Internet Voting is Still Inherently Insecure | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

Legislation for voting by internet is pending in Colorado, and other states have been on the verge of permitted ballots to be returned by internet. But voting by internet is too insecure, too hackable, to use in U.S. elections.  Every scientific study comes to the same conclusion—the Defense Department’s study group in 2004, the National Academy of Sciences in 2018, and others.  Although the internet has evolved, the fundamental insecurities are the same: insecure client computers (your PC or phone), insecure servers (that collect the votes), and Americans’ lack of universal digital credentials. Vendors of internet voting systems claim it’s different now:  they claim “online voting” is not “internet voting”; they say smartphones are not PCs, cloud-computing systems are more secure than privately hosted servers, dedicated apps are not web sites, and because blockchain.  So let’s examine the science.  Of course “online voting” is internet voting: your smartphones and laptops connect to servers and cloud servers through the public packet-switched network; even the phone network these days is part of the internet.  And if the voter sends a ballot electronically to an election office that prints and counts it, that’s certainly not a “paper ballot” in the sense that a voter can check what’s printed on it. Smartphones are client computers on that same internet.  Smartphone operating systems (Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android) have improved their security in recent years, but serious new exploitable vulnerabilities are continually discovered: about 25 per year in iOS (2018-2020) and 103 per year in Android.  And there are an unknown number of undiscovered vulnerabilities that attackers may be exploiting.  If you prepare a ballot on your smartphone voting for candidate Smith, you cannot be sure whether a hacker has caused your voting app to transmit instead a vote for Jones. Major cloud-computing providers such as AWS and Azure do a good job of securing their systems for the companies that they “host” (banks, retailers, voting apps).  But a bank or voting-app maker must write their own software to run in that cloud.  It’s difficult to get that software right, and bugs can lead to exploitable vulnerabilities that a hacker could use to change votes as they arrive.  AWS is not some sort of magical pixie dust that one sprinkles on software to make it unhackable.  Blockchain doesn’t help either: the vote can be hacked before it even gets into the blockchain.

Full Article: Internet Voting is Still Inherently Insecure

Arizona Election audit continues, but judge orders release of documents guiding the audit | Jerod MacDonald-Evoy/Arizona Mirror

The election audit ordered by Senate Republicans won’t be halted because Democrats shown that voter privacy has been violated, a judge ruled Wednesday. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin denied the Democrats’ request for a temporary restraining order, saying that they have not brought “substantive evidence” to prove voter privacy has or could be harmed by the audit. The Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Democratic Supervisor Steve Gallardo filed the lawsuit to stop the audit. The original judge on the case ordered the audit to pause, but that didn’t happen because the Democrats were unwilling to pay the $1 million bond required. The judge initially assigned to the case, Christopher Coury, ruled last week that the auditors must comply with all laws governing the right to a secret ballot and the confidentiality of voter registration data, and to provide copies of all relevant policies and procedures to the court, which the audit team has never made public. He also ordered that the auditors use only red pens on the audit floor, an issue that came up after an Arizona Republic reporter who was working as a volunteer observer noted that the auditors were using blue pens. State election rules require that only red pens be used near ballots because the tabulation machines that are used to count them will read any markings made in blue or black ink. Coury recused himself from the case on April 25 after the law firm representing Cyber Ninjas told the court that one of its attorneys who had worked for Coury in the past would be joining the legal team. The case was then assigned to Martin.

Full Article: Election audit continues, but judge orders release of documents guiding the audit

Half a Year After Trump’s Defeat, Arizona Republicans Are Recounting the Vote | Michael Wines/The New York Times

It seemed so simple back in December. Responding to angry voters who echoed former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims of a stolen election, Arizona Republicans promised a detailed review of the vote that showed Mr. Trump to have been the first Republican presidential nominee to lose the state since 1996. “We hold an audit,” State Senator Eddie Farnsworth said at a Judiciary Committee hearing. “And then we can put this to rest.” But when a parade of flatbed trucks last week hauled boxes of voting equipment and 78 pallets containing the 2.1 million ballots of Arizona’s largest county to a decrepit local coliseum, it kicked off a seat-of-the-pants audit process that seemed more likely to amplify Republican grievances than to put them to rest. Almost half a year after the election Mr. Trump lost, the promised audit has become a snipe hunt for skulduggery that has spanned a court battle, death threats and calls to arrest the elected leadership of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. The head of Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based firm that Republican senators hired to oversee the audit, has embraced Mr. Trump’s baseless theories of election theft and has suggested, contrary to available evidence, that Mr. Trump actually won Arizona by 200,000 votes. The pro-Trump cable channel One America News Network has started a fund-raiser to finance the venture and has been named one of the nonpartisan observers that will keep the audit on the straight and narrow. In fact, three previous reviews showed no sign of significant fraud or any reason to doubt President Biden’s victory. But the senators now plan to recount — by hand — all 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, two-thirds of the entire vote statewide.

