National: How Will the U.S. Combat Election Day Cyberwarfare? With Paper | Kassie Bracken and Alexandra Eaton/The New York Times

The 2016 U.S. election was a game changer for voting technology. Widespread Russian interference in our voting systems spurred new federal scrutiny of the country’s vast and fragmented election infrastructure. Four years later, “The psychological import of what the Russians did may be greater than anything that they actually hacked into, because they have managed to shake the confidence of American voters that their votes will be counted as they cast them,” said David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times. And this lack of trust has led to a renewed examination of the nation’s voting equipment. That, in part, is why some election experts believe that when it comes to the security of election machines, voters should feel more confident than ever in 2020.

National: How officials are protecting the election from ransomware hackers | Patrick Howell O’Neill/MIT Technology Review

Hackers played a significant role in the 2016 election, when the Russian government hacked into the Democratic campaign and ran an information operation that dominated national headlines. American law enforcement, intelligence services, and even Republican lawmakers have concluded, repeatedly, that Moscow sought to interfere with the election in favor of Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in the last four years, ransomware has exploded into a multibillion-dollar business. It’s a type of malware that hackers use to restrict access to data or machines until they’re paid ransoms that can run into the tens of millions of dollars. There’s now a global extortion industry built on the fact that the critical infrastructure and digital systems we rely on are deeply vulnerable. Put those two things together, and you get the nightmare scenario many election security officials are focused on: that ransomware could infect and disrupt election systems in some way, perhaps by targeting voter registration databases on the eve of Election Day. Steps to prevent such attacks are well under way.

National: A ruling against expanding online voting is a win for cybersecurity advocates | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

A federal judge yesterd
ay dismissed a lawsuit that sought to dramatically expand online voting by military service members and other citizens living overseas, halting an effort that critics say could have made the election far more vulnerable to hacking.The overseas voters who brought the suit hail from seven states and said they fear restrictions and slowdowns between the U.S. Postal Service and the postal services where they live raise dangers their ballots won’t arrive in time to be counted. They wanted an option of submitting the ballots as PDF attachments to emails or using a secure fax system managed by the Defense Department. Similar voting methods are available to overseas voters from 30 other states. The ruling underscores how efforts to make voting easier during the pandemic can sometimes clash with efforts to protect the election against foreign interference.

National: Group warns of gaps in election infrastructure | Mark Rockwell/FCW

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cybersecurity agency has worked since 2016 to help states protect their election infrastructure from electronic attack, but it only takes one small breach to dent confidence in the systems, according to a digital rights and technology expert.” There has been a ton of effort from [the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] and others,” said William Adler, senior technologist for elections and democracy at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).” But cybersecurity is an active process. Threats are constantly changing and evolving, so we need to keep making the case that election officials need to prioritize cybersecurity and not be complacent,” he said during a conference call with reporters on Oct. 16. On the call, officials at the technology and digital rights advocacy group explained the variety of threats facing the upcoming elections, from voter suppression, to misinformation about mail-in ballots and cybersecurity.

National: Eight-Hour Waits. Machine Glitches. Why Early Voting in Some States Has Had a Rough Start. | Reid J. Epstein, Stephanie Saul and Manny Fernandez/The New York Times

Virginia’s online voter registration portal crashed on the final day it was available when roadside utility workers cut the wrong cable. Texans waited in long lines on the first day of early voting in their state’s biggest cities, and in one county in the Houston suburbs, a programming error took down all of the voting machines for much of the morning. On Georgia’s second day of early voting, long lines again built up at polling places in the Atlanta suburbs. The hurdles to early voting on Tuesday resulted from a combination of intense voter interest that stressed the capacity of overwhelmed local elections officials and the sort of messiness that has long been common in American elections and which is now under a microscope as concerns over voter suppression and the unprecedented dynamics of voting during a pandemic collide.The long lines in Georgia and Texas illustrate how eager voters are to cast ballots in the 2020 election — particularly, but not only, in Democratic-trending urban and suburban areas. By 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, had smashed its first-day early-voting turnout record. In Gwinnett County, Ga., north of Atlanta, even with the long lines there was a 450 percent increase in first-day early voting compared with 2016, according to Ryan Anderson, who tracks Georgia voting data on the Georgia Votes website.

