National: Donald Trump refuses to say if he will accept election result in final debate | The Guardian

Donald Trump used the final presidential debate with Hillary Clinton to declare he would keep the country “in suspense” over whether he would accept the outcome of November’s election. The Republican nominee’s refusal to endorse the results of the election, unheard of in American history, capped a fractious debate in which he clashed with Clinton over abortion, gun rights, immigration and foreign policy. In one of the final exchanges Trump called his rival for the White House “such a nasty woman” after she attacked his personal record on paying no income tax for years. However, it was Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of an election he is currently projected to lose that will stand out from Wednesday night’s ill-tempered clash. “I will look at it at the time,” Trump said, when pressed by Fox News moderator Chris Wallace, who pointed out Trump was breaking with centuries of peaceful transition of power. “I will keep you in suspense,” Trump said.

Editorials: Trump poses an unprecedented threat to the peaceful transition of power | The Washington Post

WHAT HAS allowed the United States to last for so long as a democracy, when so many other countries have failed? There are many factors, but none is more fundamental than this: When we hold elections, the losing party acknowledges the legitimacy of the winner, and the winner allows the loser to survive to fight another day. Now, for the first time in modern history, a major-party candidate rejects both sides of that equation. If he loses, Donald Trump says, it will be due to cheating that makes the result illegitimate. If he wins, he will imprison his defeated opponent. Many Americans may not have given much thought to what a breathtaking departure this represents, because until now we have had the luxury of never having to think about such things. We have been able to take for granted the quadrennial peaceful transition of power. We watch from a distance when political parties in one foreign country or another take up arms after losing an election. We look, as at something that could never happen here, when a foreign leader sends an opponent to jail or into exile. This can happen in Zimbabwe, we think, or Russia, or Cambodia, but not here. Not in the United States.

Verified Voting Blog: Trump’s claim the election is rigged is unfounded

I serve as President of Verified Voting, a voting security organization that seeks to strengthen democracy by working to ensure that on Election Day, Americans have confidence that their votes will be counted as we intended to cast them. Election officials, security experts and advocates have been working together around the country toward that goal, at a level that also is unprecedented.

Elections are administered by local officials. America doesn’t have one monolithic national voting system the way there is in other countries. We have thousands of them, operating under state and local supervision.

In recent years, the way in which America votes has trended toward increasingly reliable and verifiable methods. More than 75 percent of Americans will vote this election on paper ballots or on voting machines with voter verifiable paper trails. That’s more than in past elections, including 2012 and 2014. (You can check out how your local area votes on our map of voting systems, at ) That means more voters than ever will be voting on recountable, auditable systems.

Why is that important? Because it offers officials a way to demonstrate to the loser of an election and the public that yes, they really did get fewer votes than their opponent or opponents.This is a nonpartisan issue. If you lose an election because something went wrong with a voting system somewhere, that’s fundamentally unfair. The more checks and balances we have in place (such as paper backup trails and audits), the greater our ability to withstand tampering or just general malfunction.

That’s not to say that our systems have no vulnerabilities. We have a higher degree of reliability in our election systems than in the past, but there’s still work to be done. What’s notable is that more is being done to ensure security this year than ever before.

Arizona: Appeals court considers blocking Arizona ballot-collection law | Capitol Media Services

Federal appellate judges on Wednesday questioned assertions by attorneys for the state and its Republican Party allies that a new law outlawing “ballot harvesting” does not target minorities. Assistant Attorney General Karen Hartman-Tellez argued that the law, approved earlier this year, is a legitimate — and legal — effort by the Republican-controlled legislature to ensure the integrity of elections. She conceded that making it a felony to collect the ballots of others might result in some inconvenience. But Hartman-Tellez said there was no proof that minorities would be harder hit.

Florida: Citing ‘obscene’ disenfranchisement, federal judge hands Democrats another Florida court victory | Miami Herald

Calling existing rules “obscene” disenfranchisement, a federal judge in Tallahassee declared late Sunday that Florida must provide a method for voters to fix signature problems that might arise when they vote by mail in the presidential election. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker’s ruling was a victory for the Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee, which sued the state Oct. 3 arguing Florida canvassing boards shouldn’t immediately reject a ballot if a voter’s signature doesn’t match the one on file. The state gives voters who forget to sign their mail ballots a chance to fix the problem before Election Day — but doesn’t offer voters with mismatched signatures the same opportunity. Walker ruled the “bizarre” double-standard was unconstitutional. “It is illogical, irrational, and patently bizarre for the State of Florida to withhold the opportunity to cure from mismatched-signature voters while providing that same opportunity to no-signature voters,” he wrote. “And in doing so, the State of Florida has categorically disenfranchised thousands of voters arguably for no reason other than they have poor handwriting or their handwriting has changed over time.”

