National: America’s aging voting machines managed to survive another election | The Conversation

During this year’s voting, the vast majority of states used outdated voting machines perilously close to the end of their projected lifespan. Back in April, we warned that 42 states use machines that are at least a decade old. Given that a high percentage of these machines have projected lifespans of between 10 and 15 years, we argued something needs to be done soon to prevent a real crisis. We also pointed out, though, that the fact that the machines are aging does not mean they will all break down at once. Fortunately, on Election Day, most Americans were able to vote on machines that functioned properly, though in a few areas like Detroit, problems were widespread. In addition, election officials were well-prepared. Keenly aware of the potential problems associated with using antiquated equipment during a high-turnout election, they were generally able to keep voting going smoothly when problems did arise. Still, the failures that we did see serve as a warning of how bad things could get if we don’t replace our aging voting equipment soon. In a 2010 report, one state’s Department of Legislative Services found that the “nature and frequency of equipment failure beyond the manufacturer’s life expectancy cannot be predicted.” As machines approach the 15-year mark, we are likely to see progressively worse and more frequent problems.

National: Hack the vote: Did a 4chan attack help rig the election for Trump? | Salon

Although Donald Trump liked to claim the election was rigged against him, an anonymous hacker on 4chan may have literally helped rig the election against Hillary Clinton. On Sunday night, a post 4chan’s /pol/ board declared that it would perform a denial-of-service attack on any tools used by the Clinton campaign using a Mirai botnet code. This was not the first time 4chan had intervened in the campaign to help Trump and hurt Clinton, most notably in October when a 4channer used the password to John Podesta’s iPhone (as published by WikiLeaks) to locate and remotely wipe the device. “List targets here that if taken out could harm Clinton’s chances of winning and I will pounce on them like a wild animal,” the post, written by someone dubbed Sparky, proclaimed. “Not sleeping until after this election is over.”

National: How Much Election Day Costs the Country—and Voters | TIME

Of all the costs associated with the 2016 presidential election, perhaps none are bigger than the prices we’ve all paid in terms of the loss of dignity and common decency, as well as respect for our political process. Of course, there are other, more quantifiable costs, such as the $300+ million spent by candidates who ultimately lost in the primaries, and billions spent by the campaigns for the two major party winners, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But what about the expenses rung up while actually holding the elections? Here’s a look at some of the numbers that give an indication of the costs incurred by American businesses, local governments, and voters themselves every Election Day.

1-3 Number of hours that employers are required by law to give workers off in order to vote in the majority of states, according to info gathered by The rules vary widely, though, and often only require time off if the local polls are not open before or after the worker’s shift. Sometimes the employee must give advance notice too: In New York, for example, workers who give the boss a heads up are entitled to up to two hours off work, paid, if the polls aren’t open for at least four hours before or after your shift. The requirement is hardly universal, mind you. There are no voter leave laws in Washington, D.C., and 19 states.

National: Fears of hacked election ebb in quiet, watchful night | USA Today

Despite concerns about possible attempts to hack or otherwise tamper with the U.S. election, voting appears to have gone smoothly, with no attacks or intrusions. The Department of Homeland Security said it had no reports of election-related cyber breaches. … “All the discussions this year about security gave states another measure of protection,” said Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates for elections accuracy. That work also helped minimize the effects caused by breakdowns of voting machines or crashes of registration databases. In Smith’s experience, the resiliency of the voting system after something goes wrong is what keeps small problems small. For example in Colorado, the state’s electronic voter registration system went down for 29 minutes, from 2:47 p.m. to 3:16 p.m. local time, according to Secretary of State’s spokeswoman Lynn Bartels. Voting continued during the outage, though while the registration system was out, clerks were not be able to process mail-in ballots and in-person voters had to use provisional ballots. Once the system was back up and running normal voting resumed. “It’s very possible that things like what happened in Colorado could have been worse had there not been this emphasis on checking these systems. Instead of it being 29 minutes it could have been much longer,” Verified Voting’s Smith said.