National: Critical swing states push for ‘simple change’ to make counting mail-in ballots easier | Allan Smith/NBC

There’s a “simple change” that makes counting mail-in votes easier but some critical swing states still don’t allow it. Already, 32 states — under both Democratic and Republican control — allow for the county-level election overseers to begin processing ballots before Election Day— a process known as “pre-canvassing.” But in states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, election officials have not been able to begin doing so until Election Day. Pre-canvassing involves checking the ballots for eligibility, preparing them to be scanned and other manual steps that can be time-consuming. The process does not include counting and tabulating the votes. Election officials, facing record numbers of mail-in ballots, say that if they are able to begin this work before Election Day, they will be able to complete the final vote count much more quickly. President Donald Trump has repeatedly lamented that the counting of ballots may not be completed in some states by the end of Election Day. But pre-canvassing of ballots in those earlier mentioned states will help speed the process, officials said.”It’ll take forever,” Trump said at a new conference last month. “You think Nov. 3? You might not have — I guess, at a certain point, it goes to Congress. You know, at a certain point, it goes to Congress. You know that.”

National: Top Senate Republican pushes back against Trump’s unsubstantiated claims mail-in-voting leads to mass fraud | Manu Raju and Clare Foran/CNN

A Senate GOP leader raised concerns on Wednesday over President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that mail-in-voting leads to mass fraud, arguing that Republicans should instead be encouraging voters to use the method in order to compete in a consequential election that will determine control of Congress and the White House. “Mail-in voting has been used in a lot of places for a long time,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said in the Capitol. “And honestly, we got a lot of folks, as you know, who are investing heavily to try to win that war, it’s always a war too for mail-in ballots. Both sides compete and it’s always an area where I think our side — at least in my experience — has done pretty well.” The South Dakota Republican added, “I don’t want to discourage — I think we want to assure people it’s going to work. It’s secure and if they vote that way, it’s going to count.” The comments come as a range of Republican officials throughout the country have reacted with growing alarm to the President’s attacks on mail-in ballots, saying his unsubstantiated claims of mass voting fraud are already corroding the views of GOP voters, who may ultimately choose not to vote at all if they can’t make it to the polls come November.

National: Coronavirus creates new election threats, experts warn at Black Hat | Laura Hautala/CNET

Election security, meet the coronavirus pandemic. That was the theme of the Black Hat security conference Wednesday, a meeting of cybersecurity experts from around the world that is taking place virtually this year to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The public health emergency will change voting. As a result, voters will have to plan ahead for Election Day, consider participating as a poll worker or other volunteer and be patient for the final tally of votes, said Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. His agency, a department of the US Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for programs to secure elections throughout the US. “Be a part of the solution,” Krebs told the audience of security experts. In a keynote address, cybersecurity expert Matt Blaze made a similar call to action. Blaze noted that US elections officials will have to overcome major logistical hurdles to scale up vote-by-mail options while also creating a surplus of in-person voting locations. With fewer than 100 days until the 2020 presidential election, Blaze said it’s imperative for people with tech knowledge to get involved and ask local election officials what help they need.