Indiana: State Police chief reports cases of voter fraud | Los Angeles Times

Indiana’s top cop suggested Friday that investigators had uncovered several instances of voter fraud in the state, an allegation that adds fuel to a fiery debate over whether elections are “rigged” and subject to abuse. Indiana State Police Supt. Douglas Carter said in a local TV interview that Gov. Mike Pence “absolutely did not misspeak” this week when he warned supporters of potential voter fraud during a campaign stop in Nevada. Carter said he believed there was voter fraud in “every state,” including Indiana. Carter refused to provide details about how many instances of voter fraud police have found, or the exact nature of the fraud — whether investigators found, for example, cases of people registering to vote multiple times or whether those ineligible to vote tried to register. … Experts have found voter fraud to be extremely rare, with one study from a Loyola Law School professor finding just 31 credible claims of fraud amid more than 1 billion ballots cast since 2000. The head elections officers in most presidential battleground states are Republicans. … Officials for Indiana Voter Registration Project, which is connected to Washington-based nonprofit Patriot Majority USA, have denied the fraud accusations and said Pence and other Republicans are targeting the group to suppress votes.

Kansas: Federal appeals court: Right to vote constitutionally protected | Topeka Capital Journal

A federal appeals court laid out on Wednesday the legal reasoning behind its decision earlier this month that allowed thousands of Kansas residents to register to vote without providing documents proving their U.S. citizenship. The 85-page opinion from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals came a day after voter registration closed in Kansas for the November election. The appeals court had earlier this month upheld a preliminary injunction that forced Kansas to register people who filled out voter applications at motor vehicle offices. “There can be no dispute that the right to vote is a constitutionally protected fundamental right,” the appeals court wrote. The opinion released Wednesday essentially explained why the appeals court upheld U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson’s preliminary injunction requiring the state to register thousands of people for federal elections. The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of several prospective voters and the League of Women Voters.

Ohio: Voters improperly removed from rolls can vote in November election, court rules | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Ohio voters who were improperly removed from the rolls after not casting a ballot for several years will be allowed to vote in the November general election. A federal appellate court ruled last month that Ohio’s practice of occasionally canceling voter registrations after six years of inactivity was illegal. A U.S. District Court decision issued Wednesday night mandates that voters purged since Jan. 1, 2011 be allowed to cast provisional ballots. Ballots will count if the voter lives in the same county as they were registered in. Secretary of State Jon Husted had asked the court to allow provisional voting for voters pulled from the rolls in 2015. Voter rights advocates who had filed the lawsuit asked for ballots to be counted for voters removed in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Husted said Wednesday that his office will fully comply with the judge’s order and continue focusing on administering a smooth election. “Our main concern was to protect the integrity of the election by not having to reinstate deceased voters, those who moved out of state, or are otherwise ineligible,” Husted said in a statement.

Pennsylvania: Aging voting machines could be ‘nightmare scenario’ in the event of a disputed election | Los Angeles Times

On election day, voters in Pennsylvania will be touching the lighted buttons on electronic vote counters that were once seen as the solution to messy paper ballots. But in the event of a disputed election, this battleground state — one of the few that relies almost entirely on computerized voting, with no paper backup — could end up creating a far bigger mess. Stored in a locked warehouse near downtown Harrisburg, the 1980s-era voting machines used by Dauphin County look like discarded washing machines lined up in rows. When unfolded and powered up, the gray metal boxes become the familiar voting booth, complete with a curtain for privacy. Much may rest on the reliability and security of these aging machines after an unprecedentedly combative presidential campaign that is ending with Donald Trump warning repeatedly of a “rigged election” and his refusal at Wednesday’s debate to commit to accepting the results on Nov. 8. … But computer experts says the old electronic voting machines have a hidden flaw that worries them in the event of a very close election. The machines do not produce a paper ballot or receipt, leaving nothing to be recounted if the election outcome were in doubt, such as in 2000, when the nation awaited anxiously for Florida to reexamine those hanging chads.

