Virginia: State elections board certifies two contested legislative races in Virginia despite election irregularities | The Washington Post

Virginia’s Board of Elections on Monday unanimously certified two state legislative races — in which 147 voters cast ballots in the wrong district — in favor of the Republicans in both contests. The decision means that Republicans control 51 seats in the House of Delegates while Democrats control 49. The action shuts down one potential route, but it does not end Democrats’ hopes to win control of the chamber. In letters sent over the weekend, Democrats had urged the Democratic-controlled board to hold off on certification because of the irregularities, particularly since one of the two races — in District 28 — was a squeaker that could determine which party takes charge of the House.

National: Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted | The Guardian

The FBI failed to notify scores of US officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year, an investigation found. The Associated Press dedicated two months and a small team of reporters to go through a hit list of targets of Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, that was provided by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks. Previous investigations based on the list had shown how Fancy Bear worked in close alignment with the Kremlin’s interests to steal tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic party. The hacking campaign disrupted the 2016 US election and cast a shadow over the presidency of Donald Trump, whom US intelligence agencies say the hackers were trying to help. The Russian government has denied interfering in the American election. The special counsel Robert Mueller is leading an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump aides and Russia. Indictments have been made.

Editorials: The Cyber Attacks on Democracy | Juan C. Zarate/InsideSources

The investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election continue to reveal a full-scale assault on American democracy. From sophisticated social media efforts and traditional information operations to attempted hacks of voter rolls and state electoral systems, the Russians engaged in a campaign to undermine American democracy. This is not the only time they have engaged in such activity. In countries like the Netherlands, Ukraine and France, the Russians have used influence operations to affect political campaigns and candidates, and to attack perceived opponents of Vladimir Putin’s Russia and support those more sympathetic to Russian interests. The Russians have decided to do this to achieve three complementary goals. They want to undermine faith and confidence in democracy and its institutions from within; exacerbate social and political divisions advantageous to Russian interests; and obfuscate or confuse the truth and amplify narratives that align with Russian interests, even when patently false.

Editorials: A district judge might be handing Trump a chance to supercharge voter suppression | Richard Hasen/Slate

This could be a very bad week for voting rights in the United States. On Friday, a federal consent decree to stop potential voter suppression by the Republican National Committee—in place since 1982—is set to expire unless further extended by a federal district court in New Jersey. What happens next, with Donald Trump in charge of the Republican Party, will likely not be pretty. In 1981, the Democratic National Committee sued the RNC over its rival’s “ballot security” measures, which the Democrats alleged were aimed at suppressing minority voters.

Alabama: Secretary of state says some voters wrongly told they are not registered |

The Alabama Secretary of State’s office said today it has learned that some voters are receiving erroneous messages telling them that they are not registered to vote when, in fact, they are registered. Two organizations that are contacting voters said they are not sending erroneous message. Secretary of State John Merrill’s office sent out a press release about the erroneous messages today. Some erroneous messages are coming from people who claim to be members of the NAACP and of Open Progress, the secretary of state’s office said.

Connecticut: State Has A New Way To Count The Votes | WNPR

On election night earlier this month in Connecticut, the secretary of the state’s office unveiled a new system for towns to report vote totals. The “Election Management System” (EMS) is being applauded for delivering faster results to the public. The process begins in advance of the election with the town clerk entering the names of each candidate on the ballot into the new online EMS. The towns’ head moderator inputs the actual results after polls close. “All you have to type in on election night are the numbers themselves,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said. “It then uploads automatically to our website and so you, you the public, get the results in real-time — terrific improvement over how we were doing things before.”

Delaware: Who Would Dare Hack Delaware’s Elections? | State of Elections

As the investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 Presidential election continues, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally announced which states experienced hacking attempts within the last year. Among those targeted was Delaware. With only three Electoral College votes and a consistent Democratic voting record in the last seven presidential elections, it is bizarre to see Delaware in the company of swing states like Wisconsin, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. However, unlike Virginia, which is updating its voting system to ensure election security, Delaware is updating its voting system for a very different reason: efficiency.

Maine: 2018 primary could feature ranked choice | WCSH

Maine voters will be faced with a whole lot of candidates next year, and some of those races may be decided using ranked choice voting (RCV). Ranked choice has voters rank multiple candidates in order of preference. Votes are counted and low-ranked candidates are eliminated until one candidate has more than 50 percent. The system was approved by Maine voters in a 2016 referendum. But the Maine Supreme Court justices said they believe the law violates the state constitution, which only requires a plurality of votes for governor and the legislature. The court opinion suggested ranked choice could be used for primary elections and federal races, unless there is a change to the constitution. That hasn’t happened, and lawmakers voted in October to delay the law until 2021. If a constitutional amendment isn’t passed by then, the law would be automatically repealed.