Full Article: Half a Year After Trump’s Defeat, Arizona Republicans Are Recounting the Vote – The New York Times

National: Schumer: Senate deadline for voting rights bill ‘probably by August or so’ | Joseph Choi/The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Sunday that the deadline for passing major election reform legislation “probably by August.” In an interview on “The Mehdi Hasan Show” set to broadcast on Sunday night, host Mehdi Hasan asked Schumer about the timeline for passing the For the People Act  – known as both H.R.1 and S.1 for being the first bill introduced this session in both the House and Senate – noting that Schumer’s position as Senate majority leader is threatened by the loss of a single Democratic senator. “I agree we have to move quickly,” Schumer says. “I would say that the deadline for S.1 is a little longer than you say. But it’s probably by August or so. We’re consulting the experts, when is the latest that S.1 can undo some of the despicable and frankly racist changes that these Republican legislatures have made or trying to make in the way people vote.” The New York senator said Democrats needed to remain unified to pass the bills they supported in a 50-50 Senate. “By definition, we need all 50. We’re working hard to obtain that unity. We’ve attained it on everything so far. On the major issues, when we have the minority, the three biggest issues were NCA, the horrible tax cuts of Trump and the impeachment, we were 100 percent united. On the three biggest issues so far here, the president’s cabinet with one exception which I regret, but everything else, with the impeachment trial and with ARP, we were united,” Schumer said.

Full Article: Schumer: Senate deadline for voting rights bill ‘probably by August or so’ | TheHill

Editorial: Republicans Aren’t Done Messing With Elections | Richard L. Hasen/The New York Times

A new, more dangerous front has opened in the voting wars, and it’s going to be much harder to counteract than the now-familiar fight over voting rules. At stake is something I never expected to worry about in the United States: the integrity of the vote count. The danger of manipulated election results looms. We already know the contours of the battle over voter suppression. The public has been inundated with stories about Georgia’s new voting law, from Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta to criticism of new restrictions that prevent giving water to people waiting in long lines to vote. With lawsuits already filed against restrictive aspects of that law and with American companies and elite law firms lined up against Republican state efforts to make it harder to register and vote, there’s at least a fighting chance that the worst of these measures will be defeated or weakened. The new threat of election subversion is even more concerning. These efforts target both personnel and policy; it is not clear if they are coordinated. They nonetheless represent a huge threat to American democracy itself. Some of these efforts involve removing from power those who stood up to President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The Georgia law removes the secretary of state from decision-making power on the state election board. This seems aimed clearly at Georgia’s current Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, punishing him for rejecting Mr. Trump’s entreaties to “find” 11,780 votes to flip Joe Biden’s lead in the state. But the changes will apply to Mr. Raffensperger’s successor, too, giving the legislature a greater hand in who counts votes and how they are counted. Michigan’s Republican Party refused to renominate Aaron Van Langevelde to the state’s canvassing board. Mr. Van Langevelde voted with Democrats to accept Michigan’s Electoral College vote for Mr. Biden as legitimate. He was replaced by Tony Daunt, the executive director of a conservative Michigan foundation that is financially backed by the DeVos family.

