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.

Indiana: Election official clarifies registration fraud probe | Indianapolis Business Journal

A day after warning of potential widespread voting fraud, Indiana’s secretary of state acknowledged Wednesday that many of the thousands of altered registration forms she flagged might just be from residents rushing to correct their names or birth dates ahead of the election. Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson told The Associated Press she wanted Indiana State Police to investigate to ensure there was no widespread fraud after her office found a heavier than usual number of changes to voter registration forms this election cycle. “It’s very possible that because of heightened activity this year that many of those changes are changes that the individual made,” Lawson told the AP. “… That should give Indiana voters the comfort that we are vigilant and we are protecting their rights and the elections here are not rigged.” Indiana is the home state of Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, and also has contentious races for governor and U.S. Senate on the ballot.

Kansas: Kobach calls Trump’s stance on election results ‘reasonable’ | Associated Press

Kansas’ top election official said Thursday that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was justified in refusing to promise now that he’ll accept the election results, even as the state party chief and a GOP senator on the ballot urged candidates to do so. Secretary of State Kris Kobach called criticism of Trump over his refusal during Wednesday night’s presidential debate to commit to accepting the results “rather amusing.” He said no candidate should concede if the race is close and there are questions about the count, citing the 2000 contest in Florida, decided by fewer than 1,000 votes out of nearly 6 million cast. Trump has claimed that the election might be “rigged” against him. Kobach said he takes those comments to mean close results in several battleground states are susceptible to election fraud, which Kobach termed “entirely plausible.”

Maine: Election officials dismiss claims of voter fraud, but brace for criticism | The Portland Press Herald

On Tuesday, the day Maine Gov. Paul LePage told radio talk show hosts that he feared this year’s election may not be “clean,” a woman walked into Bangor City Hall and asked to speak with the clerk. Lisa Goodwin said the woman was concerned about what the governor, a supporter of Republican Donald Trump, had said and wanted to be assured that the process would be free of any funny business. “I talked with her for a while and then I told her if she still had concerns, she was more than welcome to volunteer on Election Day and see for herself,” Goodwin said. Across the state, clerks and other election officials are busy prepping for one of the most highly anticipated elections in modern times, in particular the presidential race between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. In recent weeks, Trump has cast doubts on the electoral process, warning his supporters that it will be “rigged,” even going so far during Wednesday night’s debate as to say he’s not sure he will accept the results. Fellow Republicans have cautioned Trump against questioning one of the bedrocks of democracy, but LePage has echoed the nominee’s allegations of potential fraud. He said the only way to combat that is to require voters to present identification at the polls.

Nebraska: Gale says Nebraska election safe and secure | Lincoln Journal Star

Secretary of State John Gale assured Nebraskans on Wednesday that the state’s election system is “very safe and secure” from outside manipulation. “I believe we have taken every step that is appropriate at this point to ensure that all aspects of the election system are protected at the highest level possible,” Gale said in a statement issued from his office. Gale’s assurance comes on the heels of attempted hacking of various election sites around the country as well as the breach at the Democratic National Committee that has resulted in the public release of private communications. U.S. intelligence officials have pointed the finger at Russia in identifying attempts to interfere in the U.S. election process.

North Dakota: Local election officials: Voter fraud ‘pretty impossible’ here | INFORUM

In less than 48 hours, Donald Trump said or tweeted more than 20 times how he believes the election process is rigged. He’s even gone as far as to encourage his supporters to go out on Election Day to ‘stop voter fraud.’ … “I think it’s all kind of ridiculous,” said Natasha Berg, first time voter. “It’s just the last straw he’s trying to grab to get any kind of relevance he has left,” said Jackson Frey, voter. Trump going as far as to tell his supporters to do their part to stop it. “Go to your place and vote and go pick some other place and go sit there with your friends and make sure it’s on the up and up,” Trump said. This could cause voter intimidation worries for local election officials on Election Day. “That’s always a claim people make but we don’t really see it,” said Mike Montiplaisir, Cass County Auditor.

West Virginia: ACLU files lawsuit over online voter registration in Cabell County | Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole, claiming her refusal to recognize and permit online voter registration within the county violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Residents in every other West Virginia county but Cabell, the lawsuit states, are able to successfully use the electronic voter registration system through the Secretary of State’s website. And Cabell is one of the top five counties in the state where prospective voters have used the online system, according to the complaint, which was also filed by the national ACLU’s Voting Rights Project and Charleston lawyer Anthony Majestro. The organizations filed the complaint, which seeks class-action status, on behalf of Allison Mullins, who recently moved to Cabell County to attend Marshall University. Mullins used the Secretary of State’s website to update her voter registration information prior to the Oct. 18 deadline, the lawsuit states. Her “information was not and will not be processed by Defendant Cole without action from this Court,” her lawyers wrote.

