As the midterm congressional primaries heat up amid fears of Russian hacking, roughly 1 in 5 Americans will cast ballots on machines that do not produce a paper record of their votes. That worries voting and cybersecurity experts, who say lack of a hard copy makes it difficult to double-check results for signs of manipulation. “In the current system, after the election, if people worry it has been hacked, the best officials can do is say, ‘Trust us,’” said Alex Halderman, a voting machine expert who is director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society.
As key midterm elections approach, contests that could set off an enormous shift in Washington, D.C., U.S. authorities are taking measures to make sure they are secure and free of foreign influence. For years, a number of polling places have gone more high tech with electronic voting machines. Fears about vulnerabilities in the systems in an increasingly interconnected world, however, is now turning eyes to a strikingly original idea — paper ballots. The United States largely moved away from paper ballots after the 2004 Help America Vote Act replaced lever and punch-card voting machines with Direct Recording Electronic, or DRE, systems. The reform was a direct result of the notoriously contested 2000 presidential election, which triggered weeks of recounts and multiple complaints about the paper ballots in Florida.
National: Politicians wary that hackers could swipe emails, upend their campaigns | The Sacramento Bee
A new reality has set in to political campaigns: Candidates must expect that their private email accounts will be hacked, and the contents splashed onto the internet, possibly squandering their chances of victory or exposing personal secrets. Email hacking is now an entrenched tactic for practitioners of political sabotage. “I think it’s here to stay. I don’t see it changing,” said Richard Ford, chief scientist at Forcepoint, an Austin, Texas, cybersecurity company. Whether politicians are swapping tales of town halls, dishing on their opponents or sharing intimacies with spouses — or others — they now know that a private conversation can explode on to the internet.
Editorials: If more states start using Ohio’s system, how many voters will be purged? | The Washington Post
On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s controversial voter purge program in the case Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. Ohio removes occasional voters from the rolls if they: fail to vote in a general election; do not respond to a postcard asking them to confirm their address; then fail to vote in two more general elections. In a 5-to-4 decision, the court ruled that the purge does not violate the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. Given the Supreme Court’s ruling, other states may adopt Ohio’s Supplemental Process as an aggressive way of removing inactive voters from the rolls. If Ohio’s Supplemental Process were adopted nationwide, how many other infrequent voters could be removed from the voter registration rolls? We try to answer that question.
Alabama thrust itself into an intense partisan confrontation last month when it filed a lawsuit opposing the counting of undocumented immigrants for congressional reapportionment purposes in the 2020 U.S. Census. Critics believe Alabama, much like the federal government through its decision to back a citizenship question on the 2020 forms, is aiming to “weaponize” the program for political gain. But backers of the lawsuit filed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, argue that the state is testing legal waters in an attempt to salvage one of the state’s seven congressional seats and one of its nine electoral votes.
Gov. Rick Scott’s administration fired back in federal court Friday, seeking to undercut a League of Women Voters lawsuit over early voting on college campuses. The League last month sued Scott’s chief elections official, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, whose office in 2014 interpreted state law to exclude state university buildings from a list of sites available for early voting. Florida allows early voting at elections offices, city halls, libraries, fairgrounds, civic centers, courthouses, county commission buildings, stadiums, convention centers, government-owned senior centers and government-owned community centers. But buildings on state college and university campuses? No. Democrats tried to include them as early voting sites, but Republicans blocked the proposal.
Maine: Elections chief compares ranked-choice vote count to ‘trying to get through a burning barn in a gasoline suit’ | Bangor Daily News
State election workers forged new ground Friday when the process of counting ranked-choice voting kicked off with political observers hovering to ensure they do it right. In Augusta, workers loaded information from memory sticks to computers while others fed paper ballots through a tabulator capable of counting 300 ballots a minute. That process will continue until early next week, when all the ballot information is finally loaded into the system. Then, a keystroke or two on a single laptop computer will compute the first-round totals in a matter of moments.
