National: Fifteen years ago, Smartmatic was drummed out of the United States by Lou Dobbs—but now he’s off the air and the voting machine company is attempting an American foothold once more. | Madeline Berg/Forbes

In the wake of last year’s presidential election, as Donald Trump was pushing his counterfactual narrative about vote rigging, Antonio Mugica watched Smartmatic, his little-known U.K. voting machine business become a bogeyman on right-wing media. The London-based company burst into the headlines—along with Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems—as rumors spread on social media that both companies were being shut down, their executives on the run. Some said Smartmatic, which provided machines just for Los Angeles county in 2020, secretly owned the much larger Dominion, which tallied votes in more than two dozen states. “This was so outrageous and crazy,” says Smartmatic’s 46-year-old CEO Mugica, in a rare in-depth interview. “I thought, no one would believe it.” But they did. Smartmatic promptly filed a defamation suit against Fox, three of its anchors and two Trump loyalists for $2.7 billion in financial damages, which is how much more Smartmatic’s Venezuelan cofounders say their company would be worth in the next five years if it weren’t for the ginned up controversy. (Forbes values Smartmatic, which is privately held, at an estimated $730 million. The Mugica family’s 66% stake is worth about $480 million. The other cofounder, Roger Piñate, and his family have a 19% stake. The company had an estimated $115 million in revenue last year.) The fake news story cost Smartmatic $500 million in potential profits over five years, according to the lawsuit, and derailed their plans to expand into the U.S. (This claim seems somewhat optimistic given that Smartmatic booked $450 million in profits in total over the last 12 years). Dominion filed its own $1.6 billion suit six weeks later, blaming the network for taking “a small flame and turning it into a forest fire.” Fox has filed four. motions to dismiss Smartmatic’s suit, citing the company’s First Amendment rights and claiming the content was a matter of public concern.

Full Article: This Foreign Voting Machine Company Wants To Take Over America – If It Can Get Through Fox News

Arizona: Voting rights groups: Tactics in election audit are illegal, intimidating | Howard Fischer/Arizona Daily Star

Tactics planned by 2020 election auditors hired by the Arizona Senate are illegal and even criminal, attorneys for various voter rights groups contend. And the groups might go to court to try to halt them. In a letter Tuesday to Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the lawyers said the plans — which include knocking on doors and contacting people — “constitute voter intimidation.” They said it’s irrelevant whether that is the intent, and even whether that’s part of the contract Logan signed late last month with Senate President Karen Fann. That contract involves having Cyber Ninjas and other firms knock on doors in Maricopa County to determine if people actually live at that address and validate that they did in fact cast a ballot in November. A copy of the scope of work obtained by Capitol Media Services shows that Cyber Ninjas did some of that in-person contact even before the contract was signed. And the document claims that work has “brought forth a number of significant anomalies suggesting significant problems in the voter rolls.” The same document says Cyber Ninjas and others working with the Florida firm will audit at least three voting precincts they have decided have “a high number of anomalies,” to “conduct an audit of voting history related to all members of the voter rolls.”

Full Article: Voting rights groups: Tactics in Arizona election audit are illegal, intimidating | Arizona and Regional News | tucson.com

Editorial: Farcical Maricopa County election audit just a sideshow to Trump circus | Tim Steller/Arizona Daily Star

Don’t look at the bias — that’s not what really matters. So claims Doug Logan, CEO of the firm called Cyber Ninjas that is playing at auditing Maricopa County’s elections as a contractor for Arizona’s state Senate Republicans. Logan put out a statement Tuesday responding to what he termed the “spurious clamor over bias insinuations.” I appreciated the fun word choice, but it couldn’t cover up his conclusion: He may be biased, but that doesn’t matter because the audit will be so, so good. Those aren’t his precise words, but they were the gist of his meaning when he said, “The big question should not be ‘Am I biased,’ but ‘Will this audit be transparent, truthful and accurate?’ The answer to the latter question is a resounding ‘Yes.’ ” In truth, the Arizona Senate Republicans’ so-called audit of the presidential election in Maricopa County is dead on arrival. In an effort to appease the GOP conspiracy caucus, Senate President Karen Fann and her sidekick, Sen. Warren Petersen, have chosen a team that has no credibility with anyone but conservative election conspiracists. For the rest of the state’s population, this audit is just a final sideshow of the Trump circus, best ignored or jeered at, but certainly not believed.

