National: Haberman: Trump pressing conservative media to write election was ‘stolen’ | Thomas Moore/The Hill

Former President Trump wants conservative media to legitimize his conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election being stolen and claims that he’ll soon be reinstated, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said Wednesday. “He has been trying to get conservative writers to publish, you know, in a more mainstream way that this election was, quote unquote, stolen from him,” Haberman told CNN “New Day” co-host John Berman, without naming any writers. She said Trump has been “laser focused” on the Arizona election audit and reaching out to other conservative politicians and commentators for support, hoping they’ll help promote the idea that the elections will be overturned. “And none of that is possible. But this is the kind of thing that he is trying to flush into the conservative media ecosystem,” Haberman said. “And I expect it to get more intense the more he is under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney and the state attorney general in New York and the threat of indictment over the coming months.”

Full Article: Haberman: Trump pressing conservative media to write election was ‘stolen’ | TheHill

National: Manchin pressed on filibuster, voting rights by Democrats | Sean Sullivan and Mike DeBonis/The Washington Post

Democratic leaders and activists are urgently stepping up pressure on Sen. Joe Manchin III to support legislation to fight Republican-led voting restrictions across the country, with party officials increasingly concluding that the battle over voting rights could come down to what the centrist Democrat from West Virginia does. In a rare show of public frustration with his own party on Tuesday, President Biden appeared to lash out at Manchin when he accused a pair of unnamed senators of aligning too closely with Republicans and stalling efforts to pass sweeping voting standards. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently announced that his chamber would vote this month on a House-passed elections bill co-sponsored by every Democratic senator except Manchin — a move that would force Manchin to pick a side in a fight that has taken on new urgency in recent weeks. Even some of Manchin’s Democratic colleagues are beginning to prod him more aggressively to join their cause, while activists and civil rights leaders are loudly decrying his hesitation. The Rev. Al Sharpton said Wednesday that he and other civil rights leaders plan to meet with Manchin next week to talk about the importance of supporting Democrats’ voting legislation. “The idea there is not to attack Manchin but to appeal to him,” said Sharpton. He said NAACP President Derrick Johnson and National Urban League President Marc Morial are also expected at the Tuesday meeting. The obstacle Manchin poses to his party’s voting rights effort is twofold: He is also one of several Democrats who oppose changing Senate rules to advance legislation with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority. While Manchin is not alone in his party in opposing the elimination of the filibuster, he has emerged as one of its most prominent defenders, which has made him a lightning rod for frustrated Democrats in the early months of Biden’s presidency.

Full Article: Manchin pressed on filibuster, voting rights by Democrats – The Washington Post

Experts Call It A ‘Clown Show’ But Arizona ‘Audit’ Is A Disinformation Blueprint | Miles Parks/NPR

To Matt Masterson, the review of 2020 ballots from Maricopa County, Ariz., that’s underway is “performance art” or “a clown show,” and definitely “a waste of taxpayer money.” But it’s not an audit. “It’s an audit in name only,” says Masterson, a former Department of Homeland Security official who helped lead the federal government’s election security preparations leading up to November’s election. “It’s a threat to the overall confidence of democracy, all in pursuit of continuing a narrative that we know to be a lie.” By lie, he means the assertion from former President Donald Trump and some of his allies that election fraud cost him a second term in the White House. And, Masterson says, the strategy chosen by the Arizona’s Republican state Senate leaders is working as intended to undermine confidence in the outcome of last year’s vote. The process is a simple exercise in how disinformation spreads and takes hold in 2021. And experts fear it presents a blueprint for other states and lawmakers to follow, one that is already showing signs of being emulated across the country. “Now we have a playbook out there,” said Masterson, who is currently a policy fellow with the Stanford Internet Observatory, “where if you don’t like the results — by the way in an election that wasn’t particularly close … you just claim you didn’t lose and in fact the process itself was rigged against you.”

