National: Voting machine vendor firewall config, passwords posted on public support forum | CSO

A sysadmin at a leading voting machine vendor posted a firewall configuration file, including passwords, into a public Cisco support forum in 2011, opening the company up to possible attack. The config files expose a wealth of information useful to an attacker, including domain name, hostname, and ASA version number. While there is no evidence that the voting machine vendor was compromised, this accidental leakage of information is “juicy intelligence,” Dan Tentler, founder and CEO of Phobos Group, an attack simulation security company, tells CSO. “If you have a crack team of cat burglar types and they’re all going to break into a building, this firewall configuration file is the equivalent of finding the floor plan of the building they are planning to break into,” Tentler says.

National: Lawyer Alex van der Zwaan jailed for 30 days in Mueller’s first conviction | The Guardian

A Dutch attorney was sentenced on Tuesday to 30 days in prison for lying to federal agents, in the first formal conviction obtained by Robert Mueller in his investigation of Russian election interference and alleged collusion between aides to Donald Trump and Moscow. A federal judge in Washington sentenced Alex van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old lawyer who previously worked with Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager. He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. Van der Zwaan had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with another former Trump adviser, Rick Gates, and a person the FBI has assessed as being tied to Russian military intelligence.

Arkansas: State Supreme Court declines to intervene in voter ID case | Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Supreme Court has denied Secretary of State Mark Martin’s request that the high court force Circuit Judge Alice Gray to make a ruling on whether to block the state’s voter ID law “well in advance” of April 6.  Gray has said she will rule before April 6, when the secretary of state must deliver ballots to military voters out of jurisdiction and overseas citizens voting by absentee ballot.  

California: State funding proposal for open source voting gains support | The San Francisco Examiner

Supervisor Malia Cohen has announced she now supports a state-level effort to provide matching funds to develop an open source voting system in San Francisco after hearing from thousands of residents backing the effort. Cohen’s support comes after the San Francisco Examiner reported Sunday that she was not willing to commit to sending a letter to Sacramento representatives backing the funding plan to help cities like San Francisco develop an open source voting system. Cohen said she changed her mind and sent a letter in support Tuesday after hearing from “thousands of our citywide constituents over the last 24 hours” supporting open source voting.

Maine: Judge orders state to use ranked-choice voting for June primaries, but that’s not the end | Portland Press Herald

A judge ordered Maine’s secretary of state Wednesday to move forward with implementing ranked-choice voting for the June primaries despite concerns about conflicting language in state law. Later in the day, the same judge also heard arguments in a separate Maine Senate challenge that could end with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court making the final decision about whether Maine will be the first state in the nation to use ranked-choice voting statewide this June. In a 14-page opinion released Wednesday morning, Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy ordered Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap to continue preparing to use ranked-choice voting for gubernatorial, congressional and legislative primaries on June 12. Murphy agreed with the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting – the group that led the successful November 2016 ballot campaign – that uncertainty over the election process could cause “irreparable harm” at this stage.

Missouri: Local lawmakers looking to ban electronic voting | The Missourian

The Missouri Senate is considering a bill that will forbid the use of electronic voting machines and require the exclusive use of traditional paper ballots. The bill has already passed the House with a 108-31 vote. State Rep. Paul Curtman presented the bill to Missouri Senate last week. As stated in House Bill No. 2208, no electronic voting systems will be approved unless meeting specific guidelines and “The official ballot shall be a paper ballot that is hand-marked by the voter or, in the case of disabled voters who need assistance, by a paper-ballot marking device designed to assist the disabled.”

North Dakota: Federal judge expands tribal ID options for North Dakota | Associated Press

A federal judge has agreed to expand the proof of identity Native Americans can use for North Dakota elections, a decision reversing his temporary order that allowed voters without a state-approved ID to cast ballots by signing a legal document. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland’s ruling issued Tuesday adds other tribal documents to the state’s list of valid forms of ID. It also eliminates a requirement that those documents include residential street addresses, which sometimes aren’t assigned on American Indian reservations. “No eligible voter, regardless of their station in life, should be denied the opportunity to vote,” Hovland wrote in his 17-page ruling.