Full Article: Tim Steller’s opinion: Farcical Maricopa election audit just a sideshow to Trump circus | Local news | tucson.com

Colorado county clerks release ballot images from 2020 election | Andy Koen/KOAA

The Republican and Democratic county clerks in El Paso and Pueblo Counties want voters in their communities to be confident in the results of the 2020 presidential election. On Thursday, both officials made digital copies of every voted ballot from the election available to the public. Clerk Chuck Broerman in El Paso County, a Republican, said he and his staff are still answering questions five months later from voters who believe fraud occurred. He doesn’t want those doubts to discourage people from participating in future elections. “People get a little disheartened and they don’t vote, and that’s not good for our representative democracy,” Broerman said. “It’s always best when we have more voices that are heard.” He explained the Dominion Voting Systems used in Colorado are audited before and after each election to make sure they count the ballots accurately. The risk-limiting audit which occurs after each election compares a sample of paper ballots with the images of those ballots recorded by the machines and the corresponding vote tallies that were reported. Dominion was heavily criticized by the Trump campaign in lawsuits filed in various states after the election. Clerk Gilbert Ortiz in Pueblo County, a Democrat, hopes to quiet criticism from skeptics by being transparent and releasing the documents.

Full Article: County clerks release ballot images from 2020 election

Colorado Senate panel approves bill pitting election security experts against disability advocates | Pat Poblete/Colorado Politics

Democrats on a Senate panel on Tuesday advanced a bill that would allow voters with disabilities to return voted ballots online, a provision that pitted disability advocates against election security experts. Senate Bill 21-188 from Sen. Jessie Danielson seeks to build on legislation the Wheat Ridge Democrat championed in 2019 that allows voters with disabilities to access a ballot online. Under Danielson’s Senate Bill 19-202, a ballot can then be marked, printed and returned, which allows voters with disabilities to cast a ballot privately and independently. After being signed into law in May 2019, Danielson said Secretary of State Jena Griswold quickly implemented the legislation and it has largely been successful save for one hiccup: few voters with disabilities have a printer. … But the bill received pushback from election security experts such as C. Jay Coles, the senior policy associate with Verified Voting, who told lawmakers “multiple cybersecurity experts have concluded that internet voting currently is unsafe.” Coles pointed to, among other things, a 2018 National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine report that concluded: “We do not, at present, have the technology to offer a secure method to support internet voting.”

Full Article: Senate panel approves bill pitting election security experts against disability advocates | Legislature | coloradopolitics.com

Florida strips language from bill effectively banning voters from being given food and water in line | Ben Kamisar/NBC

Florida lawmakers have backtracked on legislative language that threatened to ban giving voters food or drink while near a polling place, removing the ban from an amended version of an elections bill that was approved by a House committee on Thursday. The original version of House bill 7041 forbade “giving or attempting to give any item” to a voter or “interacting or attempting to interact” with a voter within 150 feet of a polling place. But an amended version of the bill, approved by the state House Appropriations Committee, no longer includes either prohibition. However, the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, argued that while the specific language is gone, it’s possible that handing out food and water could run afoul of the bill’s ban on “engaging in any activity with the intent to influence or effect of influencing a voter.” Ingoglia raised the example of a well-known politician, like Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, handing out food and water to voters without specifically asking for a voter’s support. “If Ron DeSantis started walking up and down the line, handing out stuff to voters in line within the 150 feet, I’d dare to say your nominee would say he was trying to influence the vote,” he said.

Full Article: Florida strips language from bill effectively banning voters from being given food and water in line

Georgia’s New Law, and the Risk of Election Subversion | Nate Cohn/The New York Times

What would have happened if the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, had responded, “OK, I’ll try,” in a January phone call after President Trump asked him to “find” 11,000 votes? No one can be sure. What is clear is that the question has been overlooked in recent months. Public attention has mostly moved on from Mr. Trump’s bid to overturn the election; activists and politicians are focused more on whether to restrict or expand voting access, particularly by mail. But trying to reverse an election result without credible evidence of widespread fraud is an act of a different magnitude than narrowing access. A successful effort to subvert an election would pose grave and fundamental risks to democracy, risking political violence and secessionism. Beyond any provisions on voting itself, the new Georgia election law risks making election subversion easier. It creates new avenues for partisan interference in election administration. This includes allowing the state elections board, now newly controlled by appointees of the Republican State Legislature, to appoint a single person to take control of typically bipartisan county election boards, which have important power over vote counting and voter eligibility. The law also gives the Legislature the authority to appoint the chair of the state election board and two more of its five voting members, allowing it to appoint a majority of the board. It strips the secretary of state of the chair and a vote.

