Super Tuesday election, which helped Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton move one step closer to winning their parties’ nominations. However, many voters were subjected to long lines, confusing information and defective voting machines before they were able to cast their votes.

National: Aging Voting Machines Cost Local, State Governments

March 4, 2016

This year, as Americans select the next president, the entire U.S. House of Representatives and a third of the Senate, as well as an array of state and local officials, many voters will cast ballots on a generation of electronic voting machines that is nearing extinction. Most of the machines, adopted by local governments after “hanging chads” left the 2000 presidential election in the balance for weeks, are at least a decade old.

National: Voter Privacy: What You Need to Know About Your Digital Trail During the 2016 Election | EFF

March 1, 2016

The right to an anonymous vote is a cornerstone of the U.S. democratic process. Yet from the time until you walk into the voting booth until long, long after you cast your ballot, your personal information is a highly sought-after commodity. Often your name, contact details, and political leanings are frighteningly easy for political campaigns to access, collect, share, trade, and sell. First, a caveat. As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, we are prohibited from electioneering, i.e., endorsing or opposing any particular candidate.

Editorials: Here Comes Another Super Tuesday With Our Terrible Voting Infrastructure | Brentin Mock/CityLab

March 1, 2016

Heading into Super Tuesday—the day when presidential candidates hope to rack up delegates from a dozen state primaries—Democratic voter turnout is down. It’s way, way down compared to the 2012 and 2008 elections. There could be multiple reasons for this: Perhaps Democrats just aren’t as excited about their primary choices, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as they were about electing the first black president.

National: Could the US election really be hacked? | International Business Times

February 4, 2016

The United States presidential election is a complex, drawn-out affair. After months of raucous campaigning at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars, the lengthy voting process to choose Barack Obama’s successor finally got underway with the Iowa caucuses. Once the two main political parties – Democratic and Republican – choose their respective nominees through party-sponsored contests in each of the states and overseas territories, the process of electing the 45th President of the United States in the general elections scheduled for November will begin.

National: When Will We Be Able to Vote Online? | Scientific American Jan 22 2016 » The Voting News

January 22, 2016

Sooner or later everything seems to go online. Newspapers. TV. Radio. Shopping. Banking. Dating. But it’s much harder to drag voting out of the paper era. In the 2012 presidential election, more than half of Americans who voted cast paper ballots—0 percent voted with their smartphones. Why isn’t Internet voting here yet? Imagine the advantages! … It’s all about security, of course. Currently Internet voting is “a nonstarter,” according to Aviel D. Rubin, technical director of Johns Hopkins University’s Information Security Institute and author of the 2006 book Brave New Ballot.

Editorials: Online Voting Is the Future — And It Could Lead to Absolute Disaster | Jack Smith IV/Mic

January 20, 2016

This year, we’re going to choose a new president. We’ll debate with disgruntled friends on Facebook, monitor every debate on Twitter and use Google to find polling places. And then, those of us who are willing to make the trek will drive, walk, carpool or take trains to small outposts in order to vote. It’s 2016. Why don’t we have an app on our smartphones that allows us to vote remotely and instantly? …  What’s holding back online voting? In short, security risks.

National: Measuring the integrity of elections | The Boston Globe

January 7, 2016

How do we measure and ensure the integrity of elections? It’s certainly a relevant question as we enter a presidential election year here in the United States, but it’s also important from a global perspective. “Despite the fact that elections have spread worldwide . . . the quality of elections is really bad in many, many places,” according to Harvard Kennedy School Lecturer Pippa Norris, who is director of the Electoral Integrity Project.

Iowa: Online Voter Registration System Launching Amid Concerns | WHO-TV

January 4, 2016

Signing up to vote in Iowa will now be just be a few clicks away, as the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office prepares launches a new online voter registration system. The system is a first for Iowa, and a project Secretary of State Paul Pate’s office has been working on for most of 2015. The system utilizes the Department of Transportation’s database to register any Iowan with a state driver’s license or DOT-issued I.D. card as a voter, completely replacing the paper form.

Maryland: Paper ballots among changes this election year | Herald Mail

January 4, 2016

Maryland voters will now have paper ballots they can review before finally submitting them this election season, and the Hagerstown races will be nonpartisan, the director of the Washington County Election Board said. State officials decided in 2007 to return to paper balloting, once the state had the funding available, so there will be a voter-verifiable paper trail, according to Washington County Election Director Kaye Robucci and the State Board of Elections’ website. If voters participate in early voting, they will use a machine with a touchscreen to select their choices

National: Legacy voting machines ripe for tampering, breakdowns | GCN

December 23, 2015

As America preps for the next presidential election, its voting machines are in need of a serious update. Almost every state is using electronic touchscreen and optical-scan voting machines that are at least 10 years old, according a recent Wired article, with Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia are all using voting machines that are at least 15 years old. When these machines were introduced, dial-up Internet was used by most of the country, and the voting technology was equally primitive.

Voting Blogs: EAC Wants YOU to Help Develop New Voting System Guidelines! | Matthew Masterson/EAC Blog

December 22, 2015

Recently, the EAC and NIST rolled out a new approach to developing the next set of Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). Since the creation of the public working groups, EAC and NIST have been working to recruit as many election officials, information technologists, accessibility professionals and virtually anyone else ready, willing and able to help to join the working groups. Earlier this month, we introduced the next phase of the project with a kick-off conference call and the creation of the public working group Twiki site.

Virginia: Calibration issues found with voting machines | The Gazette-Virginian

December 11, 2015

Chris Hudson, a former investigator with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Department who unsuccessfully ran against incumbent Sheriff Fred S. Clark in the Nov. 3 election, told supervisors they need to act immediately on replacing the county’s voting machines. Hudson, who came in third in the sheriff’s race in November behind winner Fred Clark and Thomas Logan, voiced concerns during the public comment period of Monday’s board of supervisors meeting about what he described as “a major issue” with the county’s 51 voting machines used in the Nov.

National: Election Funding for 2020 and Beyond | The Canvass

December 4, 2015

As jurisdictions across the country are preparing for 2016’s big election, many are already thinking of the next presidential election—2020 and beyond. This is especially true when it comes to the equipment used for casting and tabulating votes. Voting machines are aging. A September report by the Brennan Center found that 43 states are using some voting machines that will be at least 10 years old in 2016. Fourteen states are using equipment that is more than 15 years old.

National: Governors Could Restore Voting Rights To Millions Of People If They Wanted To | Huffington Post

November 26, 2015

There’s a growing bipartisan consensus in Congress that restoring voting rights for people with felony convictions is a crucial aspect of criminal justice reform. But governors have a massive amount of discretion in deciding whether to reinstate voting rights for millions of ex-felons who are still denied the right to vote, as recent decisions in Kentucky and Iowa illustrate. On Tuesday, Kentucky’s outgoing Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, signed an executive order that would automatically restore voting rights to at least 140,000 former felons who have served their sentences.

Maryland: Election boards prepare for new voting processes | WBAL

November 13, 2015

When Maryland voters head to the polls next year, there will be two different systems in place for both early voting and the general election, including the use of paper ballots. The Baltimore City Board of Elections provided a first look at the new way of voting being rolled out across the state next year.

South Carolina: New Voting Machines in Possibly by 2017 | WSPA

November 11, 2015

South Carolina voters could be using new voting machines by 2017. The Voting System Research Committee met at the state house today to talk about the issue. The Director of the South Carolina State Elections Commission, Marci Andino, says it could cost around $40 million to replace all the machines in the state. That’s about $3,000.00 per machine.  Read more: http://thevotingnews.com/news/page/5/

South Carolina: New Voting Machines in Possibly by 2017 | WSPA

November 11, 2015

South Carolina voters could be using new voting machines by 2017. The Voting System Research Committee met at the state house today to talk about the issue. The Director of the South Carolina State Elections Commission, Marci Andino, says it could cost around $40 million to replace all the machines in the state. That’s about $3,000.00 per machine.  Read more: http://thevotingnews.com/news/page/5/

Editorials: Why Upgrading Election Infrastructure Is an Investment in Democracy | Seth Flaxman/Huffington Post

November 10, 2015

The presidential campaign is now upon us, and with it comes a nearly endless line of candidates and a wave of money that will crash over our democracy like we’ve never before experienced. You will read the now-routine media story of “how much the election costs” and stagger at the hugeness of the numbers. In 2012, presidential and congressional campaigns combined to spend more than $7 billion.