Missouri: Postmaster General asked to correct addresses of Missouri residents with Iowa mailing addresses | KTTN

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has written a letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan asking the postal service to correct addresses of Missouri residents with Iowa mailing addresses. Senator McCaskill mentioned Clark County commissioners and residents of Clark County formally have requested the postal service make the address changes. In addition, the Senator noted residents of the Missouri counties of Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland, and Atchison also are affected. McCaskill urged the Postmaster General to proactively work with all of those counties to correct the issue as soon as possible. The Senator quoted Clark County Commissioner Buddy Kattelmann as saying the problem has existed for at least 30 years. She said the presiding commissioner claims no one has provided a definitive answer as to why Missouri residents in Clark County have Iowa addresses.

New Jersey: Voting rights issues are no longer simply black and white | Post and Courier

This month’s local and state elections brought the usual dismal news about voter turnout: Fewer than one in four New Yorkers went to the polls. In New Jersey, less than 40 percent did. Virginia had its highest turnout in 20 years and still didn’t clear 50 percent. Even in presidential elections, four in 10 voters stay home. Low turnout rates are partly a reflection of human nature: Voting requires us to suspend logic, since one ballot rarely decides an election, and believe in the power of collective action. That belief is being tested by an increasingly individualistic society, where we are more isolated from our neighbors and less connected to civic organizations. But it’s now also being tested by a most unlikely foe: voting-rights advocates.

Utah: Errors led to rejection of thousands of votes in this month’s Utah elections | The Salt Lake Tribune

Did you hear the one about the hundreds of Utah County residents whose votes were rejected because they mailed them too late, forgot to sign them, sent in envelopes with no ballots or even tried casting votes for dead people? It’s no joke. All of that really happened, according to the state canvass of the special 3rd District Congressional election. That final official vote count occurred Monday, even though winning Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, was sworn into office two weeks ago. State Auditor John Dougall — who along with the state treasurer, attorney general and lieutenant governor form the Board of Canvassers — requested data about why any votes were rejected.

Virginia: Uncertainty Reigns In Battle For Virginia House Of Delegates | NPR

Three weeks after Election Day, Virginia Republicans hold on to the narrowest of margins for control of the state House of Delegates. But no one can predict for sure whether they can hang on to it. That’s because a surprisingly strong turnout by Democratic voters in elections earlier this month has produced tight races in three House districts. The tightest race, in the 28th House district, is snarled in controversy over the legitimacy of 147 votes. The Republicans won a victory Monday when the State Board of Elections certified that two GOP candidates won elections in two adjoining districts — one of them the 28th — in the Fredericksburg area, about 50 miles south of Washington D.C. However, state election officials say that 147 people in those contests voted in the wrong district. No one knows how that happened and the person who might best have a clue to the mystery, the registrar, passed away in April of this year.

Honduras: Hondurans vote in controversial presidential election | Al Jazeera

Hondurans voted to choose a new president on Sunday in an election that lays bare the fragility of the Central American country’s democracy eight years after it suffered a military coup. The election is unprecedented, marking the first time a Honduran president seeks re-election. Official results have been delayed, but President Juan Orlando Hernandez of the conservative National Party claimed victory as Salvador Nasralla of the Opposition Alliance Against Dictatorship also claimed to be “winning”. 

Italy: 5-Star, stung by fake news claims, calls for OSCE election monitors | Reuters

Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement wants international observers to monitor next year’s national election campaign to help ward off “fake news”, party leader Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday. His comments came after the ruling Democratic Party (PD) accused 5-Star supporters of using interlinked internet accounts to spread misinformation and smear the center-left government. Di Maio, who was elected 5-Star leader in September, said his party was often misrepresented by the traditional media and said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should oversee the forthcoming election.

United Kingdom: Facebook to hand over details of Russian-backed Brexit posts | The Guardian

Facebook has agreed to hand over information showing the reach of Russian-backed postings during the Brexit referendum by early December, according to the House of Commons media watchdog. Damian Collins, the chair of parliament’s culture, media and sport committee, said he believed the figures would give the UK a better idea of whether Russia tried to influence the vote on leaving the EU. Facebook handed over similar information in the US showing that during the presidential campaign about 123 million people were reached by false news generated by a single troll factory, the Internet Research Agency, in St Petersburg.