Pennsylvania: Concerned voters ask Bucks County commissioners to abandon electronic voting machines, invest in paper ballots | Courier Times

Dozens of members and supporters of the group SAVE-Bucks Votes filled the Bucks County Commissioners meeting Wednesday, imploring officials to dump the county’s electronic voting machines in favor of paper ballots. The non-partisan group has been lobbying the commissioners, who also serve as the county’s board of elections, to replace the approximately 900 direct record electronic machines (DRE) with a voter-marked, paper-based optical scan (PBOS) system. Bucks bought the current machines in 2006, after much debate. Addressing the issue is urgent, Paul Springle, of Wrightstown, told the board. During Senate testimony last month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said not having a way to audit election results is “absolutely a national security concern.” Because electronic machines like the ones used in Bucks produce no paper trail and cannot be properly audited in the event of a challenge or other concerns, they are considered by some to be at risk.

Wisconsin: Voters by a wide margin keep Wisconsin’s 170-year-old state treasurer’s office | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

It turns out Wisconsinites want to have a state treasurer, after all. By a strong margin, 61% to 39%, voters Tuesday beat back a constitutional amendment and kept Wisconsin’s 170-year-old treasurer’s office. “I’m flabbergasted that the results are as high as they are,” said former GOP Treasurer Jack Voight, who led a coalition to keep the office. “I thought it would be a much closer vote than this.” With little spending on either side of the referendum and no known polling, it wasn’t clear until Tuesday which side would prevail in the contest that culminated a years-long effort to abolish the office. Some voters may have been surprised just to find the question on their ballots. “No governor, no politician or political party should be above our state constitution,” Voight said.

Hungary: Orban re-election campaign may be undercut by tactical voting | Reuters

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban leads the polls by a mile, his opposition is a bickering patchwork of smaller parties that won’t coordinate and he dominates the public agenda through his firm grip on the media. Yet there is still a chance – a slim chance – that he could lose his majority on Sunday. That’s because a growing number of voters – guided by widely publicized independent and party-sponsored surveys available online – may be set to discard ideology and party allegiances to vote for the candidates who are most likely to win. “Voters might actually do what these parties fail to do, which is vote for the candidate who has the best chance,” Csaba Toth, strategic director of local thinktank Republikon Institue.

Italy: Five Star Movement rejects Berlusconi on eve of formal talks | The Guardian

The leader of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement has ruled out joining a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, a day before formal government consultations begin. Until now, Five Star had said it was ready to talk to all parties after the 4 March national election ended in a hung parliament. In an interview recorded by the La7 TV channel and not yet broadcast, Luigi Di Maio said Five Star was open to talks with the centre-left Democratic party (PD) – though not to its former secretary Matteo Renzi – and the far-right League, but not with Forza Italia, two Five Star sources said.

Sierra Leone: Ruling party demands result audit in opposition stronghold |

Sierra Leone’s ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) is demanding a vote audit from the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) stronghold before the National Electoral Commission (NEC) announces results of the March 31 presidential runoff. An elections monitoring group, Sierra Leone Decides reported the development citing a letter signed by APC National General Secretary, Osman Foday Yansaneh, and addressed to the NEC Commissioner in the Southern Province. The said province is an SLPP stronghold according to political watchers. Its candidate, Julius Maada Bio was born in the Bonthe District located in the Southern Province.

Sierra Leone: Opposition Leader Is Sworn In as President | The New York Times

A former military commander and coup leader who later went to graduate school in the United States and Britain was declared the winner of Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff on Wednesday after a campaign season marred by reports of violence and irregularities. The winner, Julius Maada Bio, was immediately sworn in as the country’s president on Wednesday night. The country’s chief justice, Abdulai Charm, said the inauguration needed to be held quickly to avoid a power vacuum and was in compliance with the country’s Constitution. Candidates from 16 parties ran for president, but in the first round of voting last month, no one won the 55 percent required to avoid a second round.