Full Article: How Arizona’s Ballot Audit Is A Disinformation Exercise : NPR

National: Microsoft’s Vote Tracking Software Clears a Major Hurdle | Lily Hay Newman/WIRED

In the ever-urgent quest to ensure United States elections are safe and secure, Microsoft’s ElectionGuard software has been a tantalizing development. The project, launched in 2019, offers what’s known as “end-to-end verifiability,” meaning that all vote data is encrypted and private, but there’s still full transparency into how the votes were tallied and whether the determination of a winner is correct. It’s open source and designed to be incorporated into existing voting systems. Last year, Microsoft successfully piloted the software in a real-world election. The question, though, has been whether private voting machine makers—who compete with each other in a regulated market—would be willing to adopt a technology that any of their rivals can use too. Now at least one company is saying yes. On Thursday, Microsoft and Hart InterCivic, one of the three major voting machine vendors in the US, jointly announced a partnership to pilot the use of ElectionGuard in Hart’s Verity voting systems. The idea is to meld Hart’s existing voting equipment with dramatically expanded software capabilities from ElectionGuard. The system will always produce paper backups, is encrypted in a special way to allow counting while preserving full voter security and privacy, and expands the ability to do post-election audits. Hart’s ElectionGuard offering will also give voters the ability to check whether their vote has been counted. And the system is independently verifiable—anyone will be able to build an app that can confirm the vote tally for a particular election. The news comes at a time of doubt and uncertainty among US voters. While election officials declared the 2020 election to be one of the most secure in the country’s history, the country still clearly bears scars left by former President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine voter confidence in the election. In January, Pew found that more than three-quarters of Trump voters thought Trump had probably or definitely won the election—even though Joe Biden was the legitimate winner. There’s still a (controversial and much beleaguered) 2020 presidential election results audit dragging on in Arizona. And Republican lawmakers in numerous states have been pushing a wave of voting reform laws in recent months that critics say undermine citizens’ voting rights.

Full Article: Microsoft’s Vote Tracking Software Clears a Major Hurdle | WIRED

National: GOP Ballot Audits Aren’t About Overturning the Last Election. They’re About Overturning the Next One. | Elliot Hannon/Slate

If you needed any further evidence of the corrosive effect of Republicans’ performative election “audit” in Arizona, Pennsylvania Republicans now say they want one too. A group of Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers steeped in the election conspiracy claims of former President Donald Trump made a pilgrimage to Maricopa County on Wednesday to see for themselves how the partisan review of the 2020 results was going. The aim of the visit is exporting the Arizona model back to their home state, which President Joe Biden won by a point. The team of state legislators—Sens. Doug Mastriano and Cris Dush, and Rep. Rob Kauffman—met with Arizona officials before being briefed by the election conspiracy–spewing head of Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based firm with no prior election experience that’s leading the audit. Cyber Ninjas has been given access to Maricopa County’s ballots and employed a team of contractors to scour for bamboo-laced “China ballots” that Trump supporters believe with all their hearts were imported ahead of Election Day to swing the vote to Joe Biden. The members of the Pennsylvania delegation in Arizona this week were among the 64 GOP legislators in the state that signed a letter asking the state’s congressional delegation to object to Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes going to Biden, the made-up procedural move that Trump supporters were demanding as they stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. One of the Pennsylvania trio, Mastriano, was in Washington to protest the election result that day, but says he left before the Capitol was stormed.

Source: Republicans want to replicate Arizona’s election audit model elsewhere.

Trump has grown increasingly consumed with ballot audits as he pushes falsehood that election was stolen | Josh Dawsey and Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post

Former president Donald Trump remains relentlessly focused on the false claim that the November election was stolen from him and is increasingly consumed with the notion that ballot reviews pushed by his supporters around the country could prove that he won, according to people familiar with his comments. Trump has rebuffed calls from some advisers to drop the matter, instead fixating on an ongoing Republican-commissioned audit in Arizona and plotting how to secure election reviews in other states, such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Georgia, according to advisers. He is most animated by the efforts in Fulton County, Ga., and Maricopa County, Ariz., according to two advisers who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Trump’s interest has been fueled by conversations he has had with an array of figures who have publicly touted false claims of election fraud. Among them, according to advisers, is Christina Bobb, a host at the One America News network who has privately discussed the Arizona audit with the former president and his team; Mike Lindell, the chief executive of the company MyPillow; and Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R), who urged the state’s congressional delegation to reject Biden’s victory there last fall. Trump has become so fixated on the audits that he suggested recently to allies that their success could result in his return to the White House this year, according to people familiar with comments he has made. Some advisers said that such comments appear to be just offhand musings.