Georgia: Suspended election official griped about faulty gear | WXIA

November 7, 2015

The DeKalb County election official placed on administrative leave complained about a faulty piece of equipment turned in from Tuesday’s election, according to elections director Maxine Daniels. Daniels said she suspended Leonard Piazza following a conflict he’d had with a subordinate. She declined to say if the conflict with the subordinate was related to the faulty equipment. Friday, DeKalb county officials certified the LaVista Hills cityhood vote now under investigation by the state.

National: The First Bitcoin Voting Machine Is On Its Way | Motherboard

November 7, 2015

America’s voting machines are archaic and rundown, a recent study showed, and security experts have warned that voter machines are vulnerable to hacking. Enter Blockchain Technologies Corp, a company that hopes to replace existing proprietary machines with secure, open-source voting machines that use the blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin. … Advocates say blockchain-based elections are transparent and secure. They’ve been tested by the Liberal Alliance in Denmark and the European Pirate Party. And now, Blockchain Technologies Corp.

Voting Blogs: Election Day 2015 had a little bit of everything: glitches, snafus, rats, successful pilots and unsuccessful pilots | electionlineWeekly

November 6, 2015

“There was no line at the polling place. The line was almost out the door at Starbucks.” — an email from a Kentucky voter to her daughter. 

Ohio: Voting machine glitches delay Portage County election results until Wednesday | Akron Beacon Journal

November 6, 2015

It took 12 hours before the Portage County Board of Elections could post results from Tuesday’s elections because of a “computer server” issue. Four in-house technicians and several state and national technicians via telephone from Dominion (the machine vendor and support company) got things working again. “Some of the candidates called to see what was happening and to confirm results this morning,” said Board of Elections Director Faith Lyon. “This has never happened before. The final unofficial results were available by 7 a.m.

Virginia: State Moves Back to Paper Ballots for the Election | Newsplex

October 31, 2015

Charlottesville resident Paul Jacob has been rocking the vote since he was 18. He’s been voting for nearly 60 years now and he’s seen quite a few changes. “From marking X’s, to punching holes,” said Jacob. “To the computers.” At Tuesday’s election, he’ll see one more. The city registrars office is taking people back to the future when it comes to voting. Touch screens are now a thing of the past and paper is back in style. One reason for the change is because of problems with voting machines in previous years. Another reason is computer hacking.

National: Which States Could Adopt Automatic Voter Registration Next? | Governing

October 23, 2015

If Americans needed any further proof that voting itself has become a partisan battleground, look no further than proposals calling for automatic voter registration. California this month enacted a law that will automatically register people to vote when they get or renew a driver’s license or state identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), following the example set by Oregon several months ago.

Editorials: America’s Aging Voting Machines | The New York Times

October 13, 2015

In his victory speech after his re-election in 2012, President Obama offered special thanks to those Americans who had stood in long lines to vote — some of whom were still waiting even as he spoke — and then offhandedly added, “by the way, we have to fix that.” The line got big applause, but now, three years later, much of the country is still far from fixing one major cause of the long lines: outdated voting machines and technologies. With the 2016 presidential election just a year away, the vast majority of states are still getting by with old machines that are increasingly lik

California: New recount rules intended to safeguard close elections | Los Angeles Times

October 12, 2015

California will overhaul how it handles vote recounts during statewide elections, replacing a system that critics say is unfair and fails to safeguard the outcome of tight races. The new rules, approved by Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday when he signed legislation from Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), would require the state to pick up the tab for recounts. Right now, any candidate or voter can request a review, but they have to pay for it themselves. In addition, they choose the specific counties whose ballots would be double-checked.

Editorials: America’s voting machines are in need of a serious upgrade | The Washington Post

October 8, 2015

Americans tend to replace their smartphones every two or three years. By contrast, most Americans use voting machines that are at least a decade old and based on engineering and designs from the 1990s. The perils of ignoring the latter may not be apparent until the electoral system is suddenly wracked by mishaps — think of Florida, circa 2000. Unfortunately, the likelihood of major dysfunction grows as voting machines age. It’s fair to blame Washington for a portion of the mess and assume it won’t play a critical role in the solution.

Voting Blogs: A case study on college poll workers – An in-depth look at the Chicago Program | electionlineWeekly

October 2, 2015

Elections officials looking to improve efficiency on election day should look no further than the nearest college, university or community college according to a recent study of the college poll worker program in Chicago.

Vermont: State readies new online elections management tool | StateScoop

October 2, 2015

With a presidential election a year away, Vermont officials are working to make casting a ballot easier for voters. Starting Oct. 12, the Office of the Secretary of State will roll out a new online elections management system that will let Vermont residents register to vote electronically, request absentee ballots and track their personal voting information.

Editorials: Volkswagen and the Era of Cheating Software | The New York Times

September 25, 2015

For the past six years, Volkswagen has been advertising a lie: “top-notch clean diesel” cars — fuel efficient, powerful and compliant with emissions standards for pollutants. It turns out the cars weren’t so clean. They were cheating. The vehicles used software that cleverly put a lid on emissions during testing, but only then. The rest of the time, the cars spewed up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide emissions. The federal government even paid up to $51 million in tax subsidies to some car owners on the false assumption of environmental friendliness.

Voting Blogs: EAC Commissioner Masterson on Aging Voting Technology | EAC Blog

September 18, 2015

Recently a report was released discussing the current state of voting technology across the United States as we head in to the 2016 Election Cycle, which covers elections for many offices, from President to statewide offices to school boards.  Pam Fessler of NPR (a reporter who has spent years reporting on election administration issues and talking to state and local election officials) Categories: National News Read more...

National: America’s Aging Voting Machines Could Present Election Problems | NPR

September 17, 2015

Voting machines around the United States are coming to the end of their useful lives. Breakdowns are increasingly common. Spare parts are difficult, if not impossible, to find. That could be a serious problem for next year’s presidential elections. Allen County, Ohio, election director Ken Terry knows how bad things can get. In the last presidential election, he had to replace the Zip disks — a 1990s technology — in the main machine his county uses to count votes. The disks are no longer made.

National: The Impending Crisis of Outdated Voting Technology | Lawrence Norden and Christopher Famighetti/ The Atlantic

September 15, 2015

The 2016 campaign is already underway, with nearly two dozen candidates vying to be the next president. Americans may have no idea who they will vote for next year, but they are likely confident that when they show up at the polls, their votes will count. And for the vast majority, of course, they will. But with rapidly aging voting technology, the risk of machines failing is greater than it has been in many years. In a close election, the performance of that old equipment will come under a microscope.

Nevada: Navigating Outdated Systems To Vote In Nevada | Nevada Public Radio

September 13, 2015

Nevada is set to figure big in the 2016 election. Not only might we be the deciding state in the presidential election, but who we elect in the Senate race to replace Sen. Harry Reid may determine the balance of power in Congress. And two ballot measures – on legalized marijuana and firearms background checks – will bring people to the polls in droves. Are we ready for this? Is our election system set to handle the influx of voters?

Voting Blogs: EAC-NIST Form Public Working Groups for New Voting System Guidelines | Matthew Masterson/EAC Blog

September 11, 2015

This week the EAC and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provided information to the election community regarding the formation of public working groups to help inform the work of the EAC and its Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) in creating a new version of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG).

