National: Plan to let troops cast ballots over the internet draws opposition from security experts | Leo Shane III/Air Force Times

A group of election security experts is urging lawmakers to drop plans in the annual defense authorization bill which would allow online ballot casting for troops serving overseas, saying the security concerns outweigh the potential benefits. “There are solutions to improve military and overseas voting without expanding dangerously insecure voting technology,” the group wrote in a letter to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee this week. “We believe that servicemembers deserve the highest standard of safe and verifiable voting. For the foreseeable future, internet voting cannot meet that standard, and places military voters’ votes — and the trustworthiness of elections themselves — at risk.” The effort, which includes groups like Protect Democracy and the U.S. Vote Foundation as well as 27 former state election officials and academics, comes as the Senate is preparing to complete its draft of the massic defense policy bill in the next few weeks.

Full Article: Plan to let troops cast ballots over the internet draws opposition from security experts

Wisconsin GOP review of 2020 election beset by blunders from former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman | By Elise Viebeck/The Washington Post

The glaring errors became clear soon after a former Wisconsin judge issued subpoenas earlier this month in a Republican review of the state’s 2020 presidential election. Some of the requests referred to the wrong city. At least one was sent to an official who doesn’t oversee elections. A Latin phrase included in the demands for records and testimony was misspelled. Michael Gableman, the former judge leading the review, admitted days later that he does not have “a comprehensive understanding or even any understanding of how elections work.” He then backed off some of his subpoena demands before reversing course again, telling a local radio host that officials would still be required to testify. The latest round of reversals and blunders is intensifying calls to end the probe, one of several recent efforts around the country to revisit Joe Biden’s win in states where former president Donald Trump and his supporters have leveled baseless accusations of voter fraud. Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) this week called the subpoenas unlawful and “dramatically overbroad,” and he urged Republicans to “shut this fake investigation down.” Voting rights advocates, election policy experts and some state and local officials, meanwhile, accuse Gableman of incompetence and say his review — which could cost taxpayers $680,000 or more — will decrease public trust in Wisconsin elections. “It’s terrible for democracy in the state,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway (D) said in an interview. “It’s corrosive. It undermines confidence in our elections, and it’s deeply insulting to our municipal clerks and poll workers. … The thing that should give everybody some confidence is the fact that our elections are not being run by people like attorney Gableman.”

Full Article: Wisconsin GOP review of 2020 election beset by blunders from former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman – The Washington Post

Arizona audit review shows Cyber Ninjas didn’t count 312K ballots, double counted 23K | Robert Anglen/The Arizona Republic

The hand count in Maricopa County was off by hundreds of thousands of ballots, according to a review of newly released Arizona audit records. Election analysts say Cyber Ninjas’ count was off by about 312,000 and it also double counted almost 23,000 ballots in its months-long review of 2020 election results. The numbers represent the latest challenge to the Arizona Senate’s audit, which was led by Cyber Ninjas, involved more than a thousand volunteers and cost millions of dollars. A 695-page report, produced by former Arizona GOP chair and audit spokesperson Randy Pullen, was supposed to provide a snapshot of all the counts of the 2.1 million ballots cast in the county’s general election. The Arizona Senate released the report late Friday after The Arizona Republic filed a request under the state’s Public Records Law. But Cyber Ninjas didn’t tally as many as 167,000 Maricopa County ballots, according to analysts who reviewed the report for The Republic. The hand-count numbers in the report reflect a 15% error rate when compared with a separate machine count of ballots authorized by the Arizona Senate, they said.

Full Article: Arizona audit review shows Cyber Ninjas didn’t count 312K ballots

Texas: Trump won Hood County in a landslide. His supporters still hounded the elections administrator until she resigned. | Jeremy Schwartz/The Texas Tribune and Pro Publica

Full Article: Hood County elections administrator resigns after push from Trump loyalists | The Texas Tribune

National: ‘Cannot wait for Washington:’ Voting rights activists scramble to navigate new restrictions ahead of November elections | Fredreka Schouten, Dianne Gallagher and Wesley Bruer/CNN

When activist Tammye Pettyjohn Jones knocks on voters’ doors in her rural corner of Georgia this month, she’ll have a new tool in hand: a portable printer. sweeping voting law Georgia enacted this year now requires voters who do not have a driver’s license or state ID to provide a copy of another form of identification with their absentee ballot application. So Pettyjohn Jones and other volunteers with Sisters in Service of Southwest Georgia plan to take photos of that identification and print them out on the spot for voters to submit along with their absentee ballot applications. “You don’t have time to hem and haw about how hard it is” to vote, said PettyJohn Jones, who is working to turn out voters ahead of November’s municipal elections in places like Americus, Georgia. “You’ve got to go into a problem-solving mode.” In states from Georgia to Montana, activists are scrambling to help voters navigate the new restrictions passed largely in Republican-controlled states after record turnout in 2020 helped elect President Joe Biden and flipped control of the US Senate to Democrats. In Florida, for example, some organizations have taken iPads into the field so voters could use the devices to register to vote on their own, said Brad Ashwell of All Voting is Local Florida.