National: Voter hotline expects to rack up record number of calls | TMN

The largest nonpartisan voter hotline is expecting to receive a record number of calls regarding problems at polling stations across the nation. “In Texas we have seen confusion across the board in regards to the ID requirements that are in place for voters. In Florida we have received an uptick in the number of voter intimidation complaints,” Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said at news conference in Washington, D.C. The Election Protection Hotline, staffed by more than 8,000 volunteers, fielded about 5,500 calls by 9:30 am EST before all the polls were even open. As of 2:30 p.m., Clarke said the center received at least 20,000 calls. The states with the highest call volume were Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York. (Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are swing states.) Calls included voters reporting intimidation, late polling-location openings, and confusion by poll workers as to the identification required for different states.

National: Millions on Election Day Make a Different Decision: Not Voting | The New York Times

As one of the most divisive and least predictable campaign seasons in memory came to an end on Tuesday, millions of Americans from all walks of life took part in a time-honored national tradition: They did not vote. Some people were barred from voting by law, and others were effectively blocked by the obstacles put up by new restrictions or stalled by the memories of bad experiences the last time around. For others, child-care and work demands proved too difficult to juggle with going to a polling place. Some decided not to cast a ballot on principle. But there were plenty who just could not be bothered with the whole business. “Part of it is laziness,” said Charlene Petrillo, 47, standing behind a meat counter in Lake Geneva, Wis., and acknowledging that she had been stirred by campaigns before, like President Obama’s, but had never actually gone through with the actual voting part. “I don’t want to stand in line with a hundred thousand people.”

National: Hillary Clinton will gain votes after Election Night. Here’s why. | The Washington Post

Most Americans assume that by the wee hours of tomorrow, the national media will declare (unofficially, but still decisively) either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump our next president. Of course, the 2000 election showed that the result might not be settled so quickly. Considering how tight the polls have been, one or two battleground states may be too close to call Wednesday morning. That would be good news for Hillary Clinton’s chances. She’ll probably take more of the mail-in and provisional ballots that can’t be counted until the days and weeks after the election. Whatever her vote share tonight, it will probably increase in the weeks to come. Let us explain. For election administrators, 2000 was a wake-up call. Prompted by the controversial Bush v. Gore decision, states created uniform counting standards, which had been contested during the Florida recount. Reforms include safeguards that protect voters whose names were improperly removed (or never added) to registration lists, and procedures to ensure overseas citizens’ and service members’ votes will be handled equitably. But some of those election administration changes make it much more likely that millions of votes won’t be counted until the days and weeks following Election Day.

National: Suppression of the Black Vote Is No Relic | The New Yorker

At several points during this campaign, Barack Obama has urged voters to support Hillary Clinton not because of her long experience, or because of his estimation that Donald Trump is “uniquely unqualified” for the Presidency, but in order to preserve his own legacy. He said this most explicitly at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual dinner, in September, where he implored African-Americans to back the Democratic candidate. “After we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult—an insult to my legacy—if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” Obama said. “You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote.” Obama’s two Presidential campaigns were defined in part by the black voters they brought to the polls. In both 2008 and 2012, African-American women voted at a higher rate than any other demographic group in the country. In recent months, Obama has been asking those voters to preserve the work of his Administration: Trump has promised to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Iran deal. But, aside from his desire to protect those policies, by appealing to black voters to go to the polls he was also asking them to counter a new effort to suppress the black vote, which grew in strength during his Presidency.