Louisiana: iPad voting might be coming to Louisiana | The Times-Picayune

September 10, 2015

It won’t be available during this election, but Secretary of State Tom Schedler wants to bring iPad voting to Louisiana in the next two or three years. If reelected this fall, Schedler said he would look to transition Louisiana from its traditional voting machines to iPads.  Read more: http://thevotingnews.com/ipad-voting-might-be-coming-to-louisiana-the-times-picayune/

California: San Francisco faces dilemma in planning for new voting machines

September 7, 2015

San Francisco is in the market for new voting machines, but the fast-changing landscape of California elections means the city might need a crystal ball to go alongside its purchase orders. With more and more voters casting ballots by mail, many of the city’s 597 precincts are lonely places on election day. Recognizing the new reality, state election officials already have authorized a test of mail-only elections in San Mateo and Yolo counties.

Kansas statistician suing the state to obtain election records, says voting results don't add up

August 31, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. - A university mathematician found something that didn't add up, and now she's suing the state of Kansas to make sure every vote counts.  Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson requested Sedgwick County release election records for the recent election.   This week, Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked a judge to block that request.  Clarkson said the election results in some counties, including Johnson County, are impossible to audit.

Kansas statistician suing the state to obtain election records, says voting results don't add up

August 31, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. - A university mathematician found something that didn't add up, and now she's suing the state of Kansas to make sure every vote counts.  Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson requested Sedgwick County release election records for the recent election.   This week, Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked a judge to block that request.  Clarkson said the election results in some counties, including Johnson County, are impossible to audit.

Kansas: Lawsuit over voting records could move forward | KSN

August 27, 2015

“I don’t think we have safety in our elections right now,” says Dr. Beth Clarkson. “As long as we are using these machines that are vulnerable, and have no verification, how can we claim we have secure elections?” Clarkson is suing Secretary of State Kris Kobach. She sued in 2014, but this time, she says it is different. “Last time, I asked for records for my precinct,” says Clarkson. “This time, I’m asking for a completely anonymous sample.

National: Federal Election Commission refuses to release computer security study

August 21, 2015

Next to the Federal Election Commission’s front door is a quotation from former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”  But the agency is refusing to uncloak a pricey, taxpayer-funded study that details decay in the security and management of its computer systems and networks, which the Center for Public Integrity revealed had been successfully infiltrated by Chinese hackers in October 2013.

National: Federal Election Commission refuses to release computer security study | Center for Public Integrity

August 21, 2015

Next to the Federal Election Commission’s front door is a quotation from former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”  But the agency is refusing to uncloak a pricey, taxpayer-funded study that details decay in the security and management of its computer systems and networks, which the Center for Public Integrity revealed had been successfully infiltrated by Chinese hackers in October 2013.

Voting Blogs: OIG report recommends USPS develop Vote by Mail strategy | electionlineWeekly

August 21, 2015

The U.S. Postal Service is the largest self-funded agency of the U.S.

Hawaii: One step closer to all-mail voting? | Hawaii Tribune-Herald

August 18, 2015

The newest tool for Hawaii voters went live last week, with the implementation of an online voter registration system. It’s part of an overall process to streamline the voting process and increase accessibility and participation. “It is (about) convenience,” said Pat Nakamoto of the county elections division. A bill passed during the 2012 legislative session required the online system to be in place by 2016.

Virginia: Virginia Finally Drops America’s ‘Worst Voting Machines’ | Wired

August 18, 2015

If you voted in a Virginia election any time between 2003 and April of this year, your vote was at serious risk of being compromised by hackers. That’s the assessment reached by Virginia’s board of elections, which recently decertified some 3,000 WINVote touchscreen voting machines after learning about security problems with the systems, including a poorly secured Wi-Fi feature for tallying votes. The problems with the machines are so severe that Jeremy Epstein, a computer scientist with SRI International who tried for years to get them banned, called them the worst vot

National: Internet voting isn’t ready yet, but it can be made more secure | Computerworld

July 10, 2015

A push to allow Internet voting in elections is growing stronger along with advances in the underlying technology, but systems are not yet secure enough to use with relative certainty that the vote counts will be accurate, according to a new report. Still, while “no existing system guarantees voter privacy or the correct election outcomes,” election officials could take several steps to significantly improve the security and transparency of Internet voting systems, said the report, commissioned by the U.S. Vote Foundation, an organization that helps U.S. residents vote.

National: States Will Need New Voting Equipment for 2016 Elections | The Independent View

June 19, 2015

While issues like early voting, voter registration and voter ID have certainly grabbed the headlines of late, another elections issue will literally be in front thousands of voters in 2016, new voting systems. Nationwide many states and counties will have to move to new voting systems for the first time in more than a decade in advance of the 2016 election cycle. For some jurisdictions the switch to a new voting system was mandated by state legislatures that wanted to move to paper-based systems. For others, it’s a matter of age.

National: Elections Technology: Nine Things Legislators May Want to Know | The Canvass

May 27, 2015

What makes you lose sleep?” That’s what NCSL staff asked members of the National Association of State Election Directors back in September 2012. The answer wasn’t voter ID, or early voting, or turnout, as we expected. Instead, it was this: “Our equipment is aging, and we aren’t sure we’ll have workable equipment for our citizens to vote on beyond 2016.”That was NCSL’s wake-up call to get busy and learn how elections and technology work together. We’ve spent much of the last two years focusing on that through the Elections Technology Project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Voting Blogs: Meet the new elections commissioners: US EAC has quorum for first time in several years |electionlineWeekly

May 8, 2015

Late in 2014, the U.S. Congress finally — and unanimously — approved the appointment of three new commissioners to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The commission had been without a quorum for four years with new appointments getting hung up on things the way most things on Capitol Hill get hung up — partisanship. And even with a quorum finally in place, some on Capitol Hill aren’t all that happy. Mississippi Rep. Gregg Harper has introduced legislation to eliminate the EAC. H.R.

National: An online voting lobbyist’s misleading testimony | McClatchy

May 6, 2015

Introducing himself as a former Oregon state elections official, online voting industry lobbyist Donald DeFord vouched authoritatively to a Washington state legislative panel in late January as to the merits of statewide internet voting. Oregon, he testified, ultimately came to the “same solution” offered by a bill before the Washington state House that would allow everybody to cast their election ballots by email or fax – an option that top cyber security experts warn would expose elections to hackers.

National: Secure e-voting: 20 to 30 years away | Computer Weekly

May 5, 2015

Jeremy Epstein, senior computer scientist at non-profit research institute SRI International spoke to the Computer Weekly Developer Network blog this week to share his views on the possibility of electronic voting security. Epstein says that although some e-voting is happening in the US, Estonia and other countries — this is not *secure* e-voting, it’s just e-voting. Every system developed so far has been found to be insecure. “From a technical perspective, we’re at least 10 years away from secure e-voting, and many experts think we’re 20 or 30 years away,” he said.

National: As states warm to online voting, experts warn of trouble ahead | McClatchy DC

April 17, 2015

A Pentagon official sat before a committee of the Washington State Legislature in January and declared that the U.S. military supported a bill that would allow voters in the state to cast election ballots via email or fax without having to certify their identities. Military liaison Mark San Souci’s brief testimony was stunning because it directly contradicted the Pentagon’s previously stated position on online voting: It’s against it.

National: Technology aims to improve the voting experience | The Washington Post

April 6, 2015

In an age where people can transfer money using their mobile device, it’s not hard to envision a future where citizens wake up on Election Day, pull out their phones and choose the next leader of the Free World on the way to work. Last week, a federal election agency took a small step toward that futuristic vision. … The updated guidelines will allow manufacturers to test machines against modern security and disability standards and get them certified for use by states ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

National: Online voting still faces security issues | GCN

March 26, 2015

For those interested in expanding voting access by allowing voters to cast their ballots over the Internet, one government expert/activist has bad news – the security and privacy risks associated with Internet voting won’t be resolved anytime soon. David Jefferson, computer scientist in the Lawrence Livermore’s Center for Applied Scientific Computing, has studied electronic voting and security for more than 15 years.

Voting Blogs: New Paper Uses Google Web Search Data to Suggest EDR Could Have Added 3-4 Million Voters in 2012 | Election Academy

March 16, 2015

My friend and colleague Mike Alvarez of CalTech shared a new paper appearing in Political Analysis yesterday that not only has interesting conclusions about the effect of registration deadlines but also suggests that readily-available but under-appreciated data on web searches could help us get a better handle on how voters perceive the election process.