Full Article: ‘Cannot wait for Washington:’ Voting rights activists scramble to navigate new restrictions ahead of November elections – CNNPolitics

National: Cyber Ninjas CEO spurns an oversight hearing | Aaron Schaffer/The Washington Post

Yesterday’s House hearing on the partisan election review in Maricopa County, Ariz. quickly devolved into baseless claims and partisan bickering. And the star witness didn’t even show up. Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan flouted the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s request to testify. Instead of appearing before lawmakers, Logan went on conservative podcast “Conservative Daily,” whose host has made baseless allegations that some election machines were rigged to ensure former president Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. For more than two hours, Logan defended his Florida-based firm’s handling of the controversial Arizona review, arguing the review (which ultimately found even more votes for Biden) was “beyond reproach.” Logan’s absence infuriated House Democrats. “Mr. Logan’s refusal to answer questions under oath today is just one more sign that the dark-money-fueled audit he led never should have happened in the first place,” House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) told The Cybersecurity 202 in a statement. “We are evaluating next steps, but rest assured this issue is a top priority for me.”

Full Article: Cyber Ninjas CEO spurns an oversight hearing – The Washington Post

Editorial: The 2020 Election Was Nothing Like Bush-Gore | Jonathan Bernstein/Bloomberg

In today’s exercise in whataboutism, it turns out that (as some pundits are keen to remind everyone) there are Democrats who have claimed that the 2000 election was stolen, which presumably is important to bring up because it somehow turns the behavior of Donald Trump and his apologists into normal politics and those who are worried about the future of democracy into partisan hypocrites. It’s worth thinking about this a bit, in part because it shows we don’t quite have the vocabulary for what’s happening now and why it’s so different and dangerous. There’s a long history of partisans complaining that an election was stolen. Many Republicans, to this day, will refer to the 1960 election as obviously stolen because of irregularities in Texas and Illinois. I’m aware of accusations about (at least) the 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections as well. Oh, and of course 1972, when Richard Nixon and his supporters did all sorts of illegal things to disrupt the election, although it turned out that he won by one of the largest landslides in history only in part because of the effects of this misconduct. In the others, there were accusations of everything from campaign perfidy to plots to alter vote counts to claims that a candidate was ineligible for office. To begin, I’d note that all the elections before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were stolen in the important sense that Black citizens and many others were disenfranchised. Which reminds us that not all talk of election theft is partisan. Nor is all of it based on lies. How can we talk about this stuff then? I can think of several important criteria to consider. How much evidence is there for the claims that are made? To what extent would the accusations, if true, actually affect the election results? How did the aggrieved party as a whole, and any particular member of that party, act? Did they just whine a lot, or did they take concrete actions to attempt to alter the results — and if the latter, were these actions consistent with the Constitution and the rule of law?

Full Article: The 2020 Election Was Nothing Like Bush-Gore – Bloomberg

Arizona: Judge rejects Senate claim some election audit records are private | Howard Fischer/Arizona Daily Star

A judge rejected a state Senate claim that some of its records about the 2020 election audit are not subject to public disclosure. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah said Tuesday he would not accept the arguments by Kory Langhofer, the attorney for Senate President Karen Fann, that he should just accept the Senate’s assertions the documents at issue are protected by “legislative privilege.’’ “The court finds that the Senate has not carried its burden of overcoming the legal presumption favoring disclosure,’’ the judge wrote in a 13-page order Tuesday. “The record as it stands does not establish that the documents are privileged and that the Senate is entitled to withhold them from the public on that ground.’’ But Hannah offered Langhofer and the Senate an “out’’ of sorts. The judge told them they are free to give the documents to him. And then he will decide, after reviewing them privately, whether they are public. “Otherwise the Senate must disclose the documents forthwith,’’ he said.

