North America

Articles about voting issues in North America outside the United States.

Mexico: A New Revolution in Mexico | The New Yorker

The first time that Andrés Manuel López Obrador ran for President of Mexico, in 2006, he inspired such devotion among his partisans that they sometimes stuck notes in his pockets, inscribed with their hopes for their families. In an age defined by globalism, he was an advocate of the working class—and also a critic of the pri, the party that has ruthlessly dominated national politics for much of the past century. In the election, his voters’ fervor was evidently not enough; he lost, by a tiny margin. The second time he ran, in 2012, the enthusiasm was the same, and so was the outcome. Now, though, Mexico is in crisis—beset from inside by corruption and drug violence, and from outside by the antagonism of the Trump Administration. There are new Presidential elections on July 1st, and López Obrador is running on a promise to remake Mexico in the spirit of its founding revolutionaries. If the polls can be believed, he is almost certain to win. Read More

Mexico: Mexicans can now vote using presidential candidates’ nicknames | The Guardian

When Mexican voters go to the polls on 1 July to pick a new president, they will able to choose between candidates including Richie Rich, Alligatorfish, and the Untamed One thanks to a ruling by the country’s electoral institute. Voters will now be allowed to scribble a candidate’s nickname, initials or campaign slogan anywhere on the ballot – rather than mark an X over their names – and have it count as valid. The National Electoral Institute (INE) – which organises the election and referees all partisan political activities in Mexico – changed the rules barely three weeks ahead of the vote that will also renew congress, elect nine governors and hundreds of mayors. Read More

Mexico: Cyber attack on Mexico campaign site triggers election nerves | Reuters

The website of a Mexican political opposition party was hit by a cyber attack during Tuesday’s final television debate between presidential candidates ahead of the July 1 vote, after the site had published documents critical of the leading candidate. The National Action Party (PAN) said that its website, targeting front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, likely suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber attack with the bulk of traffic to the site nominally coming from Russia and China. Lopez Obrador’s Morena party said it had nothing to do with the outage. The Chinese and Russian embassies in Mexico did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Reuters could not confirm the PAN’s account of the attack. Read More

Canada: Federal government unveils plan to boost Canada’s defences against online attacks, crime | The Globe and Mail

The federal government unveiled its plan to bolster Canada’s defences against nefarious online attacks and crime Tuesday, even as it acknowledged a shortage of skilled cyberwarriors to meet the country’s needs. Backstopped by more than $500-million in new funding over the next five years, Ottawa’s newly released cybersecurity strategy lays out a range of initiatives to help Canadians, business and the government better protect against cyberthreats. The strategy was the result of nearly two years of consultations with industry, academics and other experts, and updates the first such plan released by the Harper Conservatives in 2010. Read More

Mexico: Candidate shot while posing for selfie as killings of politicians continue | The Guardian

Fernando Purón had just finished an election debate with his rival congressional candidates in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, when a well-wisher asked to join him for a selfie. But as he posed for the photograph outside the auditorium in the border city of Piedras Negras, a bearded gunman stepped up behind the pair and shot Purón in the head. The cold-blooded murder on Friday – captured by a CCTV camera – has cast a harsh light both the stunning levels of violence in Mexico, and the risk taken by those who run for elected office in the country. Purón was the 112th political candidate murdered in Mexico since September 2017, according to Etellekt, a risk analysis consultancy. Read More

Canada: Block the parties from predicting voters’ private traits | Policy Options

Over the last decade, predictive statistical models have emerged that can uncover private traits about individuals without their consent. These traits, such as personality or mood, are predicted through various machine learning methods, using digital records of online activity such as social media data. Predictive models have allegedly been used by “propaganda machines” that target individuals with ideas or advertising. The use of predicted private traits has been shown to be an effective means of mass persuasion that can significantly increase product sales. Now we are seeing  firms  like Cambridge Analytica and Aggregate IQ employing these tools for political causes like Brexit and candidates such as Donald Trump. Psychological profiling using social media data was reportedly used for voter suppression — discouraging people from casting their ballots — in the 2016 US presidential election. Cambridge Analytica claimed it used 5,000 data points per adult voter in the United States to create targeted ads for the Trump campaign. Read More

Canada: 2019 federal election a likely target for Russian meddlers, Comey warns | The Canadian Press

Canada — like any number of democracies around the world — needs to be concerned about the threat of Russian interference in its elections, says former FBI director James Comey. Any country that shares liberal, democratic and western values should be worried, considering how much of a threat those values are considered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of the world’s most famous former investigators told an Ottawa audience Tuesday. Comey headed up the controversial investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election before he was unceremoniously fired last May by U.S. President Donald Trump. Read More

Canada: Why electronic voting in the Ontario election is a mistake | rabble.ca

A seismic shift will occur in Ontario politics on June 7 regardless of which party wins the election: electronic vote-counting machines will be used across the province for the first time. Machines will scan voters’ paper ballots and calculate the totals at each polling station that is equipped with them. Ninety per cent of the ballots will be counted this way. The rest will be counted by hand, as not all polling stations will have machines. When the polls close, offsite computers will add up the votes. On June 1, CBC News reported that the Progressive Conservatives, “wrote to Elections Ontario this week to flag several issues, including concerns about protection from hacking and the certification of the vote-counting machines.” Elections Ontario’s chief administrative officer, Deborah Danis, was quoted as responding, “There is no possibility that the counts could not be fully corroborated. I would actually argue that the introduction of technology increases our accuracy.” Unfortunately, this response from Elections Ontario falls far short. Here’s why. Read More

Canada: Progressive Conservatives flag concerns about Ontario’s new voting machines | CBC

The Progressive Conservative party is raising concerns about new voting technology that will be used to cast and count ballots in Ontario’s provincial election, CBC News has learned. The June 7 vote will be the first general election in Ontario to use the electronic voting machines. The technology includes devices than scan voter cards and tabulate marked ballots. The provincial agency overseeing the vote worked frequently with all the major parties over the past three years to test and demonstrate the reliability and security of the new technology. However, since Doug Ford won the PC leadership in March, the party has contacted Elections Ontario multiple times with questions and concerns. The PC party lawyer, Arthur Hamilton, wrote to Elections Ontario this week to flag several issues, including concerns about protection from hacking and the certification of the vote-counting machines. Read More

Canada: British Columbia unveils its proposed question for voters in electoral-reform referendum | The Globe and Mail

British Columbians who participate in an electoral-reform referendum this fall would first be asked whether they want to switch to proportional representation, and then to rank three specific PR systems, the province’s Attorney-General said Wednesday. David Eby said the referendum would be conducted by mail-in ballot, with the campaign to begin July 1 and a voting period to run from Oct. 22 to Nov. 30. But opponents were quick to criticize the vote as overly complicated and to seize on what remains unknown, including what the district boundaries would look like under PR. Mr. Eby’s recommendations still must be approved by cabinet, but he said starting the campaign in less than four weeks can be done. Read More