National: Voting technology: Is it secure yet? | GCN

March 13, 2015

With the presidential election coming up in 2016, many constituencies are looking to how they can use technology to streamline the voting process. Security of the voting system – both with and without technology – remains a question. One method gaining support is to secure the voting process by moving to open source software. The TrustTheVote Project wants open source technology used from the top down, in voter registration, voter information services, ballot design, the foundations of ballot tabulation, election results reporting and analysis and elements of auditing.

National: Why Internet voting remains a risky proposition | FCW

March 12, 2015

Voting in public elections via the Internet could be a national security risk, according to a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Center for Applied Scientific Computing. In a presentation titled “Intractable Security Risks of Internet Voting,” computer scientist David Jefferson said the risks of electronic ballots cast via the Web far outweigh the conveniences such systems can offer. He presented his conclusions at a recent LLNL Computation Seminar Series, though his efforts in that area are independent of his work at the lab.

National: Security risks and privacy issues are too great for moving the ballot box to the Internet | Phys.org

March 11, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, the fundamental security risks and privacy problems of Internet voting are too great to allow it to be used for public elections, and those problems will not be resolved any time soon, according to David Jefferson, who has studied the issue for more than 15 years.

National: House Democrats Express Concerns About Outdated Voting Machines | Baltimore Citybizlist

March 6, 2015

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, joined other House Democrats in a letter Wednesday urging the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the status of voting machine technology and the potential problems posed by using outdated equipment. The members asked the GAO to review challenges state and local jurisdictions face with aging voting systems, the impact of federal standards on developing new voting systems and benefits and challenges of policies in place regarding voter turnout.

Voting Blogs: Restaffed EAC Advances Voting Systems in First Meeting | Adam Ambrogi/Democracy Fund

February 27, 2015

At its first meeting on Tuesday, the new quorum of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) took an important, much-awaited step toward making the work of election officials easier and improving the voter experience around the country. For four years, the lack of a quorum of Commissioners blocked the accreditation of new voting system test laboratories, which meant only two facilities in the country were able to review the quality and accessibility of voting systems.

National: Around The U.S., Voting Technology Is All Over The Place | NPR Berlin

February 20, 2015

Remember all that new voting equipment purchased after the 2000 presidential election, when those discredited punch card machines were tossed out? Now, the newer machines are starting to wear out. Election officials are trying to figure out what to do before there’s another big voting disaster and vendors have lined up to help. During their annual meeting in Washington, D.C., this week, state election officials previewed the latest voting equipment from one of the industry’s big vendors, Election Systems and Software. ES&S expects a huge surge in buying very soon.

Editorials: Can Open-Source Voting Tech Fix the U.S. Elections System? | Techonomy

February 8, 2015

American voting technology is trapped in the last millennium. This lifeline to democracy is kept secret—closed off from public inspection and controlled by large businesses. It is decades old to boot. Our voting methods ought to be at least as cutting edge as our selfie apps, but they’re not. “Our nation’s elections systems and technology are woefully antiquated. They are officially obsolete,” says Greg Miller of the TrustTheVote Project, an initiative to make our voting system accurate, verifiable, transparent, and secure.

Verified Voting Blog: Principles for New Voting Systems

February 4, 2015

Many jurisdictions will need to replace their voting systems in the next few years, but commercial voting systems currently in the marketplace are expensive to acquire and maintain and difficult to audit effectively. Elections may be verifiable in principle – if they generate a voter-verifiable paper trail that is curated well – but current systems make it unnecessarily hard or impractical to verify elections in practice.

Verified Voting Blog: New Standards for Election Data

January 5, 2015

Confirming winners and losers for very close elections can be problematic for contests that span multiple jurisdictions using different equipment and diverse data formats for reporting election results. Such differences have been a significant barrier to conducting risk-limiting audits in time to change preliminary election results if necessary. To address problems caused by incompatible election reporting formats, the IEEE has developed a new standard for election results reporting (1622-2).

Voting Blogs: PCEA Co-Chairs Call on New EAC to Take “Quick Action” on Voting Technology | Election Academy

December 26, 2014

Last week, I engaged in what my friend and colleague Rick Hasen called “irrational exuberance” regarding the confirmation of a 3-member quorum at the EAC. [I plead "giddy as charged."] I did note that there was work to be done, however, and already the new commissioners are hearing about what they can and should do once they formally take office. PCEA co-chairs Ben Ginsberg and Bob Bauer have written letters to the new commissioners laying out some immediate short-term steps they can take to get the nation’s voting technology testing and certification system back up to speed.

Unusual level of glitches at US polling stations reported on election day.

November 6, 2014

As the United States went to the polls for the first time in 50 years without the full protection of the federal Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, lawyers and voter registration groups around the country reported an unusual level of irregularities and glitches at polling stations. The largest non-partisan voter protection coalition in the US received more than 12,000 calls to its hotline from people struggling to cast their ballot amid a slew of new voter-ID laws.

National: Pentagon watchdogs scrutinize states’ push toward online voting | McClatchy

October 31, 2014

Nevada’s election chief says the state’s much-ballyhooed new system for electronically delivering absentee ballots to troops and other citizens overseas isn’t an “online” voting system, even if it offers those abroad the option of emailing marked ballots to county clerks.

Did We Fix That? Evaluating Implementation of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration’s Recommendations in Ten Swing States

October 30, 2014

This new report examines recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration and how they are being implemented in ten states where next week’s elections are expected to be close. No state has implemented all the recommendations, but no state has ignored all the recommendations either.

Click here for the report.

Editorials: Your vote may be safe, but is it being counted? | Futurity

October 14, 2014

Voting systems designed to be tamper-resistant may be missing lots of votes. New research shows that only 58 percent of ballots using new end-to-end technology were successfully cast. The systems are designed to give voters the option to both verify the system is working properly and to check that their votes have been recorded after leaving the polling place. Voting concerns such as accuracy, privacy, and bribery/coercion have prompted research and development of ways to make voting tamper-resistant and verifiable by voters.

National: McAfee partners with Atlantic Council in new study that explores online voting | BiometricUpdate

October 14, 2014

McAfee has sponsored a new Atlantic Council study that explores how online voting and e-voting could become more integrated in the international political process if particular technologies and processes are implemented to ensure its security. Released at an event at the Atlantic Council, the study found that many of the technologies that are already being used for online financial transactions could also be applied to e-voting and online voting to increase its popularity in the future.

National: 2 Tech Challenges Preventing Online Voting In US | Information Week

October 10, 2014

Online elections could be a reality in the United States if the security world can figure out how to ensure both voter anonymity and vote verifiability — two essential but “largely incompatible” goals, according to a new report from the Atlantic Council and Intel Security. The report, “Online Voting: Rewards and Risks,” discusses what challenges must be solved if online voting is ever to take off in the US. ”It’s not a matter of if, but of when,” says Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist for Intel Security.

National: Privacy advocates sue Pentagon over Internet voting test results | The Washington Post

October 3, 2014

Privacy advocates, worried that the Defense Department is sinking millions of dollars into unproven online voting systems, are suing the Pentagon for the release of long-promised test results on whether Internet-based voting is safe. The subtext of the lawsuit is that after spending millions on online voting experiments — in 2010 alone, the Defense Department’s Federal Voting Assistance Program received $9 million from Congress to design and test Internet-based voting — privacy advocates worry that online voting could spread in the United States without proper vetting.

Verified Voting Blog: Mail Your Ballot Back: Why Voting Online Puts Your Vote and Privacy at Risk

October 1, 2014

Twenty-three states plus the District of Columbia allow military and overseas voters (not domestic voters) to return voted ballots by email, facsimile and/or other Internet transmission; six allow  internet return in military in zones of “hostile fire.” Alaska allows it for all absentee voters. But these methods of casting ballots over the Internet are very insecure; ballots returned this way are at risk for manipulation, loss or deletion.