Full Article: How Georgia’s New Law Risks Making Election Subversion Easier – The New York Times

Illinois: McHenry County clerk’s office figures out why results were misreported | Kelli Duncan/Daily Herald

The McHenry County clerk’s office has determined that the underreporting of votes in certain races across the county Tuesday night was because of changes made to the language on some ballots, which altered the spacing of the document just enough to interfere with machines’ ability to read votes correctly. While officials now are certain this was the cause of the issue, County Clerk Joe Tirio said his office decided to conduct a full, countywide recount of votes anyway out of an abundance of caution. “I’m obviously I’m not in love with the fact this happened, but I’m not hiding the fact that it happened and we’re going to do our best to get the right results out as soon as we possibly can,” Tirio said in an interview Thursday afternoon. Tirio said he had been hoping to finish the recount Thursday afternoon so they could offer post new election results that evening, but the task has taken longer than expected. He said they are on track to complete the recount about 6 p.m. Thursday and then they will need to compile new election results and run some tests to ensure they are airtight.

Full Article: McHenry County clerk’s office figures out why results were misreported

Louisiana: No plans to revive voting machine search soon | Melinda DeSlatte/Associated Press

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin told lawmakers Thursday that he won’t soon restart Louisiana’s work to upgrade its voting technology, after two prior efforts to replace thousands of voting machines were scrapped amid controversy. Ardoin, the Republican who oversees Louisiana’s elections, shelved the latest voting machine replacement attempt in March after facing widespread complaints from election technology firms, the leader of a state Senate oversight committee and other Republicans. Lawmakers will consider changing the voting machine selection process in their upcoming legislative session. While Ardoin defended his agency’s handling of the contractor search, he told the House Appropriations Committee that he pulled back the bid solicitation process after consultation with House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and Senate President Page Cortez, both Republicans. “There is no intent to go out for another (request for proposals) anytime soon?” asked Appropriations Chairman Jerome “Zee” Zeringue, a Houma Republican, during a hearing on Ardoin’s budget for next year. “No,” Ardoin replied.

Full Article: No plans to revive Louisiana’s voting machine search soon

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel using Sidney Powell’s words against her in pursuit of sanctions | Dave Boucher/Detroit Free Press

Admissions by former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell in a massive defamation lawsuit may imperil her efforts to avoid sanctions in a federal Michigan elections case. This week, the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel asked a federal court whether it could include recent comments from Powell’s legal filings in a separate case as evidence that sanctions against Powell and associated attorneys are warranted in Michigan. The separate lawsuit was filed by Dominion Voting Systems, an election equipment company at the heart of conspiracy theories and misinformation offered by Powell and many other supporters of former President Donald Trump. In response to that lawsuit, Powell and her legal team specifically stated in a filing that “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” referring to many of the claims Powell offered to argue the election was stolen from Trump. “Faced with the specter of more than $1.3 billion in damages in the Dominion action, Ms. Powell has adopted a new litigation strategy to evade Dominion’s defamation claim: the truth. Whether that strategy will be advantageous in the Dominion action remains to be seen, but it strongly underscores why sanctions and attorneys’ fees are appropriate here,” Nessel’s office wrote in a filing Tuesday.

Full Article: Dana Nessel using Sidney Powell’s words in Dominion case against her

Ohio: Get COVID-19 vaccine and vote at Hamilton County Board of Elections all at once. Vax & Vote seeks to increase voter turnout and COVID-19 immunity. | Scott Wartman/Cincinnati Enquirer

Ever wonder if there’s a way to both support democracy and help end a pandemic without having to make two trips? There is, the Hamilton County Board of Elections said in a statement Thursday. Officials with the board of elections and Hamilton County Public Health Department hope to boost turnout out in the May 4 primary and COVID-19 vaccination rates with a Vax & Vote initiative. Early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections office in Norwood started April 6 for the primary that features the Cincinnati mayoral race and some local levies. The board of elections also happens to house Hamilton County’s central COVID-19 vaccination site. The county health department has administered the vaccine in the 15,000-square-foot space at 2300 Wall Street in the same Norwood office complex as the board of elections. The board of elections rented the space in 2020 for early voting.

Full Article: Get COVID-19 vaccine and vote at Hamilton County Board of Elections

Utah Senator Mike Lee stands up for the right of states to suppress minority voting rights | Raymond A. Hult/The Salt Lake Tribune

With the House having recently passed an historic election reform bill (HR1), Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s immediate response was “Everything about this bill is rotten to the core. It was written and held by the devil himself.” More recently, after Georgia Republican legislators passed a restrictive voter election law that Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola criticized as a blatantly suppressing the minority vote, Lee ranted, “I find that kind of intrusion unseemly and inappropriate. It’s wildly partisan what they’re doing. I think they should both issue an apology to the voters of Georgia.” Reviewing some of the provisions of the Georgia bill, I wondered what he found so unseemly, inappropriate and requiring an apology. It limits the number of drop boxes in every county as well as the hours they can be open. It prohibits automatically sending by-mail ballot applications to registered voters and shortens the period such requests can be made. It tightens ID requirement for casting an absentee ballot. It prohibits anyone from giving food or drink to voters waiting in line at a polling place. Everything contrary to voting in Utah and obviously intended to make it harder for minorities to cast their votes. Reviewing the main elements of HR1, I wanted to see exactly what may have caused that visceral rejection by Lee. Historically, what many consider to be one of the most profoundly significant legislative achievements in American history, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965. It enforced voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, most significantly attempting to ensure the right to vote by Black Americans.