Full Article: Judge rejects Arizona Senate’s claim some election audit records are private | Local news | tucson.com

Editorial: Trump Loses Arizona—Again – He still cries ‘fraud’ even after the audit he demanded found none. | Wall Street Journal

Former President Trump claims Arizona’s ballot audit found “massive fraud,” yet the new recount says he actually lost the state by 360 more votes than originally reported. He is now demanding an audit of the 2020 election in . . . Texas, which he won by nearly six points. When are Republicans going to quit playing this game? Arizona’s official results say President Biden won by 10,457 votes. Mr. Trump never accepted the loss, so the GOP state Senate launched an “audit” by hiring Cyber Ninjas, a company without experience reviewing elections. After repeated delays and various pratfalls, here’s the result: A hand recount of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots says that Mr. Biden won the state by 10,817 votes. There’s no reason to prefer this tally over the certified one, given the audit’s erratic process and lack of transparency. For details, see a June report co-written by Trey Grayson, Kentucky’s former GOP Secretary of State, warning that Cyber Ninjas “will not produce findings that should be trusted.” The good news is they don’t need to be trusted, since the result is the same, except with worse numbers for Mr. Trump. True to his nature, Mr. Trump is claiming vindication based on the audit’s analysis of voter files. As the biggest example, he says Arizona’s results include “23,344 mail-in ballots, despite the person no longer living at that address. Phantom voters!” No. Did he read the report? This figure comes from comparing voter records to a commercial database on change-of-address filings, but look at the caveats.

Full Article: Trump Loses Arizona—Again – WSJ

Colorado: Hearing Set To Begin In Defamation Lawsuit Filed By Former Dominion Voting Employee Against Trump Campaign | Rick Sallinger/CBS Denver

With its U.S. base in Denver, Dominion Voting has been the target of claims that it was involved in election fraud, which it has denied and challenged in lawsuits. In particular, the vitriol has been directed at now-former Denver employee Eric Coomer quoted as saying, “Don’t worry Trump’s not going to win. I made f…ing sure about it.” That quote comes from Joe Oltmann of Parker who says he overheard it on a left-wing group’s call. He told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “I’m not afraid of this lawsuit. I never lied about anything. I lied about nothing.” The former president’s son, Eric Trump, republished the quote on social media. Other media picked it up including the Gateway Pundit represented in the suit by attorney Randy Corporan.

Full Article: Hearing Set To Begin In Defamation Lawsuit Filed By Former Dominion Voting Employee Against Trump Campaign – CBS Denver

Florida: DeSantis says state won’t review 2020 election | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida does not plan to review the 2020 election, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday during an appearance in St. Pete Beach. “What we do in Florida is, there’s a pre- and post-election audit that happens automatically,” DeSantis said. “So, that has happened. It passed with flying colors in terms of how that’s going.” DeSantis was asked about an audit because a growing number of Republicans have pushed for a recount of the election that former President Donald Trump won relatively comfortably in Florida — though he lost nationally. DeSantis noted that Florida took steps to secure the election process after races in 2018, including his own, were closely contested. And he said the state took further actions with a contentious elections bill that the Republican-dominated Legislature passed in April. “Going forward, we did a great election package,” DeSantis said. “And I think some of the things that we did in there to make sure that there’s a voter ID, for not only in-person, but also when you’re doing absentee voting, also making sure there’s no ballot harvesting — that is totally toxic and that really undermines confidence.”

Full Article: DeSantis says Florida won’t review 2020 election – South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Georgia: Election investigators haven’t found evidence of counterfeit ballots | Stephen Fowler/Georgia Public Broadcasting

Georgia election officials continue to pour cold water on claims of fraudulent ballots in the 2020 election, after investigators failed to find “pristine” counterfeit absentee ballots that were allegedly counted in Fulton County. Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office reported results of the investigation in a court document filed late Tuesday in a case that seeks to inspect Fulton’s 147,000 absentee ballots to find proof of fake votes. “Based upon interviews with the foregoing witnesses, as well as other witnesses who were interviewed during the course of the investigation, and in the inspection of approximately 1,000 absentee ballots and ballot images, the Secretary’s investigators have been unable to substantiate the allegations that fraudulent or counterfeit ballots were counted,” the filing read. Investigators looked into claims made by Suzi Voyles, who worked the county’s risk-limiting audit and claimed to see a batch of “pristine” ballots that looked suspicious. Voyles is now running for Congress as a Republican in the 6th Congressional District. After interviewing Voyles two separate times, investigators checked several batches of absentee ballots that she claimed were marked by computer instead of by hand. But they found no irregularities or any ballots that appeared to be counterfeits.

