Australia: New South Wales Attacks Researchers Who Found Internet Voting Vulnerabilities | Electronic Frontier Foundation

A security flaw in New South Wales’ Internet voting system may have left as many as 66,000 votes vulnerable to interception and manipulation in a recent election, according to security researchers. Despite repeated assurances from the Electoral Commission that all Internet votes are “fully encrypted and safeguarded,” six days into online voting, Michigan Computer Science Professor J. Alex Halderman and University of Melbourne Research Fellow Vanessa Teague discovered a FREAK flaw that could allow an attacker to intercept votes and inject their own code to change those votes, all without leaving any trace of the manipulation. (FREAK stands for Factoring RSA Export Keys and refers to the exploitation of a weakness in the SSL/TLS protocol that allows attackers to force browsers to use weak encryption keys.) But instead of taking the researchers’ message to heart, officials instead attacked the messengers.

Editorials: To Get Ahead in Congress: Skip Governing, Raise Money | Trevor Potter and Meredith McGehee/Politico

When Congress returns from recess next week, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who resigned after Politico raised questions about his mileage reimbursements, will not return with it. Before Schock becomes a footnote in history, it’s worth reflecting on how he represents everything wrong with the way Congress raises money. The dismissals of Schock as simply a “show horse, not a work horse,” to use the old phrase, misses the more interesting—and disturbing—story. The rise and fall of Schock embodies the reality of the current campaign finance system. Members are now valued by the Leadership and fellow Members because of their fundraising prowess, not their legislating abilities. Aaron Schock will only be missed in Congress for his ability to raise significant amounts of money for himself and his party. Known for connecting himself and others with big donors, he had little time to do any of the things he was elected to do by his constituents in Peoria, nor paid to do by all of us taxpayers.

Arizona: Court cuts political map-drawers some slack | The Arizona Republic

The big U.S. Supreme Court decision affecting redistricting in Arizona, regarding whether drawing the lines for congressional districts has to be returned to the state Legislature from the independent redistricting commission, is still to come. But a decision handed down a couple of weeks ago (Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama) changed the game regardless of who next draws the lines.

Connecticut: Hartford Registrars Fight Removal in Court | WNPR

Hartford’s city council is to begin its trial this week of three registrars of voters responsible for a disastrous 2014 election day. But the registrars were in state court Monday asking a judge to stop the removal process before it starts. The three registrars — a Democrat, a Republican, and one from the Working Families Party — are arguing that Hartford’s city council lacks the authority to remove them. In the end, a judge gave the parties another week to make their arguments.

Voting Blogs: Pre-Marked Ballots Reported in Chicago Mayoral Runoff | Brad Blog

At In These Times, author and journalist Rick Perlstein covers reports from some Chicago voters claiming that they received paper ballots today that were pre-marked for Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) in his runoff election against the more progressive Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D). … Perlstein details a few other similar reported incidents of pre-marked ballots from around the city in the election which the local CBS affiliate is now calling for Emanuel. The Chicago Board of Elections website currently shows Emanuel leading Garcia 56% to 44% with over 79% of precincts reporting at this moment.

New York: Albany GOP backs redistricting map that spares suburbs | Times Union

The two Republican members of Albany County’s redistricting commission have submitted a proposal that they say would draw five majority-minority districts — as ordered by a federal judge — without changing any suburban districts. The plan — which was drafted by activist Aaron Mair, an expert witness against the county in the voting rights lawsuit the county lost last month — has voting age minority populations that range from 50.3% to 52.7% in districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. Keep in mind, Senior U.S. Judge Lawrence Kahn directed the county to create an additional, fifth majority-minority district based solely on residents who identified as black. Once Hispanic residents are included — something the plaintiffs argued in favor of in the lawsuit — the majorities are even larger.