Virginia: Voter registration system crashes, preventing some from signing up in time | The Washington Post

A civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to force Virginia to extend its voter registration period after the state’s online system crashed Monday, the last day to register, preventing an unknown number of voters from getting on the rolls. One registrar estimated that “tens of thousands” of Virginians had been unable to register by the cutoff at 11:59 p.m. Monday, although the state elections commissioner, Edgardo Cortés, said the number was unknown. The meltdown prompted a Washington-based civil rights group to file the lawsuit on behalf of Kathy and Michael Kern, a Charlottesville couple who tried multiple times Sunday and Monday to register without success. Two nonprofit groups involved in voter-registration drives — New Virginia Majority Education Fund and Virginia Civic Engagement Table — also are plaintiffs.

Congo: Political crisis deepens as presidential vote postponed | France24

A ruling by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s top court approving an electoral commission request to postpone the country’s presidential election by 18 months has compounded fears President Joseph Kabila may try to extend his rule for a third term. The constitutional court ruled in favour of the electoral commission on Monday, which filed a petition last month to delay the November poll until April 2018, saying it lacked the funds and time to ensure the registration of all new voters. “After a few hours of [deliberation] DR Congo’s highest court decided to approve the electoral commission’s request, which asked for a deferment of the presidential election that was due to be held before the end of the year,” FRANCE 24’s Thomas Nicolon reported from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa. “But both the electoral commission and the constitutional court agreed that the enlistment of all new voters was a priority.”

Venezuela: Electoral Panel Halts Effort to Recall President Nicolás Maduro | The New York Times

Leaders of Venezuela’s opposition on Friday angrily called on citizens to take to the streets after the country’s electoral commission suspended a drive for a referendum to remove President Nicolás Maduro. Speaking to a packed news conference, Henrique Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate, described the commission’s decision as a “coup” intended to keep Mr. Maduro in power. “We warned that this could happen, and this is exactly what we wanted to avoid with the referendum,” Mr. Capriles said. “This only deepens the crisis that Venezuelans are living through.” The battle over the recall movement appeared to escalate the conflict between the opposition and Mr. Maduro’s leftist government. Although the opposition controls the country’s congress, Mr. Maduro and his allies dominate all the other institutions of government, including the courts and the electoral commission. Mr. Maduro, blamed by many Venezuelans for the country’s economic collapse, has described the recall effort as a coup attempt.

National: US election machine technology is out of date, experts say | CNBC

Experts say the chances of hacking at the polls are remote, since voting machines aren’t typically connected to the internet. Still, research shows the technology behind most of these machines is grossly outdated. Forty-three states have voting machines that are at least a decade old, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan policy group at New York University’s Law School. Gregory Miller, co-founder of the Oset Institute, which works with election officials to update infrastructure, said most voting machines are running on outdated software like Windows 2000. “The largest problem here is that the PC-based equipment is based upon technology that is not only antiquated, but it is flat out obsolete,” Miller said. “Innovation in this space has devolved to a discussion of spare parts from Asia, and software patches from Eastern Europe.” Three main companies provide the vast majority of voting machines for U.S. elections — ES&S, Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic. The challenge facing the companies, according to Miller, is that states don’t have money to buy upgraded equipment, so companies don’t have the incentive to innovate.

National: Disenfranchised by Bad Design | ProPublica

This Nov. 8, even if you manage to be registered in time and have the right identification, there is something else that could stop you from exercising your right to vote. The ballot. Specifically, the ballot’s design. Bad ballot design gained national attention almost 16 years ago when Americans became unwilling experts in butterflies and chads. The now-infamous Palm Beach County butterfly ballot, which interlaced candidate names along a central column of punch holes, was so confusing that many voters accidentally voted for Patrick Buchanan instead of Al Gore. We’ve made some progress since then, but we still likely lose hundreds of thousands of votes every election year due to poor ballot design and instructions. In 2008 and 2010 alone, almost half a million people did not have their votes counted due to mistakes filling out the ballot. Bad ballot design also contributes to long lines on election day. And the effects are not the same for all people: the disenfranchised are disproportionately poor, minority, elderly and disabled.

National: Donald Trump’s refusal to concede an election loss to Hillary Clinton wouldn’t make any legal difference | McClatchy DC

So what really happens if Donald Trump refuses to concede the election if he loses to Hillary Clinton? Probably nothing legally, election experts say. Though considered an essential act to foster a peaceful post-election political transition of power, concessions by losing candidates are a formality – not a legal requirement. “Just saying the words ‘I concede’ have no legal effect,” said Richard Hasen, founding co-editor of the Election Journal and author of the Election Law Blog. “What would have a legal effect is if he filed for a recount or do some sort of election contest. In short, we don’t have a constitutional crisis on our hands if we don’t have a gracious concession on election night, even if the result appears a blowout,” Edward “Ned” Foley, author of “Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States,” wrote on his blog last Friday.