National: Republicans Aid Kanye West’s Bid to Get on the 2020 Ballot | Danny Hakim and Maggie Haberman/The New York Times

At least four people who have been active in Republican politics are linked to Kanye West’s attempt to get on the presidential ballot this year. The connection raises questions about the aims of the entertainer’s effort and whether it is regarded within the G.O.P. as a spoiler campaign that could aid President Trump, even as those close to Mr. West have expressed concerns about his mental health as he enters the political arena. One operative, Mark Jacoby, is an executive at a company called Let the Voters Decide, which has been collecting signatures for the West campaign in three states. Mr. Jacoby was arrested on voter fraud charges in 2008 while he was doing work for the California Republican Party, and he later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Mr. Jacoby, in a statement, said his company was nonpartisan and worked for all political parties. “We do not comment on any current clients, but like all Americans, anyone who is qualified to stand for election has the right to run,” he said. New York Magazine reported Monday evening on the campaign’s links to two other people with partisan ties. One is Gregg Keller, the former executive director of the American Conservative Union, who has been listed as a contact for the campaign in Arkansas. Mr. Keller, who did not respond to a message seeking comment, is a Missouri-based strategist. He was under consideration to be Mr. Trump’s campaign manager in 2015, a role that was ultimately filled by Corey Lewandowski, according to a former campaign official.

National: Hackers Get Green Light to Test Election Voting Systems | Robert McMillan and Alexa Corse/Wall Street Journal

Election Systems & Software LLC, the top U.S. seller of voting-machine technology, is calling a truce in its feud with computer-security researchers over the ways they probe for vulnerabilities of the company’s systems. With the U.S. presidential election less than three months away, ES&S Chief Information Security Officer Chris Wlaschin on Wednesday will unveil the company’s outreach effort to security researchers at the annual Black Hat hacker convention that is taking place virtually this year, according to ES&S. Mr. Wlaschin will detail a new vulnerability disclosure policy, which spells out, for example, the “safe harbor” protections that ES&S will provide legitimate researchers if they identify and notify the company of bugs in its systems, ES&S said. Those provisions are standard across many industries, from computer equipment to cars to medical devices, as manufacturers seek outside help to ensure their systems are secure. But the makers of election equipment, ES&S in particular, have been reluctant to allow outside security experts to test their systems, researchers have said. The company’s move follows the Department of Homeland Security last week urging increased cooperation between security researchers, election officials and vendors as it released guidance for election administrators on coordinating to address security vulnerabilities.

National: Trump can’t postpone the election, but officials worry he and the GOP could starve it | Evan Halper/Los Angeles Times

The elections chief in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, Mich., a competitive softball player in her younger days, feels like she’s been pushed back into the batting cage. This time, nobody is giving Tina Barton a bat. “It is like I am just standing there without anything to hit the balls back,” Barton said. “Every day I step in, and something new is coming at me at high speed.” Poll workers quitting. A churn of court decisions throwing election rules into tumult. A COVID-19 outbreak at City Hall that could sideline her department at a critical moment. The viral pandemic has put the nation’s election system under a level of stress with little precedent. And, although figures in both parties rejected President Trump’s suggestion of postponing the November election when he flirted with the idea Thursday, they haven’t provided the money that officials like Barton need to get ready for it. The House months ago approved $3.6 billion to aid local and state elections officials in dealing with an expected flood of mail-in ballots this fall, something that threatens to overwhelm elections officials in states where voting by mail is a relative novelty. The money has stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate — part of the larger stalemate over a new round of help for people and businesses devastated by the economic impact of the pandemic.

National: Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November | Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Jacob Bogage/The Washington Post

The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country after a top Trump donor running the agency put in place new procedures described as cost-cutting efforts, alarming postal workers who warn that the policies could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election. As President Trump ramps up his unfounded attacks on mail balloting as being susceptible to widespread fraud, postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by Trump fundraiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting. The backlog comes as the president, who is trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the polls, has escalated his efforts to cast doubt about the integrity of the November vote, which is expected to yield record numbers of mail ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Trump floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 general election, a notion that was widely condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. He has repeatedly gone after the Postal Service, recently suggesting that the agency cannot be trusted to deliver ballots.