Full Article: Opinion | Republicans Aren’t Done Messing With Elections – The New York Times

Editorial: The Assault on Voting is an Assault on Local Democracy | Zachary Roth/Brennan Center for Justice

Last spring, in the weeks and months after life was first reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic, local governments stepped up to help save the 2020 election. Knowing that many voters might not want to risk their health by casting a ballot in person, cities like Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Houston, and Miami expanded access to mail voting by sending absentee ballots or ballot applications to all registered voters, sometimes with pre-paid postage, and by providing ballot drop boxes, among other moves. I suggested at the time that Republican-leaning rural counties in the same states might follow suit, in order to ensure that rural voters would enjoy the same expanded access as urban ones. A race to the top, in other words. I should have known that was too optimistic. After an election in which both mail voting and overall turnout soared, several GOP-led states, as we know, are desperate to restrict voting. And as part of that effort, they’re looking to clamp down on local governments’ authority to make voting easier — or in some cases, to run elections at all. Two states have already done so. Among the most dangerous parts of the sweeping voter suppression law Georgia passed last month is a provision that allows the state election board to suspend and temporarily replace local election officials. In practice, that means the state board — which, thanks to a different part of the law, will have a majority of members appointed by the GOP-controlled legislature — will be able to oust any local election official who seeks to expand access to the polls in ways the state doesn’t like. That could prevent county officials from taking individual on-the-ground conditions into account in order to devise election plans that best serve their voters. One part of the restrictive voting law Iowa passed last month could have a similar effect, making it a felony for local election officials not to follow guidance from the secretary of state. And a bill in Arkansas would likewise allow the state election commission to take over local election boards under certain circumstances — it failed once in committee but can be brought up again.

Full Article: The Assault on Voting is an Assault on Local Democracy | Brennan Center for Justice

Arizona: Journalists gain access to Senate-ordered election audit | Jen Fifield/Arizona Republic

After days of silence, on Tuesday journalists got limited access inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum where the Arizona Senate’s contractors are attempting to hand count all Maricopa County ballots cast in the November election. Officials with Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, the private contractor leading the audit, were not present in the press area to answer questions, including how many of the nearly 2.1 million ballots have been reviewed since the audit got underway Friday. Ken Bennett, the Senate’s liaison for the audit, spoke to the media in a news conference outside the state Capitol for the first time since Friday, but he said he did not know how many ballots had been counted. “I have an estimate of what the number is,” he told reporters, offering that just shy of 100,000 ballots had been tallied. Bennett said he was confident the count could be completed before the Senate’s lease on the coliseum ends May 14. “We’re on track to get the job done in the time that we have,” he said. While there have been numerous concerns raised about the security of ballots and private voter information, Bennett said they were “making sure that everything is very secure.” “There’s nothing happening there that would violate the identity of any voters or any privileged voter information,” he said.

Full Article: Journalists gain access to Arizona Senate-ordered election audit

Arizona: GOP-backed recount of Maricopa County ballots appears on track to move forward after initial pause ordered by judge | Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post

An extensive effort to recount ballots from the November election moved forward in Phoenix on Friday as a private vendor hired by Republicans in the Arizona Senate began reviewing nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in the state’s largest county. The recount of the ballots from Maricopa County was sought by Senate Republicans to examine unsubstantiated claims that fraud or errors tainted President Biden’s win. Election officials and the courts have found no merit to such allegations, and the GOP-led county board of supervisors has objected to the recount. After state Democrats filed a lawsuit this week to halt the proceedings, an Arizona judge on Friday ordered that the recount be paused for the weekend to consider their allegations that the process violates state laws governing the security of ballots. However, he required that the Democratic Party post a $1 million bond to cover the potential costs of a delay. On Friday afternoon, the state party said it would not put up the money, meaning the recount is on track to press ahead. Earlier this week, Senate Republicans exercised a subpoena to move voting equipment and ballots from county storage to the floor of the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where they have said a team of private companies will spend the next four weeks conducting a hand recount of ballots and a forensic audit of voting machines. Senate leaders have said the process is intended only to explore ways to improve the state’s elections, rather than to cast doubt on Biden’s 10,457-vote victory in Arizona over Donald Trump. But the recount has come under sharp criticism from election observers, voting rights advocates and Democrats, who have said it lacks independent oversight and could be used to further baseless claims about the 2020 election.