Full Article: Trump has grown increasingly consumed with ballot audits as he pushes falsehood that election was stolen – The Washington Post

National: First major voting vendor, Hart InterCivic, partners with Microsoft on ambitious software security tool ElectionGuard | Tim Starks/CyberScoop

The ElectionGuard technology that Microsoft touts as a way to make elections more secure and verifiable is taking its biggest step yet: Hart InterCivic, one of the big three election vendors, says it will incorporate ElectionGuard into one of its voting systems. The ElectionGuard open-source software development kit gives voters a unique code to track their encrypted vote and confirm it wasn’t manipulated, and it offers a way for third parties to validate election results, according to Microsoft. The two companies jointly announced the partnership on Thursday. Hart InterCivic is the biggest partner to date for ElectionGuard, as one of three vendors — alongside Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems — that dominate the marketplace for voting machine technology. “We believe we must constantly re-imagine how technology can make voting more secure and also more transparent, and this partnership with Microsoft is a strong step in that direction,” said Hart InterCivic CEO Julie Mathis. “The combination of Hart voting machines with ElectionGuard technology delivering end-to-end verifiability provides election officials the ability to offer more transparency to the process of vote tabulation.” Some details for how the pilot program will work remain unsettled, however. While Hart InterCivic will test ElectionGuard in its Verity system used by more than 500 jurisdictions in 17 states, Hart is still in the process of identifying at least one county to initiate the pilot, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. The timing for when the test would begin also hasn’t been locked down, either.

Full Article: First major voting vendor, Hart InterCivic, partners with Microsoft on ambitious software security tool ElectionGuard

National: A frantic warning from 100 leading experts: Our democracy is in grave danger | Greg Sargent/The Washington Post

With yet another GOP effort to restrict voting , President Biden is now calling on Congress to act in the face of the Republican “assault on democracy.” Importantly, Biden cast that attack as aimed at “Black and Brown Americans,” meriting federal legislation in response. That is a welcome escalation. But it remains unclear whether 50 Senate Democrats will ever prove willing to reform or end the filibuster, and more to the point, whether Biden will put real muscle behind that cause. If not, such protections will never, ever pass. Now, in a striking intervention, more than 100 scholars of democracy have signed a new public statement of principles that seeks to make the stakes unambiguously, jarringly clear: On the line is nothing less than the future of our democracy itself. “Our entire democracy is now at risk,” the scholars write in the statement, which I obtained before its release. “History will judge what we do at this moment.” And these scholars underscore the crucial point: Our democracy’s long-term viability might depend on whether Democrats reform or kill the filibuster to pass sweeping voting rights protections. “We urge members of Congress to do whatever is necessary — including suspending the filibuster — in order to pass national voting and election administration standards,” the scholars write, in a reference to the voting rights protections enshrined in the For the People Act, which passed the House and is before the Senate. What’s striking is that the statement is signed by scholars who specialize in democratic breakdown, such as Pippa Norris, Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky. Other well-known names include Francis Fukuyama and Jacob Hacker.

Full Article: Opinion | A frantic warning from 100 leading experts: Our democracy is in grave danger – The Washington Post

National: Vice President Harris Asked to Lead on Voting Rights. She Has Her Work Cut Out for Her. | Katie Rogers and Nicholas Fandos/The New York Times

Vice President Kamala Harris did not come to her role with a list of demands. She wanted to be a generalist, in large part to learn the political rhythms of a president she was still getting to know. In the first few months of her tenure, some of her portfolio assignments were just that: assignments. But on the matter of protecting voting rights, an issue critically important to President Biden’s legacy, Ms. Harris took a rare step. In a meeting with the president over a month ago, she told him that she wanted to take the lead on the issue. Mr. Biden agreed, two people familiar with the discussions said, and his advisers decided to time the announcement of Ms. Harris’s new role to a speech he delivered on Tuesday in Tulsa, Okla. In his remarks, the president declared the efforts of Republican-led statehouses around the country to make it harder to vote as an “assault on our democracy, ” and said Ms. Harris could help lead the charge against them. He also gave a blunt assessment of the task: “It’s going to take a hell of a lot of work.”