Nevada’s elections officials say they will consider this summer whether the state will start taking a more aggressive, approach to maintaining its voter rolls as upheld this week by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court in a 5-4 ruling Monday affirmed Ohio’s practice of identifying voters for potential removal if they don’t vote in a federal election. That state removes voters from the rolls if they don’t return an address confirmation card or vote for the following four years.
The last time Republicans in the North Carolina Legislature enacted a law making it harder for some of the state’s residents to vote, a federal court said the statute targeted African-American voters “with almost surgical precision,” and threw it out. That was last year. Now the legislators are back with a new set of election proposals, and an unconventional plan to make them stick. Shortly before midnight on Wednesday, Republican senators unveiled legislation that would eliminate the final Saturday of early voting in state elections, a day that typically draws a large share of black voters to the polls. That followed a Republican proposal last week to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would require all voters to display a photo ID before casting votes.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes of two bills adds more uncertainty to already unusual state elections this fall for judges and in races where new political parties want to field candidates. Cooper announced late Friday – less than three hours before a 10-day state constitutional deadline – his decision to block a pair of measures.n One adjusts many judicial election districts in Wake, Mecklenburg, Pender, and New Hanover counties. The other in part prevents the Green and Constitution parties this year from nominating for the November ballot any losing candidate primaries for the same office. The new parties didn’t participate in last month’s primaries and are holding nominating conventions. The Constitution Party of North Carolina was holding its convention Saturday.
In 1842, James Shellito of Sadsbury Township was upset with the procedure used by the Crawford County Democratic Party for choosing its nominees. He proposed a change that instead of a designated few choosing the party’s nominees for the general election in a behind-closed-doors session, all the registered Democrats should be allowed to choose the nominee. The matter was put to a vote and others agreed with Shellito. Thus, the “primary election” as it is known today was born. The primary election is defined as the election held by the two major political parties (Republican and Democrat) to choose their respective nominees for the fall election. Although states have primary elections, the types of primary elections differ from state to state.
President-elect Ivan Duque appealed for unity after winning a runoff election over a leftist firebrand whose ascent shook Colombia’s political establishment and laid bare deep divisions over the nation’s peace process. The conservative Duque, the protege of a powerful former president, was elected Sunday with 54 percent of the vote. He finished more than 12 points ahead of former guerrilla Gustavo Petro, though the runner-up’s performance at the ballot box was the best ever for the left in one of Latin America’s most conservative nations.
The Comoran vice-president has denounced as “illegal” a planned July referendum on constitutional reform that could allow President Azali Assoumani to seek re-election. Assoumani only took office in 2016 but wants to hold a fresh vote next year, two years early, so that he can remain in power beyond 2021 when his currently non-renewable term would otherwise end. The referendum, scheduled for July 29, could change the current system — which sees power rotate every five years between the archipelago’s three main islands — and enable the president to run for two fresh five year-terms.
Greek lawmakers have voted down a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The vote was called over a deal to end a long-running name dispute with the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The left-led coalition government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday survived a no-confidence vote brought by the conservative opposition New Democracy party after the government reached a landmark agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over its name.The parliament voted 153-127 against the motion. The deal, struck on Tuesday, would allow Macedonia to rename itself North Macedonia. It has angered Greek nationalists, who insist that any retention of the name “Macedonia” by the neighboring country implies claims to Greece’s province of the same name and usurps ancient Greek heritage and history.
A leaked video of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vote sparked fears of possible vote rigging ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June 24. The video shows Erdogan telling party officials to secure majorities on ballot box monitoring committees to “finish the job in Istanbul before it has even started.” In the video, Erdogan also comments on the pro-Kurdish HDP: “I can’t speak these words outside [publicly]. I am speaking them with you here. Why? Because if the HDP falls below the election threshold, it would mean that we would be in a much better place.”
Veritas Zimbabwe, has taken the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to court and its two cases will be heard tomorrow. In the first case Veritas is seeking to open up voter education which is currently restricted to the commission. It argues that this restriction is inconsistent with the freedom of expression which is guaranteed under the country’s constitution. In the second case Veritas is seeking the court to decide on the definition of transparency because it is not defined in the country’s constitution.