National: Security experts join Jill Stein’s ‘election changing’ recount campaign | The Guardian

More election security experts have joined Jill Stein’s campaign to review the presidential vote in battleground states won by Donald Trump, as she sues Wisconsin to secure a full recount by hand of all its 3m ballots. Half a dozen academics and other specialists on Monday submitted new testimony supporting a lawsuit from Stein against Wisconsin authorities, in which she asked a court to prevent county officials from carrying out their recounts by machine. … Professor Poorvi Vora of George Washington University said in an affidavit that hackers could have infected vote-scanning machinery in Wisconsin with malware designed to skew automatic recounts as well as the original vote count. “It is not possible to determine with certainty the absence of malicious software hiding within what might appear to be many thousands of lines of legitimate software code,” said Vora, who added that the only way to ensure the integrity of the count was a recount by hand. … Arguing that a manual count of paper ballots was the only way to ensure there had been no outside interference, Professor Ronald Rivest of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology quoted the Russian proverb made famous by president Ronald Reagan: “Trust, but verify.” “We have learned the hard way that almost any computer system can be broken into by a sufficiently determined, skillful, and persistent adversary,” said Rivest.

National: Electronic voting under scrutiny as computer experts lobby for recounts in swing states | Washington Times

The paper-or-plastic dilemma has moved out of the supermarket and into America’s boards of elections, where officials are grappling with that very question in the wake of yet another messy presidential race. Paper ballots seemed headed for extinction after Americans spent Thanksgiving 2000 glued to their televisions, watching Broward County canvassing board Judge Robert Rosenberg peer through his giant magnifying glass at dimpled, pregnant and hanging chads during the Florida recount. But election officials who flocked toward electronic machines in the wake of the recount are now having a rethink, as fears of hacking set in. Those fears were further stoked this week when a group of voting and computer experts urged recounts in three swing states, saying tampering could have swung the Nov. 8 election to Donald Trump. “The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania,” J. Alex Halderman, the computer expert who has lobbied the Clinton campaign to demand recounts, said in an internet post Wednesday.

National: Russia probably didn’t hack US election – but we still need audits, experts say | The Guardian

The computer science experts who want the presidential election results audited don’t think a Russian vote-hacking operation is likely, either. But they’ve been upset for a decade that there’s no way to make sure. Jeremy J Epstein, senior computer scientist at research center SRI International, said the effort to audit the vote “was and is a nationwide effort over a long period of time”. The Green party candidate, Jill Stein, has applied for a recount. The Clinton campaign has said it will cooperate. “The Stein folks have somewhat hijacked the message, but I’m not worried,” Epstein said. “In fact, the goal of an audit is to verify [emphasis his] that the result was as originally reported.” Epstein describes himself as “75% confident that Trump won, and 25% that either there was an error in counting or there was a hack”. “Any accusation that it’s partisan and of-the-moment is ignorant of the history,” Epstein told the Guardian. Epstein, formerly of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, is one of the country’s foremost experts on election security and last year successfully crusaded to get insecure WinVote voting machines decertified and removed in Virginia.

National: Vote Recount Push Advances, but Reversing Trump’s Win Is Unlikely | The New York Times

President-elect Donald J. Trump is well into filling out his cabinet and picking key advisers. But a move to challenge the vote tallies in three swing states — an extreme long shot to reverse his Electoral College majority — is advancing in the background, creating a noisy distraction on Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed and raising last-ditch hopes of some Hillary Clinton supporters. In Wisconsin, elections officials said on Monday that a recount of the state’s nearly three million votes would most likely begin on Thursday. In Pennsylvania, Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, who initiated the recounts, filed a legal challenge of the results in state court. And the Stein campaign said it planned to request a recount in Michigan on Wednesday. Neither Ms. Stein nor the Clinton campaign has found evidence of election tampering in any of the three states, where Mr. Trump beat Mrs. Clinton by a combined margin of only about 100,000 votes. But once Ms. Stein seized on the issue last week, the Clinton campaign said it, too, would join in the efforts to seek recounts.

National: States reject Trump’s claim that illegal ballots gave Clinton popular vote | Fox News

President-Elect Donald Trump’s claim that ballot fraud in certain parts of the country cost him the popular vote is not going over well in the states he singled out. Hillary Clinton’s total was swollen by millions of people voting illegally in the Nov. 8 election, Trump said Sunday, citing New Hampshire, Virginia and California. Although Trump won easily with electoral votes, unofficial totals have him trailing Clinton 64,654,483 votes to 62,418,820, according to a Cook Political Report analysis Monday. “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump tweeted Sunday. Officials in those states insisted Monday that Trump’s claim of millions of illegal votes, including ones allegedly cast by illegal immigrants, is unfounded.