National: Most U.S. voters use electronic or optical-scan ballots | Pew Research Center

While more than 46 million Americans already have cast their votes this year, 80 million or so more will be voting on Election Day itself. If you’re one of them, there’s a good chance you’ll use one of two basic forms of voting technology to record your choices: optical-scan ballots, in which voters fill in bubbles, complete arrows or make other machine-readable marks on paper ballots; or direct-recording electronic (DRE) devices, such as touch screens, that record votes in computer memory. Nearly half of registered voters (47%) live in jurisdictions that use only optical-scan as their standard voting system, and about 28% live in DRE-only jurisdictions, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Verified Voting Foundation, a nongovernmental organization concerned with the impact of new voting technologies on election integrity. Another 19% of registered voters live in jurisdictions where both optical-scan and DRE systems are in use.

National: Why Not Paper Ballots? America’s Weird History of Voting Machines | LiveScience

Americans heading to the polls today (Nov. 8) might vote using punch-card ballots, optically scanned paper ballots (which are generally handwritten) or computerized systems that record votes. In a few districts (mostly small and rural), voters might fill out an old-fashioned paper ballot and put it in a box. Those who voted before 2010 might remember the old lever machines. In the U.S., the hodgepodge of voting methods has a long and odd history, one determined by the sometimes conflicting needs of counting votes accurately, preventing election fraud and checking the accuracy of total counts. Because voting procedures are left up to individual states, it gets even more complicated, according to Warren Stewart, communications director at Verified Voting, a nonpartisan group that tracks voting technologies.

National: Voters Facing Long Lines, Voting Machine Problems in States | Associated Press

Despite Donald Trump’s continued skepticism that the election was on the up-and-up, few voters who went to the polls Tuesday encountered problems — and even then, most of the trouble involved the usual machine breakdowns and long lines. The run-up to the vote was fraught, with unsupported claims by the Republican presidential candidate of a rigged election and fears that hackers might attack voting systems. He reiterated his claims on Election Day, after his campaign announced it was seeking an investigation in the battleground state of Nevada over reports that some early voting locations had allowed people to join lines to vote after polls were scheduled to close. Asked on Fox News if he would accept Tuesday’s results, Trump continued to demur. “We’re going to see how things play out today and hopefully they will play out well and hopefully we won’t have to worry about it,” he said. Later in the interview, he said, “It’s largely a rigged system.”

National: Trump seizes on isolated glitches to fuel ‘rigged’ election claims | Politico

Long lines, computer glitches and other isolated problems marked Election Day 2016, a far cry from the widespread chaos, cyber-assault, vote-rigging and voter intimidation that had been predicted by both sides for months. At least four counties in the battleground state of Pennsylvania reported malfunctions with their controversial electronic voting machines, giving Donald Trump evidence to level his charge that the presidential election isn’t happening on the up and up. But the problems in Pennsylvania, according to Democrats, some Republicans and many computer scientists who know these aging voting machines best, are not out of the ordinary. What’s more, they insisted no votes have ultimately been miscounted. “Things are moving well, “said Will Estrada, chairman of Virginia’s Loduoun County, which includes the Washington D.C. suburbs. “We’re almost afraid to jinx ourselves candidly because it’s gone smoothly,” added Alex Triantafillou, chairman of Ohio’s Hamilton County, home of Cincinnati. Indeed, even Republican chairmen in three crucial battleground counties told POLITICO that everything was running smoothly through early afternoon – with no significant concerns about fraud, irregularities or vote-rigging.

National: Americans can vote from space, so why not from U.S. island territories? | CBC

An American orbiting in outer space can vote, but four million citizens and nationals living on U.S. soil have been left behind. While NASA astronaut Kate Rubins cast her ballot last month from the International Space Station, around 350 kilometres above planet Earth, those living in the five American island territories in Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico will not be able to vote to elect their next president. Territorial residents have some of the highest military enlistment rates, yet many have no say when it comes to deciding their next commander-in-chief.