Full Article: GOP-backed recount of Maricopa County ballots appears on track to move forward after initial pause ordered by Arizona judge – The Washington Post

Arizona: Election conspiracies live on with GOP audit | Jonathan J. Cooper and Bob Christie/Associated Press

Months after former President Donald Trump’s election defeat, legislative Republicans in Arizona are challenging the outcome as they embark on an unprecedented effort to audit the results in the state’s most populous county. The state Senate used its subpoena power to take possession of all 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County and the machines that counted them, along with computer hard drives full of data. They’ve handed the materials over to Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based consultancy with no election experience run by a man who has shared unfounded conspiracy theories claiming the official 2020 presidential election results are illegitimate. The process is alarming election professionals who fear the auditors are not up to the complex task and will severely undermine faith in democracy. “I think the activities that are taking place here are reckless and they in no way, shape or form resemble an audit,” said Jennifer Morrell, a partner at Elections Group, a consulting firm advising state and local election officials, which has not worked in Arizona. Conspiracy theories about the election have proliferated across the country even before President Joe Biden’s victory but have had particular staying power in Arizona, which flipped to the Democratic column for just the second time in 72 years. Trump on Friday predicted the audit would reveal fraud and would prompt similar reviews in other states he lost. “Thank you State Senators and others in Arizona for commencing this full forensic audit,” the former president said in a statement. “I predict the results will be startling!”

Full Article: Election conspiracies live on with audit by Arizona GOP

Arkansas House rejects bill to lop day of early voting | Arkansas Democrat Gazette

A bill that would have eliminated early voting in Arkansas on the last Monday before Election Day failed on the House floor Tuesday. Senate Bill 485 by Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, failed three times in a Senate committee before it was signed out and taken to the Senate floor, then took two tries to advance from a House committee. It failed in the House on a 43-39 vote, falling 12 votes short of the simply majority of 51 it needed to pass. House sponsor Rep. Justin Gonzales, R-Okolona, and supporters of the bill said it would provide more time for poll workers to get ready for Election Day without having to work long hours that Monday. Voting-rights organizations and lawmakers who opposed the bill equated it with voter suppression, and said election officials they’d spoken to didn’t see a need for a change. More than 30 people rallied in the Capitol rotunda Tuesday morning and lined the steps to the House chamber, urging lawmakers to vote down the bill. Arkansas has 13 days of early voting. If enacted, SB485 would have reduced that number to 12 and would have made the last Saturday before the election the final day of early voting.

Full Article: House rejects bill to lop day of early voting

California: The Newsom recall could cost $400 million. Who pays for it? | John Myers/Los Angeles Times

It’s well known that elections have consequences. They also have price tags. With signs pointing to a special election this fall at which voters could remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, local officials from across California believe the cost of conducting the election could run as high as $400 million. The estimate is four to five times higher than rough guesses bandied about in recent months and is equal to a cost of about $18 per registered voter — more than double what local elections officials say was spent on California elections in 2018. It’s a price they say counties, which are struggling to cover pandemic-related costs for health and human services programs, will need the state to cover. “There is an urgency to this,” said Donna Johnston, the registrar of voters in Sutter County and president of the California Assn. of Clerks and Elected Officials. Johnston’s group bases its $400-million estimate on a preliminary tally of costs from the November 2020 election, for which every registered voter was mailed a ballot and in-person voting was subject to strict rules designed to minimize the risk of coronavirus infections.

Full Article: The Newsom recall could cost $400 million. Who pays for it? – Los Angeles Times

Florida: ‘Never heard of them’: Arizona GOP audit firm unknown even in home state | Marc Caputo/Politico

A successful ninja is unseen, unheard, stealthy. By that standard, the firm Cyber Ninjas — which Arizona Republicans chose to audit the ballots cast in 2020 in the Phoenix area — fits the bill: Almost no one involved in election or politics in Florida, the state where the company is headquartered, seems to have heard of it or knows anything about it. Nor do they know anything about Cyber Ninjas’ founder, Doug Logan, who registered his firm in the southwest Florida city of Sarasota in 2014, state records show. “Doug Logan? Cyber Ninjas? No. I don’t know these guys. Never heard of them,” said Christian Ziegler, vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida and a resident of Sarasota, echoing a dozen top Florida Republicans and elections professionals interviewed by POLITICO. The firm’s relative anonymity is a curious anomaly in Florida, one of the nation’s biggest battlegrounds, where top political players are typically familiar with companies that provide election services and technology. In a state like Florida — a place synonymous with razor-close elections and recounts for more than two decades — Cyber Ninjas’ absence of name identification and its lack of experience in election audits among insiders stands out. And it calls into question Arizona Republicans’ claim that the company is right for the controversial job of auditing the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, which encompasses the Phoenix metro area. The 2020 presidential results there have drawn national attention as a result of baseless claims of election fraud.