Wisconsin: Election Officials Refute Trump’s Prediction of Massive Voter Fraud | WUWM

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been ruffling feathers lately by suggesting there could be massive fraud at the polls on Nov. 8. Local elections officials are among the many refuting Trump’s allegations and insist every voters’ ballot will count. … In theory, someone could try to tamper with elections well in advance of Election Day. They could try to change the state’s list of registered voters. Reid Magney of Wisconsin’s elections commission says people have called his office with questions. “Because in the news it’s been reported that elections databases in Arizona and Illinois were entered by hackers. Nothing like that has happened in Wisconsin,” he says. Magney says he’s confident the state’s voter registration database will remain secure. “We actually upgraded our system to the absolute latest technology. We’re also working with the Department of Homeland Security to conduct regular scans to make sure there have been no intrusions,” he says.

Canada: Trudeau taking heat for walking back electoral reform | iPolitics

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have opened the door to maintaining Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system, despite having promised the 2015 federal election would be the last to use it. In an interview with Le Devoir Ottawa correspondent Marie Vastel to mark the end of his government’s first year, Trudeau said he no longer sees the same appetite for electoral reform he did when the Conservatives were in power. “Under Stephen Harper, there were so many people unhappy with the government and their approach that people were saying, ‘It will take electoral reform to no longer have a government we don’t like’. But under the current system, they now have a government they’re more satisfied with and the motivation to change the electoral system is less compelling,” he said.

Moldova: Scandal-weary Moldovans may back pro-Russia candidate for president | Reuters

The frontrunner in Moldova’s presidential race wants to end his country’s seven-year flirtation with the European Union and pivot back to Russia amid deep public discontent with a pro-Western ruling elite that has presided over economic turmoil. The ex-Soviet republic is still reeling from a banking scandal last year involving the looting of one billion dollars – the equivalent of an eighth of Moldova’s economic output – that highlighted the scale of corruption in Europe’s poorest nation, where the average monthly family income is below $300. A victory for Igor Dodon, the opposition Socialist party candidate, in the Oct. 30 election, would be good news for Russia as it vies with the West for influence across eastern Europe, including in Moldova’s much bigger neighbor Ukraine.

Montenegro: Authorities defends election day ban of Viber, WhatsApp | Associated Press

Montenegrin authorities on Wednesday defended a decision to block popular messaging services WhatsApp and Viber during the country’s parliamentary election, saying it was prompted by citizens’ complaints and in line with EU regulations. The state Communications Agency said in a statement that its move on Sunday was designed to prevent the abuse of the services on election day. The agency said a number of users — it did not specify how many — complained of receiving unwanted election propaganda. “The users of mobile communications in Montenegro asked for protection,” the agency said. “The ban of Viber and WhatsApp application turned out to be the only option to prevent the distribution of unwanted communication.”

Russia: State Department accuses Russia of ‘PR stunt’ in election-monitoring flap | Politico

The State Department on Thursday accused Moscow of a “PR stunt” after reports emerged that the U.S. had rejected Russia’s request to send delegates to “monitor” November’s polls — the latest twist in a bizarre election season sullied by accusations of Russian meddling. Kremlin-backed news outlets such as RT, sometimes citing other media, reported Thursday that representatives of Russia’s Central Elections Commission had talked to the State Department about sending a delegation to watch the U.S. polls on Nov. 8. Although allowing in foreign observers to watch Americans vote is nothing new, “U.S. officials categorically rejected even the possibility of such a mission” by Russia, RT reported. The U.S. is “suffering from some sort of persecutory delusion,” a Russian lawmaker was quoted as saying. “They imagine that Russians want to distort their elections and somehow intend to do it while acting as observers.”

Trinidad and Tobago: Appeals court rejects opposition election challenge | Caribbean News Now

The Court of Appeal in Port of Spain, Trinidad, took just two hours on Monday to reject an appeal by the opposition United National Congress (UNC) challenging the dismissal of its election petitions over the results of last year’s general election. Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Appellate Judges Allan Mendonca and Peter Jamadar dashed the UNC’s hopes of having a by-election in five marginal constituencies as they ruled that the polls had been conducted “in a free and fair manner consistent with the constitutional requirements for democracy,” the Trinidad Guardian reported. However, the appeal panel, comprised of the country’s most senior judges, ruled that the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) overstepped its remit when it decided to extend the polls by one hour in Trinidad due to heavy rainfall.

National: Donald Trump Won’t Say if He’ll Accept Result of Election | The New York Times

In a remarkable statement that seemed to cast doubt on American democracy, Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he might not accept the results of next month’s election if he felt it was rigged against him — a stand that Hillary Clinton blasted as “horrifying” at their final and caustic debate on Wednesday. Mr. Trump, under enormous pressure to halt Mrs. Clinton’s steady rise in opinion polls, came across as repeatedly frustrated as he tried to rally conservative voters with hard-line stands on illegal immigration and abortion rights. But he kept finding himself drawn onto perilous political territory by Mrs. Clinton and the debate’s moderator, Chris Wallace. … Mr. Trump insisted, without offering evidence, that the general election has been rigged against him, and he twice refused to say that he would accept its result. “I will look at it at the time,” Mr. Trump said. “I will keep you in suspense.”