National: Here Are All the Ways That Technology Could Screw Up Today’s Election | MIT Technology Review

As millions of people head to polling stations to cast their votes, there can be no denying that today will have its fair share of drama—and much of it could be influenced by technology. For one thing, hackers could send polling stations into chaos. They probably won’t mess with your ballot, though—if they do try to skew results, it would be by tampering with voter registration information. So if you turn up to the booths and are unable to cast your vote, there’s a chance that hackers are to blame. Then there’s the issue of Internet voting. In total, 31 states use the Internet to collect votes in some way—and in Alaska, anyone’s allowed to vote through a website. That’s despite the fact that it’s demonstrably a risky practice, open to hacking and manipulation.

National: US election: Experts keep watch over ‘hack states’ | BBC

The concern that the 2016 US presidential election may be hacked, by Russia or some other bad actor, could hold the same place in history as the Millennium Bug: a whole load of worry over nothing. “Unless the election is extraordinarily close, it is unlikely that an attack will result in the wrong candidate getting elected,” suggest Matt Bernhard and Professor J Alex Halderman, security experts from the University of Michigan. But they say the risk the election process could be disrupted by hackers should be taken extremely seriously. In the run up to the big day, the US Department of Homeland Security has been carrying out “cyber hygiene” tests on voting systems across the country. Officials are confident in the technology, but there are weaknesses that have security professionals standing-by on election day ready to step-in if irregularities are spotted.

National: Fear Is Driving Voting Rights Advocates and Vigilantes to Watch Polling Stations | The New York Times

Millions of Americans will cast their ballots on Tuesday under intense scrutiny both from vigilantes who fear the election will be rigged and from thousands of voting rights advocates who fear the tally will be distorted by intimidation and, perhaps, the suppression of a minority vote that may be crucial to the outcome. On one side are groups like the Oath Keepers, one of dozens of right-wing and militia groups responding to Donald J. Trump’s warnings about a stolen election. The organization has issued a nationwide “call to action” to its members, urging them to go “incognito” to polling stations on Election Day to “hunt down” instances of fraud. On the other side are more than 100 civic and legal groups, claiming at least 10,000 volunteers, and perhaps many more. They plan to deploy at polling places nationwide to watch for signs of voter intimidation and other roadblocks to voting. Election officials and observers say they are hoping for an orderly final day of voting, but they are girding for the possibility of fights, intimidation and, perhaps, worse. Adding to the anxiety is fear of Election Day hacking, perhaps by foreign interests. “I would say this is the most frightening election period I can remember in my adult life,” said Richard L. Hasen, an election law expert and professor at the University of California, Irvine.

National: Here’s how hackers can wreak havoc on Election Day | Recode

Whatever the outcome Tuesday, there’s one thing that could very well happen: Accusations that the election has been rigged and the results falsified. This is extremely unlikely — voter fraud is more rare than being struck by lightning, according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice. But the 2016 presidential race has been riddled with leaks perpetrated by hackers who wormed their way into servers to try to undermine the election. And though there’s little precedent, the truth is that interference by hackers tomorrow is totally possible. That doesn’t mean hackers are necessarily able to alter the election results, but they could sow fear and mayhem that lead to claims of rigging after Election Day. Here’s how. “Most voting systems are not designed to be connected to the internet for their operation, and because of that there’s no easy remote way in,” said Pamela Smith of, a nonpartisan group that promotes accuracy and transparency at the polls. Officials like to point out that this is a security feature. But, Smith says, that doesn’t rule out concern for an insider threat.

National: Security vendor demonstrates hack of U.S. e-voting machine | Computerworld

A hacker armed with a $25 PCMCIA card can, within a few minutes, change the vote totals on an aging electronic voting machine that is now in limited use in 13 U.S. states, a cybersecurity vendor has demonstrated. The hack by security vendor Cylance — which released a video of it Friday — caught the attention of noted National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, but other critics of e-voting security dismissed the vulnerability as nothing new. The Cylance hack demonstrated a theoretical vulnerability described in research going back a decade, the company noted. The hack is “not surprising,” Pamela Smith, president of elections security advocacy group Verified Voting, said by email. “The timing of the release is a little odd.” … The Cylance demonstration was “not new and badly timed,” said Joe Kiniry, a security researcher and CEO at Free and Fair, an election technology developer. “This kind of attack has been demonstrated on almost all of the widely deployed machines used today.”