North Dakota: Senate approves voter ID bill | Bismarck Tribune

The North Dakota Senate gave its thumbs up Tuesday to changes for voter identification, including eliminating the issuing of student certificates to college students. House Bill 1333, which amends language for acceptable forms of identification for voting, was passed by a 38-9 vote. Bill carrier Sen. Nicole Poolman, R-Bismarck, said acceptable forms of ID for voting in person are a current driver’s license, a non-driver’s license ID card, a tribal government ID and long-term care certificate.

North Dakota: Senate strips language allowing voters to use bills, bank statements to prove residency | INFORUM

The North Dakota Senate stripped language from legislation Tuesday that would have allowed voters to use a bill, bank statement or change-of-address form to prove their residency at the polls. Sen. Nicole Poolman, R-Bismarck, said county auditors had concerns with that portion of House Bill 1333. “It isn’t difficult to have these items sent to a different address where the voter does not reside,” she said. Senators also removed language allowing an expired driver’s license as an acceptable form of voter identification.

Tennessee: Bill would ban selfies, other photos, at the polls | Knoxville News Sentinel

Ever tweeted a selfie of yourself voting? Or taken a quick photo of the long line you had to endure at the polling place, or of your child’s first visit with you to the voting booth? Did you quietly call your spouse while in line to vote to see if you need to bring home milk or bread? Or more seriously, ever recorded video of an election official challenging or denying your right to vote? Do any of those things again starting next year and you’ll violate the law under a bill nearing final legislative approval in Nashville. Both the Senate and House have approved Senate Bill 597 which says “any voter using a mobile electronic or communication device … shall be prohibited from using the device for telephone conversations, recording or taking photographs or videos while inside the polling place.”

Australia: Could NSW be facing a second Legislative Council election? | ABC Elections

As the count for the NSW Legislative Council creeps to a conclusion, there remains an outside possibility that an error in the NSW Electoral Commission’s iVote system could put the result at risk. For the first two days of voting for the election, the electronic ballot paper used for iVoting contained an error. Two of the groups on the ballot paper, the Outdoor Recreation Party in Group B, and the Animal Justice Party in Group C, were shown on the ballot paper without an above the line voting square. Around 19,000 iVotes were cast before the error was spotted. The error did not prevent votes being cast for candidate of the two parties, but it made voting for the two parties above the line impossible.

Finland: Helsinki restricts election coffee handouts | BBC

Helsinki voters won’t be getting much free coffee this election season, after the city banned parties from handing it out in major marketplaces. The country goes to the polls on 19 April and it’s a popular tradition for campaigners to serve steaming cups of the beverage during events. But that’s now been stopped after complaints from nearby coffee shop owners, the national broadcaster Yle reports. “Our sales are impacted immediately if the same product can be obtained for free,” says Timo Taulavuori from the Tukkutori group, which oversees Helsinki’s marketplaces. “This is unfair towards those who make a living from selling coffee.” Finns are among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, with per capita consumption of 1.8 cups per day, second only to The Netherlands.

Philippines: Comelec drops touch screen voting | The Manila Times

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will no longer purchase precinct-based direct recording electronic (DRE) machines amid questions on the reliability of the touch screen technology. Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Tuesday said the Comelec en banc had shelved the bidding of the project, which should have been part of the poll body’s P2.503 billion voting machines procurement program. Jimenez explained that the project has not been totally scrapped but the commission is “going a little slower on it than we used to.” The Comelec en banc recently came out with a resolution suspending the progress of the second round of bidding for the DRE and the pilot testing of the technology.

Sudan: Presidential hopeful protests alleged bias | Turkish Weekly

A Sudanese presidential candidate on Tuesday staged a sit-in in Khartoum to protest what he describes as “bias” on the part of the country’s official electoral commission. Hamdi Hassan Ahmed, who is running as an independent in presidential polls slated for April 13, accused the commission – and state media – of harboring bias for certain candidates during the campaigning period. “The electoral commission and the state-run media are very biased,” Ahmed told The Anadolu Agency. “They support the ruling party candidate and don’t allow us to express our views.”