Source: Mike Lee stands up for the right of states to suppress minority voting rights.

Texas: After Georgia, Voting Fight Moves to Texas | Elizabeth Findell/Wall Street Journal

The battle over voting rules has shifted to Texas, following recent legislation in Georgia that led to a backlash from civil-rights groups and some major corporations. The Texas legislature is advancing a bill that would limit early voting hours, place more restrictions on people who provide assistance with voting, control the number of voting machines at each location and allow partisan poll watchers to record video or photos of people voting, among other measures. The Texas State House is expected to begin hearings on the bill soon, which passed the state Senate around 2 a.m. on April 1 in an 18-13 party-line vote. Republican state leaders said the omnibus elections bill would improve confidence in elections and set uniform standards across the state’s 254 counties. Democrats said it would make it more difficult to vote, particularly in urban areas and minority districts, and could allow voter intimidation. The bill, along with others filed in Texas, comes as Republican lawmakers across the country have proposed new limits for mail-in voting and other electoral changes. Georgia emerged as an early hot spot after Republicans passed a bill along party lines in late March that added vote-by-mail identification requirements and limited ballot drop boxes. Passage of the bill prompted Major League Baseball to pull this year’s All-Star game from Atlanta and garnered opposition from companies including Delta Air Lines Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the bill, called the criticism partisan.

Full Article: After Georgia, Voting Fight Moves to Texas – WSJ

Wisconsin Election Officials, Groups Raise Concerns About Proposed Election Law Changes | Laurel White/Wisconsin Public Radio

Election officials and some community groups raised concerns about several proposed changes to Wisconsin election laws on Thursday as others argued the measures would increase public confidence in elections. The bills are part of a Republican-backed package of proposed election law changes aimed at changing how the state’s elections are run. Several of the plans are direct responses to criticism of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. One proposal discussed during a meeting of the state Senate elections committee on Thursday would limit local governments from accepting grant money from an individual or group to assist with administering elections. The bill would also require any grants accepted by the Wisconsin Elections Commission to be distributed to every municipality in Wisconsin on a per capita basis and for the distribution of those funds to be approved by the Legislature’s state budget committee. During the hearing, state Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, one of the bill’s sponsors, argued grants distributed to some Wisconsin communities during the 2020 presidential election unfairly benefited Democratic strongholds, like Milwaukee. “This bill is about fairness, and it certainly wasn’t fair,” Stroebel said. “We do have over 1,800 municipalities in the state of Wisconsin — five got almost all of (the grant money).” In July, Wisconsin’s five largest cities — Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine — announced they would share $6.3 million in grant funding from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a group funded by Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg, to help run the election during the pandemic.

Full Article: Wisconsin Election Officials, Groups Raise Concerns About Proposed Election Law Changes | Wisconsin Public Radio

Kammi Foote, Inyo County California Clerk/Recorder/Registrar of Voters, is leaving office. | Charles James/Sierra Wave

Kammi Foote announced her resignation effective Friday, April 9 to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors at their regular Tuesday virtual meeting. Foote has been with the county for almost twenty years, the last ten years in elected office as the Inyo County Clerk/ Recorder/Registrar of Voters Office.

Full Article: Kammi Foote, Inyo County Clerk/Recorder/Registrar of Voters, is leaving office. – Sierra Wave: Eastern Sierra NewsSierra Wave: Eastern Sierra News

HP, Dow, Estee Lauder among 200 companies speaking out against proposed state voting laws | Hannah Denham and Jena McGregor/The Washington Post

Nearly 200 companies on Friday joined in a strong statement against proposals that threaten to restrict voting access in dozens of states, in a further sign of corporate willingness to speak out on social justice issues. As Major League Baseball announced that it will be moving this summer’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the passage of Georgia’s restrictive voting law, executives from at least 193 companies — including Dow, HP, Twitter and Estée Lauder — urged the protection of voting rights across the country. “There are hundreds of bills threatening to make voting more difficult in dozens of states nationwide,” executives wrote in the statement, which also included signatures from the CEOs of Under Armour, Salesforce and ViacomCBS. “We call on elected leaders in every state capitol and in Congress to work across the aisle and ensure that every eligible American has the freedom to easily cast their ballot and participate fully in our democracy,” the statement said. The joint statement was organized by Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan group of businesses focused on voter engagement.

