As the investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 Presidential election continues, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally announced which states experienced hacking attempts within the last year. Among those targeted was Delaware. With only three Electoral College votes and a consistent Democratic voting record in the last seven presidential elections, it is bizarre to see Delaware in the company of swing states like Wisconsin, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. However, unlike Virginia, which is updating its voting system to ensure election security, Delaware is updating its voting system for a very different reason: efficiency.
Articles about voting issues in Delaware.
Delaware will put out a request for bids on new voting machines by the end of month. Delaware’s current voting machines have been in use since 1996. The state has about 1,600 voting machines. Considered state of art when they were purchased more than twenty years ago, they’re now outdated. A 2015 report by the Brennan Center for Justice notes that the machine models Delaware uses are no longer being made and have outlived their expected lifespan. … [State Elections Commissioner Elaine ] Manlove adds Delaware will probably have to wait until 2020 for the new voting machines because the purchasing process will take some time.
It’s Nov. 6, 2018. Election Day. More than 100,000 Delaware voters have already cast their ballots with just one hour until polls close when suddenly the state’s election system goes down. Software experts are able to quickly restore it, but it’s too late: All the votes have been wiped out. The system failure has invalidated votes all across the state, and now the integrity of the election is at stake. While unlikely, this scenario is possible, and it’s a big part of the reason why advocacy groups are urging state officials to fund the purchase of new voting machines. Delaware has about 1,600 Danaher ELECTronic 1242 voting machines, purchased in 1995. Those machines were state of the art 22 years ago, but they’re now outdated and, according to some, in desperate need of replacement. “We need a voting system that inspires public trust,” said Jennifer Hill.
Delaware voters soon will cast their ballots on new voting machines. But exactly when – and what those machines will look like – remains to be seen. A state task force created last year to study the issue is still debating what bells and whistles the new voting machines should feature – four months after it was supposed to make a final recommendation to the Delaware General Assembly. … First deployed in 1996, Delaware’s 1,600 voting machines are among the oldest in the nation and have outlived their expected lifespan, creating a growing list of potential problems. The computer operating system used to create electronic ballots, for instance, is no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning security updates are no longer available. The outdated equipment also precludes the General Assembly from adopting the kind of no-excuse early voting currently used by 34 other states. And Delaware is now one of five states using voting machines that never let voters see a paper copy of their ballot to ensure its accuracy.
Under the new law you no longer have to get a request for an absentee ballot notarized. A notary — usually found at a bank or UPS store — verifies your identity and places a seal on your affidavit explaining why you need to vote absentee. State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove says that’s a hurdle in the absentee voting process for people who aren’t used to voting that way.
By the end of the week, most Delawareans will no longer be able to ask for a copy of the state’s voter registration database. That news comes in the wake of an effort by the Trump Administration to root out what they view as widespread voter fraud across the country. “I don’t feel like we should give that information,” said state Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove, referring to a panel led by Vice President Mike Pence (R). Last week, her office said it wouldn’t comply with a request from the group, which would’ve involved handing over voters’ dates of birth, the last four digits of their social security numbers and more.
Delaware is refusing to deliver its voter registration data to the federal government. Delaware Secretary of State Jeffery Bullock recently received a letter from the White House asking for voter roll data, including names, birth dates, party affiliation, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting history past 2006. This request comes from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was formed around President Trump’s unfounded assertion that millions of illegal votes were cast during the 2016 election. So far, nearly half the states have refused to comply, either fully or partly.
Delaware: Legislation seeks to prevent political meddling in drawing districts for the General Assembly | Sun Times
A plan to change how the state sets the borders for legislative districts has attracted bipartisan support in the upper chamber of the General Assembly. Senate Bill 27 seeks to overhaul General Assembly redistricting by taking it out of the hands of the legislature, sponsor Sen. Bryan Townsend said. Instead, an independent commission would redraw voting maps without reference to politics. The Democrat of Newark said the idea is to create an unbiased and transparent method of setting boundaries. The legislation proposes a nine-member nonpartisan commission.
Delawareans would be able to vote early, would be automatically registered to vote at the DMV, and would vote in local primary elections and presidential primary at the same time if a trio of bills passes the General Assembly. The goal of all three proposals is to encourage more people to vote, the sponsors say. Rep. David Bentz, D-Christiana, sponsored a bill that would allow citizens to vote in the 10 days leading up to any general, primary or special election. There would be one early-voting polling place in each county, plus one in Wilmington. “We should try to make it so that our elections fit into the people’s schedules, and not where people should have to fit their schedule into the government’s,” Bentz said.
The General Assembly is only a few steps away from handing over the job of drawing legislative districts to an independent commission. Supporters, mostly Democrats, say the change would prevent politicians from holding onto power by manipulating the redistricting process. “Voters should choose their elected officials; elected officials shouldn’t choose their voters,” said Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, who sponsored legislation to create the commission. Townsend’s bill passed the Senate on a 12-7 vote Wednesday. It still needs to pass a House committee, then the full House, before going to Gov. John Carney’s desk.