Full Article: ‘Never heard of them’: Arizona GOP audit firm unknown even in home state – POLITICO

Georgia elections official slams Arizona audit as ‘neither transparent nor, likely, legal’ | Jordan Williams/The Hill

A Georgia elections official slammed an audit of ballots cast during the 2020 elections in Maricopa County, Ariz., as “neither transparent, nor likely, legal.” The audit of Maricopa County — the largest county in Arizona — comes as Republican lawmakers in the state seek to back former President Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was tainted by voter fraud. Such claims by Trump and his allies have largely been disputed. Elections officials at the state and federal levels — including former Attorney General William Barr — have said that the 2020 elections were not subject to widespread voter fraud. Gabriel Sterling, a top elections official in Georgia, decried the audit as an attempt to “undermine confidence in elections.” “This ‘audit’ in Arizona is another step in undermining confidence in elections. This process is neither transparent nor, likely, legal,” Sterling said on Twitter. “Any ‘findings’ will be highly suspect now that chain of custody has been violated by partisan actors,” he added.

Full Article: Georgia elections official slams Arizona audit as ‘neither transparent nor, likely, legal’ | TheHill

Illinois: Attempted extortion of elections board executive director involved ‘flirtatious’ messages, demand for $3,000, letter indicates | Ray Long Rick Pearson/Chicago Tribune

Illinois’ top elections official told board members he became the victim of an internet extortion scheme after he exchanged “flirtatious” messages and sent a picture to a person he met online. Steven Sandvoss, who is on administrative leave until his resignation takes effect at the end of June, detailed his encounters in a letter to the State Board of Elections in which he said a threat was made to “ruin” him if he didn’t pay $3,000. Sandvoss said he did not make any payments and the online threats stopped, according to the letter, which the Tribune obtained. Sandvoss, 55, the board’s executive director, has had high-level federal security clearance following a Russian hacking incident in the 2016 election cycle that compromised personal data of 76,000 Illinois voters. Sandvoss told board members that “at no time did I indicate (to the person online) that I worked” for the elections board.

Full Article: Attempted extortion of Illinois elections board exec involved ‘flirtatious’ messages, demand for $3,000, letter indicates – Chicago Tribune

Michigan: Judge will hear arguments on whether to dismiss Antrim County election lawsuit | By Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

A 13th Circuit Court judge will hear arguments on whether to dismiss an Antrim County election-related lawsuit, after denying a motion by the plaintiff to adjourn an upcoming summary disposition hearing. The remote hearing is scheduled for May 10, although that could change depending on scheduling issues, officials said. “No doubt, given the desire of the parties to present their discovery and present their factual witnesses to the court, to the court writ large, and to the public, it would be an easy thing to want to move past the question of legal sufficiency,” said Judge Kevin Elsenheimer. “But the fact is, the court has an obligation to review legal sufficiency issues when they are raised,” Elsenheimer said. Bill Bailey, of Central Lake Township, sued Antrim County in November, accusing the county of violating his constitutional rights, after about 2,000 votes cast for then-President Donald Trump were temporarily and mistakenly assigned to challenger Joe Biden. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy previously acknowledged errors by her office caused the mistake, which was corrected before the vote tally was certified. Yet in court filings Bailey’s attorney, Matthew DePerno of Portage, suggested the county’s Dominion Voting Systems machines could be intentionally fraudulent, and among other examples, pointed to the passage of a marijuana ordinance by a single vote, as possibly suspect.

Full Article: Judge will hear arguments on whether to dismiss Antrim election lawsuit | News |

New Hampshire: Windham picks designee to work on forensic audit | Julie Huss/Eagle-Tribune

The town has chosen its official representative to help get answers about what happened with vote tally discrepancies after the general election last November. At a meeting Monday night, Selectmen voted 3-1 to choose Mark Lindeman and his team as the town designee for an upcoming forensic audit to determine what happened to cause major differences between the town vote count and a state recount in the Rockingham County District 7 race. Selectmen Ross McLeod, Heath Partington, and Roger Hohenberger all voted to support Lindeman as the top choice with Bruce Breton putting his faith instead behind another interested candidate, Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, as the town audit designee. Selectman Jennifer Simmons did not attend Monday night’s meeting. Candidates hoping to get the audit job presented information to Selectmen last week. Public input was also considered. Lindeman, an acting director of Verified Voting, came out on the top of the list for McLeod, Partington and Hohenberger, with all citing his level of expertise in this type of election audit work. In his presentation to Selectmen, Lindeman said Windham faced “a riddle” and added all the evidence will be scrutinized to “follow the facts and find out where they lead.”

