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National: Defcon Voting Village report: bug in one system could “flip Electoral College” | Ars Technica

Today, six prominent information-security experts who took part in DEF CON’s Voting Village in Las Vegas last month issued a report on vulnerabilities they had discovered in voting equipment and related computer systems. One vulnerability they discovered—in a high-speed vote-tabulating system used to count votes for entire counties in 23 states—could allow an attacker to remotely hijack the system over a network and alter the vote count, changing results for large blocks of voters. “Hacking just one of these machines could enable an attacker to flip the Electoral College and determine the outcome of a presidential election,” the authors of the report warned. Read More

Iraq: Voting begins to elect new parliament in Iraq’s Kurdistan | AFP

Iraqi Kurds voted on Sunday for a new parliament in their autonomous region, which is mired in an economic crisis a year after an independence referendum that infuriated Baghdad. Almost 3.1 million voters were eligible to cast ballots across three provinces in the northern region, where 673 candidates from 29 political movements contested seats in the 111-member parliament. Polling closed as scheduled at 1500 GMT and the results are expected within 72 hours. The vote passed off with only minor incidents such as gunmen trying to vote without the necessary papers. The electoral commission gave an official turnout of 58 percent of registered voters in Arbil, the regional capital and one of the three provinces which make up Iraqi Kurdistan. Read More

National: DEF CON hackers’ dossier on US voting machine security is just as grim as feared | The Register

Hackers probing America’s electronic voting systems have painted an astonishing picture of the state of US election security, less than six weeks before the November midterms. The full 50-page report [PDF], released Thursday during a presentation in Washington DC, was put together by the organizers of the DEF CON hacking conference’s Voting Village. It recaps the findings of that village, during which attendees uncovered ways resourceful miscreants could compromise electoral computer systems and change vote tallies. In short, the dossier outlines shortcomings in the electronic voting systems many US districts will use later this year for the midterm elections. The report focuses on vulnerabilities exploitable by scumbags with physical access to the hardware. “The problems outlined in this report are not simply election administration flaws that need to be fixed for efficiency’s sake, but rather serious risks to our critical infrastructure and thus national security,” the report stated. “As our nation’s security is the responsibility of the federal government, Congress needs to codify basic security standards like those developed by local election officials.” Read More

National: Hackers warn about election security ahead of midterms | CNN

The vulnerabilities in America’s voting systems are “staggering,” a group representing hackers warned lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Thursday — just over a month before the midterm elections. The findings are based on a project at the Voting Village at the Def Con hacking conference held in Las Vegas last month, where hackers were invited to attempt to break into voting machines and other equipment used in elections across the country. The hacking group claims they were able to break into some voting machines in two minutes and that they had the ability to wirelessly reprogram an electronic card used by millions of Americans to activate a voting terminal to cast their ballot. “This vulnerability could be exploited to take over the voting machine on which they vote and cast as many votes as the voter wanted,” the group claims in the report. Read More

National: Questions on Pompeo’s certainty about secure midterms | Politico

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said there was “no question” the U.S. midterm elections would be safe from foreign interference, a level of certitude that is … shall we say, not widely shared? “That’s a dangerous level of confidence for someone in that position to have,” Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer science professor at the forefront of the election security debate, told MC. Halderman said that perhaps intelligence sources might not see any indications of foreign planning to further disrupt elections, but “frankly, you don’t know what you don’t know.” Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley said this about Pompeo: “I wish I could be so confident.” Robert Johnston, credited with discovering the DNC hack while working at CrowdStrike and now CEO of Adlumin, told MC there are already signs Russia has interfered in the 2018 races. Some of the suspect incidents have surfaced in California’s congressional races and the U.S. Senate. Read More

California: Los Angeles County Supervisors Approve Investigation For Voter Registration ‘Errors’ | KHTS

The board unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger calling for an investigation into voter registration errors as a result of the new “motor voter” program managed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Created by the Motor Voter Act of 2015 and implemented in April 2018, the program automatically registers any eligible voters who apply for a driver’s license or identification card and transmits this data to the county where that person lives unless the individual specifically declines to participate. The state reported that 23,000 instances of voter registration errors occurred between mid-April and early August. The “motor voter” program has experienced other implementation issues as well, with 77,000 voter records allegedly being misreported in May by the DMV, according to officials. Read More

Mississippi: Hackers attempt cyber attacks on state voting system | WMC

How safe is the ballot you will be casting during the November 6 election? Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann maintains that your ballot will be safe from hackers, but he reveals that there are thousands of attempts each month to try to penetrate the Statewide Election Management System. In the past few weeks, the agency that oversees elections reports that hackers have attempted to get into the systems of circuit clerks and election commissioners. “They are sending out emails to my circuit clerks and my election commissioners telling them to open this invoice from a former employee who’s no longer employed here,” said Hosemann. “So I will tell you that’s the level of attempts we have going on.”

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Missouri: Testimony ends in voter ID lawsuit | New Tribune

Closing arguments will be Monday in the lawsuit challenging Missouri’s current voter ID law, after the state presented its final witness Wednesday. Cole County Senior Judge Richard Callahan is being asked to rule on the plaintiffs’ claim that Missouri’s new voter ID law conflicts with existing constitutional language that says people who are properly registered to vote “are entitled” to vote at all elections. The new law went into effect July 1, 2017, after voters in November 2016 added language to the state Constitution saying lawmakers could pass a law specifying the kinds of identification a voter would need to show at the polls before casting a vote. Read More

Virginia: House panel backs GOP redistricting bill on party-line vote | Richmond Times-Dispatch

An attempt to find a bipartisan compromise on political redistricting culminated Thursday in a pair of party-line votes by a House of Delegates committee. It endorsed a new Republican plan, while killing a bill proposed by Democrats in a battle for control of the closely divided chamber before elections next year. The House Privileges and Elections Committee voted 12-10 to endorse a bill that Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, introduced a day earlier, with a promise of some Democratic support. Jones said it was an effort to break an impasse in finding a legislative solution after a federal court found that 11 House districts were racially gerrymandered. Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler, D-Virginia Beach, one of six Democrats whom Jones said he had approached for support, voted against the bill. She also voted against a move by the Republican-controlled panel to kill the Democratic redistricting plan that Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, had introduced on Aug. 30. Read More

Wisconsin: Studies find that photo ID is tied to lower turnout in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Gazette

With all of her necessary documentation, University of Wisconsin-Madison student Brooke Evans arrived at her polling place on Nov. 8, 2016, for the presidential election. For her, voting that day meant not only casting a ballot for the first female presidential candidate with a real shot of winning, but having a voice in a society in which homeless people such as herself were marginalized. The law requires Wisconsin residents to present certain forms of photo identification to vote but does not require that the ID have the voter’s current address. Such voters must provide proof of their current address — and that is where Evans ran into trouble. She eventually was able to cast a ballot using a campus address she herself had advocated for to help homeless students. Not only did Evans, as a college student, face increased obstacles under the voter ID law, her homelessness was another barrier — one that almost prevented her from exercising a fundamental right of citizenship. “I was just really surprised at the hassle I was given,” Evans said. Read More