Full Article: Election investigators haven’t found evidence of counterfeit ballots in Georgia | Georgia Public Broadcasting

Georgia election official takes the fight to Trump | Marc Caputo/Politico

Donald Trump never wastes an opportunity to attack Georgia’s top statewide Republican officeholders for failing to help him overturn the 2020 election results in the key swing state. Brad Raffensperger is the only one who refuses to shut up and take it. Raffensperger, who has borne the brunt of Trump’s wrath as the top election official in the state, is running a damn-the-torpedoes reelection campaign that directly confronts the former president — even though it could cost him the GOP nomination. In a party where Trump’s enemies tend to see their political careers abruptly ended, Raffensperger’s approach is being closely watched by Republicans within the state and outside. “The last internal poll I saw said that 87 percent of Republican primary voters felt like the election was stolen,” said former Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.). “With those kinds of numbers, I don’t see Brad getting through the primary.” If Raffensperger isn’t Trump’s top GOP nemesis, he’s close to it. The Georgia secretary of state refused Trump’s requests to alter the state’s vote count and feuded with the former president over Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. At one point, Raffensperger’s office secretly recorded Trump trying to persuade the secretary of state to “find” votes to make him the winner — a potential crime by Trump that local prosecutors are now investigating. As a result, Trump has showered him with criticism for nearly a year, going so far as to call Raffensperger an “enemy of the people.”

Full Article: Georgia election official takes the fight to Trump – POLITICO

Idaho bills MyPillow CEO for election audit that showed no fraud | Gino Spocchia/The Independent

MyPillow CEO and Trump ally Mike Lindell has reportedly been billed for his false election fraud claims after officials in Idaho audited ballots to prove him wrong. Idaho’s state secretary, Chad Houck, told a local newspaper that while no fraud was found in his recount of ballots in three of Idaho’s 44 counties, Mr Lindell will be billed roughly $6,500 (£4,700). Mr Houck told the Idaho Statseman on Thursday that after his office recounted a handful of ballots that were “low hanging fruit”, an Idaho resident recommend Mr Lindell be billed. Recounts in three small states were within a percentage of the original tally of 2020’s results, Mr Houck said, and showed that Mr Lindell’s allegations were “fabrications”. “As we looked at how much exposure this particular set of data had gotten in the last several weeks, we felt it was reasonable to, at first, just look at the counties that had no electronic means,” said Mr Houck.

Full Article: Idaho bills MyPillow CEO for election audit that showed no fraud | The Independent

Michigan Republicans replace local election officials in ‘unprecedented’ trend | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

Republican Party leaders across the battleground state of Michigan have quietly worked in recent weeks to replace incumbent county election officials with newcomers, some of whom have sought to undermine the public’s faith in the 2020 vote. The trend focuses on four-member county canvassing boards, the bipartisan panels in charge of verifying records and importantly, certifying results. It comes in the midst of an internal party struggle over whether to accept Democratic President Joe Biden’s win last year.  On Nov. 1, two members of each board — one Republican and one Democrat —  will begin new four-year terms. Out of Michigan’s 11 largest counties, Republicans have nominated new individuals for the positions in eight, according to a Detroit News investigation. In at least four of the counties — 36%— the incumbent GOP canvasser wanted to be renominated but wasn’t. Democrats are concerned that the new canvassers, spurred by former President Donald Trump, will refuse to approve future results or use their positions to interfere in the process. Mark Brewer, former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party and an elections attorney, labeled the unfolding situation in the state “unprecedented.”

Full Article: Michigan GOP removes election officials in ‘unprecedented’ trend

Michigan judge denies Secretary of State Benson’s motion in dismissed Antrim County election lawsuit | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

A judge denied a motion from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson seeking to lift a stay order in a dismissed Antrim County election-related lawsuit to assess whether court-protected images from Antrim County’s voting equipment were shared during a “cyber symposium” hosted by Donald Trump supporter and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell. A data security expert, Harri Hursti, said in a declaration included with Benson’s motion, he attended the August event where a link to download an image which appeared to have originated from Antrim County was shared on social media by one of the event’s speakers — CodeMonkeyZ — who has nearly 400,000 followers. A December court order signed by 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer allowed for a forensic examination of the county’s voting equipment after a local man, Bill Bailey, filed a lawsuit. But the judge’s decision to allow access to voting equipment also placed controls on what could be released to the public. Elsenheimer, responding to Benson’s motion, said that Bailey’s lawsuit — dismissed in May — had been referred to the Michigan Court of Appeals and until that court decided whether to hear the case, he was denying the motion.