National: Ransomware feared as possible saboteur for November election | Eric Tucker, Christina A. Cassidy and Frank Bajak/Associated Press

Federal authorities say one of the gravest threats to the November election is a well-timed ransomware attack that could paralyze voting operations. The threat isn’t just from foreign governments, but any fortune-seeking criminal. Ransomware attacks targeting state and local governments have been on the rise, with cyber criminals seeking quick money by seizing data and holding it hostage until they get paid. The fear is that such attacks could affect voting systems directly or even indirectly, by infecting broader government networks that include electoral databases. Even if a ransomware attack fails to disrupt elections, it could nonetheless rattle confidence in the vote. On the spectrum of threats from the fantastical to the more probable, experts and officials say ransomware is a particularly realistic possibility because the attacks are already so pervasive and lucrative. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have issued advisories to local governments, including recommendations for preventing attacks. “From the standpoint of confidence in the system, I think it is much easier to disrupt a network and prevent it from operating than it is to change votes,” Adam Hickey, a Justice Department deputy assistant attorney general, said in an interview. The scenario is relatively simple: Plant malware on multiple networks that affect voter registration databases and activate it just before an election. Or target vote-reporting and tabulation systems.

National: Despite virus threat, Black voters wary of voting by mail | Corey Williams/Associated Press

Despite fears that the coronavirus pandemic will worsen, Victor Gibson said he’s not planning to take advantage of Michigan’s expanded vote-by-mail system when he casts his ballot in November. The retired teacher from Detroit just isn’t sure he can trust it. Many Black Americans share similar concerns and are planning to vote in person on Election Day, even as mail-in voting expands to more states as a safety precaution during the pandemic. For many, historical skepticism of a system that tried to keep Black people from the polls and worries that a mailed ballot won’t get counted outweigh the prospect of long lines and health dangers from a virus that’s disproportionately affected communities of color. Ironically, suspicion of mail-in voting aligns with the views of President Donald Trump, whom many Black voters want out of office. Trump took it a step further Tuesday, suggesting a “delay” to the Nov. 3 presidential election — which would take an act of Congress — as he made unsubstantiated allegations in a tweet that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud. “I would never change my mind” about voting in person in November, said Gibson, who is Black and hopes Trump loses. “I always feel better sliding my ballot in. We’ve heard so many controversies about missing absentee ballots.”

National: House Republicans introduce legislation to give states $400 million for elections | Maggie Miller/The Hill

A group of House Republicans on Monday introduced legislation that would appropriate $400 million to states to address election challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Assistance for Safe Elections (EASE) Act would designate $200 million to assist with sanitizing in-person polling stations and purchasing personal protective equipment, while a further $100 million would go towards recruiting and training new poll workers, following a nationwide shortage of workers due to the pandemic. The final $100 million would be appropriated for states to maintain the accuracy of their voter registration lists. Other provisions in the bill include measures to increase the cybersecurity of the elections process, including establishing an election cyber assistance unit at the Election Assistance Commission, and updating voluntary voting system guidelines established by the Help America Vote Act to cover next-generation voting technology, such as e-pollbooks.

National: As Trump leans into attacks on mail voting, GOP officials confront signs of Republican turnout crisis | Amy Gardner/The Washington Post

President Trump’s unfounded attacks on mail balloting are discouraging his own supporters from embracing the practice, according to polls and Republican leaders across the country, prompting growing alarm that one of the central strategies of his campaign is threatening GOP prospects in November. Multiple public surveys show a growing divide between Democrats and Republicans about the security of voting by mail, with Republicans saying they are far less likely to trust it in November. In addition, party leaders in several states said they are encountering resistance among GOP voters who are being encouraged to vote absentee while also seeing the president describe mail voting as “rigged” and “fraudulent.” As a result, state and local Republicans across the country fear they are falling dramatically behind in a practice that is expected to be key to voter turnout this year. Through mailers and Facebook ads, they are racing to promote absentee balloting among their own. In the process, some Republican officials have tried to draw a distinction between “absentee ballots,” which Trump claims are secure, and “mail ballots,” which he has repeatedly attacked. The terms are typically used interchangeably.