Full Article: HP, Dow, Estee Lauder among 200 companies speaking out against proposed state voting laws – The Washington Post

National: Pressure mounts on corporations to denounce GOP voting bills | Bill Barrow/Associated Press

Liberal activists are stepping up calls for corporate America to denounce Republican efforts to tighten state voting laws, and businesses accustomed to cozy political relationships now find themselves in the middle of a growing partisan fight over voting rights. Pressure is mounting on leading companies in Texas, Arizona and other states, particularly after Major League Baseball’s decision Friday to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta. A joint statement from executives at nearly 200 companies, including HP, Microsoft, PayPal, Target, Twitter, Uber and Under Armour, took aim at state legislation “threatening to make voting more difficult” and said “elections are not improved” when lawmakers impose new barriers to voting. The outcry comes a week after Georgia Republicans enacted an overhaul of the state’s election law that critics argue is an attempt to suppress Democratic votes. Other companies have, somewhat belatedly, joined the chorus of critics. Delta Air Lines and The Coca-Cola Co., two of Georgia’s best-known brands, this past week called the new law “unacceptable,” although they had a hand in writing it. That only angered Republicans, including Gov. Brian Kemp and several U.S. senators, who accused the companies of cowering from unwarranted attacks from the left. The fight has thrust corporate America into a place it often tries to avoid — the center of a partisan political fight. But under threat of boycott and bad publicity, business leaders are showing a new willingness to enter the fray on an issue not directly related to their bottom line, even if it means alienating Republican allies.

Full Article: Pressure mounts on corporations to denounce GOP voting bills

Editorial: The lack of federal voting rights protections returns us to the pre-Civil War era | Kate Masur/The Washington Post

As Senate Democrats push to extend federal protection of voting rights, bills to restrict citizens’ access to the vote — many based on models produced by the conservative Heritage Foundation — have been introduced in 43 states. On Thursday, Georgia enacted a law that limits voters’ options and makes it easier for the state legislature to interfere with election results. The current absence of strong federal protection for voting rights resembles the United States before the Civil War and reminds us of why Americans changed the Constitution to protect individual rights during Reconstruction. From the nation’s founding through the Civil War, the states had virtually unchallengeable power to define the status and rights of their residents. Slavery was only the most extreme example. Northern states such as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania chose to abolish slavery in the years following independence from Britain, but across the Southern tier of states, legislatures perpetuated slavery and codified it in law. Congress admitted new slave states to the Union, putting its imprimatur on states’ “right” to legalize slavery and to people’s right to hold Black people in bondage, denying them rights that many considered fundamental to personhood. Beyond slavery, all slave states and some free states placed strictures on the basic rights of free African Americans. After joining the Union as a free state in 1803, for example, Ohio adopted laws that required free African Americans who wanted to live in the state to prove their freedom and register with local officials. Laws forbade them from testifying in court cases involving White people, and barred Black children from public education. Ohio’s constitution granted voting rights to White men only. By contrast, Massachusetts placed no racial restrictions on men’s right to vote and had no racist or testimony residency laws. It did, however, bar interracial marriage and prohibit Black men from serving in the state militia.

Full Article: The lack of federal voting rights protections returns us to the pre-Civil War era – The Washington Post

Arizona: Maricopa County board to Senate: Find another spot to recount ballots | Bob Christie/Associated Press

Maricopa County’s elected leaders aren’t interested in allowing a firm led by a backer of unfounded election fraud theories to use county facilities to recount 2.1 million ballots from November’s election as part of an audit that Arizona Senate’s Republican leaders plan to conduct. The decision by the Republican-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors came after the board met with its lawyers Thursday, a day after Senate President Karen Fann announced the auditors she had hired to try to show whether President Joe Biden’s victory was legitimate. It means Fann, who won a court order allowing access to the ballots and voting machines late last month, will need to find a secure location to do the recount. The board has never indicated it would let the Senate use its vote count center, but Fann repeatedly suggested she wanted to use the facility. Board Chairman Jack Sellers said in a Thursday evening statement that the board respects the “power of the Senate” and has been ready to comply with a subpoena to deliver the ballots and vote-counting equipment for more than a month. In a letter Sellers instructed to be sent to the Senate’s lawyer, the county’s lawyer said the county “stands ready” to deliver the ballots and tabulation equipment to the Senate or “a non-County owned location of the Senators’ choosing.” Meanwhile, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs fired off a letter to the county board expressing concerns about the company hired to lead the audit, Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, and the contract that shows auditors will try to track down and question voters.