National: Why Voting Machines Are About To Wreak Havoc On Another Election | ThinkProgress

September 26, 2014

In 2012, hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. waited, at first patiently and then with growing frustration, in lines that ventured out the doors and wrapped around street corners. They weren’t waiting more than seven hours in line to buy the new iPhone — they were waiting to vote on an electronic touch-screen machine. Technology has made life easier, simplifying common tasks such as banking, publishing a book, talking to friends and paying for things online. But when it comes to voting, technology is stuck in 2002.

Editorials: Open Source Fix For US Voting System? | InformationWeek

September 18, 2014

The last surge of investment in voting technology happened a decade ago. Since then the regulatory apparatus for election reform has broken down, and voting machines themselves are starting to fail as well. Every election shines attention on a different bit of dysfunction, from long lines at polling places to cyber security risks. Open source to the rescue? Maybe, although probably not in time to have much impact on the 2016 election.

National: Voting’s ‘impending crisis’ | Al Jazeera

September 16, 2014

A recent presidential commission report on election administration characterizes the state of U.S. voting machines as an “impending crisis.” According to the report, created in response to a presidential order, existing voting machines are reaching the end of their operational life spans, jurisdictions often lack the funds to replace them, and those with funds find market offerings limited because several constraints have made manufacturing new machines difficult. On Election Day, these problems could translate into hours-long waits, lost votes and errors in election results.

Voting Blogs: A deep dive into voting systems | electionlineWeekly

September 5, 2014

While many Americans are familiar with some of the high-profile issues in voting and elections systems, not many are aware that some of the best and brightest computer science and engineering professionals are dedicated to finding improvements. As one can imagine, it is a major undertaking to bring the voting systems of a nation of 300 million citizens from punch cards to the latest technology of the 21st Century. Recently, U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) spoke with John P. Wack and Dr. Arthur M.

National: California, Texas Serve as Testing Grounds for Open-Source Voting Technology | PublicCEO

September 3, 2014

With counties staring down eventual replacement of their election management systems, some in California and Texas are leading the charge for an alternative that could save counties a lot of money and change an industry.​​ Open-source voting would use software designed by counties, which could run on inexpensive computer terminals to design, print and count paper ballots. All of which purportedly increases transparency and security, Most of the savings would come from eliminating the software license fees charged for management system vendors’ proprietary programs.

Editorials: Why internet voting is a very dangerous idea | Marc Ambinder/The Week

August 29, 2014

Unless you’re one of those ornery folks who believe that only politically engaged Americans should vote, there aren’t many good reasons to oppose efforts to expand access to the ballot. Voter fraud is quite rare, and voting fraud — an organized effort to illegally disrupt elections — is hard to organize. So you might think that any restriction on the way someone can vote will unfairly marginalize potentially legitimate voters. That’s true, with one big exception: internet voting. No doubt — nationwide internet voting has an intuitive appeal. It would decrease the costs of elections.

Editorials: How the Open Source Election Technology Foundation is Remaking the Voter Experience | TechPresident

August 13, 2014

In its report released earlier this January, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration noted how an online registration tool developed by the Open Source Election Technology (OSET) Foundation that being used by Virginia and groups like Rock the Vote “highlights the way that voter information can be entered by a user in one setting and, through a simple platform, seamlessly integrated with a state’s registration list.” Now, ahead of the 2014 midterms and with an eye to 2016, OSET”s Trust the Vote Project is stepping up its efforts to expand that functionality and other election

National: NCSL Launches Elections Administration Research Database | National Conference of State Legislatures

June 25, 2014

What is the impact of major court rulings on voter ID laws? How are states ensuring voter registration lists are accurate? Which new voting system designs are being developed for the marketplace? Finding these answers and other information about elections policy can quickly eat up the kind of time that a lawmaker, legislative staffer or elections administrator can hardly afford to spend. But that was life before the Elections Administration Research Database, a new tool launched today by the National Confere

Verified Voting Blog: New Voting Systems Standards Committee Steps into Election Data Void

June 20, 2014

What does the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have to do with elections? Glad you asked. IEEE, or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. Along with its major educational and publishing activities, IEEE is one of the leading standards-making organizations in the world.

National: DoD won’t release e-voting penetration tests | Politico

June 17, 2014

Officials have yet to release the results of a 2011 set of penetration tests on Internet voting software conducted by the Department of Defense, prompting election watchdogs to ask what the Pentagon might be hiding. A few months after the 2011 tests, an official said the results would be publicly available, and a year later, another said the first release was slated by the end of 2012.

National: How Block Chain Technology Could Usher in Digital Democracy | CoinDesk

June 17, 2014

In the digital age, it seems strange that people all around the world still use paper to vote. Of course, given bitcoin’s promise to remove paper from the financial system, many in the industry are beginning to ask if the same block chain technology can be applied to help modernize the democratic process. … Forget it, says Barbara Simons. “At this point we cannot do Internet voting securely,” warns the former IBM computer scientist who has conducted extensive research into Internet voting.

Voting Blogs: States, counties, NGOs roll out more technology to help voters | electionlineWeekly

May 30, 2014

With the primary season in full swing, it has been a busy spring for state and local elections offices in their efforts to make voting/registering easier for citizens. Like the trees and flowers coming into season, new websites and mobile apps have been blooming from coast to coast. For some a lot of this may be old hat, but it’s important to take notice of these new apps/sites to highlight the progress being made in the elections field; and to encourage others who may late bloomers to get the ball rolling with their own tech improvements. What follows is a snapshot of

Editorials: Hack the Vote: The Perils of the Online Ballot Box | Pamela Smith and Bruce McConnell/Wall Street Journal

May 29, 2014

While most voters will cast their ballots at polling stations in November, online voting has been quietly and rapidly expanding in the United States over the last decade. Over 30 states and territories allow some form of Internet voting (such as by email or through a direct portal) for some classes of voters, including members of the military or absentees. Utah just passed a law allowing disabled voters to vote online; and Alaska allows anyone to cast their ballots online.

National: Technology Makes Voting Less Private | Government Technology

May 23, 2014

Where is the line between technology and voter privacy? Secret ballots are one of the tenets of voting, and as technology moves forward there’s a push to keep voting secret, with Monroe County poll sites banning cellphones and photos of the ballots themselves. But what happens once a vote is cast, and it becomes one point in a data set about voting trends throughout the region?

Editorials: American elections are stuck in the 20th century. Here’s how to change that. | Timothy B. Lee/Vox

May 21, 2014

In the wake of the disastrous Florida recount in 2000, Congress appropriated billions of dollars for states to upgrade their voting equipment. A lot of states used this bonanza to purchase shiny new electronic voting machines. But those machines haven’t always worked out as well as their backers hoped, and a decade later they’re showing their age.

National: Democratic Party considers Internet voting in 2016 election | Examiner.com

May 16, 2014

Democrats are seriously considering using the Internet for voters to cast their ballots in the 2016 presidential election saying such a process will help their party’s new president, according to news reports on Saturday. The party leaders during a recent Democratic National Committee meeting in Iowa claimed Internet voting would make it easier for their constituents to cast their ballots including military voters serving overseas. … But such a revision to the nation’s election system will be difficult once the debate takes a more prominent place within political dialogue.

National: Problem at the polls: Tech stuck in past | The Hill

May 8, 2014

In the world of iPads, Google Glass and even bitcoin, voting technology remains stuck in a virtual dark age. Nearly 14 years after the 2000 election recount debacle in Florida, election officials now face the challenge of replacing voting machines that are on their last legs in a rapidly changing tech world that’s moved even beyond the changes spurred by that voting mess. Transitioning to modern voting machines, however, won’t be easy due to a lack of advanced machines, small budgets and a burdensome regulatory process. The next frontier to replace aging and unreliabl

Online Voter Registration Grows in 2014 | The Canvass

April 27, 2014

States are still lining up to begin their digital dance with online voter registration.

So far this year, legislators in 14 states filed bills to launch or tweak a paperless voter registration process; 10 of those bills are still active. Nebraska this month became the latest state to allow online voter registration through LB 661 by Senator Bob Krist.

