The Voting News

Wyoming: Murray announces plan to evaluate Wyoming’s voting equipment | Casper Star Tribune

Wyoming voting officials have started looking into replacing aging election equipment across the state. A panel of state officials has been convened to determine whether new machines are needed and how much replacement would cost, as well as where to seek funding. “The State of Wyoming is responsible for providing citizens with an election process that can be trusted. Wyoming is leading the charge with this Task Force to ensure that no county is left with voting equipment at risk of deteriorating,” State Election Director Kai Schon said in a statement. Read More

International: E-Government Sounds Great Until the First Hack | Bloomberg

A group of Czech security researchers earlier this year discovered a way to steal identities from electronic ID cards used in a number of countries, known in the cryptography industry as a ROCA vulnerability. So far, the vulnerability has caused problems in Estonia — the country with perhaps the most comprehensive e-identification and e-government system in the world — and in Spain. Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, a tireless promoter of his country’s e-democracy, has said that other countries and institutions have the same problem, too; they’re just not talking openly about it. He’s very likely right. The discovery poses an important question: Could we perhaps be overeager to adopt technological solutions to problems that don’t necessarily require them? Read More

Cuba: Final Prepared Details for Upcoming Municipal Elections | teleSUR

Last details are being set up in Cuba ahead of the election on Nov. 26 for the People’s Power Assembly seats, after the electoral commission organized a trial run of the election or voter. Among the activities are reviewing voter lists, checking updated electoral manuals, testing lines of communication, and reviewing responsibilities for electoral board members. Cubans will choose representatives from over 27,000 candidates that will compete for 605 assembly seats. Read More

Germany: Germany moves closer to snap election | Politico

Germany moved a step closer to a snap election after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a government with smaller parties fell apart and the Social Democrats refused to step into the breach. Europe’s biggest economy and pre-eminent political power was plunged into deep political uncertainty late Sunday night after the collapse of exploratory talks involving Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, plus the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens. That left the Social Democrats (SPD) as the only viable junior partners who could give Merkel a parliamentary majority. But SPD leaders voted unanimously Monday not to reprise the “grand coalition” of the last four years with Merkel’s conservatives, having recorded the worst result in their history in September’s general election. An extended period of political limbo in Germany means a range of decisions on the national and EU level will be on hold — most notably on French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals to overhaul the eurozone. Read More

Liberia: Electoral commission says fraud claims lack evidence | The Star

Liberia’s electoral commission said on Monday that claims of fraud brought by a presidential candidate in last month’s election did not have sufficient evidence, delivering a preliminary conclusion of an investigation. Former footballer George Weah was initially set to face Vice-President Joseph Boakai to determine who will replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But third-place finisher Charles Brumskine and his Liberty Party contested the outcome of the first round, claiming gross irregularities, and the Supreme Court this month suspended the run-off until the electoral commission can investigate Brumskine’s claim. Read More

Nepal: Battle for hearts, minds and ears in Nepal election | AFP

Wit days to go before elections in Nepal the battle for votes is being fought over the air waves as radio stations, many backed by political parties, beam campaign messages to the farthest corners of the Himalayan nation. Social media may now dominate political campaigns in the West, but in Nepal, where fewer than one in five people has access to the internet, radio is king. Community radio exploded in the early 1990s as Nepal’s monarchy began to loosen its grip on power, liberalising the media and allowing popular elections for a new government. It grew with the mobile revolution as cheap handsets with built-in FM receivers became widely owned, allowing news to reach areas of the landlocked mountainous country where newspapers can take days to arrive. Read More

Nigeria: National Assembly moves to adopt electronic voting system | New Telegraph

The National Assembly yesterday said that efforts had reached an advanced stage in the process of enacting a new Electoral Act that would make provision for electronic voting ahead of the 2019 general elections. The parliament also said that it had stepped up activities geared towards redefining the regulatory framework to make elections more transparent and credible in the country. Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Aminu Shehu Shagari, disclosed this at an interface with me dia executives at the National Assembly, Abuja. The media roundtable was hosted by the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) as part of a strategic plan to engage political actors, political office holders, media and other stakeholders on preparations for the forthcoming general elections. Read More

Somalia: Somaliland picks ruling party’s candidate as new president | Reuters

Musa Bihi Abdi of the ruling Kulmiye party was declared the winner of Somaliland’s presidential election on Tuesday, by the election commission of the breakaway region. Situated at the northern tip of east Africa on the Gulf of Aden – one of the busiest trade routes in the world – Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has been relatively peaceful since. The region of 4 million people has not been internationally recognized but it has recently drawn in sizeable investments from the Gulf. In the election, Abdi won just over 55 percent of the vote, while opposition leader Abdirahman Iro took nearly 41 percent, election commission chairman Iman Warsame said. Turnout was 80 percent. Read More

United Kingdom: Electoral Commission launches inquiry into leave campaign funding | The Guardian

Vote Leave is under investigation by the Electoral Commission over whether it breached the £7m EU referendum spending limit, with allegations being made that it channelled funds for a social Brexit media campaign via £625,000 in donations to a student. The watchdog said that the new information meant it had “reasonable grounds to suspect an offence may have been committed” and said it would examine if the Boris Johnson and Michael Gove-fronted campaign had filed its returns correctly. Its unexpected intervention came as the commission was facing a legal challenge from remain grassroots campaigners, unhappy that it had dropped a previous investigation into the spending of Vote Leave and satellite Brexit campaigns that are accused of not being properly independent of it. Read More

National: Democrats call for states to get $400M election security upgrades | The Hill

Two House Democrats are pressing their colleagues to allot $400 million for states to upgrade outdated voting equipment and secure their election systems. Democratic Reps. Bennie Thompson (Miss.) and Robert Brady (Pa.) made the appeal in a letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee released on Monday. “We know that Russia launched an unprecedented assault on our elections in 2016, targeting 21 states’ voting systems, and we believe this money is necessary to protect our elections from future attack,” wrote the lawmakers.  “When a sovereign nation attempts to meddle in our elections, it is an attack on our country,” they wrote. “We cannot leave states to defend against the sophisticated cyber tactics of state actors like Russia on their own.” Read More