National: Donald Trump declines to say he’d accept the results of the election, but voter fraud almost never happens | Los Angeles Times

Donald Trump doubled down on his allegations of a “rigged election” during Wednesday’s debate, declining in a major breach of democratic protocol to say he’d accept the results of the election. His reasoning included an implication of widespread voter fraud, asserting that there are “millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.” But Trump is vastly overstating how common voter fraud is, according to election experts. Voter fraud — in which a person casts a ballot despite knowingly being ineligible to vote — is “extraordinarily rare,” according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School. The 2007 study examined elections where wrongdoing was alleged and found the rate of substantiated instances of fraud ranged between 0.00004% and 0.0009%. Another study by a Loyola law professor found just 31 instances of in-person voter fraud (in which one person pretended to be someone else) out of more than 1 billion ballots cast between 2000 and 2014.

National: Trump Refuses to Say He’ll Accept Election Results If He Loses | Bloomberg

Donald Trump refused to say he’d accept the election’s results if he loses, an extraordinary statement on one of the underpinnings of U.S. democracy, as one of the most unconventional U.S. presidential campaigns entered its final stretch. Hillary Clinton called the Republican nominee’s remark “horrifying” in what was one of the most dramatic moments Wednesday night in Las Vegas during their final debate before the Nov. 8 election. “I will look at it, at the time,” Trump said, as he accused the media of dishonesty and being part of rigging the election against him. “They’ve poisoned the minds of the voters, but unfortunately for them I think the voters are seeing through it.” Always the showman, Trump said he’d let Americans know his decision about accepting the results after the election. “I will tell you at the time,” he said. “I’ll keep you in suspense.” Clinton expressed shock, echoing comments made earlier this week by President Barack Obama on the importance of a peaceful transfer of power in the U.S.

National: This Is Why We Still Can’t Vote Online | Motherboard

Online voting sounds like a dream: the 64 percent of citizens who own smartphones and the 84 percent of American adults with access to the internet would simply have to pull out their devices to cast a ballot. And Estonia—a northern European country bordering the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland—has been voting online since 2005. But ask cybersecurity experts and they’ll tell you it’s really a nightmare. We are nowhere close to having an online voting system that is as secure as it needs to be. Ron Rivest, a professor at MIT with a background in computer security and a board member of Verified Voting, said it is a “naive expectation” to even think online voting is on the horizon. One of the most compelling arguments made in favor for online voting is that it could potentially increase voter turnout. Which is a problem in the US: In 2012, 61.6 percent of those eligible to vote turned out to cast a ballot as opposed to the 58.2 percent that came out in 2008—a 3.4 percentage point decrease. According to the Pew Research Center, the American voter turnout in 2012 was low in comparison to elections in other nations, too. But Rivest said there’s no “hard evidence” to prove that making the process more accessible via the Internet will result in increased voter turnout. And even if one were to accept the unverified assumption that online voting would boost the number of people who vote, a larger dilemma still exists.

National: New voter ID rules, other election changes could cause confusion | PBS

Less than three weeks before Election Day, new voter ID requirements, early voting schedules and voter registration rules in more than a dozen states are creating uncertainty that could dampen turnout. In some states, courts are still hashing out new rules. Fourteen states have election laws that are more restrictive than they were during the last presidential election in 2012. Most of them require voters to show a photo ID before casting their ballots. Some of those ID laws have been scaled back or overturned by judges citing racial discrimination, but legal battles have continued in several states because voting rights advocates say state officials haven’t fully complied with court orders. There is confusion stemming from other court cases as well. Kansas’ attempt to require proof of citizenship from voters is still tied up in court. In Ohio, the battle is over people the state purged from the voter rolls because they hadn’t voted in six years.

National: Southern states see efforts to delay vote-related deadlines | Associated Press

Some North Carolina voters who want to expand early in-person voting in the presidential battleground state lost their case before a federal appeals court Wednesday, and in Georgia a federal judge refused to extend the voter registration deadline again for counties stricken by Hurricane Matthew. But a voters’ group in Virginia still held out hope of extending that state’s registration deadlines. A three-judge panel on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the emergency motion focused on five North Carolina counties that include cities such as Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Wilmington. A trial court judge refused the same request last week. The voters’ lawyers argued the counties weren’t complying with the 4th Circuit’s ruling in July striking down portions of a 2013 law that reduced the early-voting period by seven days. The period now covers 17 days, beginning Thursday. The voters said election officials should have allowed additional early voting on Sunday, during the first seven days of the period, or on the Saturday afternoon before Election Day.

National: Will The New Era Of Limited Federal Monitoring Still Protect Voter Rights? | NPR

This year’s presidential election will be the first in a half-century without the significant presence of federal observers at polling places. That’s because in 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, and when the court wiped out that section, the statute that provided for election observers went, too. The landmark decision in Shelby County v. Holder doesn’t mean civil rights officials are totally disarmed. The Justice Department will still send out “hundreds” of “monitors” to oversee Election Day compliance. But the number is smaller than it was before, and monitors can only enter the polling place if local officials agree. Observers, by contrast, had a statutory right to be inside polling places. They were trained specifically for the task. There also were many more of them, and they had far more authority than monitors.