Source: VP Kamala Harris Asked to Lead on Voting Rights, and It’s a Challenge – The New York Times

Alabama: COVID-19, curbside voting ban exacerbate difficulties for voters with disabilities like me | Dr. Eric Peebles/

I believe voting is the most sacred of all civic responsibilities. Because I have spastic cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects coordination and control of motor function, I require assistance to help me fill out ballots. But I am determined to exercise my fundamental right to vote in person whenever I can. This has been a lifelong endeavor. In the mid-1980s, my local public school tried to bar me from attending because of my disability and wheelchair use. School officials even said I was a danger to other students because of my power wheelchair. My mother refused to accept this discrimination and lobbied local leaders on my behalf. After two years of advocacy, my school district was put under federal supervision, and I was allowed to attend a public school. I registered to vote after I turned 18, and I have tried to vote in every election since. I’ve long embraced the words spoken by one of the fathers of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Justin Dart, who once told a gathering I attended: “Get into empowerment. Get into politics as if your life depended upon it. It does.” My condition puts me at high risk for contracting and suffering severe complications, including death, from COVID-19. So as the 2020 elections neared, I felt compelled to protect my right to vote safely.

Full Article: COVID-19, curbside voting ban in Alabama exacerbate difficulties for voters with disabilities like me –

Arizona: Observers of GOP-led election audit document security breaches, prohibited items on counting floor | Felicia Sonmez and Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post

Observers of Arizona’s Republican-led recount have found security gates left open, confidential manuals left unattended and quality-control measures disregarded, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office. In one instance, a software update caused so many errors that the company handling the recount abandoned the update and went back to the old software. In other instances, prohibited items including cellphones and pens with black or blue ink were allowed onto the counting floor. And in an alleged incident last week, audit spokesman and former state Republican Party chairman Randy Pullen told an observer that the pink T-shirt the observer was required to wear while watching the proceedings made him “look like a transgender,” according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and election security experts have long criticized the audit as error-riddled. Now, Hobbs’s office is documenting the alleged infractions online.

Full Article: Observers of Arizona?s GOP-led election audit document security breaches, prohibited items on counting floor – The Washington Post

Arizona: Who is looking at your ballot? These are the companies involved in the election recount | Ryan Randazzo, Jen Fifield and Andrew Oxford/Arizona Republic

Prior to Republicans in the Arizona Senate selecting the company to run the election audit, the Florida company known as Cyber Ninjas garnered little attention. That has changed since the GOP members of the Arizona Senate announced March 31 that the company would lead the audit of 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County in the November 2020 election and reporters discovered a deleted Twitter account from CEO Doug Logan promoting conspiracy theories about fraud in the election. Cyber Ninjas is not the only company involved in the effort, though. Here’s what we know about the companies that are reviewing or previously reviewed the 2020 election results in Maricopa County.

Full Article: Arizona audit: These companies are looking at Maricopa County ballots

Florida: ‘Up is down and down is up.’ Report examines misinformation on Miami Spanish talk radio | Lautaro Grinspan/Miami Herald

Thousands of dead people and noncitizens voted in the 2020 presidential election. There were more votes cast than registered voters. Black Lives Matter and Antifa infiltrated the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol. Those are just some of the conspiracy theories compiled in a new media monitoring report published Wednesday, revealing the extent to which misinformation pervaded the airwaves of Miami Spanish-language talk radio in the immediate lead-up to, and aftermath of, the Jan. 6 insurrection. Scrutinizing a week’s worth of early to mid-January pre-recorded programming, the report shows how a group of radio hosts across two popular local AM stations, Radio Mambi and Actualidad Radio, mischaracterized the events of Jan. 6 and continued amplifying baseless claims of voter fraud, sometimes with the tacit endorsement of high-ranking guests, including U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Miami-Dade. Leaders of the organizations that produced the report — including progressive-leaning advocacy groups Florida Rising and Miami Freedom Project as well as communication firms ProsperoLatino and Latina Comunica — told the Herald that the aim of the media monitoring initiative is to better understand, and expose, how misinformation is disseminated on Spanish-language radio, a key component of an influential misinformation ecosystem targeting Hispanics in South Florida.

Full Article: Report: Conspiracy theories abound on Spanish-language radio | Miami Herald

Georgia ballot images made public after heated election | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Don’t trust the results of the election? For the first time, Georgia voters can check ballots for themselves. Digital images of ballots are now public records in Georgia, available for anyone to see upon request and payment of a fee to county election offices. A batch of 145,000 Fulton County absentee ballots cast in November’s election shows a picture of every ballot and bubbled-in oval, followed by a printed page verifying how voting machines counted each race. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the ballot images by paying a $240 records retrieval fee to Fulton County. There are many possibilities for how these ballot images could be used — or abused. Concerned citizens could recount ballots themselves. Candidates could identify voting patterns, such as split tickets among Democrats and Republicans. Those who believe an election was stolen could look for counting irregularities, highlighting potential errors.