National: GOP braces for Trump loss, roiled by refusal to accept election results | The Washington Post

A wave of apprehension and anguish swept the Republican Party on Thursday, with many GOP leaders alarmed by Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election and concluding that it is probably too late to salvage his flailing presidential campaign. As the Republican nominee reeled from a turbulent performance in the final debate here in Las Vegas, his party’s embattled senators and House members scrambled to protect their seats and preserve the GOP’s congressional majorities against what Republicans privately acknowledge could be a landslide victory for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. With 19 days until the election, the Republican Party is in a state of historic turmoil, encapsulated by Trump’s extraordinary debate declaration that he would leave the nation in “suspense” about whether he would recognize the results from an election he has claimed will be “rigged” or even “stolen.”

National: What would happen if Donald Trump refused to concede the election? | The Guardian

Donald Trump’s refusal to say whether he would accept the outcome of next month’s US presidential election if he were to lose is unprecedented and chilling, legal experts have said. But although the failure by a major party nominee to concede defeat on election night would throw American democracy into uncharted territory, from a legal standpoint, it would hardly make a difference, experts from across the political spectrum said. “Frankly, under our system, it is irrelevant whether the loser concedes or not,” said James Bopp, the conservative constitutional lawyer. “The vote of the electoral college is conclusive.” … Trump’s reticence does not appear to be shared by those closest to him. Just hours before the debate, Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, all insisted that the campaign would accept the result of the election.

National: Trump loyalists plan own exit poll amid claims of ‘rigged’ election | The Guardian

Donald Trump loyalists will attempt to conduct their own crowd-funded exit polling on election day, ostensibly due to fears that electronic voting machines in certain areas may have been “rigged”, the Guardian has learned. But the effort, led by Trump’s notorious informal adviser Roger Stone, will focus on 600 different precincts in nine Democrat-leaning cities with large minority populations, a tactic branded highly irregular by experts, who suggested that organizers could potentially use the polling as a way to intimidate voters. Stone told the Guardian that around 1,300 volunteers from the controversial Citizens for Trump grassroots coalition would conduct exit polling in Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, Richmond and Fayetteville – all locations in pivotal swing states. Media organizations and political campaigns conduct exit polling for all major elections, but David Paleologos – a polling expert and director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center – said effective exit polling was done in bellwether precincts, not in areas likely to be dominated by a particular political party. “It doesn’t sound like that’s a traditional exit poll,” Paleologos said of Stone’s planned efforts. “It sounds like that’s just gathering data, in heavily Democratic areas for some purpose. It doesn’t sound like exit polling.”

National: The Supreme Court’s Election Day ‘Doomsday scenario’ | CNN

Legal experts call it the worst-case scenario: The day after the election arrives and the outcome turns on a dispute in one state. As things stand now, the suggestion seems remote. But with Donald Trump refusing to promise he will accept the results of next month’s election, eyes naturally turn to the Supreme Court. The problem: there are only eight justices — four nominated by Republicans, four by Democrats. So what happens if they split, 4-4? “That’s the doomsday scenario,” veteran Supreme Court advocate Carter Phillips told an audience this fall, responding to a hypothetical question about a candidate who suspected the election was rigged and went to the courts. Phillips explained that if the court were to deadlock it would mean the justices were left to simply affirm a lower court opinion. Election law expert Joshua Douglas of the University of Kentucky College of Law says that power could end up resting with the lower courts, including even a state supreme court consisting of judges who were elected in a battleground state.

National: U.S. vote authorities warned to be alert to Russian hacks faking fraud – officials | Reuters

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are warning that hackers with ties to Russia’s intelligence services could try to undermine the credibility of the presidential election by posting documents online purporting to show evidence of voter fraud. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said however, that the U.S. election system is so large, diffuse and antiquated that hackers would not be able to change the outcome of the Nov. 8 election. But hackers could post documents, some of which might be falsified, that are designed to create public perceptions of widespread voter fraud, the officials said. They said that they did not have specific evidence of such a plan, but state and local election authorities had been warned to be vigilant for hacking attempts. On Oct. 7, the U.S. government formally accused Russia for the first time of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations to interfere with the election process. U.S. officials familiar with hacking directed against American voting systems said evidence indicates that suspected Russian government-backed hackers have so far tried to attack voter registration databases operated by more than 20 states. Tracing the attacks can be difficult but breaches of only two such databases have been confirmed, they said.