Full Article: County board to Senate: Find another spot to recount ballots

Arizona: ASOG, one of the Antrim County MI election report firms, is dropped by Arizona offiicals | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

A Dallas-based firm tasked with conducting a court-sanctioned examination of Antrim County’s election equipment, was initially considered by Republican leadership in Arizona to assist with an audit there, then dropped over concerns about partisanship, records show. Antrim County, Michigan and Maricopa County, Arizona, both use Dominion Voting Systems election equipment and officials in both counties are embroiled in election-related lawsuits, which seek to question results of the 2020 election. Arizona’s Republican-led state senate won a lawsuit earlier this year, seeking to take possession of Maricopa County ballots for a forensic review, after a county-wide audit found no irregularities, the Arizona Mirror reported. State Senate President Karen Fann in February selected Allied Security Operations Group and an “ASOG scope of work” document was drafted, with a plan to pay the firm $10,000 for a forensic exam and a written report, as reported in the Arizona Mirror. ASOG in December provided similar services — though on a smaller scale — to Bill Bailey, a Central Lake Township man suing Antrim County. Bailey accuses the county of violating his constitutional rights, after he said in court filings Dominion Voting Systems equipment was intentionally error-prone or fraudulent — a characterization Dominion CEO John Poulos and election officials have said is false.

Full Article: Antrim election report firm dropped by Arizona offiicals | News | record-eagle.com

Editorial: Arizona Republicans’ desperate crusade to find nonexistent voter fraud | The Washington Post

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R) says she is determined to “ensure the integrity of the vote” in her state. Which is supposedly why, five months after Election Day, following multiple credible audits that found no hint of substantial fraud, she insists that the state Senate must conduct yet another audit, re-scanning and hand-counting every ballot cast in Phoenix’s Maricopa County, as well as digging into electronic election systems. This would be a big job for even the most experienced election official or voting company, never mind state legislators. So Ms. Fann and her Senate colleagues tapped Cyber Ninjas, a little-known Florida cybersecurity firm that boasts that it provides “general consulting” and “ethical hacking” services, to lead the audit. Arizona journalists quickly discovered one possible reason for this puzzling choice: Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan appears to have pushed pro-Trump election conspiracy theories on a Twitter account he apparently deleted in January. “The parallels between the statistical analysis of Venezuela and this year’s election are astonishing,” one tweet read, which included the hashtag #StopTheSteal. “I’m tired of hearing people say there was no fraud. It happened, it’s real, and people better get wise fast,” read a tweet Mr. Logan apparently retweeted in December. He was also involved in a lawsuit claiming election fraud in Michigan. “This firm’s CEO not only harbors conspiratorial beliefs about the 2020 election, but has shared conspiracies about Dominion election equipment, the exact equipment he has been hired to audit,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) objected.

Full Article: Opinion | Arizona Republicans’ desperate crusade to find nonexistent voter fraud – The Washington Post

Georgia: Republicans ramp up attacks on corporations like Coca-Cola, Delta and MLB over voting law | Marianna Sotomayor and Todd C. Frankel/The Washington Post

Republicans are attacking corporations over their decision to condemn the controversial Georgia voting law, part of the party’s embrace of the populism espoused by President Donald Trump even as it creates tensions with traditional allies in the business community. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday accused corporations of siding with Democrats’ portrayal of the law as the new Jim Crow, which he called an attempt to “mislead and bully the American people.” He argued that it would expand, not restrict, voter access to the polls, and his statement included a threat of unspecified “serious consequences” if companies continued to stand opposite Republicans on a variety of issues. “From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” McConnell said in his statement. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) made similar remarks in questioning why Republicans should pay attention to companies on policy issues after they embrace positions at odds with the party. “Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & antitrust?” he tweeted Friday.

Full Article: Republicans ramp up attacks on corporations like Coca-Cola, Delta and MLB over Georgia voting law – The Washington Post

Georgia: Inside Corporate America’s Frantic Response to the New Voting Law | David Gelles/The New York Times

On March 11, Delta Air Lines dedicated a building at its Atlanta headquarters to Andrew Young, the civil rights leader and former mayor. At the ceremony, Mr. Young spoke of the restrictive voting rights bill that Republicans were rushing through the Georgia state legislature. Then, after the speeches, Mr. Young’s daughter, Andrea, a prominent activist herself, cornered Delta’s chief executive, Ed Bastian. “I told him how important it was to oppose this law,” she said. For Mr. Bastian, it was an early warning that the issue of voting rights might soon ensnare Delta in another national dispute. Over the past five years, corporations have taken political stands like never before, often in response to the extreme policies of former President Donald J. Trump. After Mr. Trump’s equivocating response to the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, Ken Frazier, the Black chief executive of Merck, resigned from a presidential advisory group, prompting dozens of other top executives to distance themselves from the president. Last year, after the killing of George Floyd, hundreds of companies expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But for corporations, the dispute over voting rights is different. An issue that both political parties see as a priority is not easily addressed with statements of solidarity and donations. Taking a stand on voting rights legislation thrusts companies into partisan politics and pits them against Republicans who have proven willing to raise taxes and enact onerous regulations on companies that cross them politically. It is a head-spinning new landscape for big companies, which are trying to appease Democrats focused on social justice, as well as populist Republicans who are suddenly unafraid to break ties with business. Companies like Delta are caught in the middle, and face steep political consequences no matter what they do.