Full Article: Judge denies Secretary of State Benson’s motion in dismissed Antrim election lawsuit | Local News | record-eagle.com

North Carolina Republicans aren’t fooling anyone with dig at Durham County elections | Raleigh News & Observer

Despite Republicans’ claims over the last year, instances of voter fraud are incredibly rare. Maybe North Carolina Republicans haven’t gotten the memo. On Thursday, state representative Jeff McNeely (R-Iredell) and a handful of other Republican state House members who call themselves “the Freedom Caucus” said they would select one of North Carolina’s 100 counties to inspect their voting machines and determine whether they were connected to the internet during the 2020 election. They “randomly selected” Durham County — a Democratic stronghold with large Black and Latino populations. To this point, Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina have mostly resisted participating in sowing doubts about elections, unlike their colleagues in other states. Such talk threatens to undermine confidence in future elections, when the reality is that multiple safeguards ensure that elections are secure and accurate. The State Board of Elections randomly audited 200 North Carolina precincts from both the 2020 Election Day and early voting, and found only 13 precincts had discrepancies between human and machine counts; each of these precincts had three or less votes affected.

Full Article: NC Republicans need to give up election fraud claims already | Raleigh News & Observer

Pennsylvania Republican lawsuits over Act 77 election law have Democrats quietly worried | Jonathan Lai/Philadelphia Inquirer

Two years ago this month, Republicans and Democrats in Harrisburg reached a deal on the most significant changes to Pennsylvania election law in decades — including greatly expanded mail voting. But now, a year after a presidential race in which Donald Trump’s lies about mail voting and Pennsylvania’s results sowed distrust of the electoral system among his supporters, some Republicans are intensifying efforts to undo a law their party almost universally supported. The law known as Act 77 is facing perhaps its most serious court challenges yet. Republicans filed two lawsuits this summer saying it violates the state constitution. Democrats had hoped courts would quickly throw them out, but the cases have instead been combined and continue to move forward. The national and state Democratic Party organizations asked Friday to join the litigation in defense of Act 77. During oral arguments in one case, a panel of judges aggressively questioned lawyers representing the state, in what one Democratic observer described as “skepticism and hostility.” The hearing raised fears among Democrats that the state court might soon rule against the law. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration would almost certainly appeal a loss to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where a majority-Democratic bench has generally sided with the state on election issues. But while few believe the Supreme Court would ultimately throw out Act 77, some Democrats and good-government advocates worry that even a temporary loss could create significant challenges.

Full Article: Pennsylvania Republican lawsuits over Act 77 election law have Democrats quietly worried

Pennsylvania GOP wants personal voter data to root out fraud, but state already uses a more secure system | Danielle Ohl/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pennsylvania has spent nearly half a million dollars over the past six years to find and remove outdated registrations from its voter database, a process Senate Republicans now want to take up in a partisan-driven review at added expense to taxpayers. In the weeks since approving a far-reaching subpoena seeking access to sensitive voter information, GOP lawmakers in favor of the effort have claimed the vast troves of data are necessary to identify voters who shouldn’t have cast a ballot in either the November 2020 or May 2021 elections. The senators in charge of the investigation have not defined how they will prove a voter is “illegal” if they suspect fraud, nor have they acknowledged that Pennsylvania has already spent $403,904 for access to a sophisticated voter list maintenance program that regularly performs the analysis Republicans say they are seeking. Senate Republicans, in justifying the investigation, have claimed there is a need to investigate the “validity” of ballots cast during the previous elections, despite several court cases that found no evidence of widespread fraud. They have often pointed to a 2019 auditor general report identifying potential birthdate inaccuracies and duplicate information in fewer than 1% of voter registrations. The Department of State at the time pushed back on the auditor general’s analysis, saying it had “incorrectly flagged thousands of records as potential concerns.”

Full Article: GOP wants personal voter data to root out fraud, but Pa. already uses a more secure system | TribLIVE.com

South Dakota: Lincoln County voter confusion delays talks of buying iPads for polls | Nicole Ki/Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Lincoln County commissioners have decided to delay discussions about adopting a new electronic poll-book system, following public outcry at Tuesday’s meeting about last week’s election. The new digital system would implement iPads at polling locations countywide to streamline the process of signing in voters through KnowInk, the nation’s leading provider for digital poll books. “I’m actually appalled that you would bring up having poll pads after last Thursday’s referendum election,” said resident Karla Lems at the commissioner’s meeting. “Some of the Sioux Falls polling places weren’t changed, and not once were voters notified that they had a new polling place to go to.” … Adopting electronic poll books would increase efficiency at polling locations by cutting the time poll workers would spend manually going through voter registration information. “Usually, we sit there for 40 hours at least, and scan every barcode to update people’s voter information,” said Lund. “This would plug into the poll pad into the computer, and within 24 hours we would have the election [how many voters were there].”

Full Article: Lincoln County voter confusion delays talks of buying iPads for polls