National: Vulnerable Voting Machines Yet Another IoT Device to Secure | eSecurity Planet

This election season, voting machine security is probably not top of mind. After all, 75 percent of votes cast in the United States use paper ballots, and many electronic machines print a ballot to maintain a paper trail. However, according to Pamela Smith, president of election integrity organization Verified Voting, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina use electronic voting machines. If connected to a network, a voting machine could be yet another device that needs to be secured. For instance, hackers could likely intercept signals from an electronic voting machine connected to the network, similar to how hackers could intercept a user’s data when he or she connects to public Wi-Fi. Earlier this year, the FBI issued an alert requesting that states contact their Board of Elections and determine if any suspicious activity had been detected in their logs, following the hacking of two state election boards, one of which resulted in data being stolen. This led to ongoing speculation as to whether tomorrow’s election will be hacked.

National: US Election Systems Seen ‘Painfully Vulnerable’ to Cyberattack | VoA News

In the waning days of his campaign to win the White House, Donald Trump has been warning his supporters that the presidential vote is being “rigged” against the Republicans and in favor of rival Hillary Clinton, a Democrat. … Trump campaign officials have been quick to clarify that when Trump talks about “rigging,” he’s usually referring to what he sees as media bias against his candidacy. But all the talk of election irregularities has elevated concerns among some Americans about the security of their votes — and perhaps in one regard, with good reason. … Elections in the U.S. are run individually by the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Secretaries of state, both Republicans and Democrats, insist their systems are secure. That message was recently echoed by Thomas Hicks, chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, who told members of the U.S. House of Representatives, “There’s no national system that a hacker or a bad actor can infiltrate to affect the American elections as a whole.” Hicks’ views are not shared among many cyber researchers. “I’m pretty worried,” said J. Alex Halderman, director of the Center for Computer Security and Society at the University of Michigan. “We’re facing some pretty serious threats when it comes to security and elections. I’m quite worried that in an election soon we’ll see real attacks that will either try to disrupt the election or possibly would try to change votes.”

National: Your Government Isn’t That Worried About An Election Day Cyberattack | WIRED

Over the past few months, an escalating series of attacks on computer networks—many of them inflicted by something called the Mirai botnet, which uses a web of infected DVRs, webcams, and other “smart” devices to drown targeted websites in traffic—have wrought unprecedented havoc all over the world. Experts have speculated that these distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks are a “rehearsal” for something bigger. Meanwhile Russian hackers have been busy throwing monkey wrenches into the American presidential election, breaking into the computers of the Democratic National Committee this summer and (it seems) leaking emails from John Podesta, a high-level aide to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The confluence of these two threats—a super-powerful botnet and the specter of Russian influence on the contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—has stoked fears of a massive cyberattack that could upend the vote on November 8. So, yes, the government and the cybersecurity industry are on high alert. “A lot of actors will try to take advantage of a high-profile event to cause trouble or raise their profiles,” says Ian Gray, a cyber intelligence analyst for Flashpoint, which has been at the center of monitoring and mitigating attacks by Mirai. But intelligence does not point to a connection between the autumn spree of DDOS attacks and a state-sponsored effort to hack the election itself. And government officials say they don’t believe an attack is likely to black out some massive chunk of the internet in order to wreak political havoc on Tuesday.

