The Voting News Weekly: The Voting News Weekly for August 1-7 2016

cybersecurity_260The Obama administration is weighing new steps to bolster the security of the United States’ voting process against cyberthreats, including whether to designate the electronic ballot-casting system for November’s elections as “critical infrastructure.” Wired considered the security threats posed by direct recording electronic voting machines. Writing in the New York Times Rick Hasen considered whether the tide against restrictive voting laws has turned on the same day that a federal judge blocked North Dakota’s strict voter-ID law unfair to Native Americans, continuing a series of recent victories against restrictions imposed by state legislatures in Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Kansas. In response to those rulings Texas agreed to weaken its voter ID law while Wisconsin is seeking an emergency stay in a federal court ruling in a case challenging a range of voting policies signed into law between 2011 and 2015. The state of Ohio has racked up more than $2.7 million in legal fees it will likely have to pay to attorneys who have engaged in a decade’s worth of litigation over voting laws passed by the state’s legislature. The Wall Street Journal profiled Billy Lawless an expatriate member of the Irish Senate even though he is not allowed to vote in Irish elections. Thailand’s military junta holds a national referendum on a new constitution, while blocking opposition campaigning and Venezuela’s National Electoral Council said the opposition had collected nearly double the requirement of 200,000 valid signatures on a petition demanding that President Nicolas Maduro face a recall referendum.