Full Article: Your own election audit? In Georgia digital copies of voter ballots are now public records

Georgia absentee ID law has outsized impact on Black and metro voters | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Over 272,000 registered voters don’t have a driver’s license or state ID on file with election officials, meaning they’d have to submit additional documents to vote by mail under Georgia’s new voting law, state election records show. The ID requirements disproportionately affect Black voters, who are much less likely than white voters to have ID numbers matched to their voter registrations, according to election data. Voters who lack a driver’s license or state ID number linked to their registrations will have to verify their identities to vote absentee. Georgia’s voting law requires them to provide a utility bill, bank statement or other form of ID in future elections. Overall, about 3.5% of Georgia’s 7.8 million registered voters are missing a driver’s license or state ID number, according to records obtained from the secretary of state’s office under Georgia’s open records law. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analyzed the state’s list of voters without ID by comparing it with their registration information, including race, address and voting history. More than half are Black. Most live in large, Democratic-leaning counties. Some are homeless or poor. And roughly 80,000 of them actually may have IDs but their information isn’t yet matched to election data, an issue state election officials are working to correct.

Full Article: ID rule in Georgia voting law adds new hurdle for thousands of voters

Montana firm connected to controversial review of Arizona election results | Arren Kimbel-Sannit/Daily Montanan

Observers of a Legislature-sponsored review and recount of election results in Arizona’s largest county alleged last week that “copies of voting system data” were sent to an unnamed lab in Montana with little explanation, according to a summary of notes from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, which sponsored the observers. The observation reads that on May 24, Ken Bennett, a former Arizona Secretary of State working as a liaison from the state Senate, “confirmed that (the data) was sent to a lab in Montana” but “did not specify what security measures were in place, or what the lab in Montana will do with the data or how long it will be in possession of the copies.” Republican lawmakers in the Arizona Senate authorized an audit of election results and issued subpoenas for election systems from Maricopa County in April, encouraged by persistent but unfounded claims of voter fraud and impropriety by former President Donald Trump in the fallout of his loss — President Joe Biden defeated Trump by roughly 45,000 votes in the county, one of the country’s most populous. The review has been plagued by controversy, litigation and allegations of procedural errors and impropriety, though it has resulted in significant financial gains for the state GOP and boosted the political fortunes of current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat and outspoken critic of the audit who recently announced her bid for governor of Arizona.

Full Article: Arizona election audit observer: County data could be under review at Montana lab – Daily Montanan

Nevada Secretary of state opens up about threats she received after no evidence of ‘widespread’ voter fraud found | Jannelle Calderon/Nevada Independent

Republican Secretary of State  opened up Wednesday about her experience on the job after the November presidential election sparked allegations of voter fraud in Nevada, as well as about threatening emails and phone calls she and her family and staff received. Cegavske’s appearance at the Hispanics in Politics monthly meeting in Las Vegas marked a rare public appearance by the secretary of state after the contentious election season in which she pushed back on allegations that there was widespread voter fraud. She told The Nevada Independent in an interview after her speech that the extent of the threats was “saddening” and was not something she wanted her staff to go through. She also said the level of threats, harassment and privacy concerns led her to unplug the phone landline in her home. When asked if she had been changed by the experience, Cegavske said the level of threats to family and staff, the involvement of national news and cyber security has taken a toll. The secretary of state also said that the fallout goes beyond threats. One website in particular (which The Nevada Independent is not naming for safety concerns) has targeted her along with other U.S. election officials through doxing, which is publishing otherwise private information with malicious intent. The website has been removed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation three times, Cegavske said.

Full Article: Secretary of state opens up about threats she received after no evidence of ‘widespread’ voter fraud found

New Hampshire Election Audit, part 1 | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

Based on preliminary reports published by the team of experts that New Hampshire engaged to examine an election discrepancy, it appears that a buildup of dust in the read heads of optical-scan voting machines (possibly over several years of use) can cause paper-fold lines in absentee ballots to be interpreted as votes. In a local contest in one town, preliminary reports suggest this caused four Republican candidates for State Representative to be deprived of about 300 votes each. That didn’t change the outcome of the election–the Republicans won anyway–but it shows that New Hampshire (and other states) may need to maintain the accuracy of their optical-scan voting machines by paying attention to three issues:

  • Routine risk-limiting audits to detect inaccuracies if/when they occur.
  • Clean the dust out of optical-scan read heads regularly; pay attention to the calibration of the optical-scan machines.
  • Make sure that the machines that automatically fold absentee ballots (before mailing them to voters) don’t put the fold lines over vote-target ovals. (Same for election workers who fold ballots by hand.)