Editorials: Why I Support An Election Audit, Even Though It’s Unlikely To Change The Outcome | Nate Silver/FiveThirtyEight

Here at FiveThirtyEight, we’ve been skeptical of claims of irregularities in the presidential election. As we pointed out last week, there are no obvious statistical anomalies in the results in swing states based on the type of voting technology that each county employed. Instead, demographic differences, particularly the education levels of voters, explain the shifts in the vote between 2012 and 2016 fairly well. But that doesn’t mean I take some sort of philosophical stance against a recount or an audit of elections returns, or that other people at FiveThirtyEight do. Such efforts might make sense, with a couple of provisos. The first proviso: Let’s not call it a “recount,” because that’s not really what it is. It’s not as though merely counting the ballots a second or third time is likely to change the results enough to overturn the outcome in three states. An apparent win by a few dozen or a few hundred votes might be reversed by an ordinary recount. But Donald Trump’s margins, as of this writing, are roughly 11,000 votes in Michigan, 23,000 votes in Wisconsin and 68,000 votes in Pennsylvania. There’s no precedent for a recount overturning margins like those or anything close to them. Instead, the question is whether there was a massive, systematic effort to manipulate the results of the election.

Michigan: Officials prepare for ‘monumental’ presidential recount | Detroit Free Press

County clerks are preparing to recount, by hand, the 2016 presidential election and do it by Dec. 12. In Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, that means nailing down a central location to perform the recount in each county and finding enough workers to carry out the tedious task of going over hundreds of thousands of ballots one at a time. “This is a monumental undertaking,” said Joe Rozell, director of elections in Oakland County, where 678,090 ballots must be reviewed one-by-one. “We’ve never had a countywide recount of this magnitude.” The window for a possible statewide recount opened on Monday when the Michigan Board of Canvassers certified the state’s presidential election results, which showed Republican nominee Donald Trump won the state by 10,704 votes. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has indicated she will request a recount in Michigan by Wednesday’s deadline. A recount would begin on Friday in the state’s 19 largest counties, which includes Oakland, Wayne and Macomb.

Michigan: Here’s how a hand recount of 4.8 million ballots would actually work | Michigan Radio

This could be a stressful week for Chris Thomas, Michigan’s director of elections. Thomas would be the guy in charge of recounting, by hand, Michigan’s 4.8 million ballots. That would be triggered if Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein makes the request. “The thing that keeps me up at night is just being able to finish on time,” Thomas says. “It’s probably going to be a ten day recount, to do an entire state, and that’s going to be tough. And it’s going to really challenge the elections officials across this state.” Those officials are already very confused. Different city clerks have completely different ideas about how this process would work. One clerk says the recount is done in teams of three, with one person reading off the ballot and the two other people tallying each one on separate spreadsheets.

North Carolina: McCrory campaign said it would appeal election complaints – but hasn’t | News & Observer

As Republican-led county election boards began to reject GOP complaints, Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign said Nov. 18 it expected the rulings to be “immediately appealed to the State Board of Elections.” Ten days later, the state board has received only two appeals – both challenging decisions by the Durham County Board of Elections. In those appeals, Republicans are seeking a hand recount and an opportunity to inspect absentee ballot envelopes for signs of fraud. But without more appeals, Republican claims of voter fraud and irregularities in more than 50 counties appear to have fizzled. McCrory trails Democratic challenger Roy Cooper by about 9,700 votes. As of Monday evening, only three counties had not yet held hearings on the complaints, which include allegations that ineligible felons and dead people voted, and that some voters cast ballots in multiple states. Hearings in those counties are scheduled for this week.

North Carolina: Congressional redistricting case to be heard at Supreme Court on Monday | Miami Herald

Lawyers for the state of North Carolina will make oral arguments in the Supreme Court next week, seeking to overturn a lower federal court’s ruling that two of the state’s congressional districts were illegally and intentionally drawn to weaken African-American and minority voting power. It’s expected the high court could hand down a decision in the case next spring or summer. That process, though, could be delayed if the current eight justices opt to have both sides re-argue the case next year, should a ninth justice be confirmed and join the bench. The Supreme Court’s decision in the redistricting case – stemming from a legal challenge to congressional district maps drawn in 2011 by state lawmakers – could have significant political impact, though North Carolina already has redrawn the contested maps and the state used the newly approved districts in this year’s election. Earlier this year, a panel of three federal judges forced North Carolina to postpone congressional primaries and re-do the maps.

Pennsylvania: Jill Stein files petition seeking Pennsylvania presidential election recount | PennLive

An attorney for Green Party candidate Jill Stein filed a petition Monday in state Commonwealth Court asking for a recount of Pennsylvania’s 2016 presidential election. In the last week, Stein raised $6.2 million in order to launch recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states that President-elect Donald Trump won by about 1 percentage point. In the Keystone State, the businessman received about 70,000 more votes than Clinton. Stein garnered less than 50,000 votes. One of the chief factors cited attorney Lawrence Otter’s petition include problems with the state’s electronic voting system that a computer scientist believes could make it vulnerable to hackers. Others include the computer hacking of the Democratic National Committee and “discontinuity” between pre-election public opinion polls and the final result.