Election Tech Tuesday: Election Officials Struggle With Voting Machine Expirations | Pew Charitable Trusts State and Consumer Inititiatives

April 25, 2014

A generation of voting machines is approaching the end of its life span. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 established new standards for voting equipment and set aside funds to help states and counties purchase more technologically advanced systems. Before the act was passed, jurisdictions purchased voting technology on a rolling basis, with only a fraction buying new equipment at any given time. Now many of these machines will need to be replaced simultaneously across the country at a cost of millions of dollars.

The Democracy Restoration Act: Securing Voting Rights for All | Brennen Center for Justice

April 15, 2014

The right to vote is at the heart of our American democracy. Political participation by citizens is the great equalizer — it is the one thing that allows all Americans, no matter how powerful or weak, to make decisions about who will lead and who will help to advance their interests and protect their families. On April 10, Congress took an important step towards ensuring that this crucial right becomes available to even more Americans. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rep.

Meet TrustTheVote, A Project To Make Voting Open Source And Transparent | TechCrunch

April 14, 2014

How was your last voting experience? Smooth? Perhaps not. The Open Source Election Technology Foundation wants to change that by making voting simpler and more transparent. Its chief effort, called TrustTheVote, is a push to develop airtight, open-source vote casting and tabulation software that can be paired with off-the-shelf hardware.

Microsoft Co-Founder Allen Bets on Online Voting; Funds Scytl | Wall Street Journal

April 9, 2014

People bank online and do their taxes online. But not many vote online. On Monday, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen‘s venture-capital fund said it was betting that online voting will win over skeptics worried about security and gradually become the norm for elections world-wide. Vulcan Capital’s growth equity fund, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said it will invest $40 million in Scytl, a digital voting services company based in Barcelona with customers in more than 30 countries, including Canada, Mexico and Australia.

Passwords, other data exposed to potential theft by security flaw in key encryption technology | StarTribune

April 9, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — An alarming lapse in Internet security has exposed millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive bits of information to potential theft by computer hackers who may have been secretly exploiting the problem before its discovery.

The breakdown revealed this week affects the encryption technology that is supposed to protect online accounts for emails, instant messaging and a wide range of electronic commerce.

National: Verified Voting Marks 10 Years of Safeguarding US Elections | Scoop News

March 21, 2014

In 2004, Verified Voting began working to make U.S. voting systems more secure. The organization sprang from the energy created when founder David Dill issued the Resolution on Electronic Voting, which today has 10,000+ endorsers including top computer security experts and elected officials.

Voting Blogs: Overseas Vote Foundation studies new remote voting program | electionlineWeekly

March 7, 2014

Making sure every vote counts and every vote is secure is of the utmost importance to all elections officials. When the voters are members of our military or residents serving and living abroad, the counting of those votes is as important, it’s just a bit more complex. Through the years there have been a variety of legislative measures such as the MOVE Act to make sure that ballots are sent to and accepted from overseas voters in a timely fashion. There have been some attempts — some somewhat successful, some not-so-much — to create secure systems for overseas residen

National: Voting rights for felons on the table in several states | USAToday

February 28, 2014

Kentucky could be heading for a historic change this year as it moves closer to abolishing its law banning felons from voting, thanks to a bipartisan effort in the state Capitol and a big assist from Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. The state has long had among the most restrictive felon voting rules, thus disenfranchising a high percentage of its voting-age population.

National: Digital voting machines are aging out of use | USAToday

February 3, 2014

Lori Edwards needs a new voting system for Polk County, Fla., where she is the supervisor of elections for 360,000 registered voters. She has just two problems: There is no money in the budget, and there is nothing she wants to buy. Edwards faces what a bipartisan federal commission has identified as an “impending crisis” in American elections. After a decade of use, a generation of electronic voting equipment is about to wear out and will cost tens of millions to replace.

National: Bipartisan presidential panel suggests ways to improve elections | Los Angeles Times

January 23, 2014

States should allow online voter registration and create more opportunities to cast ballots before election day, according to a report issued Wednesday by a bipartisan commission formed to address long lines and other troubles at the polls in 2012. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration made its recommendations in a 112-page report to President Obama. The commission — led by longtime Washington attorneys Robert F. Bauer, a Democrat, and Benjamin L.

Voting Blogs: New Overseas Vote Foundation Project to Examine Remote Online Voting | Election Academy

December 26, 2013

Last week, the Overseas Vote Foundation announced the launch of a new project aimed at taking a research-based approach to the question of whether or not absentee ballots can be securely cast over the Internet. Thanks to generous funding from the Democracy Fund, the project will be an opportunity to answer key questions about the feasibility of meeting growing calls for remote online voting.

National: Expanding high-tech voting for ’14 | Politico.com

December 2, 2013

It may be a while before Americans can tweet their ballot or text their vote, but states are making strides to move elections from the voting booth into the hands — and even mobile devices — of voters. Across the country, states are gearing up to implement new voter technologies for 2014, as they attempt to advance the ballot-casting experience to catch up with the Facebook generation. The efforts range from bringing tablets to disabled voters to providing ballots through email and secure online systems to allowing voters to register online. One of the most significan

Election Recommendations for a Presidential Commission

September 16, 2013

For nearly two years, a collection of election officials, civil rights advocates and reform groups have come together as part of an initiative known as the Future of California Elections (FOCE) to work on making the state’s voting process more effective and expand voter participation across all of California’s communities.

National: Electronic voting machines becoming obsolete | The Salt Lake Tribune

September 9, 2013

How will voters cast ballots in the future? ”That is the million-dollar question when I meet with other election officers and directors,” said Utah Elections Director Mark Thomas. In 2002, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), making available billions of dollars in funding for states to purchase electronic voting machines — then new and controversial technology aimed at eliminating a repeat of the hanging-chad debacle of the 2000 presidential election. ”The manufacturer is no longer building them,” Thomas said of the 7,500 electronic machines the state pu

Editorials : Voting Requires Vigilance. Popular Isn’t Always Prudent | CT News Junkie

January 23, 2013

One third of Americans vote on machines, without the paper ballots we use in Connecticut. Our president is chosen based on faith in those unverifiable machines, vote accounting, and unequal enfranchisement in 50 independent states and the District of Columbia. In 2000, we witnessed the precarious underpinnings of this state-by-state voting system combined with the flawed mechanism of the 12th Amendment and the Electoral Accounting Act. The Supreme Court ruled votes could not be recounted in Florida, because even that single state did not have uniform recount procedures.

Voting Tech Standards: What Legislators Need to Know

January 23, 2013

NCSL predicts that voting technology will be a growing concern for state legislators in 2013—and that it will continue as a concern for the next several years. Why? Because most jurisdictions bought new voting equipment in the mid-2000s and now that equipment is limping along and may need to be replaced....

http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/the-canvass-january...

The Election Disaster That Wasn’t: America’s poorly designed ballots could have bungled the 2012 election | Slate Magazine

January 19, 2013

The shambolic state of ballot design in America remains a potent threat to our democracy. Richard L.

Election, Tech Experts to Obama: Yes, “We Need to Fix That,” But E-Voting Not the Answer

December 7, 2012

Groups Warn Against Hasty Action on Internet Voting in Response to Long Lines, Technical Glitches in November

Recount Roulette. We risk an election meltdown worse than the Florida 2000 debacle when the presidential election came down to hanging chads and chaos.

November 4, 2012

We risk an election meltdown worse than the Florida 2000 debacle when the presidential election came down to hanging chads and chaos. This time we are looking at another razor close result and perhaps another recount.

However, if a recount is required in either of two key states -- Virginia and Pennsylvania -- we risk catastrophe, because most of those votes will be cast on paperless voting machines that are impossible to recount.

Estelle Rogers reflecting on the life of Nicholas Katzenbach

May 10, 2012

NICHOLAS KATZENBACH

By Estelle Rogers

Video: President Lyndon Johnson - Speech on Voting Rights

December 15, 2011

This YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxEauRq1WxQ) is part of President Johnson’s March 15, 1965, speech before Congress on Voting Rights. He begins by talking about the ‘dignity of man and the destiny of Democracy.’ The clip ends with him saying, “There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.”