National: Republicans Reject Trump’s Suggestion to Delay Election, Something He Cannot Do | The New York Times

Top Republicans on Thursday rejected President Trump’s suggestion that the Nov. 3 general election be delayed — something he has no authority to order. “Never in the history of the federal elections have we not held an election and we should go forward,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, adding that he understood “the president’s concern about mail-in voting.” Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, declined to answer questions on Capitol Hill, but dismissed Mr. Trump’s suggestion in an interview with WNKY television in Bowling Green, Ky. “Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions, and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3,” Mr. McConnell said. “We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled.” Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, 2016 rivals for the Republican presidential nomination who have since become staunch Trump supporters, both dismissed the idea that Election Day could change. Senator Lindsey Graham, Mr. Trump’s foremost public defender in the Senate, said there would be a safe vote in November. And officials in key swing states showed little interest in engaging on the topic. “We’re going to have an election, it’s going to be legitimate, it’s going to be credible, it’s going to be the same as it’s always been,” Mr. Rubio told reporters at the Capitol in Washington. Mr. Cruz agreed. “I think election fraud is a serious problem,” he said. “But no, we should not delay the election.” Even for Mr. Trump, suggesting a delay in the election is an extraordinary breach of presidential decorum that will increase the chances that he and his core supporters don’t accept the legitimacy of the election should he lose to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

National: Trump refuses to back down on suggestion of election delay | Quint Forgey, Zach Montellaro and Caitlin Oprysko/Politico

President Donald Trump on Thursday refused to back down from his suggestion earlier in the day that the November general election be postponed, repeating unsubstantiated predictions of widespread voter fraud amid the coronavirus pandemic and saying that large numbers of mail-in ballots might mean “you never even know who won the election.” The president’s extraordinary proposal, which he is not constitutionally empowered to enforce, represented his first attempt at floating a suspension of the election less than 100 days away. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump wrote on Twitter in the morning. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Hours later, he appeared to launch a partial clean-up of the suggestion after it was roundly rejected by members of his own party. “Glad I was able to get the very dishonest LameStream Media to finally start talking about the RISKS to our Democracy from dangerous Universal Mail-In-Voting” Trump said Thursday afternoon, reiterating that he “totally” supports absentee voting. The president added that in his view it was imperative to find out who won the election on election night, “not days, months, or even years later,” as some election experts have indeed warned that a drastic surge in mail-in ballots might mean a close race isn’t called on the evening of Nov. 3.

National: Trump floats idea of delaying the November election, a power granted to Congress, as he ramps up attacks on voting by mail | Amy Gardner and John Wagner/The Washington Post

President Trump drew immediate rebukes from Republicans and Democrats alike on Thursday after floating the prospect of delaying the November election and claiming without evidence that widespread mail balloting would be a “catastrophic disaster” leading to fraudulent results. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump gave no indication that he will push for the date change — or that he thinks he has the power to do so. The U.S. Constitution gives the power to regulate the “time, place and manner” of general elections to the U.S. House and Senate, with Congress also empowered to alter the rules. States control the dates of primary elections. Nowhere is the president granted such power. In addition, the Constitution spells out a hard end to a president’s and vice president’s terms on Jan. 20 in the year following a presidential election. “The President has no power to change the date of the election,” said Richard L. Hasen, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine. “This is yet another statement by the President which undermines voter confidence and that seeks without evidence to undermine the legitimacy of voting by mail.” Democrats and Republicans alike quickly condemned the president’s tweet, many expressing alarm at the president’s apparent disregard for the limits of his power.

