National: Presidential candidates may be vulnerable to foreign hackers, US says | Associated Press

The United States sees evidence that hackers, possibly working for foreign governments, are snooping on the presidential candidates, the nation’s intelligence chief said on Wednesday. Government officials are working with the campaigns to tighten security as the race for the White House intensifies. The activity follows a pattern set in the last two presidential elections. Hacking was rampant in 2008, according to US intelligence officials, and both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were targets of Chinese cyber-attacks four years later. Despite that history, cyber experts say neither Donald Trump’s nor Hillary Clinton’s campaign networks are secure enough to eliminate the risk. “We’ve already had some indications” of hacking, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said Wednesday at a cybersecurity event at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. He said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were helping educate the campaigns. Of the attacks, Clapper predicted, “we’ll probably have more”.

National: Restrictive voting laws threaten to block millions of Latino voters, including many newly-naturalized | Government Security News

Naturalization and voter registration rates have surged in recent months, but strict new voter laws in many states are threatening to reduce the number of Latinos voters (including many newly naturalized) who will be allowed to cast ballots. More than 185,000 citizenship applications were submitted in the final three months of 2015, which is a 14 percent increase from 2014 and up 8 percent compared with the same period ahead of the 2012 elections. According to the Houston Chronicle, in Texas, naturalization ceremonies in Houston have swelled to about 2,200 per month, compared with 1,200 before, and more than 80 percent of those naturalized then register to vote, compared with 60 percent previously.

Colorado: Election officials knew of possible forged signatures on Keyser petition for a month | The Denver Post

The Colorado secretary of state’s office first learned about the possibility of fraudulent signatures — including a dead voter — on U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser’s petitions in April but did not refer the matter to investigators. The revelation adds a new layer of culpability to the controversy surrounding the Republican primary and raises additional questions about how Keyser qualified for the ballot. The missed opportunity was revealed by Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who said in a statement that he didn’t know his staff was warned about the questionable signatures until Tuesday.

Connecticut: This State Says It Can Automatically Register Voters Without Legislative Approval | Huffington Post

Connecticut announced this week that it will become the fifth state in the U.S. to automatically register its citizens to vote. And it’s going to do so in an innovative way. While Oregon, California, West Virginia and Vermont have each passed laws through their state legislatures enacting automatic voter registration, the process in Connecticut was initiated by state agencies. The office of Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill (D) signed an administrative agreement with the state Department of Motor Vehicles to automatically register eligible voters by August 2018. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 requires states to give eligible voters the opportunity to register to vote when they renew their driver’s license or state identification card, or when they acquire a new one, at the DMV. Connecticut says it will transition to a system where eligible voters are registered automatically when they interact with the DMV. The state says up to 400,000 new voters could be registered through this process once the two agencies hammer out the details.

Kansas: Judge slams Kansas voter ID law’s “magnitude of harm” | Associated Press

A judge said Tuesday that Kansas can’t require people to show proof of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote for federal elections at motor vehicle offices. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ruled that the state’s proof-of-citizenship requirements likely violate a provision in the National Voter Registration Act that requires only “minimal information” to determine a voter’s eligibility. She ordered Kansas to register thousands of voters whose paperwork is on hold because they did not comply with the requirement. But she put her preliminary injunction on hold until May 31 to give the state a chance to appeal. The state immediately said it would appeal. Unless a higher court halts Robinson’s order before the end of the month, it would take effect then, clearing the way for those residents to cast a ballot in the upcoming federal elections.

Montana: Officials Seek To Delay Implementation Of Campaign Finance Ruling | MTPR

Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices is asking a federal court to put on hold a ruling that would allow political parties to donate unlimited amounts of money to campaigns. On Tuesday, a Montana District Court judge struck down limits on contributions to candidates. The judge said the limits were unconstitutional. When that happened, Montana’s old contribution limit laws went into effect, except for the laws capping how much a political party can give. Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl says he spoke with the Attorney General’s office and they will ask the judge for a stay. That would restore the current limits on political party contributions for 2016.

Utah: State trying to decide how to run future elections – by mail, paper ballot or electronically | The Salt Lake Tribune

Officials are asking legislators how they want to hold future elections — by mail, by paper ballot or electronically — because that may make a difference of millions of dollars in replacing old voting machines. Mark Thomas, state elections director for Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, said a committee is now studying options for replacing machines statewide that are nearing the end of their lifespans. A recommendation is expected early next year. But Thomas asked the Government Operations Interim Committee for some guidance on Wednesday. If the state helps to buy new electronic machines to conduct traditional, in-person elections with new machines at hundreds of polling places statewide, it would cost an estimated $10 million to $15 million, he said. But if the state moves to vote mostly by mail, the cost would be much less — $2.2 million to $3.2 million — for fewer high-speed optical scanners to count paper ballots.

Wisconsin: Witnesses detail difficulties obtaining IDs in Wisconsin voter ID case | The Capital Times

A federal judge heard testimony Tuesday from Wisconsin residents who have faced difficulties obtaining photo IDs for themselves or family members on the second day of a trial challenging several of the state’s voting laws. Witnesses for the plaintiffs included a son who faced difficulties getting an ID for his mother in 2011, a homeless man who couldn’t afford a driver’s license but didn’t want to relinquish his driving privileges for a free ID and a mother who spent days navigating the process to get an ID for her adopted daughter. “I’m trying to teach them that this is what you do to preserve this beautiful right,” said Laura Patten of Whitefish Bay, discussing the importance of voting to her children, adopted from Romania.

Australia: Electoral Commission sends electoral roll data of Victorian voters to the wrong people | ABC

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has mailed private information of Victorian residents to the wrong postal addresses, in a series of privacy breaches that raises questions about the security of voter details on the electoral roll. The privacy breaches exposed the date of birth, email address, driver’s licence number, gender, previous home addresses, country of birth and mobile numbers for electorates, including those held by Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester. ABC’s 7.30 understands the privacy of at least seven residents has been breached by the AEC.

Philippines: ‘VP votes may have been manipulated’ | The Manila Times

The cascade of votes for Rep. Leni Robredo that allowed her to obliterate the almost one million lead of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on May 10 looked strange and the “movement of the votes” appeared to have been manipulated, a statistics and political science analyst said on Tuesday. Antonio Contreras, Political Science professor at De La Salle University who also previously taught quantitative analysis at another university, said it was statistically impossible for Robredo to overtake Marcos in the race with 80 percent of the returns already counted.
Marcos was leading the count on the night of May 9 but his numbers and those for his closest rival Robredo were reversed in the early hours of May 10.

United Kingdom: Can the Queen vote in the EU referendum? | BBC

The Sun newspaper’s been told off for misleadingly reporting that the Queen’s in favour of the UK leaving the European Union. But is she allowed to vote in next month’s referendum, asks Justin Parkinson. The Queen doesn’t vote. She “has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters” and is “unable to vote or stand for election”, according to the Buckingham Palace website. But this isn’t the whole story. The monarch is actually entitled in law to cast a ballot in general elections. “By convention the Queen doesn’t vote, rather than because of a legal impediment,” says an Electoral Commission spokesman.