NAACP warns black and Hispanic Americans could lose right to vote...petitions UN over 'massive voter suppression'

December 6, 2011

From The Guardian, by Ed Pilkington

NAACP warns black and Hispanic Americans could lose right to vote

Civil rights group petitions UN over 'massive voter suppression' after apparent effort to disenfranchise black and Hispanic people

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/05/civil-rights-naacp-voter-war...

NAACP report; Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America,

December 5, 2011

Press release includes:

On December 5, 2011, the NAACP released a new report revealing direct connections between the trend of increasing, unprecedented African American and Latino voter turnout and an onslaught of restrictive measures across the country designed to stem electoral strength among communities of color.

TN: Nashville homeless man says he got voter ID runaround

December 1, 2011

Nashville homeless man says he got voter ID runaround

http://blogs.tennessean.com/politics/2011/nashville-homeless-man-says-he-got-voter-id-runaround/

 

Al Star, a Nashville homeless man, says he got the runaround from the Department of Safety when he attempted a few days before Thanksgiving to apply for a free state identification to vote,

 

AP report: South Carolina voter ID law hits some black precincts harder

October 18, 2011

SC voter ID law hits some black precincts harder


New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot?

September 7, 2011

United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights

New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot?

http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=2072649339b2bb3b19d3...

Electoral Fraud or Fraudulent Rhetoric: An Analysis of Jurisprudential and Political Arguments Over Voter Photo Identification Laws

August 9, 2011

Electoral Fraud or Fraudulent Rhetoric: An Analysis of Jurisprudential and Political Arguments Over Voter Photo Identification Laws

 

Andrew Winerman

University of Virginia - School of Law

Letter from 100 U.S. Representatives to the Department of Justice

July 24, 2011

Letter to the Department of Justice from 100 U.S. Representatives urging that it “protect the voting rights of Americans by using the full power of the Department of Justice to review these voter identification bills and scrutinize their implementation.  http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/House-Voter-ID-Letter.pdf

Losing Democracy in Cyberspace. Voting computers, like heads of state, must be held accountable to the people they serve.

April 2, 2011

By Penny Venetis, NorthJersey.com

T HAS BEEN nothing short of astonishing that, within a few weeks, the brave people of Tunisia and Egypt toppled corrupt dictators who ruled for decades.

One of the protesters' key demands was for democratic elections — the right to choose a government that is responsive to the people's needs. That is also what protesters in Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Jordan and Libya are demanding as they call for the dissolution of their autocratic and oppressive governments.

A decade after Florida fiasco, voting remains a hodgepodge

October 27, 2010

USA Today Opinion

Call it the Board of Elections' prayer: Let the weather be clear, let the turnout be heavy and let everyone who wins, win big.

The desire for clear-cut victories reflects election officials' awareness that razor-tight races magnify the foul-ups at the polls — late openings, lost ballots, machine malfunctions — that disenfranchise voters.

So where does the art of vote-counting stand a decade after the mother of all foul-ups, the Florida recount that left the nation without a president-elect for five weeks after the 2000 election?

Will Online Voting Turn Into an Election Day Debacle?

October 14, 2010

By Alex Altman, Time

A little more than 24 hours after online ballots started pouring into the Washington, D.C., Board of Elections and Ethics in late September, it became apparent that something was amiss. Washington's newly elected U.S. Representative went by the name of Colossus. A villainous computer from science-fiction lore captured the city-council chairmanship. And 15 seconds after voters cast their ballots, they were serenaded by the University of Michigan fight song. The system had been hacked.

Hacker infiltration ends D.C. online voting trial

October 3, 2010

By Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post

Last week, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened a new Internet-based voting system for a weeklong test period, inviting computer experts from all corners to prod its vulnerabilities in the spirit of "give it your best shot." Well, the hackers gave it their best shot -- and midday Friday, the trial period was suspended, with the board citing "usability issues brought to our attention."

Voting System Failures: A Database Solution.

September 14, 2010

Recent, recurring voting machine breakdowns, as well as the failure to catch them and ensure that solutions are publicized widely, show the need for a national, searchable database to collect and disseminate information on system defects, a new Brennan Center study finds. Ten years after the Florida election mess of 2000 and eight years after the passage of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the government has invested billions on new voting equipment; still voting machine malfunctions – and resulting lost votes -- persist every election cycle.

Time for feds to step in on e-voting

August 15, 2010

Sharon Machlis
Machlis Musings, Computerworld

If there's a question whether votes were counted properly but voting machines don't have a voter-verified paper trail, how can there be a meaningful recount? If someone suspects that vote-counting software has malfunctioned, how can we ensure results were accurate without an independent backup?

With national Congressional elections less than three months away, this is not a theoretical question.

State Election Officials: Recountable Process A Must for Overseas Voters

July 26, 2010

A National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Resolution Urges the Measured Utilization of Available Technology and Best Practices in the Security and Conduct of Elections Embracing the Participation of Military & Overseas (UOCAVA) Voters

WHEREAS, the more than six million American citizens living and working abroad comprise an important voting segment in U.S. elections, and;

Department of Justice releases guidelines for implementation of NVRA. Guidelines could add thousands to the voter rolls nationwide

July 14, 2010

By M. Mindy Moretti, Electionline Weekly, a project of the Pew Center on the States.

Seventeen years after Congress approved the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) — otherwise known as “Motor Voter” — the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released a set of guidelines for implementation as part of its enforcement of the Act.

“The Voter Registration Requirements of Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), Questions and Answers,” detail what states must do in order to offer the voter registration services required by the law.

On the South Carolina Primary. A call for recountable, auditable voting systems

June 14, 2010

From the Verified Voting Foundation.

Last week’s surprising outcome in a party primary in South Carolina for United States Senate was accompanied by anecdotal reports of voting problems on election day, and many questions about the accuracy of the vote count.

The American Statistical Association Releases Statemnent on Audits

April 26, 2010

American Statistical Association Statement on Risk-Limiting Post-Election Audits

Poorly marked ballots, computer glitches, and voting system configuration errors can make machine vote counts diverge from voters' intentions. By comparing hand counts of randomly selected ballots with machine tallies, we can judge whether a full hand count would show the same winners. Such audits can improve trust in our elections. Statisticians can help design efficient audits that save taxpayers' money and election officials’ time.

Antitrust and Your Vote

March 9, 2010

New York Times Editorial

When the nation’s largest voting machine manufacturer, Election Systems and Software, acquired the voting machine business of Diebold, the nation’s second-largest manufacturer, it set off alarms for anyone who cares about election integrity. The combination meant that 70 percent of the nation’s voting machines would be provided by just one company.

Citizens United v. FEC: Time for a Free Speech for People Amendment?

January 20, 2010

Jeff Clements American Constitution Society Blog Jan 21 2010

The Business of Voting Machines

September 8, 2009

New York Times Editorial

Diebold announced last week that it has sold its United States voting machine division to its main rival, Election Systems & Software.

Given Diebold’s troubling record, it is hard to lament its departure from American elections, but this sale could make a bad situation worse. Regulators should take a hard look at the anticompetitive implications. And Congress, the states and cities need to push a lot harder for fundamental reforms in the voting machine business and the way Americans vote.

NYT's: House leadership should make passing Mr. Holt’s bill a priority.

June 21, 2009

This editorial was published in the New York Times on June 22, 2009.

Electronic voting machines that do not produce a paper record of every vote cast cannot be trusted. In 2008, more than one-third of the states, including New Jersey and Texas, still did not require all votes to be recorded on paper. Representative Rush Holt has introduced a good bill that would ban paperless electronic voting in all federal elections. Congress should pass it while there is still time to get ready for 2010.

A Voting Rights Disaster?