National: Trump floats idea of election delay, a virtual impossibility | Zeke Miller and Colleen Long/Associated Press

President Donald Trump, lagging in the polls and grappling with deepening economic and public health crises, on Thursday floated the startling idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election. His campaign to sow doubt about the election’s outcome drew immediate pushback from Democrats and Republicans alike in a nation that has held itself up as a beacon to the world for its history of peaceful transfer of power. Trump suggested the delay as he pushed unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic would result in fraud. But shifting Election Day is virtually impossible and the very idea represented another bracing attempt by Trump to undermine confidence in the American political system. The date of the presidential election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year — is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change. Top Republicans in Congress quickly rebuffed Trump’s suggestion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the election date is set in stone and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said the election “should go forward” as planned. Regardless, the Constitution makes no provisions for a delay in the end of Trump’s term — noon on Jan. 20, 2021.

National: GOP Leaders Rebuff Trump’s Suggestion of Delaying Election | Tarini Parti and Alex Leary/Wall Street Journal

President Trump floated the idea of delaying the November presidential election for the first time in a tweet Thursday until a time when “people can properly, securely and safely vote,” prompting top Republicans and Democrats in Congress to swiftly dismiss the idea. A record number of Americans are expected to vote by mail in the November election because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Mr. Trump said Thursday that an election that allowed universal mail-in voting would lead to inaccurate and fraudulent results and would be “a great embarrassment” for the country. The date of the election can only be changed by Congress, and lawmakers from both parties—including some of the president’s closest allies—said changing the date wasn’t an option. “We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said in an interview with WNKY TV in Bowling Green, Ky. Election Day in the U.S. was fixed as the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 by an act of Congress in 1845 and would require new legislation for it to be delayed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) responded to Mr. Trump’s tweet Thursday with a tweet quoting an excerpt from Article II, Section I of the Constitution stating that the authority to set election dates is held by Congress. Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) also rejected moving the election date.

National: Trump can’t delay the election. But his tweet is terrifying | Erwin Chemerinsky/Los Angeles Times

Once again, President Trump has shown his ignorance of the Constitution and federal law in raising the question on Twitter of whether the November presidential election should be delayed. To be clear, President Trump has absolutely no legal authority to do this. The date for the election is set by federal statute and can be changed only by Congress. But that didn’t stop Trump from tweeting on Thursday morning, “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The president, who is significantly down in the polls, clearly does not want the election to be held in November, and it’s hard not to interpret his tweet as a blatant, if desperate, attempt to stay in office past the end of his term. Thankfully, the Constitution gives him no way to do this. The Constitution explicitly gives to Congress the power to set the date for national elections. For the first half-century of American history, each state set its own election date and balloting for the presidential election stretched out over six months.

National: ‘We will not allow you’: Governors slam Trump for floating delay of presidential election | Joey Garrison/USA Today

Democratic and Republican governors Thursday swiftly denounced President Donald Trump’s suggestion the November presidential election be delayed, defending the legitimacy of voting by mail and assuring voters the election will take place Nov. 3. The blowback from the state level added to the chorus of bipartisan criticism nationally that followed Trump’s tweet in which he warned mail-in voting would lead to the most “INACCURATE AND FRAUDULENT Election in history” before posing the question: “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, fired back at the president in a series of tweets: “@realDonaldTrump, Illinois will hold our election as required by law on November 3rd.” Pritzker called the right to vote “essential,” adding that’s why he signed a law to expand vote-by-mail and make elections in Illinois safer during the coronavirus pandemic.  “The President cannot move an election,” Pritzker said. “We will not allow you to undermine the foundations of our democracy. Everyone: keep November 3 on your calendar.”

National: Study finds election officials vulnerable to cyberattacks | Maggie Miller/The Hill

Election administrators across the country are vulnerable to cyberattacks that originate through malicious phishing emails, a report released Monday found. The report, compiled by cybersecurity group Area 1 Security, found that over 50 percent of election administrators have “only rudimentary or non-standard technologies” to protect against malicious emails from cyber criminals, with less than 30 percent using basic security controls to halt phishing emails. The study also found that around 5 percent of election administrators use personal emails, which are seen as less secure than government emails, and some election administrators use a custom email infrastructure known to have been targeted by Russian military hackers during prior elections. Email phishing is a key way hackers infiltrate networks, with hackers attempting to trick individuals into clicking on malicious links or attachments or providing sensitive information in other ways that allows the hacker to access a network. Area 1 Security noted that 90 percent of cyberattacks begin with a phishing email.