Full Article: Windham picks designee to work on forensic audit | New Hampshire |

Nevada: Upon even further review, claims of widespread voter fraud still false | Las Vegas Sun

The Nevada state Republican Party’s lie about massive voter fraud in last year’s presidential election is officially dead and buried. It lies beneath a mountain of proof revealed in a review headed by one of the party’s own leaders, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske. In so doing, Cegavske reminded Nevadans that some members of the state’s GOP still have integrity, despite loathsome evidence to the contrary by important figures in the party. Honorable Republicans should rally around Cegavske. You’ll be able to spot the corrupt members of the party easily because they’ll be the ones attacking her. This past week, Cegavske announced that her office had completed its review and had found no evidence of the GOP’s allegations that tens of thousands of fraudulent ballots had been cast in the state. The autopsy revealed in detail what most Nevadans had expected all along — that the narrative about fraud was a toxic stew of mistruths and wild exaggerations. Or, as Deputy Secretary for Elections Mark Wlaschin wrote in a letter about the findings, the fable was “based largely upon an incomplete assessment of voter registration records and lack of information concerning the processes by which these records are compiled and maintained.” The outcome of the review wasn’t surprising, given that the GOP had lost legal cases stemming from its false claims in Nevada and in courts across the country. But it reveals just how outrageously and irresponsibly the Republican leadership acted in making the claim.

Full Article: Upon even further review, claims of widespread voter fraud still false – Las Vegas Sun Newspaper

Tennessee: Talks start over new Shelby County voting system compromise | Bill Dries/Daily Memphian

Two months after the Shelby County Election Commission approved a possible lawsuit against the County Commission over new voting machines, no lawsuit has been filed and both sides in the dispute are talking. “The talks are very preliminary,” Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Brent Taylor said on The Daily Memphian Politics Podcast. Taylor also discussed during the podcast changes to the election process considered by the Tennessee General Assembly. The podcast also includes an interview with Memphis Police Chief nominee Cerelyn ‘CJ’ Davis. “Right now, we are in discussions about trying to meet so we can discuss the contract and find out if there is any compromise,” Taylor said of the possible lawsuit. “Any way that we can come together and make sure that we balance the needs of the Election Commission with those of the County Commission.” The County Commission rejected this past October a $5.8 million contract approved by the Election Commission for a new voting system featuring updated touch screen voting machines and a paper readout of a voter’s selections. That system would allow the ballot to be put through a digital scanner and would then put the paper record in a sealed ballot box.

Full Article: Talks start over new voting system compromise – Memphis Local, Sports, Business & Food News | Daily Memphian

Texas Republicans Target Voter Access in Cities, but Not Rural Areas | Nick Corasaniti/The New York Times

Voting in the 2020 election presented Zoe Douglas with a difficult choice: As a therapist meeting with patients over Zoom late into the evening, she just wasn’t able to wrap up before polls closed during early voting. Then Harris County introduced 24-hour voting for a single day. At 11 p.m. on the Thursday before the election, Ms. Douglas joined fast-food workers, nurses, construction workers, night owls and other late-shift workers at NRG Arena, one of eight 24-hour voting sites in the county, where more than 10,000 people cast their ballots in a single night. “I can distinctly remember people still in their uniforms — you could tell they just got off of work, or maybe they’re going to work; a very diverse mix,” said Ms. Douglas, 27, a Houston native. Twenty-four-hour voting was one of a host of options Harris County introduced to help residents cast ballots, along with drive-through voting and proactively mailing out ballot applications. The new alternatives, tailored to a diverse work force struggling amid a pandemic in Texas’ largest county, helped increase turnout by nearly 10 percent compared with 2016; nearly 70 percent of registered voters cast ballots, and a task force found that there was no evidence of any fraud.

Full Article: Republicans Target Voter Access in Texas Cities, but Not Rural Areas – The New York Times