National: For Trump, challenging an election loss would be tough | Reuters

If Donald Trump were to challenge the outcome of next month’s presidential election, as he has hinted he might, he would face a difficult and expensive fight, according to election attorneys and a review of voting laws in key battleground states. Trump has said he is worried the Nov. 8 election might be rigged in favor of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and in Wednesday’s debate he refused to say he would accept the outcome. But before any court challenge, Trump probably would have to ask for a recount, said Donald Brey, a Republican election lawyer in Ohio. If the campaign did not pursue out-of-court options first, he said, a judge likely would dismiss the case. Recount rules vary from state to state. North Carolina, for example, doesn’t allow a presidential candidate to request a recount at all if one candidate has a lead of more than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast. In Wisconsin, the challenging candidate must pay the full expense of a recount if the vote in dispute is more than 0.25 percent, and in Colorado if it is more than 0.5 percent.

National: Media vulnerable to Election Night cyber attack | Politico

Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on security upgrades, U.S. media organizations have failed to properly protect their newsrooms from cyberattacks on their websites, communications systems and even editing platforms — opening themselves up to the possibility of a chaos-creating hack around Election Day. In just the past month, BuzzFeed has been vandalized, and both Newsweek and a leading cybersecurity blog were knocked offline after publishing articles that hackers apparently didn’t appreciate. Federal law enforcement is investigating multiple attacks on news organizations, and journalists moderating the presidential debates say they’ve even gotten briefings from the FBI on proper cyber hygiene, prompting them to go back to paper and pens for prep work. “We do a lot of printing out,” said Michele Remillard, an executive producer at C-SPAN, the network home to the backup moderator for all the debates.

National: Fears Of Soros-Owned Voting Machines Rigging The Election Are Unfounded | BuzzFeed

Allegations that voting machines made by a company controlled by billionaire businessman George Soros will be used to rig the elections for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have “no basis in reality” according to election voting officials. The allegation, which has been made on a number of right-wing websites including the Daily Caller, was picked up following Wednesday night’s debate by a pro-Trump Reddit board. During that debate Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to say whether he would accept the election results. The following day, he said he would accept the results, “If I win.” Hundreds of Trump supporters on Reddit responded to Trump’s assertion that the elections would be rigged by focusing on the allegedly Soros-owned machines. The voting machines in question are manufactured by Smartmatic, a London-based company which produces voting machines used globally. The tenuous connection to Soros is that Smartmatic Chairman, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, sits on the Global Board of the Open Society Foundation, a network founded by George Soros. However, there is no evidence that Soros has anything to do with Smartmatic, which explicitly denies his involvement.

Editorials: Don’t Believe Donald Trump’s ‘Rigged Election’ Claims | Karen Hobert Flynn/US News

A strong 21st century democracy is one where everyone can participate and do so free of intimidation. But it appears that some have a different vision for American democracy, based in fear and exclusion. Recent comments by Republican nominee Donald Trump and his supporters about voter fraud, trying to cast doubt on the results before the votes have even been counted, is not only irresponsible, it is also a lie. Trump took his dangerous rhetoric a step further in Wednesday night’s debate, refusing to commit to accepting the election results. Combining this with his irresponsible comments about a “rigged election” and voter fraud, Trump is hurting our democratic process at the most basic level. Any candidate who questions the integrity of elections without producing one shred of evidence doesn’t understand how democracy works. Trafficking in rumors and innuendo is an affront to the professionalism of election officials in both parties, raises doubts for candidates seeking office down ballot and most importantly confuses voters. If a person can’t tell the difference between actual evidence of wrongdoing that should be turned over to authorities, and a forwarded email peddling conspiracy theories, perhaps it’s best to say nothing and allow the professional election administrators who’ve devoted their careers to making sure our elections are fair to do their jobs.

California: San Diego Registrar of Voters acknowledges ballot design flaw | KGTV

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters office and city of San Diego leaders Wednesday confirmed that a design flaw with the ballot could impact voting in next month’s election. Officials say if voters use a felt-tip pen, or a similar type of pen, to fill in “Yes” on Measure E, the ink can bleed through to the other side, marking the “No” bubble for Measure K. Registrar of Voters Michael Vu “has acknowledged the issue and agreed to manually examine all the ballots while they are being counted, but voters should be informed of proactive measures they can take to ensure their votes are cast and counted as intended before a problem occurs.” San Diego resident Kaia Los Huertos supports Measure K, which would require all election processes for elected city offices to consist of a primary election in June and a runoff election in November for the top two candidates.

