Security gaps similar to, but much less porous than, those in Georgia’s voter registration system have been identified in Washington state, potentially providing bad actors ways to foul citizens’ eligibility to cast ballots in last week’s elections, cyber experts say. And states such as North Carolina, which make their voter registration data widely available, could enable someone to change voters’ data by mail, they said. Officials in both Washington and North Carolina expressed confidence they would spot any widespread tampering with voter registration records. “Voters can rest assured that Washington’s election system is secure,” says the website of its secretary of state. However, the cyber experts said Washington appears to have failed to plug all the holes after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned last year that Russian cyber operatives had downloaded voter records from Illinois’ database in advance of the 2016 presidential election and attempted to do so in 20 other states. In “a small number of states,” the Russians “were in a position to” alter or delete voter registration information, the Senate Intelligence Committee said last May.
While other supervisors of elections throughout the state have remained confident that they will complete recounting ballots cast in November, Palm Beach County’s elections supervisor remains skeptical they will complete counting each race subject to recounts by the Thursday afternoon deadline set by the state. Susan Bucher has repeatedly asked for additional funding to update antiquated voting…
The concerted effort by Republicans in Washington and Florida to discredit the state’s recount as illegitimate and potentially rife with fraud reflects a cold political calculation: Treat the recount as the next phase of a campaign to secure the party’s majority and agenda in the Senate. That imperative — described by Republican lawyers, strategists and advisers involved in the effort — reflects the G.O.P.’s determination to tighten its hold on power in the narrowly divided Senate. The outcome of the Florida race will decide whether the party controls as many as 53 seats and has a freer hand to confirm Republican-backed judges with the vote of the man at the center of the recount, Gov. Rick Scott, who is trying to oust a three-term Democrat, Bill Nelson. With the Democrats capturing a Republican-held Senate seat in Arizona on Monday night, the recount fight in Florida becomes even more consequential.
Florida: Bay County allowed some hurricane victims to vote by fax or email. That’s not allowed. | Miami Herald
As counties recount ballots in three statewide races and lawyers battle over the complex vote tallying in court, the top elections official in Bay County said he allowed some displaced voters to cast ballots by email or fax after Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle, even though there is no provision for it in state law. Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen said Monday that 11 ballots were accepted by email and 147 ballots were domestically faxed in, though state statute does not allow emailed ballots and faxing in ballots is only permitted for military and voters overseas. But Andersen defended his decision to accept those ballots by email and fax vigorously, noting the mass devastation that rocked the coastal county one month ago. “You did not go through what we went through,” he said, describing areas that were shut off by law enforcement and people barred from returning to their homes. “If some are unhappy we did so well up here, I don’t know what to tell them. We sure had an opportunity to not do well, I can tell you that much.”
Georgia: Judge orders review of provisional ballots in Georgia election | Atlanta Journal Constitution
A federal judge on Monday ordered election officials to review thousands of provisional ballots that haven’t been counted in Georgia’s close election for governor. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg’s order calls for a hotline for voters to check if their provisional ballots were counted, a review of voter registrations, and updated reports from the state government about why many voters were required to use provisional ballots. The court decision comes as votes are still being counted in the race for governor between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Abrams trails Kemp and would need to gain more than 20,000 additional votes to force a runoff election. Totenberg said she’s providing “limited, modest” relief to help protect voters. The order preserves Tuesday’s deadline for county election offices to certify results and the Nov. 20 deadline for Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden to certify the election. The ruling enjoins Crittenden from certifying the election before Friday at 5 p.m. Her ruling applies to provisional ballots, which were issued to as many as 27,000 Georgia voters because their registration or identification couldn’t be verified. Provisional ballots are usually only counted if voters prove their eligibility within three days of the election, a deadline that passed Friday.
Absentee voting is a difficult process in Mississippi and will be more difficult for the upcoming runoff elections with three state holidays between now and Nov. 27, state Sen. David Blount said Friday. “There is a very tight window to vote absentee,” said Blount, who spoke about the issue from the Hinds County Courthouse with Circuit Clerk Zack Wallace. Blount said state offices will be closed Monday for Veterans Day and Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving. Most will also be closed Nov. 23. “We believe the more people who vote the better the government will be,” Blount said. “We encourage everyone to go vote in these important runoff elections.” The absentee voting process can’t begin for the runoffs until results from the Nov. 6 general election are certified. The deadline to certify results is Nov. 16.
Several Missouri State students and dozens more Greene County voters were kept from the polls on Nov. 6 because of incorrect information on their voter registration cards. A social media post by one MSU student stated that some members of the Missouri State NAACP chapter were unable to vote after turning in their voter registration cards to the organization. The post claimed that the NAACP had not turned in the cards. The student who made the post declined to be interviewed. But, Cheryl Clay, the president of the Springfield branch of the NAACP, said that claim is not true. The issue, Clay said, was not that the cards weren’t turned in — it’s that they were filled out incorrectly. A common issue was missing apartment numbers in addresses.
Legislative elections in Chad planned for November are set to be postponed to May, a member of the electoral panel organising the vote told AFP Monday. The voting date has been pushed back several times in the central African state. The original mandate of the legislature expired in June 2015, but has been prolonged. “We have scheduled the holding of the legislative elections for the month of May according to our timeline, which will be examined and possibly adopted on Friday,” said Abdramane Djasnabaille of the election commission (CNDP).