October 27, 2008

By Christopher Edley Jr., the Washington Post

Suppose in your neighborhood there are 600 registered voters per machine, while across town there are only 120 per machine. (That's a 5 to 1 disparity, which is what exists in some places in Virginia today.) On Election Day, your line wraps around the block and looks to be a four-hour wait, while in other areas lines are nonexistent.

EmTech 08: Audits, Open Source Needed With E-voting

September 24, 2008

by Elizabeth Heichler, PC World

U.S. jurisdictions using electronic voting systems this November would do well to implement routine post-election auditing and press for open-source software to help ensure fair votes in the future, said e-voting experts at the Technology Review EmTech conference on Thursday.

Warning on voting machines reveals oversight failure

August 23, 2008

 

WASHINGTON — Disclosure of an election computer glitch that could drop ballot totals for entire precincts is stirring new worries that an unofficial laboratory testing system failed for years to detect an array of flaws in $1.5 billion worth of voting equipment sold nationwide since 2003.

VotersUnite.org: Vendors are Undermining the Structure of U.S. Elections

August 18, 2008

By VotersUnite.org

“As we approach the 2008 general election, the structure of elections in the United States — once reliant on local representatives accountable to the public — has become almost wholly dependent on large corporations, which are not accountable to the public,” states a report released today by VotersUnite.Org, entitled “Vendors Are Undermining the Structure of U.S. Elections.”

Planning to E-Vote? Read This First

August 17, 2008

With less than three months before the presidential election, the hotly contested state, Ohio, along with others, continue to have problems with E-voting technology

by Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American
August 18th, 2008

A Bad Electronic Voting Bill

August 2, 2008

This editorial is published in the August 3, 2008 New York Times.

Congress has stood idly by while states have done the hard work of trying to make electronic voting more reliable. Now the Senate is taking up a dangerous bill introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Robert Bennett, Republican of Utah, that would make things worse in the name of reform. If Congress will not pass a strong bill, it should apply the medical maxim: first, do no harm.

A Tale of Three (Electronic Voting) Elections

July 30, 2008

Electronic voting has made great strides in reliability, but it has a long way to go. When reformers push for greater safeguards, they often argue that future elections could produce the wrong result because of a computer glitch or be stolen through malicious software. That’s being too nice.

Check That Vote

July 15, 2008

The New York Times Editorial

Electronic voting is notoriously vulnerable to technical glitches and vote theft. By now, most states have passed good laws requiring paper records of every vote cast — an important safeguard. But that is not enough. States also need strong audit laws to ensure that machine totals are vigilantly checked against the paper records. That is the only way that voters will be able to trust electronic voting.

Voting System Standards: All Form and No Substance

June 13, 2008

By John Washburn  
This article was posted at
Washburn's World and is reposted here with permission of the author.

Brennan Center Criticizes Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Indiana Voter ID Law

April 27, 2008

While Court Leaves Door Open For Future Challenges to Restrictive ID Laws, Center Calls on Lawmakers Across Country to Enact Laws That Protect the Right to Vote

Today the Brennan Center for Justice criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold Indiana's voter identification law  the strictest in the country  but noted that the decision did not give other states a blank check to block eligible voters.  The Brennan Center called on lawmakers across the country to reject similar laws and to pass affirmative legislation protecting the right to vote.

Americans still wary of voting machines for 2008

March 22, 2008

by Rob LeverAgence France-Presse via Inquirer.net
 

WASHINGTON--Eight years after glitches marred the 2000 presidential elections, Americans are still struggling over voting machine technology amid growing concerns about the reliability of electronic systems.

Following the Paper Trail - Case study examines five states' efforts to limit paperless voting

February 20, 2008

By PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report by electionline.org details how five states that implemented electronic voting have chosen or are considering statewide paper-based optical scan systems.

"Back to Paper" explores the process by which California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Ohio -- having adopted electronic voting systems -- subsequently decided to de-certify, re-examine or re-think their use.

Can You Count On These Machines?

January 5, 2008

By Clive Thompson, The New York Times Magazine

Jane Platten gestured, bleary-eyed, into the secure room filled with voting
machines. It was 3 a.m. on Nov. 7, and she had been working for 22 hours
straight. "I guess we've seen how technology can affect an election," she
said. The electronic voting machines in Cleveland were causing trouble
again.

Election Audit Summit Brings Together Statisticians, Election Officials and Advocates

November 6, 2007

Note: Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota was a co-sponsor and the host organization for this national audit summit - the first of its kind.

by Pamela W. Smith, President, Verified Voting Foundation  

Voting Out E-Voting Machines

November 2, 2007

by Tim PadgettTime Magazine  

Nationwide Study Grades and Ranks Campaign Disclosure in the 50 States

October 16, 2007

By California Voter Foundation   

Paperless Voting is an Accident Waiting to Happen

October 4, 2007

By Warren StewartVerifiedVoting.org
 

As they prepare to spend millions of dollars in re-election campaigns, members of Congress should be asking themselves “Do I want to be Christine Jennings?”

Susan Davis Proposes Amendment to Restrict the Use of Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machines

September 12, 2007

By Warren Stewart, VerifiedVoting.org     

“It is my hope that Congress will address this issue in the near future. Our democracy is too important to ignore this issue any longer.”

New Report Finds States Not Doing Enough to Ensure Accurate Count on Electronic Voting Machines

July 31, 2007

Random Post Election-Audits of Paper Records and Machines Essential to Ensuring Integrity of the Vote

Brennan Center for Justice
Contact: Jonathan Rosen, Berlin Rosen - Public Affairs - (646)452-5637  

Statistics Can Help Ensure Accurate Elections - Report Released

June 10, 2007

Through the American Statistical Association’s Science and Public Affairs Advisory Committee and special interest group on volunteerism, a number of statisticians are working to improve the accuracy of elections. What follows is a summary of the role of statistics in elections. Work is ongoing to address these points in detail.

David Marker, John Gardenier, and Arlene Ash
President's Invited Column for Amstat.org

Panel Said to Alter Finding on Voter Fraud

April 10, 2007

By Ian Urbina, The New York Times

WASHINGTON, April 10 — A federal panel responsible for conducting election research played down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation, according to a review of the original report obtained by The New York Times.

Instead, the panel, the Election Assistance Commission, issued a report that said the pervasiveness of fraud was open to debate.

Leaders In the Disability Rights Community Call Electronic Ballot Systems "Inappropriate for Use."

March 15, 2007

Seattle, WA- A statement prepared by Noel Runyan and endorsed by a growing number of signatories shows that many in the disabilities community oppose the use of Direct Record Electronic (DRE) voting systems, thus challenging the claim that this constituency supports DREs.

Testimony to Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

February 8, 2007

By Lowell Finley, Deputy Secretary of State of alifornia,Voting Systems Technology and Policy

Our Election System Is Broken. Can the New Congress Fix It?

January 14, 2007

Our Election System Is Broken. Can the New Congress Fix It?
By Warren Stewart, Washington Spectator

Arizona: State looking to upgrade voting machines | Cronkite News

It’s a new age of machines. Voting machines. Arizona and 42 other states have election equipment that has exceeded or is close to passing its expected life span of 10 years, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute at New York University School of Law. “The equipment for the most part has been fairly durable,” said Eric Mariscal, election director of Gila County. Mariscal said that Gila County Dept. of Elections has used the Accuvote paper ballot scanner units since 2004. “We’ve had very few problems,” he added,

Maryland: State goes back to paper ballots for primary election | Associated Press

Maryland is going back to basics — an ink pen and paper ballot — for this month’s presidential primary. Like every new voting system, this one has some quirks that likely will become more apparent when the November general election brings more than 2 million Maryland voters to the polls. The system requires most voters to mark their ballots by filling in ovals, similar to those on standardized tests, with pens provided by election judges.

Connecticut: Registrar Certification Course Launched After Election Day Missteps | WNPR

onnecticut is launching a required registrar certification system Monday following missteps at polling places last Election Day. The certification program, as called for by legislation signed into law in July, is designed to standardize registrars’ practices concerning election law, voter registration and management. Secretary of State Denise Merrill says it’s a way to get all registrars, who are elected along party lines by voters in each town, on the same page.

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