National: Trump’s voter fraud expert registered in 3 states | Associated Press

A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election, the Associated Press has learned. Gregg Phillips, whose unsubstantiated claim that the election was marred by 3 million illegal votes was tweeted by the president, was listed on the rolls in Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, according to voting records and election officials in those states. He voted only in Alabama in November, records show. In a post earlier this month, Phillips described “an amazing effort” by volunteers tied to True the Vote, an organization whose board he sits on, who he said found “thousands of duplicate records and registrations of dead people.” Trump has made an issue of people who are registered to vote in more than one state, using it as one of the bedrocks of his overall contention that voter fraud is rampant in the U.S. and that voting by 3 to 5 million immigrants illegally in the country cost him the popular vote in November. The AP found that Phillips was registered in Alabama and Texas under the name Gregg Allen Phillips, with the identical Social Security number. Mississippi records list him under the name Gregg A. Phillips, and that record includes the final four digits of Phillips’ Social Security number, his correct date of birth and a prior address matching one once attached to Gregg Allen Phillips. He has lived in all three states.

Editorials: Here’s How Trump’s Voter Fraud Investigation Could Produce Fake ‘Evidence’ | F. Perry Wilson/The Huffington Post

Somewhere, in a cubicle in Washington, a data analyst is panicking. She has just been asked by the Trump administration to show how 3 million people (or, preferably, more) voted illegally. Deep down, she knows that this is a ridiculous request. But she’s a team player. She will first try to identify specific cases of clear voter fraud. The goal will be to collate these clear cases into a list of names and addresses. A list with 3 million entries. She’ll start with the low-hanging fruit. She’ll cross-reference voting lists (not registration lists) to the National Death Index. She needs to look at real voting lists since dead people may still be on the registration lists without actually voting. She’ll find a few matches but, unfortunately, they will all prove to be false positives. People with the same name, people who didn’t really die, people who didn’t actually vote. She’ll then try to figure out if undocumented immigrants voted by cross-referencing voter lists with e-verify, the government’s electronic employment verification tool. She’ll get a few hits, but, again, they will all prove to be false positives. People with the same name, people who actually are citizens but aren’t in the system, and so on.

Arizona: State Election Director denies demanding voters be purged | Arizona Capitol Times

A top staffer at the Arizona Secretary of State denied accusations made by county recorders earlier this week that the office ordered voter registrations to be cancelled without proper documentation. In a letter delivered Jan. 23, the county recorders described their relationship with the Secretary of State’s office as “dire,” singling out “verbal abuse,” neglected duties and demands to cancel voters came without proper documentation. Secretary of State Michele Reagan asked for an internal accounting of the accusation that her office improperly sought to have some voters removed from the rolls.

Guam: Election commission to purge 5,318 inactive voters | The Guam Daily

The Guam Election Commission will begin removing inactive voters next month in line with public law, reducing current voter registration numbers of more than 51,000 down to about 46,000. Local law requires the cancellation of inactive voters’ registration after voters fail to participate in the two most recent general elections, in this case the 2014 and 2016 general elections. Guam Election Commission Executive Director Maria Pangelinan said there are approximately 5,318 names of voters on the current list that will be purged by Feb. 24.

Michigan: Report: No evidence of Michigan voter fraud | The Detroit News

A conservative economic analysis firm on Monday released a report saying a comprehensive review of Michigan’s voting data shows no widespread voter fraud in the state, a point echoed last week by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. The report by East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group was prompted by claims of election tampering by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein as well as President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated assertion that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election. Trump argued that millions of illegal votes came from “those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and even those registered to vote who are dead,” a point that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said could refer to states like New York and California where the Republican businessman did not campaign.

Nebraska: Redistricting proposal would utilize independent advisory panel | Omaha World Herald

An Omaha lawmaker is taking another stab at creating an independent advisory commission of citizens to redraw the state’s political maps. Introduced by State Sen. Burke Harr, Legislative Bill 216 is similar to a proposal brought last year by Sen. John Murante of Gretna and then-Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha. Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed the bill, citing constitutional objections. Murante did not seek a legislative override and has introduced LB 653, his own redistricting proposal, this year. Harr told members of the Legislature’s Executive Board on Monday that he’s willing to work with Murante toward a compromise and has looked at Ricketts’ concerns. “I reintroduced the bill taking into account the governor’s concerns,” he said.

New Mexico: Lawmakers Consider Automatic Voter Registration Bill | KUNM

The state Motor Vehicle Division would pull info on drivers and register them to vote—if they are eligible—according to a bill that is being considered by lawmakers in Santa Fe during this year’s legislative session. Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Bernalillo) proposed the legislation. She says it would get more folks voting. “It’s an attempt to modernize our system, make it more accessible, coordinate so it is not so cumbersome, so it is more secure. It gives us a chance to invigorate the voters,” she said.

Utah: Bill to create runoff elections starts down fast-track toward passage | The Salt Lake Tribune

A bill to create runoff elections in Utah started down a possible fast track Monday toward passing through both houses of the Legislature by the end of this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously endorsed SB144 and sent it to the full Senate. Its chairman, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said leaders hope to pass it through the Legislature this week to possibly stop long-running legal challenges by the Utah Republican Party to recent election law changes that could allow primary candidates to win with small pluralities. The party sued over that issue, among others, so far unsuccessfully. But the party’s executive committee meets Saturday, and Chairman James Evans said it could act to drop its lawsuits if the bill passes. However, some concerns arose at the hearing that could slow its consideration.