Florida: Thousands of new voters register in Florida after deadline is extended | Bradenton Herald

The extra week of voter registration across Florida that Gov. Rick Scott initially opposed has already produced nearly 37,000 new voters and the increase will keep growing in the coming days as Florida sets an all-time record in the total number of voters. Secretary of State Ken Detzner reported late Tuesday that 36,823 voter registration forms were verified and are active in the state voter database and that another 26,773 applicants are being verified, for a potential bounty of nearly 64,000 additional voters, with an undetermined additional number of voter forms being mailed that haven’t yet arrived at county elections offices. To put that number in perspective, Scott won reelection as governor two years ago by 64,145 votes. Detzner said every voter registration application must be verified using voters’ Social Security numbers and Florida driver’s license numbers to confirm voters’ IDs. Once that is done, the information is sent to the county supervisor of elections, who adds the voter to the rolls.

Georgia: Judge won’t extend voter registration deadline | CNN

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, some Georgia residents living along the coast were unable to register to vote before the deadline. However, a federal judge won’t order officials to extend the deadline given that it could throw a “sizable wrench” in the state’s efforts to get ready for the upcoming presidential election. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed this week, which claimed that disruptions caused by the storm made it difficult, and, in some cases, impossible, for people to sign up by the October 11 deadline. Other states affected by Matthew — Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina — have extended deadlines in counties hit by the hurricane. The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, accused Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp of infringing upon residents’ right to vote by refusing to extend the deadline. The storm interfered with voter registration drives, leaving African-Americans disproportionately affected by the state’s refusal to extend the deadline, the lawsuit claimed.

Illinois: Despite Trump claim, officials say technology means vote fraud thing of past | Chicago Tribune

Claims from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that voting is rigged to help Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8 have served to dredge up Chicago’s controversial history of vote stuffing, ballot boxes floating in the river and dead people voting. But state and city elections officials contend the massive voting fraud of the past is history, citing new technology and changes in voting laws have made the potential for fraud a fraction of what existed in the past. They say the concern now is voter intimidation techniques. “We don’t claim perfection. We know we’re trying to live down the history of this agency from our parents’ and our grandparents’ generations,” said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. … “To give some context, in the last 10 years we’ve had 10 referrals of suspicious activity to the state’s attorney’s office and at the same time we’ve had 9 million ballots cast,” Allen said. One referral led to the convictions of two men on misdemeanor charges of manipulating absentee ballots in a 50th Ward aldermanic contest in 2007.

Indiana: Group named in Indiana voter fraud probe was registering black voters | Chicago Tribune

A Democratic-aligned group at the center of an Indiana investigation into possible voter fraud said Thursday it focused on registering black residents of Indiana because the state had the nation’s lowest overall voter turnout in 2014. Patriot Majority USA has ties to the Democratic Party, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and former president Bill Clinton, and is one of a host of organizations doing political work on both the right and left that are not required to disclose their donors. According to its 2014 tax return, the most recent available, the group had $30.5 million in revenue that year and spent $13.6 million on political activities, but donors were not disclosed. Between 2009 and 2012, the last years the group disclosed donors, it received $2.2 million from labor unions, according to Federal Election Commission figures, including major contributions from teachers and public employee unions.

Virginia: Federal judge orders immediate reopening of voter registration in Virginia | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginians who couldn’t register to vote because a state website crashed were given one more chance to sign up after a federal judge on Thursday ordered the state to reopen the voter registration period until 11:59 p.m. Friday. The court ruling, welcomed by Democrats and Republicans, was brought about by a lawsuit filed Tuesday by a civil rights group arguing that potentially thousands of Virginians had been affected by major problems with the state’s online voter registration system ahead of Monday’s registration deadline. Gov. Terry McAuliffe said earlier this week that he couldn’t extend the deadline himself because it’s fixed in state law. The office of Attorney General Mark R. Herring did not contest the lawsuit. During a brief hearing in Alexandria, U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton refused to approve a longer extension favored by state officials and the Washington-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the group that brought the case. Hilton was asked to extend the registration period until midnight Monday. The judge agreed accommodations should be made to fix the problem but said a five-day extension seemed needlessly long.