Full Article: Inside Corporate America’s Frantic Response to the Georgia Voting Law – The New York Times

Illinois State Board of Elections director target in extortion scheme | Dean Olsen/State Journal-Register

Illinois’ top election official was placed on paid administrative leave Monday after he told police he was the subject of an attempted extortion scheme. The eight members of the State Board of Elections voted unanimously to put Steve Sandvoss on leave “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a news release from the board. Sandvoss, a Rochester resident and lawyer who has led the state agency since 2015 and worked for the board in various capacities for 33 years, reported being a victim of an online extortion attempt last week, the release said. He informed the Illinois State Police, which has begun an investigation, the release said. Sandvoss, 55, was at the helm of the election board, an independent state agency governed by a board of four Democrats and four Republicans, during an alleged Russian cyber attack on 20 state election systems in June 2016. But Monday’s news release didn’t give any indication whether another attempted Russian hack was involved in the attempted extortion scheme. But the release said that based on Sandvoss’ description, the scheme “appeared typical of many such online scams.” However, because the attempt involved a top official at the agency, the board took the “cautionary step” of placing Sandvoss on paid leave, the news release said. Sandvoss’ salary is $162,000 annually.

Full Article: Illinois State Board of Elections director target in extortion scheme

Maine: Bill would audit election results as a way to promote voter confidence | Scott Thistle/Portland Press Herald

A bill that would see Maine join 34 other states in conducting post-election audits won support Monday before the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, even though there has been no evidence that Maine election results are inaccurate. “At its heart, this bill is about promoting ongoing election integrity and public confidence in our elections,” Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said in testimony supporting the legislation. “It’s not about what we’re not doing. Maine elections are well run. It’s about what we can do in the future to prevent problems before they occur.” The bill, sponsored by Rep. Nicole Grohoski, D-Ellsworth, follows a 2020 election cycle in the United States that saw baseless claims of election malfeasance by former President Donald Trump. The election also saw record voter turnout in Maine and a record number of Mainers use the state’s absentee voter system to cast their ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grohoski said her bill would create a system of checks and balances to build on Maine’s already strong election system, which is largely managed by town and city clerks, the state’s front-line election officials. “Public confidence in our elections is of the utmost importance and must be earned, not taken for granted,” she said.

Full Article: Bill would audit Maine election results as a way to promote voter confidence – Portland Press Herald

Michigan: Expert analysis of Antrim County | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

Preliminary unofficial election results posted at 4am after the November 3rd 2020 election, by election administrators in Antrim County Michigan, were incorrect by thousands of votes–in the Presidential race and in local races. Within days, Antrim County election administrators corrected the error, as confirmed by a full hand recount of the ballots, but everyone wondered: what went wrong? Were the voting machines hacked? The Michigan Secretary of State and the Michigan Attorney General commissioned an expert to conduct a forensic examination. Fortunately for Michigan, one of the world’s leading experts on voting machines and election cybersecurity is a professor at the University of Michigan: J. Alex Halderman. Professor Halderman submitted his report to the State on March 26, 2021 and the State has released the report. And here’s what Professor Halderman found: “In October, Antrim changed three ballot designs to correct local contests after the initial designs had already been loaded onto the memory cards that configure the ballot scanners. … [A]ll memory cards should have been updated following the changes. Antrim used the new designs in its election management system and updated the memory cards for one affected township, but it did not update the memory cards for any other scanners.” Here’s what that means: Optical-scan voting machines don’t (generally) read the text of the candidates’ names, they look for an oval filled in at a specific position on the page. The Ballot Definition File tells the voting machine what name corresponds to what position. And also informs the election-management system (EMS) that runs on the county’s election management computers how to interpret the memory cards that transfer results from the voting machines to the central computers.