National: When Voting Machines Misbehave | Bloomberg

Interference by hackers is just one of the nightmare scenarios that worry computer scientists about the upcoming election. The other is a race so close that calling the result is beyond the capacity of today’s voting technology. Experts who’ve delved into the accuracy of these apparatuses — from punch cards and mechanical levers to electronic voting machines — say that no system is perfect. In most cases the error rates are unknown, or are only measured in artificial test settings and not as they would be used in the real world. Computer scientist Douglas Jones of the University of Iowa, who co-authored the book “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?,” came to realize that voters usually blame themselves when something goes wrong in the voting booth — a tendency that could mask intentional hacking or equipment error. When Jones set up experiments with electronic voting machines rigged to switch votes away from the subjects’ choices, the people casting ballots assumed they had done something wrong. “People tend to trust the machines,” he said — even when the machines don’t work. Electronic voting machines use proprietary software, making it hard for outside researchers to get a measure of their error rates, according to computer scientist Rebecca Mercuri, founder of the company Notable Software and an expert on electronic voting systems. “In polling they say the results are plus or minus 3 points or so, but they don’t say that about voting machines,” she said. “If it’s a really close election, you’re looking at a crapshoot.”

National: Cyberattacks on Election Day Might Not Happen, But If They Do They’ll be Denials of Service and Disinformation | WIRED

Hacks, sata leaks, and disinformation have all added to the chaos of one of the most contentious elections in history. US intelligence agencies have even accused Russia of perpetrating some portion of the digital meddling. And now reports indicate that officials are preparing for worst-case cybersecurity scenarios on November 8. But what might those election day digital threats realistically look like? Government officials and the media have been worried over the possibilities of attacks that might hack voting machines, leak last-minute November surprises about candidates, or even sabotage the power grid. But ask the cybersecurity community, and they’ll tell you the easiest way to hack the election is a simpler, two-pronged attack: Black out sources of real information and spread disinformation. “They’re going to try to influence this election further using a combination of things like additional leaks, DDoS attacks, and targeting the media,” says Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence at the security firm CrowdStrike. “What better way to destabilize a country without a shot being fired than by leveraging these various tools to play with people?”

National: Spread of Early Voting Is Forging New Habits and Campaign Tactics | The New York Times

In 1977, a flood control measure on the ballot in Monterey, Calif., became what historians say was the first modern American election decided by people who voted before Election Day. It was a strange moment even for some who participated; elections had traditionally been a kind of civic gathering, on one day. But the practice caught on with voters, and it eventually spread from the West Coast to 37 states and the District of Columbia. Today, at least 43 million Americans have already voted in the presidential election. And when the ballots are tallied nationwide Tuesday evening, more than one-third of them will have come from people who voted early — a record. Voting before Election Day has become so commonplace that it is reshaping how campaigns are waged, and how Americans see the race in its final, frantic days. “The idea that one wakes up and it’s Election Day in America is actually a rather quaint idea now,” said Russ Schriefer, a Republican consultant who has worked on presidential campaigns for two decades. “It is as much as a monthlong process to draw people in. And so your advertising tactics, your messaging tactics and certainly your ground game have changed completely.”

National: Under the Din of the Presidential Race Lies a Once and Future Threat: Cyberwarfare | The New York Times

The 2016 presidential race will be remembered for many ugly moments, but the most lasting historical marker may be one that neither voters nor American intelligence agencies saw coming: It is the first time that a foreign power has unleashed cyberweapons to disrupt, or perhaps influence, a United States election. And there is a foreboding sense that, in elections to come, there is no turning back. The steady drumbeat of allegations of Russian troublemaking — leaks from stolen emails and probes of election-system defenses — has continued through the campaign’s last days. These intrusions, current and former administration officials agree, will embolden other American adversaries, which have been given a vivid demonstration that, when used with some subtlety, their growing digital arsenals can be particularly damaging in the frenzy of a democratic election.

National: Cyber ‘SWAT’ teams gird for Election Day trouble | USA Today

Law enforcement officials, government workers and cyber-security professionals are preparing to swoop in, track and hopefully block anyone attempting a cyberattack aimed at destabilizing the U.S. presidential election. The possibility is slight, with risks lessened by the fractured, pre-digital nature of the national voting apparatus. Still, fears that hackers — perhaps from Russia — could instill doubts about the voting process via attacks on the Internet infrastructure have put the cyber-security community on guard. In a way, they are girding for war, but the fronts are multiple and decentralized. Although many are keeping low profiles, we know about some.