Pennsylvania: Stein campaign files Pennsylvania recount suit | Philadelphia Inquirer

Stein’s camp filed a recount petition last week in Wisconsin, and is expected to do so this week Michigan. Clinton lost each of the state by fewer than 100,000 votes. She lost Pennsylvania by about 71,300 votes. As of Monday evening, Stein had raised nearly $6.4 million dollars, covering the costs of recounts in both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and is close to her total goal of $7 million goal to cover recount costs in Michigan. But when it comes to the Keystone State, it turns out raising the money might have been the easiest step. As Stein points out herself in a video posted on Sunday, initiating a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s vote is “especially complicated.” Unlike Wisconsin, Stein can’t simply file a direct request for a recount, leaving just two paths for a potential statewide audit.

Pennsylvania: Allegheny County holds off on certifying election results | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein launched a two-pronged bid to re-examine Pennsylvania’s presidential election results Monday. And while even some supporters of the effort say they don’t expect to overturn Donald J. Trump’s win in the state, the effort has already complicated the timeline for certifying the results in Allegheny County. On Monday afternoon, the Stein campaign filed a Commonwealth Court petition on behalf of more than 100 voters, expressing “grave concerns about the integrity of electronic voting machines used in their districts.” The petition, which calls the Nov. 8 election “illegal,” is part of a Green effort to recount ballots in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. “We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system,” said Ms. Stein in a statement Monday. Citing “accusations of irregularities and hacks” of Democratic Party emails and voter-registration databases, she said, “People of all political persuasions are asking if our election results are reliable.”

Wisconsin: Clinton campaign will participate in Wisconsin recount, with an eye on ‘outside interference,’ lawyer says | The Washington Post

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been quietly exploring whether there was any “outside interference” in the election results and will participate in the election recount in Wisconsin initiated by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, a Clinton campaign lawyer revealed Saturday. In a Medium post, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias said that the campaign had received “hundreds of messages, emails, and calls urging us to do something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton,” especially in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where the “combined margin of victory for Donald Trump was merely 107,000 votes.” Elias said the campaign had “not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology.” But because of the margin of victory — and because of the degree of apparent foreign interference during the campaign — Elias said that Clinton officials had “quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states.” He said that the Clinton campaign would participate in the Stein-initiated recount in Wisconsin by having representatives on the ground monitoring the count and having lawyers represent them in court if needed. And if Stein made good on efforts to prompt similar processes in Pennsylvania and Michigan, Elias said, the Clinton campaign would do so there, as well.

Argentina: Senate Blocks E-Voting Bill | PanAm Post

Argentina’s senate voted down an electoral reform proposal that included the implementation of single electronic ballots. Many are calling the decision a political defeat for Mauricio Macri, who backed the reform, and which was heavily opposed by the Kirchner bloc, known as the Front for Victory. Thursday, November 26, the political party made its majority status in the Senate known by holding off the initiative, based on the testimony of computer experts and their explanations regarding “the high vulnerability of some of the proposed methods” involved in the electronic voting ballots. The Peronists reportedly guaranteed their support for the reform, but decided yesterday to boycott it. Experts only seemed to be on board with an effort to “continue analyzing tools that will improve the electoral system.”

The Gambia: No EU observers at Gambia’s election | EurActiv

The former British colony of Gambia goes to the polls on Thursday (1 December) for an election which could see the defeat of incumbent Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the tiny West African country for 22 years. There will be no EU election observers or observers from the Economic Community of West African States at the vote, in a country which has seen years of hardship and a mass exodus of migrants heading for Europe. Gambians make up the largest group per capita of arrivals to Italy by the Mediterranean, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration. Jammeh once declared he would govern “for a billion years if God willed it”, but he faces a united opposition and frustration over the economy which has dominated the campaign. Around 880,000 Gambians are expected at the polls on Thursday in the tiny former British colony, a narrow sliver of land mostly surrounded by French-speaking Senegal.

Haiti: Businessman Moise wins Haiti election in first round: provisional results | Reuters

Haitians have chosen banana exporter Jovenel Moise as their next president, provisional results released by the election council on Monday showed, with the political novice winning a majority and avoiding a second round runoff. Moise won 55.67 percent of the vote in the Nov. 20 election, the electoral council said, a majority that means the impoverished Caribbean nation will avoid a runoff and a political void, so long as the losing candidates do not contest the result. “We want to salute the maturity of the Haitian people,” said Leopold Berlanger, president of the election council, which organized the vote weeks after a devastating hurricane hit the country.