National: Senate GOP Coronavirus Package Omits Additional Elections Funding | Alexa Corse and Lindsay Wise/Wall Street Journal

Senate Republicans didn’t include any new funding to help states and local governments to administer elections in their latest coronavirus aid package, setting up a fight over the issue in coming negotiations with Democrats. House Democrats in May proposed sending $3.6 billion to state and local officials to help them hold elections during the pandemic, which has prompted many areas to expand vote-by-mail options and invest in protective equipment for poll workers. Democrats also called for a nationwide vote-by-mail option and a guarantee of 15 days of early voting, among other requirements. Republicans point out that they have already given $400 million to help overcome coronavirus-related election challenges in the Cares Act, which passed in March, and that they are opposed to mandating new voting procedures. “We’ve already appropriated an awful lot of money for election assistance,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday. “What we’re not going to do is federalize the American election system, which is basically conducted in every single state in very different ways.”

National: Senate GOP Coronavirus Package Omits Additional Elections Funding | Alexa Corse and Lindsay Wise/Wall Street Journal

Senate Republicans didn’t include any new funding to help states and local governments to administer elections in their latest coronavirus aid package, setting up a fight over the issue in coming negotiations with Democrats. House Democrats in May proposed sending $3.6 billion to state and local officials to help them hold elections during the pandemic, which has prompted many areas to expand vote-by-mail options and invest in protective equipment for poll workers. Democrats also called for a nationwide vote-by-mail option and a guarantee of 15 days of early voting, among other requirements. Republicans point out that they have already given $400 million to help overcome coronavirus-related election challenges in the Cares Act, which passed in March, and that they are opposed to mandating new voting procedures. “We’ve already appropriated an awful lot of money for election assistance,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday. “What we’re not going to do is federalize the American election system, which is basically conducted in every single state in very different ways.”

National: Donald Trump calls for delay to US presidential election | Suzanne Lynch/The Irish Times

US president Donald Trump has suggested that November’s presidential election should be delayed, citing unsubstantiated concerns about postal voting. With just over three months to the election, Mr Trump tweeted on Thursday: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRADULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The date of the US election is set in statute. The election must take place every four years on “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November.” Additionally, the US Constitution gives Congress – and not the president – power to regulate elections. The election must take place every four years on “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November”.

National: Donald Trump calls for delay to US presidential election | Suzanne Lynch/The Irish Times

US president Donald Trump has suggested that November’s presidential election should be delayed, citing unsubstantiated concerns about postal voting. With just over three months to the election, Mr Trump tweeted on Thursday: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRADULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The date of the US election is set in statute. The election must take place every four years on “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November.” Additionally, the US Constitution gives Congress – and not the president – power to regulate elections. The election must take place every four years on “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November”.

National: Ransomware continues to be election-security fear for local officials | Benjamin Freed/StateScoop

The 2020 presidential election has already been upended by a disastrous pandemic that’s forced states to re-evaluate the methods by which people will vote this year. But election administrators, especially at the local level, must still contented with digital threats, like ransomware attacks, that could potentially disrupt voting infrastructure and create chaos on or after Nov. 3, county officials were warned last week during a webinar. The hourlong event, hosted by the National Association of Counties, laid out what a ransomware attack could do to a county’s ability to safely and accurately carry out an election. Ryan Macias, a former technology specialist with the federal Election Assistance Commission who is now an election security consultant to the Department of Homeland Security, laid out a pair of unsettling scenarios. “Picture it being National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 22, and your entire voter registration database is locked up,” he said. “Picture [on Nov. 3] that you’re getting to 8 p.m., close of polls, and you see a message that says: ‘Your system is locked up and you have no results for this election unless you pay us a ransom.’”