National: The Art Of The Vote: Who Designs The Ballots We Cast? | NPR

When a voter heads to the polls, any number of factors may influence how she casts her vote: party affiliation, her impression of the candidates — or even the design of the ballot itself. The visual layout of a ballot can have a surprising effect on a voter’s decision. And anyone who recalls the 2000 presidential election, which drew national attention to some confusing elements of the Florida ballot, can tell you that designers don’t always get it right. So, who are the people designing the ballots? That depends on where you’re asking. “There is no federal ballot design authority,” Dana Chisnell tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. Chisnell is co-director of the Center for Civic Design, a nonprofit aimed at developing best practices for election materials. “How ballots get designed is really a combination of local election officials and what their printers can do, if it’s a print-based ballot, and what the computers can do, if it’s an electronic voting system.”

National: Would it matter if either Trump or Clinton refused to concede? Yes and no. | CS Monitor

After an ambiguous answer from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump last month, Fox News TV host Chris Wallace followed up Sunday during an interview with Mr. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, to ask whether the GOP candidates would accept the outcome of Tuesday’s election. It’s a question that has clung to the Republican ticket like heavy fog for two-and-a-half weeks since Trump said during the third and final presidential debate that he would hold the American public “in suspense” rather than vowing before Election Day to accept the results, whether he wins or loses. That noncommittal response drew harsh criticism from those who said he threatened the very fabric of American democracy. But the reality is that, even if either Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were to fail to concede on election night or at any point thereafter, the electoral process would carry on anyway and place a new president in the White House. The winner is still the winner, whether the loser acknowledges the results or not. “Concession is constitutionally irrelevant,” Jeff Becker, an associate professor of political science at the University of the Pacific, tells The Christian Science Monitor. Even though the political mechanisms will proceed without regard for whether a defeated candidate publicly acknowledges his or her loss, an artful concession remains vitally important to American political futures, Dr. Becker adds.

National: Could Russia Hack Presidential Election 2016? | iTech Post

Cybersecurity researchers are raising the specter of a Russian cyber attack on Election Day and many voters are concerned that the presidential election could be hacked after Russia’s recent hack of the Democratic National Committee. American voters are concerned that the presidential election could become the target of hackers and the outcome could be manipulated. In this troubled context, GOP candidate Donald Trump has also added to the general anxiety by casting doubt on the legitimacy of the presidential election to be cast on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Trump suggested that in case if he loses, he might not accept the results. But is it really possible to hack the election? How really vulnerable is the U.S. presidential election to an eventual Russian hacking? … Pamela Smith, president of the non-partisan lobbying group Verified Voting, explained for the same publication that the U.S. doesn’t have a national voting system but rather local jurisdiction-specific voting systems. On the international scene, there were indeed some elections that have been tampered with over the internet, but that could happen only where there’s been a national election system. That’s not the case of the U.S.

National: Push for Automatic Voter Registration Ramps Up Again | The Atlantic

One of the many supposed truisms about politics is that you’re never supposed to look past the next election. Yet as this historic presidential race draws to a close, voting rights advocates are already ramping up efforts to expand the rolls in future elections through automatic voter registration. In the District of Columbia, the city council this week unanimously approved legislation allowing eligible citizens to register when they sign up for a driver’s license. In Nevada, organizers for a group led by Obama campaign veterans are gathering signatures to put a similar law on the ballot in 2018; they must submit the petition by Election Day this year. Voters in Alaska will decide a ballot measure next week that would automatically register nonvoters when they sign up to receive dividend payments from the state’s oil revenue fund. And in Illinois, Democrats in the state legislature are hoping to hold a vote in the weeks after November 8 to override Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation enshrining automatic voter registration.