Virginia: Voting rights reform for felons dies in General Assembly subcommittee | Roanoke Times

Legislators’ attempts to reform the process by which felons regain the right to vote hit a dead-end Monday. A General Assembly subcommittee killed a block of constitutional amendments, including House Joint Resolution 542 by Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem, that would explore new avenues for felons to regain their voting rights after serving prison time. In a 4-3 vote, a House privileges and elections subcommittee tabled five constitutional amendments that would alter the way felons regain their voting rights. The subcommittee also tabled rights restoration bills proposed by Democratic legislators from Fairfax and Richmond and by Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville. In addition, the subcommittee sidelined another 20 proposed amendments covering a range of issues.

Wisconsin: Another Push To Redraw Wisconsin’s Political Boundaries | WXPR

In November, a federal three-judge panel ruled that Wisconsin’s political boundaries are unconstitutionally gerrymandered to give an unfair advantage to incumbent politicians. (Judges last Friday reaffirmed the ruling.) Reform legislation will be introduced in the current legislative session to take the job of drawing political boundaries out of the hands of partisan politicians, and give it to a nonpartisan panel. Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, says Wisconsin elections are no longer competitive, and points to the state’s congressional seats in Washington as an example.

Canada: Online voting: We can ensure the research into how it happens is sound | Ottawa Citizen

Since the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) tabled its report in December, the national conversation has largely focused on potential changes to the electoral system. One of the committee’s more significant recommendations related to the future of online voting in Canada, however, has flown under the radar. The committee recommended that Elections Canada not adopt online voting at this time, but work with stakeholders to determine how election technologies can maintain electoral integrity and voter access, notably for persons with disabilities. This should not be dismissed as an insignificant recommendation as it has the potential to influence the modernization of voting in federal elections in Canada. While Elections Canada could certainly start work on this, development of online voting approaches in other jurisdictions has shown that working with experts – social and computer scientists – is a best practice. In Geneva, Switzerland, for example, the decision to leverage expert knowledge substantially improved the design of the online voting system.

Haiti: Low turnout in local elections | AFP

Haitians turned out in low numbers for local elections on Sunday, exhibiting little enthusiasm for the final step in an agonizing electoral marathon that is finally coming to a close. The country’s political crisis began in October 2015, when results from Haiti’s presidential election were annulled because of massive fraud. It took until November 2016 to hold another presidential election, with turnout at a dismal 21 percent.

Netherlands: Average iPad better secured than Dutch voting system: cyber security expert | NL Times

The software used at Dutch polling stations to send election results, is outdated and very vulnerable to hackers and there are not enough rules around where and where the software can be installed, according to security expert Sijmen Ruwhof, who investigated the software on behalf of RTL Nieuws. According to Ruwhof, “the average iPad is more secure than the Dutch voting system”. Dutch voters fill in their election ballot with a pencil. The vote count is also done by hand, but the results are forwarded to a central point with the program Ondersteunende Software Verkiezingen (OSV). The Electoral Council installes that program with a CD-ROM. According to Ruwhof, the biggest problem with this is that the program can be installed on any computer, including on old computers that are not properly protected. For example, if the program is installed on a old computer using Windows XP, for which Windows stopped security updates in 2014, and that computer is connected to the internet – the Dutch voting system is open to malicious software that can be used to change the results.

Netherlands: Dutch elections, anyone? 81 parties make it a quandary | Associated Press

Peter Plasman showed up at the Netherlands’ national electoral commission’s offices Monday to register one of the more unusual parties bidding to take part in the upcoming Dutch election — a party for people who don’t vote. Plasman was hardly an exception when it came to flouting convention. A record 81 parties have expressed interest in taking part in the March 15 parliamentary election. Monday was the day they all had to hand in their paperwork. Among the eclectic roster of potential players, there also is the Colorful Cow Party, which casts itself in part as an antidote to the fierce anti-Islam rhetoric of the Party for Freedom. Its website includes a recipe for a traditional Dutch mashed potato dish, prepared with Turkish sausages and Moroccan spices. The party wound up not filing paperwork Monday because it could not find enough funds, its founder, Daan van Reenen, said in an email.

Nigeria: Solar-Powered Electronic Voting Machine Developed for 2019 Elections | The Guardian Nigeria

Nigeria has recorded a scientific breakthrough with the local manufacture of an electronic voting machine designed to eliminate all problems associated with existing ones. Presenting the innovation to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in Abuja yesterday, the Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Professor Mohammed Haruna said the device is a solar-powered EMV with cloud-based collation of election results. According to Haruna, the device does not store data, thus making it useless to anyone who snatches it. He explained: once the device receives data in form of voting, it sends it to the central electronic system of the electoral body from where it can be viewed online.

Russia: Three cyber arrests, one suspicious death, and a new chapter in the US election hack | Quartz

In the eerie world of international espionage, nothing of late has topped the official US accusation that Russian president Vladimir Putin plotted to put US president Donald Trump in power. Now, the tale has become even more salacious with the reported arrest of three Russian cyber experts, one of whom was perp-walked out of a meeting with a bag over his head, and the suspicious death of a former KGB general. Russia experts say the episode suggests a possible purge related to the US election hack. In a twist of Kremlinology, others say Putin may only be pretending to have arrested and killed cyber operatives. Or, say still others, neither observation may be true. “Can we really trust Russian news?” asks Dave Aitel, a former analyst with the US National Security Agency, and now CEO of Immunity, a cyber intrusion protection firm. The story of the arrests appears to have broken at the Russian newspaper Kommersant on Jan. 25. The paper reported (link in Russian) the arrests of Sergei Mikhailov, who heads the Center for Information Security, an arm of the Russian intelligence agency known by the acronym FSB; and Ruslan Stoyanov, a senior researcher with Kaspersky Lab, the computer security company.