Full Article: Expert analysis of Antrim County, Michigan

Michigan: Antrim County clerk rejects demand, will use electronic tabulators in election | Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News

Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy will use electronic vote tabulators in the county’s May election, despite demands from county commissioners to rely only on paper ballots and a hand tally of votes. Guy said in a Monday press release that she is obligated by state law to use an electronic voting system because it was selected by the Secretary of State’s office years ago as the “uniform voting system” for every precinct in the state. The state of Michigan requires the use of paper ballots that are fed through electronic voting machines or tabulators, ensuring that Antrim County will have a paper record should the Board of Commissioners request a hand recount to verify the electronic tally after canvassing, Guy said. “Since the county Board of Commissioners does not have the authority to determine which voting system to use in Antrim County, and because as county clerk, I, in consultation with township clerks, have the authority to decide which electronic voting system can be used in Antrim County, I cannot legally hold the May 2021 election with paper ballots counted by hand,” Guy said. Antrim County Board of Commissioners Chairman Terry VanAlstine referred a reporter on Monday to Guy’s press release and declined further comment due to ongoing litigation.

Full Article: Antrim County clerk rejects demand, will use electronic tabulators in election

Dominion: will one Canadian company bring down Trump’s empire of disinformation? | David Smith/The Guardian

Dominion has filed defamation lawsuits against several Trump allies for pushing election ‘radioactive falsehoods’ – could it triumph? When Donald Trump and his allies pushed the “big lie” of voter fraud and a stolen election, it seemed nothing could stop them spreading disinformation with impunity. Politicians and activists’ pleas fell on deaf ears. TV networks and newspapers fact-checked in vain. Social media giants proved impotent. But now a little-known tech company, founded 18 years ago in Canada, has the conspiracy theorists running scared. The key: suing them for defamation, potentially for billions of dollars. “Libel laws may prove to be a very old mechanism to deal with a very new phenomenon of massive disinformation,” said Bob Shrum, a Democratic strategist. “We have all these fact checkers but lots of people don’t care. Nothing else seems to work, so maybe this will.” The David in this David and Goliath story is Dominion Voting Systems, an election machine company named after Canada’s Dominion Elections Act of 1920. Its main offices are in Toronto and Denver and it describes itself as the leading supplier of US election technology. It says it serves more than 40% of American voters, with customers in 28 states. But the 2020 election put a target on its back. As the White House slipped away and Trump desperately pushed groundless claims of voter fraud, his lawyers and cheerleaders falsely alleged Dominion had rigged the polls in favour of Joe Biden. Among the more baroque conspiracy theories was that Dominion changed votes through algorithms in its voting machines that were created in Venezuela to rig elections for the late dictator Hugo Chávez.

Full Article: Dominion: will one Canadian company bring down Trump’s empire of disinformation? | US news | The Guardian

Michigan: Dominion says ex-GOP state senator Patrick Colbeck spread ‘demonstrably false’ election fraud claims | Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post

For months, former Michigan state senator Patrick Colbeck (R) has repeated baseless claims about mass fraud in the presidential election to state senators and pro-Trump crowds, falsely insinuating that rigged voting machines and bogus ballots swayed the results. Now, Colbeck is the latest target in Dominion Voting Systems’ legal battle to combat claims by Republican allies of former president Donald Trump that the company says have damaged its reputation. Last week, Dominion demanded the onetime gubernatorial candidate retract his “demonstrably false claims” about the 2020 election results. “You have now taken your disinformation campaign on the road, touring Michigan,” said a letter sent to Colbeck by lawyers for the election machine company, the Detroit News reported. The letter demanded Colbeck retract statements “falsely blaming Dominion for stealing the election from former President Trump.” Colbeck did not immediately return a request for comment late Sunday. In recent weeks, Dominion has also sued Fox News for airing false statements made by guests on its shows, along with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who repeatedly made such claims on national TV.

Full Article: Dominion says ex-GOP Michigan state senator Patrick Colbeck spread ‘demonstrably false’ election fraud claims – The Washington Post

Ohio: Stark County Board of Elections filed a lawsuit in Ohio Supreme Court | Cassandra Nist/The Canton Repository

The Stark County Board of Elections has followed through on its promise to file a lawsuit against county commissioners for refusing to fund the purchase of Dominion voting machines.The elections board filed the 69-page complaint Friday in the Ohio Supreme Court, and a motion Monday to expedite the case due to a “fast approaching election-related deadline of June 15, 2021.” The board is seeking an order from the Supreme Court directing county commissioners to acquire Dominion Voting Systems Image Cast X machines. The bipartisan elections board unanimously voted to adopt the machines for use in Stark County’s elections nearly four months ago. The machines, according to the complaint, are similar to the voting machines that the county has used since 2005 and competitive in price. The board wanted commissioners to approve upfront funding of about $1.5 million to purchase 1,450 Dominion touchscreen voting machines and other voting equipment. The state is providing another $3.27 million to finance the purchase. However, Commissioners Bill Smith, Richard Regula and Janet Weir Creighton, all Republicans, voted last month against accepting the Dominion recommendation and have questioned the cost.

Full Article: Stark County Board of Elections filed a lawsuit in Ohio Supreme Court