Everything I write in this series will be based on public information, from the State of New Hampshire, the Town of Windham, and the tweets of the WindhamNHAuditors.

Full Article: New Hampshire Election Audit, part 1

New Hampshire Election Audit Shows Machine Error Gave Extra Votes To Local Democrat; Determines No ‘Fraud,’ ‘Bias’ | Amanda Prestigiacomo/The Daily Wire

Machine-tabulated 2020 election results in Windham, New Hampshire, were likely different from a later hand-recount because of the way the town folded absentee ballots before they were delivered to voters, an election audit has determined. The ballot folds caused election-day totals to mistakenly exclude some votes and count extra votes for a local Democratic candidate. The group conducting the audit, which was called for after Democratic state House candidate Kristi St. Laurent lost her race and a recount revealed discrepancies in the vote totals, emphasized that “no evidence of fraud or political bias” was found. … Mark Lindeman, an auditor and co-director of Verified Voting, said the audit uncovered “no evidence of fraud or political bias,” and also said that he hadn’t heard “a credible hypothesis of how fraud could account for what we found.” Lindeman added that they “have no reason to think that it’s a statewide or national issue, although it’s certainly possible that it occurred in other localities.”

Full Article: NH Election Audit Shows Machine Error Gave Extra Votes To Local Democrat; Determines No ‘Fraud,’ ‘Bias’ | The Daily Wire

Pennsylvania GOP leader rejects Arizona-style election audit, but others push for it | Marc Levy and Mark Scolforo/Associated Press

A key member of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives is flatly rejecting talk of any sort of audit of the 2020 presidential election, a day after three fellow Republican state lawmakers toured the Arizona Senate GOP’s audit. Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, who chairs the committee that handles election matters, said on Twitter on Thursday that the chamber “will not be authorizing any further audits on any previous election.” Two of those visiting lawmakers, Sens. Cris Dush and Doug Mastriano, say they want something similar carried out in Pennsylvania. They will have trouble getting anything through Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, who dismissed their trip to Arizona as an “effort to discredit the integrity of our elections” and “an insult to our county election workers and to Pennsylvania voters.” “As counties call on the General Assembly to act on election reform, GOP state lawmakers are chasing conspiracy theories across the country,” Wolf said on Twitter. Grove’s Senate counterpart in the Republican-controlled Legislature, Sen. David Argall, R-Schuykill, said in an interview Thursday that legislation or a resolution in the chamber to commission some sort of audit remains a possibility in June.

Full Article: GOP fight over 2020 election audit brews in Pennsylvania

Texas: ‘Die fighting on my feet.’ How Democrats executed a mass walkout that killed the elections bill | Lauren McGaughy/Dallas Morning News

Atop every member’s desk in the Texas House of Representatives sits a small round voting machine. In a slot at the edge of the shiny metal pad fits a key. This key usually stays in the unlocked position, allowing representatives to vote from their seats. When a member is absent, or doesn’t want a deskmate or colleague voting for them, the key is turned, locking the machine. When lawmakers want to be extra sure no votes are cast when they’re gone, they take the key. Late Sunday night, with just a few hours left to pass bills in the 2021 regular legislative session, Rep. Travis Clardy walked to the podium in front of the speaker’s dais and began debate on a controversial elections bill that had torn the chamber in two. Republicans like Clardy wanted to deliver a win for their party and Gov. Greg Abbott, who had called on them to pass a voting bill after the 2020 elections. Democrats said the bill was an overt attempt to discourage voters from going to the polls through scare tactics and new restrictions. Clardy knew the debate wouldn’t be pretty. Earlier discussions on the bill had devolved into ugly partisan slugfests. But as the minority party, Democrats had few options to kill it outright before a key deadline at midnight. Clardy thought, “We ought to be able to get this done.” After ending his opening remarks, Clardy handed the mic over to Rep. Briscoe Cain, the bill’s author, and dipped out of the chamber for some cold pork chops and mashed potatoes.

Full Article: ‘Die fighting on my feet.’ How Democrats executed a mass walkout that killed the Texas elections bill